Posted by marilynch
Bike to the Beach in Monterey County – and Care for What You Love
Below, learn about Monterey County’s beaches–where they are, tips for enjoying them, and how you can care for them. True Earth-care advocates are Oceans advocates too, and you’ll find many such advocacy groups listed here.
Oceans cover 72% of Earth. As Arthur C. Clarke said, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean!”
Notice that we say
“bike to the beach,”
not “bike on the beach.”
Be a good ambassador for bicycling! For regulations about bicycling on Monterey County’s various state, county, and city beaches, check with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, or contact officials for each of those beach jurisdictions.
Also note regulations about fires, dogs, alcohol, glass, trash, camping, and more. Please help keep the beaches and their neighborhoods beautiful, healthy, and safe for everyone!
Below: The City of Monterey is recognizing that more people bike to the beach all the time, thus the addition of the bike-parking posts pictured here, near Tide Avenue and Surf Way.
(Can’t read the sign? Click image to enlarge.)
Where are some of the best
beaches to play on in Monterey County?
Where’s the beach?
Some of many….
- Monterey County parks and beaches
- Big Sur Beaches
- California State Beaches – Monterey
- California State Beaches – Carmel River
- California State Beaches – Asilomar, Pacific Grove
- California State Beaches – Marina
- Lovers Point, City of Pacific Grove
- City of Monterey beaches and parks
If you have general questions about local beaches–which are safest with young children, where to boogie board, where you can walk a long distance, and more, feel free to contact me. Pictured at the top of this post is Pacific Grove’s Lovers Point Beach, located directly along the coastal bike/multi-use path.
Misc tips for people who bike to the beach
- Where to shower and change
- Where to bike in Monterey County – including the bike/multi-use coastal trail
- Heading for Stillwater Cove or another beach along 17-Mile Drive? See tips on bicycling Pebble Beach.
- Off to Carmel Beach, Stuart’s Cove, Carmel River Beach, or Point Lobos beaches? See tips on bicycling Carmel.
California Coastal Commission info
Read this intro from the Commission’s March 2012 book, Beaches and Parks from San Francisco to Monterey. It includes tips ranging from tide pool etiquette to dogs to stashing your trash. The Commission also has an April 2007 book on Beaches and Parks from Monterey to Ventura.
Visit the Monterey County Health Department web page on beach water quality. There you can access charts for various local beaches: http://www.mtyhd.org/index.php/services/environmental-health/beaches/
You may also wish to check https://nwschat.weather.gov/vtec/#2012-O-NEW-KMTR-BH-S-0001.
Below, Monterey Peninsula resident and bike advocate Tim Meehan, en route home to meet up with his wife and fellow bike advocate Mindy Surratt, to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
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If you found information on
the Bicycling Monterey website valuable…
Please consider making a contribution to help maintain and expand these resources. Thank you.
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Love the beach? Read on….
Care for what you love
- The Monterey Bay is a federally protected National Marine Sanctuary. Check out the MBNMS site.
- Want to say “Thank you, ocean“? Here on the Monterey Bay, help clean up or otherwise protect our beaches by connecting with Surfrider Foundation, Monterey chapter and Save Our Shores.
- Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Take Action for the Oceans webpages for more ways to help. And note that the Aquarium’s Directions & Parking webpage encourages considering bicycling as a transportation option. The Aquarium celebrates World Oceans Day annually; join the fun!
Beach-Lovers Alert: Marine Plastic Pollution
Why do the City of Monterey, Monterey Bay Aquarium, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Save Our Shores, Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres Institute, and many more celebrate that California’s SB 270–statewide ban on single-use plastic bags passed in 2014? And why is there likewise enthusiasm about eliminating the use of non-biodegradable microbeads in consumer products? Learn why at the Monterey Bay Aquarium website, and join the Aquarium and Bicycling Monterey in sharing your selfie online, tagging it #MyBag or #MiBolsa. See #MyBag: Take a stand against single-use plastic bags.
Please help keep plastic out of the Monterey Bay–and as 5 Gyres and others point out–from waterways afar too!
Read more about plastic below. But first: a picture can be worth a thousand words, eh?
Pack it in, pack it out does help. Can’t assume trash overflowing those cans will be picked up by municipal clean-up crews before it gets blown into the bay.
Sadder still, some “beach lovers” don’t even walk their recycling/garbage to a can. 🙁
More about plastic
- If you need inspiration for participating in a beach clean-up, start with a look at this gyre: the Pacific Garbage Patch AKA Trash Vortex.
- The problem isn’t just limited to the Pacific Ocean; as National Geographic reported, take a peek at the Atlantic too.
- The most innocent-looking items can become a serious problem: plastic pollution. See what a Greenpeace diver came up with in this trash vortex story.
- Why is plastic pollution such a big deal? Plastic is a killer–of birds, marine life, people, and the planet.
