Today I write of the intersection of two things – one I love (i.e. bicycles ) and the other I hate (i.e. government). Actually I don’t hate the institution of government all the time. Just when it acts wastefully, stupidly or irrationally. Which is most if not all the time. Back to bikes. ‘Fixie’ (pictured) is the cool name for a fixed-wheel bike, i.e. one whose pedals turn whenever its wheels turn [2, 3]. Fixies are the purest, most aesthetic form of bicycle. In fact they’re minimalist machines. When riding a fixie – which I’ve never done, though I’d love to – you speed up by turning the pedals faster, and you slow down (and eventually stop) by turning them slower. So brakes are superfluous. Redundant. But that doesn’t bother the government – to wit the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [ACCC]. Some government halfwit’s decreed all bikes must have brakes. So the ACCC’s goons are fining bike shops and wholesalers who sell fixies without brakes . No matter fixie riders know how to ride, and stop, safely. No matter statistics show inexperience is the main cause of cycling accidents. And no matter cycling is cheap and attractive prevention and therapy for our nation’s obesity epidemic. No sir. The ACCC’s fundamentalist bureaucrats know nought of such matters. So they’re asking the public to dob in offenders. Luckily fixie riders tend to be iconoclasts. But pity more people don’t scorn politicians and bureaucrats. Ho hum.
3 days ago