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Bike to School: Year-round Monterey County school bike activity, for elementary, middle, and high schools


Elementary, middle, and high schools around Monterey County are featured in this post, including bike news and scenes. Scroll down below the “Stop” and “Go” notes, to “Schools in Monterey County: Support for Kids Who Bike.” 
In addition, you’ll find some general info about benefits of biking to school. And below the Monterey County info, this post includes some Safe Routes to School notes relevant for people outside Monterey County too. 

Short link to this page:

Below, among lots of other info, read about a program at Chartwell School looking at how biking can impact academic success.
Along the way, note the “Volunteers = more successes” section too.
But first, before going on to see what’s happening at a sampling of Monterey County schools, you may wish to consider…

Why bike to school?

KammannSchoolSalinasMay2014 from SCEEFAbove: Kammann School, Salinas, May 2014. Photo courtesy of  Salinas City Elementary Educational Foundation.

Even if your route to school isn’t ideal, consider a bike-and-ride or bike-and-walk option. Any mile of active transportation beats a mile of driving, and most children and teens find it’s more fun getting to school on two wheels, even partway.

Why bike?  If you’re thinking, “Biking is great, but gotta focus on studies first and foremost,” consider that “Active Kids = Smarter Kids.”  There’s also evidence that girls who bike had higher test scores.

What’s lost when kids don’t bike to school?”  David Darlington responded to that question on National Public Radio, May 2, 2012. Hear the 16-minute audio or read the transcript at

Schools providing bike-friendly resources are doing a lot to build students’ health–including preventing obesity and diabetes (as North Monterey County and South Santa Cruz County teen advocates for physical activity know), and much more.

When Dr. Hugh Stallworth retired from the Monterey County Health Department in June 2012, after a 42-year career in the field, he told the Monterey County Weekly’s Sara Rubin that the most challenging public health issue here is one shared by the nation:  childhood obesity.   He warned that changing this is going “to have to be an entire community effort. If we don’t solve that one, the prediction is this is the first generation where parents might outlive their kids. That’s one of my greatest concerns.” Biking can help!

For more benefits of bicycling, see “Why bike.”

This grandfather knows that biking a grandchild to school is a fun way to spend time together while modeling a healthy habit.

Bike to school with grandfather

Susan Ragsdale-Cronin agrees. This avid bike commuter mom (pictured below with her daughters) advocates for better bicycle infrastructure–including by serving on the Transportation Agency’s bike/ped advisory committee. Why? Because she and her family experience firsthand the  multiple benefits of biking! This Del Rey Oaks bike commuter mom bikes her daughters to school on a regular basis, from their DRO home to San Carlos School in downtown Monterey.

Volunteers = more successes!

Here are examples of how volunteers make a difference for Monterey County school children–including some ways you can help.
1. Monterey County boys ages 14-17 are learning bike skills as part of their education and treatment at the Monterey County Youth Center. A bicycle repair and safety class was founded in 2012 by a volunteer, and as of February 2015, the class continues to be powered by volunteers. Although skilled bike mechanics are encouraged to volunteer, there are also admin and other volunteer needs requiring no bike skills at all. Read “Teach Teens Well” for details, and who to contact if you might like to volunteer.
2.    For 2015, the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation are funding Bike Smart, a program of Ecology Action of Santa Cruz, to work with more schools in Salinas, and this year, in Castroville too. 

Elementary schools included within the 2015 grants include Castroville Elementary School, and the following Salinas schools: Bardin, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, Dr. Oscar F. Loya, Kammann, Lincoln, McKinnon, Monterey Park, and Santa Rita.

Historically, Ecology Action’s Bike Smart program  has been in Santa Cruz County. In 2013, they began being active in Monterey County (contracted in 2013-14 by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County).

For 2015, Ecology Action’s Bike Smart is again seeking local volunteers. To apply for a volunteer position, contact Kira Ticus, Program Coordinator, by email – – or by phone 831-515-1338. The bilingual assistant program coordinator is Nallely Ruiz: For more info, click here.

