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Biking Chic á la Monterey County

In this post, see a sampling of people who bike sans spandex in Monterey County.  For more such local photos, and tips on biking in “non-cycling” attire, click here.

Maddox - Bow Tie Soul - IMG_1451 (2)Above: Maddox, “Bow Tie Soul.”

Following an injury while on military duty in Iraq, Maddox Habberdasher came to the Presidio of Monterey. And after his Army discharge, he decided to make Monterey County his permanent home. The locals are glad; read why in a story by Beth Peerless, “Meet Maddox Haberdasher, stylish party-thrower,” in the Monterey Herald.

On November 19, 2017, Maddox inspired what was—to our knowledge—the first tweed ride in Monterey County. A celebration of Maddox’s birthday, it has been referred to as the “first unofficial annual tweed ride.” The ride photos can be viewed on Facebook at

Above: Rosaleen Trambley of Carmel.

Although she’d set aside her helmet for the photo, when it comes to pedaling, this young mother and institutional research director is a devotee of donning a helmet. Legally required for people under 18 in California, many adults wear them too, including Rosaleen. “Helmet hair? Who cares! I can fluff up my hair on arrival. No big deal!”

What Bicycling Monterey wants to know is: If Rosaleen taps the heels of her ruby slippers together three times, will she get home faster?

Below: when it’s Concours d’Elegance  time/ Monterey Car Week

Traffic is thick, and not just in Pebble Beach.  Biking to work during Car Week made much more sense than driving to the young woman below.  Here she paused for photos opposite the Naval Postgraduate School, on the Class I bike/multi-use path that parallels Del Monte Avenue.

(Okay, we’ve got the photo of your happy face, thanks! You can  reposition your helmet now.)

She knows that much of the time, Del Monte Avenue is packed with traffic (see below), while people on bicycles aren’t slowed down unless they want to be!

Rob, Sarah, and Judy heading back to Ft Ord Dunes post-lunch. Sure glad we're on the bike path and not in a car stuck on Del Monte Avenue.

The San Diego visitor below…

likes mountain biking, and if she comes back to race in a Sea Otter Classic MTB competition—or if she has a little sister who wants to be part of SOC’s Little Bellas day camp—of course, different attire is in order.  

But when she hopped on my bike while waiting for the Monterey Airbus, she certainly wasn’t in typical mountain biking clothes—instead, this biker was looking tres chic!

Or if she comes to SOC simply to enjoy all the festival happenings, we’ll be looking for her in striking tights and skirts!

For tips on taking your bike aboard the Monterey Airbus, see Bike-and-Ride section.  For tips on mountain biking in Monterey County, see and this site’s Serious Cyclists section.

Dad and daughter no permission needed for bike fashion

This dad and daughter were on Wharf II, an extra bike-friendly spot that’s unanimous about the HER Helmet Thursdays project! Click here to learn more about Wharf II.

This girl shows her father that a dad-and-daughter date, even to go fishing by bike, doesn’t keep her from dressing in style. And while you may need a permit for some things, you don’t need permission to express your fashion taste while bicycling!

The woman below, on Cannery Row was savoring sunshine….

She’d just come from downtown Monterey.

That’s right, contrary to popular belief of many visitors, Cannery Row is not downtown!

Want to learn more about downtown–and Cannery Row too? See “Where the Plazas Are in the City of Monterey.”

Jeff Perrine

As Director of Sales at Sanctuary Beach Resort Monterey Bay–a charter participant in the HER Helmet Thursdays project–Jeff dresses for work in suit and tie. That apparel doesn’t keep him from biking to work! 

Communities worldwide know that bicycling is a part of everyday life for most people, and it does not usually require special cycling attire.  Check out the riders below. See “Inspiration, for males and females” in this site’s Dress-Up Challenge post for more examples.

Violinist Laurel Thomsen of Monterey,

who appreciates the bicycle valet parking at Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa, has not been seen biking in a spandex jersey.  (Want to know more about Laurel? Scroll down, or see “Lovely Laurel Steps onto the Front Page of the New York Times.”)

