Saturday, April 12, 2014
Carmel Valley Route (96 miles)
Experienced cyclists visiting Monterey County seek out the famed "Monterey Loop” — the foundation of Sea Otter Classic’s Carmel Valley Route!
Departing Laguna Seca Recreation Area, this route travels first through the Salinas Valley—John Steinbeck country. The Salinas Valley is renowned too, as the “Salad Bowl of America,” its rich agricultural lands include some of the finest boutique vineyards in the region. Twenty-four miles into the ride, local business Vosti's hosts the first stop on our route, where you may fuel up on snacks. Nineteen miles farther, at Zabala Vineyards, there will be additional refueling options as a reward for your first 43 miles.
After biking through the flat Salinas Valley and covering 50 miles, riders begin a 10-mile ascent to Cahoon Summit. While not overly challenging, this climb tests your legs in the final three miles to the summit. At the top another rest stop stocked with light snacks awaits you.
The final rest stop of the day at Mile 85 in beautiful Carmel Valley is the historic Los Laureles Lodge in Carmel Valley Village. Fuel up at the lodge in preparation for the final 10 miles back to the finish because the challenge of Laureles Grade awaits you. The 3.5-mile grade tests even the most seasoned century riders but the reward is just around the corner.
For 2014, this route will finish by leaving Highway 68 at the main entrance to Laguna Seca, then taking a specially arranged route climbing “A” Road and finishing in the venue near the Tire Bridge. There you’ll be rewarded with a hot shower, a relaxing massage, and a celebratory lunch.
Children on the Carmel Valley Route
This is a very challenging, mostly remote route. It may be suitable for children ages twelve and up. Please be sensitive to the limits of young riders (ages twelve through seventeen) when considering appropriate registration.
Map coming soon
Coastal Route (49.3 miles)
This out-and-back route departs from Laguna Seca and heads for the coast. Once there, the route winds along the Monterey Bay shoreline. You’ll enjoy breathtaking vistas and, most likely, some sea otters as you bike the popular Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.
Although this trail is commonly referred to as "the bike path," it is a multi-use trail, shared by pedestrians, runners, skaters, cyclists, and other non-motorized trail users. Please be courteous in sharing the trail with others.
Your ride along the coast starts with the northern community of Marina, then winds through Sand City, Seaside, Monterey, and Pacific Grove. In Monterey you’ll be treated to your first rest stop, near San Carlos Beach, where you'll be offered a variety of refueling and hydration options. This rest stop will be available on your return as well.
In Pacific Grove, the route passes the Point Pinos Lighthouse, then continues to the Coastal Route’s southernmost point: the Pacific Grove gate into Pebble Beach, just after Asilomar State Beach.
After reaching the Pebble Beach gate rest stop (25 miles,) where water and electrolyte drinks will be served, this route heads back to Laguna Seca, with a final rest stop in Monterey. From there it's a short ride north on the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail back through the communities of Sand City, Seaside, and Marina, returning to the Laguna Sea Recreation Area the same way you left earlier in the day. There will be a specially-marked route to return you to the Gran Fondo finish area located near the Tire Bridge. Once there you’ll be rewarded with a hot shower, a relaxing massage, and a celebratory lunch.
Children on the Coastal Route
This route may be suitable for children ages twelve and up. Please be sensitive to the limits of young riders (ages twelve through seventeen) when considering appropriate registration. Sorry, no child of any age may be pulled in a trailer in the Gran Fondo, and no child under age twelve is allowed in the Gran Fondo on any route.
Map coming soon