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  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    I generally ride like I'm supposed to as a legal vehicle in Georgia, using the same roads as motorists without bike lane stripes to tell me where I should position myself. I usually shy away from paths. I take my position in the traffic queue at lights, even when that means I'm gonna be waaaaay in the back when I could easily sneak to the front. I do it right, partly because I'm communicating lawful cycling to motorists, which I think goes a long way in dislodging the negative image of cyclists not belonging on the road, an image often reinforced by cyclists who disregard traffic laws.

    But...

    There are times when following the rest of the traffic crowd isn't convenient. I could be waiting a long time in the mess instead of enjoying my ride. What have I done to avoid the jams?

    --Taken a bike path (feels like cheating when the signs applying to the road say "Do Not Enter".)
    --Walked my bike through a pedestrian underpass.
    --Cut through a MARTA rail station (stairs and escalators.)
    --Cut through parking lots.
    --Cut through college campuses.
    --Used a sidewalk cut-through from a cul-de-sac to an arterial road (while waving to pub-goers.)
    --Used private drives.
    --Walked my bike through a store, then out the back door (ok, that's a lie, but I'm having so much fun!)



    What have you done, you naughty rascal?

    No worries

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Oh, I've done my share. I've cut through a parking lots to avoid a controlled intersection. I've taken the sidewalk up the wrong way on a one way street to reach my apartment half a block up. I've hopped curbs to get to a bike path through campus instead of taking the road.

    That is the wonderful thing about a bicycle. It enables for a hybrid association with the street; fast enough to find a place on the road for long distance traveling with few stops, but maneuverable enough to find a home on pedestrian facilities and paths to avoid the problems of moterized vehicles. Moterized vehicles pay no price to take the long route or to frequently stop and start, but me and my bike do. If I had to restrict my cycling to follow the path moterized traffic all the time, then it would make absolutely no sense to bike.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Can't forget, I've also used the bike lane to pass half mile lines of traffic jams. Makes no sense to bike if you cannot utilize the fact that you are thin and maneuverable. I don't restrict my cycling to simply pretending I am a car, as long as my maneuvers are reasonably safe.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Bike lanes. Pure and simple... on my commute, there is one particular area where the motor traffic backs up for up to a good half hour to do about one mile up a pretty steep hill. (it is unbelievable that people would actually wait this long to go this "shortcut"). The reality is that the only other routes tend to back up also, so folks take this route thinking it is a viable alternative, but there is no escape outlet once you have gone this way... so the queue can become quite unmanageable.

    There is a bike lane on the road, and taking the bike lane allows a cyclist to pass all this traffic... with only one intersection (that leads to an apartment complex). I do it at about 8MPH and just zoom past all the motorists sitting right there.

    I don't think this is a case of vehicular verses non vehicular, but it sure is a case of "the skinny vehicle" beating the heck out of "the big fat cages."

    Other areas that I ride that are non-vehicular involve sidewalks... and slow recreation rides with my wife.

    Frankly I really like going fast, and that to me involves cleats and funky pedals... so I really don't like anything that puts me into pedestrian mode... thus I tend to ride vc style, just to get to smooth pavement.

    I do however on rare occasion make a quick run to the local stores on my beach cruising fat tire bike... and I use any surface I can ride on with that thing... sidewalks, dirt tracks, alleys, median centers, lawns... If I can roll across it... it is fair game.

  5. #5
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Anyone who ever rides across a sidewalk to get to a bike parking facility understands there are advantages to going non-vehicular every now and then, particularly at the start and end of trips, and occasionally mid-trip for short-cut and other purposes (like cutting through a vacant lot on a mountain bike, for example). These exceptions do not contradict the general VC principle that cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles, which applies only to cyclists riding in traffic anyway.

    The key is to be particularly vigilant and cognizant of when you are going in and out of "vehicular" mode, for you must typically yield the right-of-way to everyone during those transitions, and your actions are often unexpected.

  6. #6
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    Like others I prefer the road. Many MUPs and sidewalks are bumpy as heck.
    However, I have pretty much done everything listed so far. Except riding the wrong way in a one way street. When I start riding in downtown, I'm sure I will do that on accident.
    I've even rode against traffic on a fairly busy street with no sidewalks. I'd just started riding and made a bit of a mistake. Only did that once and never again.

  7. #7
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Makes no sense to bike if you cannot utilize the fact that you are thin and maneuverable. I don't restrict my cycling to simply pretending I am a car, as long as my maneuvers are reasonably safe.
    You make this statement as if you believe there are cyclists who do not "utilize the fact that you are thin and maneuverable" and/or "restrict [their] cycling to simply pretending [they are] a car".

    Do you believe there are such cyclists?
    If not, what was the point of making these statements?

  8. #8
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Naughty: I ride on the pedestrian overpass.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Frankly I really like going fast, and that to me involves cleats and funky pedals... so I really don't like anything that puts me into pedestrian mode... thus I tend to ride vc style, just to get to smooth pavement.
    Cool thing about trikes is you never have to unclip the cleats!
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  9. #9
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Does anyone think there is anything inherently non-vehicular about passing stopped cars on their right, regardless of whether the pavement width used for this is demarcated by a bike lane stripe or not?