When Christine van Burken of the Netherlands (below)

wanted to go shopping, she biked to Sand City.  For the six-mile (round) trip from the Naval Postgraduate School, no need to change clothes.   “I’m visiting from the Netherlands for a few months and always ride my bike!”

Julia and Erica love to bike

New Year’s Eve 2011, they were on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, in front of Gilbert’s,  when they showed some chic-in-Monterey style.

On New Year’s Day 2012, a preteen

started out the year biking with her family.

“Sure, I have to wear a helmet, because Cali law requires that if you’re under 18.  But that doesn’t mean I have to wear spandex too!” (See “Bicycle Culture and Youth” for helmet tips and more.)

Annabelle Bull, formerly of England,

is a Monterey County resident who bikes

in the same clothing and shoes–or no shoes!–as she wears for other activities.

(Photo courtesy of Joanna Bull.)

Two teen friends

enjoying New Year’s Day 2012 in Pacific Grove.

Keeping your purse, or necktie, out of your spokes!

Want to join these fashion-minded people on the bikeways and need a few pointers for biking with both safety and style?  See “Inspiration, for males and females” in this site’s Dress-Up Challenge post, and see Personal Safety.

Got kids who protest that helmets–required for under 18s by California law–put a damper on their fashionista sense? See Bicycle Culture and Youth.

* * * * *

What’s up with Laurel?

When Summer 2010 rolled in to Monterey County, Monterey native and violinist Laurel Thomsen got out to enjoy a Saturday afternoon bike ride.  No bike shorts and jersey for Laurel, she was out to enjoy the sunshine in style.

She was out on the busy US Open Golf weekend, so the traffic coordinator at InterContinental The Clement Monterey offered his stop sign to ensure Laurel safe passage down busy Cannery Row.

But no need for his help—this bicycling beauty was a traffic stopper all on her own.

Laurel Thomsen

Follow Laurel on this Saturday afternoon’s ride in Tips for Bicycling Monterey County’s sections on Bike Valet Parking, Where to Shower and Change, Bike-and-Ride Options, and Hotels, Entertainment, Educational Venues, and Restaurants (and related places). And in Wine-ding your way along Monterey County’s bikeways.

And if you want to know why Laurel is renowned in the world of strings, catch one of her Monterey Bay gigs, or just click here.

InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Does the Clement really look out for cyclists?  You bet.  It offers bicycle valet parking and is also a charter participant in the HER Helmet Thursdays project.

The Clement offers a lodging discount on the Thursday night stay if you BYOB (bring your own bicycle) or rent a bike from any Monterey County bike shop.  HER Helmet Thursdays lodging discount details are provided here.

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

And the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa?  They give HER Helmet Thursdays discounts too:  discounts at Schooners Bistro on the Bay, at their Tidal Coffee, and even at their Vista Blue Spa.

Cycling Pebble Beach

Thinking of getting all decked out for a nice Sunday “stroll” on your bicycle along 17-Mile Drive?  Do it!  Check out  “Bicycling Pebble Beach” on this site.

Sure, sometimes spandex is just the ticket

It makes sense that a long-distance bike trip, as with a bike race, benefits from careful choice of clothing.

And if you’re heading out for a strenuous, sweaty ride, then having a plan for being fresh and appropriately dressed at your destination is to be factored in.  In Monterey County, that’s not a problem for many bike commuters, or visitors who aren’t staying overnight.  Check out our shower-and-change locations.

Everyday attire, or dressed to the nines

Overall, if you check out the local bikeways, the majority of people are on their bicycles in everyday clothing, regular street attire. No need to pull anything different from the closet.

When a person on a bicycle dresses rather chic, they’ll often catch the eye of a motorist quite well!  Besides, fashion self-expression can be fun.  That’s why–just as there are companies that sell spandex clothing for cycling–there are others, like Iva Jean, that sell clothing for the fashion-conscious person who bikes.

Whatever your choice of clothing, just get out and ride!

This post was previously published on January 17, 2012 with some subsequent updates.

This post was published on 23 February 2018. One or more changes last made to this post on 4 October 2021.

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