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  1. #1
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    I have been struggling with this VC thing for some time. While I fit most of the characterisitics of what I believed to be a vehicular cyclist (and never-ever hug the gutter), I had a mistaken notion that to truly ride vehicularly, I had to take the lane almost all the time (even in situations where vehicles could safely share the lane with me). That just did not fit with my believes about sharing the road.

    I followed the link in HH's signature and read other material about the issue. I learned that I ride VC most of the time; not in an effort to be VC, but as a natural result of experience on the road and a knowledge of what will most likely be the safest way to approach a given situation. I was riding VC all along but was not aware of it. I am convinced that at least some of those who speak out so vehemently against VC ride vehicularly most of the time but are not aware of what that really means.

    I admit that sometimes I have a bit of a Slvoid in me and take more risks than I have to in order to get somewhere faster or even to have more fun. But for the most part, I fit the VC image as described in Serge's link. With all respect to Cyclaholic, there are many VC concepts that simply make good sense and are followed by almost all experienced cyclists. For instance, am I the only one to notice that cars give me more room when I ride further to the left in a constricted lane? Or am I the only one who (without deference to VC) moves to the center of the lane near dangerous intersections in order to be seen? I doubt it. Also, don't most truly experienced cyclists merge left in a vehicular fashion, negotiating for lanes and looking back? I argue that VC mostly just makes sense and comes naturally as a result of experience.

    In short, I take accountability for believing in a misconception regarding vehicular cycling (taking the lane unneccessarily). I am curious if there are other misconceptions that are common out there and giving VC a bad rap when it really is just a common sense and experienced based method of staying alive on the roads.
    Last edited by Sawtooth; 10-19-05 at 04:39 PM.

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with you... especially with the statement that most experienced cyclists ride in some VC fashion...

    Regarding the misconceptions... another big one is that riding VC is not using Bike Lanes. This is simply not true and there is no conflict between VC and the use of Bike Lanes.

    The misconception comes from the book Effective Cycling and the anti Bike Lane attitude expressed by the writer Forester, and his "disciples" who while teaching the VC method also in some cases instill a fear and loathing of Bike Lanes.

    True vehicular cycling doesn't care if a bike lane is used or not.

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    Extending it even a little further, I tend to use vehicular techinques even when riding on bike trails (MUPs) where I live, for example; riding on right, passing on left, stopping at intersections (road), etc.. I also prefer trails to cross streets between street intersections where it can be treated as a simple intersection rather than at street intersections where trails get treated like sidewalks and sometimes (often) put you in the wrong place or are simply too complicated.

    Like mentioned above, I don't mind using bike lanes (don't really have any here) or wide shoulders (fairly common here) as long as they don't put me somewhere I don't want to be; door zones, coffin corner (attempting to go straight while right of right-hand turners), wrong way against cars or disadvantaged in intersections (including minor one's like driveways), etc..

    And I do consider myself a vehicular cyclist.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    The misconception comes from the book Effective Cycling and the anti Bike Lane attitude expressed by the writer Forester, and his "disciples" who while teaching the VC method also in some cases instill a fear and loathing of Bike Lanes.
    How could the misconception that VC is not using bike lanes come from the book Effective Cycling when the book Effective Cycling explains in detail how bike lanes should be used by vehicular cyclists? Please answer this question.


    True vehicular cycling doesn't care if a bike lane is used or not.
    Now that's not necessarily true. Whether a bike lane is used in a given situation may or not be vehicular cycling depending on various factors and conditions.

    For example, riding in a bike lane that is dashed near the curb along the right edge of a right-or-straight standard lane, for example, as a cyclist approaches an intersection where he is not turning, while faster right-turning motorists are approaching from the rear, left-turning motorists are coming from the opposite direction about to turn left across his path, and right-turning motorists are coming from his right waiting to turn right onto his road in his direction right in front of him, is an example of bike lane use that is clearly non-vehicular (in this situation a vehicular cyclists would move left out of the bike lane).

    On the other hand, riding in a bike lane between intersections on a section of roadway where there are no mid-block minor intersections (with driveways, mall entrances, alleys, etc.) and no door zone from onstreet parking, while being passed by faster traffic, is an example of bike lane use that is clearly vehicular.

    True vehicular cycling DOES care if a bike lane is used or not - in particular whether it's used vehicularly given the current factors and conditions, or not.

