Posted by marilynch
Independence Day Weekend in Monterey County: Memorial Bike Ride, Bike Polo, Bike Valets, 4th of July Parades, Fireworks, and More
Get the scoop on 4th of July weekend bike-related and other happenings, along with reasons and tips to bike or bike-and-ride to any of the activities. Plus tips on maximizing your ease, safety, and fun on two wheels!
Please remember that California is in a severe drought, with increased risk of fire. Respect local fireworks ordinances and fire-prevention reminders. Scroll down for those.
Here are a sampling of Monterey County activities for Independence Day weekend 2015:
Salinas, the Monterey County seat – Memorial 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 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.”
Carmel – 13th Annual 4th of July Celebration, in Devendorf Park. Also see tips for biking Carmel.
King City – 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: https://www.facebook.com/events/1003872589636462/
Pacific Grove – 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.
Spreckels – 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
#Spreckels parade? Thanks to @JuanVillaVTD, see them; #12 and 28+ http://bit.ly/1M20kor
Monterey (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.!
- For details on the City of Monterey activities, click here to go to the City’s website.
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! 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.
- This holiday weekend will be a fun–and busy–time in beautiful Monterey County. As the City of Monterey reminds: whenever possible, please use bicycling or other alternative transportation. There are so many benefits!
- Can’t bike all the way there? Consider using a bike-and-ride option, such as Monterey-Salinas Transit bus (click, then scroll down for bike tips), or your vehicle’s bike rack. Note that MST is typically on a Sunday schedule for 4th of July (details in MST news section). Click here for detailed bike-and-ride tips for MST and more.
- Don’t have a bike? See local bike rentals. Or see local bike shops that sell new and used bikes. It’s a busy time for rentals, so avoid disappointment: reserve in advance, or call ahead to check availability at any rental location.
- Besides the free bike valet parking mentioned above, what about parking your bike at other times and locations? See the bicycle parking and bike security sections in the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide.
- Avoid traffic and parking challenges: bike to the beach. And care for what you love (click here for tips). For related info, see Bicycling and Ecotourism/Good Earthkeeping Right at Home.
- Pollution Prevention is Patrotic. Visit Save Our Shores website for details on beach clean-ups in Monterey, Carmel, and elsewhere.
- Beach clean-up info for the City of Monterey, in summary: on 7/4/15, noon – 4 p.m., Save Our Shores will have an outreach table at the foot of Wharf II/Commercial Wharf, distributing recycling and garbage bags. On 7/5, 8-10 a.m., SOS will have a Del Monte Beach cleanup; check-in table for volunteers will be at the base of Wharf II.
Celebrate America’s independence by
biking to history spots
Fourth of July weekend is a time when many visitors and locals like to bike to history spots. Some spots will have special Independence Day weekend activities (such as Cooper Molera Adobe, Monterey’s Living History event).
Other history spots will be closed or have limited hours. Call ahead to avoid disappointments. Even if buildings are closed, it can be satisfying to bike to view exterior architecture, or landscapes.
Above, at the San Carlos Cathedral/Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey. As of July 2015, Australian visitor Carey Beebe has annually biked to Carmel Bach Festival venues in various local cities for 16 years.
Below: Stevenson House garden. See notes about garden hours in “Cycling to Monterey County’s history spots.”
Below, Friendly Plaza is on the grounds of Monterey’s historic Colton Hall. That’s the address for the 4th of July lawn party as well as City Hall and the Colton Hall Museum. From the street, Friendly Plaza can look deceptively small. For more photos of Friendly Plaza, see “Where the plazas are in the City of Monterey: And how to preserve their charm.”
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.
- CA bike law summary: Be Cool Be Safe – bike law summary
- CA bike law summary – equipment requirements, in Spanish and English: Leyes de ciclismo de CA – Laws for bicyclists in CA (Spanish, English) – Summary
- Learn much more in Riding skills, safety, and California bike laws: tips for children, teens, and adults.
- “Same roads, same rules, same rights.” Unless you are part of a parade calvacade or other procession that is formally excused (by the presence of a directing police officer) from obeying traffic lights and stop signs, California traffic laws apply.
- Cruising with tunes? As stated in the bike law summaries linked above, it’s required to keep one ear bud out. Not only is that the law, it also makes you and those around you safer in a group ride situation.
- Whether in Carmel (below) or elsewhere: stay alert–cops about. They want to help ensure public safety, so help out our Constables of the Peace in Monterey County. How? Follow bike laws (review the info above). Avoid remember to avoid distracted biking, just as drivers, pedestrians, and skaters likewise need to avoid distractions while traveling; click here for details.
What about sidewalk riding?Sidewalk 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.
- Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, a 20-section guide, including Bicycle Maps and Where to Bike in Monterey County.
- Special tips for various Monterey County cities and unincorporated communities, including Carmel and Carmel Valley, Castroville and other North County spots, Greenfield and other South County spots, Pebble Beach, Salinas, and Seaside.
- How Monterey County’s Accommodations Show It’s a Cycling Friendly Place
- Camping in Monterey County
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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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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 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: https://www.facebook.com/events/1003872589636462/
City of Salinas: 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): https://www.mtyhd.org/index.php/10-fireworks-safety-tips-for-the-fourth-of-july/
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.
Photo 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.
Happy Independence Day!
Contact Mari with questions or for any additional updates.