9. BIKE RENTALS in Monterey County — Also, E-bike Regs; and Self-Led-and Guided Tours

Short link to this page: https://bit.ly/BicycleRentals

Return to Tips for Bicycling Monterey County portal page.

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NOTE: Previously found in this Bicycle Rentals section, regulations about e-bikes and other non people-powered bicycles—including info relevant for people throughout the U.S.—is now in a separate post; click here.

People renting any type of bicycle are encouraged to become familiar with bike laws before riding. Start with Be Cool, Be Safe – bike law summary. For more info, see Bicycling Monterey’s Riding skills, safety tips, and CA bike laws section, which includes some local bike-related ordinances for various Monterey County communities. Note well in that section the local ordinances regarding sidewalk riding, which vary around the county (and around the state). For e-bike regulations, click here.

For the list of

Bicycle Rental locations

in Monterey County,

scroll past this intro.

“I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like….”

Maybe you’re a teenager on vacation with your family, and those lyrics from the Pink Floyd “Bike” song are all the bike you wanna think about.  But then a parent, like an alarm clock, calls you from dreamland:  “OK, everybody out of the hotel room!”

Ugh!—or  maybe not so ugh.  Gotta admit it’s a sparkling day around the bay.  And even the not uncommon grey days here are not to be missed.

Australian visitors just rented bike on Cannery Row 22 Dec 2013These Australian visitors had just rented this tandem because they figured out easily: Why bike? Best way to see Monterey, often even on the first day of winter–blue skies, sunshine, and warm temperatures.

Amy and Johnny’s fun travels included coming from Los Angeles on a motorcyle.

When they got to Monterey, they wanted to enjoy pedal power, so rented this surrey to travel this Cannery Row stretch of bike trail and beyond.

Tandem rentals?

Yup, if you’ve always wanted to take Daisy on a bicycle built for two, you can rent one in Monterey County.

If  you’re a visitor who has arrived without your own bike, you’re not out of luck. There are many bicycle rentals–and even some guided bicycle tours–available. (Scroll down this page for bicycle tours info.) Bike, and surrey, rentals are available by the hour or for a reasonable all-day fee. Normally included with rentals are bicycle locks, and helmets (helmets are required by CA law for people under age 18, and in some CA locations, required for adults too).

Are you a visitor in Monterey County—or a local on staycation? To get a Thursday night  lodging discount (thanks to the HER Helmet Thursdays project), either BYOB—bring your own bicycle–or rent a bike for one day or longer from any Monterey County bike rental location. (See a list of bike rental locations below.)  If you’re staying overnight at a HER Helmet Thursdays participating hotel or other lodging venue, your lodging discount for Thursday night may be enough to pay for the bike rental. That’s right! See “How to get a lodging discount” by renting a bicycle.

A Monterey County father and son, shown here on the bike/multi-use path above Wharf #2, alongside Del Monte Beach.
After renting a trail-a-bike, you may like it so much that you want to buy your own!

Since May 2009, Bicycling Monterey’s founder has donated well over 12,000 hours to the Bicycling Monterey projects, including this website. Contributions in any amount are appreciated.

Reminder: People renting bicycles are encouraged to first become familiar with bike laws. Start with Be Cool, Be Safe – bike law summary. For more info, see Bicycling Monterey’s Riding skills, safety tips, and CA bike laws section, which includes some local bike-related ordinances for various Monterey County communities. Note well in that section the local ordinances regarding sidewalk riding, which vary around the county (and around the state). For e-bike regulations, click here.

