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Burdick axes fixed-gear language from brake bill

Posted by on June 19th, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Senator Ginny Burdick accepted
an Alice Award in March.
(File photo)

In a conference committee in Salem today, Senator Ginny Burdick decided that Senate Bill 729 — which sought to update Oregon’s law regarding bicycle brake requirements — will move forward without a key phrase that would have allowed fixed-gear bicycles to not be required to have a separate brake.

The bill — which had already passed the House and the Senate — initially read,

“A bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement, except that a fixed gear bicycle is not required to be equipped with a separate brake.”

Burdick, a Portland Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, made it clear today that she was not comfortable with the fixed-gear clarification, even though she has twice voted in favor of the bill while it included that phrase.

According to Portland lawyer Mark Ginsberg, who attended today’s hearing, Burdick told her colleagues in the committee that she would not allow the bill to leave the committee unless that phrase was removed.

fixie bill in Salem

Portland lawyer Mark Ginsberg
testified in support of the bill last March
(File photo)

This last minute change is a huge blow to Ginsberg, who has worked with southern Oregon Senator Jason Atkinson to clarify the law.

“It’s disappointing to me that one person (Burdick) can trip up the entire process, especially in light of the fact that she changed her position on the bill, then used procedural maneuvers to squash it.”
–Portland lawyer Mark Ginsberg

Back in August, Atkinson vowed to clear up confusion about fixed-gear bicycles back in August, when he heard about Portland cyclists being ticketed for not having a separate hand brake on their fixed-gear bicycles, despite conflicting traffic court rulings on the issue.

Ginsberg, who has been involved with this issue since defending bike messenger Ayla Holland against a fixed-gear brake ticket in July of last year, says he’s “disappointed” with Burdick’s move.

Speaking on the phone from Salem today he said,

“I’m disappointed because the language that’s been problematic is still there…so we’ve spent a lot of time and taxpayer dollars and telling our elected officials what’s important to us and we still haven’t fixed the problem. We’re exactly where we were before all this started.

It’s disappointing to me that one person (Burdick) can trip up the entire process especially in light of the fact that she changed her position, then used procedural maneuvers to squash it. I expect we’ll be working with her in the future…but it seemed like we were there already.”

Burdick says she takes full responsibility for what happened to the fixed-gear portion of this bill, and that she is not “anti-fixie”. She told me her change of heart was mainly, “just second thoughts,”

“After it initially went through, I had a lot of reservations…my own daughter (who works at River City Bicycles in Portland) rides fixies on the velodrome. She jumped on me pretty hard and said there were a lot of people on fixies who really don’t know what they’re doing, so changing the standard across the board would not be a good idea.”

Burdick says she realizes that a problem remains, but that she thought the solution “is more complex” than she had time to deal with,

“…I’m certainly not anti-fixie…what I’d like to do is deal with the fixie issue on its own, in a more deliberate way. I think what we did today, by getting more of a performance standard, might help, but I’m not pretending we solved that problem. I take full responsibility for this and perhaps we should have spent more time on this in committee.”

For Burdick, it comes down to a safety issue,

“My first priority is safety so I think this issue needs more deliberation. You really have to find a way to allow the bikes for the people who know what they’re doing, but if you don’t have something that’s kind of tangible (in the law), it’s very hard to enforce it…that’s my struggle here.

I feel guilty for all this, so I’ll try twice as hard to deal with this issue next time it comes up.”

The committee held today was comprised of Senators Atkinson, Burdick, and Roger Beyer (R-Mollala) and Representatives Tobias Read (D-Beaverton), Greg McPherson (D-Lake Oswego), and Kevin Cameron (R-Salem).

According to Ginsberg the fixed-gear language had strong support from four members of the committee — Read, Macpherson, Atkinson, and Cameron — but as Chair of the committee, Burdick has final word in this situation.


For complete coverage of this issue, visit my Fixed Gear Ruling archives.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Qwendolyn
Guest

There is more to this than meets the eye.

jay
Guest
jay

thats ridiculous. too many kids are getting bullshit tickets.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

This is the disgusting arrogance of Congress critters on display. Ginny\’s uncomfortable with something, so low and behold, the rest of the world must bow to her wisdom. People can\’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves of their own free will. We have to have the govt telling what is best.

