LISTINGS (Where to Get Discounts), plus FAQs

HER Helmet Thursdays offers 10-50% discounts for males and females who bike. Currently available at hundreds of spots in 18 Monterey County cities.

Discounts are from 12:00 a.m. til 11:59 p.m. on Thursdays year-round. Date restrictions may apply. What’s H-E-R? H-E-R is an acronym for Hotels, Educational and Entertainment spots, and Restaurants.  Related places, such as wineries,  participate too. HER also refers to Mother Earth, who benefits from more people biking! To learn more…

Scroll down for FAQs

Have other questions? See Quick Links or contact Mari Lynch.

View listings here, in either of two formats:

1.  All Participants

Quick Reference Guide

Click link below to download PDF.

HER Helmet Thursdays – Quick Reference Guide – as of 5 April 2014 – View PDF

2.  Clickable Venues Map

Click link below to access map.

HER Helmet Thursdays – Venues Map

How to use the map
  1. You may want to first look over the Quick Reference Guide to get an idea of who you can expect to find on the map.  (Download the PDF provided above.)
  2. Using the map allows choosing a venue by exploring the geographic location that you wish to bike to.
  3. HER Helmet Thursdays spots are in 18 Monterey County cities (and unincorporated areas), including Big Sur, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Castroville, Del Rey Oaks, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Moss Landing, Pacific Grove, Salinas, San Ardo, Sand City, Seaside, and Soledad. 
  4. The first click provides basic info, as shown in the Monterey Museum of Art example below.
  5. CLICK FOR FULL DETAILS” before biking over to claim your discount. Most will have bike-there tips.
  6. For additional notes about using the map, scroll to the end of this webpage.

Example of basic listing info (“first click” on the map).

Monterey Museum Of Art Pacific Street (Educational attractions)
559 Pacific Street Monterey, CA, 93940
Discount: 50%Restrictions: Alcohol excludedCLICK FOR FULL DETAILS

Photo below courtesy of Monterey Museum of Art, La Mirada and Pacific Street

Monterey Museum of Art - HER Helmet Thursdays


To quickly locate the listing when you know the name of the HER Helmet Thursdays participant, it often works to do one of the following.

1. Type in your browser’s search window, within quotation marks, the name of a place, followed by “HER Helmet Thursdays”for example:

“Monterey Museum of Art”  “HER Helmet Thursdays”

2. Or, type in your browser’s search window: [and then the name of the  participating spot]

For example, try: “Monterey Museum of Art”


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“I have gone to businesses on HER Helmet Thursdays, and they are always gracious. Thank you for making such a great program work!”–Sam Poteete
“No profit motive for its creator, Mari Lynch, just a vision to see more locals and tourists ride bikes.”–Ravi Kapur, KSBW

ksbw glove motion

Benefits of bicycling

The HER Helmet Thursdays project gives you one of the many economic benefits of bicycling–discounts on Thursdays!  For more reasons to bike, click here.

Contributions and volunteers welcome

The HER Helmet Thursdays project, launched in 2009, continues to be  provided as a public service. There is no fee charged to participating businesses and organizations, nor to people who bike.  Help maintain and expand this project.  Please consider making a financial contribution.  To contribute volunteer time, contact Mari.

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Frequently asked questions….

