Posted by marilynch
What’s the Buzz on the Monterey County Bike Scene?
Whew! Lots happening. And the Monterey County bike scene is diverse, as you’ll see.
Below, find 16 summaries, all chock-full of news as of Spring 2014. Preceding them are a few updates. But first…
What might you miss if you don’t check the Master Calendar for Bicycling Monterey County (short link bit.ly/BikeCalendar)?
Just two examples:
- 5/10-13/14: Monterey Bicycle Film Festival! See details on the bit.ly/BikeCalendar.
- 3/31/14: Monterey County cycling community was invited to ride with USMC veteran Rob Jones, pictured above. Rob bikes America to raise funds for wounded vets. NPSCC kept up with Rob from the Salinas River Wildlife Refuge to Bixby Bridge on the Big Sur coast. (Moi? I biked with Rob further south; Big Sur winds, hills, and ultra-fit Rob’s condition meant I biked with him only a very teensy way!)
Below: Dan Vitanza at Pino’s Cafe
Ma Earth says, “You rock.”
Well, you roll.
And we love that about all of you,
whether you’re a local or
visiting person who bikes.
Let us whisper in your ear 16 sweet somethings
that are part of the Monterey County bike scene
as Spring 2014 gets into full swing.
The “Sweet 16 list” below includes updates such as the following:
- Bike Month 2014, including details on the Intergenerational Ride
- Regional Transportation Plan – don’t whine later, give your input now
- CA High School mountain biking state championships at Laguna Seca
- a Ciclovia Salinas advocate was named an Outstanding Woman of Monterey County, then was off to spread Open Streets love from Salinas to the nation at the National Open Streets Summit
- Cima Collina Winery moved their tasting room
- 47 bike-friendly Best of Monterey County 2014 award-winners include 39 HER Helmet Thursdays spots, among them the Best New Business of Monterey County
- third Salinas Burrito Bike Ride, which was fun, fun, fun
- Gears 4 Good is getting the word out with a new jersey (scroll to end)
* * *
Monterey County bike advocacy has received much attention, nationally and locally.
(a) The Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women named a volunteer from the Ciclovia Salinas youth committee as one of 2014’s Outstanding Women of Monterey County! Click here for the Outstanding Women buzz. And she’s heading to the National Bike Summit to share the good news about Ciclovia Salinas. Click here. (b) Ten individuals from throughout the U.S. were selected by the Alliance for Biking & Walking as finalists for a Joyful Enthusiasm Award, presented at the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. One of those finalists is a volunteer bike advocate in Monterey County. Click here for the Joyful Enthusiasm buzz. (c) Six of ten TAMC Transportation Excellence Awards for 2013, awarded on January 22, 2014, went to bike advocacy! Learn who these award-winning bike advocates are, and how each one makes our county a more bike-friendy place. Click here for the Transportation Excellence Awards post. (d) And 47 winners who help make Monterey County a better place for people who bike were honored in the Monterey County Weekly’s annual readers poll. Click here for the 2014 Best of Monterey County post.
- Road advisory–and fun advisory: Amgen Tour of California’s Monterey-to-Cambria route for May 14, 2014 was officially unveiled Feb 20th by pro racer and Watsonville dad Ben Jacques-Maynes and others: http://bit.ly/AmgenMonterey Bet few knew before reading that post (unless they follow @bikemonterey on Twitter) that this Santa Cruz County father is a helpful advocate when he’s training on Monterey County bikeways. Besides the Amgen Stage 4 Start bringing a big buzz to downtown Monterey, there will also be quite a spectacle for Big Sur and other Highway 1 South travelers, and others, to observe.
