Dec 28, 2009 By : The Heavy Pedal
Fixed Gear bikes get Das Boot!
This is from The Local:
“In a country where cyclists are expected to have a working bell on their bikes, it was probably only a matter of time before fixies fell afoul of the law in Germany. … Since there’s no freewheel on a fixie, the pedals continue to rotate as long as the bike is moving forward. This means the rider either has to slow the bike by fighting the momentum or brake by locking up the back wheel to skid to a stop.
Seeing what they considered a growing danger to traffic safety, Berlin police announced this spring they would begin cracking down on fixie riders. Since only April, they’ve confiscated 18 bicycles”
Clearly, a fixed gear bike is harder to stop than a conventional bike with brakes if you are new to the bike. However, once you understand the logic of the bike stopping becomes second nature.
I remember hearing about a court case in Portland against fixed gear bikes and it went like this.
Judge: The bike the defendant was riding had no brakes?
Judge: But you stopped them to give them a ticket?
Judge: If the bike had no brakes how did the defendant stop?
End of case.