Paul Freedman Tall-Bike LeadPaul Freedman riding El Arbol.
By Aretha Munro
We are all aware that cyclists must follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. This lands some cyclists with either a slap on the wrist or a nasty fine. In the state of California, the Vehicle Code prohibits one kind of bike all together due to its height and safety issues - the tall bike. Paul Freedman is one individual who is all too familiar with this reality.
Freedman, also know as Fossil Fool, the bike rapper, has recently shared his story on the Rock the Bike website, of which he is the founder. Rock the Bike is an organization from Berkeley, CA, that aids in pushing the limits of bike culture. Part of Paul’s limit-pushing includes the creation of some amazing tall bikes.
One of Paul’s creations, which he has named El Arbol, is a tall, art bike built in the shape of tree. El Arbol was crafted to take out to events, to make music and to simply get people smiling.
One day, on the way to a protest, Freedman was riding El Arbol and received a citation from a cop whom he had a run-in with previously. Determined to fight the tall bike citation, Freedman arrived for his court date, riding EL Arbol on the way. Freedman baffled the court with his unique ride and defended his tall bike as a safe vehicle. Freedman built two stabilizing bars that are activated by a pull of a lever from the top of the bike. Freedman ended up getting the citation dismissed due to his case being "novel" - a happy ending to the story.
His methods may not work for other ticketed tall bike cases, but it is definitely evidence that safe tall bikers should not give up hope and keep riding!
Check out Freedman’s full story here.