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Anniversaries of The HER Helmet Thursdays Project

For the 6th and 5th Anniversary notifications (including the full-page ad celebrating the 5th anniversary), click here.


 Below is an archive of previous anniversary celebrations.

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4th Anniversary

Many local bike shops offered prizes in celebration!

Click here for details, including

the list of bike shops celebrating HER Helmet Thursdays in this way.

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3rd  Anniversary

The Monterey County Weekly recognized the project

in “The Weekly Tally” (Nov 21-28, 2012 issue).


The information below was previously published November 25, 2012.

The project offers discounts to males and females who bike.  It was launched Thanksgiving Week 2009 as a public service.

America’s first and largest

HER Helmet Thursdays is the first such discounts-for-bicyclists project in the United States. It remains the nation’s largest.

Click here to download PDF: “Discounts when people bike – US sampling”

It’s about lasting change

HER Helmet Thursdays is a long-term ecology-economy sustainability project, not a short-term discount program.  HER Helmet Thursdays benefits the environment and economy while it helps make the county a more bike-friendly place, for visitors and residents.

For FAQs, along with the most recent listings, click here.

Additional businesses and organizations are welcome to participate; click here to sign up online.

Excellence award

On January 25, 2012, this work was honored with a Transportation Excellence Award from the Transportation Agency for Monterey County.

(Click image to enlarge)

Support HER Helmet Thursdays

Whether you ride a bike or simply like the idea of encouraging bicycling as a way to help support the environment and economy…

  • Visit HER Helmet Thursdays spots on Thursdays to get a discount!  Please visit them on other days as well, and if you do, express your appreciation that they are an extra bike-friendly business. Here are their listings, along with FAQs.
  • Spread the good news!  Add a link on your website or social media account, or share posters, mini-fliers, or other resources. Click here.
  • Donations and volunteers are welcome and appreciated. Click here.
  • Invite a favorite spot:  Click here.

Questions? Contact Mari, 831-375-6278.

Here’s a little history from

the first three years…

Lalla Grille at the Del Monte Center, Monterey–along with sister restaurants Elli’s Great American and Lalla Lounge in Salinas, and Lallapalooza on Alvarado Street, Monterey–were among the first 25 participants in HER Helmet Thursdays.

In the third year…

Some other Del Monte Center businesses followed Lalla’s lead.  Locally owned businesses–like Lalla’s–make up the vast majority of HER Helmet Thursdays spots. However, non-locally owned businesses are not excluded.  And in an area like the Del Monte Center, which has few local businesses, it is especially appreciated to have these other businesses participate too. Thank you to California Pizza Kitchen and P.F. Chang’s at the Del Monte Center for signing up to encourage bicycling.

Never thought about biking to the Del Monte Center?  More people are all the time.  Follow California bike laws and safety tips, of course. And exercise extra caution, since cars still dominate the scene at the Del Monte Center, meaning drivers may not be expecting bicyclists. (Did you know? As the number of a people cycling increases in a community, the safety of cycling there increases; click here.)

Biking to the Del Monte Center is great way to go dine, get a haircut, watch a movie, or shop–all while avoiding parking and traffic snarls.  Click here for shopping by bike tips, which includes a list of bike rack locations at the Del Monte Center.

Among other highlights of the third year:  more HER Helmet Thursdays outreach in South County.   Support for getting the word out included presentations at the Greenfield Rotary Club, participation in the first South County Health and Safety Fair, and news-sharing at the Army’s Ride Out Domestic Violence races.  Among the Charter Participants in HER Helmet Thursdays are South County businesses, including La Plaza Bakery and Cafe-Gonzales, Greenfield, and Soledad  (and all La Plaza locations), Marisco’s Puerto Nuevo-Soledad (as well as Seaside), San Ardo Cafe, and Scheid Vineyards-Greenfield (as well as Carmel).

In the second year…

Wineries joined the fun, as a new component of the “R”/Restaurants/food and beverage category.

Among the many other highlights of the second year, the Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club made sure that Ferrari-lovers arriving at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca knew that Monterey County loves bikes as well as cars.

Watch for bicyclists! The HER Helmet Thursdays project is drawing out more, both visitors and locals who bike.


Some first-year memories…

“H”/Hotels/lodging category:

Intercontinental The Clement Monterey was among the early “H” leaders. Violinist Laurel Thomsen is welcomed by Clement staff.

Check out other early leaders in the lodging category!

“E”/Educational-Entertainment category:

Matt and Linda Greenlaw at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, a leader in the emerging “E” category.

“R/Restaurants category:

Ozzy and his brother Greg of Jose’s, Monterey and Seaside, recognized that their customers–such as the two shown with Ozzy above–would find HER Helmet Thursdays fun.  Jose’s two restaurants helped make “R”/Restaurants the largest category in this first year:  122 charter participating “R” spots!  Some neighborhoods are already unanimous.

To top it off, Jose’s put their Lounge Underground in the “E” category, too.

Local cyclists, and others–including the Monterey Off Road Cycling Association, Naval Postgraduate School Cycling Club, and Velo Club Monterey–help by promoting a growing awareness of HER Helmet Thursdays.

Emily Newman of the City of Monterey, which shares Bicycling Monterey/HER Helmet Thursdays via their website’s Transportation Alternatives and Monterey on the Move  sections.

Sea Otter Classic supports bicycling in many ways, including

by announcing HER Helmet Thursdays to the approximately 60,000 attendees of the April 2010 SOC.

Ravi Kapur of KSBW had the Top News Feature of the Day with his story about this ecology-economy project.

The Monterey County Herald announced the project on the front page of its business section, the Salinas Californian did a front-page feature story, and the Monterey County Weekly–who announced the project first–celebrated Earth Day 2010 by inviting the HER Helmet Thursdays story to be told (click here).  Central Coast public radio KUSP also shared the news.

Lilia Gasca of Taqueria del Mar on Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey

proudly displays info about our bike-friendly county!  The Bicycling Monterey street team (click here, then scroll down) is an essential component of spreading the good news.

The Rotary Club of Carmel Valley invited a Bicycling Monterey/HER Helmet Thursdays meeting presentation,

as did the Women’s Association of First Presbyterian Church of Monterey, National Train Day in Salinas, Sustainable Pacific Grove, Sustainable Salinas, and others.

Some participating businesses/organizations came right off the bikeways!  Terry and Mike Berenji…

met Mari on the bike/multi-use path in Monterey, and immediately added their Marina and Salinas Mountain Mike’s Pizza locations as HER Helmet Thursdays charter participants.

For more info…

  • See HER Helmet Thursdays  Goals and Overview.
  • To add your business or organization, see How to Participate.
  • To schedule a presentation for a civic, business, or other meeting, click here.
  • To add a link on your website or to obtain posters, mini-fliers, or other resources to share the good news, please click here.

HER Helmet Thursdays was created and launched in Monterey County as a public service of Mari Lynch and Fine Wordworking–a local business since 1981. Please feel free to contact Mari with your questions or ideas.

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This post was updated from the previous version, published in 2011.

This post was published on 4 December 2014. One or more changes last made to this post on 1 May 2016.

  1. Cath Tendler-Valencia says:

    Glad to help out, Mari.
    [Cath is a Velo Club Monterey member. She and VCM––are both active supporters of HER Helmet Thursdays and other Bicycling Monterey projects.]

  2. Great job Mari – you covered everything – now let your fingers rest for a minute. 🙂

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