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Happy Thanksgiving! A Gratitude List for Bicycling Enthusiasts

Do you ♥ people who make biking better?

Express appreciation through a thank you note, online shout-out of gratitude, in-person visit, financial contribution to their work, or in another way. Below are 9 sections outlining some of the many people who make biking Monterey County better. 


1. Say thank you…to those U. S. Senators and Congressional Representatives, State Senators and State Assembly Members, and other government officials who vote for and otherwise advocate for biking.  Remember county supervisors, city councils, and other city officials. Say thanks to traffic engineers and transportation planners too! Below are examples of some of the many who are so deserving of appreciation.

Sam Farr and Lynne of KFOW

Congressional Representative Sam Farr has made a big difference in bicycle infrastructure and other outdoor recreation on the Central Coast. As Bicycling Monterey posted on Instagram, if you appreciate, for example, the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail network or Fort Ord National Monument, let retiring Congressman Farr know you appreciate all his work to help make those possible!

Above, Sam was at the Sand City ribbon-cutting for MST’s Rapid Transit Monterey Jazz Lines, one of our favorite bike-and-ride options. Also present was then-U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. 

Another example: 17th District CA State Senator Bill Monning

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State Senator Bill Monning and 29th District CA Assembly Member Mark Stone have excellent voting records (100%) on bike-related issues, as tracked for 2015 by the California Bicycle Coalition AKA CalBike. Coming in close behind is 28th District Assembly Member Luis Alejo (98%). State Senator Anthony Cannella (12th District) came in at 62%.

CalBike helps local advocates keep track; refer to CA Senate Voting Records and CA Assembly Voting Records. Also review CalBike’s legislative watch page.

(Click images to enlarge.)

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For these who are elected officials, keep in mind their voting records on biking and other issues important to you when you vote in future elections. #BikeTheVote #IBikeIVote

Monterey County Board of Supervisors

Thank County Supervisors for such actions as affirming bike lanes for Rio Road. Click here for their contact info.

You might then go on to the Monterey County seat and largest city, Salinas…

Write to Salinas City Councilmembers, along with Gary E. Petersen, Public Works Director; Robert Russell, City Engineer; James Serrano, Transportation Planner, and others. Among other things, thank them for their enthusiasm and support for Monterey County’s only (as of Nov 2015) Open Streets—one of the first dozen such locations in all of California—Ciclovía Salinas. See to learn more.

James Serrano - Salinas planner

Then do the same with Monterey City Council. Tell them what you appreciate about bike infrastructure or other aspects of bicycling in Monterey. And remember traffic engineer  Rich Deal. (BTW, Monterey residents voted in biking Mayor Clyde Roberson 11/4/14.  And the City of Marina reelected their biking Mayor Bruce Delgado.)

Continue with other communities where you bike. Locally, perhaps that’s Big Sur, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Castroville, Del Rey Oaks, Elkhorn, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Pajaro, Pebble Beach, Prunedale, Salinas, San Ardo, Sand City, Seaside, Soledad, or other areas.

Rich Deal and Jan Valencia 018

Thank-u-gram bike courier

For use of the above image, thanks to the  Kimball Foundation, Gainesville, VA. Although no longer active and selling their thank-u-grams, they sold these family favorites to my family for generations!

2. Express appreciation to Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Advisory Committee members, people who are helping the Transportation Agency for Monterey County make biking here better. Express appreciation also to the wide range of other bike community leaders…

who pour energy into making Monterey County a better place to bike. You’ll find most of them listed on the 32-section main resources/bike community page. Whew! Lots of bike leadership in Monterey County. Select some whose efforts mean the most to you, then let them know how they enhance your life.


3. Say thanks to media who give bicycling accurate coverage.

You might start with KUSP, Independent Public Radio, which recognizes the importance of bicycling by including Bicycling Monterey on their talk and information blogroll. They also feature Bicycling Monterey on-air; check out this playlist.

Another local independent with their eye on the bike scene is Monterey County Weekly. They published an issue focused on bicycling, and they continue to cover bike topics on a regular basis. David M. Schmalz, Sara Rubin, Mark C. Anderson, and some others on the Weekly crew often  bike to work, thus keeping bike awareness high at their workplace. Tell Weekly staffers you appreciate them.Kera Abraham - orig - dressup

The Salinas Californian, a Gannett paper,  and the Monterey County Herald, a Digital First Media paper, both are fortunate to still have some excellent staff on board! In spite of the challenges of working for newspapers run by out-of-state media conglomerates, these staffers work hard to provide sound local coverage.

These include–and are not limited to–Roberto Robledo, Jay Dunn, and Juan Villa at the Californian, along with freelance “We Could Car Less” columnist MacGregor Eddy.  And David Royal, Larry Parsons, and Claudia Melendez Salinas at the Herald. All these individuals are locally based and have covered important local bicycling topics. Give these local professionals your support; tell them you recognize and appreciate their efforts!

