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  1. #1
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    One armed cyclist fined for having just 1 brake lever

    "Under German road safety rules, bicycles are required to have to have two handlebar brakes. After a long argument at the roadside, the officer insisted that Mr Ionescu’s bike was not roadworthy and issued him with a €25 (£20) fine."

    Read the full article:
    German police apologise for fining one-armed cyclist for riding his bike with only one arm - Europe - World - The Independent

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
    "Under German road safety rules, bicycles are required to have to have two handlebar brakes. After a long argument at the roadside, the officer insisted that Mr Ionescu’s bike was not roadworthy and issued him with a €25 (£20) fine."
    Besides the absurdity of making the rule apply to a one-armed cyclist, I'm surprised that the rule would specify that both brakes be hand-operated. When I was a student in Germany my bike had a coaster brake on the back wheel and only a front handbrake and that appeared to be a common arrangement for utility bikes at the time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    You couldn't buy that much bad publicity if you tried.

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    Senior Member blacksapphire08's Avatar
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    We have a Jamis Hudson that operates front and rear brakes with one brake lever and I assume thats a similar setup to what this gentleman has in his bike. If it's illegal why do they sell bikes like that?

  5. #5
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Besides the absurdity of making the rule apply to a one-armed cyclist, I'm surprised that the rule would specify that both brakes be hand-operated. When I was a student in Germany my bike had a coaster brake on the back wheel and only a front handbrake and that appeared to be a common arrangement for utility bikes at the time.
    I doubt very much that the law calls for two handbrake operated brakes for the reason that you stated, i.e. it is common for German bikes, including the numerous IGH rear wheels, to be equipped with a foot operated rear coaster brake as well as a hand operated front brake. The "rule" for two working handbrakes is probably an invention of the British Tabloid cited in the OP.

    Attached are some of the legal German bikes I bought in Germany with only one hand brake, all have coaster brake rear.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 07-02-14 at 10:30 AM.

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    I think if he had a dual brake lever the officer would have considered it legal, he had a foot brake and a handlebar brake
    Randonneuring -- it's touring for people that aren't smart enough to stop for the night.
    It's a wonderful sport when you can make up for a lack of ability with a lack of sleep

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I doubt very much that the law calls for two handbrake operated brakes for the reason that you stated, i.e. it is common for German bikes, including the numerous IGH rear wheels, to be equipped with a foot operated rear coaster brake as well as a hand operated front brake. The "rule" for two working handbrakes is probably an invention of the British Tabloid cited in the OP.
    The original story from Kölner Stadt-Unzeiger, complete with a link to the earlier Kölner Stadt-Unzeiger story.

    No, this is not a UK tabloid invention.

    But yes, German regulations are for two independent brake systems, not two hand brakes.

    -mr. bill
    Last edited by mr_bill; 07-02-14 at 10:51 AM.
    Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.

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    905
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    Finally, yesterday police told Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger that they had offered a full refund an apology to [theatre box office worker] Mr Ionescu, with a spokesperson saying: “We only hope something like this never happens again.”
    Hear that? It's the sound of one hand clapping.
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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
    The original story from Kölner Stadt-Unzeiger, complete with a link to the earlier Kölner Stadt-Unzeiger story.

    No, this is not a UK tabloid invention.

    But yes, German regulations are for two independent brake systems, not two hand brakes.

    -mr. bill
    OK, got it. The fabrication of the two hand brake "requirement" originated somewhere else; the British tabloid and OP repeated it.

  10. #10
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksapphire08 View Post
    We have a Jamis Hudson that operates front and rear brakes with one brake lever and I assume thats a similar setup to what this gentleman has in his bike. If it's illegal why do they sell bikes like that?
    Every damn bike ever ridden in America at night is sold "illegally..."

    Just about every state has a law that specifies that a bike ridden at night must have a light (used to just be reflectors...). The law ususally reads something like this:
    A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.
    Few bikes sold in America are sold with lights.

    If it's illegal why do they sell bikes like that?
    Yeah, why?

  11. #11
    Señior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I think there's a significant difference between selling a bicycle without lights when it's only illegal to ride them AT NIGHT without lights, and few people ride bikes at night, versus selling a bike that can't legally be ridden at all (assuming the interpretation of the German law is correct).
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    Wonder what a psychologist would make of this thread? A street level person made a mistake. Management not only corrected the mistake but apologized. Yet, this......

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Every damn bike ever ridden in America at night is sold "illegally..."

    Just about every state has a law that specifies that a bike ridden at night must have a light (used to just be reflectors...). The law ususally reads something like this:

    Few bikes sold in America are sold with lights.

    Yeah, why?
    No. Bikes sold completely assembled must have CPSC compliant set of reflectors. If they're to be ridden at night and the state requires lights, it's the responsibility of the rider, not the seller, to ensure the bike complies with the law.
    Ride more. Fret less.

