Today was a really strange one.
First I got this tweet from Prolly that some bicycle cops were ticketing people for riding brakeless fixed gears on the Williamsburg Bridge. I really hope this is just some random police fluke and not going to set off a wave of unwanted attention where we have to argue the efficiency and equal stopping power of the bikes we all love to ride.
This could lead to more useless legislation favoring the police to make money on tickets and we the bikers to be stopped and harassed.
According to bike hugger this “to brake or not to have a brake” situation eventually lead to a 2006 law being passed in Portland Oregon mandating that all fixed gear bikes needed to be equipped with hand brakes.
similar ordinances have been enforced in Berlin.
The cops stopping people in NYC, must have a lot to do with the horrible design of the bike path on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg bridge that dumps you right into the middle of two way speeding traffic. Instead of coming up with a better design, first they tried to put those speed bumps on the bridge which ended up injuring more bikers then controlling our speed. Then we fought and won to have those removed and now its a random sting operations with all kinds of bs stories like clocking our speeds on the bridge and parking police vans in the middle of the downward ramp.
What is a more efficient way to stop? Using your feet on a fixie or having to be stopped by the police to find out how you stop? OH STOP!
Thats right blame the type of bicycles we have. Its like blaming reckless driving on the fact that too many people have cars that can go over 150mph.
Speaking of not stopping and reckless driving…did you catch what happened in the East Village today?
This according to the NY Times.
9 people including an infant were injured by a speeding NYPD patrol car. Read the story here.
Hmmmm, maybe the police should be more concerned with controlling their own vehicles. Just saying.
And also, I got this email from local bicycle activist and advocate, Amanda Hickman.
I got jumped last night, riding on Franklin Ave, just before Willoughby.
There’s a schoolyard there, and always a few burned out streetlights. A
girl ran out into the street and was kind of dodging me and just as I
realized that I was probably in trouble, she called to her friends who
ran from between some parked cars. They tackled me, took my backpack
(from my basket, where I keep it because I carried a messenger bag for
too many years and my back is a mess now) and ran back into the school yard.
The thing I keep coming back to is the folks who came out to help me,
one of whom said several times that it happens “all the time” to
cyclists right there. I like to think of myself as pretty street smart
but I’ve never seen something like this. I’ve had kids try to chase me
on bikes of their own, but this three kid tackle move? WTF? I’m not even
sure what I could have done differently except maybe grab my bag myself
I’m fine, I don’t actually own anything of value so most of what they
took they left under some stairs a block away, but I was really struck
by the “all the time” bit. Is this a thing?
These kids knew what they were doing.
I thought you might know. I thought you might be game to ask your
readers if you don’t.
Really sorry to hear that Amanda. Do others know of similar experiences in that area?
So maybe the NYPD, since they are so concerned with our safety, should Stop stopping us on the bridges and get over to these neighborhoods to stop the muggers from stopping the bikers.