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Partner Up with Ecology-Economy Leaders: HER Helmet Thursdays Charter Participants

Here in Steinbeck Country…
HER Helmet Thursdays Charter Participants show
“Saving the world
and making a profit
is not an either / or proposition.”

That statement was made by Bob Willard, 34-year career veteran of IBM Canada and author of The Sustainability Advantage. And the same win-win message is communicated by the ecology-economy commitments of the following bike-friendly businesses and organizations in Monterey County.

This post was first published 2/1/10 and last updated on 11/28/10. For the most current information about the HER Helmet Thursdays Project, see

Welcome to Steinbeck Country

HER Helmet Thursdays is an ecology-economy partnership to increase bicycling throughout Monterey County. The project was launched Thanksgiving week, 2009.

This is John Steinbeck country—Salinas, our county seat, was the birthplace, home, and setting for many books by the Nobel prize-winning author. Among the first participants in HER Helmet Thursdays is the National Steinbeck Center. Below you’ll find a link and details on the Center’s participation, as well as that of other charter participants on this growing list of Monterey County leaders.

Each participant is an ecology-economy leader

Every business or organization on this list is acting locally to help the environment and the economy. How? They help the environment by creating a more bicycling friendly culture, which results in more people—both locals and visitors—bicycling more often. And they help the economy by taking a step toward establishing Monterey County as one of the most cycling friendly destinations in America.

These participants are working for long-term sustainability.  The project has no scheduled end-date.  We’re in this for the long ride!

The silent partners

The pace of progress toward their goals, of course, is directly related to the activity of their silent partners.

Who are those silent partners? Every visitor or local resident who bicycles in Monterey County, and who patronizes the businesses and organizations. Though not named on this list, these cyclists are equal partners in this ecology-economy partnership.

First time to hear of HER Helmet Thursdays?

You may check out a two-minute audio or video about the project.

Curious who the Charter Participants are?

Okay, Take a Look!

Brief listings

To learn more…

about the goals of the project, and how it works, refer to these key posts:

  1. Introducing HER Helmet Thursdays: An Ecology-Economy Partnership
  2. HER Helmet Thursdays, Part II (FAQs)

Partner Up with Business/Organization Participants!

Show your appreciation for our ecology-economy leaders, and encourage them, by patronizing their businesses/organizations any day of the week. And bicycle there as often as possible.

Detailed listing information…

Links to their websites are provided for most participating businesses/organizations. When a website is unavailable, the participant’s phone number and address are provided—usually with a link to a review from a Monterey County publication.

But there’s a unique aspect to this list of businesses and organizations: tips on bicycling to their locations are usually included!

Detailed listings for Charter Participants

[After 11/28/10, click here to access updates or for new listings.]

Bike-there tips

There are many residents working to make Monterey County a more bike-friendly place. To my knowledge, this is the first compilation of bike-there tips leading cyclists to a variety of popular businesses and organizations throughout our county.

The tips offered make it easier to bike, or bike-and-ride, to the locations of most HER Helmet Thursdays participants.

Where to get additional route tips

If you have questions about how to bike to a particular HER Helmet Thursdays venue, please feel free to contact me. If I am unavailable, try contacting one of the Bicycle Shops, Services, Clubs, or Resources in Monterey County. These bike professionals are local cyclists themselves, and most are happy to help others with tips about getting around MoCo by bike.

You may also wish to refer to the Monterey County Bike Map created by the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC). Free paper copies of that map, as well as low-cost water- and tear-resistant copies, are available at various locations.

Speaking of bikeways, what is meant by the three different types of Monterey County bikeways?

  1. Bike paths are completely off-road, apart from cars.
  2. Bike lanes are lanes painted on a road shared with cars. Even though bikes travel alongside cars, the painted lanes help remind drivers to share the road.
  3. Signed bike routes have no painted lanes. They are simply marked with signs, indicating this is a suggested route for cyclists and that drivers are to share the road.

For more on Monterey County bikeways, refer to Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, including section 10, “Where to Bike in MoCo.”

Biking with children to a HER Helmet Thursdays venue

In Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, section 10, “Where to Bike in MoCo,” you’ll find suggested routes that are all off-road bike paths, safest for traveling with children.

Many of the HER Helmet Thursdays spots are directly on these off-road bike paths.  Others are a short distance from these paths.

HER Helmet Thursdays venues are now on a clickable map, making such locations very easy to spot!

Schedules and stamina: do I have to bike the entire way?

You never have to bike to an “H” destination; it’s only necessary to show them you’re going to do some biking in Monterey County. See “How to get a lodging discount.”

