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View Poll Results: From reading posts in this forum, in aggregate, I perceive the VC message to be...

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  • VC is about lane positioning, including the use of bike lanes

    2 3.57%
  • VC is about taking the lane all, most or some of the time

    3 5.36%
  • VC is anti bike lane

    2 3.57%
  • VC is just practical, common sense skills for dealing with traffic

    33 58.93%
  • It's about something else

    16 28.57%
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  1. #1
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    From reading the posts in this forum, VC is...

    Just curious what the actual perception is about VC (vehicular cycling) AFTER PERUSING THE POSTS IN THESE FORUMS. In other words, as a whole, in aggregate, what is the message being delivered.

    I'm aware that not all possible options are available. I am not even sure what all the perceptions are.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  2. #2
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I picked It's about something else, because your choices were far too restrictive, and you missed the main concept.

    And what do you mean by "anti-BL"? Anti-BL use, or anti-BL stripe?

    VC is about cycling in accordance to the vehicular rules of the road, which includes:

    • destination positioning at intersections
    • speed positioning between intersections, including vehicular use of bike lanes when faster same-direction traffic is present.
    • using the full lane, when safe and appropriate.
    • negotiating for right-of-way with other vehicle drivers.
    • VC is not anti-BL use
    • VC advocacy is anti-BL stripe (on roads where slow moving vehicles are not prohibited)
    • etc.

  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I picked 'something else' too - to me VC is just packaging and branding of things that good cyclists have been doing forever, add a little dogma and serve shaked, not stirred.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I picked 'something else' too - to me VC is just packaging and branding of things that good cyclists have been doing forever, add a little dogma and serve shaked, not stirred.
    What percentage of cyclists do you think practice the following relatively consistently:
    • destination positioning at intersections
    • speed positioning between intersections, including vehicular use of bike lanes, but generally only when faster same-direction traffic is present.
    • using the full lane, when safe and appropriate, including when the lane is not wide enough to be safely shared side by side with cars, whenever traveling the same speed as traffic, whenever traveling faster than 30 mph, when preparing for a left turn, when approaching an intersection and not turning, etc.
    • negotiating for right-of-way with other vehicle drivers, to create a gap to merge left, rather than waiting for one to appear.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-20-05 at 10:10 PM.

  5. #5
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    • destination positioning at intersections
    • speed positioning between intersections, including vehicular use of bike lanes, but generally only when faster same-direction traffic is present.
    • using the full lane, when safe and appropriate, including when the lane is not wide enough to be safely shared side by side with cars, whenever traveling the same speed as traffic, whenever traveling faster than 30 mph, when preparing for a left turn, when approaching an intersection and not turning, etc.
    • negotiating for right-of-way with other vehicle drivers, to create a gap to merge left, rather than waiting for one to appear.
    I would agree for the most part that these techniques work, at least on my commute. I find the motorists are quite courteous when they think they know what I'm going to do.

    However, with very heavy traffic, I'm probably not going to negotiate for a left hand turn. It depends on the situation. There are other legal ways to make that left hand turn. And I'm just not in that big of a hurry!

    So bottom line, I picked VC as common sense cycling.

  6. #6
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    What percentage of cyclists do you think practice the techniques I listed relatively consistently?

    >99%
    90-99%
    75-90%
    50-75%
    25-50%
    10-25%
    1-10%
    <1%

    Never mind, I'll make this a separate poll. Anyway, Diane was trying to focus on perceptions about VC from reading these forums, though I'm not sure how someone is supposed to distinguish his perception about VC into the part that was formed from these forums, and the part that was not.

  7. #7
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    For those of you who are choosing, VC is just practical, common sense skills for dealing with traffic... please explain why so few cyclists have and use these "practical, common sense" skills.

    Just as one example. How often do you see a cyclist approach an intersection (where they are not turning) and even do a shoulder check before proceeding, much less actually negotiate a merge left out of the bike lane and/or away from the right edge before they reach and cross the intersection? Is doing that really common sense? Then why is it so UNCOMMON?
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-21-05 at 11:52 AM. Reason: sp

  8. #8
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    For those of you who are chosing, VC is just practical, common sense skills for dealing with traffic... please explain why so few cyclists have and use these "practical, common sense" skills.
    I think because, most probably, cycling is not considered a legitimate, viable transportation choice culturally in Canada, USA and Australia.

