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Salinas Bike Party, a Courteous Social Bike Run

For a 9/23/23 update on the topic of bike parties and other group social rides—including some instructions for participants—see “Rideout or Rude Out? Make your bike party courteous, safer, legal, and fun.”

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For the latest contact info we’ve received from Salinas Bike Party, refer to Bicycling Monterey’s main resources/bike community page.

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9/18/13 update: To keep in touch, check the Salinas Bike Party Facebook page or email

Salinas Bike Party is a courteous social bicycle run. SBP’s purpose is to get on bikes and have fun!  If a mass, then SBP is a Courteous Mass. Riders are welcome who follow  SBP Party Rules (Revised 4Sept2012)

Learn more about Salinas Bike Party, and view photos from previous SBP events, below.

You can be part of keeping the party rolling!  How?Read the 7 hot tips below.  And…
  • Are you a savvy rider? Volunteer to be an Organized Guider (OG). Swoopers are also needed.  Contact SBP by email: SBP is also on Twitter @bikesalinas. (Click here for more about OG/Swooper duties.)
  • SBP has a slow pace and scheduled rest stops.  Get to know your fellow riders! All types of bikes are welcome. As SBP says, “Bring only positive vibes–ONE LOVE.”
  • All ages are welcome too. However, as an evening ride on city streets, it is only appropriate for children young enough to be properly secured in a parent’s bike trailer or carrier. (At this time, it is not recommended for children riding on their own two wheels.)
  • The SBP organizers remind riders that they ride at their own risk!  Questions? Contact Salinas Bike Party.
  • If you’d like to meet up with the organizer of SBP for coffee or a short ride when you can get acquainted and learn more about the vision for SBP, email

Scroll down for those 7 hot tips!

Photo courtesy of Jan Valencia

Staying legal

While there are no tests required to bike in CA, as for driving, there is a lot that bikers are expected to know!  You bet, bicyclists may be warned, or ticketed and fined, for not following CA bike laws.  Here’s how to avoid that:

Review all CA bike laws, along with other safe riding tips;  click here.

For a quick summary of California bike laws, see Be Cool, Be Safe – Bike Law Summary & Advocating for Biking or Leyes de ciclismo de CA – Laws for bicyclists in CA (Spanish, English) – Summary

Among Cali laws, giving particular attention to the seven listed below will help keep  Salinas Bike Party thriving.

7 hot tips

But first, keep in mind Albert Einstein’s words of wisdom.  To paraphrase him, “Anyone who can bike safely while kissing isn’t giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”   Kiss up at a red light!

  1. Fixies are way cool, and on CA roads, they’re illegal without brakes.  Of course, some fixies have brakes, and these bikes add a very welcome spark to SBP.   No brakes? It’s recommended to fix that for party night, or ride another bike. No brakes also jeopardizes safety of others on a group ride.  If you choose to risk a ticket and ride without brakes, be sure to keep it in cruise mode–save fast riding for a track. Besides, cruising is cool for every sort of bike at SBP, since this isn’t a race, it’s a party. Get to know the other riders. (Bicycles must be equipped with a brake that allows an operator to execute a one-braked-wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement. CVC 21201(a).)  Heads-up:  “It starts with education…then citations.” Click here.
  2. Helmets for minors: Helmets can be nerdy–or not. If you’re under 18, wearing a helmet on party night is an SBP badge of honor, a sign that you’re keeping the Salinas Bike Party scene cool and open to minors. Are you 18 or up? Your choice. You might choose to wear one in solidarity with youth, since they are required to by law. (Bicyclists and bicycle passengers under age 18 must wear an approved helmet when riding on a bicycle. CVC 21212) [Sixteen-year-old Salinas teen Kyle Beardshear was a very experienced biker. One eve, he clipped his helmet to his handlebars shortly before he hit a parked car on North Main. Read Kyle’s story.]
  3. Lights, reflectors:  Click here and see section 21201 for specifics on California law. Where to get inexpensive lights and reflectors?  Click for night riding tips.
  4. Earbuds Leave one out, both because it’s the law and so you can hear other riders calling out obstacles, etc. Don’t jeopardize their safety, or yours. (Bicyclists may not wear earplugs in both ears or a headset covering both ears. Hearing aids are allowed. CVC 27400)
  5. Alcohol: It’s illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle intoxicated.(Bicyclists may not ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. CVC 21200.5Beyond that, are you 21 and wondering about one beer for the road while gathering? Not at SBP. Riders gather in a public parking lot, and in Salinas, it’s illegal to drink on public property, per Salinas Municipal Code Section 21-2.1.
  6. Traffic lights: “Same roads, same rules, same rights.”  (“Bicycle riders on public roads have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists, and are subject to the same rules and regulations.“–Fast Facts from CA DMV.)  Salinas Bike Party riders shown at the top of this site’s earlier SBP post, waiting for the light to change, get it! As with cars, if you enter an intersection on a yellow light, you must be completely through the intersection before the light turns red.  With a pack of party-goers wanting to ride with you, makes sense to chill at the yellow, not try to beat the light and leave others in the dust.  As SBP rules state, red lights are a chance to pause and get to know your fellow riders a bit more.
  7. Proper lane usage:  Know the laws about bike lanes, turn lanes, riding single file vs side-by-side, and more. See CVC Section 21202 Operation on Roadway. Refer to “Proper lane usage” below, which includes video links on staying legal and safe when taking the lane, making a left turn, and more.

