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Day in the Life of a Bike Advocate: Supporting bicycling, in a multitude of ways, since May 2009

Here’s an example of one of the many calls, and related research and follow up, that have been part of Bicycling Monterey’s all-free services provided May 1, 2009 – May 1, 2018. It gives a tiny glimpse into how it is that, combined, I’ve given well over 10,000 unpaid hours to the Bicycling Monterey website and other Bicycling Monterey projects since founding Bicycling Monterey.

One of the many is providing telephone assistance to Monterey County visitors and residents, as well as to others who call for help. People find it refreshing to be able to avoid long hold times and the layers of “voice jail” so common today. Instead, when they phone Bicycling Monterey, they either get a live person picking up their call immediately, or they are able to leave a message and receive a timely call-back.

There are thousands of visitors to the Bicycling Monterey website every month. People often say that the information found on the site is so comprehensive and clear that it saves the need of contacting me with questions. Yet it makes sense that some people do have questions—whether about the website’s content or other topics—and wish to call. And that was the case with the following caller.

A gentleman blogger from a California city phoned. He had biked in Monterey County during a visit for the Annual Sea Otter Classic. He said he’s been coming to Sea Otter for about ten years, and he loves to bike while here. He had published his experiences of biking 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach—a private local community—then called me afterward with a question. He wondered why he’d seen a “No Bicycles Beyond This Point” sign at one of the Pebble Beach entrances on April 17, 2017.

Let me first say that—as a volunteer—I worked closely for years with the longtime safety director at Pebble Beach Company, who recently retired. I endeavor to increase awareness among people who bike 17-Mile Drive, or other areas in Del Monte Forest, about some of the challenges and concerns there. See my Bicycling Pebble Beach tips for examples. The goal of my effort is happier and safer visitors and residents alike, increased harmony for all, and a more positive feeling about bicycling in general.

Pebble Beach Company, like me, recognizes that bicycling has many benefits, even for people who do not bike. Among those they especially value are the environmental benefits of bicycling, such as reduced carbon emissions. And of course, they care about the peace and safety of both local residents and tourists coming to Pebble Beach Resorts.

Regarding the gentleman blogger’s question, my new resource at Pebble Beach Resorts was stumped, just as I initially was. Then I called another resource at Pebble Beach. That individual was able to shed some light on the subject, saying temporary closures were sometimes necessary due to the Holman Highway 68 Roundabout construction. Why hadn’t I thought of that! But of course, you can’t always think of everything; that’s why you call upon your trusted resources as needed.

I’d already featured the Holman Hwy 68 Roundabout on the Bicycling Monterey website. The roundabout is a public-private partnership between the City of Monterey, Pebble Beach Company, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, County of Monterey, City of Pacific Grove, Caltrans, and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC). My post includes a link to TAMC’s roundabout construction updates. 

In addition, I feature the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s Cone Zone Report, which includes references to roundabout construction and much more. See “Cone Zone Report” in Bicycling Monterey’s indexed directory of Monterey County Bicycling Resources. Find the directory anytime in the Resources / Los Recursos section under the Bicycling Monterey banner.

Outcome? Besides phoning the inquirer back with the answer to his question, I added a note to my Bicycling Pebble Beach tips that points readers to the Cone Zone Report.

This example is one slice from my day, which included many other bike advocacy volunteer hours too. It also shows only a tiny part of just two of the numerous Bicycling Monterey projects—telephone assistance and providing the Bicycling Monterey website content. Providing a website with accurate, reliable content is a lot of work, including providing the updates especially appreciated by residents and visitors, such as Anneke Prins of the U.K. and others. See what Anneke and other people say about the Bicycling Monterey website and projects.

Chances are there is one or more Bicycling Monterey project that you find especially worthwhile.

Maybe it’s one of these: (1) The HER Helmet Thursdays Project, a year-round project celebrated on TAMC’s Bike Month posters and May 2017 calendar. HER Helmet Thursdays is a long-term ecology-economy sustainability project that I created and launched November 2009. (2) Bike education program for local incarcerated youth—including Bike Nights, like the one I’m preparing for right now. (3) Helping get the word out about activities and events, such as the Inaugural Ciclovía Salinas as well as Open Streets yet to come. (4) Advocating for infrastructure improvements in a variety of ways, including giving presentations at public meetings, meeting with legislators, and much more. (5) Outreach about bike laws, riding skills, safety and just about anything bicycling, via television and radio interviews, videos and audios, newspaper stories, and—my favorite—through direct outreach by bike out on our beautiful Monterey Bay region bikeways, and elsewhere.

If you are able, perhaps you would like to make a contribution today to the Bicycling Monterey work.
You may also wish to tell your friends and associates: “Did you know that Bicycling Monterey just finished its 9th year—May 1, 2009 – May 1, 2018? And the website and all Bicycling Monterey projects have been provided by an unpaid volunteer!”
Contributions in any amount are meaningful and appreciated. Thank you.

“She must be retired.” Not retired.

“Oh, then she must be tired!” Yes. I chuckle when I hear people say, “She’s a tireless volunteer.”

In this year, I am very much ready to be recharged by spending more hours riding my bicycle (e.g., like this and this), and fewer hours on volunteer bike advocacy, particularly those out of the saddle.

Your financial contributions or volunteering time can help Bicycling Monterey remain available. Thanks again.

And happy Bike Month.

The portrait in this post is of Mari Lynch in April 2009, the month before founding Bicycling Monterey. Mari is a local business owner and resident of rural Monterey County since 1981. Also known as Mari Lynch Dehmler, Mari is the mother of a son and daughter, both born and raised here. For her history of volunteerism outside of bicycling advocacy, click here for her profile on Linked In, then scroll to “Volunteer Experience,” then “Various roles.”

The value of this work has been recognized with a 2017 Golden Helmet Award from the Transportation Agency for Monterey County and a 2011 Transportation Excellence Award from TAMC.

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