Maybe you missed other amazing events in Monterey County history still talked about, like Monterey Pop Festival. Don't miss the county’s first Open Streets, Ciclovía Salinas, a free event open to the public.

Visitors and locals will celebrate in beautiful Monterey County on a 1.6-mile stretch of streets open for biking, walking, jogging, skating, and the like. All people-powered, no motor vehicles! Do you bike or walk with children or unsteady elders not at an age to be sharing streets with cars? Ciclovía Salinas allows these and others, all ages and abilities, to feel right at home on the streets of Salinas, the Monterey County seat.

Free bicycle valet parking will be available, and the valets are happy to accept strollers, joggers, and bicycle trailers too. That makes it easier for anyone who wishes to participate in additional health-promoting, free activities along the Ciclovía route. You’ll find dance and fitness classes, with zumba and yoga included. A bike decorating contest, live entertainment, art, informational booths, and more will round out the event. And a special area for young children will be featured at La Paz Park.

Since the first Ciclovía in Bogotá, Colombia in 1976, Open Streets are growing in popularity, due to their personal and planetary benefits. Most of Tips for Bicycling Monterey County’s "Why bike Monterey County" reasons apply to Ciclovía Salinas, whether you're biking or experiencing it another way. Not least of all, it will be fun! And it happens just 20 miles from the waters of the Monterey Bay.

When is Ciclovía Salinas?

Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. And October weather here is typically fantastic!

Where? The Ciclovía Salinas route

The route is 1.6 miles of Alisal Street, between Salinas Street in Oldtown (downtown) and Sanborn Road in East Salinas. A very few intersections along the route will be open to motor vehicles, with uniformed officers directing traffic. All other intersections will be closed to vehicles, with barricades staffed by police-trained adult volunteers.

Street etiquette and updates

For Open Streets etiquette, any event updates, detour information, and other details about Ciclovía Salinas, visit BicyclingMonterey.com: http://www.bit.ly/Oct6Salinas.

Cultural diversity

Ciclovía Salinas is a place for everyone eager to know the full array of culture in Monterey County. You’ve likely eaten many meals that began as fresh produce from the Salinas Valley, Salad Bowl of America. At Ciclovía Salinas, you’ll have the chance to chat with some of the individuals who help bring food from field to table, year after year, along with performing artists, government leaders, and “the kids next door” and their parents.

Besides English being spoken, a delightful flow of conversation can also happen for Spanish-speaking visitors, linguistics students, and other language enthusiasts. Salinas, Monterey County’s largest city, has a predominately bilingual population (67% of residents age five or older speak a language other than English, usually español).

Explore the Monterey County seat

This vibrant, family-friendly scene plays against a backdrop of the Gabilan Mountains, the mountain range of Nobel-winning author John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, East of Eden, and The Red Pony.

Ciclovía Salinas is a place to begin discovering, as Steinbeck did, the pleasures found in the diverse neighborhoods of Salinas. Many people are unaware there are 95 miles of connected bikeways throughout Salinas, from the Alisal to Creekbridge to Oldtown to Santa Rita, and more. Bicycling Salinas is growing in popularity because of its many flat, wide streets, often in low-traffic areas. Besides bike lanes and signed routes, you’ll find some bike paths too (best for children and other less experienced riders), including through Natividad Creek Park. As usual, brush up on CA bike laws and safety tips before riding.

To explore by bicycle, bring your bike or arrange an all-day rental on the Monterey Peninsula (20 miles away). At this time, there are no bike rental locations in Salinas.

Savvy Steinbeck lovers, including musician Marcus Mumford, know that if you're looking for Steinbeck, you don't stop with Monterey’s Cannery Row. You also go to the heart of Steinbeck Country, Salinas! And the National Steinbeck Center, which includes an agricultural museum and other exhibits, is open seven days a week.

Those are just more reasons to mark October 6th on your calendar. After the Ciclovía Salinas route closes at 2 p.m., there’s still time to continue exploring Salinas!

How to get there

Of course, it’s fine to use a car or other motorized transportation to get to the Ciclovía route on Alisal Street. Some hotel shuttles may drive guests there. Other options include Monterey-Salinas Transit (you can even bike-and-ride the MST, making use of the bicycle racks on buses). But once you reach the Ciclovía route (Alisal Street between Salinas Street and Sanborn Road), be ready to leave motor vehicles behind. For four hours, be part of the ranks of America’s car-free, carefree ciclovístas!

For more information

Visit Bicycling Monterey: http://www.bit.ly/Oct6Salinas 

Ciclovia