Update on Social Cycle's Legal Woes - Up and Running in the Uptown Neighborhoods

Social Cycle owner, Laura Rovick, isn't waiting around for the City Attorney to welcome her business back with open arms. She's left the downtown area behind, for the time being, and is now running her tours in neighborhoods where the pedicab ordinance doesn't apply: the uptown communities of North and South Park, Bankers Hill and Hillcrest.

Her 16 seat pedal powered machine was spotted over the weekend with happy customers.

Social Cycle is operational again in an environment that welcomes the small business. Photo from sykkelspruce

According to Rovick, her business received pedicab tickets with a fine of $1,800. Rovick went to Traffic Court and fought it and got the judge to reduce the fine to $100. Additionally, the Judge

ordered the City to meet with us to figure out a way to give us the right license.

According to Rovick, Social Cycle isn't a pedicab because they do not stop and pickup customers like a pedicab would. Tours are organized for an entire group that have a single starting point and a final destination.

Rovick is happy to be making progress, even if it is at a very slow pace. Rovick however, still wants to run her business in the downtown area as her warehouse storing the bicycles are located downtown and towing the bikes on a flatbed to where she's currently hosting tours is an expensive affair.


City of San Diego says: We don't like pedal powered businesses

NBC San Diego is reporting that one of San Diego's only pedal powered business may be shut down because of the City Attorney's archaic views on what constitutes transportation. Not unlike the slippery slope that began with the City's attitude to pedicabs, the city seems intent on promoting a message that a dense urban downtown cannot benefit from people moving at a more humane pace. If anything, the city should be promoting and enhancing ways for people to transport themselves in a manner that allows them to experience San Diego in all its beauty - outside an automobile.

Laura Rovick, owner of Social Cycle - a pedal powered business based in San Diego

This story does send a message to the broader business community that the City doesn't value creative thinking and that they will crush any entrepreneurial spirit if it doesn't fit into a specific set of codes that is currently very pedal unfriendly . When I last spoke with Laura Rovick, the owner of Social Cycle, she wanted Social Cycle to succeed in San Diego and was gratified to learn that the demand to use the Dutch based 16-person bicycle was high. However she was quite frustrated in dealing with the City's narrow focus and reluctance to support her endeavors. I have to admit that it is an embarrassment  how the City attorney's office is dealing with Rovick and her business.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

Social Cycle Launches in San Diego

I received the following press release from Laura Rovick at Social Cycle. Rovick can be reached at 619.846.9436, and via email at info@socialcyclesd.com


A first-of-its-kind “party on wheels,” brand-new to the West Coast, is gearing up to let the good times roll ... literally.

Social Cycle. Photo from Social Cycle

Social Cycle, a new San Diego-based company, is debuting a unique, 16-passenger touring bicycle, pedal-powered entirely by its riders and steered by a professional driver. Just launched this month with two bikes in operation, Social Cycle currently hosts lively tours through Downtown San Diego — including East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Marina/Seaport Village and Little Italy. Future tours will expand to such popular urban neighborhoods as Hillcrest, University Heights, North Park and South Park; as well as Orange County, Long Beach and the Los Angeles area.

Catering to both residents and visitors to San Diego, Social Cycle serves as a platform for socializing and having fun with friends, family and colleagues, while exploring local sights and enjoying fresh air and light exercise outdoors. Tours are ideal for simply cruising the city, bar-hopping, corporate events, conventions, team-building, bachelor and bachelorette parties, singles mixers, family reunions, tailgating, picnics, progressive dinners, and even wine tastings — the possibilities are virtually endless, and stopping points along each tour can be customized.

Social Cycle. Photo from Social Cycle

The concept for Social Cycle, owned and operated by longtime San Diegan Laura Rovick, was first launched back in 2000 in Amsterdam, where all bikes are manufactured, then licensed to select cities. Minneapolis was the first U.S. city to debut this eye-catching, Dutch-style party vehicle, with San Diego as the first city on the West Coast to launch it. All bikes are earth-friendly — powered entirely by the manual pedaling of their passengers, thereby burning zero fossil fuels.

The Social Cycle can be rented by the hour and requires a two-hour minimum. Regular price per hour for group tours is $200 (or $12.50 per person filling each of 16 seats) Friday thru Sunday; and $185 Monday thru Thursday. The price includes a “captain” who handles the steering, signals and brakes, while passengers simply pedal and enjoy. Prices may vary and are subject to change. Passengers must be at least 21 years old to ride.

For more information, visit Social Cycle online at and Facebook.com/SocialCycleSD, and follow the company at Twitter.com/socialcycle.