Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Great letter on

(ripped without permission from

How ‘bout we all ride without brakes?

Dear Editors,
My pickup has a standard transmission, and with careful anticipation and shifting technique, I have found that I really don’t need brakes, so I ditched them. I have really good night vision, too, so I don’t turn my headlights on at night. I also note that both my creativity and my driving get better after 2 or 10 beers.

While “The Man” smothers my hipness by trying to criminalize my expressions of individuality, the true surprise stems from the “holier-than-thou” indignation of the other drivers on the road. It’s as if their lack of exemplary shifting skills and uncanny night vision gives them some sense of entitlement to dictate how I drive! What a downer!

Individuality should be valued and we should all have a choice regarding what kind of bikes we ride, but we have a responsibility to minimize risks when that choice has the potential to impact others. Riding in city traffic can be dangerous, and while I concede that most bike-on-car crash scenarios will turn out badly only for the cyclist, it’s not hard to imagine other cars or pedestrians becoming involved just because the cyclist couldn't stop three feet shorter.

I am sure that many riders could ride a fixie safely in traffic, just as I’m sure that many car drivers can drive safely at 180mph, but that said, who would want the speed limit raised to 180mph on the roads of their favorite weekend ride?

Victor Becker
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I for one, really enjoy having brakes, but maybe that's cause it ain't that flat round here, and plus I'm a chicken.