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Berlin Gives Fixies das Boot

In Berlin, fixed-gear bicycles are now illegal. The news comes from The Local, and English-language German news site: In a country where...


In Berlin, fixed-gear bicycles are now illegal. The news comes from The Local, and English-language German news site: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, fixies are more difficult to ride (and stop) than any conventional street bikes. I've heard many an accomplished cyclist explain how he or she tried a fixie once and that was enough. And plenty of city-dwellers bemoan aggressive biking (which is sometimes associated with fixie-riders). But are the bikes really so dangerous that they shouldn't be street legal? Is this a setback for bike culture in general?Photo (cc) by Flickr user daAlex.
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