Tuesday, August 01, 2006

When did Portland get so uptight about coaster brakes?

Remind me to go around Portland on my next big bike trip. Coaster brakes Fixed gear braking is illegal there. You need caliper-style handbrakes. WTF? Boing Boing takes you in the courtroom:
Now it was time for Officer Barnum to ask questions.
He asked Holland, "What would you do if your chain broke?"
Holland: "I would use my feet."
Officer Barnum: "What if your leg muscles had a spasm?"
Holland: "I'm not sure...these are emergency situations."
My entire childhood was spent on fixed-gear coaster brake bikes, and although I had my problems, brake-failure was not among them -- and the fixed-gears aren't all that different in their braking power. What's wrong with the folks in Portland? Don't they have better things to do? (Thanks to Andrew Turley in the Comments for the technical advice.)


paulo said...

That's pretty ridiculous. My entire childhood was spent on fixed-gear bikes, too, and I don't remember a single failure. Those brakes were vital to doing great skidding stops. Won't somebody think of the children?

Andrew Turley said...

fixed gear != coaster brake

On the page that boingboing links to, the officer specifically mentions coaster brakes as being legitimate brakes, in his opinion.

Madison Guy said...

Thanks, Andrew. Correction made (I think). Still think the cops probably have better things to do. Why not hold people responsible for the results, rather than how they get there?