Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 48
  1. #1
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia
    My Bikes
    Giant CRX3, Trek 7100
    Posts
    1,288
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Legal Question on trikes et.al.

    Riding home from work Friday I found myself pondering the definition of a wheel-chair vs the definition of a recumbent three-wheeler. As I'm getting on a bit and thinking about transportation in my later years, I wondered if a recumbent bike would/could be classed as a wheel-chair and therefore you are allowed to ride it on the sidewalk and inside the galleria for example.

    As I see it this would have many advantages. Whilst I might be able to walk ok in my 60s or 70s, I might not be able to walk the huge distances one has to cover just gaining entry to the mall and getting to the appropriate shops. A wheel-chair could likewise be prohibitive as the arms would be too weary. However, the recumbent 3 wheel bike sounds perfect.

    Anyone got idea on the legalities?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,899
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've wondered about that myself from time to time. I'll tell you this, most trikes are around 32 to 36 inches wide. That's a little awkward for a lot of doorways. Some have kind of a wide turning circle and some have an intimidating sprocket in the very front. I don't know about legal but it doesn't sound very practical to me.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    4,023
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Actually I have alway thought that if ticketed riding my trike somewhere where the law says that bikes are not allowed, it could be fought on the grounds of the letter of the law. For instance there is a section of our down town that the laws says "bicycles are not allowed to ride on the sidewalks in this area". It does not say bicycles and tricycles. I would suggest a good lawyer could get the ticket or charge dropped because it specifically says bicycles and not trikes. Almost all these ordinances were written before anyone knew about trikes.

    As an aside, we all have seen that many people and drivers do look at trikes as a form of a handicap device.

  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,676
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very common for traffic laws regarding bicycles to state that cycles with more than two wheels are also included.
    Traffic laws don't predate tricycles; trikes have been around Forever.
    WTU%20Bidlake%20250.jpg

    Can't imagine confusing a bike/trike with a wheelchair.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  5. #5
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    North Aurora, IL
    My Bikes
    Road & Hybrid
    Posts
    5,574
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think a lot would depend on whether or not you are truly handicapped. If carrying an official handicapped ID card, you could make a pretty good case for it being a wheelchair.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    1,571
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Touring-Phred List used to have a Feisty Viet-Vet posting there and may still, on CGOAB..
    as Gimp Rider he defended his rights more than once , in court , when Cited.

  7. #7
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Liberal, KS
    My Bikes
    This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.
    Posts
    974
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have Cerebral Palsy and I don't walk particularly well. As such, I asked the doctor for a letter allowing me to use my bicycle as a mobility device.

    Unfortunantly, he said he couldnt and offerd me a medical marijuana prescription instead. I didn't want the pot, I wanted the ability to ride my bicycle to places I simply can not walk to without being in a lot of pain.

    I suspect he just didn't want to be the first to do anything. I would suggest asking your doctor.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  8. #8
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Middle of da Mitten
    My Bikes
    Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
    Posts
    7,229
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Local laws vary. In Michigan 2 or more wheels are all bikes. Maybe a unicycle would fit the bill?

  9. #9
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Florida
    My Bikes
    Sun Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3, Scott Spark 760, Walmart Thruster 700c single speed..
    Posts
    691
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I start 'Getting up in years' as you called it, I'm not gonna fear any ticket for something like that.

    I'll politely tell the officer that this is my only mobility, then I will ask him if he really wants to be on the six o'clock news, and
    let him know I have a real good blood sucking lawyer that makes his living litigating and also remind him that I am retired
    and can devote all of my time making this encounter very public, his interfering with my civil liberties..

    Then I will wad the ticket up and properly dispose of it in the nearest trash receptacle and lastly with
    any luck he will arrest me !

    Hey, I'm in it for the ride, the wilder the better.
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx, Walmart Thruster :P

  10. #10
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia
    My Bikes
    Giant CRX3, Trek 7100
    Posts
    1,288
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    Local laws vary. In Michigan 2 or more wheels are all bikes. Maybe a unicycle would fit the bill?
    So what about 4 wheels? Is it still a bike, or a car?

  11. #11
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia
    My Bikes
    Giant CRX3, Trek 7100
    Posts
    1,288
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Very common for traffic laws regarding bicycles to state that cycles with more than two wheels are also included.
    Traffic laws don't predate tricycles; trikes have been around Forever.
    WTU%20Bidlake%20250.jpg

    Can't imagine confusing a bike/trike with a wheelchair.
    This is not about confusion though, it's about the law! and about old people finding a way to get around!

  12. #12
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia
    My Bikes
    Giant CRX3, Trek 7100
    Posts
    1,288
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I saw an old chap yesterday on a trike meandering around in the city square. Seems like I'm not the only one with this idea. He was clearly enjoying the evening.

  13. #13
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Australia
    My Bikes
    Giant CRX3, Trek 7100
    Posts
    1,288
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    I have Cerebral Palsy and I don't walk particularly well. As such, I asked the doctor for a letter allowing me to use my bicycle as a mobility device.

    Unfortunantly, he said he couldnt and offerd me a medical marijuana prescription instead. I didn't want the pot, I wanted the ability to ride my bicycle to places I simply can not walk to without being in a lot of pain.

    I suspect he just didn't want to be the first to do anything. I would suggest asking your doctor.
    Some people I've noticed are absolutely faithful to the law and will not take a single step to challenge it. I guess that's how various totalitarian regimes have been so easily able to seize power historically. I believe we must teach our children to judge what is right or wrong or just or unjust. If the law is ****e then fight it.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
    My Bikes
    7 single speed road
    Posts
    3,977
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert C View Post
    I have Cerebral Palsy and I don't walk particularly well. As such, I asked the doctor for a letter allowing me to use my bicycle as a mobility device.