Background, 2013-14: Four rodeos took place at Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Greenfield in December 2013.  Four were done in May 2013 at Kammann School in Salinas; and in May 2014, Bike Smart! was at Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. Academy, Salinas (click here for a dozen photos) and again at Kammann School, Salinas. Kammann School is the location of the May 2014 photo displayed at the top of this post (thanks to Salinas City Elementary Educational Foundation for the photo). Learn more in individual school sections below.

3. Volunteers can help maximize the success of the Monterey County Health Department‘s Safe Routes to School Program under the Active Transportation Project (ATP); refer to  Salinas Valley: Pathway to Health. Contact person, as of July 2015, is Jessica Perez:  (831)755-8975.

(For archived notes about the Health Department’s 21-month SRTS grant focused on five elementary schools in Seaside and Marina, which ended 6/30/15, scroll to the end of this post.)

The Health Department makes use of Safe Moves and other resources in its Safe Routes to School projects.

Here are some ways students, parents, educators, and other volunteers can help make it safer and more fun to bike or walk to school:


Fostering Student Success by Preventing Brain Injury: A School Policy Manual for Safe Bicycle Riding is available online from the California Department of Public Health. The document goes beyond its primary focus of helmet use. Your school’s administrators, site council, PTA, etc. may want to look it over for ideas to help make yours a bike-friendly school environment.


Go, indeed! Go to your school’s leaders and see how you can work together to copy Monterey County’s 1st on-campus bike maintenance station.

As of Spring 2015, the Transportation Agency for Monterey County offers free bike maintenance/repair stations. Click here for details.

Did you know that Salinas High School has gone from empty bicycle racks to packed-full racks, with overflow bikes locked to fencing? In August 2012, SHS added a student bicycle maintenance station. That’s right! The bike maintenance/repair stand and tools are available to any student, courtesy of the SHS mountain biking team.  See that MTB team–and bike buzz from other Monterey County elementary, middle, and high schools–below.

Wonder if the SHS bike maintenance station gets much use? You bet! After the school day ended that very first week, eight or more students quickly gathered to work on their bikes.  Click here and see for yourself!

Tip of the helmet to Salinas High School! To my knowledge, this cool do-it-yourself bicycle work station at SHS is the first bike maintenance station at any public or private elementary, middle, high school, or college in Monterey County. (Following SHS, Cal State-Monterey Bay/CSUMB will have two DIY fix-it stations installed.)

Salinas High students need not worry if they get to school and realize their brakes are in dire need of adjusting. No need to fit in an urgent stop at a bike shop before heading to an after-school job, sports practice, homework session, or other destination.  Instead, students can stop by the SHS bike maintenance station and do it themselves.  Need a little air in your tires?  On the SHS campus, you’ll find this convenient maintenance station outside Mr. Warwick’s classroom, or rolling around campus. Questions? Contact Jim Warwick, 831-262-4152.

Maybe you’re an SHS student and thinking “Great, but I don’t know what to do with those tools.”  Here’s one solution:  There are basic bike maintenance classes offered by City of Monterey Parks and Rec for children, teens, and adults; click here.

Be cool on campus

Notice all the buzz around the nation is “bike to school,” not “bike at school”?  After you’ve arrived inside the SHS schoolyard, please walk your bike.  This is the campus rule for some other Monterey County schools too, depending on the campus layout. Unsure? Check with the school administration, or contact me.

[January 2015 Update: Apply for free bike maintenance/repair stations, bike racks,  skateboard racks, and more  from the Transportation Agency for Monterey County. Learn more.]

TAMC’s help is a wonderful option for local schools needing more bike parking, including the Big Sur Charter School‘s Monterey program site (below).

Big Sur Charter School MRY Campus April 2015 (3)

Schools in Monterey County:

Support for Kids Who Bike

Besides Salinas High School, what other support is there at schools in Monterey County for students who ride a bike? Below are a variety of examples.

Lincoln Elementary School, Salinas

When Ron Dillender moved from Monterey Park to Lincoln Elementary School, another Salinas City Elementary School, he started a cycling club there too. As of 2015-16 school year, Ron is now a Principal on Special Assignment for the district (no longer at Lincoln). Contact the Lincoln Elementary school office to see if that club is continuing.

