Tag Archives: bicycle

Fall is a great time to bring your bike to Cambria

Curious to know what a fall day in mid November looks like in Cambria?  Fall is a great time to bring your bike to Cambria.  The Bridge Street Inn offers covered out of site bike parking.

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The bike ride from the Bridge Street Inn to Hearst Ranch Winery is fairly flat, beautiful views, and a wide shoulder on the PCH.

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Happy Bridge Street Inn guests at the Hearst Ranch Winery.

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13 mile bike ride from Cambria to Cayucos becomes a half day adventure

 

Cambria to Cayucos bike ride highway 1

13 mile bike ride from Cambria to Cayucos becomes a half day adventure

The 13 mile ride from the Bridge Street Inn to Cayucos can turn into a half day adventure with ample hiking, beach naps, art galleries, wine tasting, coffee shops and restaurants.  Plus it only costs $1.50 to a catch a ride for yourself and bike on teh RTA bus back to Cambria.

Below are links to some of the authors favorite stops on the Cambria to Cayucos bike ride.

Harmony Cellers

Harmony Headlands

Ruddell’s Smokehouse

Cayucos Collective

Brown Butter Cookie Company

Top Dog Coffee Bar

 

Designing the Dream, the Hearst Castle Bicycle tour

hearst castle bicycle

Take advantage of the Bridge Street Inn’s unique location by hopping on a bicycle.

Worth the Climb: visiting Hearst Castle

If you have the opportunity to jump on the bike and head out along Highway One on the Hearst Experience, don’t just stop at the top of the hill and buy a postcard from the shop! You can also take advantage of a unique new tour of Hearst Castle, which runs from June 1 through Labor Day.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is offering the tour, called “Designing the Dream”, which will feature parts of the castle that have been closed to visitors for several years.

The man behind the vision

Hearst Castle was constructed by legendary newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who had a deep and lasting influence on American journalism. He was the owner and publisher of The San Francisco Examiner, and later The New York Journal. Hearst was also involved in politics, as a Democratic member of the Congress between 1903 and 1907. He made several unsuccessful attempts to become mayor and later governor of New York. His life story was the inspiration for the lead character of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.

“The Enchanted Hill”

In 1919, Hearst inherited more than 250,000 acres from his mother and father.  He started searching for ways to transform it into his dream estate, “La Cuesta Encantada”, which translated from Spanish means “The Enchanted Hill”. He realized his dream together with architect Julia Morgan. The San Simeon landmark has 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Hearst filled these spaces with his personal collection of ancient art, sculptures, furniture and relics.

In 1937, Hearst started to sell some of his collection due to challenges he was experiencing in the post-depression years. In 1937 alone, sales generated at least $11 million. A few years later, in 1941, a further 20,000 objects were put up for sale, including author Charles Dickens’ sideboard and Thomas Jefferson’s Bible. Incredibly, when the castle was donated to the State of California by the Hearst Corporation in 1957 – six years after its owner’s death – there were still enough items remaining for the whole house to be considered a museum.

Designing the Dream: the tour

The 90-minute castle tour will explore its evolution over several decades. Visitors will see the famous Neptune Pool, which offers magnificent views of the mountains and features an ancient Roman temple facade which was transported from Europe and reconstructed on site. The tour will also take in the estate gardens, the interior rooms of the “Casa del Sol” guest cottage and the North Wing of the “Casa Grande” (big house). The tour will show how styles changed dramatically between the start of construction in the 1920s and the end in the mid 1940s, although it is said that Hearst’s constant amendments and changes meant that the castle was never fully completed in his lifetime.

The tour will end with a behind the scenes visit to the estate’s Roman Pool and its dressing rooms. After that, visitors will be able to stroll around the grounds and enjoy the magnificent view, just as guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill did back in the castle’s heyday. The price is $30 for adults and $15 for children.

Cycling: the Best Buddies Challenge

Such is the power and significance of the landmark estate that it draws some one million visitors each year. This is in spite of the fact that its location is far from urban centers; some 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The estate is located five miles inland in the Santa Lucia range, at an altitude of 1600 feet.

