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Bike to Bach, as Aussie Carey Beebe does — Carmel Bach Festival

Australian Carey Beebe was ahead of his time. As of 2019 he’s biked to Bach for 21 years. In this post, see Carey biking to Bach in Carmel, Monterey, and elsewhere.

Carmel Bach Festival encourages others to consider biking too. They offer a 20% HER Helmet Thursdays discount on any Thursday performance. To get your discount, bike (or bike-and-ride) to buy your ticket to a Thursday show, then show your helmet as evidence. Bike-and-ride? Helmet? Click here for HER Helmet Thursdays FAQs. Kindly note the following:

  • Advance ticket purchases : You may bike or bike-and-ride on  any day of the week to purchase your ticket in advance for any Thursday concerts (only).
  • Kindly note: for any possible 2019 changes about ticket purchase locations and hours, please check with the Carmel Bach Festival office. Thank you.
  • Where to buy advance tickets in person? Purchase at the Carmel Bach Festival office, which is located at the NW corner of 10th and Mission, off the back parking lot of the Carmel Sunset Center. July hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week. (And two hours prior to performances, you may purchase advance tickets up at the Sunset Center box office, San Carlos & 9th, as well.)
  • At the door (availability permitting): You may bike or bike-and-ride to any Thursday performance and purchase your ticket at the door. Tickets may be purchased at San Carlos Cathedral / Royal Presidio Chapel one hour before the performance; and at the Sunset Center two hours before the performance.
  • See the Carmel Bach Festival’s HER Helmet Thursdays listing. 
  • Contact Bicycling Monterey or the Bach Festival for any updates.

You may also be interested in Bicycling Monterey’s tips on biking Carmelnight ridingriding skills, safety, and CA bike laws, and local sidewalk ordinances.

Carey Beebe at the San Carlos Cathedral/
Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey
On arrival at San Carlos Cathedral/Royal Presidio Chapel

Special thanks to Carey Beebe for providing all photos of him featured in this post.

This post was first published in 2011, with some subsequent updates.

About Carey Beebe and biking to Bach

It’s not uncommon for Carey to fly through seventeen countries in two months, making him very glad to arrive for a stretch of time in Carmel.  The Bach Festival website states about Carey that he “is probably the most traveled and best known Australian harpsichord maker.”  

What it doesn’t mention is that Carey’s travels to Carmel Bach Festival venues–which are in Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pebble Beach,  Salinas, and Seaside–are typically by bicycle!

When Carey arrives in Monterey County, he’s very happy to get out of planes and back in the saddle. Bicycle saddle, that is!

Bike needs a tune-up? Tune-up needs a biker!

Carey is a world-renowned technician whose services are in constant demand, and his expertise is essential to the Carmel Bach Festival performers.  “The bike is my official Bach Festival vehicle, so I use it to spin around town from venue to venue, keeping all the early keyboards in tune for the various rehearsals and performances.

There’s a page on Carey’s site where he talks about what he does here in Monterey County. Read his story:

“The bike is much quicker, convenient, and much more fun for me than a car,” Carey says. He knows from personal experience what widespread research bears out:  Most trips of three to five miles or less are faster by bike than by car!

And Carey doesn’t just bike in Carmel.  Since Bach Fest venues include, for example, Church in the Forest at Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, that means you’ll find this skilled cyclist biking 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach as well.

I asked Carey to tell me more about his bicycling in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and elsewhere in Monterey County, and he graciously obliged:

“The bike is a Specialized Hardrock Sport,” Carey wrote me, “and I’ve done so many miles each summer, since the bike was new in 2006, that in 2011, the guys at Aquarian Bicycles [a closed business whose location is now the home of Work Horse Bicycles] had to put new tyres (semi-slick) on it.”Above, in 2006.  

Carey had just had “a perfect ride over the hill to tune the harpsichord” at the historic San Carlos Cathedral/Royal Presidio Chapel, a Bach Festival venue in Monterey. Below, in 2011. 

Carey reports that two-wheeled thing below is an “indispensable tool without which early keyboard instrument logistics would fall in a heap.”

