6. Bicycle Security, including Unique List of Places to Go

Return to Tips for Bicycling Monterey County portal page.

Make a contribution.

Contact Mari.

Have an especially cherished bicycle that you just don’t like to take your eyes off of?  Scroll to the bottom of this page for a sampling of HER Helmet Thursdays spots in Monterey County where you can kick back, enjoy yourself, and still keep a sharp eye on your bike.

Lock it!

Take common sense precautions to keep your bicycle secure.  Here are some tips on locking your bike, and—just in case—tips on getting a stolen bike back.  (Thank you to Velo Club Monterey for bringing this resource from Jim Langley to my attention.) The Sheldon Brown method is also recommended, and here’s a modification to Sheldon’s method.

Kryptonite offers these instructions and special tips on locking up your bike.

See Bicycling Monterey’s Bike Valet Parking and Other Bicycle Parking section for more on locking up your bike.

For a few additional security notes, see “Parking your bike”  from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Bicycling magazine’s tips.

Hal Ruzal’s video, How Not to Lock a Bike Like an Idiot, is another popular resource.

High-tech solutions are appreciated by many urban bike-to-work commuters and others. Click here for examples provided by Heather Somerville, published in the Monterey County Herald.

If you’re renting a bike, a lock is usually included.

If you brought your own bike but no lock, purchase a lock at one of the many Monterey County bike shops.  U-shaped locks are often recommended; refer to Langley’s tips, linked above, for more on locks.

Among favorite bike security resources shared by City of Monterey Police Department are the following four:

Below:  The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) is another location where an electronic eye is kept on bike parking areas.

Serial number and registration/license – recovering a stolen bike

Having your bicycle registered, if your city of residence has that option, is a good idea in case of theft. Registering your bicycle is typically free or very low-cost!

Cyclelicious shared “How stolen bike recovery works in California,” and encouraged people to take advantage of bike registration if their locality offers it, as does a northern neighbor, Walnut Creek. (Just fyi,  Seaside Fire Station, 1635 Broadway Avenue, Seaside no longer registers bikes. City of Monterey Police Department does not register bikes either, and they suggest: put a business card or other contact info in your bike seat tube, and be sure to retain your bike’s serial number!)

You may want to register, for a fee, with the National Bike Registry (mentioned by Walnut Creek PD). Another option is to register it for free with Project 529.

Whether you register your bike or not, do write down your bike’s serial number so you are better prepared to retrieve it from the police if your bike is stolen and recovered.

And if your bike is stolen, when you return to the spot where you’d left it, be sure to note the address for the police report, and also look around to see if there’s a video camera recording the area. (Not only do some places–such as City of Monterey Sports Center and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey / MIIS have videos on the bike racks, as pictured on this web page–sometimes a property owner will have a video camera recording nearby that may still be helpful in identifying the thief.)

Engraving identifying info

Some cities do not have bicycle registration/licensing.  However, police departments and bike advocates encourage you to engrave your name or driver’s license number and state abbreviation in an obvious spot on your bicycle’s frame. 

Don’t want to engrave, in case you decide to sell the bike later?  Another idea is to put a small index card with your name and phone number, written in permanent ink,  inside the handlebar tube.

Don’t have an engraver?  Police departments, and even public libraries, often have one they will let you use.  Swing on by the City of Monterey Police Department to borrow their engraver, or contact PDs or libraries nearer you to inquire about availability.

If you spot a stolen bike on craigslist.org, eBay.com, a flea market, on the street, or elsewhere, it is not recommended to attempt to recover it yourself.  Contact your local police department (e.g., City of Monterey or City of Salinas) and provide them the information. California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and other local college students are encouraged to report to campus police.

In Monterey County, many bike club members and friends stay alert for stolen bikes and have sometimes been able to identify these and report to police, with the result being that the bike is returned to its rightful owner.