    In Japan, China, SE Asia, India, the UK, and Europe, etc., it is, and there are far less problems with interaction with cyclists as part of the transportation system.

    There are a lot of "Bozos'" out there in my neighbourhood because the "Bozos'" don't believe they are part of a system, so therefore, no rules of the system apply to them.

  9. #9
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    What percentage of cyclists do you think practice the following relatively consistently:
    • destination positioning at intersections
    • speed positioning between intersections, including vehicular use of bike lanes, but generally only when faster same-direction traffic is present.
    • using the full lane, when safe and appropriate, including when the lane is not wide enough to be safely shared side by side with cars, whenever traveling the same speed as traffic, whenever traveling faster than 30 mph, when preparing for a left turn, when approaching an intersection and not turning, etc.
    • negotiating for right-of-way with other vehicle drivers, to create a gap to merge left, rather than waiting for one to appear.
    What does any of this have to do with what I wrote? These techniques have been used since long before someone decided to make a name for himself by borrowing them, packaging and branding them under the term 'Vehicular Cyclist'. If I wrote a book outlining a method of riding called 'No-brainer bicycling' and outlined those same techniques, you and others would scream bloody murder that I have plagerized VC. It's the riding that counts, HH, not the brand you want to slap on it.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    For those of you who are chosing, VC is just practical, common sense skills for dealing with traffic... please explain why so few cyclists have and use these "practical, common sense" skills.
    Perhaps because many VCers spend too much time lobbying against bike lanes/paths and trying to put everyone into neat little boxed categories of cyclists, instead of focusing on teaching and educating? Perhaps that is the problem - too much effort on politics, cult-dogma, branding and organizational self-preservation, not enough effort on real-world, hands-on teaching.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Senior Member iamtim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Perhaps because many VCers spend too much time lobbying against bike lanes/paths and trying to put everyone into neat little boxed categories of cyclists, instead of focusing on teaching and educating? Perhaps that is the problem - too much effort on politics, cult-dogma, branding and organizational self-preservation, not enough effort on real-world, hands-on teaching.
    I think that I am going to start the church of chipcom, and I will be the high priest.

    WELL SAID.

    Tim.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Perhaps because many VCers spend too much time lobbying against bike lanes/paths and trying to put everyone into neat little boxed categories of cyclists, instead of focusing on teaching and educating? Perhaps that is the problem - too much effort on politics, cult-dogma, branding and organizational self-preservation, not enough effort on real-world, hands-on teaching.
    Nice call. I've often wondered, even while reading this thread, if a picture of someone that wants to learn to cycle, that is reading this forum, includes a dictionary and a legal interpreter explaining what everything that is said actually means in the common person's world.

  13. #13
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    chipcom, first of all, no one has branded or packaged the term VC. It just is a term to refer to cycling that is in accordance to the vehicular rules of the road. It is used to distinguish from the cycling employed by most cyclists in the U.S. today, which is pretty much, "anything goes as long as I stay out of the way of traffic unless I have no choice in which case they better yield for me cuz I don't have a cage and I'm not burning up fossil fuel and choking up the environment". Why not have terms to distinguish between these radically different approaches to cycling? While we have no term for the latter, at least we have a term for the former, so at least we can say VC and non-VC. Why are you so opposed to having and using these specific terms? It's just semantics, isn't it? Or are you denying the two approaches exist?


    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    If I wrote a book outlining a method of riding called 'No-brainer bicycling' and outlined those same techniques, you and others would scream bloody murder that I have plagerized VC. It's the riding that counts, HH, not the brand you want to slap on it.
    You are so far off it's not even funny. Are you aware of a book called Cyclecraft by John Franklin? It's a book that describes vehicular cycling without using the term once. No one complains about it a bit. We advocates of VC plug it as much as we plug Forester's book, and many of us actually give it a higher rating. You might take a few minutes to read the reviews of both books on Amazon.com. So call it VC, EC, "cyclecraft" or "no-brainer cycling", I truly don't much care, as long as we all know what you're talking about.

    Second, you didn't answer my "what percentage?" question in #4. You did ask, in #9, what did it have to do with what you said. I'll answer your question. You contend that "good cyclists" have been using the approach I refer to as VC "forever". I'm not disputing that point (nor does Forester, who notes this in his book, Effective Cycling). However, I contend that the "good cyclists that are doing this today" amount to a tiny fraction of the cyclists out there. I was wondering what you thought, to see if we're talking about the same thing. For example, if you think that 10% or more of the cyclists out there are practicing what you refer to as no-brainer cycling, then I assure you we're not talking about the same thing, unless maybe you're talking about a European neighborhood with 18 mph (30 kph) speed limits. That's why I asked, to establish if when I say VC and you say "no-brainer" cycling, if we're talking about the same thing.