    FWIW, Forester's advice on this is quite clear. He says simply ignore the presence of the bike lane stripe, and choose your position vehicularly as if the stripe is not there. If that choice puts you on the pavement inside the bike lane, fine. That's appropriate vehicular use of a bike lane.

    Thanks for starting this thread, Sawtooth. Maybe we can have a one stop shop for VC misconceptions here, to which we can send anyone who appears confused.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabowker
    Like mentioned above, I don't mind using bike lanes (don't really have any here) or wide shoulders (fairly common here) as long as they don't put me somewhere I don't want to be; door zones, coffin corner (attempting to go straight while right of right-hand turners), wrong way against cars or disadvantaged in intersections (including minor one's like driveways), etc..
    Exactly. This describes using bike lanes in a vehicular manner.

    Now, whether bike lanes inhibit vehicular cycling techniques from getting more popular and more accepted, is a separate issue from whether bike lanes inhibit vehicular cyclists from riding vehicularly. My answers to these questions are "yes" and "no" respectively, and it's my affirmative answer to the first that forms the basis for my opposition to bike lanes.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    How could the misconception that VC is not using bike lanes come from the book Effective Cycling when the book Effective Cycling explains in detail how bike lanes should be used by vehicular cyclists? Please answer this question.

    http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/bike_lanes.html

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    How could the misconception that VC is not using bike lanes come from the book Effective Cycling when the book Effective Cycling explains in detail how bike lanes should be used by vehicular cyclists? Please answer this question.
    http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/bike_lanes.html
    Did you read it, Gene? All of it? There is NOTHING in that entire page about whether bike lanes should be used, much less whether VC is consistent or inconsistent with using bike lanes. In fact there is only one reference to vehicular cycling at all in the entire thing:

    "We need to get more people understanding the vehicular-cycling
    principle, because that both encourages people to cycle and
    reduces the errors that non-cyclists and government commit in
    cycling policy. " -John Forester

    Once again, you seem to be jumping to conclusions. In this case, simply from the fact that John Forester, the so-called "father" of VC, expresses opposition to BLs, you are jumping to the conclusion that he is saying that VC is not using bike lanes? Why? What a leap! Why do you jump to conclusions like this? Or am I missing something? If so, please copy/paste what that is.

    If I'm not missing anything, then please answer my original question (above).
    If you can't provide an actual answer that isn't based on irrational leaps to wild conclusions, then please retract your statement.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Like Sawtooth, I picked up a lot of VC on my own when I started riding again 3 years ago. I remembered hearing years ago that bikes can be operated on the street like cars, and applied that knowledge when I started using a bike as my basic urban transportation. However, I also learned a lot from Helmet Head and others on this forum, and I still have much to learn. Learning the basic principles of VC is easy, learning to integrate them easily into every ride requires practice and patience. For newcomers, I would reccommend starting on "easy streets" and gradually advancing to faster, busier, and more complex roadways. Let your comfort be your guide, but (as in physical training) make sure you are always progressing a little beyond your comfort level.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Did you read it, Gene? All of it? There is NOTHING in that entire page about whether bike lanes should be used, much less whether VC is consistent or inconsistent with using bike lanes. In fact there is only one reference to vehicular cycling at all in the entire thing:

    "We need to get more people understanding the vehicular-cycling
    principle, because that both encourages people to cycle and
    reduces the errors that non-cyclists and government commit in
    cycling policy. " -John Forester

    Once again, you seem to be jumping to conclusions. In this case, simply from the fact that John Forester, the so-called "father" of VC, expresses opposition to BLs, you are jumping to the conclusion that he is saying that VC is not using bike lanes? Why? What a leap! Why do you jump to conclusions like this? Or am I missing something? If so, please copy/paste what that is.

    If I'm not missing anything, then please answer my original question (above).
    If you can't provide an actual answer that isn't based on irrational leaps to wild conclusions, then please retract your statement.

    Hey then it is a misconception... which is exactly what we are talking about, right?

    How does VC become associated with the misconception that bike lanes are bad... well look at your sig and read the comments from Forester yourself:

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    The arguments for bike lanes are largely based on the cyclist-
    inferiority superstition, for example the argument that cyclists
    don't belong on the road and their presence is legitimized by
    bike lane stripes. Installing bike-lane stripes legitimizes that
    superstition, which is exactly the wrong thing to be doing. We
    need to get more people understanding the vehicular-cycling
    principle, because that both encourages people to cycle and
    reduces the errors that non-cyclists and government commit in
    cycling policy.
    forester@ccnet.com John Forester
    726 Madrone Ave
    408-734-9426 Sunnyvale CA 94086 USA
    BTW that was right from the URL... notice the use of the anti-bike lane sentiment and the encouragement of the vehicular cycling principle in the same paragraph. I would have to say that is a lot more than NOTHING. Did you read it?