- Teach kids about the perils of plastic, using resources such as those provided by National Geographic.
- Be alert about materials on plastics your children may be provided at school (see “Plastics industry edited environmental textbook”). Speak up about that!
- See the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Take Action” page on the Laysan Albatross and Plastics.
- The greening of the Monterey Jazz Festival includes not just bike valet parking, which is great; it also includes pure water stations! Yes, self-service filtered water stations by U.S. Pure Water are on the festival grounds, so jazz lovers can eliminate their need for single-use plastic drinking water bottles. Hooray! Please thank the Jazz Fest for being Monterey County event leaders with these pure-water stations.
- And pluckfastic! Pluck it off the beach, sure, and go a step further: take the Plastic Pollution Coalition’s refuse pledge. Plastic pollution is a serious problem, and the “pluckfastic” term encourages right actions, with a dose of humor. Pluckfastic is “an exclamation in response to someone using a reusable or biodegradable alternative to disposable, single-use plastic.” If you have adolescents, chances are they’re gonna love following you around, observing your actions and watching for a chance to say, for example, “Mom, you remembered our cloth bags for the farmers market. Pluckfastic, Mom!”
- California Supreme Court has ruled in favor of cities supporting a ban on single-use plastic. Monterey County cities readied for action, as urged by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary advisory council. Many have already passed a ban. Visit the Monterey County Weekly’s webpage on plastic bag bans
Not my kind of sea foam: polystyrene/styrofoam
- Also found at sea: polystyrene or styrofoam. Monterey County cities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey, Del Rey Oaks, Salinas, Seaside, and the unincorporated county have all banned foam packaging in restaurants and at special events.
- The Monterey County Weekly makes it easier to acknowledge restaurants that already use compostable or recyclable containers, and remind those that do not. Alternatively, contact the restaurant manager directly. Restauranteurs are busy people, with a lot to keep track of ! Don’t assume they don’t care if they still use styro; instead, trust that they want to do the right thing and will appreciate a polite reminder.
“Hmmm….shall we take a beach break or keep riding?”
Cool ways to learn–and play
- Monterey is home to the Blue Ocean Film Festival, an exciting way to learn more about our magnificent oceans, and how to protect them. 2012 dates: Sept 24-30.
- The popular Monterey Bay Aquarium is amazing. When the Aquarium opened in 1984, charter membership was a no-brainer for my family. It was easy to see that my son would love those MBA trips. Since then, because of the neighborhood’s Class I bike path, getting there is even easier; for all who are able, please consider biking to the Aquarium or bike-and-ride there. Lighten your carbon footprint and help keep oil runoff out of the Monterey Bay, and beyond.
- Want to go a little deeper? Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) site.
- To further help keep oil and other pollutants out of the Monterey Bay, storm drain stenciling is a fun way for children to participate. My daughter, now 22, loved doing that activity. Do it with the City of Monterey, or other cities of Monterey County. Visit MontereySea.org to learn more.
- Consider the many ways that bicycling and ecotourism (or good earthkeeping right at home), add up to make a big difference.
Children and teens
- For boys and girls, ages 9-16, who want to be more ocean-savvy, see the California State Parks Monterey Junior Lifeguard program. My daughter completed this valuable and challenging program–she had the t-shirt to prove it!
- Are you a girl age 10-17 who would like to learn to surf? Consider the Wahine Project, started in Monterey County in 2010. Read about the Wahine Project in the Monterey County Weekly. I learned to surf as a young person in Santa Cruz, and I sure wish such a project had been around back then.
Check the coastline on this unique map
The HER Helmet Thursdays clickable map! You’ll find plenty of places where you can save money, just because you bike. Like eating from the ocean? Bike to sustainable seafood–those HER Helmet Thursdays spots that also participate in the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.
Beyond the coastline, you’ll find additional HER Helmet Thursdays participants all over Monterey County.
Support these environmentally minded businesses and organizations en route to and from the beach, and on your other routes. They are helping to keep the Monterey Bay beautiful.
Wherever you go….
Help them crank it up another notch! Take that refuse disposable plastic pledge; and if, for example, you ask a server for a glass of water, just say “No straw, please.” (If you have kids with you and they say, “Pluckfastic!” in response, remember not to nudge them under the table. Instead, use the op to let the server know what the term–and the straw–are about.)
It seems a little thing, yet when you remember the gyres of swirling garbage–the vast majority being plastic–you can know that even declining a straw is a meaningful action.
When you press your lips against the rim of that glass, just think of it as giving the Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean a nice big kiss.
Love your oceans!
It’s easy to take the access to beautiful beaches, and parks, for granted–until budget cuts that end such access loom. Don’t overlook places like Zmudowski State Beach and Moss Landing State Beach (check Lucy D’Mot’s State Park Closures blog for a report on her 3/13/12 visit to Moss Landing State Beach).
This post was previously published May 9, 2011.