A Chunk of the PCH Just Became the Prettiest Bike Path in America

Big Sur's landslides came with a serious silver lining

By Diane Rommel

A Chunk of the PCH Just Became the Prettiest Bike Path in America
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16 August 2017

If you live in California, you've driven the PCH. 

Beautiful. Spectacular. Beloved of cyclists with less fear than yours truly. 

Now, though, something unexpected has happened. 

The Pacific Coast Highway runs like a ribbon along the California shoreline. On the stretch around Big Sur, calamitous — at least from an infrastructure perspective — landslides recently cut off access to the road. That means it's empty. At least, empty of cars. Think a less permanent Planet of the Apes. There were people. Now they are, mostly, elsewhere. 

Taking advantage of a worthwhile situation, tour outfitter Big Sur Adventures is hosting guided e-bike rides from its HQ at Loma Vista to the falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. (If you have Instagram, you've probably seen them.) Then you'll cycle back up the coast. 

It'll take some work to get to the bike shop: these mudslides were the real deal ("At the moment, we are in an area only accessible to the public by helicopter or the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Bypass Trail.  Be advised that the trail has about 300' of elevation gain.") But it's possible, and the benefit waiting for you on the other side is a once-in-a-lifetime bike ride.

So get on it. 

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