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Piping in the New: January Biking in Monterey County

pebble sunset span bay sept 2004Late this afternoon, I enjoyed old traditions ringing in the new: bagpipe music echoing from Spanish Bay on New Year’s Day, as nearly every day. It was perfect weather for biking 17-Mile Drive through Pebble Beach.

Johnny Mercer tunes had revved up my New Year’s morning, with “Too Marvelous for Words:  Capitol Sings Johnny Mercer.” Thanks to a recent mention of Mercer by Jay Bartow, I’d been motivated to rediscover this exceptional songwriter, a favorite of my parents.

And as the year’s first sun slipped into the Pacific, Joni Mitchell’s “California” was trilling off my tongue. What is it about being on a bicycle that always gets my pipes going!

Today as I biked and sang under clear skies and felt the sunshine, I was counting my blessings. I sometimes forget that those mighty ocean breakers in front of me aren’t seen everywhere. Same goes for the marine life—including the two-legged varieties, whose joy pulls me back into the surf, even if it’s only to grab a boogie board on our warmest days.

Former resident Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” That variety in the world does make for a lot of happiness. I am ecstatic in high mountains, and I’ve been thrilled by making new discoveries under the sea. I love lush green growth, and I’m touched by stark desert terrain. And I am happy to live where I can bicycle year-round.

If you’re snowbound and want a great place to bicycle right now, come visit. Although we do hope to get some winter rain, we guarantee you: no snow.

This post was previously published on 1 January 2010. 

This post was published on 1 January 2018. One or more changes last made to this post on 31 January 2023.

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