PROJECTS – Summary of Bicycling Monterey Projects

Scroll down this page for

a dozen examples of

Bicycling Monterey projects 2009-2017

The Bicycling Monterey work was described by one of our mentors, Vid Raatioras the work of a social entrepreneur. What is that? The Ashoka Foundation—who shares our philosophy of “everyone a changemaker,” defines a social entrepreneur this way: “Rather than leaving societal needs to the government or business sectors, social entrepreneurs find what is not working and solve the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution, and persuading entire societies to move in different directions.”

The Bicycling Monterey website and projects are a grassroots community collaboration founded 2009 by volunteer Mari Lynch. All work of the Bicycling Monterey website and projects—including all tasks below— have been done by the founder as an unpaid volunteer, since 2009. For ways to contribute and FAQs, click here.

  1. PUBLIC OUTREACH TO INCREASE AWARENESS OF THE MULTIPLE BENEFITS OF BICYCLING. This project helps raise awareness that even people who do not bike benefit from more people bicycling. This outreach also helps people who bike learn about resources and activities that can strengthen their riding skills and safety. It further aims to increase harmony and cooperation among all who are sharing public roads and other areas. Mari’s activities for this purpose have included:

    Presentations at meetings and events, e.g., Alliance for Biking & Walking, California State University Monterey Bay’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Carmel Valley Rotary Club, Focus the Region Conference, Greenfield Rotary Club, Monterey Green Action, Safe Routes to School-Monterey County Health Department, Salinas Lions Club, Sustainable Pacific Grove, Sustainable Salinas, faith groups, and others. Tabling at events, e.g, Castroville Tour Solar y Feria de la Sostenibilidad, Día de los Muertos at City of Salinas Closter Park, Fleet & Family Support Center Family Fun Day, Monterey Institute of International Studies Information Fair, Naval Postgraduate School Earth Day Celebration, Presidio of Monterey’s Porter Youth Center, Seaside Police Activities League (PAL) Bike Fair, South County Health & Safety Fair, and more. Media outreach, including interviews with AMP Media’s “Your Town,” Cedar Street Times, CSUMB Otter Radio, KKUP, KRML, KSBW, the Monterey County Herald, Monterey County Weekly, Radio Bilingüe, Salinas Californian, Women’s International Perspective (The WIP), and more. Writing guest commentaries broadcast or published by KUSP, the League of American Bicyclists, Monterey County Weekly, Salinas Californian, See Monterey, and others; and serving as resource for reporters at KION, KSBW, Salinas Californian, and other media outlets. Create audios, e.g., about sidewalk riding, Open Streets, and more. Create videos, e.g., about bike dates, elders who bike, and more. Outreach via securing links on other websites, among them California Bicycle Coalition, People’s ClimateMonterey Bay AquariumCommunity Alliance for Safety and Peace, Cruz511 – Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, Hartnell College, Stevenson School, and many more (click here, then scroll down, for a list of examples). And more public outreach, such as direct outreach on the bikeways, including youth education, assisting tourists, distributing posters and flierssocial media, e.g, @bikemonterey on Twitter; and miscellaneous outreach in public places, e.g., Castroville Library and other public libraries.

    15 May 2011 001

  2. EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY REGARDING  INFRASTRUCTURE AND OTHER LOCAL, STATE, AND NATIONAL ISSUES AFFECTING PEOPLE WHO BIKE. A wide range of bike advocacy actions are an ongoing part of the Bicycling Monterey work since 2009.

