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Independence Day Weekend in Monterey County – Memorial Bike Ride, Bike Valets, 4th of July Parades, and More

Freedom - bike rack atop carBiking on 4th of July weekend reduces holiday traffic and increases your fun! This post includes tips to bike or bike-and-ride to activities. 
Remember that California is in a severe drought, with increased risk of fire. Respect local fireworks ordinances and fire-prevention reminders, including that for 2016, fireworks are illegal in City of Monterey, City of Salinas, and many other locations. Click here for a related Monterey County Herald story, including where you can enjoy fireworks, legally, in 2016. 

Scroll down for general biking tips for the holiday weekend. For 2016 activities, check in with the sources cited in the 2015 post below.  Although much of the information in this post will remain relevant, this post is not being updated for 2016 except for the following three notes: (1) The Adrian Garcia Memorial ride will take place on July 2, 2016 in Salinas. Click here to learn more. (2) A free bike valet will be provided by Green Pedal Couriers at the corner of Jefferson and Pacific streets, Monterey for the Big Little Backyard Bar-B-Que and Entertainment Extravaganza on July 4, 2016.  Click here to learn more about that and other City of Monterey Fourth of July 2016 activities. (3) Doing the bike-and-ride on Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) or otherwise using an MST bus?  Note the Independence Day schedule; click here.

Below is a sampling of Monterey County activities for Independence Day weekend 2015. Again, check with sources for any 2016 information.

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  1. Salinas, the Monterey County seatMemorial Bike Ride and BBQ for Adrian Garcia, followed by bike polo. People of all ages and abilities on all types of bicycles will honor Adrian’s memory on July 5th, 2015 as they cruise in tune with Salinas social cycling ride etiquette. Mass on July 4th; click for details. To learn more about the vibrant biking scene in the Monterey County seat, see tips for biking Salinas and “Vacation, staycation.”
  2. Carmel13th Annual (2015) 4th of July Celebration, in Devendorf Park. Also see tips for biking Carmel.
  3. King City – 2015 – Parade starts at 10:30 a.m., followed at 11:30 a.m. by Fourth of July in the Park: bicycle decorating, talent show, music, kids zone, and more at the park at 401 Division Street. You can also stay cool at King City pool, which opens at noon. A $16,000 aerial fireworks display starts just after dark.  Details:
  4. Pacific Grove  – 2015 – 4th of July BBQ and live entertainment in Caledonia Park, just up from the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail. Bicycle valet parking—as well as parking for your stroller, children’s wagon, etc.—will be offered at Caledonia Park. This free service is being provided by Green Pedal Couriers and friends; tips are accepted. Questions? Want to help out? Call Mike Baroni of Green Pedal Couriers,  831-920-8181.Mike Baroni on MST to Watsonville - photo
  5. Spreckels – 2015 – races, parade, firemen’s muster, and more. If you haven’t biked Spreckels before, and you’re a bit out of shape, you’ll be delighted to see how flat this little community is. Biking in a parade? When decorating your bike, avoid decorations that could get caught in spokes or otherwise cause injury to you or others. Update: Miss bikes in parade? Thanks to , see them; #12 and 28+
  6. Monterey – 2015 (City of Monterey)
    • 7-11 a.m. Monterey Firefighters Charity pancake breakfast benefiting HER Helmet Thursdays spot Monterey Youth Museum (“MY Museum”).
    • 10 a.m. parade. To see some of the people who’ve biked in this annual parade, scroll to the end of this post.
    • 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Big Little Backyard lawn party with live bands, kids’ activities, food booths, and more.  Green Pedal Couriers and friends will again provide bike valet parking attendants to watch over your bike—or your stroller, children’s wagon, etc.—during the lawn party. The 2015 bike valet station will be at the corner of Jefferson and Pacific Streets. This is a free service; tips are accepted. Want to help out? Call Mike Baroni of Green Pedal Couriers,  831-920-8181. And biking librarian Inga (below) reminds people that the Friends of the Library book and movie sale will also be happening on Colton Hall lawn from 11 a.m. – 3 pm.!Friends of Library 4 July 2015 sale
    •  For details on the City of Monterey activities, click here to go to the City’s website.Librarian Inga of City of Monterey

Scroll down for Monterey County fireworks information.

