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Bicycle Leadership Conference

Bicycle Leadership Conference week is a fantastic time to visit Monterey County. You’ve heard about the county’s Car Week? Well, we also have Bicycle Week, with Sea Otter Classic and Bicycle Leadership Conference.

For current details on Bicycle Leadership Conference, visit
Many of the tips below will still be relevant for attendees at future BLC gatherings.

Bikes mean business. And fun!

Welcome to Monterey County, bicycle leaders!

River Road Wine Trail Feb 2014
Below are tips for 2014, many of which are still relevant for 2015.

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2014  Bicycle Leadership Conference

and IBD Summit
Follow the conversations with hashtag:  #blcmonterey and #blc2014

Are you registered for Bicycle Leadership Conference?

Join other BLC attendees on scheduled group rides and by biking at every opportunity.  For info on rides, including demo and rental bikes, release waiver, and more, see “Cycling at the BLC.”

Bicycle Leadership Conference –

Are you registered  for the 2014 IBD Summit? [2015 summit will be in Tempe, AZ]

Join other Independent Bicycle Dealers/IBD Summit attendees by biking while you’re here too.

IBD Summit –

Who’s the guy at the top? One of the elders of the Monterey County cycling community tribe! He’s Robert Kelly, and he frequently bikes from his home in Toro Park, Salinas (home of Lea and Sabra Davison’s new Little Bellas camp) to his son’s home in Pacific Grove.  In the photo, he’s biking on Garden Road, Monterey one early afternoon, already been to PG and heading back to Toro Park.

Who are the three  locals greeting you from River Road Wine Trail? Ask @bikemonterey! It’s @katiepofahl and @kevinmiyar

Make the most of it!

Throughout your stay in Monterey County, when you’re looking for bike-related resources, start with the Bicycling Monterey site, including the main resources page. Tips? See the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide, a 20-section guide for serious cyclists and others. Additional tips for BLC/IBD Summit attendees are provided below to help save you time and enhance your fun.

New this year: Master Calendar for Biking Monterey County. For other Spring 2014 Bike Buzz, see “Sweet 16.”

Monterey County does not yet have a bike coalition, and the Bicycling Monterey site serves as the county’s bike information hub. Click here to learn more about Bicycling Monterey. Click here to see who is part of this grassroots effort.

Contact Mari Lynch with questions or for additional info.

Why visit Monterey County?

As Sea Otter Classic knows, April is an especially fabulous time for bike-lovers to be here. 

As this City of Monterey staffer does, BLC and IBD Summit attendees love biking 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach.

Ease schedule, boost pleasure

The Bicycle Leadership Conference convenes at the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.  The IBD Summit convenes at the Portola Hotel & Spa and adjacent Monterey Conference Center.  These venues are directly off Class I sections of the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail.  Be prepared to take advantage of that. Refer to Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, a 20-section guide of comprehensive info, including:

Using the Monterey Regional Airport?

Two secure, conveniently located bike lockers at Monterey’s airport; call ahead to reserve. Whether you want to reserve a bike locker, use Monterey Jet Center’s corporate aviation service, dine at The Golden Tee restaurant (a HER Helmet Thursdays spot), or just want to know how to bike to or from the airport, click here for tips for bicyclists using the Monterey Regional Airport.

The BLC Conference Hotel:  Best of Monterey County

The Bicycle Leadership Conference hotel of choice, the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, has again been voted in 2014 as Best Hotel in the Monterey County Weekly’s Annual Best of Monterey County Readers’ Poll.

The IBD Summit Conference Hotel:  Monterey’s Ultra Green

The IBD Summit hotel of choice, Portola Hotel & Spa, has been named Best Earthly Integration. The Portola is Monterey’s first and only LEED and EB-certified hotel.  Refer to Portola’s Green Initiatives for details.

More winning places to go

Best of Monterey County 2014 award-winners include 39 HER  Helmet Thursdays venues and 8 additional bike-friendly winners.

HER Helmet Thursdays is a long-term ecology-economy sustainability project that encourages males and females to bike. Created and launched in Monterey County in 2009, it is also appropriate for other geographic locations. Learn more!

What a perfect place and time to extend your stay!

The Sea Otter Classic

BLC and IBD Summit attendees are encouraged to extend their experience with a trip to the Sea Otter Classic.

You may wish to purchase an SOC  Hospitality Pass for a business associate or friend.

Just some of what you’ll find at the Sea Otter Classic
  1. Stroll through North America’s largest bike exposition, where you’ll find over 400 vendors.  Look for these exhibitors.
  2. Of course! Participate in or watch road, mountain, and cyclocross races!  From amateurs to world-class professionals, see who’s racing (and who’s participating in the Gran Fondo).
  3. Enjoy a fully supported recreational ride, Sea Otter’s Gran Fondo.  Choose from the Carmel Valley Route, Coastal Route, or Mountain Bike Route.
  4. Bringing a daughter to Monterey? Check out Little Bellas Day Camp at the Sea Otter Classic, led by pro rider Lea Davison and her sister Sabra Davison.
  5. Boys and girls twelve and under find plenty of free Activities for Kids all four days at the Sea Otter Classic.
  6. The Festival section of the Sea Otter Classic website includes everything from yoga classes to the Sierra Nevada Beer & BBQ Garden.
  7. Taking your bike to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Sea Otter? Visit SOC’s Ditch the Car webpage.
  8. Have questions? Sea Otter has answers. Don’t see your question among the FAQs? Contact an SOC team member.