    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    I don't think this is a case of vehicular verses non vehicular, ...
    Then why mention it in this thread? Do you think there are others who do believe it is a case of vehicular verses non vehicular?

    It seems to me that there is still a sense among at least some of you that "vehicular" still implies "like a car", including in the physical sense, rather than being a reference purely to operating in accordance to the common vehicular rules of the road, and having nothing to do with the particular operating and physical characteristics of any one type of vehicle.

  10. #10
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Cool thing about trikes is you never have to unclip the cleats!
    Cool thing about getting good at clipping and unclipping is you never have to think about it... it becomes automatic, and a non-issue. Love my Speedplays...

  11. #11
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Naughty: I ride on the pedestrian overpass.
    me too. ringing my little bell and being passed by joggers as I spin away in my lowest gear.

  12. #12
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Anyone who ever rides across a sidewalk to get to a bike parking facility understands there are advantages to going non-vehicular every now and then, particularly at the start and end of trips, and occasionally mid-trip for short-cut and other purposes (like cutting through a vacant lot on a mountain bike, for example). These exceptions do not contradict the general VC principle that cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles, which applies only to cyclists riding in traffic anyway.

    The key is to be particularly vigilant and cognizant of when you are going in and out of "vehicular" mode, for you must typically yield the right-of-way to everyone during those transitions, and your actions are often unexpected.
    C'mon, Serge, tell us something naughty.

    I'm kidding. I agree with everything you just said (you can loosen your tie, now.)

    No worries

  13. #13
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Does anyone think there is anything inherently non-vehicular about passing stopped cars on their right, regardless of whether the pavement width used for this is demarcated by a bike lane stripe or not?



    Then why mention it in this thread? Do you think there are others who do believe it is a case of vehicular verses non vehicular?

    It seems to me that there is still a sense among at least some of you that "vehicular" still implies "like a car", including in the physical sense, rather than being a reference purely to operating in accordance to the common vehicular rules of the road, and having nothing to do with the particular operating and physical characteristics of any one type of vehicle.
    Perhaps you should point us to the definitive source that documents the universal vehicular rules of the road, then people would have something to refer to when confused, perhaps even keep it on them to show motorists, cops and anyone else who might not understand.
    "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

  14. #14
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Does anyone think there is anything inherently non-vehicular about passing stopped cars on their right, regardless of whether the pavement width used for this is demarcated by a bike lane stripe or not?



    Then why mention it in this thread? Do you think there are others who do believe it is a case of vehicular verses non vehicular?

    It seems to me that there is still a sense among at least some of you that "vehicular" still implies "like a car", including in the physical sense, rather than being a reference purely to operating in accordance to the common vehicular rules of the road, and having nothing to do with the particular operating and physical characteristics of any one type of vehicle.

    Well since certain vehicular cyclists tend to think that bike lanes are the bain of all cyclists, and that particular "constant presentation" may give the impression that bike lane use is non-vehicular... and so on...

    But I did put a disclaimer in my post.

    Also regarding the issue of "waiting in traffic like a car;" this has indeed been mentioned in the past as the right way to be vehicular... now whether one just waits at a light or in a grueling queue is probably the real question... much like the issue of how long does one wait at a traffic light before admitting that it will not change and then technically running it.

    I also went on in my post and described other moves I make that are indeed non-vehicular... and I don't mean riding across sidewalks... I mean riding across anything that happens to be in my way and that I can roll across...

    Although a tank IS a vehicle, so I suppose that if I obey the vehicular rules (giving way to those in front... etc) then even rolling across anything can also be construed as vehicular... just as driving a shopping cart can be "vehicular."

  15. #15
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Perhaps you should point us to the definitive source that documents the universal vehicular rules of the road, then people would have something to refer to when confused, perhaps even keep it on them to show motorists, cops and anyone else who might not understand.
    The "universal vehicular rules of the road" is the common subset of rules and principles that are true in almost all, if not actually all, jurisdictions on earth (with left/right swapped as appropriate).

    An example of universal rule is "green traffic signal means you may proceed when safe and clear to do so.
    A counter-example of a universal rule is one that prohibits or allows right turns on red.

    While there is no definitive source of universal ROTR, by definition, the definition of what is and what is not a univeral rule, and how to determine this, is pretty clear, at least to me.

    But the best proof of the existence of the universal ROTR is the fact that one can fly to just about any airport in the world, get in a car or on a bike, and drive or ride, and know how to do so legally in that jurisdiction by following the same universal ROTR that one follows at home, wherever that may be. And one can do so quite effectively without reading one word of the official implementation of the universal ROTR in that jurisdiction. Again, taking into account the right/left swap issue.

  16. #16
    Gatoraid powered engine 2wheeledsoul's Avatar
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    The somewhat short wheelbase, 2" higher than normal BB, long stem, and riser bars turned foreward (I've got long arms) on my homebuilt commuter hybrid beater combine to give it remarkable agility, if a little unstable at walking speed. I use that agility to my advantage.

