These days, a bicycle is often deemed road-worthy not by its level of safety, but simply by how it looks and functions.
Would we have “bicycle shaped objects” like those available at the big-box stores we love to hate if there existed a safety certification program ranking bicycles for safety?
The above photo was taken on Roncesvalles. The bicycle was locked with a rusty chain that was more than likely as old as the bicycle itself. Not much else remained on the bike to hint towards its origins, but this “Safety Check” sticker sure brings about many questions.
Was this sticker just a marketing tactic used to appeal to the want of having a safe bicycle? Or, was this sticker a requirement at the time. I’ve read that the city issued licence plates back in the 1950s after the bicycle was brought in to an officer who would then inspect the bicycle for safety. Although I haven’t found much else on what requirements needed to be met in order for a bike to be deemed safe.
On second thought, maybe this bicycle is even older than that. The peach basket on the rear rack could indicated that this bicycle was once owned by James Naismith… although I didn’t check to see if there was a hole cut in the bottom.
Do you know more about this bicycle or bicycle safety checks? Share your stories in the BikingToronto Forum