For the “E” or “R” destinations, there will be times when a desired venue is too many miles away for your schedule or current stamina.  What to do?  Rather than automatically drive there, consider bicycling even some of those miles. If you don’t yet have a bike rack or other way to transport a bicycle on/in your own vehicle, you might use the MST bus or another bike-and-ride option, then bike the remaining distance. Another alternative is to bicycle there, then take a bike-and-ride form of transportation back.

No, it’s not cool to park only a block away, then ask an “E” or “R” place for the Thursday discount.  You’re on the honor system!

Estimating arrival time

Often you’ll be cycling at leisure, though sometimes on a schedule. How can you estimate the time it takes to bicycle somewhere, if you have made a mealtime reservation or otherwise need to arrive at a specific time?  Many cyclists find Map My Ride useful.   You may also find Google Maps— Get Directions helpful, although be aware that their directions may sometimes be mistaken.  (Knowledgeable cyclists are encouraged to submit corrected info.)

Until March 10, 2010, this post read, “Google offers estimated travel time by car, mass transit, or walking—though not yet by bicycling.” Happily, on that day, Google launched their own bicycling maps!  This is an idea whose time has come.

Clickable map to access the HER Helmet Thursdays listings

On January 30, 2010, an exceptional web developer created a new clickable map/database for HER Helmet Thursdays participants.  It includes all participants, along with many unique HER Helmet Thursdays bike-there tips.   This  new format for accessing participants’ listings was made public Thanksgiving Week 2010, in celebration of the first anniversary of HER Helmet Thursdays.

Bike valets and formal settings

A charming thought!  Is bicycle valet parking service really available?  Yes!  See Tips for Bicycling Monterey County, section 13,  “Bike Valet Parking.”

What about helmets in formal settings? No problem! Click here for tips.

Bike security

How to keep your bike secure while relaxing and lingering at a HER Helmet Thursdays spot?  Tips are provided under the “Bicycle Security” section of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County.

Be safe, have fun

Safety first!  See “Personal Safety,” section 3  of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County.

When wearing ordinary street attire (not neon-colored cycling clothes), consider using a reflective sash, neon-colored vest, flag, or other accessory to help you be highly visible when cycling on a bike lane or route.  See “More Bicycle Safety Gear,” and “High-Visibility: Dress for Success.” The sashes are very inexpensive and can be worn over any clothing.  Of course, use proper lighting too, at all the appropriate times.

Alcohol?  Just as you postpone driving after alcohol consumption, postpone bicycling as appropriate too. You don’t want to be the first person in Monterey County splashed across the newspaper (or worse yet, the pavement) because of a BUI!  See the tips in “Wine-ding your way along Monterey County bikeways.

Date restrictions

Rather than extend the Thursday discount absolutely every Thursday of every year, it made sense to exclude federal legal holidays and some Monterey County special-event weeks, program-wide.  Please refer to Date Restrictions.

Special-event weeks impact many, though not all, businesses and organizations in the various cities.   If a location seems unlikely to be affected by a particular event, you are welcome to phone ahead to ask whether they are able to allow the Thursday discount for cyclists that week.

In addition to those program-wide date restrictions, some individual participants in the “H“(hotels/lodging) category (only) find it necessary to also restrict additional busy weeks. When this is the case, those added restrictions will be specified in their listing.

Happy biking

The HER Helmet Thursdays participants are all set to greet you, any day of the week.  Check out the listings, and tell your friends!

This post was published on 1 February 2010. One or more changes last made to this post on 29 January 2018.

  1. marilynch says:

    You’re welcome, Mike. It’s a joy to play a part in helping to make our county more bike-friendly.

    More businesses and organizations all the time are becoming aware of the many benefits of having more cycling throughout their communities. And I am glad you like being able to recognize and support some of those extra bike friendly ones, the charter participants in HER Helmet Thursdays!

    To ensure the integrity of the project, HER Helmet Thursdays has been trademarked. When KSBW broadcast their TV news story about the project, the reporter asked whether it could go national, and as I replied, yes, there have already been businesses from outside Monterey County who would like to participate, and it is indeed appropriate for other geographic areas.

    My first priorities are the many tasks of getting the project well grounded here in Monterey County. I do look forward to having sufficient time and resources to expand the project beyond MoCo, and I welcome inquiries from interested organizations or individuals in other areas. 831-375-6278

  2. Mari I love your HER Helmet Thursdays idea. I think you should brand it [HER Helmet Thursdays is indeed trademarked] and expand it to other cities or have others expand it with you in a partnership. It brings people out on their bikes and lets cyclists know which businesses support cycling. Thank you for everything that you do for Monterey cycling. Mike

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