Cambria cycling enthusiast Aaron Linn says he “wasn’t out to be the first cyclist” to ride a bike over the three-quarter-mile stretch of new Highway 1 pavement in Big Sur, 34 miles north of Cambria. And he “didn’t expect to be,” either.
And yet he and his companion, Brian Wright, were indeed the first bike riders to traverse the new pavement on its inaugural day, July 18. The long-awaited fresh stretch of highway was built on top of the 6 million cubic yards of rock and dirt that came hurtling down at Mud Creek in May 2017, burying a picturesque portion of the internationally celebrated roadway.
Linn, General Manager of Linn’s Restaurant, drove to Salmon Creek, where Wright — who had ridden his bike from Cambria — joined him. The two cycled 10 miles north together to the site of the new roadway, which Linn said was “beautifully paved.”
The bike lanes are “Class 1,” according to the Bicycle Advisory Committee standards, he added — “as wide as they come.”
Interestingly, Wright and Linn ride to Big Sur together annually on July 17, Linn’s birthday. Their sojourn was blocked in 2017 of course, and Linn was hoping the completion of the new pavement would afford the two a chance to do the birthday trek in 2018 — albeit they missed it by one day.
Meanwhile, in an email interview, Linn said the flow of Highway 1 traffic from the north has “drastically increased” business at Linn’s Restaurant in the East Village by an estimated 20 percent. This is the moment that many North Coast enterprises have been waiting for; but Linn explains, “many businesses have cut their labor due to the closure and had not rehired enough staff yet.”