4. Show gratitude to your favorite HER Helmet Thursdays spots.

Let them know you appreciate that they encourage bicycling by offering discounts on Thursdays year-round for people who bike.

You may also wish to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the HER Helmet Thursdays project by getting in touch to see how you can help maintain and expand the project. HER Helmet Thursdays marks its 6th year Thanksgiving week 2015; here’s how it began.


Jeff Perrine - Sanctuary 1

Monterey Museum of Art - HER Helmet Thursdays

La Plaza Bakery in Greenfield and countywide are in HER Helmet Thursdays

Scheid GF Tasting Room Front Patio

5. Give some love and appreciation to the visitors who bless Monterey County.

Say howdy, and share local tips with visitors , including the tips that help them bike while they’re here.

These tourists come from  France, GermanyHolland, Italy, and all over the planet. They expand our perspectives and enrich our lives, through serendipitous or planned interactions. (Click for examples.)

Cali Roots visitors wanna come back for Reggae Fest

6. Say thanks also to the tourism professionals who help visitors find bicycling resources.

These individuals include Allyson Thommen of  the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau / See Monterey, Trish Sullivan at Destination Salinas, and others. Tell these caring and bike-savvy people that you appreciate their helpfulness to visitors. After all, biking is one of the best ways for visitors to really know our communities.

Trish Sullivan photo Oct 2013

7. Share words of thanks, and memories, with Sea Otter Classic, a Celebration of Cycling.

This four-day annual event extraordinaire draws nearly 10,000 pro and amateur athletes plus 65,000 other bicycling enthusiasts to Monterey County every April. Sea Otter’s road, mountain, and cyclocross races are world-renowned. Likewise fantastic are the Gran Fondo recreational rides, festival and other activities for all ages, North America’s largest consumer bike expo, and more—all making for lots of good times!

You may be a longtime Sea Otter Classic veteran, like the Magenheim family directly below. Or you may be an SOC newbie. Whatever your experience, if you’ve become a Sea Otter aficionado, contact their farsighted co-founder and CEO Frank Yohannan, and the Sea Otter Classic crew. Let them know you appreciate them bringing so much bike love to Monterey County!

Kira, Aaron, Sieg 2000 SO racers

Fyxation - SOC 2014 Expo

Toddler on front of Mom's Bike cropped - DSC00195

3 ladies, 1 baby - end of day - DSC00269

Cath and Jan at SOC 4-17-11 DSC00238

8. Express appreciation for bike-friendly law enforcement professionals.

Beyond Salinas–Monterey County’s largest city and the county seat–there are other bike-friendly law enforcement officers in Monterey County too. Find some of them in “Constables of the Peace,” then tell them thank you!

Then contact bike-friendly Salinas Police Department–one of the first PDs in California to have bumper stickers on patrol cars that help educate the public about Three Feet for Safety. Click here to learn more about that and other ways that Salinas PD helps improve life for people who bike.

#IGive3Ft Salinas PD

The Salinas PD chief and many other SPD officers bike themselves. When the inaugural Ciclovia Salinas–Monterey County’s first Open Streets–was at risk of being cancelled for lack of barricade volunteers, who did a big reach-out to friends, asking them to volunteer? That’s right, Salinas PD Chief Kelly McMillin. Salinas PD also provided the legally required trainings for barricade volunteers, not only in advance of the date, they went the extra mile by also providing  e-a-r-l-y morning day-of trainings for last-minute volunteers.

Ciclovia Salinas 10-6-13 6am barricade volunteer training with Kelly McMillin

Whose traffic patrol officers are especially savvy about bike laws, such as local sidewalk ordinances, and can be counted on not to cite bicyclists inappropriately (as unfortunately happens in some cities around the U.S.)?  Salinas PD! Whenever appropriate, they prefer education to citation; and they know where to get  Spanish language resources, including bicycle equipment requirements that are not on the California DMV website in Spanish.

We also appreciate that Salinas PD is the first PD on the West Coast to be 100% trained in procedural justice and police legitimacy. That’s a great start to making any police department better! Learn more about that in the Salinas section of “Constables of the Peace.”

9. Show you appreciate the Bicycling Monterey website and projects

by making a contribution, in any amount, to support this work. You may contribute by check, or by debit or credit card via PayPal.

Since founding Bicycling Monterey in May 2009, and still the case as of November 2015, Mari’s time is provided entirely as a volunteer.

If you are unable to contribute financially at this time but might like to contribute project supplies or volunteer time, please contact Mari.

Muchas gracias!

Bicycling Monterey is thankful for each of you who pitch in on this bike advocacy work. Whether you are a contributor of money, a contributor of project supplies, send words of encouragement, spread the news, volunteer time, or help in some other way, know that you are appreciated.

To see the names of hundreds of people Bicycling Monterey is thankful for—all playing some part in this collaborative effort—start here.

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