Day 2
Cycling Around Monterey Bay in One Morning
Santa Cruz and its neighbor Capitola are among the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States. In Santa Cruz, particularly, it seems that almost every street is a bike route, complete with bike lane.

That said, the signage was a bit inconsistent making it fairly easy to get lost. And some of the roads (bike lanes included) were in lousy condition.

After recovering from a few wrong turns, I found myself on the road to Aptos, Watsonville and the other communities that line the bay between Santa Cruz and Monterey.

At left, the route goes under a railroad trestle in Aptos.

I saw a lot of agriculture on this day. Here is a farm near Watsonville.

Pacific Coast Bike Route Trivia: What crop is Watsonville famous for?

(answer at the bottom of the page)

This farm house provides evidence that a man's home really is his castle, or at least it is in Watsonville. And if you get sick of the castle, there's always the trailer just to the right of it.
This was a short milage day. By late morning I was closing in on my destination. This bike path runs alongside Highway 1 into Monterey's northern suburbs. 
After a few miles on city streets, the route swings onto another bike path for the entry into Monterey. These ducks are unfazed by traffic, bicyclists and apparently anything else that comes their way.
Here's the Monterey City Limit sign. I had an entire afternoon to kill before check-in at the Monterey Youth Hostel.

I spent some of the time riding around town, which inflated the day's milage total by about 12 miles.

It was a surprisingly warm afternoon in Monterey. A lot of people were at the beach. It was a beautiful day to be there.
The bike path between Monterey and Pacific Grove was pretty slow going. Not only were there cyclists and walkers; I also had to deal with 4-person pedal cars that are rented to tourists. These contraptions are heavy, wide, and inefficient; they tend to be bike path cloggers.

I parked my bike under a tree in Pacific Grove.

 

Of course, the afternoon would not be complete without a prowl down Cannery Row. I passed up the aquarium, though. I went on a family visit last summer and it was really, really crowded.

Pacific Coast Bike Route Trivia Answer: Watsonville fancies itself as the Artichoke Center of the World.

SUMMARY: 62.2 miles. Wish I had found a good place to lock up my bike bags along with my bike so that I could take a less encumbered tour of Monterey. The Monterey Hostel was clean, well-run, and sort of interesting. Big day of riding coming up tomorrow.

[DAY 3: Big Sur, and on to San Simeon]