    Again it is the association issue... You don't like bike lanes, Forester doesn't like bike lanes; both you and Forester tout VC... therefore Bike Lanes and VC must not mix, eh?

    Common misconception. Gee, I wonder why?

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Learning the basic principles of VC is easy, learning to integrate them easily into every ride requires practice and patience.
    Exactly. Whenever someone says that actually applying VC principles in real time in real traffic is easy, it's pretty clear that that's someone who has not mastered VC.


    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    BTW that was right from the URL...
    No duh. My quote of Forester in #7, which you included in your quote of my post in your #9, was the last sentence of the section you quoted "right from the URL" in #9. Your need to mention that your quote was from the URL indicates that you did not read one or both of the quotes, and so did not recognize the connection. Sigh.


    notice the use of the anti-bike lane sentiment and the encouragement of the vehicular cycling principle in the same paragraph. I would have to say that is a lot more than NOTHING. Did you read it?
    Yes, I read it, and even quoted it. Apparently unlike you, I read words before I quote them.
    Again, there is NOTHING in that entire page, much less the part you quoted, ABOUT WHETHER BIKE LANES SHOULD BE USED, much less whether VC is consistent or inconsistent with USING bike lanes.

    Do you understand there is a difference between USING bike lanes, and SUPPORTING bike lanes?


    You don't like bike lanes, Forester doesn't like bike lanes; both you and Forester tout VC... therefore Bike Lanes and VC must not mix, eh?
    Sorry, but I don't know how to prevent misconceptions that are formed from wild and irrational logical leaps like this.

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    Do you understand there is a difference between USING bike lanes, and SUPPORTING bike lanes?

    Sorry, but I don't know how to prevent misconceptions that are formed from wild and irrational logical leaps like this.
    Hey, I am just reporting what I see... the association between VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric is as obvious as your sig. You don't believe there should be an association. Fine. But to anyone looking at your message and Forester's message... this misconception comes across as a pretty clear message.

    I didn't make this stuff up... I am only reporting what I see and what has even been expressed here in BF.

    Don't clear me up... just consider what messages you and Forester and the other "Foresterites" are sending. The misconception didn't just manifest from thin air.

    You gotta problem with it... well then perhaps you need to look at the whole picture you are painting.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Do you understand there is a difference between USING bike lanes, and SUPPORTING bike lanes?


    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    ...therefore Bike Lanes and VC must not mix, eh?
    Sorry, but I don't know how to prevent misconceptions that are formed from wild and irrational logical leaps like this.
    the association between VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric is as obvious as your sig. You don't believe there should be an association
    GENE!!!!

    Once again, I have NEVER said there is no association between VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric. Much of anti-bike lane rhetoric is clearly based on concepts that stem from VC principles. Please stop confusing and equating the political opposition to bike lanes based on VC with the misconception that USING bike lanes is not consistent with VC.

    Do you understand there is a difference between OPPOSING bike lanes, and USING bike lanes?
    If so, please explain what that is in your own words. Why? Because, frankly, I don't think you truly understand the difference. I have no other explanation as to why YOU (forget everyone else) keep equating OPPOSING bike lanes ("anti-bike lane rhetoric") with USING bike lanes.

    Maybe if you could help me understand why you seem to be having such a hard time differentiating OPPOSING/SUPPORTING from USING, I will also begin to understand why so many others seem to have a similar problem, and will be able to adjust my rhetoric accordingly.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-19-05 at 06:10 PM.

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Once again, I have NEVER said there is no association between VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric.
    Oh, so now you admit that there IS an association between VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric. That perhaps there is no misconception after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    Do you understand there is a difference between OPPOSING bike lanes, and USING bike lanes?
    If so, please explain what that is in your own words. Why? Because, frankly, I don't think you truly understand the difference. I have no other explanation as to why YOU (forget everyone else) keep equating OPPOSING bike lanes ("anti-bike lane rhetoric") with USING bike lanes.
    Sure, but opposing bike lanes while USING them is rather hypocritical. Somewhat like opposing autos while driving in one. Bit twisted. Or being a vegetarian while munching on a Big Mac. Don't see the dichotomy there?

