Posted by marilynch
Bicycling Pebble Beach
“Doc” Reichbaum catching the waves along 17-Mile Drive. (Photo courtesy of Rizayel Mukashev.)
Dena Donnell decided: While at Monterey’s Naval Postgraduate School, what better way to spend your eighth month of waiting for baby than biking 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach!
Biking Pebble Beach is a special way to experience a beautiful stretch of Monterey County coastline. Bring your bicycle, or rent one from a Monterey County rental location.
No gate entrance fee for bikes
Bicyclists, unlike motor vehicle drivers, receive a special welcome by being admitted at the Pebble Beach gates free of charge.
By the way, as the Pebble Beach Company website indicates, motorcycles are prohibited. That means if you have an electric bicycle, no problem. However, if your wheels are in the scooter category–such as a two-stroke–be forewarned: Scooters, as with motorcycles, are not admitted to PB. For questions or any updates to that policy, contact Pebble Beach Company.
Special event weeks
Bicycling is allowed in Pebble Beach 7 days a week, with some exceptions during special event weeks. See specifics later in this post.
Things to know about pedaling Pebble…
Be sure your drinking water bottles are filled up before you set out on 17-Mile Drive, as watering stations are few and far between.
- 3101 Forest Lake Road #B (Forest Lake and Lopez)
- 4180 17-Mile Drive (Carmel Hill station, just inside Highway 1 gate)
Speaking of water…
Sure, you want to stay hydrated. And there are plenty of dining spots in Pebble Beach where you can purchase a meal or beverages, then make use of the restrooms.
There are also public bathrooms in other locations, such as at the Bird Rock parking lot.
Local road cyclists– including Velo Club Monterey, Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club, Bicycling Monterey, and others–emphasize to visitors and locals alike:
Avoid getting bicyclists’ privileges to ride in Pebble Beach revoked by unnecessary behavior, whether that’s racing on 17-Mile Drive or using the Spanish Bay parking lot as a urinal. Don’t be one of those people who give bicyclists a bad name, or cause loss of privileges to bike this beautiful setting!
Entire 17-Mi Dr? Best for experienced cyclists
Although there are adequate bike lanes along miles of beautiful stretches of Pebble Beach, many sections of 17-Mile Drive and other PB roads have no real bike lanes. That means that they are best suited to experienced cyclists with a lot of road savvy.
Please also refer to “Hey, open road–let’s race” below.
Solution for the less experienced: Bike part-way
Less experienced cyclists, including children, are urged to stay off the areas of PB with only Class III (signed bike route, no lanes). Some parts of 17-Mile Drive have no real shoulder, or only a very narrow shoulder.
Although there is not a Class I (off-road) bike path through Pebble Beach, less experienced cyclists may still be comfortable biking just part of 17-Mile Drive, where there are Class II (shared with cars) bike lanes.
Example: Bike from the Pacific Grove gate to Point Joe or Spanish Bay. Here’s how to get from the Monterey Aquarium to Point Joe.
- One of the many virtually flat rides with beautiful ocean views goes from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey to Point Joe, Pebble Beach. There’s a brief, very gentle uphill stretch after Asilomar State Beach. (1) Start at the Aquarium and bike to Lovers Point (this stretch is all off-road bike path, and it even has separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists). (2) Then, from Lovers Point to Asilomar Avenue, you share the road with cars, and this is a signed bike route only (there is no marked bike lane). (3) After Asilomar Avenue, a bike lane is re-established (still shares the road with cars); the bike lane continues into Pebble Beach, to Point Joe and beyond.
- Note: It’s easy to locate the Pacific Grove gate into Pebble Beach: It’s a right-hand turn at the stop sign after you’ve passed Asilomar State Beach, the Fishwife Restaurant, and the Russell Service Center, which features a retail shop for Peninsula Potters.Once you reach the Pebble Beach entrance gate, follow signs to Point Joe.
Less experienced cyclists can still get in additional miles of pedaling on parts of Monterey County’s coastal trail that have better bike infrastructure (e.g., Class I paths). Refer to “Where to Bike” or to the maps section.
A visiting cyclist’s summary
If you’ve browsed “Where to Bike” in this site’s 20-section guide, Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, you may have already found this report by author and cyclist Jody Brooks: “Cycling Monterey to Carmel and Back,” which includes comments on biking 17-Mile Drive Pebble Beach.
Distracted by beauty? Safety first.
Please be safe, and legal–whether traveling on two wheels or more. Beautiful views can be distracting; see “Distracted? Stay alert–cops about!”
Also see this site’s section on California Bicycle Laws and Safety Tips.
If you’re unfamiliar with the no-bike-lane stretches of 17-Mile Drive and are intent on biking them, it’s recommended that you first talk with local cyclists who bike the entire 17-Mile Drive regularly, such as local bike shop staff and local bike club leaders.
