Bicyling outlawed in casino town

If you’re caught riding your bike through the streets of Black Hawk, Colo., expect to get a $68 fine. That’s the new law that took effect in June in the goldmining-turned-gambling town, population 100. Black Hawk is thought to be the first town in the United States to make cycling illegal, reports the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

The city cites “health and safety reasons” for the law. Though no accidents prompted the ruling, city manager Michael Copp said the town was concerned there would be vehicle-bicycle collisions on its 19th century streets, especially with the increase in traffic Black Hawk has experienced after local casino maximum betting limits went from $5 to $100.

Cyclists can still use the city’s residential streets, but they’ll have to dismount and walk on the narrow, historic streets.

Bike advocates are particularly worried about the precedent the law is setting, and cycling lobbies intend to challenge it in court.

Copp told the Guardian the City Council has no plans to repeal the ban. “They believe their actions are what’s best for its citizens in Black Hawk, which are casinos and their patrons.”