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  1. #1
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    Salinas Valley / River Road

    Does anybody here ever travel on River Road? I don't think so, but it is worth a shot.

    I want to do an unsupported century looping into Carmel Valley, but I cannot think of anywhere to get water along the way. Even if I went out of my way to go into Greenfield, it would still be 40 miles before I can get to Carmel Valley Village and that is with a long climb. I can go once again out of my way and go to the Cachagua General Store, but that requires some more climbing. I love climbing, but that would be overall too much for a solo century.

    It is hard to carve out a 100 mile bike ride since there is the ocean on one side and mountains on the other.

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    You could head to the Arroyo Seco campground, but that might be farther afield than Greenfield. I haven't ridden River Road specifically, but Carmel Valley Road and that whole area is very, very empty. A loop would also likely have to contend with the very, very strong NW winds.

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    Yeah, the Arroyo Seco campground is not really an improvement over Greenfield. At least with Greenfield, I would have other options of drinks to purchase. I did a hilly 40 mile ride this past weekend without stopping (except for a couple of red lights) and without consuming both of my bottles of water. But I would prefer to to avoid Greenfield as well. 60 miles would be a stretch.

    I have already ridden all those roads at least once. Did the full loop as part of the Sea Otter Gran Fondo. Done Carmel Valley Road many times, including the Cachagua loop a few times.

  4. #4
    Senior Member hack's Avatar
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    I've got family that lives off of River Road, but they're too far north near Spreckles (Indian Springs) or too far east (Chualar Canyon). Worst case, pre-drive the route and leave a couple bottles hidden for yourself?

    Some thoughts ...

    -There may be a hose bib at Arroyo Seco estates entrance (just as you turn west out of the valley), but you may need to confirm before banking on that.
    -I imagine it is too dry right now and Arroyo Seco is probably not flowing, but if it were, you could bring a filter and fill up as needed (pretend you're a mountain biker).
    -Not sure how inviting they are, but maybe one of the many new wineries could be a stop off point for a quick refill?
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    Crawlin' up, flyin' down bikingshearer's Avatar
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    Is there water at the Soledad Mission? If so, problem solved, as it is either right on or very close to your route (it's not in the town of Soledad, but you probably knew that.

    The other possible solution: a CamelBak. Not the most elegant way to go, I know, but it's about equal to three or four large water bottles, depending on what size bladder you get, and they can be had in pretty minimalist designs. Two large bottles and a 100oz, CamelBak means you have over a gallon of liquid with you. Downside, that's 8 lbs. extra weight. Upside, you will plenty to get you through.
    "I'm in shape -- round is a shape." Andy Rooney

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies. I told a friend that I was considering doing that loop this weekend (my team is out of the World Cup, so I now have time ) and his first response was "where are you going to get water?" He actually proposed an idea that I have never considered: store a third (or even fourth) bottle in my jersey. I can ride out with it empty and not fill it up until I get to the gas station early on River Road.

    Quote Originally Posted by hack View Post
    -Not sure how inviting they are, but maybe one of the many new wineries could be a stop off point for a quick refill?
    My initial hope was for someone to suggest one of the wineries. My only other trip down River Road besides Sea Otter was riding to the Hahn winery.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
    Is there water at the Soledad Mission? If so, problem solved, as it is either right on or very close to your route (it's not in the town of Soledad, but you probably knew that.
    Actually, I did not know that. Great suggestion. Their website says they do not sell food or drinks (weird for them to explicitly mention that), but as long as they are open they must have a rest room where I can grab tap water. I can potentially bike to the mission and if they do not have water, I can perhaps do some other loop like going on the road on the other side of the 101 into Salinas. Don't feel like doing that though without someone else with me for guidance.

    Other possibilities are to do the reverse loop so that I have water for the Carmel Valley climb and coast my way down to River Road or just doing an organized ride such as this one: Bike Classic | Morgan Hill Freedom Fest

    Winds have been killer lately.

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