Colorado Town Puts the Brake on Bikes

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Black Hawk is a tiny town in Colorado that you never would have heard of had it not decided to practice it's own weird brand of fascism. Ya see, the citizens in Black Hawk, all 100 of them, are apparently so fed up with the lycra-clad masses that pedal through their quaint little hamlet that they've decided to take the an unusual step: they're banning bicycles.

The problem, say the Black Hawkians, is that their streets were built at a time when the widest mode of transportation was a horse-and-buggy. Now that they've got casinos nearby that attract large tour buses, traffic is too congested for the two-wheeled monsters.

"It's an important issue to us, and we believe that Black Hawk should have the right to control its streets," City Manager Mike Copp told the Los Angeles Times.

The problem with Black Hawk's problem is that it just picked a fight with the biggest lobbying group in the state.

Colorado, not unlike Seattle, is lousy with cyclists. And while they can be annoying little fuckers at times -- what with their occasional insistence that "share the road" only applies to you, the asshole in the car -- they're also fairly harmless people who spend money just like any other tourist (and some might say more than any other tourist -- biking ain't a cheap hobby, ya know).

But Black Hawk hasn't just stuck its stick into the spokes of the state's gearheads. It's also made enemies with the Colorado Legislature, a deep-pocketed group that can bleed any tiny municipality dry in a lengthy court battle. And no amount of $68 tickets -- that's how much you're fined if Black Hawk authorities catch you on the saddle within city limits -- will make up for that.

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