It has also inspired cyclists from near and far. The combination of the mesmerizing scenery along Highway One and the castle made it perhaps an irresistible choice to form part of the route of the “Hearst Castle ride”. The ride, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a fundraiser for Best Buddies, an international charity for the intellectually disabled. It gives riders the chance to enjoy 100 miles of spectacular views and uninterrupted roadway from the Monterey Peninsula to San Simeon.

Conditions on Highway One

With tourism to the castle and the importance of the Best Buddies ride on the national cycling calendar, the condition of the Highway One is naturally of paramount importance. In the build-up to the race, which will be held on September 7th this year, all eyes are on Californian road authority Caltrans because it recently sealed 20 miles of the road to the north of Cambria using “chip-seal”. Chip-seal is a type of sealant which uses larger stones and therefore produces a rougher, bumpier ride for cyclists. Concerns have been raised by cyclists and tourist officials alike, leading Caltrans to hire a specialist company to test different ways of fixing the problem. Authorities are confident they will resolve the issue; however, as with most events of this nature, there is always a certain amount of risk involved. Individuals as well as organizations should be advised to prepare for all contingencies.

Nonetheless, if the recommendations of cyclists from previous years are anything to go by, the party at Hearst Castle at the end of the Best Buddies ride is a fantastic finale to the event and not to be missed. It seems whatever your motivation for ascending the hill to Hearst Castle, the climb is always worth it.

Special thanks to Melissa Hathaway for contributing this article.

The Fun Never Stops for your Legs in Cambria, California

Cambria, CA

Despite the nonexistence of casinos, big box stores, fast food, a red light district, theme park, or Saturday night cruz, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Cambria.  If you are an artist, nature lover, musician, foodie, adventurer, animal lover, or outdoor person, you’ll love the Cambria walking and bicycle scene.

Cambria, is a socialist walking utopia.  Cambrian’s believe everyone deserves universal walking  benefits.  Cambria adheres to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Walking Needs, i.e. plenty of public bathrooms, public drinking fountains, public space and public benches.  If you believe these public items create a welfare state don’t worry there are plenty of shops, a gym, and hotels where a person can pay to poop, drink water, walk  and pay to rest their weary body. Click here for the WELFARE WALKING THE STORY.

The author has explored all the following recommend attractions by foot or bicycle. His home base is the Bridge Street Inn located on Bridge Street in the East Village.

RESTAURANTS:

Many Cambria restaurants serve dishes made with local ingredients.  Here’s a list of restaurants that pride themselves on serving up a local eating experience.

Robin’s Restaurant
Creative meets local. International inspiration collides with the season’s bounty.

Indigo Moon Cafe
Serving delicious house-made meals, extravagant wines, and eclectic cheeses.

Black Cat Bistro
The Black Cat is known for serving Innovative Farm Fresh Fare.

Wild Ginger
Asian, Pacific Rim & Global Cuisine

Linn’s Restaurant 
Simple fare, built around fresh fruits and vegetables from area farms.

The Sea Chest Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Serving fresh seafood for over thirty years.

Cambria Pines Lodge
Enjoy home grown garden salads, live music, a lounge and food served till 11PM.

Click here to learn about the local black bean scene.
Harold Black Bean Vacations at The Bridge Street Inn

MUSIC:

Given the Circumstances Veronica and the Mental Foreplays

Cambria is located between 2 amazing music cities: San Francisco and Los Angles.  It’s no surprise then that Cambria too has a music scene.

Cambria Ale House frequently show cases singer song writers and has open mic every 3rd Sunday.

Mozzi’s Saloon offers a live dancing band every Saturday night.

Cambria Pine Lodge has live entertainment 7 nights a week.

-Los Cambritas’s dishes up huge burritos and has a dancing band on Sundays.

HIKING, BEACH and NATURE:

You would think with a population of 6,000 Cambria’s public space would consist of a dirt lot with a squat toilet and some hand sanitizer.  Not so, Cambria has amazing hiking areas.  Some trails are developed with benches, boardwalks, and handicap accessibility.  Other trails are dirt paths that take you to places in Cambria where you are completely alone and isolated even during tourist season.    A hiker need not worry about bladder infections or dehydration. Strategically placed through out Cambria are 5 public restrooms with water fountains. 

