Can I Ride A Cargo Bike In Los Angeles?

If you’re an avid cyclist and wondering if you can zip around Los Angeles, California with your brand new cargo bike, hold your horses.

Although there are no laws prohibiting cyclists to ride a cargo bike in the city, you’ll find that the following is very important to consider…

Los Angeles Bike Law On Transporting Persons

The state of California came up with a law in 2011 highlighting the following:

California Vehicle Code 21204.

(a)( )1 A person operating a bicycle upon a highway shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto, unless the bicycle was designed by the manufacturer to be ridden without a seat.
(b) An operator shall not allow a person riding as a passenger, and a person shall not ride as a passenger, on a bicycle upon a highway other than upon or astride a separate seat attached thereto. If the passenger is four years of age or younger, or weighs 40 pounds or less, the seat shall have adequate provision for retaining the passenger in place and for protecting the passenger from the moving parts of the bicycle. (Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 594, Stats. 2009. Effective January 1, 2010.)

What Does California Vehicle Code 21204 Mean For Cargo Bike Usage?

The main thing to focus on here is that both statutes refer to the transportation of people, not cargo.

So if you’re hoping to haul your kids or your best friend after a rough night out, you might be breaking the law. Probably a safety issue.

In Summary

Riding your cargo bike can be lots of fun, and you might get away with hauling your kids, pets and drunk friends in the cargo compartment if you’re cycling by the water or away from city traffic.