Over Arroyo Seco - Steinbeck Country - CycleBlaze

April 27, 2022

Over Arroyo Seco

Greenfield to Carmel Valley Village

Yes, that is where we are heading
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We couldn’t find a single breakfast type place while exploring town so we figured Subway could work. But they open at 8 am and we were determined to get out early to beat the wind. So, at 6:45 we found ourselves at a McDonald’s for the second day in a row. I got another $1.00 large cup of great coffee and, knowing we had a 18 mile climb ahead, we both ordered an extra breakfast biscuit to eat at the top. 

By 7:45 we were rolling. The wind was just a gentle puff at this point. We crossed over to the west side of the valley past crop lands and vineyards. Once we reached the foothills we were sheltered from the winds until we were close to the top. 

The first part of the climb was on Arroyo Seco Rd. following the river for part of it and following the arroyo for the rest. There were many ranches at the outset, some of them with vineyard and some with livestock. The ranches became more sparse as we went higher and there were “For Sale” signs for large parcels (e.g. 160 acres) in many places.

I had ambitions to stop more for pictures on the climb but on one of my first stops I had a mishap and fell, banging one shin, a knee and a hand. Or so I thought. As I continued riding I realized that the most painful body part was the ankle that I had put down to stop.   In fact,  I think maybe I rolled that ankle while stopping and that actually caused the fall. Well, I ended up riding the rest of today with increasing pain in what appears to be a sprained ankle. And I didn’t stop very much because it was really awkward and ouchy getting restarted. So, sorry, not too many pictures on this very scenic day. As I write this I am icing and elevating my stupid ankle. 

For the first 12 miles, the climb itself was very undulating, with a few steep sections interspersed with less steep and some downhill sections. At about the mid-point, we turned onto Carmel Valley Rd. As we climbed higher, we began to get passed by multiple vintage cars and these continued to pass us throughout the day. We found out this was a vintage car rally going from Los Angeles to Carmel. Cute cars but very smokey, polluting exhaust and not great to breath while climbing. 

The last 3 miles were tough, with grades of 8-12% interspersed with 4-6% and some hairpins. At about 23.5 miles into the ride, we reached the top. Now we could definitely feel some wind blowing into our faces off the ocean and up the Carmel valley but also from the downhill that we worked so hard for. 

Once we reached Carmel Valley Village, I stopped at the market to find some tape or an Ace bandage to wrap my bunged up ankle. The closest pharmacy is in Carmel-several miles down the road into the wind. The best I could find at the market will have to do so Duct tape it is. I have a little KT tape in the First Aid kit so we’ll see if I can do something to bolster it to ride tomorrow. The market was next door to an Ice Cream Shoppe. We just climbed over 3,000 ft. Guess what we did next…

After looking around town we checked into the Contenta Inn. It is nice-a very spacious room, 2 queens (one for sleeping, one to explode panniers on,) clean, in-room coffee and good quality ice. 

Dinner tonight is hopefully Thai, not Mexican as I feared. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mexican, just not every night. 


Crossing the Arroyo Seco
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Typical ranch land we rode through
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More ranch land
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The road is heading up!
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Barn at the top of the hill
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Amber StarfireNice bike lean pic!
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1 month ago

Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 112 miles (180 km)

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Kathleen JonesOy! None of that ankle stuff! Hope you can get through tomorrow without trouble.
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2 months ago
Kathleen JonesThis road sounds pretty great. I’ll have to try it some time soon.
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2 months ago
Genny FoxI did a mixed wrap of KT and Duct tape and it has helped. NSAID and ice too. I think tomorrow will be OK.
Today was a really pretty and fun ride, ankle pain aside. I would definitely recommend it.
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2 months ago
Amber StarfireSorry to hear you feel. Hope your ankle is feeling better!
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1 month ago
Amber StarfireTo Amber StarfireI meant "fell" not "feel" :-)
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1 month ago