How many deaths have we had from fixed gear cyclists unable to stop in time? How many deaths have we had from distracted car drivers failing to yield? Which problem does Ginny condescend to personally solve?

Thanks for absolutely nothing.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

\”There is more to this than meets the eye.\”

Yep. Nothing is an accident by politicians at her level. She had this planned all along.

josh m
Guest
josh m

It\’s awesome that our local government all vote for this to pass and ONE person can say, \’eh… nahhhh\’ even after they agree with it twice before?!

felix
Guest

Maybe Tektro Brake Company made a large campaign donation 😉

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

Clearly Ginny was for it before she was against it.

Ginny Burdick, profile in courage.

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

The bicycle must be equipped with a brake that enables the operator of the bicycle to stop the bicycle within 15
feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement, except that a fixed gear bicycle is not required to be
equipped with a separate brake.

As one who has the pleasure of receiving a ticket for braking with only the aid of a fixed gear, I do not believe we want a specific exception written into statute.

This exception seems to contradict my successfully argued position that a fixed gear itself is a brake is anything used to restrain motion. I would much rather the existing law be enforced and adjudicated rationally. The fixed gear is specifically considered a brake in Britain and other US local statutes.

As far as what Ginny was thinking, I have no idea other than the word \”except\” just feels very wrong. If something has to be added, then \”additionally, fixed gear bicycle is not required to be equipped with a separate brake.\” seems less wrong.

Jonathan Maus / BikePortland
Guest

Folks, I just hung up with Ginny Burdick.

I am typing up a response and thoughts from her right now. Please consider holding your comments until you read them.

BURR
Guest
BURR

there\’s no point to this legislation without the fixed gear language? I offer my own altered version below, which corrects for everything:

“A bicycle operator must be able to stop their bicycle within 15 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.”

Cecil
Guest
Cecil

Here\’s the only problem with having the language considered and then removing it from the eventually enacted bill: under the Oregon courts\’ approach to statutory construction, the first thing the court looks to is the language of the statute. Here, the statute states (and as amended would still state) that a bike must be \”equipped with a brake.\” That indicates a separate part made for the sole purpose of braking the bike, as opposed to a method of braking based on the set-up of the drive train. In most cases in which the text of the statute is not helpful, we ask the court to look to the legislative history. In this case, this is where we run into more trouble, because the argument can now be made that the legislature considered making an exception for fixies and explicitly chose NOT to . . .

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

Cecil,
\”equipped with a brake.\” That indicates a separate part made for the sole purpose of braking the bike, as opposed to a method of braking based on the set-up of the drive train.
It may very well indicate that to you and officer Balzer, however to the dictionary, it does not.
The M-W definition of equipped is \”to provide with what is useful, necessary or appropriate\”. I like to think my non-redundantly-braked FG meets all three there. A caliper brake on a FG maybe meets two of those three.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

I stand by my statement, Ginny thinks citizens can\’t be trusted to make their own rational decisions. Govt must intervene to protect us from ourselves. And yet I ask again, if this is such a problem, where are the dead fixie riders?

But hey Ginny feels really bad. And feelings count for a lot so don\’t be mean. And she takes full responsibility. What her \”responsibility\” is worth I have no idea.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Guest
Attornatus_Oregonensis

Jonathan, I assume the quotes you have from Burdick above are the response you refer to in #9, above. Anyway, here goes:

Sadly, Ms Burdick has abdicated her most basic responsibility to the people of Oregon by failing to adequately inform herself to vote on an issue before her in her representative capacity. Her admission that she has based her vote on the statements of one person, a relative, demonstrates that she lacks necessary understanding of the proper techniques for developing a legislative record and of the types of information that are appropriately relied upon in forming such a record. If there were such a thing as \”legislative malpractice,\” Ms Burdick would be a textbook case. Unfortunately, the only way to check this abuse of legislative power is to vote against Ms Burdick at the next available opportunity.

But Ms Burdick does not stop there. She compounds her ineptitude by exposing the fixie-riders of Portland to continued risk of citation from an overzealous and misguided police force despite an uttler lack of evidence that fixies have been responsible for any stopping-related safety problems.

