Can you live in Southern California without a car?

In March of 2023, Yuba participated in a work exchange program with a young professional from France. Gauthier will be working with the USA team for the next 12 months in our marketing department based in Southern California. 

As a new staff member and California resident, he had the choice between renting a car for his first few days in the region or commuting solely by cargo bike to his new home, office and more.

While renting a car for his first days seemed obvious, he preferred to take on a challenge to live 15 days in Orange County, CA without the use of a car. 

First impression: Carry almost anything you desire


When you move abroad, you need to bring a lot of items, from clothes to a spare pair of shoes and even a wetsuit for upcoming surfing sessions. To transport these, at least 2 pieces of luggage are needed. 


When Gauthier landed in Orange County, CA, the team prepared a new FastRack so he could experience the DualRack System during his trips. From there, almost everything was possible – from strapping his suitcase to the bike, adding grocery bags and adding a small piece of luggage to the Bread Basket. 


At first, I was a bit skeptical about carrying all of my stuff for 15 days on this bike even though the whole team seemed to be very confident,” said Gauthier. “But when I loaded it and started pedaling toward my new home, which was 10 miles from the office, I realized how stable and fun it was. The power of the motor was amazing, especially when climbing hills”. 

Second impression: The bike infrastructure in Orange County


California has programs to fund bike lanes and bike paths to make it easier for people to get around without a car and fight climate change. Orange County is known for having excellent bike infrastructure with long, wide bike lanes and bike trails.This really helped Gauthier enjoy his experience with his FastRack. The bike lanes that connected him from his temporary housing to the Yuba office are very spacious and respected by car drivers. 


I was actually very impressed by the quality of the bike lanes in Orange County, ” said Gauthier. “I could go anywhere on my bike without being too concerned for my safety. The drivers have been very friendly with the bikes and leave enough space and time when you want to change lanes or turn at intersections. I was initially under the impression that roads in the US were made for cars only, but it is definitely not true in Orange County.

Last impression: A sensation of freedom 


It is nothing new to say that when biking, you have the time to enjoy the surroundings because everything goes slower. You have the time to see things you wouldn’t expect while driving a car. This is exactly what made this challenge exciting for Gauthier. As he recently came to  the U.S. for the first time, the new kid on the block wanted to experience the best of what Orange County has to offer. Unfortunately, the weather forecast didn’t offer its usual sunny California weather initially. The recent weather has been rather similar to Ireland – with lots of rain.

The first weekend was very pleasant as it was my first trip to the ocean with the bike, ” said Gauthier. “Between where I slept and where I was going – San Clemente – there are many  hills to climb that could have easily exhausted me without the pedal assist. But with the 3 modes available (eco, trail, or boost) you can easily increase the distance you were planning to travel initially with a regular bike. It also gave me the opportunity to enjoy the landscapes, which I wouldn’t have been able to do without the pedal assistance. In total, I rode almost 40 miles and ran out of battery just in front of my home.”

As a conclusion to this 15-day experience, the answer is YES. You can live in Southern California without a car. The hauling capacity of a cargo bike and the power provided by the motor is two great reasons to leave your car in the garage and ride your bike instead. Within a perimeter of 40 miles, your Yuba Cargo Bike can take you almost anywhere you want.

That’s also why our bikes have been built for: to provide sustainable alternatives to your daily car rides while having fun.

So why not trying the challenge yourself? 

Don’t wait wait any longer. Join the Yuba Family !

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