We meet at 10:00 A.M. at Cafe la Strada, on Cannery Row. After a safety briefing, we introduce cyclists to their bikes and do some final check of the bike fits. Then we head out along the coast route through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach's 17-Mile Drive, where we make our first stop to view the sea lions at Bird Rock. We continue into charming Carmel for the mid-ride feed zone, then it's inland to Carmel Valley Village.
The breakaway ride continues up-valley to ride the “Cachagua Loop” through the remote valley of the same name, with a brief but steep climb back to Carmel Valley.
Our team dinner tonight is at the Los Laureles Lodge, also our home for the next two nights.
As we do every morming, we meet for a team breakfast briefing to go over the day's stage. Today's stage heads up-valley on the very remote and quiet Carmel Valley Road. Once through the Carmel Valley Village, vehicle traffic is rare, leaving cyclists to experience the country road in almost complete solitude. The road climbs gradually for 20 miles to the summit, where we turn around for the descent back to the Village.
The breakaway continues from the summit until the road reaches its end at Arroyo Seco Road, then reverses course back to the Village. Team dinner tonight is once again at the Los Laureles Lodge.
Today we depart from Carmel Valley and head back towards the coastal town of Carmel. From there, we head south along the scenic coast road towards Big Sur, making a feed zone stop at Rocky Point, an aptly named restaurant perched over the ocean on a rocky point.
The standard route heads back to Monterey from Rocky Point. There are two breakaway options of different lengths. The shorter option continues south over Bixby Bridge to Hurricane Point, the high point on this route with amazing views. The longer option continues south to the Big Sur Lodge, in the redwoods. Both breakaways return to Rocky Point to rejoin the standard route.
Tonight's lodging is at Intercontinental The Clement, a luxury hotel on Cannery Row, literally built over the Monterey Bay. Final team dinner is at the C Restaurant, overlooking the bay.
Today's route is a shorter morning ride from Monterey into the remote hills of Fort Ord, a former Army base turned into a park. Most of the roads in the park are closed to cars, allowing cyclists to enjoy some car-free riding. The ride through Fort Ord exits onto the Monterey Bay Trail, a paved cycling path through the coastal sand dunes and along the beaches. Finally, we return to Cannery Row for the end of our 4-day experience.
We were thrilled with our bike trip through the Central California Coastal area. Everything was top notch: great bikes, fantastic accomodation, soooo much great food, helpful coaches/guides. The weather also cooperated which was a nice boost as well. We had a small and tight group of fellow bikers which also contributed to the great times. Congratulations to Terry Morse for developing an amazing tour which really and truly puts guests first!
TripAdvisor November 2012