    Finally,


    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    For those of you who are choosing VC is just practical, common sense skills for dealing with traffic... please explain why so few cyclists have and use these "practical, common sense" skills.
    Perhaps because many VCers spend too much time lobbying against bike lanes/paths and trying to put everyone into neat little boxed categories of cyclists, instead of focusing on teaching and educating?
    Do you even know about the efforts of LAB and the LCI program? Classes are available all over the country. The problem is hardly anyone is taking the classes, or reading the books. The problem is that cyclists don't know what they don't know. They trivialize VC and equate it to "no-brainer" cycling. Why read a book or take a class about no-brainer cycling just to learn "practical, common sense skills"? Do you really have to read a book or take a class to do that? Come on! This is why hundreds of cyclists are needlessly killed in the U.S. every year, and thousands more needlessly injured, because they are employing techniques that make them far more vulnerable to collisions than they have to be. And I'm not just talking about running red lights. I'm talking about stuff like being oblivious to the relationship between lane position and visibility and predictability. The fact that the vast majority of cyclists don't have a clue about this one concept alone shows that VC is neither "common sense" (at least in our culture) nor is it "no-brainer" cycling. It's about making cycling safer, saving lives, and thus ultimately making cycling more popular (based on the assumption that the single biggest factor making cycling less popular than it is in the U.S. is the perception that it is inherently unsafe to ride a bicycle in traffic).


    Perhaps that is the problem - too much effort on politics, cult-dogma, branding and organizational self-preservation, not enough effort on real-world, hands-on teaching.
    The classes are out there. The books are out there. No one is taking them, or reading them. It's not about politics, cult-dogma, branding and organizational self-preservation (what organization are you talking about anyway? LAB? You think VC is about preserving LAB??? ROTLFOL!) It IS about advocating, publicizing, the fact taht cyclists can make cycling in traffic much safer by altering their own behavior.

    My personal motivation in all this, in case you care, is that I only learned about the "no-brainer" techniques after 30 years of cycling, including club cycling, commuting, and reading books. Somehow I never learned about this stuff until someone suggested I read the book Effective Cycling. After reading it, and applying the techniques to my own commute, my cycling experience changed dramatically. But part of me was p1ssed. Why? Because no one told me about this stuff for all these years. So I'm here telling everyone so no one can blame me for not telling them... not to mention to save lives, and make cycling safer, more enjoyable, and more popular. It's called cycling ADVOCACY and that's what this forum is supposed to be about it, isn't it?
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-21-05 at 11:51 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    In my neck of the woods, there is a lot of education and teaching the rights and obligations of cyclists to motorists as well as cyclists, yet we still have an active bike lane element. I wish the money spent on lanes would be put to education, but it ain't gunna happen. Lanes are just far too popular.

    The vast majority of the driving population, rightly or wrongly, don't want cyclists "in their way" because it most often the case that the cyclist will be some "Bozo" who is doing something wrong (non-VC). This is a big reason why motorists want bike lanes.

    Around 95% of cyclists around here are occasional, recreational riders with little or no education, because cultrally, the driving education they may have cannot be related to riding a bike on the streets. The few cyclists that are VCers have a lower rate of accidents (when I read of a car/bike accident, it is almost always a case of the cyclist doing something stupid) but even with this safer record, people still prefer to have a lane instead of an education.

    So even if VC is just practical, common sense skills for dealing with traffic, I think it's kind of like the helmet issue. People think they can easily "buy" safety with a device (just as they think they are "safer" in an SUV), rather than take responsibility and go through the work on develouping those skills that make them safer.

    Everyone seems to want things to be safer, but few are willing to take responsibility to share the road co-operatively to make the roads safer. It's every man for himself, and we're the worse for it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member iamtim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    It's called cycling ADVOCACY and that's what this forum is supposed to be about it, isn't it?
    You just don't get it, do you? You have a very strong opinion about VC. That's cool. Not everyone shares that opinion. That's cool too. If someone says they don't have the same opinion as you, you immediately start throwing out posts about how they are wrong or don't understand VC; you go off in some kind of a "VC ADVOCACY OR DEATH!" mode.