Fiscalini Ranch Preserve:  Catch the West Fiscalini Ranch Preserve trail system 3 blocks from the BSI.

Moonstone Beach: 30 acres, includes Leffingwell Landing, Moonstone Beach Drive, and Santa Rosa Creek.

Shamel Park:  On Windsor Boulevard North, Park Hill, in Cambria is a 6-acre County Park with a playing field, swimming pool (open in season), barbeques, picnic tables and a children’s play area.

The Bridge Street Inn Cemetery is a mile walk along forested Bridge Street road.  The living feel welcomed with amenities like guests restrooms, picnic tables, water, and plenty of art.   Guests leave the cemetery feeling even more alive.

Greenspace Creekside Reserve:  This property was once Cambria ’s historical “Chinese Center,” the social focus for workers who harvested seaweed and abalone for shipment back to China, or worked in local quicksilver (mercury) mines in the mountains.

San Simeon State Beach:  In 1994, a 3.3 mile trail was constructed encircling portions of the San Simeon Natural Preserve and the Washburn Campground. The trail includes scenic overlooks, rest-stop benches and interpretive panels with information on wildlife and habitat. A portion of the trail along the seasonal wetland is wheelchair accessible.  Free summer trolley and bus service from Cambria.

Click here for more info about parks and hikes in Cambria.

YOGA:

GymOne
Raw Curry Yoga
The BSI offers Tuesday and Wednesday morning summer seasonal Yoga with Ginna.

SURFING:

Surfline Magazine has this to say about surfing in Cambria, “A reliable source for finding something ridable if the Cayucos Pier sucks, or if the San Simeon area is too funky.”
Moonstone surf
Santa Rosa Creek surf

Those of us who need a surf lesson Good Clean Fun and Cayucos Surf Company located 13 miles south of Cambria offer private and group lessons.

BICYCLE RIDING:

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For the bicycle rider who loves leisurely rides that involve world class scenery and local culture Cambria’s location will amaze.

Santa Rosa Creek Road for the Skilled

Santa Rosa Creek starts in Cambria and meanders through the farm and ranch land of the Santa Lucia Mountains.  The one lane windy road ends near the top of the highway 46 pass.  Old Creek Road picks up on the other side of 46.  Follow the road into Cayucos then take Highway 1 back to Cambria.  This 42.2 mile loop is not for the laid back beach cruiser cyclist.  Click here for loop details.

SANTA ROSA CREEK ROAD FOR THE CAREFREE

The  carefree Santa Rosa Creek adventure does not involve walking your bicycle or wearing padded shorts.  The first 5 miles of Santa Rose Creek Road takes a cyclist through rolling farm/ranch land along a tree lined single lane road.   Besides  the beautiful natural landscape there’s plenty of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, raptors, horses, old farm houses, and barns to look at.  Be careful a good looking pig can prove as distracting as texting.

Linn’s Original Farmstore is 5 miles up the road.  Linn’s offers individual fruit pies and drinks.  Linn’s will only serve their pies on disposable wear.  This problem is easily solved by bringing a small camping plate and fork.  The farmstore provides shade trees and tables.  A perfect place to play cribbage.

Stolo Family Winery

On the way back into town stop by Stolo Family Winery and Tasting Room.  This is the last stop before Cambria.  It’s located only a couple miles out of town.   Despite not having bike racks I felt comfortable leaning my bicycle against the building.  A tasting costs $5.  The tasting room has a wonderful open feel.  There are several chairs and tables outside near the entrance door facing west.  An ideal spot to soak up some sun rays, write a poem and watch the sunset.  The Stolo family is a nontraditional family.  No, two women are not the head of the family,  two members of the Stolo family are goats.  Chet and Betty are fun to pet while drinking wine.

cambria to hearst castle by bicycle

The Hearst Experience

Many parts of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur are shoulderless, steep and narrow.  A bicycle rider should not pedal through Big Sur if they pedal erratically, curse god when they break a sweat or do not have the mental capacity to handle near death scrapes with inexperienced RV renters.   However the 7 mile stretch of Highway 1 between Cambria and the Hearst Castle is the section of PCH pavement for you.