    Care to explain why you have VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric in the lines of your sig?

    You don't like the misconception... then perhaps YOU need to change your message:

    What is VC? Start learning about Vehicular Cycling.
    Why oppose bike lanes? Find out about the bike lane debate.


    Flashing neon sign!!!

  14. #14
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    You don't like bike lanes, Forester doesn't like bike lanes; both you and Forester tout VC... therefore Bike Lanes and VC must not mix, eh?

    Common misconception. Gee, I wonder why?
    Ive read foresters stuff as well.He also mentions widing the lanes but not painting bike lane stripes on them instead of widing and painting stripes

    Ive seen extra wide right lanes work in pratice very very well in places that are less than bike friendly for the most part. I tend to agree with the idea. Wide right most lanes and drivers will still tend to do whats natural to them and drive centered in the lane. So if the lane is 6 foot wider than normal over all their will be 3 aditional feet on ither side. So unless you get beside a huge suv youll be hard pressed to reach out with fingures streched out and touch the side of a car.

    In a better world wed have such wide lanes at inter sections and not have any problems.
    Heres the best part most drivers will tend to put more distance between the cyclist and them self inside a lane so youll end up with 4 extra feet insted of being crowded a inter sections.

    On most roads here with a car centered in the right most lane theres maybe 3 feet left over if your lucky. So a extra 6 foot total would mean same car driving down the current road with 6 foot extra space youd have 6 foot to each side. And sence the driver has more space to the side with out the cyclist he or she would tend to move over a it that direction further upping the distance. You could end up with 6 foot+ clearance.

    Its also a balancing act. To much extra width and youll have cars trying to crowd by each other in the lane.
    My idea is bike turning left left cyclist is far left of right lane. Center for strait far right for right turn. You could also let the driver know your going strait and with a small amount of luck hell let you get across and over before he passes you.

    In other words make friends with the lead driver whos going strait and he can run a little bit of intefearance for you
    After all bikes can get ahead of cars on take off easly any how so with the driver aware of your intentions you can easly get ahead and over to right saftly after crossing the road. Right turns are damn easy for bikes just like they are for a car.

    Me personaly i take the lane at intersections and check behind me for cars makign right turns. Its far safer for me to be cenetered in the lane at a stop light than any where else. But i can also be safe to the right turn drivers left. Just not quite as safe. So i see a driver turning right i scoot over and let them by. And let the drive behind them know im going back over when the first driver makes their turn.

    Ive slapped a few hoods when drivers crowded in. I find it pretty rare though.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Oh, so now you admit that there IS an association between VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric.
    NOW??? I have NEVER even hinted that there is no association between VC and anti-BL rhetoric. That would be asburd. Your logical leaps are incredible.


    Sure, but opposing bike lanes while USING them is rather hypocritical.
    Gene, you disappoint me. Opposing bike lanes means opposing the STRIPE, not the PAVEMENT that is demarcated by the stripe, so there is nothing hypocritical about using that pavement, whether it is demarcated by the stripe or not.


    Somewhat like opposing autos while driving in one. Bit twisted. Or being a vegetarian while munching on a Big Mac.
    Actually, it's much more like not liking the wall separating your kitchen from the dining area, but using the kitchen anyway, even while you're trying to convince your spouse that getting rid of the wall is a good idea...

    I can't believe that after all this time, you still don't get it. This is so depressing. It's not that you don't agree with the arguments opposing bike lanes, it's that your statements indicate you still don't even understand them. If you did understand, you would not liken a BL opponent using pavement demarcated by a BL stripe to a principled vegetarian eating a Big Mac.


    Care to explain why you have VC and anti-bike lane rhetoric in the lines of your sig?
    WTF? What part of


    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Much of anti-bike lane rhetoric is clearly based on concepts that stem from VC principles. Please stop confusing and equating the political opposition to bike lanes based on VC with the misconception that USING bike lanes is not consistent with VC.
    do you not understand?


    You don't like the misconception... then perhaps YOU need to change your message:
    There you go again, Gene. What "misconception" that I don't like are you talking about?

