Catch the Vision: The HER Helmet Thursdays Project

Go to HER Helmet Thursdays portal page.

Goals, Overview, History

HER Helmet Thursdays, created and launched in Monterey County, is also appropriate for other geographic locations. Scroll down to “Catch the Vision.”
GOALS: Build a more bike-friendly world while helping to sustain the environment and economy.
HOW? HER Helmet Thursdays businesses and organizations give 10-50% discounts on Thursdays year-round to people who bike. Learn more in LISTINGS, How to Get the Discounts, and FAQs about HER Helmet Thursdays.
Sounds like a bike safety thing for women and girls. 
Nope. And it’s not about promoting helmet use either. Here’s what’s up, as told in a public radio broadcast in April 14, 2010 intro.
HER refers to Mother Earth, who benefits from more people bicycling. And…
HER is also an acronym referring to participating H-E-R businesses and organizations. In Monterey County, H-E-R spots include:
  • H=Hotels, and other lodging (ranging from bed-and-breakfasts to country inns to hostel)
  • E=Entertainment venues and Educational attractions (including museums, concert venues, whale-watching, and more)
  • R=Restaurants, and related places (including wineries, coffee houses, bakeries, delis, and anywhere there is sit-down food or beverage service)

Why the helmet?

In California, bicycle helmets are required by law (DMV VC Section 21212) for people under age 18. Being a common biking accessory for youth, the helmet was chosen as the evidence of bicycling. No need for a plastic card, coupons, punch card, etc. 

  • At the E and R places, just bike or bike-and-ride there, then walk in with your helmet in hand and mention HER Helmet Thursdays.
  • At the H places, it is not required that you bike or bike-and-ride to the location. Instead, just BYOB/bring your own bicycle, or rent a bicycle anywhere in the county. Click here for details on how to get discounts at the hotels and other lodging places.

More history: Media introductions

Below are some introductions from Monterey County media.
As a public service, the HER Helmet Thursdays Project—one of many Bicycling Monterey projects— was created and launched in Monterey County in November 2009 by volunteer Mari Lynch, a resident of the county since 1981. As of the end of this project’s 10th year, November 2019, there are still no HER Helmet Thursdays fees to participating businesses or organizations, or to people who bike, in Monterey County.

Live outside Monterey County?

Catch the Vision! 

HER Helmet Thursdays can be adapted for other geographic locations.
  • The project was created and launched in Monterey County as a public service. If you would like to set up a project in your area, please contact Mari Lynch for a consultation. Respect copyright.
  • The League of American Bicyclists provides breakdowns by Congressional districts of how bicycling benefits the American economy. For the 20th District, which includes Monterey County, California, click here. For other states and districts, click here.

Bicycling incentive programs around the USA

Here are three that specifically offer discounts when people bike:
Please note that the updated URL for HER Helmet Thursdays is  / (We no longer maintain the additional URL,, which is referred to in the 2012 PDF below.)
Click here to download PDF: “Discounts when people bike – US sampling”

Help your own county to get more people, of all ages and ability levels, biking as a transportation option. Motivate them by starting a HER Helmet Thursdays Project where you live!