Posted by marilynch
Back to the Books–and Bikes–in Monterey County: Tips for College Students
Free up time for studies and fun! Save yourself research by reviewing the tips below for students and others who bike. Questions? Contact me.
What’s up for bike-loving college students in Monterey County for 2013?
- Salinas Bike Party, a courteous social bike run, rolls on! While SBP is especially convenient for Hartnell College students, anyone willing to abide by Salinas Bike Party rules is welcome. Click here to learn more. The organizer welcomes you to email him to meet up for coffee and learn about the goals and vision for SBP.
- Are you an urban planning student, an environmental studies major, or just someone who loves the idea of more livable cities? Volunteer to help with the Salinas Ciclovia/Open Streets proposal. Click here for details.
- Child development, juvenile justice, or other major? Nationally renowned Barbara Coloroso spoke here on “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: Breaking the Cycle of Violence”and other topics. Click here for resources, including some in Spanish.
- Volunteer to help with bicycle advocacy, from providing Spanish translation to IT tasks to teaching bike safety or repair skills to outreach to businesses and more. Contact me.
These MIIS students know biking is great here even in winter.
CSUMB, Hartnell, MIIS, NPS, and many other schools make an extra effort to help students bike. Examples:
- CSUMB (1) CSUMB Bike Map in includes hot spots and Spanish text. Click here. (2) There are bicycle boulevards on campus. (3) A handcycle is one of many bike resources at CSUMB; see more below.
- Hartnell College encourages Alternative Transportation, including biking, with many convenient bicycle racks near campus buildings, and at the main parking area as well.
- MIIS website highlights cycling resources, including at their information fairs. They also tweet bike news @MIISStuServ.
- NPS Foundation Cycling Club brochure is shared with new students at the NPS clubs fair held at the school each quarter. Download it here: NPS Tri-Fold Info Flyer v5 NPS students will want to visit their website to learn more; click here.
- Monterey Peninsula College shares bike news on Twitter @MPCMonterey. MPC has nearby bike lanes along Camino Aguajito leading directly to the coastal trail, a Class I bike/multi-use route.
Most info in this post is for students of all local colleges. For Hartnell and CSUMB, also see:
- Hartnell students, and others wanting to explore our county seat, will find “What to do in Salinas” of further interest.
- CSUMB students will find a CSUMB section at the end of this post.
What about high schools and elementary schools?
The focus in this post is college students, although much of the info applies to high school students as well. Among high school bike advocates in Monterey County:
- Salinas High School has a co-ed mountain biking race team, the Salinas High School Cowboy Racing Mountain Bike Team. Read about them on this site!
- Stevenson School (formerly Robert Louis Stevenson School/RLS) points their high school students to biking as a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Monterey Peninsula. Stevenson highlights local biking resources in their website’s Student Life section for the Pebble Beach campus (grades 9-12), under suggested Weekend Activities.
For more about elementary and high schools, see “Kids biking to school.”
For all students
California State University at Monterey Bay, the Defense Language Institute, Hartnell College, Monterey College of Law, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey Peninsula College, the Naval Postgraduate School, Robert Louis Stevenson School, and Santa Catalina School are among the local educational institutions bringing more welcome cyclists to Monterey County every year.
New friends await….
I mean, why bike when you can drive, right? Check reasons here. And of course there’s also the matter of being….
Students are often well aware of the benefits of bicycling on the environment, and how biking helps keep the Monterey Bay beautiful.
Besides, pedal-power is fun
Watch the new People for Bikes video, then tell me they aren’t having a good time!
Don’t have a bike?
Bike rentals are available at numerous locations.
Ready to purchase a bike? These tips on selecting a bike from San Francisco’s 511.org are geared to those biking to work, and the tips are a helpful overview for people biking to school as well.
Monterey County has plenty of local bike shops where you can check out the latest options.
Investing in a new bicycle from a local shop–where clerks are knowledgeable and can find and even fit the right bike for your body and your needs–is first choice if it doesn’t break your budget.
Maybe you just don’t have much money to spend on a bike right now. Or maybe you have plenty of money but aren’t sure if you’ll bike much. In either case, consider buying a used bike.
Best place to buy used? A local bike shop. Yes, some do have used bikes for sale, as well as new bikes. Click here for starters.
Bike library inspiration
Could a bike library be part of Monterey County’s transportation options for students? If you are a sustainable transportation or bike advocate, consider the cool bicycle library that our Monterey Bay neighbors at UC Santa Cruz offer. Maybe that will be happening this side of the bay someday too, because of the first steps taken by….you?
Hartnell College Campus
Photo courtesy of Frank Henderson
Your campus seems a little far from the action?
