Posted by marilynch
Bike to Worship
Bike to church, mosque, satsang, synagogue, or other place of worship. In many faith traditions, like that of Christian environmentalist leader Matthew Sleeth, MD (pictured below), bicycling is one more way to live out your faith, to “walk your talk”–to bike it!
Many people choose to make Bike to Worship part of Monterey County Bike Month activities. In the Monterey Bay Tri-County region–Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties–all three have sometimes had Bike to Church or Bike to Worship as part of official Bike Week festivities. In 2011 and 2012, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County included Bike to Worship as part of their annual Bike Week (now Bike Month) activities.
In 2015, our northern neighbors at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition designate May 24-31 as Bike to Worship Week, as part of their Bike Month activities; click here for details.
Why? Just as with Bike to Work and Bike to School days, Bike to Worship is something to be inspired by during Bike Month–and then to keep going year-round!
Above, Matthew Sleeth, MD, author of Serve God, Save the Planet and 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life, and Rev. Dr. Jay Bartow of First Presbyterian Church of Monterey.
If you like to dress up
The young women above, biking Seaside in June 2013, are part of the local Mormon community. They know that skirts need not mean you can’t bike, and safely. And while it’s clear they have the joy of their faith in their hearts, those endorphins they get from biking add to the brightness of their smiles!
Many houses of worship these days welcome casual dress, while some people enjoy dressing in their “Sunday best.” Think you can’t bike to worship if you like to dress up? Many people do. For tips on biking in dressier attire, see “How to dress” in the Bike Fashionistas: Dress-Up Challenge post on this site.
If you’re heading to evening services or concerts, remember to charge up your bike light and otherwise prepare for biking in the dark.
Add your own place of worship
If you already bike to a place of worship, even occasionally, or if you know of such a place that has a bike rack or otherwise encourages cycling, please comment at the end of this post or contact me. I’d love to add you or your place of worship to this post. (Bike-there tips to that location also appreciated.)
Attend the Church of the Great Outdoors? We’ve already gotcha covered on this site!
Directions and safety
For route tips not provided in this post, refer to “Once you start: bike maps and more.”
Biking with children? Take time to review the personal safety tips on this site.
James Bas, Sexton at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula, 490 Aguajito Road, Carmel (831-624-7404). Several members of the congregation bike to services and activities regularly, making good use of their close-up bike rack.
is in the handiest of locations: “up front and center”–on the courtyard, next to the sanctuary and fellowship hall.
First Presbyterian, 501 El Dorado, Monterey – 831-373-3031
Dr. Jay Bartow and Pastor Mark Peake at First Presbyterian Church, Monterey. Jay and Mark like biking themselves!
Also in Monterey…
Bicyclists heading to Shoreline Community Church, 2500 Garden Road, Monterey (831.655.0100) are happy to see there are bike lanes alongside it!
Coming from the Class I bike path that is part of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail to Shoreline makes a very enjoyable Sunday bike ride. (And getting in the day’s exercise while en route to church can free up Sunday afternoon for activities like a luxurious nap in your easy chair, or kicking back on the beach.) See bike-there tips below.
Among those who like to bike to Shoreline are Caleb and Timothy Wong. On arrival, Caleb’s buddy David Hugo joyfully shared his enthusiasm for biking, a healthy way to exercise those legs following worship. Shoreline’s Sunday worship times, at 8:30, 10, and 11:30 a.m., offer two opportunities for founding pastor Howie Hugo’s young son to get in some between-services laps with Caleb.
Bike-there tips for Shoreline Community Church:
Reaching Shoreline Church from the Class I bike path (part of Monterey Bay Coastal Trail) is a pleasant ride. Coming up Casa Verde (leaving bike path at the Casa Verde and Del Monte intersection), there’s one very, very short and cinchy hill just before you reach Fremont. There’s a longer, gradual hill in one section of Garden Road as you’re heading to Shoreline (return trip, the Garden Rd hill is super easy). The rest of the route is flat.
Bike-there direx from coastal bike path
- Leave the bike/multi-use path at Casa Verde. (Not familiar with Casa Verde? There’s a traffic light there, and it’s near the Monterey Adult School and the Monterey Fish House restaurant.)
- Continue up Casa Verde all the way to the T-intersection at Fairgrounds Road. (Just after Casa Verde crosses Fremont Ave, you’ll see the large Beverly’s Fabrics/Crafts store on your right and the fairgrounds marquee straight ahead of you.)
- Turn right on Fairgrounds Road and continue to the traffic signal.
- Turn left onto Garden Road.
- Continue on Garden Road all the way to 2500 Garden Road: Shoreline is on your right (see sign in photo below). Tip: Landmarks along the way include a bench/rest stop on your right, and later the fitness center (currently FitU, as of Oct 2012). Keep pedaling–after the fitness center, you’ll soon be on an all-flat remaining ride to your destination.
- Once you reach Shoreline, lock up your bike at any appropriate stationary spot (e.g., along railing in front or back of church). Please take care to avoid blocking pedestrian walkways.
Trinity High School, Monterey principal Timothy Wong and son Caleb like to bike to worship, as they did the morning of this photo.
Another church with front-door parking for bicycles (see pictures below) is First Presbyterian, 1044 South Main Street, Salinas (phone 831-422-7811). The church is parallel to and one block over from Pajaro Street, which has bike lanes. For a bicycle map of Salinas, in Spanish and English, see “Once You Start–Bike Maps and More” on this site.
First Presbyterian’s nearby location at 830 Padre Drive was the church home of the late Kyle Beardshear. Recognizing that many people in their congregation–as did Kyle–love to bike, the church has added a bike rack at this location too.
You can’t get better bike parking than that of First Presbyterian, 1044 South Main, Salinas.
Also in Salinas…
First United Methodist Church / firstsalinas.org‘s marquee message, spotted above on October 10, 2012, makes their encouragement about biking to worship very clear. They inspire Bicycling Monterey and others.
Check out the many ways they serve our county seat and world! Click here to learn about their community services in Oldtown Salinas. The tough economy impacts our community greatly, and this is a church stepping to help. You’ll see they host a Safe Space, Weekday Lunch, Clothes Closet, Reading Lessons, Twelve Step Groups, weekly visit from Clinica Salud de la Valle Salinas, Prescription Assistance, weekly visits from VA Palo Alto Health Care System Housing Resource Group visits, and weekly visits to address Federal, County and Community Agency Problem Solving.
Back in Monterey….
This cyclist and his companion just happened to be passing by Bethlehem Lutheran, 800 Cass Street, Monterey. The church location is easy to reach by bike!
And if you prefer to bike-and-ride there, note the handy bus stop nearby.
Previously published Jan 29, 2012.