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View Full Version : Ridden the 17 mile "drive" in Monterey, CA?


NRRider
03-19-2009, 12:15 PM
Heading up there with the wife this summer and meeting up with my brother and his wife. Was thinking of taking them on this ride. Is this a ride that newbs can do without too much difficulty or is it pretty hilly? Any other thoughts on whether it's something that should be avoided on a bike?

bagochips3
03-19-2009, 02:13 PM
I've driven it, not ridden it, so my perspective is a bit skewed, but: It is pretty darn flat and would be great for newbies imho. There are some sections where the road is narrow, so watch out for cars (near the Lone Cypress, for example). There are also sections where the bike path has a lot of pedestrians on it, so you need to go slow and take it easy. But it's pretty epic for scenery.

I found this description online that might be helpful:

http://www.lkjh.org/bike/california/monterey/carmel/index.html

Ken Robb
03-19-2009, 02:48 PM
starting from the north entry in Pacific Grove you will enjoy a lovely flat ride with several dazzling view stops but after a few miles bikes are directed off 17 mile drive. The bike route climbs a moderate hill into a woodsy residential area which is nice but does not offer great views of the water.
On my first ride I ignored the "no bikes" sign and continued along 17 Mile Dr. It seemed like a good idea at the time until I came to a steep pitch where the road narrowed to 1.99 cars wide. The motor home in front of me stopped on the steep part so he could back off onto a very narrow dirt shoulder so an on-coming MoHome could squeeze by. I was then the white part fof the Oreo between the MoHo in front who was backing up and the MoHo behind that was crawling up the hill. Since I was unclipped stopped on a steep hill with nowhere good ahead I did a quick u-turn and coasted back the way I came.
Riding around Pacific Grove is fun and following the ocean front to Monterey is flat and lovely. Stackie lives there so he may chime in here. :beer:

Kevan
03-19-2009, 02:50 PM
there can be A LOT of cars attending. Their speed isn't a factor, but the fact that there are so many and that they ain't paying too good attention you best be careful rolling with them.

Frankly, the people who live out on that road, I don't know how they can stand it.

InaTrance
03-19-2009, 03:05 PM
Frankly, that is the last place to safely ride a bike, especially with newbies. The last thing a tourist will be looking out for is a bike. :no:

There is plenty of safe bike path all the way from Fisherman's Wharf out to Pacific Grove, to Asilomar. Stop and eat at Fishwife (or is it Fishhopper?) next to PG High School. Climb a bit more make a left on David Avenue and you are headed back towards Fisherman's Wharf where you started. This route will give you plenty of cold windy coastal views, a little climb to see the peninsula from the top, then back down for drinks in old Monterey. :beer:

I used to live there and I would run this loop. Best route ever. :)

Ken Robb
03-19-2009, 03:12 PM
It's the Fishwife and they serve good seafood for modest $$.
The cars on 17 Mile are going slow and Leslie was very comfortable riding it.

maunahaole
03-19-2009, 03:46 PM
17 mile is fine if you enter in PG and exit in Carmel, however it does get hilly when you get back into the woods. The ride along the water/golf courses is nice. You will need to sign in at the PG gate (i.e. execute a release). If you exit in Carmel, I'm not sure if you can ride back in to that gate - they are a little strange about the bike access at the gates other than PG. Noobs probably wont like climbing the hill out of carmel by the sea to hwy 1 and really wont like the climb up hwy 1 to 68. The descent from 1 to PG on 68 is big fun, but is also a 40+mph descent with corners....

My folks live in CV and are big fans of Matteo's in PG (it's in a little shopping plaza up near the safeway). Nice casual little italian spot - good food, reasonable prices.

pdmtong
03-19-2009, 05:43 PM
it sounds romantic, but the cars, road narrowness, and the comparatively short time along the truly spectacular water views make it more trouble than its worth IMHO. plus, as noted, the hills once in the residential area will NOT be pleasant for newbies on flat pedale and heavy bikes. better off driving the parts you want, and then doing some scrambling on the rocks to sit, smell, and breathe

NRRider
03-19-2009, 08:25 PM
The consensus seems to be to forget it. Glad I asked.

stackie
03-20-2009, 01:23 AM
You guys are nuts. I live next to Pebble and consider it one of the best reasons to live here. I ride to work through Pebble several days a week and do almost all of my rec riding in PB.

1. You could ride Pebble from the PG gate to Carmel gate along 17 mile with nothing more than a few rollers. Very easy for a newbie. I see people on the rental hybrids all of the time.

2. If you want some hills, there are some very nice climbs up away from the water peaking at about 750ft elevation. Want more? Do it again. There are three main ascents. Lopez, Ronda, and 17mile/Pescadero canyon.

3. Tourists. Yes, they will be looking at the water. But, they are in no hurry to get anywhere. Do watch the tour buses. They sometimes think they have the right to both lanes. Would you rather take a nice ride on Carmel Valley road and deal with a pissed off redneck in a Excursion who will likely pelt you with a half empty can of Pabst Blue Ribbon just for being out in in those faggot spandex clothes?

4. The "bike path" That's probably the most dangerous place to ride here. You will encounter people walking 8 abreast on the bike only sections. Little kids will dart out in front of you. Picture takers will back into you. Roller bladers will fracture their pelvis' to spread their legs so far apart that their short and curlies will drag on the concrete. Oh, any if you go any faster than a walker, you'll be chastised for going too fast.

5. You can enter Pebble through any gate. Just ride through. You don't need to stop.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them here or in a PM. Shoot, if you can ditch the noobs, I'd be happy to take you on my loop of Pebble.

Jon

NRRider
03-20-2009, 09:17 AM
You guys are nuts. I live next to Pebble and consider it one of the best reasons to live here. I ride to work through Pebble several days a week and do almost all of my rec riding in PB.

1. You could ride Pebble from the PG gate to Carmel gate along 17 mile with nothing more than a few rollers. Very easy for a newbie. I see people on the rental hybrids all of the time.

2. If you want some hills, there are some very nice climbs up away from the water peaking at about 750ft elevation. Want more? Do it again. There are three main ascents. Lopez, Ronda, and 17mile/Pescadero canyon.

3. Tourists. Yes, they will be looking at the water. But, they are in no hurry to get anywhere. Do watch the tour buses. They sometimes think they have the right to both lanes. Would you rather take a nice ride on Carmel Valley road and deal with a pissed off redneck in a Excursion who will likely pelt you with a half empty can of Pabst Blue Ribbon just for being out in in those faggot spandex clothes?

4. The "bike path" That's probably the most dangerous place to ride here. You will encounter people walking 8 abreast on the bike only sections. Little kids will dart out in front of you. Picture takers will back into you. Roller bladers will fracture their pelvis' to spread their legs so far apart that their short and curlies will drag on the concrete. Oh, any if you go any faster than a walker, you'll be chastised for going too fast.

5. You can enter Pebble through any gate. Just ride through. You don't need to stop.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them here or in a PM. Shoot, if you can ditch the noobs, I'd be happy to take you on my loop of Pebble.

Jon
PM coming your way.