Are brakeless fixies illegal?

BikePortland.org | Judge finds fault with fixies

In Portland on Thursday, a judge ruled that fixed-gear bikes must be equipped with brakes.

A bike messenger named Ayla Holland was ticketed for violating Oregon’s cycling law, which like many states requires a bicycle to “be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.”

Many fixie enthusiasts maintain that brakes are unnecessary, since the rider can slow the bike by resisting the pedals’ rotation, meeting the “skid” requirement.

Holland and her attorney argued unsuccessfully that the fixed cogset and the rider’s leg power constitute a brake, but the judge was not convinced. “If your client had a stick she could rub against her tire, you’d have a case,” he said, but the brake must be a device separate from the rider.

Nice job of reporting by BikePortland, which apparently sat in on the case, and says Holland may appeal; she has 30 days to decide.

Update: Jonathan has updated the story at BikePortland after it was linked at BoingBoing.

Bike Hugger Brown

Besides the shirts, socks, stickers and other schwag, another product we’re working on now with SchoonerExact is Bike Hugger Brown, a mellow, nut-brown style ale, brewed for cyclists on skinny tires.

Race Day is Upon Us

The 10th annual Downhill & Messenger challenge is Friday August 4th. This legendary race starts at the Church of Bicycle Jesus and goes somewhere downhill really freakin’ fast. The race should offer all the thrills and spills of Nascar without the internal combustion, of course.

Alternative Cycling Apparel

Reader Brian Langdon sent us Twin Six, who make and sell Alternative Cycling Apparel, including The Cabby that won recently won Bicycling mag’s jersey of the month.

A Monthly Mass

Added to the list of things I’ve done on a bike is “unplanned ride with Critical Mass.” Pam and I were riding, stopped at an intersection and here comes one big horde of cyclists – it was the last Friday of the month. So, what else to do then join them! It was mostly an orderly ride, lots of mashup bikes, no arrests like the last time, fun, and when they turned left back into the city, we kept going straight and towards home. Later on the bike path, I talked to a commuter that had just given up his car, citing Peak Oil and had also just ridden with Critical Mass. He thought it was great and I thought I wasn’t sure how effective making already angry drivers angrier was.

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