Please consider writing Ms Burdick and explaining to her that there was ample opportunity for deliberation on this issue and that her failure to adequately prepare for her comittee\’s business is not an appropriate reason for delaying justice, especially when a majority of the committee members support the measure.

While you\’re at it, please consider writing Mark Ginsberg and thanking him for all his many months of hard work on this issue, work that threatens to be undone by the self-indulgent actions of a single privileged dilettante.

PdxMark
Guest
PdxMark

I think Cecil is right. This sequence of events makes it almost as hard as possible to argue that a fixed gear bike without a separate brake is legal. With the legislature having explicitly deleted language that would have made an \”exception\” for fixed gear bikes, a court would likely interpret the new brake law as implicitly requiring that fixies have a separate brake. I think this is one step forward, two steps back, folks.

PdxMark
Guest
PdxMark

Follow-up thought … A veto might even be better than this definition getting signed into law…

Spencer
Guest
Spencer

Because of the emotionality of the previous responses, I\’ll probably get a lot of crap for this but I would rather she be conservative on the side of safety. Her discussion of un-experienced riders seemed valid and the down side is that all the experienced people have to have to install a hand brake that only weighs a few ounces.

How does the addition of one brake change the feel the ride or the experience? Is it just the aesthetic? I am not being flippant. I just want to know.

Cecil
Guest
Cecil

John (Post #12) – I don\’t dispute the meaning of equipped, neither am I implying that you can\’t stop your bike just as well without a redundant caliper brake (actually, I don\’t really care as long as you stop your bike at stop signs and don\’t run red lights, but I digress) – the point I was making was had to do with the reference to \”a brake\” in conjunction with \”equipped.\” I\’ve spent enough years arguing with the Court of Appeals as to the meaning of statutes to have a pretty good idea that they would translate \”a brake\” as meaning a part that serves no purpose other than to stop the bike. I\’d probably have a better chance of convincing them that a stick attached to my downtube with a pump strap meets the statutory requirement than a fixie does . . . but hey, the only way to find out for sure is for someone to take their case all the way up. Until then, or until there is a legislative fixie fix, we\’ll all just have to fight it out on a case-by-case basis. Actually, not all of us, just the folks on fixies – but all of us can continue to work on the legislature to resolve the issue.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

Spencer, her discussion of unexperienced riders is a hypothetical unsupported by any data. It is the old fear, uncertainty and doubt argument.

As for the \”experience\” it is not for Ginny to decide, in a country that values liberty it is the cyclist\’s decision.

Finally, Ginny had adequate opportunity to address all this previously. She did not. She made the entire legislative process irrelevent to her personal and arbitrary perogative. All citizens should be outraged regardless of their opinion on the fixed brake issue.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I fixed gear hub IS A BRAKE. You can slow down and STOP the bike with it, therefore it is a brake.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I want to know if there has been any communication between Ginny Burdick and that one Judge and those two Cops.

Sasha
Guest
Sasha

Senator,

I am very disappointed with you decision to kill the language surrounding fixed gear brakes on the recent committee vote for Senate Bill 729. Given your previous support of said language, and sudden shift it is difficult to believe that you were adequately educated on, or prepared to make decisions about this matter.

That of course is a good reason to vote no, or delay voting. However, this matter has received plenty of testimony and explanation on the part of the sponsoring parties and the fact that you were still unprepared displays only one thing to me: poor leadership.

The simple fact is that law abiding citizens are being punished daily by the Portland Police with unnecessary traffic enforcement actions that specifically target fixed gear bicyclists. Portland is far from the only city that has fixed gear riders, yet is indeed nearly the only city handing out punitive action for it. People aren\’t dying in the streets, or even being hurt in any significant number due to fixed gear bikes. People aren\’t incapable of riding these bikes, in fact quite the opposite is true. It takes great care to ride a fixed gear, and if anything it makes you more aware of your surroundings.

There are only two things going on, excessive enforcement by the Portland Police of an ambiguously written law, and your failure to prepare. The first is understandable, but the latter punishes your constituents unfairly. Please do us all a favor and educate yourself quickly so that this matter can be resolved post haste.

