Questions about Salinas to Big Sur
This weekend i was thinking about taking amtrak from oakland to salinas and then riding down to big sur to camp. The route seems pretty obvious, HWY 68 to HWY 1 to big sur. However, the interchange of 68 and 1 looks pretty nasty, and the hwy after that looks like a 4-lane major hwy (got to love street view).
I looks like you could take a left onto Olmsten road from HWY 68 before the interchange with HWY 1, then continue on Monhollan road, and finally take a left on Aguajito road before catching up with HWY 1. Is this a good solution? Is there another detour you could recommend?
Another option i saw was taking a left on Laureles Grade road from HWY 68, and then right on West Carmel Valley Road to HWY 1.
Also, what is the traffic typically like on a weekend? Holiday weekend?
Is it doable or should it be avoided all together?
EDIT: How long would this route take for a typical rider? I ride everyday around the city and longer (30-40) mile rides on the weekend. The train arrive in salinas at about noon. If i take my time, stopping to eat and traveling at a moderate pace could i make it to big sur by 5 or 6pm?
Any experience taking bikes on the coast starlight?
Last edited by zoltani; 08-26-08 at 10:41 AM.
Olmsted-Monhollan-Aguajito will do you fine. Los Laureles Grade is beautiful but don't underestimate the "Grade" part of its name. I think you'll be fine with an arrival window around 5-6 p.m. You can expect a tailwind through the afternoon along Hwy. 1. Hills are rolling. Once you pass Carmel Valley Road/Rio Road and Hwy. 1, food stops thin out quickly through Carmel Highlands to nothing until you reach Big Sur. The route I'd recommend is Reservation Road to a coastal cycle path that takes you into Monterey. You can hug the coast and throw in 17-Mile Drive if you like. No charge for cyclists.
If you've not ridden 1 to Big Sur prepare to stop often to take it in. You will see pretty heavy traffic, but I've never found it to feel particularly dangerous. As is often noted, the rental RVs are the worst. If you can stand using one, a rearview mirror can help ease your jitters in heavier traffic.
Thanks for your info. I will probably do the olmsted-monhollan-aguajito route and catch up with HWY 1, however, it still looks like a 4-lane major freeway where at the interchange with aguajito. So i am a little confused about that part. Do i just ride on the freeway? Is there are side path? Looking at the monterey county bike map it seems like they show the freeway as ridable.
I am excited for the trip, but bummed that i have to box the bike for amtrak for such a short train ride. Are they really strict about this rule on the coast starlight?
Y'know, I haven't got a Krebs map handy but that section of 1 may still be bicycle restricted. No big deal if it is. Just use the overpass at 1 and immediately turn left at the Hill Gate to take 17-Mile to Carmel, than back onto unrestricted 1. Sorry, I can't help you with the Starlight. I'd try talking to a station agent ahead of time.
I used to live in Salinas so I still remember the roads there. Definitely DON'T take the hwy 1/68 interchange. I agree with "Laureles Grade is beautiful but don't underestimate the "Grade" part of its name."
On your transit option, if you don't want to pack your bike, you may consider the option of BART-Caltrain-MST Line 55. Check out their websites for schedules: BART, Caltrain and mst.org. If the schedules work for you, you can take your bike all the way to Monterey.
The ACA tour goes from Monterey to Lucia/Limekiln Beach S.P. (The Big Sur), only 59 miles but 9,320 feet climbing...
Originally Posted by paxtonm
I already bought the train tickets, so i will have to keep this in mind for next time.
Originally Posted by biking-w-kids
I am still a little nervous/unsure about HWy 1/Aguajito interchange. Can you rid ethis section of HWy one? How do you get onto the HWY? Should i travel more south and then get on 1?
Any tips to help ease my nerves?
Looks like you're OK according to a map from the Monterey County Transportation Agency.
Here's a link: http://www.tamcmonterey.org/programs..._north_web.pdf
If you don't have one do buy a Krebs map. They're fantastically valuable for the Central Coast area, and a bargain at around $6.
Happy trails, and pack a camera because you'll hate yourself if you don't.