And bike as early in the morning as possible, when there are fewer cars on the road.
Coming during the winter months, and figure it’s not going to be biking weather? See “Piping in the New.”
Bike-and-ride to Pebble
If you’d like to bicycle in Pebble Beach but your schedule, stamina, or other reasons make it challenging, refer to this site’s bike-and-ride tips. From hotel shuttles to bike racks on cars to our local bus service, there are solutions to help more people bicycle.
Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) normally has bus service to Pebble Beach 7 days a week, with bike racks on those buses, too. See MST.org for updates. Service hours are tailored to employees working in Pebble Beach (“commuter bus”), so plan for that and review the MST schedule to find the times that work best for you. Check out the 2x Pebble Beach Express schedule on the MST site.
Strenuous rides and elegant evenings
Maybe you are not staying overnight on the Monterey Peninsula, and you want to get a good workout on a strenuous bike ride, then follow it up with an evening out. Can you easily do both? Sure, just refer to shower and change locations for day visitors. And if you are lodging here overnight, look for “How Monterey County’s Accommodations Show It’s a Cycling Friendly Place.“
If you’re enthused about combining bicycling in Pebble Beach with a touch of elegance, and the amenities that typically accompany a special date, we’ve got you covered; refer to “Bike Valet Parking.” And if you think you can’t dress in style for cycling, consider Copenhagen—and Monterey County! See “Cycling chic a la Monterey.”
Hey, open road—let’s race!
Racers are encouraged by Pebble Beach Company to enjoy high-speed cycling at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Fort Ord, and other Monterey County locations suited to racing. Racing is not appropriate for 17-Mile Drive.
Find recreational ride companions for 17-Mile Drive
- Velo Club Monterey (a fun bunch of partiers, as well as being “Knights of the Central Coast“) and NPS Cycling Club regularly bike all of 17-Mile Drive. The public is welcome to bike with Velo Club Monterey in Pebble Beach or elsewhere; visit their website for schedule and tips on participating in group rides.
- An excellent local resource on bicycling Fort Ord is the Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association (MORCA) . Some of their members also road bike, including 17-Mile Drive.
- For additional local cycling resources, refer to Monterey County Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, Resources, Infrastructure Contacts, and More.
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the Bicycling Monterey website valuable…
Please consider making a contribution to help maintain and expand these resources. Thank you.
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Ecotourism and Pebble Beach
Being in a place where nature’s beauty is stunning causes most people to feel gratitude, along with a desire to help preserve that beauty.
You may have noticed that Pebble Beach dining venues are serving more sustainable seafood and organically grown produce on some of their menus, which is wonderful. For examples, check out the Stillwater menu, and this article about Peppoli.
What else is Pebble Beach Company doing to sustain this beautiful environment for future generations? Check out their website’s Environmental Stewardship page to learn about conservation efforts affecting marine life, plant life, water, and more.
It’s significant that many of the Pebble Beach Company’s individual venues earned designation as certified Monterey Bay Area Green Businesses in 2009. You may read the list in the Pebble Beach Company July 15, 2009 press release at their site; and you may also confirm that good news, and learn more, by visiting the Monterey Bay Area Green Business website. What about the golf courses? Pebble Beach Golf Links was cited by Links Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Green Courses.”
Looking for a way to combine your love for biking and golfing? Higher Ground Bicycle Company has created a Golf Bike. See “The Golf Bike: An alternative to walking and carts” by John Strege in the 1/24/13 issue of Golf Digest.
Also refer to the Company’s website regarding their 2009 WRAP award from California Integrated Waste Management Board—received for the 10th year. For these efforts to be most effective, though, requires a commitment from the rest of us. Here’s an easy example. Please use the recycling bins at special events. And if you’re a volunteer or employee (permanent and temporary alike), stick to the Company’s guidelines regarding where those recyclables go next. Effective results require a team effort.
Crank it up a notch
Better yet, whenever possible, avoid those mountains of discarded plastic and paper altogether!
If you are a frequent cyclist, staying hydrated is on your mind, and you probably brought your own stainless steel or other reusable beverage container with you. Forgot? You may purchase a reusable mug with the Pebble Beach logo at the Pebble Beach store. Similarly, you likely brought your own reusable tote for carrying any purchases. If not, purchase a Lone Cypress bag at Pebble Beach so you are able to say “No paper or plastic, thank you! I have my own.”
Bring your own cloth hankies, napkins, and so on, too. It all adds up!
Here, there, everywhere
If you live in an area where eco-awareness and actions are commonplace, count your blessings. And if you are an individual who has been mindful about caring for the planet for decades (or virtually all your life), a tip of the bike helmet to you!
