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Old 09-27-07, 11:05 AM   #1
ROJA
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What is legally required to be classified as a bike? (Esp. in California)

A lot of people ride folding bikes- do they count as bikes? I ride a scooter like this one: http://xootr.com/xootr/mg.shtml

Can anyone tell me or help me figure out whether this scooter would be classified as a bicycle under the CVC? I usually ride in the street and would like to know that I am entitled to the same rights as I am when riding my bicycle.

Thanks.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:11 AM   #2
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Hmm, I found the definition in the CVC, and it is as follows:

Quote:
231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
It looks like I don't meet the definition because there my power is not through a "belt, chain, or gears." I wonder where this leaves me under the law?

EDIT: Pete, looks like we got to a similar result by different means. This puts me in an interesting situation. It gives me the advantage of being able to use crosswalks (where bicycles do not have right of way, but pedestrians do), but having a dubious claim to being able to ride on the road.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:42 AM   #3
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Ain't lawyers grand?
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Old 09-27-07, 01:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
Hmm, I found the definition in the CVC, and it is as follows:



It looks like I don't meet the definition because there my power is not through a "belt, chain, or gears." I wonder where this leaves me under the law?

EDIT: Pete, looks like we got to a similar result by different means. This puts me in an interesting situation. It gives me the advantage of being able to use crosswalks (where bicycles do not have right of way, but pedestrians do), but having a dubious claim to being able to ride on the road.
Notice what else does not qualify? The classic high wheeler!

I've sure the law was written to exclude skates and skateboards.
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Old 09-27-07, 02:59 PM   #5
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Of course, since my folding bicycle has two wheels and is propelled by human power through a chain, it is classified as a bicycle in CA.

Just to answer your original question...
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Old 09-27-07, 03:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by leginfo.ca.gov
21221. Every person operating a motorized scooter upon a highway
has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to
the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited
to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic
beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section
20000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division
18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which, by
their very nature, can have no application.

407.5. (a) A "motorized scooter" is any two-wheeled device that has
handlebars, has a floorboard that is designed to be stood upon when
riding, and is powered by an electric motor. This device may also
have a driver seat that does not interfere with the ability of the
rider to stand and ride and may also be designed to be powered by
human propulsion
. For purposes of this section, a motorcycle, as
defined in Section 400, a motor-driven cycle, as defined in Section
405, or a motorized bicycle or moped, as defined in Section 406, is
not a motorized scooter.
(b) A device meeting the definition in subdivision (a) that is
powered by a source other than electrical power is also a motorized
scooter.
Looks like if it has an electric or gas motor mounted to it it would be a vehicle, even if you don't use the motor.

A broad interpretation of 407.5(b) could be "I'm the source of the power" but I don't know if a judge would agree. If the judge agreed with that statement though, your non-motorized scooter could be considered a motorized scooter, lol. I'd assume it would be treated like a skateboard or roller skates if it's not motorized, but I couldn't find anything that specifically said that.

Note: I'm not a lawyer...I just enjoy looking up obscure laws for fun. There's lots of funny ones out there.
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Old 09-27-07, 04:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ROJA View Post
A lot of people ride folding bikes- do they count as bikes? I ride a scooter like this one: http://xootr.com/xootr/mg.shtml

Can anyone tell me or help me figure out whether this scooter would be classified as a bicycle under the CVC? I usually ride in the street and would like to know that I am entitled to the same rights as I am when riding my bicycle.

Thanks.
I have a Xootr too (love it!) and use it every day at lunch time. I'm actually thinking about ordering another set of wheels because of how worn the originals are...

I mostly act as a pedestrian (sidewalks, crosswalks), but sometimes I go vehicular on downhills. I understand I can technically get ticketed for that. I don't expect it to ever happen.



Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-28-07 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:05 PM   #8
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I don't know (or care about Ca.) but it's not a bicycle in Ohio

ORC 4511.01: Bicycle: Every device (other than a tricycle designed solely for use as a play vehicle by a child) propelled solely by human power and having either two tandem wheels, or one wheel in the front and two wheels in the rear, any of which measures more than 14 inches in diameter.

I don't see any 14 inch wheels on your scooter.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:03 AM   #9
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231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
So by that definition, would a giraffe uincycle would qualify as a bicycle, but not a standard unicycle.
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Old 09-28-07, 08:51 AM   #10
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So by that definition, would a giraffe uincycle would qualify as a bicycle, but not a standard unicycle.
Haha! Stupid Lawyers look what they did.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:40 PM   #11
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My tricycle is a bicycle.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:45 PM   #12
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Haha. Penny Farthings dont count but giraffe unicycles do.
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