If you have questions for Ron Dillender about starting an elementary school cycling club, contact Ron at the Salinas City Elementary School district office.

Monterey Park Elementary School, Salinas

When Principal Ron Dillender came to Monterey County to serve at Monterey Park Elementary School, a K-6 Salinas City Elementary School, he had been an avid supporter of kids biking for many years. At his previous school, Mr. Dillender had teamed up with another  administrator to create a bike club. Why? They knew that a bike club could help students become more active and motivated.

Mr. Dillender wanted to help his Salinas students bike too. At Monterey Park, another dedicated educator and cyclist, Cliff Siegel, supported this vision by giving a great deal of time, expertise, and dedication to make Monterey Park Cycling successful.

Monterey Park Elementary School students don’t just bike on rides with their cycling club. Among those who also bike to school is a kindergartner who rides, accompanied by her parents, the 3/4 mile back and forth to school every day. In the 2012-13 school year, this kindergarten student missed biking-to-school only five times. Kudos to Monterey Park for inspiring and supporting more kids in this healthy habit.

Some Monterey Park School students and their parents were among the people of all ages who came to the 2013 Intergenerational Ride celebrating Bike Week. It is thanks to those students–who were wearing their bright green “Monterey Park Cycling” t-shirts–that Bicycling Monterey learned about their school’s bike club!

Click here so you can learn more about Monterey Park Cycling too.

Pacific Grove Middle School

Pacific Grove Middle School teacher Dessa Murphy is happy that many PG middle schoolers are biking to school.  This physical education teacher knows the many benefits of biking, and she’s an avid cyclist herself!

Many schools around the country have a “bike cage” that is locked by personnel at beginning and end of the day.  Although PG Middle’s handbook encourages personal bike locks inside the cage anyway, schools nationwide recognize that making a locked “bike cage” available has the advantage of accommodating kids whose families cannot afford bicycle locks. 

Santa Rita Elementary, Salinas

Santa Rita Elementary School was the first school in Salinas to provide a “bike cage” so kids biking to school would have that easy bike security option.  Tip of the helmet to Santa Rita for leading the way in Salinas!

La Paz Middle School, Salinas

You can see another “bike cage” at La Paz Middle School in Salinas.  Even on a winter morning (the photo below was taken on January 10, 2012), La Paz  had students who biked to school and made use of the school’s helpful bike security measure.

Want to enjoy the views of those beautiful Gabilan mountains, as the children biking to school do (below)?  See tips for bicycling in Salinas.  Want to help get more youth on bikes?  See “Salinas youth and others for bikes:  Bikes make life better!”

Dr. Oscar F. Lloya Elementary,  Salinas

At Oscar Lloya Elementary School, planners likewise knew that having a “bike cage” means students can bike to school without worrying about bicycle security there. Nice!

Bardin Elementary, Salinas

Bardin Elementary also encourages biking to school by providing the bike-security measure of a bike cage. Stress about your bike while you’re trying to study?  Not at Bardin! And you’ll see lots of bikes parked at Bardin. Why? Here’s one big reason:

Taylor Farms partnered with Golden State Foods Foundation to donate 321 bikes to hard-working K-6 students at Bardin, presented on June 5, 2013.

The “Pedal to Perfection” program rewarded students with a brand new bike, helmet, and lock for demonstrating near to perfect attendance during the school year, as well as other outstanding behavior. The program helped raise student attendance rates and helps motivate children to achieve academic success.

Thanks also to a hundred Taylor Farms employees who volunteered to assemble and deliver the  bikes.

Here’s a big shout-out to Taylor Farms and Golden State Foods Foundation for recognizing the many benefits of bicycling, including for physical health and academic success.

Embedded image permalink

More support from Taylor Farms for Alisal District school children

For the 2013-2014 school year, Taylor Farms will again reward students at another Alisal District School (not yet named) with new bikes, helmets, and locks, just as they did for Bardin in June 2013.

In addition, first grade students get a different sort of boost from Taylor Farms at Alisal Community Elementary, Frank Paul Elementary, Los Padres Elementary, and Roosevelt Elementary. Every year, children entering first grade at these Alisal District Schools receive a new backpack, courtesy of Taylor Farms. And as every bicyclist knows, having a backpack can be a good solution for toting books and such while biking, so you can keep both hands free for the handlebars. Thanks, Taylor Farms!