    If chipcom says that to him it's all common sense riding, why don't you lay off and be happy that he's probably riding the same way you are, even though he calls it "just packaging and branding of things that good cyclists have been doing forever, add a little dogma and serve shaked, not stirred"?

    It's happened in every thread you've been on, too. Not just this one. You need to learn to chill -- your militant VC position turns people off. At least, from what I've read and seen in these forums.

    Tim.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    Nice call. I've often wondered, even while reading this thread, if a picture of someone that wants to learn to cycle, that is reading this forum, includes a dictionary and a legal interpreter explaining what everything that is said actually means in the common person's world.
    That was one of the first issues I ran into with regard to the nomenclature used by some here... From "fog lines" to "WOL" to "travel lanes" and even the components of a bike lane... such as the stripes themselves and their critical dimensions. Then there were the legal aspects and the MUTCD... oy vay!

    I would be willing to bet that of a thousand motorists out there, not one could cite the laws or even the codes that govern a single aspect of their day to day commute. Yet here in BF land in the heart of VC territory, the daily flinging of semi-legal terms is enough to scare any potential cycle commuter to simply take the bus.

    Now I am well informed and if I ever stand in a court arguing a case, I will be able to cite chapter and code and thank some here for all that overhead that I now carry in my brain.

    In the meantime, while cycling, I will still pretty much keep that narrow contact patch of tire on the road, just like anyone else.

  17. #17
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom
    Nice call. I've often wondered, even while reading this thread, if a picture of someone that wants to learn to cycle, that is reading this forum, includes a dictionary and a legal interpreter explaining what everything that is said actually means in the common person's world.
    To bring about change that flies in the face of common sense, which is what popularizing VC ultimately amounts to, because "common sense" about traffic cycling today in the U.S. is stay out of the way of cars, if you ride on the street at all, the first people that have to be reached are the intelligent independent objective thinkers, the leaders of a given cultural segment (in this case the segment is cycling advocacy). These are the people I'm trying to reach. These are the ones who will make an honest effort at trying to understand what I'm saying, use a dictionary if necessary, ask questions, challenge me, click on the Wiki links, do the research, read the books. If, in the mean time all this goes over the heads of the "followers", for now it doesn't matter, for once the leaders are persuaded, it's only a matter of time before the followers follow.


    By the way, m-w.com is easy to use...

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head

    Do you even know about the efforts of LAB and the LCI program? Classes are available all over the country. The problem is hardly anyone is taking the classes, or reading the books. The problem is that cyclists don't know what they don't know.
    And no one tells them either... the politics of LAB and LAB reform are a joke, and getting any form of knowledge out to any cyclist that might actually need and use it is stifled by the very advocates that try to define "what is a cyclist."

    Until LCI et. al. are able to approach young learning cyclists at or near their first introduction to bicycles... all the fancy lobbying and "training" etc in the world is just basically "preaching to the choir."

    Yeah, pretty sad state of affairs... folks in wheelchairs are far more organized then "cyclists" will ever be... as demonstrated by the passage of the disabilities act come many years ago.

  19. #19
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamtim
    I think that I am going to start the church of chipcom, and I will be the high priest.
    ROFL, does that mean I get virgins!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamtim
    You need to learn to chill -- your militant VC position turns people off.
    I realize my in your face approach does not work with all personality types. Some, perhaps more, respond better to the approach of, for example, Stephen Goodrich, or Roody.

    For those who can look past my "militancy" and pay attention to what I'm writing, I think I still provide value. It takes all kinds...

    For example, I recent thumbed through a cycling training guide by Chris Carmichael and Lance Armstrong I picked up and read some years ago, before I learned about and mastered VC. That was the first place I encountered the "quick turn", and thought it was nuts. I remember talking about it with other experienced (10k mi/year) cyclists at work, and they never heard of it, and thought it was nuts. Later of course I learned more about it when I read Effective Cycling and took LAB's Road 1 course. Anyway, what I didn't realize, until I thumbed through it again the other day, that it had a complete section on traffic cycling, that was very much in line with VC techniques. But there was nothing "in your face" about it, and, frankly, it had little to no effect on me. It was not until I encountered basically the same material, but presented in Forester's "in your face" style, that I finally started to "get it". Again, I realize not all people are like that. But I am, and I know others are too. Those are the ones I'm trying to reach. Hopefully others will reach others.