Bike and ride MST Jazz Line downtown Monterey

  1. How did HER Helmet Thursdays get started? Monterey County Weekly asked too. And they invited us to write “Wheel the Earth” on Earth Day 2010 to answer the question!
  2. It sounds like a bike safety project for females! It makes sense that some people first perceive it that way. Listen to a 2-minute audio from KUSP, or read the transcript, “What’s up with the bike helmet buzz?”
  3. Does CA law require wearing a helmet? Only persons under 18, per VC section 21212. See California bike laws and safety tips in the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide to learn more.
  4. Then why the helmet in HER Helmet Thursdays?  A helmet avoids the need for a plastic card, coupon, punch card, etc. It was simply chosen as the evidence of bicycling because it is a common accessory. Listen to “What’s up with the bike helmet buzz?” Or see “It’s not about the helmet.”
  5. Can we just drive there and have a helmet in our car, and still get the discount? No. The project’s purpose is to encourage biking! No biking, no discount.
  6. Do we have to bike to an “H/hotels/lodging” place?  No. Just show you’re going to do some biking while you’re there.  See “How to get a lodging discount.
  7. Do we have to bike the entire way to “E/educational/entertainment or “R/restaurants and related places”?  No. Bike-and-ride options may be used.  Honor system–bike as far as your stamina and schedule permit.
  8. I don’t like wearing a helmet! It isn’t required to wear a helmet to get discounts at E & R spots, just show one. If you’re adamant about not wearing a helmet, one option is to buy an inexpensive one and carry it in your pack, pannier, etc. Your choice whether to wear it or not. And you can still get the discount if you bike or bike-and-ride there and simply show a helmet. If the cost of a helmet is what’s holding you back, check this out: a Bike League instructor shared that an economy helmet online can be as low as $3.95, as of 3/5/14 (see example). Many of us much prefer to support local bike shops. Wherever you purchase a helmet, one can recoup the cost of a helmet quickly if you make use of the HER Helmet Thursdays discounts.
  9. Do I show my helmet at a fancy place?  Places with valet service or a hat-check room can jot “bike” or “helmet” on the claim check. You can show that to the staff member who will present your tab, and they can give you the discount.  See “May I take your helmet, Sir?” in HER Helmet Thursdays, Part II for additional tips.
  10. I want to dress more elegantly–but on a bike?  See the “How to dress” tips and “Inspiration” provided in “Bike Fashionistas.”Chic signaling
  11. Do the more formal venues offer bike valet parking, as for cars? Yes, most do!  Bicycle valet parking is part of our bike-friendly county. Call them ahead if you wish to confirm.Bike valet and Laurel Thomsen - Mtry Plaza - Mari
  12. I’ve heard there are wineries in the “R/Restaurants/other food and beverage” category. You heard right!  See “Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways.”
  13. What about drinking alcohol and biking?  See “Safe biking and drinking” tips in “Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways.”
  14. Any Seafood Watch program participants in HER Helmet Thursdays?   You bet! See “Bike for Sustainable Seafood.”
  15. Any places on the wharfs? You bet! Wharf II is unanimous, and there are participants on Wharf I also.
  16. What’s in the “E”/Education/Entertainment” category?  A variety of spots, including whale watching, museums, live entertainment clubs/theaters, and spas.  You’ll find a few surprises too:  a photo shop that touts how educational and entertaining their services are, and a family chiropractic practice that asked to be part of the fun–they said they educate their patients on healthy living!
  17. We’re going to the Steinbeck Center. Any places in Salinas?  You bet!  The National Steinbeck Center and the Steinbeck House are both HER Helmet Thursdays participants, but that’s just the start. You’ll also find Salinas lodging, dining, theater, and spa services in the HER Helmet Thursdays project. Check out the Bicycling Salinas section of this site.Salinas - Greenlaws & zippiing cyclist at wall sign Steinbeck 199
  18. We’re not going to remain on the Monterey Peninsula, we like to explore other parts of the county too.  Wonderful! Although there are fewer participants in rural or more remote areas, there are indeed HER Helmet Thursdays spots spread all over Monterey County, including North and South County towns. (For example, one of the charter participants is San Ardo Cafe in San Ardo; and one of the newest participants is Stravaganza Grill in King City.) Also note that there are lists of the first HER Helmet Thursdays spots for each of these cities in their tips sections: Carmel and Carmel Valley, Castroville, Greenfield, Salinas, and Seaside.
  19. Which are the easiest venues to bike to with children? In Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, section 10, “Where to Bike,” you’ll find suggested routes that are all off-road/Class I bike paths, great for traveling with children.  There are lots of HER Helmet Thursdays spots along or near Class I paths.  The map makes such locations easy to find, or contact me.
  20. Any more route tips? See bike maps section of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide. Also see “Where to get additional route tips” in “Partner Up with HER Helmet Thursdays Ecology-Economy Leaders.”
  21. We want to make a reservation. How can we estimate our arrival time? See “Estimating arrival time” in “Partner Up with HER Helmet Thursdays Ecology-Economy Leaders.”
  22. I’m a visitor and can’t figure out these locations easily. No worries, contact me for help. Other resources: bike maps, or local bike shops, or other bike community leaders.
  23. I’m a local and have bike-there tips to suggest. Great! Contact me.  I’d love to have your help, and to add you to the Acknowledgements page.
  24. We have expensive bikes that we like to keep an eye on all the time. See “Bike Security” section for some HER Helmet Thursdays spots that make this easy, along with other security tips.Security - Golden Fish parking
  25. My business [or organization] would like to be in this project, though we haven’t been invited. Outreach happens gradually in this long-term project, and there’s no need to wait. You are welcome to sign up now!

