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Messengers break out the sticks

Posted by on August 7th, 2006 at 7:46 am

[Photo: Dabby]

In response to the following comments made by the traffic court judge in the Ayla Holland/fixed-gear trial,

“If your client had a stick she could rub against her tire, you’d have a case.”

many local messengers are now equipped with stick-brakes.

They are also holding a stick-braking competition.

The event flyer (below) says the event is being organized by a group called the Horizontal Dropouts and it will include a stick-stop competition, stick-stands, and backwards sticking.

Click image to enlarge.

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Brett
Guest
Brett

I hope people understand the difference between a comment and a ruling. Stick brakes are not legal… yet.

Austin
Guest

I just picked up a sweet Campy stick. Can’t wait to get it installed. . .

Tim Jackson
Guest

Awesome! I love the resourcefullness of messengers.

Gregg
Guest
Gregg

Regarding that competition, I predict that the person that runs their stick through their spokes will win.

felix
Guest

Haha this is awesome! Just don’t hold it to agressivly when you are pulled over or you might get a ZAP! from a some tazer happy boy in blue ;).

Tomas
Guest
Tomas

Which kind of stick works best in wet weather? Will I have to replace it every season? Which Wood Would You Use?

Steve
Guest
Steve

I would recommend either cedar or redwood for their ability to resist rot…cedar is pretty soft though and redwood spendy. I hear that pressure treating is available for those die-hard fir fans.

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

http://www.extremespin.com/diabolos/parts/Henrys-Carbon-Sticks-LG.jpg

Note the above carbon brakes include front AND rear. White is also available.

nuovorecord
Guest

“Which Wood Would You Use?”

Why, Phil Wood, of course! 🙂

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Balsa Wood be lightest.

Pete Jacobsen
Guest
Pete Jacobsen

I’d suggest the wood from a rubber tree plant.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

totally riduculous, what a waste of time. with all the battles, y’all choose this one.

Tomas
Guest
Tomas

To Anonymous:
>”totally riduculous, what a waste of time. with all the battles, y’all choose this one.”

We need to laugh, otherwise we’ll all just cry.

joe
Guest
joe

those would be good stick to beat a dead horse with…..hehe jk jk yo

John
Guest
John

Excellent commentary on the ruling!

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

Anonymous, if that is your real name…..
Once again, someone has totally missed the point, or, never tried to understand it in the first place. And now this someone is you.
I will admit, in many battles a stick has been used sucessfully in obtaining a win. One of my favorite’s would be the Shelaily, basically a head conking stick, mainly cause it is fun to say.
As messenger’s, we are not the one’s in position to fight this battle. But we know the people that are on the front line. These are the same peole who’s troops we support during our every working day. Some of them are our friends, and most of them are on our side.
We have work to do. We can’t go to Salem and fight this. So we make the best of it.
Under the clever guise of fun, comes understanding. When you start laughing enough, prejudice fades away.
This is where the “Stick Stop Event” just may come into play.
I was told that everyone is invited. Even you, Anonymous.
So, Sticks at Hign Noon? Where SE Main St meets the river?

Nick
Guest
Nick

I love being a cyclist in Portland. Thaks for the laugh for the day!

Go Fixies!

~n

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

The stick thing is (obviously) ridiculous.

Almost as ridiculous as being told to stop, being able to stop, and then recieving a ticket for “no brakes”. Easily as ridiculous as being told that you have to be able to skid your rear wheel and then not being allowed to demonstate that you can.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Oh Dabby. Yes, that is in fact my real name.

So nice of you to, again, reply with such platitudes, as you do in all your posts. And you imply that I missed the point… “people on the front line” – Oh woe is you, so oppressed. Have fun with your sticks, kids.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Anonymous, I think the “people on the front line” that Dabby was refering to are lawyers. Messengers deliver a lot of stuff for lawyers.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

Yes, the front line as I am refering to is the government of the city of Portland, places like bik eportland.org where these attrocities are brought to light, and groups like the BTA, who lobby for such things in Salem and elsewhere.
Messengers do the leg work for the people on the front line, as in courts, the city, the lawyers, the government, and for lobbyists. Alot of these people don’t even realize it. They put it in a box, or an envelope, and it goes where it is supposed to.
This is where the messenger comes in. Taking things where they are supposed to go, when they are supposed to get there. This is what I meant by the statement that you conveinently quote out of context….