The one small hill allows the inexperienced bicycle rider to enjoy the couch up till the day of their adventure.  A bicycle rider with one hand on the handlebar and the other on their smart phone can update their Facebook and text while navigating the wide PCH shoulder. What a cyclist missed because of digital distractions, they can recapture with a scenic postcard, purchased  at the Hearst Castle gift shop.

On a serious note no matter what type of bicycle rider you are Sebastian’s General Store will amaze you with their large Hearst beef sandwiches piled with delicious veggies.  Also located in the general store is the Hearst Wine tasting room.

Digest your food and sleep off the wine at the W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach.

cambria to cayucose by bicycle

45.7 miles of Bicycle fun between Cambria and Pismo Beach

The wind blows North to South along the PCH.  Cambria is the second to last stop for the RTA bus heading North.  A bicycle rider can pedal the 45.7 miles from Cambria to Pismo Beach with the wind at their back.  If a bicycle rider doesn’t want to pedal back to Cambria against the wind he or she can put their bicycle on the bus. RTA BUS SCHEDULE

The Weekend Boni’s Tacos Bicycle Picnic

Coffee Houses

Linn’s Restaurant
People say, “LOCATION, LOCATION.”  Linn’s is on the corner of Main St and Bridge Street.  Their outdoor tables are the first to get direct sun in the morning.

Lilly’s Coffee House
Modern coffee meets old style conversation at Lilly’s.  Virginia can serve up all of the latest coffee drinks.  However you can’t drink your fancy mocha with your internet friends.  At Lilly’s there’s no internet and when Virginia asks, “how’s your day?” She means it.

Cambria Coffee Roasting Company
Cambria Coffee serves up one of the best Americano’s on the central coast.  They have a cozy upstairs with leather sofas and internet.  A good environment to work on travel writing and upload photos.

Fast Food Cambria Style

Boni's Tacos always has bicycle parking

Despite what the Cambria visitor magazine says about fast food.  Cambria does have fast food.  It’s just fast food Cambria style.

Special thanks to Boni’s Tacos
http://www.bonistacos.com/

Special thanks to Amanda Darling for a little video work.

Music by Brandon Follett
http://www.weirdosmusic.com/

Fast Food Cambria Style received Tripfilms editors pick.  Thanks!

Here’s a link to The Bridge Street Inn website so you too can enjoy fast food Cambria style.
http://bridgestreetinncambria.com/

Ann Wilson Pedals down the Central Coast of California

Ann roaming around the world on her bicycle

I had the pleasure of meeting Ann at the Bridge Street Inn. Thank you Ann for The Bridge Street Inn mention in your article. Looking forwards to reading more Anne bicycle adventures.

Santa Maria: via Big Sur, Pacific Valley, Cambria and San Luis Obispo

Tuesday November 1, 2011, 188 miles (303 km) – Total so far: 1,441 miles (2,319 km)

At the Visitor Centre in Monterey, I asked a lady assistant about joining the ’17-mile Drive’ on my way out of town, a scenic route which would take me along the coast of the Pacific Grove peninsula. A rather strained conversation went like this -“Do you have a map of the 17-mile Drive?” “You will be given one when you pay at the start.” “But bicycles are free and I want to join it half way because I am heading south.” “What do you mean “south”?” “San Diego.” “By car?” “No, by bike.” “What sort of ‘bike'” “A bicycle.” (I almost said ‘Dear Eliza, Dear Eliza, but managed to stop myself)

Her pencilled-on eyebrows raised a full inch and the look she gave me was one of either disapproval or disbelief – I couldn’t tell which but I decided it was time to leave.

The ride took me around the coast and brought me out at Carmel where I stayed on the ocean-side of the town and enjoyed a traffic-free run.

Before so long, the road started to climb and I knew I was coming into Big Sur country. This stretch of the coast is renowned for its beauty and for me it was everything I expected of my trip, and more. The rugged shoreline with its rocky outcrops is stunning and not one of my photographs does it justice. The ocean is a sea of diamonds sparkling and rippling in the light of the sun’s rays and exquisite views appear round every bluff.

To read the entire blog and enjoy beautiful photos CLICK HERE

Check out more Ann Wilson travel stories at http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/cumbriann