    Your suggestion that I need to change my message indicates the "misconception" you mean is the "misconception" that VC and anti-BL rhetoric are associated. The problem with that is that IT'S NOT A MISCONCEPTION... VC and anti-BL rhetoric ARE associated. Do I really need to add the statement opposing bike lanes means opposing bike lane STRIPES; it does not mean opposing cycling on the pavement demarcated by the stripe regardless of whether the stripe exists to my sig?


    The misconceptions that I don't like are YOURS, Gene. Let's look at the ones you've been spewing in this thread alone.

    • that OPPOSING BLs and USING BLs is hypocritical (it's not, see above).
    • the idea that USING BLs is in conflict with VC comes from the book Effective Cycling (it doesn't; in EC Forester writes about when, how and why vehicular cyclists should use bike lanes).
    • the idea that USING BLs is in conflict with VC comes from Forester's posts (it doesn't, those posts do not even address USING BLs and only mentions VC once, in terms of the need to expand understanding of the VC principle).
    • the idea that USING BLs is in conflict with VC comes from my sig. (it doesn't;, my sig does not even address USING BLs - see below).
    • that I have contended that VC and anti-BL rhetoric are not associated (I never have).


    Shall I go on?

    So much time is wasted due to your sloppy reading, thinking and/or writing that leads to all these misconceptions, Gene. Sadly, the examples from this thread are typical of the fantastic logical leaps you make in most other discussions too. Please, I know you can do better. Restore my faith in humanity by proving me to be right about your ability to do better.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-19-05 at 07:07 PM.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova
    Ive read foresters stuff as well.He also mentions widing the lanes but not painting bike lane stripes on them instead of widing and painting stripes

    Ive seen extra wide right lanes work in pratice very very well in places that are less than bike friendly for the most part. I tend to agree with the idea. Wide right most lanes and drivers will still tend to do whats natural to them and drive centered in the lane. So if the lane is 6 foot wider than normal over all their will be 3 aditional feet on ither side. So unless you get beside a huge suv youll be hard pressed to reach out with fingures streched out and touch the side of a car.

    In a better world wed have such wide lanes at inter sections and not have any problems.
    Heres the best part most drivers will tend to put more distance between the cyclist and them self inside a lane so youll end up with 4 extra feet insted of being crowded a inter sections.

    On most roads here with a car centered in the right most lane theres maybe 3 feet left over if your lucky. So a extra 6 foot total would mean same car driving down the current road with 6 foot extra space youd have 6 foot to each side. And sence the driver has more space to the side with out the cyclist he or she would tend to move over a it that direction further upping the distance. You could end up with 6 foot+ clearance.

    Its also a balancing act. To much extra width and youll have cars trying to crowd by each other in the lane.
    My idea is bike turning left left cyclist is far left of right lane. Center for strait far right for right turn. You could also let the driver know your going strait and with a small amount of luck hell let you get across and over before he passes you.

    In other words make friends with the lead driver whos going strait and he can run a little bit of intefearance for you
    After all bikes can get ahead of cars on take off easly any how so with the driver aware of your intentions you can easly get ahead and over to right saftly after crossing the road. Right turns are damn easy for bikes just like they are for a car.

    Me personaly i take the lane at intersections and check behind me for cars makign right turns. Its far safer for me to be cenetered in the lane at a stop light than any where else. But i can also be safe to the right turn drivers left. Just not quite as safe. So i see a driver turning right i scoot over and let them by. And let the drive behind them know im going back over when the first driver makes their turn.

    Ive slapped a few hoods when drivers crowded in. I find it pretty rare though.

    Great post Nova. Sounds like you have been practicing vehicular cycling all along, though you may not have referred to it as that.


    My idea is bike turning left left cyclist is far left of right lane. Center for strait far right for right turn.
    This, by the way, is what Forester calls destination positioning at intersections.

    But as Roody noted, it is one thing to understand this and do it in ideal conditions, it's another to be able to accomplish it in challenging traffic situations where conditions are changing in real-time.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    OK let's keep it simple for you.

    I use bike lanes. I am a vc cyclist. I don't have a problem using BL or any other part of the road.

    Others on BF, not me, have expressed confusion on what is VC and why it doesn't like BL. Therefore there must be some perceived association between vc and anti-BL rhetoric.

    Forester and yourself both tout VC and both tout anti bike lane rhetoric.

    Can anyone here see why one might assume that VC adovates anti bike lanes rhetoric?

    Now the use of the bike lanes (as Forester touts) is simply the use of the road... the stripe doesn't mean a thing.

