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Show Your Independence – Biking in the Free World, best way to avoid 4th of July traffic and parking hassles

“Freedom! We’re set to celebrate it!” These visitors just arrived in Monterey and are anxious to get those bikes down and leave the car parked.

Freedom - bike rack atop car

Click here to learn about the City of Monterey’s 2013 July 4th Celebration, including the traditional parade, the after-parade lawn party with live bands, kids’ activities, food booths, and more.

Green Pedal Couriers confirmed that they will again be providing complimentary bike valet parking for the City of Monterey lawn party. Questions? Phone Mike Baroni of Green Pedal, 831.920.8181.

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The information below was previously published June 29, 2012.

City of Monterey will have bike valet parking for the 2012 Fourth of July Colton Hall Lawn Party, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   Green Pedal Couriers will provide this free service at Friendly Plaza, assisted by other bike community volunteers.  Questions? Want to help out? Call Mike Baroni of Green Pedal,  831-920-8181.

Before:  The City’s parade takes place at 10 a.m. on Alvarado Street and Calle Principal.

After:  Did you miss the free Monterey Bay Symphony concert at bike-friendly NPS?  The symphony is again playing a free concert on 4th of July!  This time, the location is Jacks Park (across from the Monterey Sports Center).  A laser light is part of the evening’s festivities.  Gates open at 6 p.m., the action begins at 8 p.m. and ends around 9:30 p.m.

Check the City of Monterey website for details.
Where is Friendly Plaza?

Friendly Plaza is on the grounds of Monterey’s Colton Hall, where the Colton Hall Lawn Party as well as City Hall and the Colton Hall Museum are located.  From the street, Friendly Plaza can look deceptively small.  There’s plenty of room for bikes in this area.  For more photos of Friendly Plaza, see “Where the plazas are in the City of Monterey:  And how to preserve their charm.”

Show your independence from oil companies by biking at every opportunity.  As the City of Monterey encourages, please use bicycling or other alternative transportation to protect this beautiful city.

And remember to stay alert–cops about!

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Here’s another way that City of Monterey shows its support for bicycling:  Can’t change a flat?  City of Monterey has a fix for that!  Monterey  is offering bike maintenance classes, for kids and adults.  See pages 20 and 39 of the Parks and Rec catalog: …

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Can’t bike all the way there?  Use a bike-and-ride option, like an MST bus or your vehicle’s bike rack. Check these bike-and-ride tips, especially if using the MST. And note that the MST is on a Sunday schedule for 4th of July, 2012.

More 4th of July 2012 Fun

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa is another local leader when it comes to knowing the importance of bike valet parking.  Just pedal on in to their carport and ask the valet parking attendants to please take care of your bike. They are happy to oblige.  (When picking up your bike, a tip as a thank you for this courtesy is customary.)

The Monterey Plaza’s 2012 4th of July street fair is 10-6.  Free live music is provided from 1-5 at the Monterey Plaza’s Dolphin Upper Terrace, where you’ll experience the  John “Broadway” Tucker and the Broadway Blues Band along with the views from the waterfront plaza.

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa is home of  Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, Cafe la Strada, and Vista Blue Spa–all HER Helmet Thursdays spots.  Tell them thanks for being such a bike-friendly property–and remember to bike there again on a Thursday soon if you’d like to get a discount.

Violinist Laurel Thomsen on the Dolphin Upper Terrace of the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa.


Avoid traffic and parking challenges–bike to the beach!

July 4 and 5, 2012 beach clean-ups

Visit Save Our Shores website for details on beach clean-ups in Monterey, Carmel, and elsewhere.  Scroll down their webpage so as not to miss all the local opportunities for 2012.

Fireworks advisories, and more holiday fun

See “Go Fourth,” by Mike Hale in the 6/28/12 Monterey County Herald for an overview of  2012 4th of July activities countywide.  Seaside and Marina are the only Monterey Peninsula cities allowing fireworks, so personal displays will likely be seen there.

The Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau/See Monterey blog,, includes 4th of July weekend activities too.

For other festivities throughout the county, check the Monterey County Weekly, Monterey County Herald, and the Salinas Californian.

Celebrate the freedom of living in the USA by staying free of traffic and parking challenges during this Independence Day weekend.  Like that view from a Fort Ord bikeway above the Monterey Bay?  So does recumbent rider Leo Kodl.  Get out and ride with Leo and others!  Tips below.

Got bikes?

Are you a local with guests who don’t have bikes–or a visitor who didn’t bring one?  Bike Rentals are available at many different locations.

Want to bike somewhere new?  Check ideas in Where to Bike in Monterey County.  Also see other Tips for Bicycling Monterey County.

Helpful to visitors, or locals on stay-cation:

Looking for local bike shops, riding clubs, and more?  See Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources.

Here’s just one bike-and-ride route, for those headed to Del Monte Beach.  (It’s also a good route for those headed to City of Monterey’s “Big Little Backyard”–Colton Hall Lawn Party.)  First, where to park?  There’s plenty of free, unlimited parking on July 4 along Fairground Road, beside the Monterey County Fairgrounds.

From the fairgrounds, look up–and get under the big lighted marquee, which means you’re  smack at the Casa Verde and Fairground Road stop-sign intersection–behind Beverly’s Fabric & Crafts large building. And Casa Verde will take you directly to the bike/multi-use path!  Landmarks along the way:  you’ll first see Beverly’s on your left, next you’ll cross Fremont and see Alliance Gas on left, Caruso’s on right.  Continue down the short, gentle slope. You’ll be biking through residential neighborhoods, and soon you’ll pass under the freeway (Hwy 1).  After that, watch for La Sala Bi-Rite Market and Deli on left.  Continue straight on Casa Verde until you reach the traffic signal at T-intersection; that’s Del Monte Avenue–and the Class I bicycle/multi-use path is right there!  (Feel compassion for all those cars stuck in traffic on Del Monte–and be grateful you’re biking instead!)

Need direx tips to other places?  See “Once You Start:  Bike Maps and More” section of the Tips guide on this site.

Happy Independence Day!

  Contact Mari with questions or for additional updates.

[This post has been updated from 4th of July posts previous published in 2010 and 2011.]

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