- First come “bike industry big boys, and girls!” along with about 10,000 pro and amateur cyclists and 65,000 additional bike enthusiasts. Yes, it’s the annual Bicycle Leadership Conference and IBD Summit, and Monterey County’s Sea Otter Classic, world-renowned bicycle races, festival, and more. The 24th Annual Sea Otter Classic is April 10-13, 2014. Sure, the racing is extraordinary–and this year, it includes enduro racing too! Beyond racing, there’s much more to SOC, for children, teens, and adults with diverse forms of bike-love. A few examples: (a) You will find by April 10th that over 400 exhibitors are registered to have booths at the Sea Otter Expo, which is North America’s largest consumer bike exposition. (b) Visiting and local girls ages 8-13 are thrilled that Little Bellas day camp is back! (c) Women’s outreach enthusiasts…are also glad that SOC offered a new 60+ women race op. After all, the women and SOC agree, why stop now? (d) Magicshine night ride returns. We love biking in the dark! (e) Is this your year for a fully supported Gran Fondo recreational ride? (f) Visit the SOC website for much more. And remind your friends that Sea Otter Classic is a family-friendly festival, with special activities for boys and girls 12 and under among the big draws in the Sea Otter Village. (g) Remember to check Bicycling Monterey’s Master Calendar for some other SOC-week activities, including 4/11 Monterey showing of “Won’t Back Down: The Story of Legendary Mountain Biker Steve Peat.”
- New info is frequently added to existing Bicycling Monterey posts as it becomes available, rather than putting up new posts. Two examples: (a) “How to Avoid Crashes…” now has a link to local Bike League LCI Frank Henderson’s interview aired KION February 12, 2014 in response to Salinas Road cyclist fatality. That interview is a rare opportunity to see Frank biking in a sport coat and slacks. To all who know Frank: Go ahead, tease that typically spandex-clad bike commuter about being a bike fashionista now! (b) “Spinning Spokes and Telling Jokes” now has a link to the Salinas Californian’s feature about fixie riders, including Jesse Martines. Whether Jess is on a fixie or another type of bike, he is a role model with a growing street cred for being not only a fun ride companion but a safety conscious one too. And at the 3/23/14 Salinas Burrito Bike Ride, every time I looked around, here’s what I saw: these same fixie riders able to be present (Jess was working) were among the safest, most courteous riders of this large group. They’re clearly savvy about the importance of being predictable on group rides and in traffic. Way to go!
- A little club buzz: Three local bike clubs are especially active bike community advocates, including spreading the buzz about HER Helmet Thursdays via their club websites. They know a quick-and-easy way to tell their visiting and local bike buddies about places where it’s easy to keep an eye on your bike while you’re chill-axing after a hard ride: they refer them to the unique list in Bicycling Monterey’s bike security section! Here’s more about this trio of local clubs: (a) MORCANs faithfully show that Fort Ord lands, and trails beyond, are a beauty worth maintaining. Join them on trail work days as well as rides and other activities. (b) Whoosh! Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club members whiz by on their club training rides, yet are ever the courteous roadies and great ambassadors for our local bike community. Catch up and visit with NPSCC at the Intergenerational Ride for Bike Month, Sea Otter Classic, Big Sur Marathon, Wildflower Triathlon, and elsewhere–including at Mazda Raceway’s monthly Twilight Rides. (c) And Velo Club Monterey? Grab a cup of tea and put your feet up if you want to read a sampling of VCM’s local bike advocacy! Besides, it’s fun to see our roadies as fashionistas—you’ll see Vera on my bike, and Mireya on Peter Krol’s BMX. We were delighted to meet Peter. And he’s become a new teaching assistant for Monterey County Youth Center bike class!
- “Wish I could find all local bike dates in one place!” you say? Maybe someday you can. That’s a goal of the Master Calendar for Bicycling Monterey County, launched October 2013. It already integrates the MORCA calendar, along with many VCM, TAMC, and other biking or bike-related activities and events open to the public. Make this calendar more comprehensive by adding your activities and events too; see “how to submit” on the http://bit.ly/BikeCalendar page. Here’s some of what you’ll find on the calendar: (a) Want more good bike infrastructure? Sure you do! Give your input on TAMC’s draft 2014 Regional Transportation Plan; public hearing is 3/26/14 and comment deadline is 4/8/14. (b) You didn’t know about the bike maintenance class with Erick Chavez April 28? It’s been on the bike calendar for months! (c) You keep forgetting about the monthly Twilight Rides? They’re on this calendar!And BTW, one purpose of the bike calendar is to reduce my computer hours and increase my saddle hours. You can help by submitting your dates!