    But the association of VC and anti-BL rhetoric simply comes from the message that the Fosterites constantly chant... such as your sig.

    Hence folks hear "vc," and hear "anti-BL" in nearly the same breath, and assume that VC is all about NOT using BL. Just as folks also hear VC and "take the lane" and assume that VC is all about always taking lanes.

    It is called a misconception. And it exists.
    It's that simple.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    But the association of VC and anti-BL rhetoric simply comes from the message that the Fosterites constantly chant... such as your sig.

    Hence folks hear "vc," and hear "anti-BL" in nearly the same breath, and assume that VC is all about NOT using BL.
    Gene, read what you wrote, quoted here. Read it again. Can you spot the problem?

    I know you're talking about "folks". But please explain to me how one gets from a mere ASSOCIATION between VC and "anti-BL" (which again, I have never denied, though you still inexplicably seem to think it's important to point out why one would make that association) to "ASSUME that VC is ALL ABOUT NOT **USING** BL?"

    How do you (and other folks) get from ASSOCIATION with "anti-BL" to association with not USING BLs?

    I've updated my sig. Do you think that will help?

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I don't know if bike lanes are anti-VC or if VC is anti-BL. It all sounds like BS to me, actually.

    But I do know that if you are riding VC, you like to be able to use any part of the pavement that is legally available to you, depending on circumstances. Stripes make this more difficult.

    For example, if the BL stripe were not there, I would have a wide outer lane. I would probably choose to ride about 4 feet to the left of the gutter much of the time. Cagers would still have room to pass me safely without even leaving the lane, or at most just nosing into the left lane. Everybody would be happy and safe.

    Unfortunately, where I want to ride is exactly where the damn stripe is painted. I don't like to ride on the stripe. It is going to be slippery in wet weather. Also, when cagers see me riding on the stripe, they automatically think that I am crowding them, even if they really have plenty of room. They will feel uncomfortable, and a few will even get mad. If I ride to the left of the stripe, they think I'm flouting the law. If I ride to the right of the stripe, I'm usually on dirty pavement, and I'm too far to the right to be visible.

    So, basically, the stripe has taken a big chunk of pavement away from me, which would be available if the bike lane were just part of a wide outer lane. I can cope, I can adapt, but there's no way I'm going to like it!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Gene, read what you wrote, quoted here. Read it again. Can you spot the problem?

    I know you're talking about "folks". But please explain to me how one gets from a mere ASSOCIATION between VC and "anti-BL" (which again, I have never denied, though you still inexplicably seem to think it's important to point out why one would make that association) to "ASSUME that VC is ALL ABOUT NOT **USING** BL?"

    How do you (and other folks) get from ASSOCIATION with "anti-BL" to association with not USING BLs?
    Uh, I never associated vc with NOT using bike lanes. In fact, it took me a darn long time to convince you that while I do use bike lanes and do think they have some merit in attracting cyclists to the road and informing motorists that cyclists are on the road, I am in fact a vc cyclist. In fact, you were convinced early on that because I do believe that some bike lanes have merit, I couldn't possibly be a vc cyclist.

    Tripped up on your own narrow thinking. Drawing the same conclusions that others draw, because of the association between VC and AntiBL.

    Based on the message, and the messengers... IE the Foresterites such as yourself touting both VC and anti bike lane rhetoric, it is just short leap to the conclusion (misconception) that VC means not using BL. And in the case of your previous sig, the two lines together made that association quite easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    I've updated my sig. Do you think that will help?
    I doubt it. Why mix the messages? Tout VC. Use a VC sig.

    In other discussions, be anti BL. Use an anti BL sig.

    The conclusions (misconceptions) that are drawn, are based on you and others trying to deliver the two messages in the same breath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I don't know if bike lanes are anti-VC or if VC is anti-BL. It all sounds like BS to me, actually.

    But I do know that if you are riding VC, you like to be able to use any part of the pavement that is legally available to you, depending on circumstances. Stripes make this more difficult.

    For example, if the BL stripe were not there, I would have a wide outer lane. I would probably choose to ride about 4 feet to the left of the gutter much of the time. Cagers would still have room to pass me safely without even leaving the lane, or at most just nosing into the left lane. Everybody would be happy and safe.

