Appeal filed in fixed-gear case

[via the Portland Mercury Blog]

[Notice of appeal]

Portland lawyer Mark Ginsberg has filed an appeal in the Ayla Holland fixed-gear case.

Ginsberg waited to make his decision until after he and his staff could closely scrutinize the transcript from the initial trial.

Ayla Holland told me in a recent phone conversation that she feels strongly about taking this case to a higher court:

“This is important to me on principal. I feel like the officer involved is enforcing his opinion rather than the law.”

Fighting for fixed gears in court

[They’ll get another try.]

Holland also said that there are ten other cyclists who have received the same ticket in the last month since her trial and they all plan to plead “not guilty”.

This is turning into quite a little mess. Do we really want our police resources spent and our courts clogged with these cases? Isn’t there a better, more cooperative way to deal with this?

The cycling community has worked with Police on many contentious issues like Critical Mass, bike theft, crash investigations, and so on. It’s just too bad that in this situation we can’t sit down and work toward solving this problem in a more productive way that respects the concerns of both sides.

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joe
joe
16 years ago

it’s awful to think that the cops have nothing better to do than stop bicyclist. i think they need to find a new target…LIKE REAL CRIMINALS!

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

The least they could do is wait until someone is unable to stop before issueing this ticket. Then I would have no problem with it at all.

Magnum
Magnum
16 years ago

Do we want to spend our police and court as well as out own time and resources in this manner? Of course not. But Portland messengers have been riding the same bikes in the same manner for years. We have not changed what we are doing. It is the police who have changed. And by thier own actions and words they do not plan on stopping. I would also like to point out that the police are no just giving tickets. They are making despariging and predujicial comments about cyclists during the traffic stops, throwing people’s bikes into the street, following people, and detaining people for an hour and a half over a brake ticket. If this is not over stepping the bounds of the law as well as reason then I don’t know what is. Unfortunately the courts have become our only avenue to confront this issue. Messengers do not want to go to court. We would happily do our jobs and drink coffee and avoid the police as much as possible but contrary to what the police say it is clear that they are seeking cyclists out. Ayla and Mr. Ginsberg have my full support thanks as does anyone else who adresses this issue through the courts. I fear however that the courts are not going to take this seriously either as is evidenced by thier lack of interest in moving this issue out of traffic court. As a result probably more people will have to become involved when this becomes a legislative issue. Don’t blame the messengers when this happens either we would gladly like to ask the police to not give us tickets but clearly this doesn’t work.

Patrick
Patrick
16 years ago

I’ve said this before,

The cops stopping kids on bikes are paid to be traffic cops and not catch “real criminals”

That’s why they are traffic cops,

just like cop that hands out tickets for parking violations isn’t going to bust some crack dealer…..

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

They are not stopping kids, they are stopping proffessional bike messengers.

I am sure at the same time there is a cop busting a messenger there are any number of cars making moving violations. It is selective enforcement. And unless they run a light or a stop sign or can’t stop their bike it is harassment.

Tankagnolo Bob
Tankagnolo Bob
16 years ago

I commented on the need for an actual objective scientific study yesterday, then jumped on my bike to head out Broadway east to my favortie Asian food stop on 39th.

A car turned right in front of me, and I slid slightly sideways as I stopped in time with two hand brakes. Even with a coaster brake,if I had been at the top of a pedal stroke, I would have been too slow to get to the “kick back” point to hit the brake. With no brake I believe I would have crashed into the car.

I await objective data. You need it to win in the coarts too. So far, its all religion, just a bunch of “I believes”, me included.

Tankagnolo Bob

veloceroptis
veloceroptis
16 years ago

Its funny how everyone focuses on the wording of the law about “the ability to skid on dry pavement.” Do you forget that we live in Portland where it rains 2/3 of the year, which basically means wet pavement. Now tell me, who is going to stop quicker…a rider on a fixie the can stop their wheels in a fairly quick manner, or a rider on a regular bike that has to wait for the brake pads and rim surface to dry up before the brakes effectively take hold and stop the bike. Never mind the thousands of bikes riding the road that are out of tune and cannot stop as well as fixie or tuned road bikes in general. I don’t ride a fixie, but jesus, give them a break. How is it after all these years, fixed gear bikes are suddenly a threat to the “safety” of the public (or at least commuters that obviously don’t like them). Instead of complaining about certain bikes/bicyclists, how about putting your energy into creating safer bike routes through the city, finding aggressive/hit and run drivers, etc.

Randy
Randy
16 years ago

“just like cop that hands out tickets for parking violations isn’t going to bust some crack dealer…”

Members of Portland’s Parking Patrol aren’t cops.

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

I believe that as an experienced fixed rider I would have been listening to the car and looking at it as it passed me to see if a turn signal was on or if the driver was looking to the right where he was going to turn. I would already be resisting the forward motion of the pedals, instinctually. If a person did turn in front of me, I would turn with them if I couldn’t stop.

I am not kidding about how much more attention you pay to the road and other road users when you ride a fixed gear bike without a caliper brake.

Bob, you have to understand that on a fixed gear bike just relaxing your leg muscles slows the bike down.

