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Bike Salinas Valley / South County communities – including HER Helmet Thursdays spots

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Looking at a Monterey County map, it makes sense you may think of, for example, Soledad being in central, not south, Monterey County. You may think similarly about Greenfield too, even though it’s farther to the south; Greenfield High School—along with King City high schools, is in the South Monterey County Joint Union High School District.

In this post you’ll find info on Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, San Ardo, Soledad and some other communities in the vicinity. To share your own tips, comment below or contact Bicycling Monterey.

The first Monterey County Open Streets was Ciclovia Salinas, launched October 6, 2013. The first Salinas Valley /  “South County” Open Streets locations were Ciclovía Gonzales, launched September 9, 2018; Ciclovía King City, launched April 14, 2019; Ciclovía Soledad, launched August 22, 2021; and Ciclovia Greenfield, launched June 26, 2022.

To stay informed about the region’s upcoming Open Streets / Ciclovia events, contact the Monterey County Health Department, or on Instagram, check @CicloviaSouthCounty.

Before we go on to other bike-related information about these communities, here’s a salute to their first HER Helmet Thursdays spots! HER Helmet Thursdays participating businesses and organizations give Thursday discounts to people who bike; see how to get the discounts and FAQs.


The first HER Helmet Thursdays participants in Salinas Valley / South County are the following. (For the first in the city of Salinas, click here.)
Now on with some news and notes for various Salinas Valley and South County communities, followed by the additional tips specifically for Greenfield.

Good news! Biking and walking infrastructure in South County cities of Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, and Soledad, as well as Salinas infrastructure, are getting a boost from the Via Salinas Valley: Pathway to Health project. Bicycling infrastructure changes include bicycle facility markings in Greenfield and multi-use paths and bicycle lanes in King City, as well as new bike lanes in Salinas. Click here for details on the Transportation Agency for Monterey County website. Click here for the City of Greenfield City Manager’s 8/29/14 report, then scroll down to the heading “Sidewalks and Kids” for news about Greenfield’s grant share of $815,000, allowing Greenfield to “provide bicycle lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, curb ramps, and pavement markings along Elm and Oak Avenues, and 12th and 13th Streets.

NOTE: Refer to Bicycling Monterey’s audio and text on “Sidewalk riding: misconceptions and advisories” to learn about sidewalk riding laws, safety, and more. As noted there, ordinances for various Monterey County cities are in Bicycling Monterey’s “Riding Skills, Safety, and California Bike Laws” section, where, for South County, you’ll find sidewalk ordinances for Gonzales, Greenfield, and King City.

Bike news and notes for Greenfield

“The only Community Science Workshop in Monterey County…proud to offer this world-class resource to the communities of South County,” the Greenfield Community Science Workshop includes bicycle workshops! Learn more:

Bike Greenfield

Greenfield is a South Monterey County city founded in 1905 as Clark Colony, later renamed Clark City before acquiring its present name. Here’s more about that history.

Photo below: La Plaza Bakery & Cafe says: Sure! We’re happy to encourage more biking. La Plaza in Gonzales, Greenfield, Soledad and all other La Plaza Bakery & Cafe locations countywide are in the HER Helmet Thursdays project.

La Plaza Greenfield - cropped

Scheid Vineyards Estate Winery and Tasting Room in Greenfield is a HER Helmet Thursdays participant too, as is their Carmel location.

People who love wine-ding their way along Monterey County bikeways won’t want to miss Greenfield. Here, Scheid features an organic chef’s garden, regulation-length bocce court, and horseshoes area.  Enjoy the converted century-old barn, have a picnic, and linger among the grapes.

Bike-and-ride tip

If you bike-and-ride (or just ride) on MST bus in South County, you’ll appreciate what MST installed in 2014: five solar-powered signs in South County cities that will provide the actual real-time bus arrivals for Lines 23 Salinas – King City and 82 Fort Hunter Liggett – Salinas Express.

The bus stops with this new technology include Santa Lucia Shopping Center in Greenfield; Soledad Mission Shopping Center (both directions) in Soledad; and Mee Memorial Hospital and Division & Canal in King City. Solar NEXT BUS Signs in South County – Feb 2014

As is true all over Monterey County, some people in Greenfield go shopping by bike.

Greenfield bikes

While others use their bicycle to take the shopping to their customers!

(Learn more about cargo bikes here.)

Greenfield cargo bike vendor

Some people hesitate to bike because they’re concerned about safety. That makes sense. Refer them to the section on California bike laws and personal safety–tips for kids, teens, and adults of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County guide.

At a Greenfield restaurant one evening, I chatted with one of their employees–a high school student who bike commutes to work. Later, I saw him biking home from work. I recognized he was in need of lights, and referred him to night riding tips that include low-cost light options.

Teen bike commuting from night shift & has no lights (2)Here’s another bike-to-work commuter.

“Hadn’t really thought of it as biking chic or being a bike fashionista! I simply love bike commuting, and this is my work attire.”