- Mark your calendar now for May 10, 2014 and show your bike community colors at the 3rd Annual Intergenerational Ride for Bike Month. All ages and abilities are welcome! As with previous years, it would very much be appreciated to have the participation of one or more representatives from all local bike-related organizations (big or small), as well as from under-the-radar social ride groups, etc. Please contact Mari. The Intergenerational Ride begins with brief intros, which is a time when attendees can get an idea of the diversity of our bike community. While riding, or while socializing at the lunchtime mid-point, it’s a good op also to share further, if you wish. Besides this being a time to support new riders, it’s also a fun day to hook up with others from the local bike community, perhaps some of those you missed at the November potluck with our visitors from the California Bicycle Coalition.
- Additional 2014 Monterey County Bike Week / Bike Month (month of May) buzz will be coming. [Update: Click here for 2014 Bike Month poster and details.] From 1995-2012, many people enjoyed the Transportation Agency for Monterey County’s steady celebration of bicycling each May. As TAMC’s website shows, TAMC took a year off from regular Bike Week activities in 2013—although Monterey County celebrants rolled on, as noted by MBUAPCD/Air Pollution Control. For 2014, TAMC’s Bike Week / Bike Month will be back. Stay tuned to TAMC’s Bike/Ped Faciities Advisory Committee. As TAMC’s plans are confirmed, dates will also be posted to the http://bit.ly/BikeCalendar. You’ll already see on the calendar some exciting happenings for May, including CA State Championships for High School Mountain Biking, Amgen Tour of California, and more. Below, Mari’s daughter in 1996.
- Visitors and locals looking for a fresh urban scene will find it in the Monterey County seat on Ciclovia Salinas dates. Listen:
(a) If you can, please help secure the 2014 Ciclovia Salinas date(s) by offering to serve as a barricade volunteer. Or, volunteer another way, or just support our local Open Streets by simply attending. Invite others too! (b) Speaking of Salinas, did you hear about the 3/23/14 Burrito Bike Ride? Check out that link for an overview of these rides (this was the third). You’ll also find info on how to be a better ambassador for the Salinas bike community, so when decision-makers get ready to vote on bicycle infrastructure, like that directly below, they’ll feel good about helping more people bike!(c) Monterey County Public Works gets it that people are moving out of the novels and into the streets of Steinbeck’s hometown, and they’re helping improve infrastructure, most recently through this project: Funds have been approved for bike lanes on Davis Road, from Rossi Street to Blanco Road.
- Monterey County’s current Safe Routes to School coordinator, Jairo Hernandez, would love to hear from people who’d like to be on the volunteer list for upcoming activities at Marina and Seaside elementary schools. Please lend a hand! Details in Kids Bike to School.
- For the second year, TAMC has contracted with Ecology Action of Santa Cruz’s Bike Smart program to again put on bicycle safety training/bike rodeos at some Monterey County schools. Eco Act/Bike Smart is seeking Monterey County volunteers. Details in Kids Bike to School.
- Recumbents? Didn’t know there was a new local ride group! Yes, a recumbent ride group formed in October 2013. Ask Fred, Leo, or others for updates.
- Lodging, winery, museums, bake shop, and restaurants are the most recent additions to the HER Helmet Thursdays project. Yes, they’re all among the places that give Thursday discounts to males and females who bike. Newest spot, as of 4/5/14, is renowned restaurateur Bill Lee’s new Lucky’s Roadside in Seaside. New on St. Patrick’s Day 2014 is The Wharf Marketplace, directly on the coastal trail in Monterey. (And three days later, The Wharf Marketplace was named 2014’s Best New Business of Monterey County by Monterey County Weekly readers.) And in #13-a directly below, others of the most recent businesses and organizations to join the project are highlighted. In addition, the latest Quick Reference Guide includes a new address for Cima Collina Winery, which has moved its tasting room from Carmel-by-the-Sea to Carmel Valley. (a) Besides Lucky’s Roadside and The Wharf Marketplace, others of the newest additions are: 400° Gourmet Burgers & Fries, Carmel; Angelina’s Pizzeria, Salinas; Baan Thai, Seaside; Bistro Abrego, Monterey; Café Stravaganza, Carmel; Caffé Trieste, Monterey; De Tierra Vineyards Tasting Room, Carmel; Grasings, Carmel; Hofsas House Hotel, Carmel; la Balena, Carmel; Monterey Museum of Art-La Mirada, Monterey; Monterey Museum of Art-Pacific Street, Monterey; Room for Dessert, Monterey; Sarita’s the Original, Monterey; and Stravaganza Grill, King City. Welcome! Please support these and the hundreds of other places that give discounts on Thursdays to people who bike. See each one’s details in the Quick Reference Guide:
Note: The most recent version of the guide is always posted on the Listings/FAQs page. And those FAQs/frequently asked questions have been updated too, with answers to someone’s questions about helmets.) Enjoy! (b) If you won a prize from one of ten local bike shops in the HER Helmet Thursdays 4th anniversary drawing, consider giving them a shout-out of appreciation by posting a comment below, or on the anniversary post. (c) The HER Helmet Thursdays project requires many, many hours for maintenance and expansion, and volunteers are welcome. Contact Mari.