As reported by the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Jan 4, 2013, our Santa Cruz neighbors have created a related database with the goal of helping to recover stolen bikes. http://www.santacruzbikebase.com/ And further north, San Franscisco PD has an anti-bike theft Twitter account, @SFPDBikeTheft.

Project 529, a Sea Otter Classic 2014 exhibitor, is dedicated to preventing bike theft. Check out the Project 529 website to learn more.


For some cyclists, it may take more time to remove those detachable expensive lights, cargo carriers, and so on than they’d like.  When that’s the case, a desire to stop for shopping or a meal out will include factoring in how to deal with the security of those items.

There are as many ways to deal with this as there are cyclists!   One very basic example:  I usually have a little backpack on when doing shopping and errands by bike.  (I had a bike trailer when I had young kids, and I miss it–the trailer and the kids!  Now I wish I had a cargo bike.)  My bike repair stuff (ha! not my area of expertise) normally rides in a quick-to-detach pouch strapped to my bike, rather than add it to the weight on my back.   At any stop, if I am concerned about leaving my repair kit on my bike, I can quickly toss it in my pack and take it with me.

Of course, there are times when you’d find it much easier to just keep an eye on your bike!   At the end of this section, there’s a list of some of the HER Helmet Thursday spots where it’s easy to do exactly that.

Bicycle lockers and other storage

Bicycle lockers

For a list of some prime bicycle locker locations around Monterey County, see the “Bike Valet and Other Bicycle Parking” section of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County.

Overnight guests

If you’re an overnight guest in Monterey County, most lodging businesses have storage rooms designated for bikes, and some—e.g., the Monterey Hostel, a member of Hosteling International—have bike lockers for their guests.  Those lodging providers offering the HER Helmet Thursdays discounts can be particularly counted on to have carefully considered the bike storage needs of their guests.

Bicycle valet and other bicycle parking

One solution to bike security needs is to go to a place that offers bike valet parking, where valets will take responsibility for keeping your bicycle secure.

Refer to the “Bike Valet Parking and Other Bicycle Parking” section for some of these locations, along with other bike parking tips.

This valet at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa stands ready to care for Laurel Thomsen’s bike.

Bike security:  A unique list of places to go

Don’t wanna take your eyes off your bike?

Often you’ll want to bike somewhere that doesn’t offer valet parking.  Many HER Helmet Thursdays participants have other helpful options for bike security.

Here’s just one example from the “E”/Educational category:  Montellese Family Chiropractic extends a special welcome to cyclists concerned about bike security by welcoming them to bring their bike right on in!

And in the “R”/Restaurants category, here are many examples (not a comprehensive list) of places with good options for keeping an eye on your bike.  Some have outdoor dining where you can park your bike immediately alongside you or very closeby.  Others have bike parking within close sight of an indoor window table.

When being seated at a restaurant (or phoning to inquire, or to make a reservation), no need to be shy about asking for what you need.  These restaurateurs are especially committed to welcoming cyclists!

In the Alisal, can’t beat the convenient location of El Zacatecano Restaurante’s bicycle racks.


In Oldtown Salinas, Golden Fish is one place with multiple features making it easy to keep tabs on your bike: outdoor seating, picture windows, and bike racks within view.

Security - Golden Fish parking

In Monterey, Pino’s Cafe is one example of a place where you can keep an eye on your highly prized bike while dining!

Please note that the quick parenthetical notes are not meant to suggest that there may not be other options at these spots.  Just because sitting outside may be recommended here does not mean that the place won’t have other secure bike options for you in inclement weather.  Call ahead and ask!

The list below does not include all spots that may have especially secure bicycle parking, it’s just a sampling.  For all spots in the HER Helmet Thursdays project, click here.

Taco El Jaliscience at Madeira and Alisal Above: Tacos El Jaliscience, 505 E. Alisal (Alisal at Madeira) in East Salinas was a popular stop for Ciclovistas at Monterey County’s first Open Streets.After first-time customers tasted those sopes, they planned to return for more!