It’s easy to forget that not everywhere is environmental sustainability highly prized. The eco-steps that Pebble Beach Company and others are already taking are vital. And on this dear Planet Earth—here, there, and everywhere—there’s still a long way to go to set things right.
There are many ways you can help keep Pebble Beach and Monterey County beautiful. Leaving a motor vehicle behind to travel by bicycle, even part of the time (see bike-and-ride tips) may be your favorite way. For more ideas, please refer to the “Bicycling and Ecotourism” section of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, and “Bike to the Beach–and Care for What You Love.“
Getting out to enjoy nature is perhaps the best inspiration for safeguarding it. It would be fun to hear what you learned about this beautiful planet—and perhaps a new action that has inspired in you—from your bicycle trip around Pebble Beach, other parts of Monterey County, or wherever you are.
Specifics about biking
during special event weeks
At other special events—because of heavy motor vehicle traffic—cycling may be discouraged, even though allowed. A high volume of traffic does not make for a fun cycling experience!
For all special events, Pebble Beach Company—event by event—decides their policy on bicycles. How to know what the decision is for a particular event? Special event date restrictions may be temporarily included in this post (until the date has passed), or contact me. If you can’t reach me, call Pebble Beach Company–and ask for Safety Director Kevin Cole–to inquire. Also, you will normally see signs up at Pebble Beach at those exceptional times, such as during the AT&T Pro-Am, if bikes are not allowed.
You may see a small number of cyclists at the “bikes excluded” special events: the Pebble Beach cycling medical team, who find bicycles a great way to get where they need to go quickly. Sometimes (e.g., AT&T Pro-Am 2014), emergency teams travel in golf carts rather than by bicycle.
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Below are tips on past special event weeks.
First, scenes from some of my personal good times in Pebble Beach. Come make your own memories soon!
For more Pebble Beach memories, see “Piping in the New.”
Notes from past special event weeks
Pebble Beach Food & Wine
is one of the many special events that draws people to Pebble Beach–as if the beautiful coastline were not enough! At the top of this post are some notes from the 2011 Food & Wine events. Then, read on for general info on bicycling Pebble Beach.
- Look for Heller Organic Estate Vineyards, and ask winemaker Rich Tanguay about biking in beautiful Carmel Valley.
- Check in with James Lopez, valet for Roy’s and the Inn at Spanish Bay, for more tips. James is an avid cyclist too, and experienced with biking Pebble Beach and elsewhere in Monterey County.
Be sure to ask for bike valet parking at Spanish Bay and throughout the county.
Keep a special eye out for the extra Earth-friendly chefs who are conscious about Sustainable Seafood, humanely raised meats, and local and organically grown ingredients like those found at our farmers markets. Here are three chefs with a particular sustainability consciousness:
- Chris Cosentino – @offalchris – an endurance mountain biker who seems to have biking on his mind, even as he’s preparing for luncheon
- Ed Kenney – @edstown
- Joseph Humphrey – @chefjoehumphrey
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Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Auto Week 2011
Bicycling Beauties: Think August 15-21 Concours d’Elegance and Monterey Auto Week is only about four wheels?
Concorso Italiano will be showing off other Italian beauties, too, on August 19! Check out the Classic Italian Bicycles at Concorso, where you’ll have the opportunity to be swept off your feet by about 18 gorgeous Italians from the 1950s, 60s, 70s, and more, including carbon fibre lovelies from the present.
Think you’ve already seen the best Campy ever? Come to the Concorso Italiano and be sure, for this is the place to see lots of amazing Campagnolos. This Auto Week event takes place at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch.
McCall Motorworks Revival. Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club members will be on hand for Gordon McCall’s very special event, August 17, kicking off Auto Week. The Motorworks Revival benefits the California Highway Patrol’s 11-99 Foundation.
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February 3-9, 2014, during the AT&T National Pro-Am Golf Tournament, Pebble Beach is closed to bicycles and to visitors driving motor vehicles.
Tips for golf-lovers and others
A bike is a great way to get around other parts of Monterey County during high-traffic Pro-Am week, and to find parking–including bike valet service.
Follow the Pebble Beach golf action on Twitter @ATTPBNProAm and @KevinMerfield (Monterey Herald golf columnist). Visit Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau webpage Insider’s Guide to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for tips.
Weather? On Twitter @nwsbayarea.
Review California bike laws and safety tips. No matter your mode of travel, stay alert for cops on bikes, because they’ll be alert for distracted drivers and cyclists who compromise the safety of others on the roads. Biking and drinking? See “safe biking and alcohol” tips in Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways.
This North Carolina gent was visiting Monterey County to golf Pebble Beach. He found found just enough time on his way to the golf course to hop on two wheels awhile.
Note: Special thanks to Clark of Salinas for encouraging this post’s greater emphasis on those no-bike-lane stretches.