Is there a decent route from Salinas Amtrak Station to the Pacific Coast Bike Trail?
Just finished the Pacific Coast Bike Trail from SF to Monterey. We would like to pick up this ride in Monterey continuing south to San Luis Obispo by riding Amtrak to Salinas, CA, and returning via Amtrak at San Luis Obispo.
I haven't ridden that particular stretch, but I've ridden in the area. The map recommends Hwy 68, takes you pretty much straight from Salinas to Seaside, about 20 miles. You could also take Reservation Road from Salinas to Marina, and then the bike path back to Monterey.
I hope you are going to ride the Big Sur coast, that's the best part!
Hwy 68 is do-able. I've ridden it a number of times. It's very busy, and not pleasant riding at all. Best to head south out of Salinas on Main, then to take Reservation Road to the cycle path along the coast. It's a delightful ramble. You should have a great ride. Going north to south this time of year virtually guarantees tailwinds. Advice for Big Sur: this time of year, Highway 1 is swarming with rented motorhomes. The drivers are often clueless -- used to driving Camrys rather than trucks. It's best to get on the road early and to get off early. It's not particularly perilous, in my opinion, but having a rearview whipping by your shoulder is a little unnerving.
Amtrak is having huge problems this summer - especially on its Coast Starlight route. The train is running 4, 8, even 12 hours late - every day. Part of the problem is Amtrak's - but most of it lies with Union Pacific - the private railroad that owns the tracks Amtrak must use. Just like FEMA, Amtrak is letting the private railroads destroy it since those running Amtrak want it eliminated anyway. Taking Amtrak to Salinas is an invitation to a nightmare. Just a warning.