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-   -   Can a 16yo bike by himself? (

sstang13 05-26-12 11:03 AM

There's absolutely no problem, I'm 16 and bike by myself all the time! I cross highways and sometimes ride on them carefully for a about 1/2 a km or so. Absolutely no problem.


Originally Posted by Scotiascotia (Post 14188478)
Most of us drive at 16 let alone bike, lol. She should be happy hes not begging for the car keys.

Oh and +1

swankgd 07-02-12 12:12 PM

Man, I've been using my bike to get around town since I was 12. I think my parents couldn't WAIT until I could do that, so they wouldn't have to drive me anywhere.

Of course, that was back in the dark ages, before helmet laws or curfews.

As for a 90 mile ride - I'm an adult and I don't know that I'd do that ride alone. If it were 100% on marked trails with lots of other traffic, maybe, but from OC to SD is a little convoluted, I wouldn't want to be caught somewhere in need of assistance without a companion.

If he's a responsible kid I don't think the age is a factor. But I personally wouldn't recommend anyone to do that kind of trip solo, certainly not if it's their first time.

Myosmith 07-07-12 06:41 AM

As much as I'm a big supporter of law enforcement, if an officer told your mom that it is "illegal" for a 16-year-old to ride 90 miles solo I believe he is full of it (personal opinion as I am not a legal expert). 16-year-olds can drive coast to coast, take a train or bus cross country, or even take international flights without a guardian present. If mom said "no" she could have him picked up as a runaway but unless there is some whacked law where you live, a 90-mile cycle ride with parental consent should be no different than a 90-mile car trip. Maturity varies wildly among 16-year-olds (the same could be said for 40-year-olds) so it would really be up to the parent to decide if their teen is ready to handle such a venture.

storckm 07-07-12 07:10 AM

I don't know your younger brother, but saying that a sixteen year old can't go on a long ride by himself seems absolutely nuts. In suburban Maryland, I was riding a lot by myself at a younger age, although I'd never taken a ride that was as long as the one he's proposing. My dad was riding double-centuries when he was a teen-ager, although they were organized rides.
If he's fit, mature, and savvy enough, let him go for it.

rumrunn6 07-23-12 01:53 PM

LOL I rode my bike whereever I wanted as a kid, now mine ask for rides to town that is like 1.5 miles away ... ugh

otis66 07-24-12 09:25 PM

Can he, yes. Should he, No. It's aginst the mothers wish for her son to do the ride so he should not do it. If somthing were to happen to him on the ride I would not want to be you. Don't go on the ride against your mothers wishes. When the kid is 18 he can do anything he wishes including move out. Also if somthing were to happen your mother would be resposible. You cannot buy car insurance or registar a car at 16. If someone sells a minor somthing and a parent did not say it was okay you would have to give the minor a refund includeing a bus ticket or an airline ticket. At 16 you cannot even get a drivers lic without your moms permission. You cannot force a minor to pay a ticket but you will not be able to get your drivers lic until you pay the ticket when your 17. What you should do is change your mothers mind about you going on the ride. More honey less viniger.

cranky old dude 07-27-12 10:23 AM

Is it illegal? I highly doubt it.

Does your Mom have valid reasons to restrict you brother's cycling? I imagine she might.

tonkaboys 07-27-12 11:13 PM


Originally Posted by yiffzer (Post 14207015)
You can drive at 16, with a permit, with parent/guardian supervision. :)

No..... thats at 15. Drivers license at 16. ;)

jeffpoulin 07-28-12 03:54 AM

At 13, I routinely went for 50-60 mile rides on my own. At 14, I did my first century riding from Maine to N.H. 16 is certainly not too young for a 90 mile solo ride. It's sad to see what a nanny state the U.S. has turned into over the past couple of decades.

HCTiger9704 07-29-12 10:23 PM


Originally Posted by bikexcountry (Post 14185461)
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?

A cop said what the law is, not a lawyer. If you want to know what the laws are, you ask a lawyer and not a police officer.

LuckySailor 08-12-12 09:49 PM

If you have your route planned out and a cell phone, go and have fun. We did this fairly routinely when I was 15+. My buddy and I would hit the different mini golf courses. That was back in the late 70's early 80's. Personally, I miss SD and Oceanside, and Carlsbad, and.........sigh!
have fun!

Baggins2012 08-31-12 08:04 PM

legally, I think that cop was making stuff up

practically, I drove from CA to NJ when I was 16. There are some 16yr old kids I wouldnt trust to drive to the corner store. Depends on the kid

justin_nj 09-04-12 07:53 PM

It all depends on ability and maturity. It is also important to know why he wants to go to San Diego on a bicycle. If he wanted to go 90 miles, which is really 180, he has to come back, what is the purpose of San Diego?

There are tons of teens that bike long distances to train for different types of rides or even races (aka - training for the Olympics or Tour de France). When I was in my teen years I was gone all day on my bike.

himespau 09-04-12 08:00 PM

Since this thread is like 4 months old, I'm guessing he did it if he was going to. Since he never came back and posted, I'm guessing he found another hobby and spent his summer doing that instead. Either that or his mom was right all along.

mtbikerinpa 09-04-12 08:04 PM

Could always do it like I call "filing a flight plan". My parents made me do that when I would go out of town riding as a teen(and I did a lot). As long as I had an approximate route/timeplan they would generally let me go solo. At least then they had a checkpoint to know when to be concerned. That said, the margins were rather lax. My friend/riding partner at the same time had very stringent flight plan requirements with his parents. Later on I got my Amateur Radio(ham) license, for which my dad and sis were also licensed and that helped a lot on the accessibility. This was before cell phones had reached promincence in that area but the radio was more effective within the radius anyhow. There is no min age for that ;)

Artkansas 10-13-12 08:53 AM


Originally Posted by O-Town (Post 14252995)
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. 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.