- As Coach Mark Kintz of Monterey Composite said, “Race season is upon us!”
(a) Even though it’s not the time of year to encourage interested youth to join Monterey Composite, you might whet their appetite for next season by taking them to observe a race. Youth who are in grades 9-12 and don’t have a bike team at their public, private, or home/unschool are welcome to join. Next October will be the ideal time. Monterey Composite is appropriate for any grades 9-12 youth in the county, except those attending Salinas High and Palma, which have their own teams. (b) On 5/11/14, look for local teams at the CA State Championships at Laguna Seca! Click here for details, along with a story about the girls and guys of Salinas High and their winning streak. (c) Speaking of high school bike teams, check out Awesome Coaches of Monterey County. NICA named SHS head coach Jeff Lindenthal a NICA hypebeast for his shout-out to fellow coach Jim Warwick.
- Monterey County’s local bike shops are no longer individually listed on Bicycling Monterey’s main resources page. Instead, a link on that page takes you to the Bike Shops section of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide, where all local shops are listed. Why this change? Because the main resources page, which began as a local bike shops page, has grown to include 29 additional sections of resources!
- Are you into BMX, even if not as much as Shawn Carden? Would you like more local BMX ops, like Bryan Perez would? Get in touch ASAP with your input. Contact Mari.
What? You have some Monterey County bike buzz to add to this Sweet 16 list?
Not surprised, since this is not a comprehensive list! (a) Please share your buzz by adding a comment on this post. (Click here if you have questions about posting a comment.) (b) Or, if your buzz is an upcoming Monterey County bike-related activity or event open to the public, submit it by email for the http://bit.ly/BikeCalendar.
To successfully continue in the sixth year…
- Financial Contributors—people who contribute money to help with the expenses of the site or the projects. No fundraisers have been held, and Financial Contributors are, thus far, few in number. Each one is deeply appreciated! More Financial Contributors are needed, because total contributions from May 2009 through February 2014—1,736 days—were $1,780, or $1.02 per day. All other expenses have been personally paid by Mari (in addition to her volunteering her time for the website and all other Bicycling Monterey projects).
- Contributors of Project Supplies provide items ranging from helmets for youth to bike parts for Youth Center bike class. These contributors too are appreciated, because without their support, some projects could not be successful.
- Bottom line: May 2014 will mark the close of the fifth year of the Bicycling Monterey website and projects, which are still an entirely volunteer gig for Mari. As the sixth year dawns, if you value the site and projects, please help by contributing 5, 10, 25, or 100 dollars or more, if you can.
Many small contributions would add up to make a world of difference!
One more update!
On April 10-13, look for Gears 4 Good at booth 180 out at Sea Otter Classic. Or come May 10 to the Intergenerational Ride for Bike Month, where Gears 4 Good founder Steve Benes will serve as a complimentary mobile bike mechanic. (More about both events below.)
All photos were taken in Monterey County, and all by Mari Lynch, except:
3b – Lea and Sabra Davison, Little Bellas
3d – Monterey Composite
14 a – Monterey Composite
14b – Jeff Lindenthal, Salinas High Cowboys Racing MTB Team
16 – José G. Ortiz and Bryan Perez
Lots of people don’t know there’s a car-free bike/multi-use path behind Creekbridge shopping in Salinas, adjacent to Monterey County Vietnam Veterans Memorial. But this family does! Mom and Dad jog along beside the children while the kids practice their two-wheeler skills. Find more Salinas biking tips here.