New York – Can obese cyclists sign up for the city’s new bike-share program? Fat chance!
It is “prohibited” for any rider who weighs more than 260 pounds to sign up for the soon-to-launch initiative – prompting backlash from riders who say the fat-shaming rule is enough to make them fly off the handle.
Everyone who signs up for the program has to agree to a contract, which states users “must not exceed maximum weight limit (260 pounds)” because the bikes can’t hold that much heft.
Would-be riders called the rule unfair, saying the 40-pound cruisers are plenty sturdy.
“That’s bogus. 260 pounds isn’t going to break the bike,” said Juleissy Lantigua, 19. “To me, that’s discrimination. And I’m not easily offended!”
Others claimed the rule makes no sense – especially at the height of the city’s obesity problem.
“If you’re 260 pounds or 300 pounds and want to ride a bike, you should be allowed to. You’re making a choice to live healthier and to lose weight,” said Jhoskaira Ferman, a 20-year-old student from Pelham Bay, Bronx.
Several bike-shop owners agreed that the weight limit was bogus.
Bike-share users who make the cutoff weight can sign up for $95 per year or $25 per week. The program will begin this month.
But Department of Transportation policy director Jon Orcutt said the city won’t strictly enforce the weight limit.
“I think people will be self-selecting, practical and safe,” he said.
He added the provision was inked for legal reasons at the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Bike-share programs run by the same contractor – the Portland, Ore.-based Alta Bicycle Share – launched in Boston with the same weight restriction. London’s program also has the restriction.
The contract also says that anyone using bike share may unknowingly have their image used in “promotional, advertising [and] publicity” materials for Alta.
Source: NY POST