16% Grade

My pal Skidmore purposely takes “epic commutes” by bicycle.” I’m lazier than him, but that doesn’t stop me from doing crazy things like riding my bike to a bike festival.

In past years, I’ve always approached the Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca by riding my bike in from Monterey / Seaside via Highway 218 and South Boundary Road. This is gnarly because South Boundary is a narrow, shoulderless poorly maintained two lane. A good many cyclists trucking to the festival, paradoxically, don’t care to share the road.

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This year I came in from Salinas on State Route 68. Bikes aren’t permitted on Hwy 68 between Reservation Road and the Portola Drive exit at Serra Village, but Portola Drive parallels 68 and is easily bikeable. The road to Laguna Seca from this direction is via “A” Road. It has a 16% grade, but it’s a nicely paved road with a shoulder.

Final mile: 16% grade


  1. My wife & I did a 23% grade last weekend but it was only 200-300 feet. Not too bad really. The long hills are what kill me although we both love them. Happy trails!

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