About proper lane usage

What about use of bike lanes versus using lanes shared by cars?

When there’s a bike lane, it’s usually best to use it.  When you need to “take the lane” that motorists use, there’s how to do it in this site’s Cali bike laws and personal safety section.

Short of time?  Jump here, then scroll down to the subheader “Taking the lane.”  There you can watch a video on that topic, and another urban cycling video on making left turns.

Single file or side-by-side?

Is it okay to ride alongside another cyclist or must you ride single file?  Basically, whenever you are riding slow enough to impede traffic, ride single file.  See our neighboring Street Smart Santa Cruz blog’s post “Cycling Side by Side” for a detailed answer that cites California law.   For further applicable comments, from our Oregon neighbors at, see “Bike Law 101: Riding Two Abreast.”

Bicycling savvy Salinas PD

In Salinas, our police officers are pretty savvy about bicycle laws!  Avoid a ticket by reviewing the list of 7 hot tips above. Note well any PD warnings.  Feel free to contact me with any questions about bicycling laws.

Check out the Salinas cops in Constables of the Peace in Monterey County.  They aren’t just bike-friendly, they are biking themselves!

Make their job easier–and help keep the party rolling–by preventing  complaints about Salinas Bike Party.

How? You know–follow bike laws and safe riding practices, and be courteous to drivers, pedestrians, other bicyclists, and anyone on the roadways.  Be a welcome ambassador for SBP!

Photo of Nico, Jess, and Noah courtesy of Jess Martines

Salinas Bike Party

8/3 rest stop video

Click on the link below for a 30-second taste of some of the riders who showed up for the first SBP.

8-3-12 Salinas Bike Party rest stop

Whazzup with all those bikers?

As states in their website’s 8/6/12 post, “We are not an organization, group of hoodlums, political or radical party, or to sell you anything. We’re the community wanting to get together, ride together, and working together to make it safe and positive.”

Photo courtesy of Jess Martines

Thanks also to Jess for the photo of Glenn at the top of this post.

Salinas Bike Party is now on Twitter:  @bikesalinas

Like the first Salinas Bike Party?  Glenn did!

Salinas Bike Party? Fun?

That’s what she said.

Planning to come? Remember to read  Salinas Bike Party rules and bring only positive vibes.

For more, see this site’s first Salinas Bike Party report.

Archive note:

For a holiday ride in Salinas, SBP participated in the 11/25/12 “Holiday Parade of Lights” –as evidenced by the precious little girls in opening scenes of that Salinas Californian video clip. The girls were waiting to watch their papa, a Salinas Bike Party rider.

Previously published 8/8/12 and 11/2/12.

This post was published on 1 August 2013. One or more changes last made to this post on 23 September 2023.

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