My concern for the teen stems mostly from his admission that he is a relatively new cyclist. I know as a teen there were some times where I got far afield and ran into some problems that required calling the parental units to bail me out with their car. I think your advice is solid. Not just for experience, but also for conditioning. Its simple stuff, like knowing how much water and food to take, and how to pace himself and how to fix a flat. There are no stores on the stretch through Pendleton.

What he might do is figure out a route that gives him equal mileage in a circle around his home would give him the mileage, with the advantage of never being too far from help. For example, with a hypothetical example, if he rode about 11 miles from home, and then did a circular route with his home as the center and maintaining that distance from home, and then rode the 11 miles back home, he'd do about a 90 mile ride, yet never be more than 11 miles from home.

Another thing might be to have him join some organized Century rides. But once he has some experience and knows he can make it. Go for it.

superj 10-19-12 08:18 PM

i rode from riverside to corona and all over those parts when i lived in socal as a kid up till i turned 16. i rode this all on a bmx also, rode the wheels off that sucker many times. 90 miles, i don't think i did that once but i rode all over that part of socal. when we couldn;t ride, we walked it. for cross country in high school, we ran it. we lived in la sierra and i knew that area with my eyes closed.

i think the mom might not trust the kid enough yet. i know i could tell my mom i was going for the weekend and she was fine with it. but i had been out like that almost as long as i can remember having a bike. when we lived on oahu, i rode all over the side of the island we lived on and i was only 8 or so. i just think the mom just hasn't built up the trust yet.

wait till the car though, you are right about that. once that happened, i was gone. we moved to texas and i was driving across texas on the weekends at 16 and 17. from livingston to corpus christi to austin to houston. no cell phones either, only rich people had those in the early 90s.

LarDasse74 10-30-12 10:03 AM

My wife went to France alone when she was 16.

90 miles is a decent 1 day ride - likely no reasoin to even camp if there is a warm bed a the other end.

But 16 is a mior and your mother is the decider.

bhkyte 11-03-12 07:59 AM

My Uk perpective is that this even being an issue is crazy.
Is a 16 old not counted as an adult in most ways in USA, like the UK??

LarDasse74 11-03-12 12:00 PM


Originally Posted by bhkyte (Post 14909241)
My Uk perpective is that this even being an issue is crazy.
Is a 16 old not counted as an adult in most ways in USA, like the UK??

I believe they are not even (legally) allowed to have sex... if a 17 yo has sex with an 18 yo, the 18 yo can go to jail for statutory ****.

badmother 11-09-12 03:08 AM

Sad situation if you ask me. Mom need to get off the sofa and support the kid!

Drive the route first to have a look: we did ths often, especially becouse of health issues i can not risk getting lost or a lot of hills.

Ride with him!

One more thing we tend to forget: it is possible to do a trip together, also if you do not ride a bike: Four peopel, three or four bikes and one car. Put luggage (if you want) and maybe grandma and or the baby in the car plus a driver. The rest is riding bikes. Driver can go ahead, take a look at the road, search for a good place to eat (or stop and cook food), put up the tent or look for a Motel. If one person is riding and want no contact ("want to do this on my own") this is also possible.

If several peopel ride they can take turns riding bikes or driving. This is a good way to test what you can actually do ant to get peopel into touring that would not dare to do it otherways.

We use good quality foldingbikes becouse they are so great to combine with bus/train/car. Often when I am not up to doing a planned biketrip (let`s go and visit x by bikre tomorrow) we often decide my son is riding his bike and I drive. That way he can decide later if he wants to go home by bike (is it too late, cold or dark?), or go with me in the car, both is easy. I think this way he ride his bike much more.

I rode a lot with him when he was younger, to and from school, trough "shady" parts of towns and rural areas. This way I know he know what he is doing and how to avoid problems. He is not into wrenching like me but i made him learn the most important. Last weekend he decided to walk a bike after he found several loose spokes in it. Last time he rode until the wheel (and rear der) broke. He is learning.

Last longish trip he did on his own he had a cell phone, money, rode close to train and bus and I told him to call for help if needed. He enjoyed his trip and is wery happy and proud when he can tell his mates what he did. He is almost 17.

fietsbob 11-11-12 12:43 PM

Independent research .. Go find the Statute on the Books.

ask the cop to state the statute , specifically, they are referring to, by number..
in the vehicle code, and go read it yourself..

the judge on the bench Interprets the law, but you can too, and if your interpretation
convinces or changes the judge's mind, then your interpretation wins.

R1lee 12-01-12 12:16 PM

Holy smokes, in grade 5-6 I biked all around Toronto without even a hiccup. 16yr olds can't bike by themselves?

marqueemoon 12-01-12 06:01 PM

I'd let my kid if he was responsible and fit enough to do the ride. I would probably ask to review the route.

No way in hell he wouldn't wear a helmet though.

eja_ bottecchia 12-01-12 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by bikexcountry (Post 14185461)
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?

Your mother got wrong information or she is intentionally telling your brotehr wrong information.

If he can drive a car from one end of the state to the other, he can certainly ride 90 miles on his bike.

The ticket is only $25, but court fees and other "add-ons" can jack the fine way past the original low amount.

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