Posted by marilynch
Wine-ding your way along Monterey County’s bikeways
The pleasures of cycling from winery to winery
Maybe you’ve noticed the many wine-lovers touring Napa and Sonoma by bicycle, or even had a first-hand experience of the celebrated cycling routes through many European wine regions.
Watch for more cyclists touring Monterey County wine country! Why? Because of the early leadership of three local wineries who are sowing the seeds for a special MoCo welcome.
Dan Johnson invites local violinist Laurel Thomsen to a Cannery Row tasting room.
HER Helmet Thursdays welcomes the wineries
In the project’s second year, other wineries decided to join the fun!
- Cima Collina Winery Tasting Room
- De Tierra Vineyards Tasting Room
- Hahn SLH Estate Winery
- Heller Estates Organic Vineyards (Also see Heller’s winemaker who bikes to work!)
- Paraiso Vineyards
- Zeph’s One-Stop
What’s this all about?
H-E-R? For women? No, this is for males and females who bike.
If you’ve missed being introduced to the project: H-E-R stands for Hotels (and other lodging), Educational attractions and entertainment venues, and Restaurants (and other food and beverage service—which is right where the wineries fit in).
I invited just three wineries to be early leaders for the project, and all three responded with an enthusiastic yes! Other wineries are welcome; more on that below.
These Monterey County visionaries—foreseeing a popular cycling route along the Monterey County vineyards trail—are blazing that trail by giving discounts not only on tasting room fees but on all wine sales to cyclists on Thursdays.
All participants are listed in a new clickable map/database. There you’ll find the new listing format for
- Pierce Vineyards – see their HHT listing on new clickable map
- Scheid Vineyard - see their Scheid, Carmel HHT listing on new clickable map
- Pierce Vineyards is just above the bike path, in the lovely little house at 499 Wave Street (look for the cross street of McClellan).
- Scheid Vineyards is located at San Carlos & 7th in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Looking for Baywood Cellars? Sadly, they have closed.
Save money by cycling to these wineries on a Thursday, or simply enjoy the gracious company and fine wines of these popular winemakers by visiting them any day of the week.
Scheid’s former wine lounge on Cannery Row (above) has been relocated to charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Also in the HER Helmet Thursdays project is Scheid Vineyards’ Greenfield location! In Greenfield, Scheid features an organic chef’s garden, regulation-length bocce court, and horseshoes area. Sounds like a fun day awaiting cyclists at this wine-lover’s destination! Enjoy the converted century-old barn, have a picnic, and linger among the grapes.
Tip of the wine glass
This is just the tip of the iceberg. While the above wineries are the first, other wineries are now encouraged to come into the HER Helmet Thursdays project too.
It’s a pleasure to introduce this unique component of the HER Helmet Thursdays experience. Special thanks to cyclist Aaron Magenheim of Signature Irrigation for suggesting this addition to the project. Aaron is a Monterey County native whose family has supported MoCo cycling from way back; they helped prepare the track for the first Sea Otter Classic!
How can other wineries get involved?
If you have a favorite Monterey County winery you’d like to see in HER Helmet Thursdays, please let them know that they need not wait for a personal invitation. I regret that it is not possible to extend a personal invite to everyone!
I welcome them to contact me, 831-375-6278. They may refer to “How to Participate–for Businesses and Organizations” and there is an option to sign up online as well. Charter participants and all participants through the third anniversary date still pay no fee to participate; creating and launching the project is my gift to my home county of 30 years. [Update: The no-fee-to-participate policy is continuing into the project's fourth year.]
Safety first: Alcohol and biking
If you consume alcohol, a plus about biking is that you can have a few extra drinks and not worry about a DUI (driving under the influence) ticket, right? Wrong. In California, you’d still be subject to a BUI (biking under the influence) ticket!
Refer to VC 21200.5 in this overview of California bicycle laws. The California Department of Motor Vehicles indicates a BUI fine of not more than $250, whereas they state that the cost of a DUI can total $8,240 or more. Regardless, driving under the influence isn’t cool, whatever your mode of transportation.
Does that mean you can’t use a bicycle for transportation if you enjoy alcohol? Au contraire! As mentioned at the outset of this post, Monterey County isn’t alone wanting to enjoy the pleasures of cycling from winery to winery. And beer-lovers, too, have their own bike-and-brew ways to celebrate life, such as the Marin County Biketoberfest.
What’s important is to simply use the same good judgment about when it’s safe to get behind those handlebars that you would use about when it’s time to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Slow down, savor the wine, and savor the day. And when you’re ready to go, hop on that bicycle and find yourself enjoying the day even more. There’s little that compares with the joy of cycling in the fresh air, surrounded by the beauty of Monterey County landscapes and seascapes.
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