Posted by

Bike the Bay – Santa Cruz County Teens Bike from Santa Cruz to Monterey

The 7th Annual Youth Bike Tour for Bike the Bay 2016 was June 24-26, 2016. Contact Tawn Kennedy for updates.

Thanks to Tawn Kennedy, director of Green Ways to School, a project of Bike Santa Cruz County (formerly People Power of Santa Cruz County) for his press release and the top two photos in this post. 

This post was last updated for June 2015. A version was previously published May 21, 2014.
Short link to this post:

On June 26, 2015, a group of Santa Cruz County teens will begin doing something many of them never thought possible–pedal their bikes on a weekend ride nearly 100 miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey and back. This is the sixth year of Bike the Bay, an annual youth ride organized by Green Ways to School, a project of Bike Santa Cruz County (formerly People Power of Santa Cruz County). Green Ways to School works to encourage youth leadership and alternatives to driving in local middle and high schools throughout Santa Cruz County.

group hostelAbove: At bike-friendly Monterey Hostel, a HER Helmet Thursdays spot.

Photos in this post, from 2012 and 2013 rides, provided courtesy of Tawn Kennedy.

Who’s riding?

The ride brings together a diverse group of youth from throughout Santa Cruz County, many of whom are involved with projects promoting biking.

Max Bushnell, a junior at Harbor High, has been working to promote cycling in Santa Cruz for the past year as an intern with Bike Santa Cruz County. “This will be the longest ride I’ve done, and I am really looking forward to it. I’m hoping it will give me a chance to meet some kids from other schools who are passionate about biking.”

Connection and joy!

The tour is a transformative experience for many who participate. Traveling 100 miles round-trip on a bicycle is no small feat for someone who may not have ridden more than 10 miles in a day. The trip affords spectacular views, a powerful connection to the local landscape, and the joy of reaching Monterey County’s 18-mile coastal trail after a hard day of pedaling. “That’s my favorite part of the trip,” says Green Ways to School director Tawn Kennedy. “After meandering through back roads and a short section of Highway 1, getting on Monterey County’s bike / multi-use path is a real treat, and I notice everyone’s spirits pick up.”

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network will eventually provide improved bikeways from the San Mateo-Santa Cruz County line to Pacific Grove in Monterey County.  (Learn more below.)

Empowering youth

Bike the Bay aligns perfectly with Green Ways to School’s mission to empower youth and change the way they think about transportation.

For  more info about Bike the Bay and Green Ways to School

Tawn Kennedy

Director, Green Ways to School

A project of Bike Santa Cruz County

& The Hub for Sustainable Living

Office: (831) 425-0667

Cell: (831) 428-5109

trail angel 2Welcome, neighbors!

Above, Kermit the Road Angel–AKA Paul Aschenbrenner, former Hartnell College sociology and psychology instructor–“puts out the welcome mat” in North Monterey County. Kermit was there to warmly welcome the Santa Cruz County riders. Mark C. Anderson of the Monterey County Weekly shares more about Kermit’s mission in “Kermit the Road Angel” in the 2/19-25/2015 Weekly; click here. Monterey County Weekly’s 2015 Editors’ Picks say Kermit’s appearance on Molera Road, Castroville—most every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. —is the Best Reason to Bike to Moss Landing and Beyond.

Curious to know more about the Santa Cruz County portion of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network?

A long stretch of the Santa Cruz County section of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network will be off-street / Class I; that’s the portion along the rail right-of-way. This off-street portion in Santa Cruz County will span 30.3 miles.

There are 3.1 additional Class I miles too, as well as 10.6 miles of on-road (Class II or III) facilities to ensure system connectivity, and 4.8 miles of natural surface paths.

In summary, here are the numbers:

  • Coastal RAIL TRAIL (Class I) = 30. 3
  • Other Class I = 3.1
  • On-road (Class II or III) = 10.6
  • Natural Surface = 4.8
  • The balance of the 48.7 miles is bridges/crossings.

Thanks to Cory Caletti, senior transportation planner at the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, for sharing the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network master plan adopted 11/7/13 and revised 2/6/14. – It provides a great breakdown about the makeup of this network. Here’s an especially relevant page: Pages from summary of miles

Questions about the SCCRTC summary? Contact

Cory Caletti, Senior Transportation Planner

Regional Transportation Commission


The Bike the Bay teens aren’t alone in looking forward to this improved bikeway network!

Shown below on arrival in Pacific Grove, this Santa Cruz County family loaded up their gear for a fun day of family biking.

Big brother pulled a trailer, carrying jackets,  snacks, water, tire patch kits, and more.  In case they wanted to lock up the bikes and walk about, he’s even toting the baby’s  stroller–everything the family might want to more comfortably enjoy a spectacular day around the Monterey Bay!

This Pacific Grove stretch of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail–-specifically, at Lovers Point–-is targeted to be the southern end of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network.  When the two-county project is complete, Monterey County and Santa Cruz County families and others will be able to bike a  network–well-planned, and whenever possible, apart from cars–from the San Mateo County line in Santa Cruz County to Lovers Point in Monterey County.

Some related stories at Bicycling Monterey

Let’s Get Connected: Watsonville Workshop on Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail

Santa Cruzans–and Many Faces of Bicycling on the Monterey Bay

Santa Cruz County Workshops on Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network

Public Workshops: Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail

Celebrate Beach Range Road Project – Aug 31, 2011

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail: Some 2011 updates

It Takes Dedication! Beach Range Road Multi-Use Trail Project

Kicks Off


Bicycle Advocacy: What you can do

* * *

Archived notes from 2014 Bike the Bay ride:
  • One of the riders, Omar Fabian, is a graduate of Harbor High, currently attending Cabrillo College, Aptos. This will be Omar’s 3rd year on the ride.
  • Esther Stilwell, a senior at Santa Cruz High, has been working to promote cycling in Santa Cruz for the past two years as an intern with People Power. “I’m very excited to get a chance to wrap up my two years with People Power with this challenging ride before I go to Pitzer College in the fall,” Esther says. “Helping with this ride is a perfect accumulation of everything I have learned at People Power: community outreach, group ride planning, sustainable transportation, and having a good time cycling! ”

This post was published on 6 June 2015. One or more changes last made to this post on 19 February 2018.

Leave a Reply