Anything else is wasting not only our tax dollars but unfortunately our traffic court tolerance as well.

Sincerely,

S

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

In my opinion, the fixed gear \”fix\” was poorly thought out to begin with. A proper \”fix\” would have cleaned up the definition of \”brake\” to one that makes sense. Adding an exemption for fixed gears doesn\’t do that, it just makes an exemption for one class of bikes without overhauling the statute, when the brake statute itself should be overhauled.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

My bad– My opinion in post 23 was poorly thought out. 😉

Actually, after checking just now, the proposed statute addressed the problems in the current brake statute very well.
Whether the fixed gear exception was a good of bad fix– i.e., whether a fixed gear should be defined as a brake, or as an exception to the rule– is a different matter.

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

Cecil (18), I agree that a brake is commonly understood to mean a mechanism that serves no other purpose than to slow movement. and well stated.
The irony/beauty is that for such a simple mechanism, the fixed gear bicycle itself has not been commonly understood since ca. 1899. Certainly not commonly understood once the freewheel and dérailleur became ubiquitous. Understanding kinda seems to be coming back however.

josh m
Guest
josh m

The opinion on a employee of river city about fixed gears holds little water for me. The only fixed gears river city carries are low end(Pistas and langsters). The majority of those going in to purchase those fixed gears are unexperienced.
(hence their choice in \”track\” bikes).

This is just complete bullshit.

Disco D
Guest
Disco D

I think everyone has pretty much already said what I would have…

Except, I bet her daughter is not popular right now. I really bet she wishes her mom would have left her out of her comments on this…

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Cecil, what about a coasterbrake? It is as much a drive mechanism as it is a brake mechanism. Oh yeah, so is a fixed gear hub.

Martha S.
Guest
Martha S.

Damn it, if she feels like the language is not clear enough, or specific enough, why doesn\’t she clarify it instead of just axing it? That little phrase was, originally, the whole point of the bill!

Cecil
Guest
Cecil

SKiDmark – as you just pointed out, it could well be argued that a coaster brake is not a \”brake\” as would come within the letter of the law – thus making my Schwinn Heavi-Duty suspect. Again, perhaps another reason to work toward statutory language that focuses on the ability to stop within a set distance, and not the method by which it is accomplished.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

You know, she does represent more than just fixed gear riders. She does have a responsibility to all of her constituents, and if she feels that the language is a bad idea, whether she\’s right or wrong, she has a responsibility to her constituents to exercise her judgment.

It\’s not as if she\’s alone, or uninformed in that judgment, either. Sheldon Brown himself says fixed gear bikes shouldn\’t be ridden without brakes on the road, and should only be ridden without brakes on the track. In his own words:

\”Some fixed-gear riders ride on the road without brakes. This is a bad idea. I know, I\’ve tried it. If you do it, and have any sense of self-preservation at all, it will cause you to go much slower than you otherwise could, everytime you go through an intersection, or pass a driveway. The need for constant extra vigilance takes a great deal of the fun out of cycling.\”

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fixed.html

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Sheldon Brown is also admitting that he does not have that much experience riding fixed without a handbrake, and as it has been stated before it takes a great deal of practice to learn to ride safe without a handbrake on a fixed gear bike. It is best to have a handbrake until you don\’t use it anymore, even in emergency situations.

Maybe you should have read the \”fixed gear testimonials\” too.

From Kent Peterson :

\”If you want to go fast, you pedal fast. To go slow, you pedal slow. When you stop, it stops.

How are the hills? Really fun to go up, really a workout coming down. I am the engine and the brakes. Yeah, there\’s a little I-know-it\’s-Shimano-but-the-105-is-still-a-nice-brake up front but the big brakes are my quads and my kneecaps working to slow those big wheels down. And in one instant I have to be strong and in one instant I have to be fast and always I have to be paying attention. This is riding. This is a bicycle that teaches me something every time I ride it, that makes me more by virtue of it\’s being less. It\’s the bike I ride until the street lights come on and sometimes even longer. It\’s the bike I put away sadly and take out joyfully. It\’s the bike that never forgets why we ride.\”

spaz
Guest
spaz

It seems like Ginny changed her mind after talking with her niece. Does this certain River City employee know how many people she\’s just made very angry?

