For Thursday, I planned a meetup with Mary Cousineau, who I had met in 2017 on a trip on the St Lawrence Seaway. Mary lives in Salinas, not far from Monterey CA. I knew that the Pacific coast was part of my plan for the peace sign and Mary encouraged me to get in touch when I was near. She offered to show us, by car, some of her area we wouldn’t see on our bike route, and that required arriving with plenty of daylight left.

There were 77 miles between Pigeon Point Lighthouse and Monterey, an ambitious goal given the beauty of the coasts we’ve encountered. Santa Cruz lay between the start and end points. There would be temptations to stop and gawk. We can take all day to cycle 40 miles, so 77 miles would require discipline and focus. We needed to get the many turns on the route right and we needed to stay together. I made it my job to stay just far enough ahead to scout each upcoming turn yet still be visible to Lynn, Kurt, and Brenda.

Coastal trails and bike lanes constituted a large part of this long route, and luckily, there were not too many difficult hills.

We agreed to make just two replenishment stops, the first in Davenport, a tiny town with Whale City Bakery, and the second, at Moss Landing, where Mary 2, our new and wonderful SAG, remembered a nice stop from a bike trip she had done about five years ago.

Phil’s Snack Shack in Moss Landing

We succeeded! We arrived at our hotel at 4:40 PM, raced to our rooms, cleaned up, and met Mary 3 by 5:30. She drove us through splendid inland countryside, to Carmel Mission, along Carmel Valley, and on Laureles Grade at 10% pitches up and down. We were all very glad to be in a car for that.

Mary concluded the tour at Tarpy’s, her favorite restaurant, where locally grown food is served, including artichokes, tomatoes, and berries from fields we had cycled through earlier in the day.

Lynnie, Kurt, Brenda, Mary 3, and my eye

Ride statistics

Start: Pigeon Point Lighthouse CA

End: Monterey CA

Distance: 76.9 miles

Cumulative distance: 1553.3 miles

Elevation gain: 3146 feet

Strava track

Relive video

© 2021 Lynnea C Salvo

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