Bicycle Rental Locations in Monterey County

Rental locations are mostly listed here by order of new or significantly updated information. As always, check with each one listed for their most up-to-date information.
  1. Mad Dogs & Englishmen was unanimously approved by Carmel City Council on 4/3/18 to rent bicycles in Carmel-by-the-Sea. There will be no bicycle tours in conjunction with this business. (Related post: https://bit.ly/CarmelConfusion2.)  
  2. Bay Bikes became part of Adventures by the Sea in 2018. Perhaps you’re traveling with infants or young children, with limited-mobility elders, or with others who are physically unable to pedal much or at all.  But maybe they still want to be out on the bike path/multi-use trail.  No worries!  Adventures by the Sea rents bike trailers and carriers for young children.  They have surreys/pedal-driven four-wheeled carriages that work well for including differently abled passengers.  Their rental options include tandem bikes (“bicycles built for two”) as well.  Adventures has numerous locations, including, but not limited to:  (a) Portola Plaza (off the Custom House Plaza) in Old Monterey; (b) Cannery Row, Monterey;  (c) Lovers Point, Pacific Grove; (d) Pebble Beach. They also host bike rental stations at numerous places of lodging, e.g., at Monterey Tides, a HER Helmet Thursdays lodging provider
  3. Big Sur Adventures, Inc. — https://www.bigsuradv.com AKA https://www.bikebigsur.com —is operated by South Coast native Joaquin Sullivan.  Joaquin relocated the bike rental stand that was temporarily located in Big Sur to a new location in Pacific Grove, beginning approx mid-Oct 2017. Check https://www.bikebigsur.com for any updates/changes. (Note that Joaquin’s official business name is Big Sur Adventures, Inc., which is not to be confused with an unrelated business that registered the URL bigsuradventures.com.)
  4. Work Horse Bicycles, owned by longtime local bike professional Frank Pinto, opened summer 2017. As did the previous business at this address—486 Washington Street, on Griffin Plaza in downtown Monterey—Work Horse offers bicycle rentals, as well as being a full-service bike sales and service shop.
  5. Lake San Antonio South Shore may have bicycle rentals at the general store. Check with the concessionaire for details and any updates: http://lakesanantonioresort.com/contact/.  (The California Parks Company was an authorized concessionaire of Monterey County Parks & Lakes. Among locations where they operate throughout California are Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio.)  Related info: http://lakesanantonioresort.com/activities/hiking-biking/
  6. California State University-Monterey Bay has bike rentals for students, staff, and faculty, and they’re priced for a student’s budget. Visit the Otter Cycle Center section of the CSUMB website for details.
  7. Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove has a few bikes to rent also, as of August 15, 2012. These are for anyone to rent, not just registered guests staying at Asilomar. Go to the gift shop area of Phoebe Hearst Social Hall (also known as admin/front desk).  The bikes are ready for rental as early as 8 a.m., and they must be returned by sunset, since they are not equipped with lights.  They have a few kids’ bikes, as well as adult bikes.  The bikes are provided by Adventures by the Sea; check with Adventures for any updates.
  8. Blazing Saddles, 750 Cannery Row (sidewalk stand), Monterey, may also be continuing; check with them for updates. Seasonal rentals have included both self-propelled and electric bikes. Blazing Saddles was new to Monterey County as of summer 2011.  They are also in San Francisco and New York City.
Looking for info on bike sharing? See “Bike-share programs in the Monterey Bay Tri-County Region.
Our bike rental shops have equipment for cyclists of all ages,

because whether a baby or an elder,

nearly everyone enjoys health benefits from being outdoors on the bikeways!

Adventures by the Sea’s location on the Alvarado Mall, between the Custom House Plaza and the Portola Hotel and Spa.

Wish list: added bicycle rental locations

Of course, you may rent a bike for as many hours as you need and take it all about the county.  See bike-and-ride section if you need a transport boost for part of your outing.

As of October 7, 2015, to my knowledge, there are no bicycle rentals in Salinas,  among other spots in the county that could use them.  Biking Salinas is growing in popularity, and Salinas is by far Monterey County’s largest city. We hope there will be bike rentals there soon!  If you’re a businessperson and want to help make Monterey County even more bicycling friendly, perhaps you have a business in mind that could include at least a few bike rentals in Salinas or other parts of the county where bike rentals are needed, even if not a full-scale bicycle rental shop.

Wish list: recumbent rentals in Monterey County

To my knowledge, as of October 2015, there are still no recumbents for rent in Monterey County. Our neighbors to the north, Easy Racers in Watsonville (south Santa Cruz County) happily rented to people who want to rent a recumbent there, then take it into Monterey County.

Easy Racers also had high-visibility flags available–so wise for these low-to-the-ground bicycles that can easily be overlooked in traffic. Their blog featured used recumbents for sale, too. 

Click here for 10/3/17 update from the Santa Cruz Sentinel about Easy Racers.

Guided Rides/Tours

Also see “Cycling to Monterey County’s History Spots” on this site.

And see “Visit Monterey County” on the Sea Otter Classic website, which points out the bikeability of many neighborhoods surrounding popular attractions.

General Audience Audio Tours

While not created for for cyclists, the following can be useful:

For additional tips…

on bicycling in Monterey County, click here.

Know those cool Breezers rented at Adventures by the Sea? People for in the market for a good quality used bike may want to stay in touch with Adventures about those, because there’s a good chance that come end of summer, such well maintained bikes will be sold to get ready for the next year’s new fleet. Click here for more about used bikes.