Tiburcio Vásquez Elementary School

Tiburcio Vasquez Elementary School in the Alisal district, East Salinas, had 61 students who were each awarded a free bicycle and helmet on June 5, 2015. Why? Perfect attendance for the year.

This boost for students’ biking was organized by Salinas Police Department Officer Danny Garcia, with help from Officer Ian Parsons, the Salinas Police Officers Association, and the California Highway Patrol. It was made possible by donations from police officers, Alisal Rotary members, and other generous people. Gracias!

Bayview Academy, Monterey

Bayview Academy serves children grades K-8. Among support for students  is a special Bike Month celebration in 2015. Bike to school any day May 5-8, 2015 for a chance to win prizes. Bring your bike to school on May 6, 2015 for the Bike Rodeo, even if you can’t ride it to school. Free bike fitting, free bike registration, skills course, bike games. Special thanks to the parents and other volunteers who team up with the school to make this possible.

Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Greenfield

Cesar Chavez Elementary School had four Bike Smart! Youth Bicycle Safety Education (, aka “bike rodeos” in December 2013, thanks to the  Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) contracting with Ecology Action of Santa Cruz.

To help make more outreach in South County possible, Bike Smart! would like to build up a base of Monterey County volunteers. Learn more.

Chartwell School, Seaside

Chartwell School received a donation of 30 bicycles, helmets, and more from Specialized Bicycles as part of “a study exploring the relationship between cycling, outdoor activities, and academic performance.” See “Cycling and academics: Chartwell gets big donation with study in mind” by Brendan Bane in the Monterey County Herald.

Visit the Specialized website for related information.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, Salinas

Many students of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy walk to school, and a smaller number bike to school as well. For those bike-to-school students–plus the many students who simply bike in their neighborhoods!–Principal Kristi Burns wants to support them in biking safely.

Principal Burns knows that bicycling has benefits to physical, mental, and emotional well-being, along with other benefits.  She’d love to make it possible for more of her students to bike with the helmets required by CA law for minors.

The principal’s wish list includes securing funds to purchase helmets that can be given to students, along with bike safety instruction.

Principal Burns made that need known to Bicycling Monterey, who advised appropriate others of the need too–and they responded helpfully! In 2014, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy was one of the sites selected by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County for Bike Smart! Safety Training. And in addition, the school was gifted 13 bicycle helmets by Little Bellas.

This good start is thanks to Kristi Burns, as well as office assistant Maria Ortega, for being tuned in to students’ needs and expressing those needs.

The first Bike Smart! trainings at the school were during Bike Month 2014:

  • Monday, May 19 – 1:30-2:30 p.m. –  Assembly for three of the five 5th grade classes. (For 2014, Bike Smart! funding limited them to working with three of the school’s five classes. Bike Smart! hopes to return in 2015 and work with all of the school’s 5th grade classes next year.)
  • Friday, May 23 – Bike safety trainings AKA bike rodeos for three 5th grade classes  at 8:20 a.m., with all three being completed by 2:40 p.m.
How did the MLK Academy students do, and what did they learn?
  • Bike Smart’s volunteers found the MLK Academy students engaged, respectful, and ready to challenge themselves at the bicycle rodeo.
  • The students learned how to properly fit a bicycle helmet, how to safely change lanes, the rules of the intersection and how to communicate with drivers and other cyclists, and how to handle their bikes more skillfully.

Click here for a dozen more bike rodeo photos from MLK Academy, courtesy of Elise Ehrheart of Bike Smart!

MLK Salinas - May 2014 rodeo - IMG_1984

MLK Academy also shows it places a high priority on biking as a transportation option by the location of their bike rack:  conveniently located near the school entrance.

Kammann School, Salinas

Kammann School in Salinas, serving grades K-6, had four Bike Smart! Youth Bicycle Safety Education (, aka “bike rodeos” in May 2013, thanks to the  Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) contracting with Ecology Action of Santa Cruz to put these on for some 5th grade students at Monterey County schools.

