Overview of the Guide (with Index)
This Salinas couple loves cruising their town by bike! Click here for tips on biking Salinas, the Monterey County seat.
Tips for Bicycling Monterey County
“Bicycling Monterey is a great resource for tourists and residents alike!”— Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments
“Excellent resource for all things bikes in Monterey County.”--Richard Masoner, Cyclelicious
“Thanks to @BikeMonterey…for great tips that helped make this bike touring trip a big success.”–Stephen Zavestoski
Tips for Bicycling Monterey County© is an online guide provided free for personal use. This guide and the information throughout this site comprise nearly 500 lengthy web pages of bicycling information, useful to residents and visitors. Please respect copyright.
The 20+ sections of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County are accessed by individual menu tabs, in either of two ways:
- via the list on the opening page (click here); or
- by scrolling down the right-hand panel of this website.
HER Helmet Thursdays participating business owner Dan Vitanza of Pino’s Cafe hops on a bike himself, so he knows firsthand the benefits of biking. Not sure about bike routes? We’re happy to help. Here’s one example: identifying downtown landmarks.
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.
Contact me with your questions or comments.
explains to a visitor what’s happening with the harbor seals they are watching.
Below is a partial index to Tips for Bicycling Monterey County. In parentheses is shown the number of the section where you’ll find that topic addressed.
Besides the 20-section guide, the Bicycling Monterey website includes many more tips on biking in Monterey County. Some of this additional info is linked within the guide. Other times, finding it may require that you use the search window; refer to navigating this site for guidance. Please feel free to contact me (831/375-6278) for help.
The index is not a comprehensive one, so explore the guide!
- alcohol and BUIs (3)
- Amtrak (5)
- Andrew Molera (18)
- babies and infants (3)
- bells and horns (3)
- bicycle parts illustrations (8)
- Big Sur (18)
- big trucks and bike safety (biking near them) (3)
- bike advocacy (20)
- bike clubs (18)
- bike infrastructure (8)
- bike rack locations at shopping centers (12)
- bike shops (sections 7 and 8 )
- bike valet (13)
- Bikely.com (2, 10)
- biking in dress-up attire (13)
- BMX (18)
- bus-and-bike combo option (5, 16)
- buses and bike safety (biking near them) (3)
- buying a new or used bike (section 7)
- calendar of bicycling activities and events (section 10)
- California bicycle laws (section 4)
- California State University Monterey Bay/CSUMB (10)
- camping (18)
- cargo carriers and cargo bikes (3)
- carrying children and other passengers on bikes–equipment requirements by law (3 )
- cell phones and biking/driving (3)
- Central Coast Cyclo Cross (CCCX) (18)
- changing a flat (8)
- children (3, 9, 10, 14)
- darkness/night riding (19)
- earphones/earplugs (3)
- ecotourism (20, 1)
- electric bicycles (9)
- en español – buen ajuste del casco (3)
- en español – MST – instrucciones para cargar bicicletas (5)
- en español – en MST habalamos español (5)
- en español – compartiendo las calles de manera segura con camiones y autobuses (3)
- en español – INFORMACIÓN SOBRE LA SEGURIDAD DE LOS CICLISTAS
PARA LOS CONDUCTORES DE VEHÍCULOS COMERCIALES (3)
- environmental actions (20)
- farmers markets (17)
- fixies (18)
- Fort Ord Public Lands (2, 10, 18)
- Ghost Tree (18)
- Google Maps bicycling directions (2, 10)
- group bike rides (18)
- handcycle (10)
- hand signalling (3)
- headsets (3)
- helmets (3)
- HER Helmet Thursdays (14)
- high-visibility clothes and accessories (3, 15)
- history tours, self-guided (11, 16)
- Hostelling International (14, 6)
- hotels, entertainment venues, and restaurants (14, 12)
- how to avoid getting hit by a car (3)
- how to make a turn safely (3)
- laws (3, 11, 14)
- League of American Bicyclists Safety Instructor (18)
- legally required equipment (3)
- libraries (11, 5)
- loans/loaner bikes (9, 14)
- lighting on bike paths (19)
- Map My Ride (2, 10)
- maps (2)
- mirrors (3)
- Monterey Airbus (5)
- Monterey Bay Racing (18)
- Monterey Jet Leasing (5)
- Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association/MORCA (18)
- Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) (5)
- mountain biking; mountain bike rentals (18, 10; 9)
- Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club (18)
- night riding (19)
- organically grown produce (17)
- personal safety, including high-visibility apparel (2,3, 15, 19)
- police (3)
- polystyrene/styrofoam bans for restaurants (14)
- potholes, broken glass, etc. in bikeway (8)
- public transportation (5)
- racing (18)
- reasons to bike (1, 8 )
- rentals (9)
- repairs and maintenance (8)
- road/bikeway problems, where to report (8)
- routes/where to bike (10, 1, 2)
- safety (3)
- Salinas (16, 5, 8, 9, 11, 17)
- San Benito County (Monterey Bay tri-county region) (2)
- Santa Cruz County (Monterey Bay tri-county region) (2)
- Sea Otter Classic (18)
- security (6, 13)
- shopping (12, 14)
- shower and change locations (4)
- sidewalks (3)
- signs (3)
- state and county parks (10)
- stolen bike (tips for recovering) – (6)
- taking the lane (3)
- taqueria direx (14)
- taxicabs (5)
- theft prevention; also, tips for recovering a stolen bike – (6)
- touring by bike (18)
- tourism tips (11, 16, 20)
- tours, guided (9)
- trains (5)
- Transportation Agency of Monterey County (2, 3, 10)
- trucks–bicycling safely near them/how to avoid getting hit (3)
- used bikes (7)
- valet parking (13, 14)
- Velo Answer Man (18)
- Velo Club Monterey (18)
- volunteering (20)
- warm showers program (18)
- weather (5)
- wineries (14)
- and more.