If you ever want to ride one, I have a commuter bike with caliper brakes front and rear in addition to being a fixed gear. No attitude just bikes and biking my email is aeeightysix@hotmail.com

Patrick
Patrick
16 years ago

I like this part. When asked if Officer Barnum asked “the defendant” if she was able to skid teh wheel he replies,

“Absolutely would not want to have that motorist or cylclist try and duplicate something that is illegal IN MY OPINION, (bold added) or something that would be unsafe to the motoring public or pedestrians in the downtown core area.”

1. Isn’t he essentially saying, “I’m not going to follow the statute” ? In his opinion apparently he doesn’t have to follow the statute. That seems a bit scary.

2. If he was so concerned that the cyclist could be at risk, (on wet pavement none the less) why did he let her ride away on the bike?

3. I like the Big Wheel example but have to admitt that my big wheel even had a brake on the back wheel, you could get that thing hauling ass and then grab the brake and spin out it was the coolest thing……

You were King of the Big Wheel if you could do a full 360 or more….

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

I think a better example would have been that you can go to the velodrome and watch people go 35 mph three inches away from each other and when someone messes up they are still able to resist the pedals, slow down and avoid the downed rider, all the while travelling in what resembles a giant cereal bowl. Any bike that is safe at velodrome speeds is safe on the street if geared appropriately, which is lower than what you use at the track.

Another great example would have been how before there was a freewheel, before caliper brakes, before the coaster brake, before there were paved roads, there was ONLY the fixed gear, and somehow the species managed to propagate despite what a dangerous scourge they were.

BTW the original Big Wheel did not have an auxillary brake.

Patrick
Patrick
16 years ago

For the arguments sake and to clarify,

Are we saying that a fixed gear with a brake would not be any safer than a fixed gear with no brake?

Or,

In terms of stopping distance:

Would a fixed gear with no brake vs. a fixed gear with a brake take longer, shorter or the same to stop?

As much as I like what’s going on, it’s pretty obvious what they meant by a brake…..

With that said, I don’t want one on my bike and feel I can stop it just fine….

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

How long is irrelavent. To satisfy the law the (braked) wheel must skid and we have seen Ayla’s video. As far as I am concerned a fixed hub satisfies the definiton of a brake, because you can stop the bike with it, even though it’s primary purpose is as a drive unit. Regulating your cadence regulates the speed of the bike, to reduce your cadence to zero stops the bike, therefore it is a brake. Simple.

Patrick
Patrick
16 years ago

SkiD,

It was a general question take the Ayla situation out of it and ask yourself those questions, that’s all I’m asking. The above questions. As for the Big Wheel example, I merely mentioned that MY Big Wheel had the cool brake that would enable the 360’s.

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
16 years ago

I merely mention Alya’s video because it is a great example of just how well a fixed gear stops, and it compares the stopping distance to a coaster brake bike skidding.

Everyone knows that a front brake is more effective in stopping a bike than any type of rear brake. Remember, the law says the braked wheel must skid, and I don’t think you can get the front wheel to skid on a road bike on dry, level pavement.

I stand by my definition of a fixed hub as a brake as well as a drive mechanism.

steve
steve
16 years ago

Come on folks! Don’t ruin it for the cops. They have nice government jobs with decent pay and a handsome pension coming after what, 20 years? Don’t ruin it for them. Work hard, pay your taxes (their paychecks) and let them have a make-work job giving tickets to cyclists. Hey, the rest of us have to at least pretend to do something useful at work – leave the cops alone and let them have a good cushy job giving tickets to girls on bikes. They deserve it – don’t you think?

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country! What can you do? Work hard, pay those taxes, let the cops have a fun make-work job spending your hard earned tax dollars and then DON’T FORGET TO PAY THOSE CYCLING TRAFFIC TICKETS! 🙂

BLDZR
16 years ago

*sigh*

paul
paul
16 years ago

I find this situation interesting. The bottom line is you have two kinds of people:

1 = Fixed gear riders, these are people that have stepped up and given it a try. Maybe it was for them, maybe not. These people have come to find that a fixed gear bike makes the rider much more aware of what is going on. Sounds crazy but it is TRUE.

2 = Your basic biker that has not tried a fixed gear but still feels like they need to express the fact that they know it all. For some reason these people feel they need to go out of their way to argue a point that in the end they trully know nothing about. How can a person who does not ride a fixed gear even enter into this converstasion?

If I was on a plane and the pilot told me that the turbulance was really safe and not to worry I would believe him. Why? because he flies the f-in plane and I sure do not.

They should listen to the messengers, heck they are professionals that risk their life everyday. I think we can all agree that although brakeless fixed gear bikes are a trend messengers would not risk their life if it was only for the sake of being cool. THEY RIDE THEM BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM SAFE, end of story!

I think we should make everyone ride a fixed with no brakes, it would be safer in my eyes. Everyone rideing slower, crazy concept! I think the cops need to give tickets to the jack asses that ride to work in full spandex and think it is the Tour De France, they are the ones going to hurt someone.

Corrick
Corrick
16 years ago

I was tailed by a cop car for 20 blocks in NW on friday. Now I know why!

KrazyGluon
KrazyGluon
16 years ago

as a “jack ass in full spandex” I have to say that we don’t all bike at 25mph just because we’re in spandex. I wear spandex on my commute because I sweat so much that no matter what I wear (or how fast or slow I bike,) I’m going to be changing at work, so I chose the most comfortable aerodynamic clothing available. incidentally I refuse to wear logowear spandex (something about that seems snoody), I just ride in cheap solid colors, none of which match.