Fixed-gear bill passes House committee

Senate Bill 729, which seeks to clarify the existing bicycle brake requirement so that fixed-gear bicycles don’t need an additional brake (as long as they meet the performance standard), got its first hearing on the House side of the capitol in Salem this morning.

The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the bill and now it moves to the to the House floor for a vote. Since it has already passed the Senate, all that’s left is a favorable House vote and the bill will become law.

Committee Chair Greg McPherson, speaking to lawyer Mark Ginsberg at the end of the work session summed up the state’s position,

“In other words, we’re making sure our statutes conform to the federal standard as to the distance within which a bicycle has to be able to stop and we don’t regulate how it has to accomplish that, just as long at there’s equipment that allows that to happen.”

After the work session this morning, Judiciary Committee members joked that someone should bring a fixie into House chambers for a demonstration before the vote. No word yet on whether that’s going to happen.

For more background on this story, browse my fixed-gear article archives.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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gabrielamadeus
gabrielamadeus
17 years ago

Heck yes, so that means all those brakeless tallbikes and BMX bikes can legally “soul-braked” now! whoop! whoop!

JustaDog
17 years ago

And BIG government gets BIGGER…

Dabby
Dabby
17 years ago

What is the performance standard of a “Soul Brake”?

I doubt it fit’s even under the new guidelines….

Brakeless is stupid………….Fixed gears have a brake…

If you bike has no brake, I advise putting one on it…..Now…….

SKiDmark
SKiDmark
17 years ago

I think gabe is being a wise ass.

Just think of all the meth Barnum and Balzer could have gotten off the streets if they had been pulling over ACTUAL brakeless BMX bikes downtown.

Now I can go back to watching the traffic downtown instead of looking for Police motorcycles when I am riding my track bike.

Casey
17 years ago

As far as I could tell the problem bikes being pulled over were only fixed gears, not ten foot tall bikes or brakeless BMXs. Hopefully this will resolve the gray area involving a law (“A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.” -Oregon Vehicle Code 815.280) that allowed a very select few police officers to interpret it any which way they felt would allow them to pull over and ticket a group of cyclists that are notoriously slandered and badmouthed by a wide range of other cyclists and drivers alike. Relating track bikes to law breaking/bad attitudes is as ignorant and stereotypical as relating spandex and carbon fiber to obnoxious yuppies and 401(k) plans. It is all ridiculous and like Skidmark states we can all concentrate on the more important issues like not getting run over, avoiding cell phone chatting oblivious pedestrians and drivers, etc.

zak
zak
17 years ago

so do we know when this going to vote?

nerf
nerf
17 years ago

this isn’t going to be retro-active is it? cuz i got five of these wonderful tickets i’d like to stop paying for….

Vance
16 years ago

I\’m too lazy to look it up. Does any one know how the performance standards are going to be enforced? I watch you guys on your brakeless bikes skid-out, crash, and fall all over the place. Endlessly entertaining, so I was hoping you\’d get to keep \’em. If this results in special-licensing, or bike-inspections, I hope you are all happy with yourselves, in advance. I can\’t see any other place the enforcement of such a ridiculous statute could go. Thanks a lot. Bet the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on writing this could\’ve fed a lot of folks.