Breaking down the best and worst parts of biking by the Bay.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Behold the Recreation Trail, arguably the best and most beauteous strip of pavement known to bicycling. But the local beauties don’t stop there. And, unfortunately, they come accompanied by a number of shortcomings. Here the Weekly parks a look at both, with input from Kaki Cheung, Transportation Agency of Monterey County; Mike Baroni, Green Pedal Monterey; James Serrano, City of Salinas Transportation; Megan Tolbert, Monterey Green Action; and Mari Lynch Dehmler, www.bicyclingmonterey.com
• Birding by bike on the new Hatton Canyon River Path.
• Finding a $20 shiny beach cruiser with flames at the Carmel church rummage sale.
• Cruising the 29-mile Coastal Bike Trail from Castroville to Pebble Beach.
• Choosing your own adventure on www.mtycounty.com/pgs-parks/bike-path.html.
• Watching the tourists in surreys on the Rec Trail try to coordinate their pedal-pumping.
• Taking the best-ever detour off Del Monte Boulevard: The exhilarating C-curve Dunes Trail between the Del Monte Skating Rink and Monterey Beach Hotel.
• Never hitting a hill during a 20-mile coast through Salinas.
• Discovering the little treasures – a shaded bench, a wildflower burst, a smile from a fellow biker – that you’d never catch in a car.
• Cruising Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile Drive without paying a toll.
• Popping your bike onto a carrier at the front of an MST bus.
• Handing your baby over to a valet at a bike-friendly hotel like the Inn at Spanish Bay, the InterContinental or Monterey Plaza.
• Breezily parking at Trader Joe’s while cars drive in doleful circles.
• Putting your $4.25-per-gallon gas money into the fun fund.
• Being car-doored in Seaside, where there are virtually no painted bike lanes.
• Taking small saplings hostage in an attempt to lock your bike in local downtown areas with no racks.
• Hitting a pothole on Franklin Boulevard in Monterey and taking a faceplant in front of a cute MIIS professor.
• Breathing in the fumes from idling cars outside local K-12 schools – in the glaring absence of bike racks or programs encouraging kids to ride.
• Being driven off the side of the road, or nearly flattened on a left-hand turn, by oblivious drivers.
• Navigating the gap in bike routes from Salinas to the Peninsula.
• Taking your life in your handlebars biking Highway 1 south, where drivers and bikers share a dangerously slender shoulder – and a mutual disdain.
• The lack of a Rec Trail-style lane along the (potentially) very bike-friendly Scenic Road in Carmel, which would only make the destination even more tourist friendly.