Posted by

Bach by Bike with Carey Beebe. Bike needs a tune-up? Tune-up needs a biker!

Carmel Hill fence July 2013

Our Australian visitor appreciated the new fence put in by CalTrans along the Viejo Road bike path on Carmel Hill, parallel to Highway 1.  This is a frequent route for Carey Beebe as he rides his bike from one Carmel Bach Festival venue to another, caring for the fest’s instruments. Fortunately for Carey, he wasn’t rerouted by the temporary closure of this bike path, for the work was completed shortly before his arrival for this year’s Carmel Bach Festival, July 13-27, 2013.

Carey reports that two-wheeled thing below is an “indispensable tool without which early keyboard instrument logistics would fall in a heap.” Read on to learn why.

Keep up with Carey on Twitter @hpschdnu

Embedded image permalink

* * * * *

The info below was first published in 2011 and updated for 2012.

Carey is not only bike commuting to work at Carmel Bach Festival venues, as is his norm, he’s also taking time out to help others. 

The night of July 12, 2012, Carey Beebe was found on his bike escorting the car of some lost elderly visitors from Carmel’s Sunset Center to Carmel Mission Ranch.  Carmel is charming indeed, and yet, lack of street lights sometimes challenges folks looking for street signs and other landmarks.

As an experienced cyclist–and experienced with Carmel too, as this is his 14th summer at the Bach Fest–Carey is quite at ease biking in the dark in Carmel.  No worries, he was happy to help those Bach lovers locate their place of lodging and get a more peaceful night’s sleep.

That’s our Beebe–a seasonal visitor who’s a very welcome ambassador for the Monterey County bike community!

Carey at the San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey

Carey Beebe:  In constant demand, worldwide

After flying through seventeen countries in the past two months,  Carey Beebe was glad to arrive in Carmel on July 2.  The Bach Festival website states that Carey “is probably the most traveled and best known Australian harpsichord maker.”  

What it doesn’t mention is that Carey’s travels to Carmel Bach Festival venues–which are in Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pebble Beach,  Salinas, and Seaside–are typically by bicycle!

Carey arrived for the 75th Annual Carmel Bach Festival July 14-28, 2012.  He’s happy to get out of planes and back in the saddle here in Monterey County.

I asked Carey to tell me more about his bicycling in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and elsewhere in Monterey County, and he graciously obliged:

Above, in 2006.   “The bike is a Specialized Hardrock Sport,” Carey wrote me, “and I’ve done so many miles each summer, since the bike was new in 2006, that in 2011, the guys at Aquarian Bicycles had to put new tyres (semi-slick) on it.”

Below, in 2011.  Carey had just had “a perfect ride over the hill to tune the harpsichord” at the historic San Carlos Cathedral, a Bach Festival venue in Monterey.

There’s a page on Carey’s site where he talks about what he does here in Monterey County:

Bike needs a tune-up? Tune-up needs a biker!

Carey is a world-renowned technician whose services are in constant demand, and his expertise is essential to the Carmel Bach Festival performers.  “The bike is my official Bach Festival vehicle, so I use it to spin around town from venue to venue, keeping all the early keyboards in tune for the various rehearsals and performances.

“The bike is much quicker, convenient, and much more fun for me than a car.” 

Carey clearly knows from experience what widespread research bears out:  Most trips of three to five miles or less are faster by bike than by car!

And Carey doesn’t just bike in Carmel.  Since Bach Fest venues include, for example, Church in the Forest at Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, that means you’ll find this skilled cyclist biking 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach as well.

Watch Carey in action

Doug Mueller, Production Manager at the Carmel Bach Festival, made a short experimental documentary on Carey. Here is the page on Doug’s website that has a preview and a bit about the project. A major part of the film is Carey riding around Carmel:

Read about Carey Beebe at the Bach Fest website and on Wikipedia.

Learn more about the Carmel Bach Festival.

Follow Carey’s travels on Twitter:  @hpschdnu

Want more of the Bach Fest?   KUSP, Central Coast Public Radio, has Bach Festival broadcasts.  Click here for details.

On arrival at San Carlos Cathedral, Monterey

* * * * *

Does anyone else bike to Bach?

This Santa Cruz County resident biked down to meet his wife at the Bach Festival…

As do many other Santa Cruz County residents, Rich likes biking from Santa Cruz to Monterey.   He had done so by early afternoon on this day, but he still had more miles to pedal before reaching Carmel, where he was meeting his wife at the Bach Festival.  Darn! No time to stop for pastries at Parker-Lusseau.  Now that he knows Parker Lusseau–and over 200 other places in Monterey County give discounts to cyclists–Rich has another reason to bike down soon.

Rich, an assistant principal at a Santa Cruz County school, caught my eye when I noticed his Ortllieb bags and suspected he was biking a distance.  His bike is a Soma “double-cross” out of San Francisco, suggested to Rich by his friend Mike.

* * * * *

Tips on bicycling Carmel

See Bicycling Carmel. Want to avoid traffic/parking snarls in Carmel?  Even if you don’t bike for transportation as much as Carey, you’ll still benefit by those trips you do by bike, or even a bike-and-ride!

Didn’t BYOB (bring your own bike)?  Bicycle rentals are now available at Bay Bikes in the Barnyard at the mouth of Carmel Valley (call ahead for availability–or reserve online).

Bay and their neighbor,  Carmel Bicycle, provide bicycle sales and service too, including plenty of accessories.  Carmel Bicycle is located in Carmel Rancho II, adjacent to the Barnyard (note windmill landmark).

The mouth of the valley has a short section of new Class I bike path parallel to Highway 1,  making it much easier for cyclists to travel between Carmel Valley Road and Rio Road.  Checking out that new bike path is a great reason to swing by Carmel Bicycle or Bay Bikes, as well as visiting HER Helmet Thursdays spots in the neighborhood!

The Barnyard is a bit short on bicycle parking for now.  Meanwhile, Carmel Bicycle is happy to share their bicycle rack–shown below–with cyclists who are dining, shopping, and doing other business in the neighborhood.

Carmel’s HER Helmet Thursdays spots

The village of Carmel-by-the Sea, the mouth of Carmel Valley, and Carmel Valley Village all have HER Helmet Thursdays participants, meaning males and females get discounts on Thursdays just because they ride a bike.

Locate them on the clickable map or in the quick reference guide; click here.

Who else bikes in Carmel?

Check out these cute little cyclists, growing up street-wise in Carmel-by-the-Sea.


The above photo of Rich was taken July 29, 2011.

Leave a Reply