    Activities carried out by Mari include: Research issues through participation in webinars, phone conferences, public and private meetings, reading, and other research methods. Attend numerous workshops and other events to better understand the ideas and opinions of others, and to be a voice of support for bicycling, e.g., at Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail workshops, Monterey County Board of Supervisors meetings, local cities’ council meetings, and more. Publicize dates of numerous input deadlines, public meetings, etc., to encourage others to participate by completing surveys, attending events, writing letters, and more, including by expressing appreciation to national, state, and local individuals and organizations who make biking better. Serve as a local ally of the statewide bike advocacy organization California Bicycle Coalition. Public outreach about resources such as how to report bicycle facility needs on the state and local level, and opportunities, e.g., education about protected bike lanesbike security /maintenance station equipment program, and much more. Fill in some gaps for municipalities and public agencies, e.g., when there was no Bike Week/Month, and initiation of new activities, e.g., Intergenerational Ride and Dress-Up Challenge, as well as supporting existing activities.  As one city official said, “You’re doing as a volunteer what we used to do when we had the money to do it!” Excerpt from Transportation Excellence Award): “Outstanding contribution to improved transportation in Monterey County…a major supporter of annual bike week activities…an advocate for local and regional bicycling issues.”


    Photo below provided courtesy of Ariana Green.

  3. DISCOUNTS TO ENCOURAGE BICYCLING: The HER Helmet Thursdays Project.

    Launched November 2009, HER Helmet Thursdays is a long-term project with no scheduled end-date. HER Helmet Thursdays encourages biking by offering 10-50% discounts to males and females on Thursdays year-round, currently at hundreds of businesses and organizations in Monterey County. See the Quick Links page for videos and other details. Created and ongoing operation by volunteer Mari Lynch. For how this project began, see “Wheel the Earth” in the Monterey County Weekly. This has been a very labor intensive project for Mari, so if you are among those who think HER Helmet Thursdays is cool, please make a contribution or volunteer. (Note: The project is not about helmet promotion; see FAQs on the Listings/FAQs page.) Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 9.36.45 PM
    IMG_0241-768x1024Above: “Clean Air Honoree / Leadership / For developing Bicycling Monterey and HER Helmet Thursdays”

  4. BICYCLE EQUITY EFFORTS—INCLUDING OUTREACH TO SPANISH SPEAKERS, TO PEOPLE NOT ONLINE, AND TO LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS

    Mari’s efforts include advocating with public agencies to encourage their outreach to people who are often left out of transportation planning and bike advocacy efforts. In addition, she helps fill in such gaps with her own outreach, including direct outreach by bike, in the Alisal, in North County, and South County.

    Her efforts to reach Spanish speakers include: created a Spanish resources compilation in 2010 that was the first of its kind, and continues to be used by bike advocates and others worldwide. She also compiled a list of Monterey County bike shops with bilingual Spanish/English-speaking staff; features various Spanish translations on bikemonterey.org; participated as an interviewee on Radio Bilingüe – Alza Tu Voz / Speak Out; and more.

    In addition, since 2009, Mari advocates in support of low-income and other people not online. She also helps connect people who have extra bicycles and accessories to share with other people who are unable to purchase their own— ranging from high school students who want to be on bike teams to bicycle commuters and others.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.19.09 PM“Thanks go to Mari of Bicycling Monterey for connecting me with him.” Photo and text below by Steve Benes, Gears4Good.org – https://instagram.com/gears4good

  5. LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS: Pro-active relationship building between law enforcement agencies and people who bike.

    Among these, outreach to various cities’ police departments, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, and others, such as the safety director for Pebble Beach (a private community). Research and educate about specific bike-related law enforcement issues, such as local ordinances on sidewalk riding; highlighting concerns of the general public that are most often brought to the PDs’ attention, such as brakes on fixies and other bikes; and broader issues and how they could possibly affect people who bike, e.g., U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  6. BIKE REPAIR AND SAFETY CLASS FOR INCARCERATED YOUTH.
    Learn more in Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center bike education program.

    Mari’s groundwork for the Bicycle Repair and Safety Class began in October 2011. She launched the class in April 2012, with the help of four other community volunteers, along with contributors of project supplies. The class marked its 5th anniversary in 2017, thanks to the dedication of instructors since 2012 Frank Henderson and Luciano Rodriguez.