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Please contact me with any questions.

“H” = Hotels/other lodging

The Charter Participants/early leaders in the “H” category range from our local hostel to historic inns to large beachfront hotels.  See “How to Get a Lodging Discount” for details, and for additional lodging participants.

For the lodging category only, no need to bike there, nor to walk in with your helmet.* Instead, just:

Mention HER Helmet Thursdays, and either BYOB (bring your own bike) or rent a bike for one day or longer from any Monterey County bike rental location. A bike rental can be for all day on Thursday or Friday; the discount is on the Thursday night stay.

See “Rentals” section of “Tips” guide to find a Monterey County rental location. 

*Special note: A few lodging providers may state in their individual listing “show helmet/pump at front desk” as their way of confirming a guest brought their own bike).

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“E” = Educational attractions and entertainment venues

From museums to night clubs, from spas to whale watching, the emerging “E” category is flexibly defined and reflects the diversity of Monterey County!  Questions?   Please contact Mari.

Mention HER Helmet Thursdays—and show your helmet — when you bicycle on Thursdays to “E” places.

A few individual venues allow a cyclist to carry in either their bicycle pump or helmet as evidence they are cycling.  If so, that option will be noted in their listing.

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“R” = Restaurants/other dining and beverages

Included are formal and casual restaurants, wineries, coffee houses,  bakeries, delis, and more (any places with sit-down food or beverage service).


Mention HER Helmet Thursdays —and show your helmet—when you bicycle on Thursdays to “R” places.

A few individual venues allow a cyclist to carry in either their bicycle pump or helmet as evidence they are cycling.  If so, that option will be noted in their listing.

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For a list of the Charter Participants only–

the early leaders who created the foundation of this project–click here.


Please feel free to contact me, Mari Lynch, 831.375.6278.

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Notes about using the map:
  • If you notice a participating location absent from the map or showing up incorrectly, please let me know.
  • If you’d like help with the map, please contact me.
  • NOTE: Apple changed how it interfaces with Google maps. You may, for example, find that you can still successfully access HER Helmet Thursdays listings via the map when using a PC desktop or laptop but perhaps not via an Apple iPhone 4S!  Any remedy? For some folks, while not a convenient user interface, you may be able to get the desired results on your iPhone by using this method: Zoom in by doing a “reverse pinch,” or pinching on the white space underneath the map. Once you’ve reverse pinched, you may be able to do the usual:  Touch a red dot with your finger to access the desired information.
  • Troubleshooting the Apple-Google Maps access problem is pending available volunteer time. Contact me with questions–or better still, contact me if you are a smartphone wizard (preferably also savvy about Ruby on Rails) and may be able to contribute time to help make the map work better for smartphones.
If you found info on this site valuable

Please consider making a contribution to help maintain and expand these resources.  Even the smallest contribution is meaningful and appreciated.


HER Helmet Thursdays was launched Thanksgiving week 2009.