Although you’re welcome to email me your questions, a phone call will usually get a quicker response. It’s fine to phone me (831/375-6278) anytime that’s convenient for you.
Questions and comments
Want to add something from your own experience? See “how to post a comment.”
Note: Pages (including the 20-section guide) differ from posts on this site, in that you can’t add a comment directly to the individual pages. You may still offer public comments about this guide as you read. How? Just open another tab in your browser and add your comments about the guide here.
Some biking-related links in Spanish are highlighted. To see those links all together, refer to Bicycling Monterey’s Spanish resources page; click here.
Monterey County is a language capital. Unfortunately, there are no translations of these bike tips.
You may want to make use of Google Translate to get the info on this site in other languages. For a short time, Google Translate button was on this site. Because it slowed down page load speeds–not to mention was far from an ideal translation–it was removed.
Here’s one English language tip: “bikes” and “bikers” refer to motorcycles and their riders, as well as bicycles and their riders. If you are misunderstood, using the terms “bicycle” and “bicyclist” “cyclist”or will help avoid confusion with motorcycles.
It takes a community
This online guide is a labor of love, a gift back to the tourists whose visits–offering world community connections–bless Monterey County residents. It is also an expression of gratitude for the local community, including fellow bicyclists, and this amazing Earth.
This guide reflects the contributions of many community members who love to help our visitors and residents. There is an abundance of resources on this site, thanks to the businesses, nonprofit groups, government agencies, and individuals whose own work strengthened and enriched this guide with so many fine links and other help. Their dedicated work is what makes Monterey County the wonderfully biking-friendly place that it is.
How the guide came to be
I’ve lived and biked in Monterey County since 1981, and I originally compiled this mix of tips with tourists in mind. (That’s why the slug for section titles says “tips-for-tourists”; to avoid broken links, it hasn’t been changed as of 5/7/12.) The Tips guide, and entire website, soon expanded to also meet many needs of residents who like to bike.
Although the guide originally focused on the Monterey Peninsula, info on biking in Salinas and around North and South County were added to the site promptly. The guide and entire website are a living document, constantly being revised, so check back for ongoing updates on bicycling all over Monterey County.
Sampling of bicyclists you’ll meet here
In addition to the bike community leaders found on this site’s Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page, there are many off-the-radar bike advocates and bike community leaders among us. There are bicyclists representing a variety of ages, fitness levels, and styles out on the Monterey County bikeways! On this site, you’ll see:
- touring cyclists, such as the Harrison family, Dieter and Nadja Binz, and musician Ben Sollee and crew;
- music lovers biking or doing bike-and-ride to Big Sur for one of the Miller’s hot concerts;
- more music lovers biking to shows, such as Lelia Broussard’s or Mike Beck’s, to the Reggae Fest or waterfront concerts;
- Sunday riders, perhaps showing some fashion flair, like Annabelle Bull and Laurel Thomsen;
- beach cruisers;
- ecotourists getting around to attractions with a lighter carbon footprint–while they have more fun!–like Chris and Alyce Broome of San Luis Obispo, Irene and Jeff Dibble of Sonoma, the Binz’s fellow German Daniel Grün, or many clients of Monterey Jet Leasing;
- commuters biking to work, like Rich Tanguay, Gabe Alvizo, and Diego Tapia;
- people biking at work, like these police officers, Carey Beebe, and Hans Auto staff;
- parents biking kids to school and just about everywhere, including Susan Ragsdale-Cronin and family;
- folks biking to the farmers market or other shopping;
- mountain bikers, like Aaron Magenheim;
- road racers, including those from the Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club and Velo Club Monterey;
- a night rider, or any other lover of bicycling!
This beautiful planet…know it and love it!
Spending time in nature is a great motivation for safeguarding it. Through cycling, you come to love the Monterey Bay region of this precious Earth even more, and will be increasingly alert for additional ways to help keep it beautiful.
If you’re a visitor, please return to bike again soon. And let your friends know too that Monterey County is a bicycling friendly place–the signs are everywhere!
This guide was revised and expanded from the previous edition published May 2009. Revisions are ongoing. All links were reconfirmed November 1, 2009; thereafter, please report any broken links.