    Mari served as class coordinator through July 2014, doing the following tasks and more (as an unpaid volunteer): recruit and interview volunteers and shepherd them through the application and orientation process; coordinate with the Youth Center and available instructors to schedule each class series; adjust class dates and instructor schedules as needed, in event of Youth Center lockdown or unexpected absence of students (e.g., due to early release, illness, or other factors);  communications with Youth Center staff and bike class volunteers by email, phone, and in-person meetings; keep track of students’ anticipated release dates to ensure completion of course work; check with students and instructors and ensure that, by the end of the series, all bikes labeled for pick-up are street legal (e.g., brakes, reflectors) and in good operating condition; keep track of any follow-up that may be needed with individual students; inventory parts, supplies, and graduation gifts, and obtain additional items as needed; coach new instructors and students about organization of tools, parts, and supplies in the bike sheds, and oversee orderly maintenance of the sheds; maintain checklists of class set-up and class guidelines for referral by new instructors and students; write thank you letters and acknowledgements; public relations outreach, including acknowledgements of volunteer instructors and other class supporters through social or other media; obtain and photocopy instructional materials; prepare welcome packets for new students; distribute graduation gifts to students; ensure necessary documents are signed for Youth Center records (e.g., attendance sheets, certificates of completion); maintain sufficient awareness of available used bikes on hand, as well as current students’ interests and needs, and put in requests with the Youth Center or others for additional used bikes when needed; and various other tasks. In August 2014, she changed to the role of Bicycle Repair & Safety class adviser and on-call resources/riding skills instructor. And in 2015, Mari launched a new bike education effort at the Youth Center; read on to learn about that. Cerney mural at Monterey County Youth Center

  7. GENERAL BICYCLING EDUCATION FOR INCARCERATED YOUTH / Bike Nights at the Youth Center, founded by Mari.

    Some boys at the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center cannot be in the bike repair/safety class, either because they do not meet the Youth Center’s criteria for participation or because there aren’t enough volunteer instructors to accommodate them. To help those boys receive some bike education too, in 2015, Mari launched occasional “Bike Nights,” bike ed gatherings at the Youth Center. Bike Nights continued in 2016 and 2017. The gatherings provide information (e.g., oral presentations, videos), opportunity for Q&A, and material such as bike law summaries.

  8. INFORMATION RESOURCE AND SUPPORT for people anywhere, as well as for Monterey County’s tourists/visitors and local residents—by phone and in person, as well as online.

    For eight years, help is provided free of charge to individuals and organizations who contact Bicycling Monterey for individual help. (This is in addition to info and resources provided by Bicycling Monterey online.)

    See Day in the Life of a Bike Advocate to get a sense of the scope—and time involved—in this particular project.screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-39-13-pm

  9. BUILDING BIKE COMMUNITY / FOSTERING RELATIONSHIPS including by compiling a 32-section directory of Monterey County’s main bicycling resources and a video highlighting a sampling of the county’s bike community leaders.

    Facilitate new or renewed relationships in the bike community and among interested others, through connecting activity organizers with bike clubs and other resources, and through organizing events such as the Intergenerational Rides.

  10. WEBSITE: Providing over 550 posts and pages of carefully researched content available to everyone, no paywall.

    Is creating and maintaining this website that much work? Scroll down to “Need for an assistant” and see what our Monterey Bay region neighbors say.screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-26-56-pm

  11. PROMOTION OF MONTEREY COUNTY BIKING OR BIKE-RELATED ACTIVITIES, EVENTS, MEETINGS, AND MORE

    Created the first master calendar for bicycling Monterey County, making it easier for visitors and locals to find biking and bike-related activities.

    Also promote many of these dates via social media, emails to subscribers, announcements at meetings, and more.Bike Calendar Oct 2016

  12. OPEN STREETS SUPPORT: Supported the launch of Monterey County’s first Open Streets, the youth-led initiative Ciclovia Salinas.

