Frequently Asked Questions
Very simply, it’s a 16-person bicycle, manually powered by its passengers and operated by a “captain”, that is ideal for just about every type of group outing/celebration imaginable – from bar-hopping with friends to team-building with colleagues. It’s a fun, easy and safe way to socialize while enjoying local sights and being outdoors.
See above. And yes. The passengers are responsible for pedaling and the power of the Social Cycle®. A Social Cycle® employee, who serves as the “captain,” is also on board at all times to operate the bike and to ensure the overall safety of the passengers.
The concept for Social Cycle® 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 unique party vehicle, with San Diego as the first city on the West Coast to launch it. We first rode it in Minneapolis and realized that San Diego, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara would love something like this, with its year-round great weather.
The bike can hold 15 to 16 people. It is outfitted with 10 seats with pedals, 2 seats above the back wheels, and a bench seat for 3-4 people in the back. In order to have 4 on the back bench, we highly suggest that these be smaller people in order for your comfort! No one is allowed to stand in the middle while moving per city laws.
Private tours requires a minimum of 6 passengers to pedal, but it’s definitely a workout. We recommend at least 8-10 passengers per tour. The more the merrier – and the more cost-effective for your group. We require 8 people for our Public Tours to begin.
We ask that the group start and end together, as we spend 10-15 minutes prior to departure going over the rules, expectations, safety and answer any of your questions. We also require each passenger sign a liability waiver. So if we are picking up new members of your group midway through the tour- it will just take time away from your rental period, as we will have to have each passenger sign a liability waiver and go over the rules again. However, we understand that sometimes someone may be running late, you want to surprise someone, etc- so we are able to accommodate that if you let us know ahead of time.
Please visit our Routes pages for our rates. Rates can vary from weekday to weekend; route to route and we have different pricing for public tours (by the seat) vs private tours (group/entire bike pricing). Rates are subject to change, depending on availability and peak times of the season, with summer being our busiest – so book early!
You will be charged a late fee if you do not return the Social Cycle® to the starting point on time. The time it takes to complete a tour is dependent on the people pedaling, as they determine the speed. During the tour, the Captain will remind the renter of route progress and time remaining, but it is the renter’s responsibility make sure the bike is returned on time – NOT the Captain’s. We have tested all routes and know how long they take. We book tours back to back, so the more late you are the bigger the late fees are, as you are cutting into the next renters time. We do our best to keep you on schedule, so as your tour is nearing the end, please be respectful of the tour after you and get the bike back on time!
Click on our Book Now link and follow our easy steps. You’ll be able to view our calendar for the schedule of availabilities. Then simply click on an open time that will work for your group and input your credit card information to reserve the bike. Payment in full is required to make a reservation. We’ll send you an email confirming your reservation, as well as a receipt. Your Captain will also email you a couple days before the tour to introduce themselves and confirm the details with you.
We are able to run custom routes. There is an additional fee for creating custom routes. This fee is the round-trip towing fee we need to pay in order to get the bike to and from your selected custom route. Please email us for details and rates.
Tour stops on Private tours can be completely customizable. You can choose the stops you make, how long you stay at each place and how many you want to go to (fitting into your tour time). If you don’t know where you want to go, all of our Captains are very knowledgeable and will take you to great spots!
Public tours the Captains choose the tour stops. Public Tours are all 2 hours long and stop off at 3 partner bars and you get approximately 25-30 minutes at each stop.
We are open to new routes (areas of town) for tours but are limited by such factors as inclines (the Social Cycle® can go up small hills but not big ones), as well as traffic concerns, which in turn can cause safety concerns. Call us directly and let us know what you have in mind, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your group with a route that is safe, fun and comfortable for everyone.
General hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, although we can start earlier upon request.
Please see the Routes page for pick up/drop off location. Once you have made your reservation, you will be emailed this info as well. Since there is no motor on the bike, ALL TOURS start and end in the same location.
Absolutely. Plenty of storage space is available on the bike for food.
As of 2018, no alcohol is allowed on board in the cities we operate. We did pass a state law to allow it and are in the process of working with the local government to approve it for our cities- we don’t have an ETA, unfortunately, as dealing with government is a slow moving process.
However, plenty of bars and restaurants are located along our tour routes, where passengers can stop off to enjoy both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks of their choice – and support our local businesses!
Yes! The Social Cycle® is equipped with music. Awesome music will make for a great tour! Please feel free to bring any music you’d like. Each bike is equipped with a radio, cd player and hook up’s for phones, iPods, mp3 players, etc.
Yes. We run our tours rain or shine. There is a roof on the Social Cycle® that keeps our passengers fairly dry. Unless it’s really pouring or there is a severe thunderstorm with lightning, the show will roll on. If it is absolutely nasty out or unsafe to be on the road, we will issue you a refund or rain check. Calling a tour due to weather is up to the discretion of the company/Captain.
Full refunds are granted for cancellations made at least 31 days or more.
For cancellations made with 30 days or less notice, we will grant a rain check to use at a later time.
No refunds or rain checks/rescheduling will be given for any cancellations within 14 days of a scheduled PUBLIC tour.
No refunds or rain checks of any kind will be given for cancellations within 7 days of a scheduled PRIVATE tour.
The bike averages speeds of 5 to 8 miles per hour maximum.
Yes, the Social Cycle® is very safe. Safety is of utmost importance to us and very few minor injuries have occurred on this bike operating in any city. We are happy to report that none of them have occurred in San Diego, Palm Springs or Santa Barbara. Your Captain will do everything possible to provide a safe environment. However, just like riding any bike, there is some risk of danger and possibly falling off – especially if you’re not careful or are behaving irresponsibly while on board. Our bikes also have seat backs and seat belts on them for additional safety. We offer bike helmets, but they are not required to ride.
Yes, and sort of. Passengers must be at least 21 years old to ride, and must sign our waiver form to board the Social Cycle®. Pedaling passengers ideally should be at least 5’3” tall to be able to comfortably reach the pedals. Shorter passengers are still welcome to ride but are encouraged to take a bench seat.
Tipping isn’t required, but your Captain greatly appreciates any gratuity. Our Captains work very hard to ensure you have a safe and awesome time! Standard etiquette suggests that tipping ranges between 18-20%, but please feel free to use your own judgment based on your overall experience.
All Groupons MUST be booked online. Please click on our Book Now link, select the Public Tour (Individual Seats) of your choice. Select the number of passengers from the drop down and then select the date and time of your choice. Follow the prompts to enter your contact info and check out. In the “promo code” box please put your redemption/promo codes (not your booking number). If you have multiple codes, please separate them with a comma. There will be a $1 insurance fee per seat that is due at check out.