Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memphis adopts brakeless fixed gear law

After reading about Cara's debacle I remembered that I've been so busy that I haven't posted about the amendments to the City of Memphis bicycle laws. In particular I wanted to draw your attention to one section alone that makes Memphis have some of the most progressive bicycle laws in the country:

Section 21-200. Equipment - Brake
Every bicycle operated upon streets in the city shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its driver to stop the bicycle within twenty five feet (25') from a speed of ten miles per hour (10mph) on dry, level, clean pavement. Such brake(s) shall be maintained in good working order at all times. For the purposes of this section, the drivetrain of a fixed gear bike is considered a brake provided the rider can demonstrate compliance with the braking requirement stated herein.

The rest of the amendments an be found here, pg. 9-14:

Thanks to everyone at Walk Bike! Memphis who spent time rewriting the old laws.

Links to the previous laws can be found here:


Kenny Sharber said...

i have considered my legs brakes for almost a year hahaha

Adam said...


Cara said...


Wonder Thunder said...

First off, I miss you, Memphis. Even though I probably have no idea who the Thursday nights consist of these days, I still miss you.

Unfortunately, I gotta play a little devil's advocate to this. This law sort of makes sense for a city like Memphis, which has an abundance of flat(and a relatively "small" amount of fixed riders). But, after moving to the Northwest where people actually find themselves hurt and killed because they're not strong enough to stop themselves while riding down the ridiculous hills, I'm an advocate of brake laws. Bike shops shouldn't be selling brakeless bikes to people who can't control them, and unfortunately laws are probably the only way to make sure that happens. Is it really that big of a deal to have a brake on your bike? No one says you have to use it. I wouldn't consider this law "progressive" by any means.

Along with that, those of you who don't wear helmets are fooling yourselves, Memphis SHOULD have a helmet law like they do up here(while reading Cara's blog about her police run in tobaccle, she mentions there isn't a helmet law. that's just nuts). How are you advocating for a law that allows brakeless bikes before a law that requires helemts? Safety before cool, right? Keep in mind this is coming from someone who almost never wore a helmet in Memphis, I've been converted.

Sorry for the grandpa-ness.


Anonymous said...

10mph to zero in 25 feet? You could do that with just your feet dragging on the ground.