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  1. #1
    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Can a 16yo bike by himself?

    Thought I posted before, apparently not...

    So my little brother wanted to go from Orange County to San Diego by himself. He is 16. My mom said no, that she called the police and they told her it is illegal for him to bike by himself. I searched this and found nothing of the sort, he will not be out past curfew so I don't see him violating any laws. Opinions, comments, concerns, advice?

    Other thing: he got a helmet ticket a while ago to the tune of $200. It got waived by a judge because it was his first offense. However, according to CA V C 21212 (e) the fine cannot be more than $25. How is a $200 ticket legal?

  2. #2
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    Sounds like the child restraint law here. The ticket is $160 or so but when you prove you have the device that remedies the situation(like a booster seat), they toss it. 16 should not be illegal per-se unless the route involves restricted highways or the like. Depending on road savy it may be wise to not go it solo, but an actual legal matter seems like someone was loading the opinion.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    He looked it up on Google Maps, it is about 90 miles and there are no highways. I'll let him and my mom know.

    What do you mean by child restraint law? He was biking by himself without a helmet, there are no booster seats for a bike lol.

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    Cops seem to like to make up laws when it comes to at least two things--bicycles, and minors out in public by themselves. There have been ridiculous examples of parents being charged of child endangerment for innocuous things. Some cop might take it upon himself to prove that a 16 year old taking a trip like this is in serious danger.

    I wouldn't think that it would be impossible, and depending on the 16-year old, they could be perfectly capable of handling this. But it's just something to keep in mind.

  5. #5
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    If he follows the Amtrak Century route, he will be near Metrolink and Coaster train stations throughout his ride. If something happens, he can always catch a train home or to his final destination.

    I don't see why a 16-year-old wouldn't be able to bike by himself if he had the route planned out and had backup plans and carried a cell phone.
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    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    My kid went to Ecuador by herself at 16.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Wolfvegas's Avatar
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    Most of us drive at 16 let alone bike, lol. She should be happy hes not begging for the car keys.

  8. #8
    Senior Member robbyrocks12345's Avatar
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    Yes I am 14 and did 2500 miles all on my own last year. You can drive at 16, why can't you bike?
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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Lol that's what I said. Robby you are 14, you aren't getting kicked off for age limits lol

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I don't see a problem with him biking.

    That is assuming he is physically capable of making the trip in one day.

    Finding a place to overnight can be a nightmare at 16.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    Is he a fairly independent kid already? Does he know what to do if he gets in trouble? Can he fix his bike in case of a breakdown or know how to get it fixed? What about a buddy? It might be more fun for him if he shares the experience with a friend. The fact that he wants to do it at all, rather than sitting drooling in front of a computer game makes me inclined to say "Hell, yeah. Go for it! Don't take candy (or drugs or sex) from strangers, and call if you get into trouble." 90 miles? Pffft. Do it.

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    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    What about this little guy? https://www.pinkbike.com/video/147106/

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    自転車整備士 oldskoolwrench's Avatar
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    Heck, get the whole family involved!

    Help plan the route that's the easiest from a terrain standpoint. Maybe Mom, Dad or you and your bro can drive the route together;
    a "recon", if you will, before the big one. That way everyone will have a good idea of where he's riding, and know what to expect.
    Make it an event, a spectacle, a big 'to do'! Video it and post it on YT!

    And, just to be on the safe side; a document written by Mom and Dad giving your little bro permission to undertake his ride, so if
    the local po po's get suspicious the letter and a link to above mentioned video showing the entire family's participation will
    hopefully cool their heels.

    I dunno... personally, I think it's an awesome idea and if it's a dream of his, then stifling it is the worst thing to do.

    There's worse things he could be engaging in or be influenced to do at 16.

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    If you check out another post that is me sorry for the confusion, didn't know if the moderators would boot me for being underage. My mom is not the most active person, so probably not on the bike ride. I am a relatively new bicyclist so I don't really know anybody to bike with. Most of my friends are like "dude, go home and study."

    But my mom's main concern is biking alone so I do need to find somebody. I have relatives living in SD so I am thinking about heading down there, spending the night, then heading back up in time for school. Plus a relative (my mom's cousin's sister in law's husband) is an avid biker down in San Diego.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    At the risk of invoking clichés....

    You've got yer whole life ahead of you, kid. Plenty of time to bike to San Diego and beyond when you're 18. Spend a little time doing 30-40 mile rides in your area, get used to cycling, hit some hills. I'm sure there are plenty of places to do lots of cycling right where you are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    Thought I posted before, apparently not...

    So my little brother wanted to go from Orange County to San Diego by himself. He is 16. My mom said no, that she called the police and they told her it is illegal for him to bike by himself. I searched this and found nothing of the sort, he will not be out past curfew so I don't see him violating any laws. Opinions, comments, concerns, advice?

    Other thing: he got a helmet ticket a while ago to the tune of $200. It got waived by a judge because it was his first offense. However, according to CA V C 21212 (e) the fine cannot be more than $25. How is a $200 ticket legal?
    Heyho, the Land of the Free

  17. #17
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    My friends and I rode distances like that a number of times from ages 15 to 17. Of course, in the seventies we also hitchhiked to travel such routes and no one would think of letting their kids do that now. As far as finding a place to camp, we'd just stealth camp where we saw an out of the way place. No reason a 16 year old can't handle a trip like that.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    No reason a 16 year old can't handle a trip like that.
    unless he's been pampered his whole life....

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyrocks12345 View Post
    Yes I am 14 and did 2500 miles all on my own last year. You can drive at 16, why can't you bike?
    You can drive at 16, with a permit, with parent/guardian supervision.

  20. #20
    z90
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    Wasn't there a kid who sailed solo around the world at 16?

  21. #21
    Randomhead
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    at 16 I was riding wherever I wanted. I don't really think they have changed anything that would make it illegal, although there are curfews in some locations that might be a concern

  22. #22
    Senior Member O-Town's Avatar
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    When I was 14 or 15 (can't remember exactly) I rode from Brea to Huntington Beach on the Santa Ana river trail. It was about 6 0miles. By the end of it I was totally spent. So...my take is...

    Make sure you can do shorter distances before you bite off more than you can chew. This will also prove to Mom that you know what your doing. Then go for it.
    Geee that would be nice.

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    seems like a question that only the family involved should deal with.

    If the mom thinks it's ok, then this is a non-issue....

    Robi

  24. #24
    My legs hurt
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    Quote Originally Posted by robi View Post
    seems like a question that only the family involved should deal with.

    If the mom thinks it's ok, then this is a non-issue....

    Robi
    Yup. If he's in reasonable shape there's no reason that he can't physically make the trip. The rest comes down to maturity, independence, and parental attitudes. No way of knowing that on a forum.

    If it was my kid, I guess my default position would be to let 'em at it, unless I could think of a compelling reason not to.

    Not my kid though.

  25. #25
    R88
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    Cops are not the ones to ask when it comes to legal matters, it's just easier and safer for them to say no.

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