Posts Tagged ‘biking’

If you have 5-30 million dollars in spare cash I know of several incredibly beautiful beach properties that you can buy. Even better if you fancy playing golf by the ocean. What more you can also charge people for driving past your home oohing and aahing at the views that you would see daily from every window.


It was a cool, crisp and sunny day yesterday and Mayank & I decided to bike the 17 Mile Drive along the Pacific Coast from the town of Monterey to the village of Carmel by the Sea. The road hugged the Monterey Peninsula, a place of astonishing beauty, screeching sea gulls, rich marine life and spectacular houses. Thanks to the efforts of the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary & Aquarium, people are careful not to pollute the water. As a result, the ocean is a beautiful clear azure meeting an impossibly blue sky.

Our trip started at the centre of Monterey only a few hundred metres from the ocean’s edge. A shared pedestrian path/bike lane runs all along the water’s edge past the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf where otters and sea lions lounge around, Cannery Row and finally joins the Ocean View Boulevard which as the name suggests was right beside the Pacific. Much of the foreshore is covered by a kind of vine with triangular leaves that looks like grass but isn’t. The tip of the leaves were red, giving the impression of a carpet of red flowers.

I started to get my camera out. Mayank was alarmed. We had not covered even half mile of the 17 miles and I was changing the settings in my camera. At that rate it would take an entire day to cover the distance. As we left the bay and rode onto Sunset Drive, the waves got bigger and the ocean more restless.

The road then passed the white sands Asilomar State Beach where surfers waited for the perfect wave, people walked or simply lazed on the beach. It was the absolute holiday picture- peaceful and uncrowded.


We then entered the 17 mile drive proper through the Pacific Grove Gate. It’s free for cyclists and we overtook the cars with a smirk as they waited to pay an entrance fee of $10. The road twisted and turned through the tall woodlands, and swept by the white sand beach of Spanish Bay. It was fun to race down to the ocean with the wind on face and the sun on our backs. The only grouse I had was that we could not ride side by side. Since it was a shared road, we had to ride in a one file and thus did not do much talking while .

Point Joe & Bird Rock came next. Due to my numerous photo ops and the fact that I huffed and puffed while going uphill on my bicycle we were doing rather poor on time and hence did not stop at these overlooks. I am quite certain there was something wrong with the silly gear settings on my cycle. There were two sets of those and I had no idea what they were for. I just randomly kept changing them till it felt right, for the moment that is. I am sure I would have a much better job with my Atlas bicycle.

We stopped for lunch at Seal Rock, a point with picnic tables on the shore and glistening water a feet away. I had packed us a picnic. That saved us time and $$. I was warned of the atrociously expensive restaurant that charged something like $20 for a pile of lettuce.

We passed several golf courses including the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. Right on the shore, I suppose the joys of indulging in golf is at a different level all together. The road then turned away from the coast and climbed  into a thick grove of Cypresses, windswept by the ocean winds. Hidden among those trees are mansions with manicured lawns and windows with the views we had come to see. Through the twists and turns we could see the ocean below. The trail still buried in the trees,  led us to the Lone Cypress. Standing on a cliff, the tree has withstood the Pacific storms and winds for over 250 years.

We crossed the Pescadaro Point, the resort of Pebble Beach. Our 17 mile bike ride was coming to an end. We headed down to the Carmel gate to the small but definitely upscale village of Carmel by the sea.

The place was full of pretty boutique shops made prettier by the natural beauty that surrounded it. This is where we returned our bikes and took the bus back to Monterey.

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