Monday, August 3, 2009

headline: "sacramento police says [fixed gear] bikes illegal"

this his close to home. i am 2 hours away from sac if im in san jose or if im in chico so sac is a viable place to talk about. since ive also realized that news media often has a hidden political agenda and learned to become above that agenda, ive realized there are major FLAWS to this article. flaws in articles tend to send the wrong message to people. i have read this article and watched the news clip- and the news clip (though the same as the article) disturbed me as well.

here's the article

the article starts out on a bad foot:
"A new trend picking up speed in Sacramento is bikes with no brakes.

Sgt. David Valdez, head of the Sacramento Police Department’s
bike unit, said many riders are breaking the law when using fixed-gear
bicycles. The bikes are designed to have one gear and no brakes.

'There is no changing of gears,' said Valdez.

He said many riders are also putting themselves and others in danger.

'They are blowing lights. They're going in and about of traffic, frightening motorists,' Valdez said.

said the state vehicle code states bicycles must have at least one
brake, but riders of these fixed gear bikes said they can be safe."

first off, DID YOU REALLY HAVE TO MAKE THE CONNECTION OF "brakeless bikes, oh, it's picking up speed!" ugh. it's not quirky or funny. state code can say all they want about them brakes but the fact of the matter is, brakeless bikes are NOT NEW. how is this possible? what have we (the sacramento police) missed? brakeless bmx bikes have been aroud for the longest time. you guys havent had the brains to look at that sh*t huh?

and plus, it's not up to the police to interpret the law, the police are only there to enforce it according to what the citizens are doing. therefore, if the state vehicle code does not specify wether a brake is mechanical (do realize, it just says "BRAKE" in the law), i am entitled to use my physical strength as a braking system. judas priest taught me about this, we're not breakin' the law, it only says "brake" in the law. ha funny.

blowing lights, going around traffic? blowing lights- okay thats stupid, but alot of these kids lack education about road law. if you think about it, the only reason why theyre on a bike is because they dont have a license yet. the age of fixed gear riders is drasically getting younger and younger. it's understandable, but the whole fixed gear community should not be held accountable for these folks. then there's the weaving through traffic. we're entitled to that. cyclists are supposed to be treated as cars/traffic, yet we can also us the bike as a pedestrian. therefore, that statement shouldnt be there. what this tells me is that bicycle safety and advocation is not taking part in schools. i recall when i was in grade school i took part in a bike safety course. if these dude's dont know their rights and regulations on a bike i say f*ck em. let them get run over by a car. and once that happens let them get dealt with by the law. im sure it wont come out in the cyclist's favor.

"“You still have to respect the rules of the road, end of discussion,” said experienced rider Tobias Lake.

Lake has ridden fixed-gear bikes for years. He said stopping these bikes takes practice, skill and muscle.

“I know how long it will take me and I know what to do in an emergency," Lake said.

To stop the bikes the riders must slow the pedal with the legs. Many riders can skid to a stop some even hop the back tire to help slow them down.

Lake said only a few inexperienced riders are giving everyone else a bad name. Other cyclists said some fixed wheel riders can be intimidating.

"They're going so fast you don't know they're there,” said Katy Smoak, an avid cyclist. “You can turn a corner and all of a sudden they would be there and you wouldn't know it."

ahhh, the old "we talked to your kind, so we know you" part of the article. i agree with lake, you do have to repect the rules of the road- but then again, you need to know those rules in order to respect them. i like how he talks about knowing what it takes to stop. that's an important part of riding fixed. alot of dudes out there riding dont know what to do when an emergency stop happens. there's this mentality of "oh i know how to stop", but what if a car cuts you off and you dont have enough clearance for a skid stop. not alot of riders think about that; ive taken a few bails in my time because of this, but bailing is better than slamming.

"Police said they are trying to educate the public that "fixies," as they're called, are illegal, and if caught riding one a fine may be imposed and the bike taken away."

WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH WOAH where the f*ck are we? berlin? are we getting ignorant again? "fixies" (I F*CKING HATE THAT WORD) are not whats illegal according to you, brakeless bikes are. so why the sudden jump from brakeless bikes to the assumption of "fixies"? that's the ignorance i hate about it. it starts with one article, and watch, everyone is going to believe that "fixies" are at fault. theyre not.  apparently, this is berlin all over again.

this is what i have to say: the media is crooked and has a hidden political agenda. know your rights as a cyclist and take part in bicycle advocacy. this includes not breaking the law. be careful sacramento fixed community, cops WILL hassle you, but dont be afraid to stand up for your rights. know the law, if they pull you over and take you in, bring that law up. it's unrightful for a city to take away transportation.

be safe,

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