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    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    I remember hearing about a power-lifter who broke a world record in the bench press, but it was disallowed because he was not wearing shoes. The man had his lower legs amputated when he was very young.

    The next event he was in he was wearing shoes. The shoelaces were tied around his neck. He broke the record that time.
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

  15. #15
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Every damn bike ever ridden in America at night is sold "illegally..."

    Just about every state has a law that specifies that a bike ridden at night must have a light (used to just be reflectors...). The law ususally reads something like this:

    Few bikes sold in America are sold with lights.

    Yeah, why?
    Because it is NOT illegal to sell a bike in the U.S. without lights. It may be illegal to ride at night without lights. It shouldn't be that hard to understand the difference.

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Wonder what a psychologist would make of this thread? A street level person made a mistake. Management not only corrected the mistake but apologized. Yet, this......
    Henny-Penny, Woe Is Me, Victim Complex?

  17. #17
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Giving that cyclist a ticket is so lame. What about some fixie riders that have no brakes, or as someone mentioned a bike with just a rear wheel coaster brake? Just last week I ran into a fixie rider that had no brakes at all.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Giving that cyclist a ticket is so lame. What about some fixie riders that have no brakes, or as someone mentioned a bike with just a rear wheel coaster brake? Just last week I ran into a fixie rider that had no brakes at all.
    What is doubly lame is carrying on about an incident that was a mistake to begin with, that has been corrected and settled and is over. But that doesn't seem to make any difference to those who enjoy wailing and gnashing their teeth over the alleged persecution of bicyclist victims.

  19. #19
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Zee rules are zee rules.
    "For all we know his skills may be excellent, allowing him to ride like an idiot without actually being one." - FBinNY

  20. #20
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    What is doubly lame is carrying on about an incident that was a mistake to begin with, that has been corrected and settled and is over. But that doesn't seem to make any difference to those who enjoy wailing and gnashing their teeth over the alleged persecution of bicyclist victims.
    +1

    What is 1nterceptor's deal, anyway? He posts this kind of thing frequently, like he spends all his time looking for stories about bad things for cyclists, then posts them here. Never with much in the way of context or understanding, and he doesn't follow up with his own comments. Who knows, maybe he hates cyclists himself and is simply trolling the whole forum. This 'discussion' is particularly pointless and has nothing to do with advocacy or safety.
    I never think I have hit hard, unless it rebounds.

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  21. #21
    905
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Wonder what a psychologist would make of this thread? A street level person made a mistake. Management not only corrected the mistake but apologized. Yet, this......
    I suppose a psychologist might diagnose a deficit in rule-governed behavior.

    It's fair to say some of us have less sympathy for errors in judgement made by "street level" people who have the power not just to cite, but to arrest and detain – though fortunately it didn't come to that despite what the news report calls "a long argument at the roadside". At least Mr Ioescu felt confident enough to be able to state his case without being tased or something, which is what you want in a healthy democracy.
    Last edited by 905; 07-03-14 at 01:51 AM.
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    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Every damn bike ever ridden in America at night is sold "illegally..."

    Just about every state has a law that specifies that a bike ridden at night must have a light (used to just be reflectors...). The law ususally reads something like this:

    Few bikes sold in America are sold with lights.

    Yeah, why?
    So somebody can sell them.
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  23. #23
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago Al View Post
    +1

    What is 1nterceptor's deal, anyway? He posts this kind of thing frequently, like he spends all his time looking for stories about bad things for cyclists, then posts them here. Never with much in the way of context or understanding, and he doesn't follow up with his own comments. Who knows, maybe he hates cyclists himself and is simply trolling the whole forum. This 'discussion' is particularly pointless and has nothing to do with advocacy or safety.
    No nasty bull gorings during time trials of late. Maybe the bill for better cattle gates worked.
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Chicago Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 905 View Post
    I suppose a psychologist might diagnose a deficit in rule-governed behavior.

    It's fair to say some of us have less sympathy for errors in judgement made by "street level" people who have the power not just to cite, but to arrest and detain – though fortunately it didn't come to that despite what the news report calls "a long argument at the roadside". At least Mr Ioescu felt confident enough to be able to state his case without being tased or something, which is what you want in a healthy democracy.
    +1

    It's not mentioned in the stories linked above, but the one-armed man, Bogdan Ionesco, is likely an immigrant to Germany from Romania (the -co or -cu ending is typically Romanian), may speak German with an accent. Post-1991 many Romanians have scattered to more prosperous European countries and the UK. Some Germans are very hostile to these immigrants, and that might explain the cop's evident animus toward Ionesco and determination to find something to charge him with. This kind of profiling and harassment has been known to happen in other places, too--as any black American will attest.
    Last edited by Chicago Al; 07-03-14 at 07:44 AM.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    You couldn't buy that much bad publicity if you tried.
    +1

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