For additional Independence Day weekend activities in the above communities and at other Monterey County locations…

Check the Master Calendar for Bicycling Monterey County (and for regularly scheduled rides, call ahead to see whether they are on holiday break), as well as the Monterey County Weekly, Monterey County Herald, the Salinas Californian, and the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau/See Monterey blog.

Below, read many more tips

for people biking to activities

throughout Monterey County.

Freedom - bike rack atop car

“Freedom! We’re set to celebrate it!” This couple was about to move their car to a long-term parking spot, so they could celebrate Independence Day weekend car-free, getting around on two wheels. Join them! Check out the activities and tips below.

Headed to the beach?Dad & Son trailabike Del Monte Beach - closeup - Mari

Wherever you bike, please be a good ambassador for bicycling! Know what local ordinances and etiquette are about sidewalk riding, know CA bike laws, and make use of other riding skills and safety tips.
What about sidewalk riding?Seaside young boy April 2011Sidewalk riding is often legal. It’s sometimes appropriate. And it’s sometimes safer, especially for people under about age 13. Nonetheless,  it is often less safe than biking streets.
  • What’s important to know? Listen to a 2-minute audio and read details about sidewalks and crosswalks; see “Bicycling on sidewalks: misconceptions and advisories.”
  • Sidewalk riding is governed in California by local jurisdictions. Examples of places where sidewalk riding is prohibited are in the City of Monterey, along Alvarado Street; and in the City of Salinas, on Main Street in Oldtown. For specific ordinances for those cities and other local cities, see the sidewalk section of  Riding skills, safety, and California bike laws: tips for children, teens, and adults.
  • Remember that even where sidewalk riding is allowed, and you decide it is your best option, it’s important to be a good ambassador for bicycling! Bike slowly on sidewalks, yield to pedestrians, give a friendly and audible signal if–slowly, please–overtaking and passing a pedestrian, take care not to block entrances to buildings, and so on.
More tips helpful to visitors, or locals on stay-cation:Salinas bike map

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Find helpful info on the Bicycling Monterey website?

Contributions are welcome and appreciated.

For a list of contributors, click here.

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About fireworks

Even if it wasn’t a drought year (and it is!), July in Monterey County is a very dry time of year.

Fireworks can be a terrible fire hazard, as well as posing other hazards.

Just as with the City of Del Rey Oaks (note sign below), fireworks are prohibited in the City of Carmel, in the City of Monterey, and many other local cities and unincorporated areas.
Check with local fire departments, or other officials, for each jurisdiction’s fireworks policy.

As of this 2015 release, the following Monterey County cities allow CA state-approved fireworks (only): Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Salinas, Seaside, Soledad. Contact local fire or police deparments or local city manager’s office for any updates to that list.

In King City, a $16,000 aerial fireworks display starts just after dark.  Details:

City of Salinas: In 2015, only “Safe and Sane” fireworks are allowed in the Salinas. Both the fire chief and police chief have expressed it would be even better to allow no fireworks, just as is the policy already in the cities of Carmel, Del Rey Oaks, Monterey, and many other California cities. Learn more about the added challenges faced by public safety departments in Salinas with regard to fireworks. Click here for more info–a 2010 press release that remains relevant; check with the City of Salinas for any updates.

City of Marina also allows “safe and sane” fireworks. Click here for their regulations.

City of Seaside also allows “safe and sane” fireworks. Click here for their regulations.

Please also be mindful of your pets, and how fireworks may affect them. Click here.
Monterey County Health Department offers additional tips, in English and Spanish (click here for español):
Local station KION shared this video in 2014 about related hazards, including sparklers. It’s still relevant.

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 Leo Kodl, who you’ll see out riding a recumbent, a folding bike, and other types of bikes.

Leo Kodl local avid cyclist and bike advocate rides many types including recumbent

Leo Kodl folding bike at Monterey post officePhoto below: Jesse Frener (at left) is a community volunteer, soccer player, and MPC student. He is pictured here volunteering at the outreach booth of Shoreline Church, inviting Shoreline attendees to bike with him in the City of Monterey’s 4th of July parade in 2014.

29 June 2014 and prior 009 MPC student and older guy re bike parade - featured

29 June 2014 and prior 008 Bike Parade Coming Up

Happy Independence Day!

  Contact Mari with questions or for any additional updates.

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