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I actually prefer the law without the fixed gear verbage. As far as I am concerned a fixed gear functions as a brake by meeting the existing performance standard, and the new performance standard.

BURR
Guest
BURR

it\’s not the law it\’s how it\’s interpreted

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

SKiDmark,

Post 30:

So how does the law differentiate between somebody who has the \”great deal of practice\” necessary to operate a fixed gear safely without a handbrake, and somebody who has no idea what he or she is doing, but thinks messengers are cool?

What you are recommending may be great safety advice– to have a handbrake until you don\’t need it anymore, even for emergencies– but how does the law protect the rest of society from somebody who does need a handbrake, but is riding a bike without one?

Post 31:

I actually think the language Mark Ginsberg put in there worked really well, as far as making it clear that a separate brake mechanism would be just that– an addition to the braking mechanism of the fixed gear, and thus, unnecessary.

Todd B
Guest
Todd B

Ok now…
1) Write Burdick about issue…

2) Press Rivercity to not sell or repair any fixed bikes without brakes (or ask rider to meet performance measure in parking lot)

3) Write the Governor to either veto bill or sign into law with an executive statement (thank Bush 43 for this idea) on what is a brake and how this law would allow a fixie bike sans brake as long as the operator to ride if meeting the performance standard…

4) Rise and repeat next session if needed.

Todd
Guest
Todd

My letter to Burdick

\”Senator Burdick,

I find your abuse of the legislative process completely apauling. Your use of your position as Committee Chair to block Senate Bill 729 even though you previously supported said bill twice just goes to show your consituents your own manipulation so you can \”sleep easy\” at night.

Referencing your daughter in your decision will not only hurt her employer and possibily cause her to be terminated it shows your and her complete lack of understanding and further supports the injection of governmental oversight into the lives of private citizens. Because your daughter feels its \”unsafe\” and people are \”inexperienced\” then the entire bill should be axed?

The real danger in the streets its people who do not obey traffic laws, cyclists included. I witness this every day when I cycle to and from NE Portland to Downtown, whether its an SUV today merging into a bike lane to make a right hand turn onto another street (the bike lane has solid stripes meaning its not to be used for right hand turns unless a green light) or the cyclist who blows the stop light. I do not ride a fixie personally but I have had my brake cable snap on a ride. Unless you provide verbage that each bike must have two brakes then a single brake failure on a freewheel or a chain snap on a fixie – the outcome is the same. Most cyclists are very aware of their machines of transportation and notice the smallest changes in the performance of the machine.

I urge you to reconsider this action since the final outcome is not a representation of the people elected to office by the people.

Regards,
\”

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Sheldon Brown\’s point isn\’t just experience/lack of experience riding a fixed gear, it is a matter of physics. An experienced cyclist that knows how to use a front brake without skidding the front tire/going over the handlebars can stop faster than someone who only uses a rear wheel \”brake\” (be that a coaster brake, a hand brake, or a fixed gear,) and that is because when you are braking hard, most of the weight (and therefor, ability to stop your motion,) is on the front tire…

However, since the law thinks that coaster brakes are safe enough and it doesn\’t actually require that bicyclist know how to use their front brake anyways, that argument isn\’t the one that Burdick is considering…

(The argument about not drilling a hole in your track bike fork never did anything for me… Most race cars are not allowed on city streets, (at least, not with the same equipment that they would normally be raced with,) so why are track [race] bikes so special?)

Hawthorne
Guest
Hawthorne

I disagree with her opinion but she has a right to it- what I find problematic is her behavior. This behavior from someone who used to work at pr agency Gard & Gerber, who is an experienced politician…and she didn\’t think to talk with some people first (other than her, er, daughter)? She didn\’t think to deal with this before the last minute? Doesn\’t pass the smell test. Can Alice Awards be revoked?

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

If there is any reason to not place our trust in Burdick, it is because she changed her mind based on the opinion of a non-expert relative, rather than on either the demands of the people she represents or empirical evidence. Subject matter aside, the basis for her judgment was piss-poor and should make everyone question her ability to make any sort of informed decision about anything ever again.

pdxcommuter
Guest
pdxcommuter

Willamette Week speculates that Burdick is running for Sten\’s seat on the city council. See http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3202/6946/

Could her actions on this bill have something to do with that?