    Do you still think I don't get it?
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-21-05 at 12:21 PM.

  21. #21
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Anyway, Diane was trying to focus on perceptions about VC from reading these forums, though I'm not sure how someone is supposed to distinguish his perception about VC into the part that was formed from these forums, and the part that was not.
    Simple,anyone who reads your postings will think that VC is some kind of a cult.

    Seriously. I sat here trying to think how to explain my choosing the last poll option,but all I could come up with were slams against you that would get my posts deleted and/or me banned. You come off as fanatical about all things VC,quoting books like they're religious texts,and showing the demeanor of a televangelist preaching hellfire and damnation. I'm surprised the word 'crusade' doesn't show up in every other post. I showed some of your past postings to a couple folks in my office,and the responce was not positive. By preaching the dogma of a couple authors as being The One True Religion,you do VC a disservice by turning people away from it.

    Dude,what works for one person,in one situation,does not work for everyone else. VC is not a silver bullet.

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  22. #22
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The fact that the vast majority of cyclists don't have a clue about this one concept alone shows that VC is neither "common sense" (at least in our culture) nor is it "no-brainer" cycling. It's about making cycling safer, saving lives, and thus ultimately making cycling more popular (based on the assumption that the single biggest factor making cycling less popular than it is in the U.S. is the perception that it is inherently unsafe to ride a bicycle in traffic)... to save lives, and make cycling safer, more enjoyable, and more popular. It's called cycling ADVOCACY and that's what this forum is supposed to be about it, isn't it?
    from my POV, common sense or no brainer cycling is Effective Cycling (and I've read the book 3 times, and taken the course) but I don't know how much the book has to do with making cycling more popular.

    Advocacy, to me, seems to mean to push or encourage others to try it and all too often I see "advocates" discourage cycling though misleading and untrue claims on the "dangers" of riding a bike in traffic. I don't mind debate on how to make something safer but to miss the big picture and see that cycling may be a better choice than driving is the opposite of advocacy.

    Same roads, same rules, same rights. Cycling's even safer than driving. All I want is that recognition, but all too often I hear from some cycling advocate that special rules have to be made to make cycling safer, as if it isn't safer already.

  23. #23
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    chipcom, first of all, no one has branded or packaged the term VC. It just is a term to refer to cycling that is in accordance to the vehicular rules of the road. It is used to distinguish from the cycling employed by most cyclists in the U.S. today, which is pretty much, "anything goes as long as I stay out of the way of traffic unless I have no choice in which case they better yield for me cuz I don't have a cage and I'm not burning up fossil fuel and choking up the environment". Why not have terms to distinguish between these radically different approaches to cycling? While we have no term for the latter, at least we have a term for the former, so at least we can say VC and non-VC. Why are you so opposed to having and using these specific terms? It's just semantics, isn't it? Or are you denying the two approaches exist?
    The issue is not that cut and dried, there are not two categories that you can neatly put everyone into. Perhaps if you dropped the branding and quit trying to put everyone into narrow categories and engaged in addressing specific behaviors and suggestions on how it might be done safer, life would be much simpler and your message would be received better. People routinely tune out zealots, politicians and salesmen....so by avoiding coming off as one or more you could be much more effective. There is no 'one' way to ride safely, and no matter how hard you try to fit people into little boxes, that will never change. There are way to many variables...you might as well try to control how people have sex.

    You are so far off it's not even funny. Are you aware of a book called Cyclecraft by John Franklin? It's a book that describes vehicular cycling without using the term once. No one complains about it a bit. We advocates of VC plug it as much as we plug Forester's book, and many of us actually give it a higher rating. You might take a few minutes to read the reviews of both books on Amazon.com. So call it VC, EC, "cyclecraft" or "no-brainer cycling", I truly don't much care, as long as we all know what you're talking about.
    You just validated my point. VC is just safe cycling with a name attached. IMHO you would be much more effective by promoting 'safe cycling' and dropping the branding and dogma you always attach to it.