I am sorry that I write in a strange, circular manner that may confuse you. I could use much smaller words, and shorter senteces from now on if you like.
Let me know from now on, and I will send you a bigger texted, simplified version of my posts.
No one will know but us…

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I want a “ONE LESS BRAKE” sticker.

NeRf
Guest
NeRf

nice one mark

Scout
Guest

ONE LESS BRAKE stickers are genius, SkiDmark! Someone should make and sell them to finance Ayla’s appeal.

Matt P.
Guest

Bravo, people – awesome! I love the “One Less Brake” idea, and the appropriateness of carrying the stick.

Dabby, you and the rest of the messengers have my respect for the job that you do and the sheer time you all spend in the saddle. Keep riding, and may your wheels ever be rubber side down (unless you want them to be otherwise)

Nathanael
Guest
Nathanael

This has now gone far beyond ridiculous.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Ride softly and carry a big stick.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I’ll give credit where credit is due. Nerf Ling came up with ONE LESS BRAKE.

Gregg
Guest
Gregg

That’s sticking it to the ban.

bikey mama carie
Guest
bikey mama carie

i know the next BonB is a few weeks off, but, humor my son…
Cody cougarbikencamp has volunteered to give his collection of sticks to the messengers at the next BonB ( his fav thing to do is pick up sticks!!!) stay safe, have more bike fun.
See you on the Bway.
Carie n Cody cougarbikencamp

Anony Moose
Guest

“Have fun with your sticks, kids.”

It would appear that this is meant to be insulting, which is insulting to kids.

Of all the battles, why bother to waste time objecting to this stick, which takes so little effort?

I laughed out loud just seeing the title of the post. My first thought was that it was something violent, but then I remembered the previous article.

Anony Moose
Guest

“…why bother to waste time objecting to this stick…?”

Um, I meant to say “stick fun” as in, Why bother to waste time objecting to this stick fun? Is it because grown-ups should have bigger and better toys than sticks and engage in more-sophisticated types of fun?

Tiah
Guest
Tiah

Is there going to be any jousting? Also, even if we don’t ride fixed can we still enter the stick stop contest? And, then are we not allowed to use our brakes?
to the anonymous poster who said “have fun with your sticks,kids” I would like to retort that sticks can be pretty fawkin fun. Think back to your childhood, when the world was a better place-cos you were having more fun-probably easily amused by things just like sticks.Possibly even real sticks!
granted having a stick for a brake seems odd.
also, does a ski pole or a golf club count as a stick in regards to having a stick for a brake? I mean..there are just so many details to ponder..

Your Local Mechanic
Guest
Your Local Mechanic

Just put a brake on… you’d be safer, so would others if you had a better means of bringing your self to a stop. The fact that someone actually went to court over this, and the fact that the cult of assosiation that is the messenger and the wannabe messenger crowd would be up in arms about such an absurd situation says a lot about what a bunch of wastoids are out there. What an empty, absurd demonstration of the always predictable rebels with out any cause. Just deliver your crap to the business and “justice” establishments, just like good workers that you are, and limit your court room excursions to ANYTHING that is more valid than this rubbish.

LAB
Guest
LAB

So, thine holy mechanic, just because youre one of a thousand mechanics in this city, making your dough off rich weekend warriors with “that same bike that Lance rode”, doesnt put you in a position to write off why many people come into your shop to begin with. The messengers and “wannabe messengers” (just cause you cant skid, you shouldn’t be mad) are making this city and its cycling look GOOD, even a bit, …oh shall I use the term … RAD! Yeah, I said it.

Were putting quite a few folks though your door each year. Keep your gears, cables, odometers, bottle cages, and other high tech gidgy gadgets on top of your car and stop knocking kids who just want the purity, the control, the excitement, and the glory, of having a crank set, chain, and wheel become a genuine extension of their bodies. If you can stop it, and I sure can, better than your brakes can stop you I might say, then you should be allowed to ride it. What about brakes on a skateboard? How do joggers stop themselves if theres no cable and lever?