While biking does benefit the environment, there are so many more benefits.  Among them:  Visiting history spots, farmers markets, and shopping districts by bicycle means you can avoid any traffic jams, get free and close parking, and have much more fun!

While you’re here for the BLC, IBD Summit, or Sea Otter Classic, stick around if you can. There are plenty of bike things to do on a visit to Monterey County!

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If you found information on
the Bicycling Monterey website valuable

Please consider making a contribution to help maintain and expand these resources.

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For more local bike-related and other tips

Contact Mari Lynch, (831) 375-6278, a Monterey County resident since 1981. You may have met Mari at the BLC in 2011 or 2012.

Can’t reach Mari immediately and have an urgent question?  Besides the Sea Otter Classic team, other reliable help is available from Jan Valencia and Frank Henderson (below), plus contacts listed on Bicycling Monterey’s main resources page, “Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, Events, Infrastructure Contacts and Other Resources.”

Jan Valencia

Velo Club Monterey Answer Man Jan Valencia.  On Twitter – @jvalen – or email Jan via the Velo Club website.

Frank Henderson
Golden Helmet Award Winner: Frank Henderson

League of American Bicyclists instructor Frank Henderson.  Phone, 831-755-6738 or email,

About the Bicycle Leadership Conference

The Bicycle Leadership Conference is the annual gathering providing a platform for executives from established and emerging companies to discuss industry challenges and opportunities. Joining them are other bike advocates, including representatives of the League of American Bicyclists, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and more.  The BLC is presented by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) and hosted by the Sea Otter Classic. For more information, visit

On Twitter, @bicycleleaders.

About the IBD Summit

The IBD Summit is a Retail Academy and Industry Networking Event created by Interbike and the Sea Otter Classic for top retailers.  This first-of-its-kind bicycle retail-specific summit will bring together progressive bicycle retailers to learn from expert presenters, key suppliers, and their retail peers on how to take their successful businesses to the next level. Retailers will benefit from an advanced level of education that builds upon the very popular education series at the Interbike Expo in September.  For more information, visit

Bike valet parking in Monterey County

Enjoy the ease of bicycle valet service, as violinist Laurel Thomsen does, at the BLC’s Monterey Plaza Hotel.

The same amenity is available on request at the IBD Summit’s Portola Hotel, and at numerous other Monterey County locations.

At the Portola Hotel, you’ll find avid cyclists among their valets. Ask for valet and avid cyclist Rodney, or talk with concierge Anne Roberts.  More great people to ask questions of about biking in Monterey!

Bike or bike-and-ride to Monterey County wineries!

The wine room below, Pierce Ranch Vineyards, is just above Cannery Row, near the Monterey Plaza Hotel.

Have a friend or family member looking for things to do while you’re attending business events?  Perhaps they’d enjoy biking, or doing the bike-and-ride, to a wine room. 

And on Thursdays year-round, all wine purchases at Pierce and other HER Helmet Thursdays wineries are at a discount for adults who bike. See “Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways,” which includes tips for avoiding a BUI!

Special indeed–biking in Monterey County! Below, Vera Noghera,  Velo Club Monterey board member, was greeting Ray LaHood and showing off the MST Rapid Transit Jazz bike-and-ride option.

Vera of VCM 12 Nov 2012 2439 (2)

Bike-and-ride options in Monterey County

Any mile of biking beats a mile of driving!  When schedule or stamina means it isn’t possible to bike all the way to a destination, consider a bike-and-ride option. 

Bikes are welcome aboard nearly all Monterey-Salinas Transit buses, as well as hotel shuttle vans, in a taxicab trunk, on the Monterey Airbus, and more.  See bike-and-ride section of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide for details.

Local news sources

What’s the buzz? 

The solar-powered, local, independent Monterey County Weekly is the largest circulation newspaper in the county.  It comes out late Wednesday nights and is available free at newsstands, on the Weekly’s website, and in a mobile edition.

Voices of Monterey Bay is nonprofit, multicultural news source launched by veteran local journalists Mary Duan, Joe Livernois, and Julie Reynolds Martinez in October 2017.

Monterey County Herald is a daily, a Digital First paper.

Gannett publishes the Salinas Californian and the weekly Off 68, along with the Spanish-language newspaper El Sol.

Carmel Magazine is a popular mag, as is 65 Degrees.   These and more periodicals, including the Herald’s weekly GO! magazine and Carmel’s weekly newspaper, the Carmel Pine Cone, are available free on newstands.

Most of the above also have online editions.

Additional Monterey County Visitor Information

The Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s See Monterey website is helpful, and their provides timely MCCVB tips.

Monterey Bay Adventures, from the Monterey County Herald, features additional things to do.

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