    Unfortunantly, he said he couldnt and offerd me a medical marijuana prescription instead. I didn't want the pot, I wanted the ability to ride my bicycle to places I simply can not walk to without being in a lot of pain.

    I suspect he just didn't want to be the first to do anything. I would suggest asking your doctor.
    i think i'd get a different doctor. but keep the prescription.

    and i find it highly unlikely that LEO would ticket anybody that is riding a tricycle. they would never hear the end of it from their bretheren in the force, if it got out.

  15. #15
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Liberal, KS
    My Bikes
    This list got too long: several ‘bents, an urban utility bike, and a dahon D7 that my daughter has absconded with.
    Posts
    974
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    i think i'd get a different doctor. but keep the prescription.

    and i find it highly unlikely that LEO would ticket anybody that is riding a tricycle. they would never hear the end of it from their bretheren in the force, if it got out.
    The issue is not as much a matter of being ticked as much as being allowed to take in on Amtrac.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    St Peters, Missouri
    My Bikes
    Rans Enduro Sport, Hase Kettweisel Tandem, Merin Bear Valley beater bike
    Posts
    23,899
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    and i find it highly unlikely that LEO would ticket anybody that is riding a tricycle. they would never hear the end of it from their bretheren in the force, if it got out.
    Yup. I'd politely tell the officer that I intend to take the ticket to court so he'll have to appear too. Win or lose, his brother officers will love it.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    4,023
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I guess I would think that if a trike rider was only riding 5mph give or take on a side walk, a cop probably would be hard pressed to write a ticket. Trikes still are looked up on as something novel, and probably most cops might think they dont want to be caught rousting what "might" be a handicapped person.

    Besides that giving some old guy like me grief on his trike is kind of small potatoes when you consider all of the actual crime that is being committed.

    Putting together what others have said, if a cop did indeed write me a ticket, and the cop did show up in court, I would put on a great performance. When my case was called, I would slowly get up and with a great deal of difficulty with a huge limp approach the bench. You get the idea.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    4,023
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Refering to my last post #17 further thot has has come to mind. How about if I approached the bench using a walker!!! What the judge may say to the cop would be precious!!!!

  19. #19
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Dallas area, Texas
    Posts
    10,598
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I remember reading in the past of various absolutely pointless but humorous inventions such as the submarine with screen hatches, and one of those items was the "pedal-powered wheel chair". I think the big issue you'd fight in perception is that a wheelchair's intended for those with trouble using their legs, a bike/trike requires the legs, so they'd ordinarily be viewed as mutually exclusive.

    Another big factor is "does it look like a wheelchair". With a wheelchair, you normally sit very upright, with legs fairly close in- required so you can reach a door handle and stuff like that. So an 8' long recumbent trike has a considerably different layout.

    By the way- in triathlons, they do have competitions for those in wheelchairs. They used handcycles (powered by hand crank and conventional chains, derailleurs, etc.) for the cycling part and wheelchairs (powered by hands on wheels) for the running part. The wheelchairs used are not the same as a regular wheelchair, they are made just for that purpose, but they are distinctly different from the handcycles, too.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  20. #20
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,676
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    As I see it this would have many advantages. Whilst I might be able to walk ok in my 60s or 70s, I might not be able to walk the huge distances one has to cover just gaining entry to the mall and getting to the appropriate shops. ....the recumbent 3 wheel bike sounds perfect
    You're just speculating on what it is like to get 'old'. As an 'old' man in my 60's I am perfectly able to walk huge distances. As well as ride a bike even further. I plan to keep doing both for quite a bit longer.
    Riding a 'bent trike at the local shopping mall? Can't see it. For one thing, would worry about running into a shopper with the big chainring.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  21. #21
    tcs
    tcs is offline
    Palmer tcs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Parts unknown
    Posts
    4,222
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The OP lists a location of 'Australia'. Beats me what the laws and attitudes might be there.

    In the USA:
    ADA wheelchair.

    This recumbent trike, maybe.

    This recumbent trike, no way.

    And as always, the Man isn't the issue - it's the lawyer of the insurance company of the drunk that hits you.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  22. #22
    tcs
    tcs is offline
    Palmer tcs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Parts unknown
    Posts
    4,222
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Actually I have alway thought that if ticketed riding my trike somewhere where the law says that bikes are not allowed, it could be fought on the grounds of the letter of the law.
    Interestingly enough, where I live bicycle traffic laws specifically say 'two tandem wheels'. Three wheel pedal cycles (including those tamale vendors that have pedaled the streets for 120 years) have no 'letter of the law' legal status on the road, path or sidewalk. Hit a trike? Hey, the rider was operating an illegal vehicle. Not your fault! You'd think the trike community here would try to get the law tweaked, but they seem to be fine with the status quo.

    Almost all these ordinances were written before anyone knew about trikes.
    LOL. Lotsa folks have known about trikes since the 1870s. Perversely, all legislators and councilmen have to know about is how to get elected.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  23. #23
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lincoln Ne
    My Bikes
    RANS Stratus TerraTrike Cruiser
    Posts
    4,023
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    tcs

    Yes there have been trikes for almost as long as there have been bikes. But to have trikes specifically written in to the law depends on the intelligence of elected officials. But then I probably shouldnt use the words intelligence and elected officials in the same sentence.

  24. #24
    Senior Member PaPa's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    494
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    Anyone got idea on the legalities?
    For about $10 at your local secondhand, few would question the 'legalities'....



    It's even more convincing when you have electric assist

  25. #25
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    My Bikes
    RANS V3, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
    Posts
    11,676
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A motorized trike is a wheelchair?
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •