PARTICIPATE: For Businesses and Organizations

Return to HER Helmet Thursdays information Quick Links.

Make a contribution.

Contact Mari.

Below are “How to participate” details for Businesses and Organizations.

Already know you want to sign up?  Please use this online sign-up form or contact Mari, 831-375-6278.

The HER Helmet Thursdays project helps sustain our economy and environment, while it creates a more bike-friendly county.

Refer to the Quick Reference Guide on the Listings/FAQs page to see all participants. 

Curious who the early leaders were? Download PDF to view the charter participantsCharter Participants HER Helmet Thursdays – Final List

Photo at Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca

HER Helmet Thursdays promotion by

the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation Cycling Club.

Along with others, they spread the good news.

How to participate

If you would like to learn about the HER Helmet Thursdays project by phone or through an in-person visit, please contact me.  Otherwise, read the info below.

If we have already spoken, and you are ready to sign up, you may use this online sign-up form. Or, you may sign up by phoning me, 831.375.6278.

If you have an H-E-R business or organization, and it is in Monterey County, you are invited to sign up to be a participant. HER Helmet Thursdays was created and launched in 2009 in Monterey County as a public service. Outside Monterey County? Please contact me.

First, what does H-E-R mean? 

Besides referring to HER/Mother Earth,  who benefits from more people bicycling, HER is also an acronym for participating H-E-R businesses and organizations.

  • H=Hotels, and other lodging, such as bed-and-breakfast, hostel
  • E=Entertainment venues and Educational attractions, such as museums, whale-watching, concert venues, and a few you might not think of, e.g., spas (the “E” category is flexibly defined–just ask me if you think your business might fit in)
  • R=Restaurants, and related places, such as wineries, coffee houses, bakeries, and delis (any place where there is sit-down food or beverage service)

What does it cost?

As of June 2015, there is still no fee to participate,  no ads to buy.

This project is a community collaboration. You are encouraged to help spread the word.  See the “Promote your participation” section of this webpage for ideas.

  • You provide a discount to your customers/guests—only to people who bike, and only on Thursdays.
  • The discount is a percentage (between 10 and 50%) off the total tab, unless you exclude alcohol.  For properties that will participate in more than one category (for example, in both lodging and dining), if they wish, they may choose a different percentage for each category.
  • For “H”/Hotels/lodging, note that the discount applies to Thursday night lodging only.
How long is this commitment?

This is a long-term ecology-economy sustainability project, with no scheduled end-date.

At any time, just let me know if you wish to raise or lower the percentage of discount offered or to change your include/exclude alcohol policy, if applicable.

And if ever you must withdraw from the project, simply notify me.

How do people show us that they are biking?

For the “H”/Hotels/lodging category:   Guests either (1) BYOB–Bring Your Own Bike; or (2) provide a receipt for a one-day (or longer) bicycle rental from any bike rental shop in Monterey County. The rental can be for Thursday or Friday.  See “How to get a lodging discount” for more info.

For the “E” and “R” categories: Customers show a bike helmet, as evidence they either bike or bike-and-ride to your place.

  • Showing a helmet is required simply because it provides evidence of cycling.   (This isn’t a bike safety project to promote helmet use.)  No need for coupons, cards, or stickers–just show helmet.
  • If you want to allow your customers the option of showing a bicycle pump (or other evidence) instead of a bicycle helmet, that’s fine. Please advise your staff  by checking the appropriate box on your Staff Reference Sheet. No need to advise Mari of that unless you’d like that noted in your listing.
  • An option for elegant places that have hat-check rooms or valet service is to simply jot “helmet” or “bike” on the claim check, as evidence that the cyclist can show to the staff member who will provide the discount.

