"legal" definition of bicycle in CA

Absolutely. Laws are seldom drafted to establish rights and freedoms, they are usually written to tell people what they can’t do.

When I ride in or around public roadways I will think of myself as a vehicle and subject to the same rules and laws as any other vehicle using that same shared space. I will do my best to behave accordingly and set an example for other cyclists out there. If stopped by a law officer I will relate my understanding that I’m too fast for the sidewalk, and intending to follow all the rules for any other vehicle (namely a bicycle) that uses the roadway. Also I might mention my former position as President of the Unicycling Society of America or similar. So maybe I know more about it than he does. So as long as I wasn’t doing something unlawful he may follow my lead.

If CA law leaves us in a “legal hole” I don’t mind at all. Better to be skipped over than to be singled out with laws telling us what we can’t do.

I completely agree.

I know that if I push the issue then they might create laws forbidding unicycling in certain places. At this point I can usually get away with riding on hiking only trails because the laws don’t seem to apply specifically to unicycles. I can play dumb when the ranger stops me and step off and walk the uni until I resume riding around the next bend. Sure I could educate the officer that I am NOT riding a bicycle but what’s the point if I have avoided getting a ticket and I probably won’t win that argument. Now these are trails where horses are allowed but not unicycles?!?!? Hmmmmm.

I used to jump onto the Metro in DC and would get detained for a couple of trains while they checked into the regulations about unicycles on the metro during rush hour (bikes are not allowed then). They would finally decide that I wasn’t a bike and let me on. I would often be fuming because I missed my train but at least I got on the train. So, on one hand it would be great to have the law clarified but what if it is against unicycling.

Not that I haven’t done it myself, but please try not to be a repeat offender. After a while they’ll get to know you and if you keep on doing it, it will have a negative effect on all the other unicyclist who may only be riding the legal trails.

As for horsie trails, the most important thing to remember is to be very respectful of the riders as they come by. Some automatically seem to hate or disdain anything with wheels, but most of the riders on my local trails seem quite friendly if you dismount and stand way to the side when they’re coming through. Horses are easily spooked, and it’s hard to know how they may react to a unicycle. BTW, many of the trails around here are multi-use, which gives the equestrians and cyclists a better chance to learn to cope with each other…

Also, not to give the wrong impression, my general policy is to not ride where bikes aren’t allowed, at least as it pertains to trail usage. In the case of our local trails, the ones that are horses-only (no bikes) are usually hard to ride on because they get that trenched-out thing going; a trench that’s hard to ride in without your pedals hitting the sides.

I can suggest a workaround for this; stick the unicycle in a garbage bag. Suddenly it goes from “cycle” to “crap you’re carrying that’s obviously not a bike.” A fresh trash bag takes up little space and weighs nothing, so it can work well. I know you don’t live in DC anymore, but LA has subways too, right? And Sacramento has light rail. Never ridden it yet…

yeah they luckily let me on the metra trains around here during rush hour
but yeah a cop stopped me because i didnt have reflectors and then said i have no laws for or against me (in chicago) so i don’t know if its good or bad

So ould take my 24" on the bus w/o complaints from the driver, I take off the seat/post and sometimes the pedals and put them in my backpack. I then strap the reamaining uni to the back of it and cover it w/ my jacket. Then I’m just bringing on a large bag.

On our busses you need to fit everything in the overhead compartments, under the seat, or in your lap. It will only fit in my lap, so I do that. Holing it there w/ the pedals on is pretty uncomfortable, so if I think it may be crowded I take them off, otherwise I leave it in the seat next to me.

I’ve thought of getting a 29" Muni and I’m sure they won’t let that on and I’m not sure how I can put it on the front rack w/o it falling off after going over some bumps. It was difficult to fit my bike’s 2.4" wide front tire through the wheel slots, so it deffinately won’t fit a 24 or 26" Muni.

I live in a town with a university. There is no BIKE riding on campus. The university police are very serious about this (there have been deaths). I needed to get to downtown on the other side of campus. So I, like Terry, know the vehicle code definition and proceed to ride my unicycle slowly across campus. Only to be stopped by the police, in the middle of our thoughtful discussion about the definition of a bike and how a unicycle does not fit, he pointed to the sign that said “No Riding”… I took the ticket.

You can probably do it with a single bungee. It depends how useful that “support arm” is, and you’ll probably have to experiment, but if the support arm stays in place, a quick wrap between your frame and the wheel rack should do it. It’ll have to be quick as to not incur the wrath of the driver and passengers.

When I had my Unibug, I originally used 3 bungees. One at the top and one around each bumper mount. I soon realized the bottom ones weren’t really needed for short drives, or at least only one on the side where the frame was. The wheel slotted in there really nice, with a rag to protect the car’s paint at the bottom.

I also looked the definition up after I was stopped and given a warning by the police for not having lights on my “bicycle.” I was told to walk it home. The unicycle does not seem to fit the bicycle definition by law. I did not get a ticket so there was nothing to fight in court, not sure if I would of been able to get out of it or not.