    Second, you didn't answer my "what percentage?" question in #4. You did ask, in #9, what did it have to do with what you said. I'll answer your question. You contend that "good cyclists" have been using the approach I refer to as VC "forever". I'm not disputing that point (nor does Forester, who notes this in his book, Effective Cycling). However, I contend that the "good cyclists that are doing this today" amount to a tiny fraction of the cyclists out there. I was wondering what you thought, to see if we're talking about the same thing. For example, if you think that 10% or more of the cyclists out there are practicing what you refer to as no-brainer cycling, then I assure you we're not talking about the same thing, unless maybe you're talking about a European neighborhood with 18 mph (30 kph) speed limits. That's why I asked, to establish if when I say VC and you say "no-brainer" cycling, if we're talking about the same thing.
    I didn't answer your questions because they are straw men that are not related to the discussion at hand, which is to define what people perceive as VC, not about who does what when and how. I suggest you take your questions and use them as subjects for individual new threads so you can discuss specifics, rather then generalizations.

    Do you even know about the efforts of LAB and the LCI program? Classes are available all over the country. The problem is hardly anyone is taking the classes, or reading the books. The problem is that cyclists don't know what they don't know. They trivialize VC and equate it to "no-brainer" cycling. Why read a book or take a class about no-brainer cycling just to learn "practical, common sense skills"? Do you really have to read a book or take a class to do that? Come on! This is why hundreds of cyclists are needlessly killed in the U.S. every year, and thousands more needlessly injured, because they are employing techniques that make them far more vulnerable to collisions than they have to be. And I'm not just talking about running red lights. I'm talking about stuff like being oblivious to the relationship between lane position and visibility and predictability. The fact that the vast majority of cyclists don't have a clue about this one concept alone shows that VC is neither "common sense" (at least in our culture) nor is it "no-brainer" cycling. It's about making cycling safer, saving lives, and thus ultimately making cycling more popular (based on the assumption that the single biggest factor making cycling less popular than it is in the U.S. is the perception that it is inherently unsafe to ride a bicycle in traffic).

    The classes are out there. The books are out there. No one is taking them, or reading them. It's not about politics, cult-dogma, branding and organizational self-preservation (what organization are you talking about anyway? LAB? You think VC is about preserving LAB??? ROTLFOL!) It IS about advocating, publicizing, the fact taht cyclists can make cycling in traffic much safer by altering their own behavior.
    Now why do you think people are not taking those classes? It's simple, they feel like they are being sold something, or preached to, or used to advance some political agenda, or recruited to join a cult. If you promoted a class, sponsored by say the Lions or the local PD, etc. rather than by some group perceived as an advocacy/lobbying/political/cult group, called 'teaching your kids to ride bicycles safely', for example, no other labels or branding, I can tell you from experience, the turnouts will improve.

    My personal motivation in all this, in case you care, is that I only learned about the "no-brainer" techniques after 30 years of cycling, including club cycling, commuting, and reading books. Somehow I never learned about this stuff until someone suggested I read the book Effective Cycling. After reading it, and applying the techniques to my own commute, my cycling experience changed dramatically. But part of me was p1ssed. Why? Because no one told me about this stuff for all these years. So I'm here telling everyone so no one can blame me for not telling them... not to mention to save lives, and make cycling safer, more enjoyable, and more popular. It's called cycling ADVOCACY and that's what this forum is supposed to be about it, isn't it?
    So advocate safe cycling and drop the branding, dogma and attempts at categorization, and I believe you will have much better luck. Concentrate on addressing specific techniques, free of labels, free of the perception that you are 'selling' something, and people will be more apt to pay more attention. The term VC is it's own worst enemy. My Dad taught me the basics of cycling and I learned the rest myself, from experience, without having to attach a label to what I was doing. Isn't 'safe cycling' enough, why do you feel the need to categorize? You either ride safely or you don't, no matter if you ride the road or the sidewalks.

    From what I can gather, you are frustrated at the lack of adoption and acceptance of 'VC' - shouldn't that be an indication that perhaps a different approach to delivering the message might be worth considering?
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  24. #24
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I don't know if the book makes cycling popular, but more cyclists practicing the VC techniques described in the book would make cycling safer, don't you think?

    I do, and if cycling got more safer, and especially if that increase was properly attributed to an increase in practice of VC techniques, then I would think cycling would get more popular.

  25. #25
    genec genec's Avatar
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    HH here is an example of the riders you need to approach:

    To the Wrongway Cyclist on Freeport Blvd.

    If you can get "the word" out to these types of riders... then you will make progress... these are the "low hanging fruit" you have spoken about before... and they are just as dangerous to themselves as other cyclists.

    Figure out how to reach them and you will have made progress... otherwise you are just "preaching to the choir."

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