To sign up, here is all that is required

There are three things to communicate to me:
  1. The percentage of discount you would like to offer cyclists.
  2. If you serve alcohol, whether you want to include or exclude alcohol from the discount.
  3. Your email address for HHT project communication/for my use only.  (It will not be shared with others.)  You will receive  a “Welcome to HER Helmet Thursdays” letter from me via email within the week.
Your in-house arrangements
  1. You are welcome to request a later start date; otherwise, your start date will be the following Thursday.
  2. The Staff Reference Sheet is provided for your convenience.  Please post on employee bulletin board and/or copy and provide to staff members.
About holidays and  special event weeks

Project-wide, the discount normally applies every Thursday, year-round, excluding federal legal holidays and Monterey County special-event weeks.  The restricted dates are posted on this site, and for your in-house communication, they are also listed on the Staff Reference Sheet.

Some participants say, “We don’t want to restrict any dates!”  Others participants are concerned about dates when they are typically extra busy.

You decide what’s best for your establishment.  Your staff will need to know your decisions, in case cyclists call ahead to ask.  So, simply check off the boxes on theStaff Reference Sheet, to advise your staff whether you waive any date restrictions.  (No need to advise me.)

About peak season for lodging participants

If necessary, for the lodging (“H”) category only, you may specify further date restrictions for peak season.  If so, these will be posted as a special restriction in your individual listing.

Another option would be to continue offering discounts without any peak-season restrictions, and instead contact me to temporarily lower the percentage of your discount during your peak season.

The info included in HER Helmet Thursdays listings

  1. The Quick Reference Guide  immediately displays your business/organization name, address, and phone; the percentage of your Thursday discount; and when applicable, “alcohol excluded.”
  2. When people click on your business/organization name in the Quick Reference Guide (or on the clickable map, when they “CLICK FOR FULL DETAILS”)  they get additional information. This includes a link to your website (if you have one). It may also include a general description about your place, as well as bike-there tips. And it includes the HER Helmet Thursdays participant logo, and where to go for FAQs and other tips.
  • About descriptions:  If you would like a description about your place included in your listing, simply provide that text to Mari.  There’s a place to do this on the online sign-up form, or you may provide the draft text by sending Mari an email or phoning (831.375.6278)
  • No website of your own?  I can link to a review from a Monterey County publication.
  • About bike-there tips:  It is not essential that there be custom bike-there tips prepared for all participants, since people can use Google Maps (click the bike logo for directions by bicycle), and similar online resources.  However, tips prepared by someone who personally knows the local route are a plus, so most charter participants already have bike-there tips prepared by Bicycling Monterey. If you would like to contribute some bike-there tips for your location, please provide the draft text by sending Mari an email or phoning.
  • Questions?  Please contact Mari.

View a two-minute video intro from KSBW. Note that this January 2010 story is accurate with these exceptions: (1) The story refers to the project as “Bicycling Monterey”; the project name is HER Helmet Thursdays, and it was created by Mari Lynch, Bicycling Monterey. (2) The story somewhat implies that bicycle shops have been invited to be H-E-R participants; however, bike shops and other retail shops are not invited at this time, due to time constraints in this volunteer effort. Bike shops simply benefit too, when more people are out biking!

Promote your participation and build awareness of our bike-friendly county!

1.  Display a “Participant” poster, so people will know–and will tell their friends!–you are in the  project.

Different participating venues have different needs.   Here are four ideas for displaying the 8.5 x 11 poster announcing you are a Participant.

  • frame it and display it inside your establishment (some places put a stand-up frame on a countertop, others hang a frame on the wall)
  • laminate it and prop it against your window to draw in new guests
  • copy it onto clear or white decal paper and use it as a window decal
  • insert it into your concierge binder

Click on the appropriate “Participant” link below to view/print a poster for your place:

Any HHT Hotel or other lodging participant

Any HHT Educ or Entertain or Restaurant or other food-bev participant

If you’ve bicycled here quite a bit, it’s easy to forget that first-timers and others often have questions about bicycling in Monterey County.  Some participants also like to print the poster below and laminate it on the back of their “Participants” poster, pointing out the availability of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide and the many other resources found on the Bicycling Monterey website.