Bike Smart! returns to Kammann in May 2014, with two presentations on Monday, May 12. The first, from 8:15-9:15 a.m. will address three classes, and the second, from 9:20-10:20 a.m., will address two classes (both are combination classes that include fifth graders). Then on Friday, May 16, all fifth grade students at Kammann will participate in one of the three Bike Smart! safety trainings/rodeos offered that day between 8:20 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Below is a May 2014 photo from Kammann, provided courtesy of the Salinas City Elementary Educational Foundation.

KammannSchoolSalinasMay2014 from SCEEF

Madonna Del Sasso School, Salinas

Madonna Del Sasso School, a co-ed preschool through 8th grade Catholic school has partnered with the Monterey Bay Racing Team to teach children bike. Madonna Del Sasso had a bicycle rodeo on 11/15/13, thanks to MBRT.

This amateur racing team brought its volunteers who hosted the rodeo/bike clinic to teach children bike skills and precautions to help them ride a bicycle safely. Riders were checked for proper helmet and bike fit. An eight-station biking course allowed kids to learn proper mounting and dismounting of a bike, how to change direction and turn in circles, steer through tight spots, weave (appropriately!), stop quickly, ride super slow while maintaining balance, and maneuver tight turns. Questions? Contact Don Chapin III, (831) 444-4130 or email

Salinas High School Cowboys Racing Mountain Bike Team

Salinas High Cowboys Racing team  photo courtesy of Jeff Lindenthal

2012 Team Photo – Salinas High’s MTB team

Read about the Salinas High Cowboys Racing Mountain Bike Team on this site.

Don’t have a bike and want to be on the SHS team? Or, have a bike to donate to an SHS student who’d like to be on the team? Click here.

 Monterey Composite High School Mountain Bike Team

Monterey Composite team photo courtesy of Mark Kintz

Monterey Composite paceline - daylight

Homeschool, unschool, public school, private school, or independent study:  If you are a high-school-age student from anywhere in Monterey County, you are welcome to be on the Monterey Composite team. No tryouts, and all ability levels welcome.

Read about Monterey Composite High School Mountain Bike Team on this site.

Palma School

Palma School, an all-boys Catholic college prep high school in the Salinas Valley, has started a mountain bike team as of January 2013. Initial contacts are Mr. George Garibay (422-6391) or Mr. John Pattullo (970-6537). Click here.

Rancho Cielo Youth Campus

Rancho Cielo youth have the opportunity to fulfill their physical education credits by joining Luciano Rodriguez, a teacher’s aide at RC, in racing at the annual Sea Otter Classic. (Luciano is a pro SOC racer and has raced there for 11 consecutive years as of April 2013.) The first Rancho Cielo student followed Luciano’s lead by racing SOC in April 2012, and in April 2013, there were five RC students racing in this world-renowned event.

Rancho Cielo students can also gain inspiration about biking by taking a field trip to Sea Otter, which is not only renowned worldwide for bike racing but is also a bicycle festival and features North America’s largest bike expo.

Tip of the helmet to Luciano for providing the necessary leadership to establish biking activities at Rancho Cielo, through a focus on trail building and mountain biking on the ranch property.

Stevenson School

Stevenson School (formerly Robert Louis Stevenson School/RLS) points out to their high school students that biking is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Monterey Peninsula.  Stevenson highlights local biking resources in their website’s Student Life section for the Pebble Beach campus (grades 9-12), under suggested Weekend Activities.  Clearly Stevenson School leaders recognize how biking benefits youth, and they want their students to experience the many benefits of bicycling.

Robert H. Down Elementary School, Pacific Grove

This Pacific Grove public school usually has an annual bicycle rodeo, thanks to parent/teacher volunteers from the Robert Down PTA. For 2012, it is scheduled for Sat, 8/25, from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

The Robert Down bike rodeo is supported by other volunteers too, including Hector Chavez, owner of Winning Wheels Bicycle Shop (831-375-4322), 318 Grand Avenue, Pacific Grove.  Basic bicycle safety checks are part of the mix.  If you have bike maintenance skills, call Hector and volunteer to help keep kids’ bikes in safe running condition.