Embedded image permalink

Carey appreciates the fence installed by CalTrans along the Viejo Road bike path on Carmel Hill, parallel to Highway 1.  This is a frequent route for Carey as he rides his bike from one Carmel Bach Festival venue to another. The new fence was put in shortly before his arrival for the 2013 Carmel Bach Festival.

Carmel Hill fence July 2013

 Carey Beebe not only bike commutes to work at Carmel Bach Festival venues, as is his norm, he also takes time out to help others. For example, one night Carey was found on his bike escorting the car of some lost elderly visitors from Carmel’s Sunset Center to Carmel Mission Ranch.  Carmel is charming indeed, and yet, lack of street lights sometimes challenges folks looking for street signs and other landmarks.

As an experienced cyclist–and experienced with Carmel too, as 2014 is his 16th summer at the Bach Fest–Carey is quite at ease biking in the dark in Carmel.  No worries, he was happy to help those Bach lovers locate their place of lodging and get a more peaceful night’s sleep.

That’s our Beebe–a seasonal visitor who’s a very welcome ambassador for the Monterey County bike community!

Keep up with Carey on Twitter @hpschdnu

Watch Carey in action

Doug Mueller, Production Manager at the Carmel Bach Festival, made a short experimental documentary on Carey. Here is the page on Doug’s website that has a preview and a bit about the project. A major part of the film is Carey riding around Carmel:

Read about Carey Beebe on the Bach Fest website and on Wikipedia.

Learn more about the Carmel Bach Festival.

Below, a Santa Cruz County music lover who bikes to Bach

This Santa Cruz County resident biked down to meet his wife at the Bach Festival…

As do many other Santa Cruz County residents, Rich likes biking from Santa Cruz to Monterey.   He had done so by early afternoon on the day I shot this photo, July 29, 2011. He still had more miles to pedal before reaching Carmel, where he was meeting his wife at the Bach Festival; darn, no time to stop at Parker-Lusseau. Now that he knows that Parker Lusseau—and hundreds of other places in Monterey County—give discounts on Thursdays to people who bike. 

Rich, an assistant principal at a Santa Cruz County school, caught my eye when I noticed his Ortllieb bags and suspected he was biking a distance.  His bike is a Soma “double-cross” out of San Francisco, suggested to Rich by his friend Mike.

* * * * *

Tips on bicycling Carmel

See Bicycling Carmel. Want to avoid traffic/parking snarls in Carmel?  Even if you don’t bike for transportation as much as Carey, you’ll still benefit by those trips you do by bike, or even a bike-and-ride!

Didn’t BYOB (bring your own bike)?  Bicycle rentals are now available at Bay Bikes in the Barnyard at the mouth of Carmel Valley (call ahead for availability–or reserve online).

Bay and their neighbor,  Carmel Bicycle, provide bicycle sales and service too, including plenty of accessories.  Carmel Bicycle is located in Carmel Rancho II, adjacent to the Barnyard (note windmill landmark).

The mouth of the valley has a short section of new Class I bike path parallel to Highway 1,  making it much easier for cyclists to travel between Carmel Valley Road and Rio Road.  Checking out that new bike path is a great reason to swing by Carmel Bicycle or Bay Bikes, as well as visiting HER Helmet Thursdays spots in the neighborhood!

The Barnyard is a bit short on bicycle parking for now.  Meanwhile, Carmel Bicycle is happy to share their bicycle rack–shown below–with cyclists who are dining, shopping, and doing other business in the neighborhood.

Carmel’s HER Helmet Thursdays spots

The village of Carmel-by-the Sea, the mouth of Carmel Valley, and Carmel Valley Village all have HER Helmet Thursdays participants, meaning males and females get discounts on Thursdays just because they ride a bike. These locations are highlighted in tips on biking Carmel–see the numbered list of the first 44 spots in this vicinity.

Find them all, plus over 200 countywide, on the Listings/FAQs page (click here).

Who else bikes in Carmel?

Check out these cute little cyclists, growing up street-wise in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

This post was first published in 2011, with some subsequent updates.

This post was published on 16 July 2017. One or more changes last made to this post on 13 July 2019.

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