Tips for Bicycling Monterey County  and HER Helmet Thursdays

If you only have space for a 4.25 x 5.5 participant’s sign, here is a mini version of each:

MINI – Any HHT Lodging participant

MINI – Any HHT Educ or Ent or Restaurant participant

2.  Distribute mini-fliers (4.25 x 5.5 inches).

Higher quality (and higher printing cost)–designed to be printed in color ink (and preferably on card stock):

Economical design–print in black-and-white ink on regular paper:

For additional resources, click here or contact me (831/375-6278).

3.  Have an events calendar on your website?

Add HER Helmet Thursdays, as participating venues Paraiso Vineyards and Portola Hotel & Spa do, and as do others–e.g., bike clubs Monterey Off Road Cycling Association and the Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club.

4.  Put a link on your website.
  • As mentioned above, for all HER Helmet Thursdays participants who have a website, Bicycling Monterey will post a link to their site in their listing.  I also link to participants sites in many other Bicycling Monterey posts/stories.
  • You are encouraged to post on your website a link to HER Helmet Thursdays/Bicycling Monterey.  You might link to (1) your individual listing; or (2) the all listings page; or (3) the home page of  Linking to your individual HER Helmet Thursdays listing will quickly connect people with any bike-there tips to your location.
Here are examples…

of ways that others are linking to the Bicycling Monterey website, the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide, and/or the HER Helmet Thursdays project:


Linking to the Bicycling Monterey home page is a nice courtesy to help your customers and guests find not only the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide, but also lots of other information on biking in our county.

You or your webmaster may contact me with questions or requests for custom text or ideas, or other help (at no charge).
  • If linking to HER Helmet Thursdays, link to your individual listing (ask me for that URL) or All Participants. To obtain the HHT logo in various sizes (75, 100, 150, 200 px), contact me and request “HER Helmet Thursdays participants logo,” and I’ll email you a png image.
  • If linking to Bicycling Monterey, I recommend linking to home page.  For Bicycling Monterey banner, without “Mari Lynch,” please contact me and request “Bicycling Monterey banner.” I’ll email you a jpg image.

Optionally, you may also wish to:

1.  Email me a jpg photo of your place, with a bike, bike rack, or cyclist in the photo.

From time to time, I feature various participating locations on the website.  Having your photos at hand will make it easier for me to promote you, time permitting.   Check out these examples:  “Who bikes to work? This Heller Organic winemaker” and “Commercial Wharf II says, ‘It’s unanimous!'” 

Click on “HER Helmet Thursdays Stories” for other examples of how individual HHT spots are highlighted on the Bicycling Monterey website.

2.  Write a guest post about your location

You are welcome to contribute a short feature about your business or organization, as long as it somehow connects to bicycling!  Call me with your ideas.

3.  Make use of online social media

Online social media–while no substitute for in-person relationships–can be a helpful tool:

Twitter.  A small number of HHT businesses and organizations are on Twitter.   If you are too, you may provide me with your Twitter name, and I will follow you @HERHelmetThurs.  This helps me keep in touch with your news and to share your highlights with others.  (I also tweet about local and other bike tips–and announce new HHT participants) here:   @BikeMonterey.)

Facebook.  At this time, I have no additional volunteer hours available to be active on Facebook (or LinkedIn or other OSM).  From the small number of you who are on Twitter, I am sure most of you can relate to needing to use that time for other activities–including self-care/health care, like biking!

However, there are people on Facebook who do talk about or link to HER Helmet Thursdays/Bicycling Monterey.  If you are on Facebook and would like me to provide (at no charge) some text about your participation that you can post to your FB wall, just let me know.

Feel free to contact me (831/375-6278) for help.

Thank you for helping to make Monterey County

one of the most bicycling friendly places in America.

Creating and launching the project in Monterey County is a way to say “thank you” to my home county of over thirty years, and to the businesses and organizations here.

Monterey County’s participating businesses and organizations also serve as helpful role models for the nation, because the project could be replicated in many other geographic locations.   Spread the word!

If you’re in another location, check out the Goals and Overview of the HER Helmet Thursdays project, or just contact me.