Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fixed gear bikes Banned in Berlin?

Fixies are a pain in Grandpa Bostonist's neck. Fixies are European fixed gear racing bikes that don't have back brakes, designed to teach racers "pedal discipline" in the velodrome. On the clogged streets of the big city, however, they are little more than a pathetic compensatory status marker—the bicycle equivalent of a sports car. They are bikes for racing, not for getting around.

And, just like their automotive cousins, fixies are dangerous. Imagine, for the moment, that you're in Cambridge's Central Square. Picture yourself in a crosswalk or, worse, a sidewalk. What is that you see, out of the corner of your eye, barreling toward you? Yes, it is an out-of-control fixie piloted by a rider who does not know how to stop it. And, hark! What did you hear? You're right. That was the sound of the selfsame cyclist chastising you for not getting out of his way.

In order to bike without gears or brakes, fixie riders have to conserve an awful lot of momentum. And that means that they don't stop at stop lights or stop signs; they cruise through busy crosswalks; and, because riding a fixie is So Hard, they disdain anybody who dares to travel the earth by any means other than a fixie. And that doesn't even broach the subject of bike helmets.

Yes, fixie riders, we realize that you aren't all like that. But enough of you are that Berlin, Germany has banned your bike. We're hoping that this is only stage one of a full public health intervention and that the fixie will soon go the way of smoking in bars and eating trans fat in donuts.


Wow this is interesting. Any thoughts?

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