Paul
Guest
Paul

If I read this article correctly – only the language: \”except that a fixed gear bicycle is not required to be equipped with a separate brake\” is stripped out. That leaves the 15 feet at 10 mph standard. While a specific exemption for fixies is a loss to some degree – it seems anyone here could make that stop!

Slick
Guest
Slick

pdxcommuter: You may be a commuter, but your political memory isn\’t great. Burdick lost to Sten last election. Sten is no longer up for re-election because he beat Burdick.

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

Burr (10) and Paul (43) prob have the best solution, make it only a performance std and remove all mention of means and methods.

Case
Guest

Licenses for riding a bicycle are one the horizon for Oregon folks. The \’concerns\’ brought up by Burdick,

\”My first priority is safety so I think this issue needs more deliberation. You really have to find a way to allow the bikes for the people who know what they’re doing, but if you don’t have something that’s kind of tangible (in the law), it’s very hard to enforce it…that’s my struggle here.\”

seem to be a precursor to the creation of testing and licensing for bicycle riders. This is a very dangerous situation for Oregon. The bicycle is the last essentially free means of efficient transportation for the masses. Licensing could not be limited to fixed gear bikes and would have to cover all bikes. I am especially disappointed in the huge waste of time and funds this debate has created as well as the \”Democracy be Damned\” attitude of Burdick.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Somebody is NOT going to have a very good day at work. That was pretty bad for the Senator to drop all that on her daughter. Dumb.

Regarding this action protecting people \”who really don\’t know what they\’re doing.\”

We\’ve got a law requiring lights and we still have more fashion victims on unlit Schwinns ripping down Hawthorne than we know what to do with.

Idiots will figure out ways to kill themselves no matter what we do.

Riding a 70s cruiser with chromed steel rims and rim brakes in the rain for instance. Death on a platter.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

rixter asked: \”So how does the law differentiate between somebody who has the \”great deal of practice\” necessary to operate a fixed gear safely without a handbrake, and somebody who has no idea what he or she is doing?\”

Simple. If a person is riding in an unsafe manner or is unable to stop, then give them a ticket for \”no brakes\”. If someone is an experienced messenger who can ride circles around you and stop on a dime and give you a nickel\’s change, let them do their job and keep their whole paycheck. Remember, most of the tickets being given to messengers are not given in conjunction with a ticket for \”failure to stop\” or \”failure to obey a traffic device\” they are just being given after the observation that the bike is not equipped with a handbrake.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Matthew, a front brake on a fixed gear bike does not satisfy the law as it is written, because you cannot skid the front wheel on a road bike on \”clean level, dry pavement\”. Yes a front brake is a good idea, and stops a bike better, but a fixed hub stops a bike within the existing performance standard. I\’d be willing to test that out.

Your race car analogy is weak because most race cars are street machines with stuff like lights stripped off of them for racing. Most race cars are also safer than street cars because they have 4-point restraint harnesses, 6-point rollcages, and onboard fire-extinguishers, not to mention much better brakes. There are plenty of race cars and motorcycles on the street, like SCCA Pro Solo cars, and weekend drag racers. They just put packing tape over their lights when they go racing.

Drilling a hole in a TRACK fork is a bad idea. The fork crown does not have the extra internal reinforcing sleeve that a road fork has. And unless you find a fork with the same offset and distance from the axle to the fork crown, the handling could be affected adversely.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Hello all,

this is the daughter that works at a Portland bike shop. Let me get a few points across:

1) What I said about brakes on fixies is MY personal opinion, not the official opinion of the bike shop I work for. No matter what happens, leave River City out of this. It is a fabulous bike shop.

2) I am definitely not an expert on fixies or commuting with fixies. I commute on a freehub bike with brakes. To me it just made sense to require brakes on bikes used for commuting, when fast stops and split second decisions are necessary. Yes, it might be obnoxious for some, but it would provide a handy backup safety measure. Again this is my opinion as a Portland citizen and bike commuter, nothing more.

3) I hate this process and I hate the insults flying. It was never my intention to be involved. I like bikes, not politics.