There are so many laws governing our behaviour on the road that it’s impossible to remember them all – so usually we just focus on the obvious that are there for our protection. Like stopping at red lights. Right? But travel away from home and some obscure law may catch you out…
Illinois, USA: No tricks
I recently visited London during the Peoples’ Vote protest and snapped this picture of a teenage bike gang making the most of the closed roads before the protestors turned up. If they’d pulled those wheelies in Galesburg, Illinois, they may have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
This video of Tinkoff Team’s resident rogue, Vittorio Brumotti, demonstrates many of techniques that fall foul of Galesburg’s Code of Ordinances, which states that no cyclist should “remove both hands from the handlebars, or feet from the pedals, or practice any acrobatic or fancy riding on any street”.
United Kingdom: Cycling furiously
Competitive athletes are at risk of losing their temper when the pressure is on, and cyclists are no exception. Obviously, we frown on any kind of bad behaviour, but that’s not what’s meant by cycling “furiously”. Instead we need to think about the archaic language of English law.
This video shows the two main vehicles in mind when “wanton or furious” cycling was made an offence in the UK, 150 years ago. Arguably, the cyclist that allegedly clips the horse, not to mention the peloton that swarm around the rider, show little regard for the safety of other road users. Although rare, cyclists in the UK can still be convicted for breaking this law. A sobering reminder of our responsibilities.
Connecticut, USA: Descend slowly
If you’re planning on honing your descent skills in Connecticut, think again. Sage lawmakers respectfully ask you to limit your cycling speed to just over 100 kph (65 mph). I’m aware many of you view that speed as a benchmark to be surpassed, but American traffic enforcement is notoriously fastidious.
It’s worth remembering that even on closed roads, in perfect weather, an accident can have career-ending results – I don’t have the heart to post such video here. Suffice to say, the fact that Connecticut feels the need to introduce this law says a lot about the cyclists of Connecticut. The land of the brave, indeed. Cycle safe and look after yourselves…
Thailand: Cycling without a t-shirt
Hot and humid countries don’t come much more hot or humid than Thailand – all the more reason to think that you may want to take off your jersey when popping down the shops, or when visiting on a cycling holiday. Not so fast – this act of indecency could land you in serious trouble.
It’s likely the Thai authorities would come down strictly on any attempt to introduce a World Naked Bike Ride event to the country. However, despite the law being very strict, the end result is a 200 Baht fine – about 5 euro. That said, I’d rather show respect. At least, that’s my excuse for buying that climber’s jersey…