    - If the traffic is high speed and heavy and the sidewalk unused, then I have no problem taking the sidewalk, watching out for hook manouvers, of course.
    - I'll cut through parking lots, empty lots, mostly complete but not yet open road construction, and take back allys behind stores. A lot of them get me around streets of sudden death and suesidal intersections.
    - The kids carve singletracks through greenspaces and unused lots in many neiborhoods. I make a point to know them, they're worthwhile shortcuts and they're a blast to ride.
    - I'm surprised the rail trails aren't used more often. Oh well, it just means a straight fast shot for me.
    - I'll make like a car through reasonably safe intersections, yet I'll keep an eye on the cars as I move through. When they make a dumb move, I'm ready to pull an evasion. A member of the local chopper gang at the light is a good sign. Most ride along with me, and the cagers don't want to mess with them.
    - I make like a car on residential streets, sans the speeding. Rolling stops at stop signs if I'm in the clear, full stop if I'm not.
    - Cars parked on two-lane residential streets, often blocking most if not all of an entire lane means slowing way down and approaching with caution. If neccessary, I'll cut through a yard to safely bypass that bozo. That might be rude to the home owner, but my ass is worth more than his grass, so thar.

    hmm... Helmethead's probably having a meltdown reading this.

  17. #17
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheeledsoul
    hmm... Helmethead's probably having a meltdown reading this.
    As long as you're cognizant and vigilant about moving in and out of traffic, and the ROW and visibility/predictability ramifications, and are vehicular while in traffic (rollling a stop when it's clear is arguably vehicular), I don't have much of a problem with anything you said, much less having a meltdown.

    Cutting across private property, particularly a residential yard, is not too cool, however.

  18. #18
    Gatoraid powered engine 2wheeledsoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Cutting across private property, particularly a residential yard, is not too cool, however.
    I agree, it does suck.
    I said I only do it if neccessary, ie when the car is blocking the lane on heavily travelled streets and it's not safe to pass on the remaining open lane. Being a bloody bumper sandwich sucks way more than bike tire tracks in the grass.
    It's illegal to block traffic like that, but the law is so lightly enforced, the nimrods that do it will keep doing it. :sigh: Like every other law that apparently carries no weight. Beam me up Scotty...

  19. #19
    Senior Member FLBandit's Avatar
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    I'm generally a good boy when I ride, but I'm not above a few shortcuts now and then. Hmm, come to think of it I was the same way on my motorcycle!
    I wanna ride!
    '90ish Giant Perigee

  20. #20
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheeledsoul
    I agree, it does suck.
    I said I only do it if neccessary, ie when the car is blocking the lane on heavily travelled streets and it's not safe to pass on the remaining open lane. Being a bloody bumper sandwich sucks way more than bike tire tracks in the grass.
    It's illegal to block traffic like that, but the law is so lightly enforced, the nimrods that do it will keep doing it. :sigh: Like every other law that apparently carries no weight. Beam me up Scotty...
    Try and get into the adjacent same direction lane well before the car causing blockage, which means looking 1/4mi up ahead. Passing stopped vehicles (busses, garbage trucks, road maintance) is one of the more stressful maneuvers, but with practice gets easier - as long as you signal, ensure drivers see you and then merge.
    Al

  21. #21
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I'm with Al. I'm not troubled by stopped cars... just merge left, and pass them, same as you would do if you were riding a motorcycle.

    Are we missing something?

  22. #22
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    ....... there are cyclists who do not "utilize the fact that you are thin and maneuverable" and/or "restrict [their] cycling to simply pretending [they are] a car".

    Do you believe there are such cyclists?
    there are cyclists like this, who refuse to advance in a WOL to play pretend car on their bikes for some reason.

    Cars split lanes with me, I split lanes with cars. Screw the cager that can't handle me passing them at the stops.

    One of the reasons I ride my bike is it's faster than cars sometimes, particularily if using selective lane splits and the what not-so-necessarily autocentric style of vehicular bicycling, but a bastard version that serves me best.

  23. #23
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The "universal vehicular rules of the road" is the common subset of rules and principles that are true in almost all, if not actually all, jurisdictions on earth (with left/right swapped as appropriate).
    In other words, your interpretation of what is vehicular is just that, your own opinion, interpretation or theory. That being the case, who are you to say that if someone considers 'vehicular' to be 'like a car' that they are right or wrong? Indeed, the fact that there are no documented, published and accepted standards defining the vehicular rules of the road, proves out the point that VC is merely a brand of common practices, customs and principles that pre-date the term.
    "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
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    there are cyclists like this, who refuse to advance in a WOL to play pretend car on their bikes for some reason.

    Cars split lanes with me, I split lanes with cars. Screw the cager that can't handle me passing them at the stops.

    One of the reasons I ride my bike is it's faster than cars sometimes, particularily if using selective lane splits and the what not-so-necessarily autocentric style of vehicular bicycling, but a bastard version that serves me best.
    It's not a bastard version, it's just your version, since there is no documented, accepted standard to say otherwise.
    "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

  25. #25
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    but, I am the bastard bicyclist, Chip! just self ascribing my biking style as a personal, bastardized, 'no rules' method of following some rules some of the time.

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