Law Allowing Customers to Drink on Bike-Buses Goes Into Effect

June 30, 2016

By Rina Nakano

SACRAMENTO -- It's an industry that's taken off in the last few years and, finally, the laws are catching up.

"This is the first city that's being progressive and taking this next step forward," Todd Sebastian of Off the Chain Bike Bus Tours said.

For years, bike bus businesses were mostly self-regulated, and each city had their own vague guidelines. Until now.

"People are doing bike buses, particularly here in Sacramento, and the city of Sacramento said, 'Well, we need standards to ensure they are safe so they can operate them, and we want to use them to promote Farm to Fork and so forth,'" Senator Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, said.

Pan authored SB 530 - a state law that streamlines basic rules for these bike bus businesses. The specifics will be up to each city.

In Sacramento, beginning July 1, 2016 riders will be able to drink while pedaling.

While some are afraid this will spark more problems with intoxicated individuals, Pan said these guidelines were made specifically to prevent those types of situations.

"We worked really hard to make it a controlled process. Over the two and a half to three-hour period, it's limited consumption. It's only a certain amount of ounces you're allowed to have. It's more like if you go wine tasting. It's not like you're going to each venue drinking a whole bottle of wine, and hopping, going to the next," Sebastian said. three beers in a pre-booked three-hour ride. All bike buses must have seat belts.

The most one person can drink while pedaling would be less than a three beers in a pre-booked three-hour ride. All bike buses must have seat belts.

There also must be two sober, 21 and over staff members on board at all times, including one driver, and one safety monitor. Staff must go through safety training exercises, as well.

In October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown visited the bike bus, and signed the bill into law.

"It is a craft beer region. We do have a lot of wineries, we have a lot of great venues, especially in downtown with the transition with the [Golden 1 Center]. We're just happy to be one piece of the puzzle helping it make it a great city to not only to live and work, but also play," Sebastian said.

These bike bus tours are not just for drinking and biking.

Businesses like these also cater to kids’ birthday parties and company team building events.

The law goes into effect this Friday.