Greenfield gent - 4

Below, a Greenfield girl models her new helmet after receiving helmet fitting instructions from Officer Armando Mendoza of the Greenfield Police Department.

Greenfield PD fitted girl for helmet - zebra shirt

Why was this Greenfield police officer helping out? Because Greenfield PD wants to help more kids bike safely! Greenfield Police Department and Bicycling Monterey shared California bicycle laws and bike safety information in English and Spanish  with South County youth and adults at the South County Health and Safety Fair 2012.

Among Greenfield residents, 90.2% are Latino/Hispanic–second-highest rate in the county, after Chualar. See the chart on Bicycling Monterey’s Spanish resources page to learn more.

Besides Officer Mendoza, Greenfield PD Records Clerk Isabel Landeros assisted with oral translation. Click here to learn about other bike advocates from around Monterey County who supported that effort.

That date included a free raffle drawing in which over a dozen bike helmets were gifted to Greenfield children and teens, along with hands-on instruction about helmet fitting. Why? California law states:

“A person under 18 years of age shall not operate a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard, nor shall they wear in-line or roller skates, nor ride upon a bicycle, a nonmotorized scooter, or a skateboard as a passenger…unless that person is wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet….This requirement also applies to a person who rides upon a bicycle while in a restraining seat that is attached to the bicycle or in a trailer towed by the bicycle.”

Refer to VC 21212 on the California DMV website for full details.

Below are more pictures from that 2012 bike safety outreach.

Boy in Vista Verde t with Greenfield PD - fitted for helmet - 2012

Girl fitted for helmet by Greenfield PD 2012

Greenfield boy and PD - fitted for helmet at bike resources booth 2012

Greenfield girl helping little ones learn bike helmet fit 2012Si, mi hermana. Biking isn’t just for boys! Lots of women and girls bike in California, and around the world–and I’m going to be one of them now.

Biking–it’s not just for males, or adults!

Besides the many females biking Monterey County–as you’ll see on the Bicycling Monterey website–you can gain additional inspiration from blogs such as the Women on Bikes California initiative of the California Bicycle Coalition,

To see mothers and dads biking with children, see the children and teens section and hundreds of other posts on the Bicycling Monterey website. Also see “Babes on Bikes” and “Babes on Bikes II” (the latter includes Monterey County children) by Anna Fahey in Sightline Daily: News & Views for a Sustainable Northwest.


Besides bike-specific safety, of course, parents/guardians have additional reasons to be concerned about the safety and well-being of children and teens. As Claudia Melendez Salinas wrote about 10/17/13 in her Monterey County Herald School Bytes blog, many Greenfield families are especially challenged in having their kids well supervised and engaged in positive activities before and after school, and on weekends, while parents work long hours. An excellent source of general tips for parents/guardians is: Protecting the Gift:  Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) by Gavin DeBecker.

Bike Smart  training for Greenfield kids

Thanks to the Transportation Agency for Monterey County, in December 2013, four classes of 5th grade Greenfield students were supported in biking through bike rodeos/Bike Smart safety trainings conducted by Ecology Action of Santa Cruz. (The next two photos, courtesy of Elise Ehrheart, were taken at those trainings.)  Click here to learn more.

Photo courtesy of Elise Ehrheart
Cesar Chavez 3Photo courtesy of Elise EhrheartCesar Chavez 4

Bike Greenfield–Memorable Characteristics

Biking Greenfield’s benefits include many flat, wide streets. Even if you’re out of shape, you’ll be able to bike many a mile comfortably, without hills. Another plus is one much appreciated by Spanish language students and enthusiasts: the chance to speak en español with friendly locals.

Biking Greenfield’s challenges include many windy days. Some of the rain, cold temps tips for people who bike are helpful in windy conditions too.

Bike advocates can help out

Share resources–in Spanish, or in English. Contact Mari for tips on doing direct bike law/safety and other bike advocacy outreach in the most helpful manner.

People who bike can help make Greenfield a litter-free community

Wind doesn’t just blow people, of course, it blows litter too. Consider keeping some gloves and a small refuse bag in your day pack or other cargo carrier so you can join Passionfish and others in Monterey County in their litterati work. Who has the trashiest neighborhood? We sure don’t want it to be Greenfield! Battle that wind with your gloves and bag, and join other Litterati folks in making this a litter-free world.

Indigenous Culture

Get to know the richness of South County culture by attending a celebration of indigenous culture /  Movimiento Cultural de la Union Indigena festival, held annually since 2009. For info about the festival, check with the City of Greenfield’s Cultural Arts Center:
As mentioned on Bicycling Monterey’s “Other Languages” page, the top indigenous languages spoken in Monterey County are Triqui, Mixteco, Zapoteco and Chatino–all native to Oaxaca, México. To learn more, refer to Indigenous Interpreting +.

Have a favorite South County restaurant or other business or organization you’d like to see in the HER Helmet Thursdays project? Encourage them to sign up. See how to invite new participants.

This post was published on 20 November 2013. One or more changes last made to this post on 6 July 2022.

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