    Provided hundreds of hours of free assistance to Ciclovia Salinas for its 2013 launch, e.g., meeting with officials to encourage support, initiating and developing the Salinas presence on the North American Open Streets Project website, writing or editing some written materials for distribution, promoting the event to visitors and locals, outreach to potential barricade volunteers, and more.

    Continue to provide free support 2014-2017, e.g., with promotion to visitors and others and by maintaining an Open Streets history and resource page on the Bicycling Monterey website, to encourage people who bike to get involved, along with people who walk, skate, roll in wheelchairs, or otherwise get about by people power.IMG_9587

How you can help

To make a financial contribution in any amount, click here. If you have questions, or if you’d like to contribute project supplies, please contact Mari. To volunteer time, click here.
For a list of financial contributors, click here. For a list of contributors of project supplies, click here. Financial contributions, contributions of project supplies, volunteers of time–including those who spread the news–are all needed to ensure the continuation of the work of the Bicycling Monterey website and projects.

Please indicate if you have a specific preference regarding how you would like to support the Bicycling Monterey site and projects.

To contribute by check or via PayPal, and for FAQs, click here. To contribute via Go Fund Me, click the image below.

Wish list

Here are examples of some of the many things that contributions could make possible:

  • Spoke cards. Reflective spoke cards for outreach to youth regarding bike laws, safety, and bicycling resources
  • T-shirts and jerseys. Bicycling Monterey T-shirts and jerseys to help get the word out about bikemonterey.org and other Bicycling Monterey (Monterey County and beyond) projects
  • Window decals. Decals to identify HER Helmet Thursdays participating locations, so more people are aware of the hundreds of businesses and organizations throughout Monterey County that give 10-50% discounts on Thursdays year-round to males and females who bike
  • Photocopies. Copies of mini fliers and posters for outreach–ranging from bike law summaries to HER Helmet Thursdays lists for specific cities to Tips for Bicycling Monterey County and much morescreen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-28-47-pm
  • Internet technology (IT) assistance. Mobile-friendly access plus search features for the HER Helmet Thursdays listings
  • IT assistance. Professional to maintain the application for the HER Helmet Thursdays database (Ruby on Rails)
  • Translation. Translate basic materials to strengthen outreach to monolingual Spanish-speaking cyclistsShopping & errands in Seaside - male at money place
  • IT assistance. Help from a WordPress professional for a variety of website changes
  • IT tools. WordPress premium theme and plugins to make Bicycling Monterey’s more than 500 posts and pages more accessible to site users
  • Software. Software products that make project tasks more efficient
  • Graphic design. Services of a graphic design professional with time and skills to make eye-catching and effective materials, including posters and morescreen-shot-2016-09-26-at-1-30-17-pm
  • Office support. Office supplies, office equipment maintenance and repair
  • Bus pass/gas. Help with transportation costs to do more outreach to schools and elsewhere in more remote areas of the county (sometimes schedules and stamina make it necessary to bike-and-ride via bus or personal vehicle)

Need for an assistant

In November 2010, a Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission senior planner, a Santa Cruz Sentinel columnist, and a Santa Cruz bike shop staff person addressed Mari, and their communication included this acknowledgement:

“Mari, we want to launch a site like yours – but we imagine we need 10 people at least to launch what you have done.”

True! And Mari’s time could often be better used as a project director or advisor rather than also doing all the nuts-and-bolts required for the website and projects.  Having a part-time or full-time assistant, or even an occasional temporary assistant, would make a big difference in what it is possible to accomplish.

To discuss what could make the Bicycling Monterey projects more efficient and effective, allowing more to be accomplished with available time, please contact Mari.

Don’t you get paid?

No. Since May 1, 2009—and still the case as of May 1, 2017—Mari is an unpaid volunteer. the Bicycling Monterey website and all projects have been provided as a public service by Mari, in partnership with the community.

Want to make a contribution? 

Great!  Thank you. See how to contribute and FAQs.

 

This page was previously published January 28, 2012 with numerous subsequent updates.