Anyway, stick it to em Portland.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Some track bikes do not have holes to mount brakes, Mr. Mechanic.

You can’t ride a track bike at the track either, if it has a brake.

Some of us have more than one bike, and the other bikes have brakes.

Thank you, I can stop just fine without one. I am only spinning 68 gear inches (they taught you gear inches, right?) which is easy to resist, hop stop, or (satisfying the law) skid with.

Random girl
Guest
Random girl

Okay, here’s a pretty sketchy analogy, but did you see the movie CARS? Probably not if you don’t have kids, but it was a very cute movie and not about bikes at all, but I do have a point here. In the movie, the main car (can’t remember his name), didn’t have headlights. He was a race car and so this wasn’t a problem for him, until that one night when he accidentally came out of his trailer and was alone on a cold dark night with no headlights. Boy, that was scary.

Sooo, maybe track bikes are meant for the track boys and girls. Maybe on the street, things are different. Just putting that out there.

On the other hand, kids’ bikes almost NEVER have brakes. And some kids ride really fast on those things. Aren’t our safety laws supposed to be MORE stringent for children, not less so? I say, if it’s good enough for the kiddies, it should be for adults too. Anybody else see the disconnect there? Are they going to start ticketing the pre-school crowd for their brakeless bikes? I don’t think my son’s allowance will quite cover it.

Mechanic
Guest
Mechanic

Ha, you’ll be 15 feet off your stop mark come fall even with 68 gear inches. It rains here occasionally. The Velodrome requires that you not use a brake for completely different reasons, comparing it to city riding is not logically coherent, comparisons that also involve joggers, skateboarders, or 4 year old kids on tricycles have ZERO relevance, their speeds are of little comparison. Also in response, too the generalization of Portland’s costumer base, it is a huge analytical leap to characterize Portland’s costumer base as “weekend warriors”, I would say the majority of people I encounter are commuters and bike enthusiasts. Please stop deluding yourselves into believing you are the echelons of bike culture. Oh, I was riding a fixed gear before it was a little fad, and some tried to appropriate it. Maybe you should consider a bike that has the ability to mount a brake (although that might bruse some ego’s), or go to city bikes find a fork with a tight rake and that has been drilled for a brake. Oh, “Mr. Mechanic”, don’t be so quick to slap a gender orientation on me.

Jonathan Maus
Guest

Folks,

I sense increased amount of personal attacks in the comments of late (not just on this thread but others too).

Please understand how hard I have worked to create a space where intelligent discussion (even between people that disagree) can take place.

I would really appreciate it if you could resist the name-calling and meanness (no matter how subtle).

Think of this site as a gathering in my living room and conduct yourself as if you are talking face-to-face with your fellow commenters.

Thanks.

Caroline
Guest

Can you pass a beer?

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

Most definitely Jonathan! Portland bicycledom is not so big that you wont meet everyone else on here at some point. Meaness based on anonymity is for car drivers, not cyclists.

John Boyd

Chakra Lu
Guest
Chakra Lu

a couple of questions to be thought about before reply…
has anyone ever witnessed a problem with the best brake man has made (fixed) in traffic?
With mechanical brakes, the can fault so easily, even after a tune up or adjustment…
I have NEVER witnessed the admirable couriers have a problem with their legs…afterall, they have been doing this for awhile, and better to trust in your own body than a mechanical device that you don’t have control or prediction of faulting…(including “economy” cars – should be outlawed – fault all too much)…
the simple fact is they can brake with their legs, skidding, sliding, hopping, slowing down with leg motion…
I have witnessed cycle accidents with mechanical brakes – that is all too scary for the cyclist and whoever is in path…
so, why now? why the sting on the best MAN MADE brake ever???
I would think ANY other brake is a hazard…
common sense…it’s the principle that they are taking time out of citing couriers rather than the lame arses turning into me at the light when THEY DON’T STOP AT red light before turning…or, the idiots leaving the door open in the lane…or the nincumpoops who are talking on the phone or chatting and running red lights halting the persuing traffic or almost running over a pedestrian…where are those cites? not to mention the drunks making it obvious with their swerving…must the traffic cops pay attention to the cyclists more than the most dangerous vehicles out there? a little warped in the brain is what i say…
just a couple of thoughts…
it’s not about a mechanical brake being safer – because it isn’t…it’s about the control and misunderstanding…and how f’d our system REALLY is…again, what’s next?