South County

Click here to read an Aug 2012 report on Safe Routes to School in our South County cities of King City and Soledad.

Jack Franscioni Elementary School, Soledad

Safe Routes to School 4/26/12 presentation at Jack Franscioni 

Ride America for Safe Routes visitors were in Monterey County in April 2012.  They made a presentation at Jack Franscioni Elementary School in Soledad, then did the bike-and-ride to Monterey, where they camped at Veterans Park.  Click here for photos from their visit on this site.

Other Safe Routes to School activity in Monterey County

See “Safe Routes to School” contacts for Monterey County in Section 19 of the Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, and Resources page.  Be aware that these leaders are working hard to accomplish a variety of job responsibilities during times of austere budgets.  Ask what you can do to help!

Claudia Meléndez Salinas reported in the Monterey County Herald’s School Bytes blog on 12/21/12 that Ord Terrace Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Highland Elementary, Del Rey Oaks Elementary, and Marina Vista Elementary will benefit from a 21-month Safe Routes to School grant, beginning March 1, 2013.  The goal of the grant is getting more kids to bike or walk to school. [11/14/13 update: The grant did not start 3/31/13 as expected, as funds were withheld by the State. It only recently started and will go until June 30, 2015.] 

Monterey County Youth Center, Salinas

Some teen boys, from all over Monterey County, are in the care of the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Center, Salinas.  Their primary instruction is provided by the Monterey County Office of Education.  In addition, they have a variety of enrichment classes.

Among these classes is a popular bicycle repair and safety class–the first high school bike tech class in Monterey County!–which reached its second anniversary in April 2014. The class is offered to a small number of students at this time, but more volunteer instructors could increase those numbers.

Click here to learn about the Monterey County Youth Center bike class, and how you can support its longevity and expansion!

Youth Center bike safety and repair instructors Frank Henderson and Korey Ericson

Highlight other bike-friendly Monterey County schools

Add a comment to this post about other Monterey County schools with bike activities or events, good bike parking, or other support for student bicyclists–or a need for it.  Share a photo of bicycles, bike racks, or students or staff biking at local schools.  (Contact me and arrange to email a photo.)

Got teacher?

League of American Bicyclists local instructor Frank Henderson is available to come to Monterey County and Monterey Bay region schools and events.

For related info on this site, see:

Children and Teens section of this site (access it above the banner anytime).  Besides biking info, you’ll also find a few other youth-related resources such as Barbara Coloroso’s visit to Monterey County–Kids Are Worth it! Includes teen and Spanish/English free materials on the Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.

If you have children or teens interested in mountain biking, take advantage of the Monterey Off Road Cycling Association / MORCA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, where they’ll receive safety instruction while having fun. MORCA has regularly scheduled rides for a variety of abilities. Their activities are included on Bicycling Monterey’s master calendar, or to focus on MORCA activities only, refer to the MORCA calendar at

Consider that many kids in our county can’t afford bikes; maybe you can help!

Elsewhere in the Monterey Bay region

Additional Safe Routes to School support

Having participated in two recent Safe Routes to School webinars (Webinars 3 and 6 below), I know these resources are typically full of helpful info.  Please refer to the bottom of this post for links.

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The information below is excerpted
from Safe Routes to School’s Dec 2011 E-News:

Resources from Six-Part SRAM Bicycling Webinar Series Available Online
Access them at

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership hosted a six-part webinar series in 2011 that focused on bicycling and Safe Routes to School. A special thanks to the SRAM Cycling Fund for making this series possible. Hundreds of people attended each of the webinars.

A complete list of the webinars is below. Click the links below to watch a recording of the webinar and download the webinar’s tip sheet, PowerPoint slides and Q&A sheet.

  • Webinar 1: Getting Bike Shops and Advocates to Collaborate on Safe Routes to School
  • Webinar 2: Organizing Successful Bike Trains
  • Webinar 3: Bicycle Parking, Storage, and Security at Schools
  • Webinar 4: Funding, Organizing and Maintaining Bicycle Fleets
  • Webinar 5: Nonprofit Advocacy Organizations and Safe Routes to School
  • Webinar 6: Strategies for Increasing Bicycling in Low-Income Communities

Bike train for Monterey County? Hold that thought!

