9. BIKE RENTALS in Monterey County — Also, Guided and Self-Led Tours; and more

This guide, provided as a public service, was first published in 2009, with many subsequent updates. For additional updates, or if you have questions, please contact us. To return to the portal page of the Tips for Bicycling Monterey County 20-section guide, click here.

Renting a bike but not biking all the way to your destination? See bike-and-ride options, e.g., “Monterey-Salinas Transit.

A list of Bicycle Rental Locations in Monterey County is provided in this section of the guide. In addition, there’s info on some Guided Rides/Tours.

Before renting a bicycle, get familiar with bike laws:
(1) Riding on sidewalks? Local ordinances regarding biking on sidewalks vary around the county (and around the state). Refer to BIKING ON SIDEWALKS, plus examples of ordinances from Monterey County. (We provide the same info in Spanish: ANDAR EN BICICLETA EN LAS ACERAS además de ejemplos de ordenanzas del Condado de Monterey.)
(2) For other bike laws, start with Be Cool, Be Safe – Bike Law Summary & Advocating for Biking. (In Spanish: Leyes de ciclismo de CA – Laws for bicyclists in CA (Spanish, English) – Summary). For more info, see Bicycling Monterey’s riding skills, safety, and CA bike law section.
(3) For electric bike regulations, which vary by type of e-bike and locale, click here as a starting point for your own research. CA law defines three types of e-bikes (based on speed and power control). Research what the e-bike regulations are where you plan to ride; some Monterey County-specific info is included in e-bike regs.

Bicycle Rental Locations in Monterey County

Our bicycle rental list below was first created in 2009, with numerous subsequent updates. It has not been recently updated in its entirety. In addition to the rental locations on this list, also check out our list of all local bike shops (click here), which was updated on April 13, 2023; it includes bike shops that may have added new rental options. Rental locations listed below are listed in fairly random order, somewhat in order of current information.
As always, check with each business listed for their most up-to-date information.
Renting an e-bike? Remember to research e-bike regulations where you plan to ride.
  1. Adventures by the Sea rentals have included bike trailers and carriers for young children; surreys/pedal-driven four-wheeled carriages that work well for including differently abled passengers; tandem bikes (“bicycles built for two”); and some e-bikes. Adventures has numerous locations, including, but not limited to the following. (Check with Adventures for any updates.) (a) Portola Plaza (off the Custom House Plaza) in Old Monterey / downtown Monterey; (b) Cannery Row, Monterey;  (c) Lovers Point, Pacific Grove; (d) Pebble Beach. Adventures also hosted bike rental stations at numerous places of lodging, e.g., at Monterey Tides, a HER Helmet Thursdays lodging provider.  FYI, in 2018 Bay Bikes became part of Adventures by the Sea.
  2. Big Sur Adventures, Inc. — http://www.bigsuradv.com AKA http://www.bikebigsur.com —is operated by South Coast native Joaquin Sullivan. Joaquin relocated the bike rental stand that was temporarily located in Big Sur to a new location in Pacific Grove, beginning approx mid-Oct 2017. Check http://www.bikebigsur.com for any updates/changes. (Note that Joaquin’s official business name is Big Sur Adventures, Inc., which is not to be confused with an unrelated business that registered the URL bigsuradventures.com.)
  3. Hopkins – As of 5/19/23, no website. For info, contact Dave Hopkins, owner/proprietor — 831-241-0042 – davehopkins@mac.com and ask about discount group rentals, private ebike area tours, and more.
  4. Mad Dogs & Englishmen, a multi-county bicycle chain, opened their Carmel-by-the-Sea shop in March 2018 and was approved by City Council to rent bicycles there in April 2018. In January 2021 they opened a Monterey location. Their website states they focus on e-bikes and that some of their e-bikes have a throttle.
  5. Epicenter Cycling, a multi-county bicycle chain, opened  their Monterey shop in July 2020. Their website’s bike rentals section includes their Monterey location.
  6. CSUMB Otter Cycle CenterLocated on California State University Monterey Bay campus. (Check with them for any updates about available services. Otter Cycle Center has bicycle rentals for students, staff, and faculty, as well as sales of accessories and parts, and repair services.)
  7. Work Horse Bicycles opened summer 2017. As did the previous business at this address—486 Washington Street, on Griffin Plaza in downtown Monterey—Work Horse has offered bicycle rentals, as well as being a full-service bike sales and service shop.
  8. Lake San Antonio South Shore may have bicycle rentals at the general store. Check with the concessionaire for details and any updates: http://lakesanantonioresort.com/contact/.  (The California Parks Company was an authorized concessionaire of Monterey County Parks & Lakes. Among locations where they operate throughout California are Lake Nacimiento and Lake San Antonio.)  Related info: http://lakesanantonioresort.com/activities/hiking-biking/
  9. Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove – The bikes were provided by Adventures by the Sea. (Check with Adventures for any updates.) As of August 15, 2012, Asilomar had a few bikes to rent. These were for anyone to rent, not just registered guests staying at Asilomar. Instructions were to go to the gift shop area of Phoebe Hearst Social Hall (also known as admin/front desk). The bikes were ready for rental as early as 8 a.m., and had to be returned by sunset, since they were not equipped with lights. They had a few kids’ bikes, as well as adult bikes.  
  10. Besides the bicycle rental locations on this list, more lodging providers are adding on-site bike rentals. If you’re staying at a hotel, bed and breakfast, or other lodging location, ask if they have bicycle rentals available right there on their property.
  11. Blazing Saddles, San Francisco and New York City, was a newcomer to Monterey County as of summer 2011. Some years they offered seasonal rentals on the Monterey Peninsula, including both self-propelled and electric bikes. As of autumn 2021, their website no longer lists any rental locations in Monterey County.
Looking for info on bike sharing? See “Bike-share programs in the Monterey Bay Tri-County Region.

