A friend and I just finished cycling Big Sur: 3 days, 221 miles, 17,300 feet of climbing. Big Sur is as beautiful as the internet suggests, and not very developed (a welcome retreat if you hail from the Bay or LA). We started in Carmel, then rode down ‘the’ 1 for day 1, finishing at ragged point inn, who was enjoying their monopoly on food in the area. Traffic on a Monday wasn’t bad, and most of the drivers were cordial. We found water about halfway at a tourist trap, but there certainly weren’t many chances. The next day, we rode back up 20 miles and turned inland at Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd, which winds up and over the mountains and then through Fort Liggett-Hunter. The transition from the coast to the Salinas valley was riddled with different beautiful micro-climates, moving from arid desert on the climb, though redwood stands at the summit and descent, and into savannah on the other side of the mountains. Water wasn’t to be had from leaving Highway 1 all the way to our destination, so we were glad to have packed an extra few liters. From Liggett, a fast 20 miles placed us in King City, where I was excited to stay, for the references in Steinbeck’s East of Eden , only to find out the town hasn’t done much except gain some taquerias and a Denny’s. Though I do have to say we had a great drink in one of the taqueria’s – a sort of blend between a beer and a bloody mary called the Michelada. Day three was spent getting a bit lost on dirt roads outside of King City, then up the Carmel Valley heading back to Carmel. Again, limited water: we had no options between King City and Carmel Valley, about a 50 mile mountain stretch. A great time and the IT band held together; definitely a stronger climber now!

Bike Big Sur from lewis guignard on Vimeo.

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