    Unfortunately, where I want to ride is exactly where the damn stripe is painted. I don't like to ride on the stripe. It is going to be slippery in wet weather. Also, when cagers see me riding on the stripe, they automatically think that I am crowding them, even if they really have plenty of room. They will feel uncomfortable, and a few will even get mad. If I ride to the left of the stripe, they think I'm flouting the law. If I ride to the right of the stripe, I'm usually on dirty pavement, and I'm too far to the right to be visible.

    So, basically, the stripe has taken a big chunk of pavement away from me, which would be available if the bike lane were just part of a wide outer lane. I can cope, I can adapt, but there's no way I'm going to like it!
    Well stated Roody. I agree with all of this, but this "practical" drawback of bike lane stripes, for me, pales in comparison to the role bike lanes play in inhibiting many non-VC cyclists from learning VC, and everyone from accepting cyclists as full-fledged normal users of the roadway with the same rights as drivers of other vehicles.

    I understand that bike lanes do have some effect in getting cyclists off the sidewalks, and getting the neanderthals who think sidewalks are where cyclists belong to see the light, but it really only moves the sidewalk problem to a different place (albeit a slightly better one), while at the same introducing a plethora of new problems, not the least of which are the two mentioned here by you and me. And we have not even touched on all the intersection-related problems that are unique to bike lanes, including those at midblock "minor" (but deadly) intersections with driveways and alleys for which there is no practical work-a-round solution. Yes, I know there are claims that bike lanes make cycling more popular, and, hence, get more cyclists on the roads which makes cycling safer. But these are tenuous, at best. For every cyclist who is encouraged to ride because of bike lanes, another is probably discouraged due to being reminded of the danger of "mixing" cars and bikes - the "problem" the bike lane is obviously trying to address. And the inhibiting of learning VC factor ialso arguably indirectly reduces the potential of cycling popularity, by inhibiting cyclists from learning how to safely and effectively ride integrated with traffic.

    In the final analysis, on roads where slow moving vehicles are not allowed, the relatively minor benefits of bike lanes are dwarfed by these and the many other drawbacks of bike lanes. That, in a nutshell, is why I am generally opposed to bike lanes.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-19-05 at 08:10 PM.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Uh, I never associated vc with NOT using bike lanes.
    What then were you doing in post #2? "...another big [misconception] is that riding VC is not using Bike Lanes ... [which] comes from the book Effective Cycling and the anti Bike Lane attitude expressed by the writer Forester, and his 'disciples' ..." (my emphasis)

    That sure reads like an association between vc and not using bike lanes to me...
    The association is implied by the "comes from the [VC 'Bible'] book... attitude [of the 'father of VC' and his]... 'disciples'" statement.


    Why mix the messages? Tout VC. Use a VC sig.

    In other discussions, be anti BL. Use an anti BL sig.
    Changing the sig affects sigs in all posts... past, present and future.
    Besides, why separate the two (VC and anti-BL)? My opposition to bike lanes relies heavily on VC theory. Why not "mix" them?

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Dude, I was simply reporting the misconceptions that others have.

    They also have the misconception that riding VC is all about always taking the lane.

    Run that up your flagpole and salute it for a while.

    These are misonceptions that others have formed... I am simply reporting what I have seen on various areas here on BF. Don't try to kill the messenger.

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Unfortunately, where I want to ride is exactly where the damn stripe is painted. I don't like to ride on the stripe. It is going to be slippery in wet weather. Also, when cagers see me riding on the stripe, they automatically think that I am crowding them, even if they really have plenty of room. They will feel uncomfortable, and a few will even get mad. If I ride to the left of the stripe, they think I'm flouting the law.
    Interesting. A good point here. If I look at this from what I experience or "feel" while driving, if you're riding somewhere to the right of the line, I feel that I know what you're doing. If you're out into the lane, say, at the right wheel track or a bit further, I feel I know what you're doing. When a rider is just outside the line, then I feel I don't know what you're doing. I start to think "unpredictable".
    If there's no white line, and you're riding a straight line, then I feel you're predictable no matter where you are in the lane. When I say "predictable", it means even if I go into the left lane of two lanes going the same way (some riders do some crazy stuff around here).

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    Gene (and others), would you agree with the following statement?

    While cycling in bike lanes is not necessarily contrary to VC principles (the pavement that happens to be demarcated by a bike lane stripe is often the appropriate vehicular place to cycle, particularly between intersections when faster same-direction traffic is present), supporting and/or not opposing bike lanes on roads where slow moving vehicles are not prohibited is contrary to VC principles.

    If you disagree, an explanation would be appreciated.

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