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Bicycling Castroville

You mean you haven’t biked Castroville yet?  What are you waiting for!
This Class I path at Castroville  is a great place for kids to learn bike skills, as many area parents know.
Mom can jog, and I can ride.
No cars on this bike path, barely anybody at all.
It’s way fun!

And just across from the path is a bilingual Spanish-English bike shop!

Tony’s Bike Shop is at 11402 Haro Street (near the corner of Merritt and Haro). Tony’s is in the little shopping center behind Union 76 and is just across from the Class I bike path!  Phone 831/272-8409. As of 2/3/14, regular hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  (As of 2/3/14, no website, but Tony’s is on Facebook.)

The shop is named after owner Saul Soto’s dad. Saul has moved this cool shop from here…

Castroville - Tony's Bike Shopto a spot in the same shopping center, here:

Tony's Bike Shop - Castroville - Oct 18 2013

Among new and used bikes at Tony’s, you’ll find mountain and road bikes,  custom lowriders, BMX, fixies, and more.

Se habla español!

Looking for a bicicleta? Owner Saul Soto (pictured below) is one of Monterey County’s best resources for Spanish speakers who bike!

 Saul’s photo was snapped below following his barricade volunteer shift at the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas. Thanks to Juanita Turner  Photography who caught Saul on his bike. (If you like that photo as we do, you may contact Juanita to purchase a print.)

What’s up with Castroville?

Founded by Juan Bautista Castro in 1863, Castroville is Monterey County’s second oldest town. It is widely known as the Artichoke Capital or the Artichoke Center of the World.

Every year, thousands of people have flocked to Castroville’s Artichoke Festival, an event that boasts such local history as Marilyn Monroe being Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen in 1948.  There’s a parade you may want to bike in, musical entertainment, ag art competition, field tours, farmers market, arts and crafts, cooking demos, wine tasting, and more.  Don’t miss the fun!  Mark your calendar:  May 31 and June 1, 2014 However, note that  2014 brings a change:  Most of the festival will take place at the Monterey County Fairgrounds & Event Center. The parade may still take place in Castroville.  Contact Denise Amerison and Artichoke Festival for updates. 

Year-round,  touring cyclists biking on Highway 1 can enjoy a fun refueling stop in Castroville, with its unique small-town flavor.  And many cyclists from the Monterey Peninsula make Castroville their destination for a day’s bike outing, since the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail stretches all the way to Castroville.

Bike-there direx tips

Whether you’re biking or doing the bike-and-ride, you may find it helpful to refer to the bike-there tips for a Castroville HER Helmet Thursdays location, the first of which are:

Artichoke Inn (north end of Castroville)

Hanabi Japanese and  Round Table Pizza (in Castroville Station shopping center)

Sylvia Barrientos was the first Castroville leader to put her business (Round Table Pizza)  in the HER Helmet Thursdays project.

Castroville Station bike rack locations

Making a stop at Castroville Station?  Bike racks are located under the stairway, next to the laundromat, and nearby, close to the other stairwell.

Two bike racks next to Hanabi

Hanabi, another HER Helmet Thursdays spot

Bici! Bike! – Spanish and English bicycling info

Castroville is 88.4% Hispanic/Latino, which  makes it a great place to find others who can speak Spanish with you.  Don’t speak Spanish? Great place to learn!

Download a summary of California bike laws in Spanish and English, and share them with people you meet.

SPANISH and English – Summary of bicycle section of CA Vehicle Code – Leyes de ciclismo de California

Or share a flier about Spanish-language resources available on this site:

SPANISH 2-to-a-pg flier re Spanish resources at Bicycling Monterey website

Make some Castroville memories

Castroville is near and dear to my heart, because the first beloved friend I made in Monterey County–back in 1976, when I moved to the Monterey Bay region–lives in the Elkhorn neighborhood.

Another special Castroville memory was attending my Girl Scout leader training sessions at Girl Scouts of the Central Coast (Northern Region).

And the yummy Mexican food in Castroville was a strong lure whenever my family was returning from backpacking in Yosemite.  Somehow, nearing Castroville, none of us could wait and eat supper at home. Instead, we just had to make a stop in Castroville!

Lizsandra bikes often in her hometown of Salinas. Her best friend, Alexis, lives in Castroville–which is why Lizsandra was here today, biking in Rancho Moro Cojo Community Park.
And here Lizsandra is visiting with her best friend’s mom, Grace Campos, proprietress of the popular Taco Mia (831/970-9883).

This Castroville cyclist, Max, and his dad were part of the 7/14/12 Rolling Riders fun in Salinas at the Kiddie Kapers parade, a California Rodeo Salinas tradition.  Max clearly has it figured out that high-visibility apparel and accessories are the way to go on many bikeways.

Questions about Castroville?

Who ya gonna ask?

Existing bike maps don’t help a lot for people biking Castroville for the first time. Contact Saul Soto at Tony’s Bike Shop, 11402 Haro Street (near the Class I bike path–in the little shopping center behind Union 76); 831/272-8409.

For general questions about Castroville…

Ask a librarian! Looking up information on the web is so common today that many people have forgotten about an extraordinary information resource, and one of our communities’ best assets:  reference librarians at local public libraries!  The Castroville library is at 11160 Speegle Street; (831) 769-8724.  Spanish speakers, ask for Irene, Yanet, or Cecelia.

Denice Amerison is another helpful Castroville resource, including about the annual Artichoke Festival and much more. Contact Denise by phone (831/633-2465) or stop by the North Monterey County Chamber of Commerce office.

Diego Tapia below) is well-versed with Castroville area routes…

He bikes from his home in Watsonville to his workplace, the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

View from the Class I bike path parallel to Highway 1, heading south of Castroville.

Help raise the bike-friendly bar in North County

There are over 200 businesses and organizations in the HER Helmet Thursdays project countywide.  Besides those Castroville spots mentioned above, there are North County spots in Moss Landing, including Haute Enchilada Cafe & Gallery and Lemon Grass Seafood Bar and Grill.

Have a favorite Castroville or other North County spot not yet in the project?  Invite them! As of the project’s fourth anniversary, there is still no fee to participate.

And business owners and organization directors need not wait for an invitation.  Any H-E-R spot (hotel/lodging, educational or entertainment venue, restaurant, or related place) can join by signing up online or by phoning 831.375.6278.

Help bring more businesses and organizations from North County–including Castroville, Moss Landing, and Prunedale–into this long-term ecology-economy sustainability project.

  1. Dave Clark says:

    Post a map of this bike trail. Thanks, Dave

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