magnum
Guest
magnum

The brake law as written has been on the books for over 20 years. A lot of messengers in Porltand have been working for over 10 years. Some of them have even been using the same bike that enitre time. Yes, some of us have also been riding a fixed gear without brakes this entire time. If there were actually a legitimate problem with the efficacy of stopping without a mechanical brake you would think it would not have taken 20 years to figure it out. The fight over the brake law has nothing to do with brakes. From reading these and other blogs it appears that everyone is suddenly concerned about safety. If maximising safety was the police’s goal then focusing all this time, energy and resources onto the world of bicycling and the microcosim of cycling that is fixed gear bikes by any measure (injuries, fatalities, protection of property) is abou the most ineffiecnt way to maximise safety that I can think of. The police are not pulling people over who they (the police) believe are riding “unsafe” and then realizing they do not have a brake and upon this realization ticketing them. The police are ticketing people because they now realize that they can. The fight over the brake law has nothing to do with safety. Bicycles are not a major problem in Portland or I would argue anywhere. There are obviously some cops out there who just don’t like bicycles. The fight over the brake law has to do with eliminating as may tools that the cops have to overreach with because they already have too many.

Randy
Guest
Randy

A bunch of fixed gear riders came on the BAC ride last night and rode in a crowd of 40 cyclists on both the streets and some pretty tight and sketchy trails. Not once was there a problem with anyone’s inability to brake, nor did any of the riders with brakes complain or feel threatened in the presence of ‘brakeless’ fixies.

dee
Guest

to Post 33 and anyone else plannng to attend on Saturday.
I tend not to ponder many of the details of my events before hand. You should bring a stick and a plan for how to use it. Maybe a mouth gaurd and helmet depending on what your plan is. A positive attitude is definetly required. Keep in mind this whole thing is just a way to show how ridiculous this whole brake / no brake thing is. Smiles everyone.

Beer

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Mechanic, did you miss the part about having other bikes? One is fixed, 63 gear inches, front and rear brakes, lights, and fenders. That is my rain bike. My track bike is a prima donna and doesn’t see the rain.

Sorry I made an assumption about your gender, you post had a lot of ego to it.

I invite any of you doubters to ride with me on my track bike to see if I can or can’t stop.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I was not comparing the track to city riding. I was pointing out that my track bike goes to the track. There is a smaller cog on the other side of the hub for the track.

Mechanic
Guest
Mechanic

Alright, that makes more sense. The only thing I really want to communicate here is that this really isn’t the big deal it is being made out to be. Maybe someone can clarify, because I’m trying to look at this logically from a safety point of view concerning the brake stuff. The physics of braking just work a lot better with that front brake, at least to use in an emergency situation. I also just read that Dabby has written to the BTA, I don’t think that they are really going to put up much of a fight for this cause. I will also add that some of your braking skills out there among the messengers and those not-messenging differs greatly. Anyways, I’m done posting here for a while, good luck with the city, I really hope you all can be as safe as possible out there, I’m really not writing here out of pure malice, it’s more out of concern for the safety of everyone out there. If having a brake on your front wheel spares you from dying or at the very least smashing into a car without insurance and being in debt for the next 10 years I think that is a good thing.

Tiah
Guest
Tiah

Dee,
Thanks for responding, though I was really just pondering outloud what all could constitute a stick. I am looking forward to your event.

Magnum,
That was very well put.

LAB
Guest
LAB

OK, the problem here is that no cop or law or judge is going to tell me that I have to put a front brake on my bike. I used to have one on, but worked my ass off on my skids and short stops to be able to take it off. Now I am truly free. The ruling is only going to make things worse between ballsy riders and dickhead cops, especially if their last name is Balzer. (Hey thanks for the ticket guy.) From now on, Im not going to stop for em to give me a fine, Ill just spit on their windshields and put up the ol middle finger like I do to every other ass in a car that has something to say about what and how I ride. Maybe this city will realize that we are here to stay and tired of taking their shit, especially all the damned construction zones, WTF!? This is bike city and as long as I have anything to say about it, it always will be. Adios, muchas gracias.