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Celebrate National Bike Month in Morro Bay this May!

04/21/2016

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May is National Bike Month, and the quaint seaside town of Morro Bay, CA is the perfect place to celebrate! This bicycle friendly town, honored as such by the League of American Bicyclists, offers year round cycling, mountain biking and beach cruising in an absolutely gorgeous seaside setting. Amgen Tour of California agrees that Morro Bay is a perfect stop for cyclists on Highway 1 and chose the quaint town for stage 4 of this year’s Tour de France-style cycling road race on May 18. If you want to see just how beautiful the terrain is check out this fun video of biking around Morro Bay, including great footage of the new Morro Bay Bike Park. The BMX-style bike park, the only official course of its kind in San Luis Obispo County, is open from sunrise to sunset and is free to riders of all ages.

Morro Bay makes it easy for cyclers to get around town, offering a detailed Bike Route Map that highlights the towns many bicycle friendly trails. Begin your cycling adventure in downtown and ride to Morro Bay State Park and Marina on the Back Bay. From there, travel to North Morro Bay over the newly opened Morro Creek Trail Bridge through Cloisters Park, and down to the Embarcadero where you can ride the Harbor Walk path out to the iconic Morro Rock. From the Rock, pedal down onto the beach and enjoy miles of bike friendly paths along the gorgeous Pacific shoreline. Didn’t bring your bicycle with you? Not to worry. Surreys, bicycles and beachcombers are available for rent at Farmer’s Kites and Surreys located on the Embarcadero.

“Morro Bay is recognized as a Bicycle Friendly town and we are so proud of the miles of beaches, paths, trails and bridges we have that connect the entire town, and showcase all there is to see and do here,” explains Brent Haugen, Morro Bay Tourism Bureau Executive Director. “And now this May the Amgen Tour of California is going to put an international spotlight on Morro Bay, showing the breathtaking beauty found biking, cycling and beach cruising right here in Morro Bay. We couldn’t be happier!”

Cycling and mountain biking in Morro Bay are year-round activities, with temperatures along the coast averaging 60 to 70 degrees. It’s such a core part of Morro Bay, the town even offers a family-friendly 4th of July annual bike parade beginning at Morro Rock where folks decorate their "ride" in its best red, white and blue motif then cruise down the Embarcadero led by a Morro Bay police cruiser. Now that’s a patriotic bike community!
Amgen Tour of California in Morro Bay For the first time, Morro Bay has been chosen to be part of the exciting Amgen Tour of California. This Tour de France-style cycling road race challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. Taking place this year May 15 – 22, the teams chosen to participate in the past have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions.

Stage 4 of the 2016 race happens on May 18 and embraces several "firsts" including the inaugural journey north up Pacific Coast Highway from the waterfront of new host city Morro Bay. Riders will roll out from the iconic Morro Rock and head north along California's most famous coastline, passing windswept beaches and a dynamic estuary.

Coastal Morro Creek Multi-Use Bridge Trail
The latest addition to the bike path in Morro Bay is the vital Morro Creek Multi-use Trail and Bridge. This extension of the Morro Bay Harbor Walk opened last year, making cycling through town a seamlessly delightful experience closer to the beach. The bike and pedestrian path bridge is a pre-fabricated steel structure that is wide enough for emergency vehicles but not open to general traffic. Connecting north Morro Bay and the Embarcadero, the original bike and pedestrian path branches off from the waterfront trail at the west end of Coleman Park. The asphalt and concrete path then proceeds north along the dirt stretch of the Embarcadero and connects with the new bike and pedestrian bridge over Morro Creek creating a loop around the entire town.

Mountain Biking in Wildflowers
Take note when planning a mountain biking vacation: Montana de Oro State Park just outside of Morro Bay offers some of the best biking terrains in the state of California. Offering mountain bikers varied landscape with beautiful ocean and canyon views, mountain bike trails range from flat and wide to technical single-track that can easily make loops anywhere between 4 and 15 miles, depending on your skills and threshold. Montana de Oro State Park translates to Mountain of Gold due to the yellow and gold wildflowers that grow there in the spring. Right now through the end of May, the hills are covered with poppies, lupines, sticky monkey flowers, wild radish and mustard. This park features over 8,000 acres of rugged cliffs, secluded sandy beaches, coastal plains, streams, canyons, hills and trails.
One of the most popular trails is Hazard Peak, a very well built trail that begins by heading up a sandy bluff, turning right at a junction in a eucalyptus grove, and then meandering back towards the brush covered slopes of Hazard Peak offering amazing coastal views. The Bluff Trail, Islay Creek Road, the Bloody Nose Trail and Hazard Canyon Road are lighter trails offering fun and adventure. East Boundary, Ridge, Hazard Peak, Barranca, Manzanita and the new Oats Peak trails are generally considered intermediate and advanced trails. No matter which road you take, the spectacular ocean views from this coastal mountainous park are simply incredible.

Morro Bay Bike Map
The free map is available at several locations throughout the city, can be picked up at the Morro Bay Visitor Center at 255 Morro Bay Blvd, or downloaded from the bureau’s website at http://www.morrobay.org/visitorinformation. The map shows detailed routes for biking within the city and marks public restrooms, bikes shops and other places of interest to cyclists. It also directs riders to regional routes around the Central Coast, from Cayucos to Los Osos and inland toward San Luis Obispo. Not to mention special event bike rides for the whole family! Come enjoy a There, the fun continues with a celebration honoring military, music and games.