Note:  At present, most of the below are linked to their own websites.  Until time permits swapping out those links, to find their percentage discount for bicyclists on Thursdays, their bike-there tips, etc., please refer to their HER Helmet Thursdays listing.

  1. Abalonetti, Monterey (wind-protected outdoor waterfront deck/patio where you can park your bike)
  2. Bakery Station, Salinas (all  seating is alongside picture windows, making it easy to keep an eye on your bike parked out front)
  3. Cafe La Strada, Monterey (bike rack by front door; bike valet parking also available at hotel)
  4. Cannery Row Brewing Company, Monterey(outdoor deck with fire pits faces bike path and adjacent bike racks)
  5. D’Anna Thai Kitchen, Marina (front deck)
  6. De Tierra Vineyards Tasting Room, Carmel (patio)
  7. East Village Coffee Lounge, Monterey (patio seating with bike racks nearby)
  8. El Palomar, Monterey (ask to be seated on patio and to park your bike there)
  9. El Zacatecano Restaurant, Salinas (bike rack directly out front; request table near a front picture window)
  10. First Awakenings, Pacific Grove (lock bike on railing and request nearby table)
  11. Golden Fish, Salinas  (front patio and picture windows, plus bike rack within view)
  12. Guadalajara Grill, Salinas (tables alongside picture window)
  13. Hanabi Japanese, Castroville (ask for window table at front, then use nearby bike rack in viewing distance)
  14. Haute Enchilada Café & Gallery, Moss Landing  (patio)
  15. Island Taco, Carmel  (outdoor tables)
  16. Jack London’s Neighborhood Pub & Grill, Carmel (patio)
  17. Kula Ranch, Marina (ask to be seated on upper deck or lower patio, and to take your bike there with you, simply parking it out of the way)
  18. La Sala’s Bi-Rite Deli, Monterey (lock up out front and sit at window table)
  19. London Bridge Pub, Monterey (patio seating, or indoor seating in view of bike rack)
  20. Maha’s Lebanese Cuisine, Monterey (ask to be seated at tables out front)
  21. Paluca Trattoria, Monterey (walk your bike down Wharf I and lock it to our railing)
  22. Papa Chevo’s,  Monterey (large picture windows; also a couple tables out front directly on sidewalk, where you can have your bike right beside you)
  23. Peter B’s Brewpub, Monterey (bike rack directly alongside outdoor dining area!)
  24. Pico de Gallo, Monterey (front patio)
  25. Pino’s Cafe, Monterey (tables out front or sit by window; use bike  racks directly in front of Adventures bike shop, just across from Pino’s, or kick-stand your bike out of the walkway, along the side window of Pino’s)
  26. Plume’s Coffee House, Monterey (sit at tables out front, or at window seats)
  27. Point Pinos Grill, Pacific Grove (outdoor patio)
  28. PortaBella, Carmel (outdoor tables)
  29. r.g. Burgers, Carmel (outdoor tables)
  30. r.g. Burgers, Monterey (outdoor tables)
  31. Room for Dessert, Monterey (video-surveillance racks across the street, and visible from picture windows)
  32. Schooners Coastal Kitchen and Bar, Monterey (bike valet parking available)
  33. Tacos El Jalisciense on the corner of East Alisal and Madeira, Salinas (large picture windows, and bike rack out front in easy-to-observe location)
  34. Taqueria del Mar, Monterey (sit at window bar facing street, and park your bike right out front)
  35. Toasties Café, Pacific Grove (outdoor patio)
  36. Trailside Cafe, Monterey (outdoor patio with bike rack nearby)
  37. Turtle Bay Taqueria, Monterey (outdoor tables)
  38. Turtle Bay Taqueria, Seaside (outdoor tables)
  39. The Wharf Marketplace, Monterey (outdoor tables next to bike racks on coastal side, and outdoor tables on streetside too)
  40. Wickets at Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley (bike valet parking available)
  41. Wild Plum Cafe & Bakery, Monterey (outdoor tables)

Guadalajara Grill South Salinas