Don’t let that stop you! Check out bike-and-ride options, including tips for using the MST bus, Amtrak train, and more, including bike racks on personal vehicles.
a bunch of books and other heavy stuff? Consider a cargo bike, trailer, or panniers.
Not sure where to ride?
See Where to Bike in Monterey County. Included are short rides, long rides, rides for all levels of stamina and ability.
Are you serious?
See these tips for MTB, Road, Touring, and other serious cyclists.
The CSUMB map mentioned below and other Monterey County bike maps are here, with some in Spanish too.
Spanish and other languages
For more Spanish-language bike resources (and a bit in other languages), look under the Los Recursos tab for en espanol–and other languages.
More direx resources
These and similar resources can be very helpful. Understandably, these will sometimes provide mistaken directions. Use locally prepared bike maps and tips as available, and ask questions at local bike shops and from local cycling club members.
(Photo courtesy of Leo Kodl)
A 29-mile coastal trail awaits you–including a super new “bike freeway” (yup, that’s it above) alongside Fort Ord Dunes State Park. That’s a two-lane bikeway you see, with a pedestrian path alongside it. No cars!
Weekends are meant for camping
Get in some more summer before the study load builds up—or let your new roommate have some space while you go sleep in the Great Outdoors. Go camping in Monterey County.
Hot entertainment tips
Rolling Stone named Britt Govea “hottest new promoter” last year, and Britt puts on some great shows in Big Sur, including at Henry Miller Library. But how to get there? Zimride! See “Greening Up Live Music.”
Going to the Monterey Jazz Fest? Free bike valet and pure water stations.
Jose’s Lounge Underground–a venue that gives discounts on Thursdays if you bike there–stacks up bands many a night. More live music, and other entertainment, can be found in the Monterey County Weekly or the Go! magazine of the Monterey County Herald, as well as the entertainment section of the Salinas Californian. The Californian also publishes a Spanish paper, El Sol.
Alcohol and biking
Even if that tough-looking dude is in a skirt–uh, kilt–local bouncers will check your ID and sobriety on entering the establishment. Don’t try to tell this guy the Mucky Duck doesn’t mean business! The Duck is a friendly place, though, including bike-friendly; see the Mucky Duck’s HER Helmet Thursdays listing and consider biking there on Thursdays for a discount.
What about when you leave? See “Safe biking and drinking” in “Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways.” Among things you’ll learn is that if you bike intoxicated, you are subject to a BUI fine. Ouch!
Don’t see a police car anywhere and think you can tip another one in the parking lot? Don’t be so sure–cops can cruise up quietly on bikes.
Well, there is a bike church in our neighboring county of Santa Cruz, which makes a fun weekend bike trip. Biking from my former hometown of Santa Cruz to Monterey was my first experience of biking Monterey County, and the bikeways have only gotten better! Check out these Santa Cruz neighbors biking to Monterey now.
But if you’re looking for bike to church–or to mosque, satsang, synagogue, or other place of worship, see Bike to Worship for just a sampling of bike-friendly spots.
she got right out on the bikeways where she could experience life here up close and personal.
Wouldn’t be caught dead in spandex?
Okay, racers and long-distance cyclists swear by it, but it’s not hot with everyone!
Hipster, preppy, whatever….express your own style on the bikeways. See “Dress-Up Challenge gallery” for the wide variety of ways people dress on local bikeways. See “Cycling Chic a la Monterey County” for more inspiration.
Wouldn’t be caught dead?
Good. Your ma will be glad to hear that.
How to stay safe on the road while two-wheeling–and avoid tickets too: CA Bike Laws and Personal Safety section on this site.
Hey, where’s your bike?
Keep your bike safe when you’re not on it; see bike security section.
Below: At the Monterey Institute of International Studies, an ever-vigilant electronic eye is kept on bike parking areas.
Ya gotta eat!
Student budgets make it tough sometimes. Thankfully, access to healthy food is easier in Monterey County than in most places, since the Salinas Valley is the Salad Bowl of America.
If you’re doing your own food prep, or just want to stock up on some healthy snacks, shop the Farmers Markets–which include many organic growers. The availability of fresh, local, and even organically grown is a sure thing here. Hey, living in MoCo, you might even want to try the 100-mile diet.
Bike shops, services, infrastructure contacts, and more
Find local bike and bike-powered resources on the Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page.
No wheels–of the four-wheeled variety? You’re not alone in Monterey County. Why do you think so many people ride bikes here! See car-free lifestyle.
Shopping by bike
Traffic snarls and parking hassles aren’t part of the shopping experience when you shop by bike.
Local bike clubs and organized rides
There are no-drop rides, no-mercy rides, no-real-job rides, ladies rides, and more with local bike clubs.
Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA), Velo Club Monterey, and the Naval Postgraduate School have organized rides and occasional social gatherings, besides doing bike advocacy work. See membership info on their websites. (The NPS club is open to military officers attending NPS or the Defense Language Institute, as well as instructors, support personnel, and spouses; download PDF of club brochure at top of this post.)
The NPS campus currently has the best bike parking in Monterey County!
Thank you to Joe Strunk for providing these photographs of some NPS bike corrals. For more, see “NPS provides inspiration for bike parking–and biking!”
Already met someone new?
And want to blow them away with a date like they’ve never had before? Do it by bike! Check out the bike valet parking section.
If that date goes late, be ready with a few Biking in the Dark pointers.
Don’t feel alone: Plug in by volunteering
Need community service hours or volunteer internships? Or just want to feel more connected to your local community? Contact me. There are a wide variety of tasks needing helping hands, heads, and hearts.
Refer to the Acknowledgments and Opportunities page. Posted there are some of the active supporters of bicycling in Monterey County, along with examples of ways to get involved, including in the HER Helmet Thursdays project.
Whether with this project or another, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in MoCo where you can make new friends and play an immediate role in the local scene. For additional ways to get involved, you may want to check out the organizations named in the Bicycling and Ecotourism section. More can be found in the plastics section of Bike to the Beach.
Guests posts for Bicycling Monterey are welcome. Please contact me if you might like to contribute articles, essays, poems, stories, or photos that have to do with biking in Monterey County.
Students under age 18 will find tips on helmets and more in “Bicycle Culture and Youth” on this site. Hey, over 18s may want that helmet info too! BTW, why do you think some girls stop biking? See the “Beauty and the Bike” video in that “Youth” post.
Annabelle Bull, a native of England, now lives in Monterey County and loves bicycling here!
(Photo courtesy of Joanna Bull.)
Your new home…
…is on its way to becoming one of the most bike-friendly places in America, and the signs are everywhere!
Besides the evident bicycling infrastructure, look for this evidence too:
Save money on Thursdays
That HER Helmet Thursdays logo is another sign that you’re in a very bike-friendly place.
On a limited budget while in school? Or just mindful of ops to save money? Thanks to the HER Helmet Thursdays ecology-economy sustainability project, bicycling will get you discounts in Monterey County every Thursday.
Where to get discounts? See HER Helmet Thursdays listings of participating businesses and organizations. Many include bike-there tips prepared by knowledgeable local cyclists who have traveled those routes.
Bike racks await your use!
(Photo at CSUMB courtesy of Leo Kodl)
At CSUMB: Wise Biker
Bike Bunker construction is completed, providing secure indoor bicycle parking/storage. You apply for your package (semester, year, or other seasonal, with or without bike maintenance service). You get special electronic-card access, 24-hour video surveillance, and your very own reserved space.
CSUMB also added on 2/11/13 something for other people-powered transportation: A new skateboard rack for secure skateboard parking, located at the Library Cafe. Way to go, Otters!
California State University-Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Transportation Planner Megan Tolbert—many locals know her as an active member of Monterey Green Action—has been helping CSUMB become a more bike friendly campus.
Check out the Wise Biker resources for the CSUMB community, including group rides, on-campus bike rentals (for CSUMB students and staff; and guests, when accompanied by CSUMBer), mechanics, guided tours, and more. See the Otter Cycle Center section of the CSUMB website for more info.
California State University Monterey Bay has a CSUMB-specific bikeways map, and as of 7/27/11, it includes both Spanish and English text. It also has a “Hot Destinations” guide, to help direct you to 33 popular points of interest. Ask Megan Tolbert if you have questions. Click here for the 2012 map.
Handcycling: CSUMB has a handcycle available, too. While handcycling is especially celebrated by people experiencing lower-body disabilities, handcycling is popular with others too. Check out http://www.USHandcycling.org. Sea Otter Classic (which takes place in Monterey County every spring) featured its first SOC handcycling competition in 2011.
Think lower-mobility impairment has to keep you off the bikeways? Not so for handcyclists like Ed.
You’ll see the bright smile of this local cyclist and web designer out on the bikeways regularly.
Miles of trails just outside your door
Located on the former Army base at Fort Ord, CSUMB has easy access to the Fort Ord bike trails. In addition to CSUMB’s Wise Biker resources, see Monterey Off Road Cycling Association (MORCA) for all the latest news about biking those Fort Ord trails.
Need added motivation?
The May 2011 Monterey County Weekly special bike issue pointed out many pedal perks!
Want still more tips?
Check out the 20-section guide Tips for Bicycling in Monterey County on this site, along with hundreds of other posts (click on the category names above the site banner, or refer to the archives).
See you on the bikeways….
Previously published 8/22/11 with subsequent revisions on various dates.