There is a desire to get funding to have a bike train to help kids biking to school in Salinas.   Check in with county and city bike/pedestrian committees to see if perhaps you can help with grant research, grant writing, and the like.

A note to philanthropists

Here’s an idea for a $15,000 gift that could be made to a local school or perhaps to the Monterey County Health Department’s Safe Routes to School efforts: See Dutch kids pedal their own bus to school!

Such a gift would not only be a healthy way for 11 children and their adult “driver” to get to school, it would also be an eye-catcher that can help bring attention to local SRTS and other efforts to get more kids enjoying active, environmentally sound transportation. 

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Archived Spring 2012: Bike to School Day

Bike to School Day in Monterey County means kids at participating Monterey, Salinas, Seaside, and Soledad schools will be celebrating their joy rides over free breakfasts.

Since its inception in 1995, Bike to School Day has been observed in the Monterey Bay region.

The U.S. Department of Transportation proclaimed May 9, 2012 the First National Bike to School Day!  Congratulations to @Bike2School in Bloomington, IL and other leaders in this grassroots movement. It’s terrific to work in partnership with others around the nation to support more kids biking to school!

Not sure your child’s bike is in safe working condition?  Take advantage of $10 safety checks and minor tune-ups at many Monterey County bike shops in celebration of Bike Week/Bike Month.

Archived June 2015: Safe Routes to School – Seaside/Marina

Former Monterey County Health Department Safe Routes to School contact was Jairo Hernandez – or  (831) 755-4752. [As of July 2015, Jairo’s work at MCHD will be focused on tobacco prevention. The Health Department’s new SRTS contact is Jessica Perez.]

The Health Department had a 21-month Safe Routes to School grant, as reported 12/21/12 by Claudia Meléndez Salinas. [Update to Claudia’s story: The grant did not start 3/31/13 as expected, as funds were withheld by the State. As a result, it continued until June 30, 2015.]

  • Five elementary schools were the focus of this grant: four schools in Seaside–Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Ord Terrace Elementary, Highland Elementary, and Del Rey Oaks Elementary; and one in Marina, Marina Vista Elementary.
  • On 5/17/13, in Seaside, a special bike safety event and ride for grades K-5 took place at Laguna Grande Park, organized by Debra Dunn and Susan Kent  of the Monterey County Health Department. [Susan retired, and Jairo took on her SRTS duties.] Up to 50 children received new bike helmets as part of the festivities. Special thanks to community volunteers and others who made this event fun and successful for the children: Frank Henderson, League of American Bicyclists certified instructor, who helped with helmet fitting and more; Rob Cepeda, Service Manager, Sports Center Bicycles of Seaside, who did many complimentary repairs; Cath Tendler-Valencia of Velo Club Monterey, and Vera Noghera of VCM, who helped out with registration, incentives, and the ride; Let’s Go Outdoors, a program of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District; Community Partnership for Youth; Nutrition Network; and Seaside Police Cadets. (View fliers that announced this event:
    5-17-13 Bike Seaside – English5-17-13 Bici Seaside – espanol
  • On 2/27/13, Susan Kent participated in a community TV presentation as reported here. Susan also indicated that among other tentative activities were Rock and Roll Days.
  • On 2/7/14, at the invitation of Jairo Hernandez, Mari Lynch presented about Bicycling Monterey and other local bike safety resources at the Safe Routes to School Committee meeting: Feb 2014_SRTS AGENDA. There was much discussion about the need for more mindfulness by drivers in school zones.

Outcomes: Based on local needs, the primary focus with this grant was pedestrian safety, including support for reducing motor vehicle speeds in school zones. This included, for example, encouraging the City of Seaside to support AB 321, which would drop speed limit in school zones from 25 mph.

The five participating schools received some bicycle helmet education and were provided resource binders with info about such things as how to put on a bicycle rodeo.

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Previously published 12/3/11.

  1. I love the idea of school based bicycle maintenance stations for students and have forwarded the idea to colleagues in the Santa Cruz area. Thanks for sharing!

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