Stupidity should be painful

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The latest from the You Can’t Legislate Away Human Stupidity Department, courtesy of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News:

The New Jersey bicycle business may be in serious trouble unless retailers and suppliers take immediate action. State legislators earlier this week approved a bill banning the sale of all bikes equipped with current quick release wheels and tabbed tips.

Under the bill, it would be illegal to sell bicycles with quick release wheels unless they met performance specifications that are not commercially available. Assembly bill A2686, which was introduced in February 2006, passed in the assembly with a vote of 77-3 and is now headed to the Senate Commerce Committee.

“It’s being promoted as a bill intended to protect children,” said Bob Burns, Trek’s legal counsel and spokesman for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association. “But the language would make every bicycle with quick release currently for sale in New Jersey illegal. This bill is not intended just for children’s bikes.”

Furthermore, Burns said there’s currently no secondary retention device on the market that would comply with the bill. “No system always retains the wheel,” he said. “Even the bolted axle, if the bolts aren’t on right, the kid’s in trouble. As of right now, there’s nothing on the floor that meets this definition and nothing on the horizon that is commercially proven.”

You can read the whole thing here. But make sure you have a big-ass cocktail in your fist first, and something expendable to throw the empty mug at afterward.

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About Patrick O'Grady

Making stuff up for money since 1977. Making stuff up about cycling for money since 1989. See VeloNews and Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, found crumpled near the crapper in stylish homes and pro bike shops worldwide.

10 Replies to “Stupidity should be painful”

  1. This legislation is just the tip of the iceberg from an agenda pushed by Montague After years of trying to push their lame redundant skewer design at Interbike and to OEs, they took the legislative route. Unfortunately, under the guise of increased safety, they spent more time pissing and moaning than inventing a standard interface that would be useful for manufacturers. Of course, they did secure their IP first. Fucking assholes. They have caused more of a waste of energy with manufacturers than they are worth as humans, never mind their dumb little invention they want to shove down people’s throats.

    This has nothing to do with concern for safety, and everything to do with making money.

  2. God damn, I am glad I don’t live in Jersey. Or in the United States of Frivolous Lawsuits any more. that has to be the mos idiotic thing I have ever seen/heard/read.

    And trust me, I have said/done/written some pretty dumb-assed shit.

    This ties in with the ongoing smear against disc brakes and them throwing the wheel out of the drops or whatever that inane argument is. Im sure there are plenty of DH riders who can attest to NEVER having that problem, not to mention regular drunkies like us.

    Good looking out, Mr. O’Grady.

  3. Legislators tried the same thing here in Canberra Australia, ‘cept they also tried to impose frisbee discs on the end of every cluster. Bikeshop I worked in at the time managed to convince them that, in fact, there was another way to stop the chain from overshifting into the rear wheel called the high/low adjuster screws on the rear deraileur. Regardless, I still spent the best part of my summer fitting cheap reflectors onto high end race and mt bikes, only for the owners to invariably request their instant removal upon purchase. Different principles involved I know, but highlights the lack of common sense or consultation that is universal.

  4. Profoundly stupid legislation and as Patrick says, stupidity should be far more painful. I guess we better cheer on our bike industry lawyers.

    So couldn’t their governor have vetoed this fool thing?

  5. On second thought, the Retailer article says it hasn’t passed the NJ Senate yet. Less foolish heads may yet prevail. If you live in NJ, better get on the horn with your state senator.

  6. As we all know, you can’t legislate intelligence. I see so many improperly tightened front and rear quick releases that it boggles the imagination. On one occasion, I stopped a cyclist in Central Park (in NYC, where I live) whose front skewer was hanging completely loose. In that case, thank heavens for lawyer tabs.

    Don’t get me started on backwards helmets. Visor in back, roc-loc in front. It’s summer in the city, and the morons are out en masse.

  7. The way I look at it, I’ll be riding along with my helmet on straight and my quick releases tightened properly when I am rear-ended by a moron who is text-messenging while driving at 50 mph in his car.

  8. Hold up. I’m in NJ, and I heard it only applies to 20″ wheels or less. I’m not sure how many crappy Kmart kid bikes even have quick releases. It sure as hell doesn’t apply to my 700cm road bike, or I’m going to blow a gasket.

    That said, the NJ legislature has been on a rampage with Mommy State laws. No talking on cell phones while biking (killed, mercifully), No smoking in the car, no smoking in bars, and the list goes on. I think they’re trying to seem busy so that we’ll forget that they are RAPING OUR ASSES with state and local taxes. It’s not working. But, since we collectively can’t separate local politics from national, we’ll keep voting in Democrats, no matter how corrupt they are. Our new state motto is: “Yeah, we are that dumb. Now fuck off”

    As far as the previous post about the Governor, he’s too busy banging the head of the NJ state workers union and giving the whore 6 MILLION dollars to worry about whether we can get our bike wheels off in less than 30min.