Guided Bicycle Rides/Tours in Monterey County

This list was first created in 2009, with numerous subsequent updates. It has not been recently updated in its entirety! Some of the bicycle rental locations above may have added guided tours. In addition, the list in our local bike shops section (click here), which was updated on April 13, 2023, includes bike shops that may have added guided tours.
As always, contact any of these directly to inquire about their current offerings.
General Audience Audio Tours

While not specifically created for for people who bike, the following may be useful: Monterey Bay Aquarium walking tour; and See Monterey/Monterey Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Explore Monterey (county) free mobile apps for Android and iPhone. In Bicycling Monterey’s Cycling to Monterey County’s History Spots section, check for self-led tours of Path of History and self-led tours of State Historic Sites.

“I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like….”

Maybe you’re a teenager on vacation with your family, and those lyrics from the Pink Floyd “Bike” song are all the bike you wanna think about.  But then a parent, like an alarm clock, calls you from dreamland:  “OK, everybody out of the hotel room!”

Ugh!—or  maybe not so ugh.  Gotta admit it’s a sparkling day around the bay.  And even the not uncommon grey days here are not to be missed.

Australian visitors just rented bike on Cannery Row 22 Dec 2013These Australian visitors had just rented this tandem because they figured out easily: Why bike? Best way to see Monterey, often even on the first day of winter–blue skies, sunshine, and warm temperatures.

Amy and Johnny’s fun travels included coming from Los Angeles on a motorcyle.

When they got to Monterey, they wanted to enjoy pedal power, so rented this surrey to travel this Cannery Row stretch of bike trail and beyond.

Tandem rentals?

Yup, if you’ve always wanted to take Daisy on a bicycle built for two, you can rent one in Monterey County.

If you’re a visitor who has arrived without your own bike, you’re not out of luck. There are many bicycle rentals–and even some guided bicycle tours–available. (See lists earlier in this section.)

Bike, and surrey, rentals are available by the hour or for a reasonable all-day fee. Normally included with rentals are bicycle locks, and helmets (helmets are required by CA law for people under age 18, and in some CA locations, required for adults too).

Are you a visitor in Monterey County—or a local on staycation? To get a Thursday night  lodging discount (thanks to the HER Helmet Thursdays project), either BYOB—bring your own bicycle–or rent a bike for one day or longer from any Monterey County bike rental location. (See a list of bike rental locations below.)  If you’re staying overnight at a HER Helmet Thursdays participating hotel or other lodging venue, your lodging discount for Thursday night may be enough to pay for the bike rental. That’s right! See “How to get a lodging discount” by renting a bicycle.

A Monterey County father and son, shown here on the bike/multi-use path above Wharf #2, alongside Del Monte Beach.
After renting a trail-a-bike, you may like it so much that you want to buy your own!

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Since May 2009, Bicycling Monterey’s founder has donated well over 15,000 hours to the Bicycling Monterey projects, including this website. Contributions in any amount are appreciated.

Bike rental shops have equipment for people of all ages.

Adventures by the Sea’s location on the Alvarado Mall, between the Custom House Plaza and the Portola Hotel and Spa.

Wish list: added bicycle rental locations
  • As of October 7, 2015, to my knowledge, there are no bicycle rentals in Salinas,  among other spots in the county that could use them.  Biking Salinas is growing in popularity, and Salinas is by far Monterey County’s largest city. We hope there will be bike rentals there soon!  If you’re a businessperson and want to help make Monterey County even more bicycling friendly, perhaps you have a business in mind that could include at least a few bike rentals in Salinas or other parts of the county where bike rentals are needed, even if not a full-scale bicycle rental shop.
Wish list: recumbent rentals in Monterey County
  • To my knowledge, as of October 2015, there are still no recumbents for rent in Monterey County. Our neighbors to the north, Easy Racers in Watsonville (south Santa Cruz County) happily rented to people who want to rent a recumbent there, then take it into Monterey County. Click here for 10/3/17 update from the Santa Cruz Sentinel about Easy Racers.
For additional tips…

On bicycling in Monterey County, click here.

Know those cool Breezers rented at Adventures by the Sea? People for in the market for a good quality used bike may want to stay in touch with Adventures about those, because there’s a good chance that come end of summer, such well maintained bikes will be sold to get ready for the next year’s new fleet. Click here for more about used bikes.

IMG_3028Short link to this page: https://bit.ly/BicycleRentals