Monterey to Big Sur 75km

The superlatives are in danger of hyperinflation. When I think I’ve already had the best day of the journey, along comes another day that is jaw-droppingly ridiculous. The ride out of Monterey along Cannery Row (of John Steinbeck fame), then along 17 Mile Drive was so immaculately beautiful that it is no surprise that the rich and famous have converted it into a getaway ghetto for….well, the rich and famous.

I stopped to ask Rory about a foodstore nearby, and our conversation ranged from his Dublin upbringing, to his education at Downside to life in the US, till eventually ‘where’s the nearest foodstore’. My question was never really answered, but who cares? We had an entertaining fifteen minutes.

Then I fell into conversation with Clay coming out of a Safeway, a competitive long-distance sportive rider, who had completed the TRANSAM in 28 days, but who was feeling annoyed with himself for recently packing in during a 600km sportive. He said he had never done a DNF (Did Not Finish) in his life. He saw me as a sympathetic listener, and just let it all out. But I couldn’t believe it when he said he actually enjoyed doing TRANSAM..he’s a nutter. I told him he needs to back off from the testosterone induced head-banging rides….and I can hear Jenny, my wife, shouting “Practice what you preach”!

The final 26 miles to Big Sur was a stunning rolling route following the rugged coastline, with such captivating views that people came from all over the world just to stand and contemplate….as I did far too often. Every five minutes presented a Kodak moment, with cormorants, seals and pelicans adding to the entertainment.

At the Big Sur campground, I met up for the fourth consecutive day with Chris, a food operations manager, doing the southern half of the tier… we may be seeing more of each other.

Then as dusk settled, in wafted this crazy spectre called Aurora, from Taiwan.

She is spending 6 months here, and spent the first 4 months hiking the high elevation Pacific Coast Trail for 2500 miles, then without any planning bought herself this city bike with a shopping basket on the back, stuffed her backpack in it, turned around and started cycling back from Vancouver to Mexico….another 2000 miles. She has put both Chris and me completely in the shade….she had just done 90 miles in the day, what we had taken 2 days to do…..are all Taiwanese as crazy and determined as that?

Time to start stamp collecting, methinks…..

About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on October 17, 2018, in Vancouver to Mexico 2,700km and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Went up the monastery up there in the hills in the middle of an army base. Fabulous place, but weird with all the tanks, soldiers etc. surrounding it. Plus my passport etc. Checked on the way in & out. Was in a car though.


  2. Nothing like that today. Are you sure it’s the same place?


  3. It was just south of the Big Sur, Mission San Antonio de Padua, 1 Mission Creek Rd, Jolon, CA 93928, USA. You can see the base on Google maps.


  4. …the Big Sur was my favourite stretch of the whole journey…


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