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Old 01-06-06, 11:57 PM   #1
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Not a vehicle, not a pedestrian...

I ride based on a philosophy I call "centaurian".

My bike takes me places, but is different enough from a car to not limit itself to the legal hinderances I face while driving.

I am not a pedestrian while riding a bicycle, but I have the same perspective and hazards as a person walking.

When I ride my bike in the city, I approach each situation as a pedestrian (i.e. use of sidewalks, crosswalks, and safely running lights/crossing streets) and as a vehicle (i.e. riding in traffic, signaling lane changes, etc.)

My sister is a former triathalete, and very 'VC'. I actually commute by bicycle, and play by the rules above.

Having a bike to me is like being a centaur, half'n'half. Why should I treat my bike like a car?

What's wrong with my way, that it makes my sister so angry? I'm curious. My way works for me.
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Old 01-07-06, 12:30 AM   #2
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My health insurance company considered me a pedestrian as far as my accident (hit by car), what about the police?

jw
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Old 01-07-06, 12:43 AM   #3
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The police in Atlanta don't really care what you do on your bicycle, as long as you don't kill anybody (intentionally). We are 'below the radar'.
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Old 01-07-06, 02:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
I ride based on a philosophy I call "centaurian".

My bike takes me places, but is different enough from a car to not limit itself to the legal hinderances I face while driving.

I am not a pedestrian while riding a bicycle, but I have the same perspective and hazards as a person walking.

When I ride my bike in the city, I approach each situation as a pedestrian (i.e. use of sidewalks, crosswalks, and safely running lights/crossing streets) and as a vehicle (i.e. riding in traffic, signaling lane changes, etc.)

My sister is a former triathalete, and very 'VC'. I actually commute by bicycle, and play by the rules above.


Having a bike to me is like being a centaur, half'n'half. Why should I treat my bike like a car?

What's wrong with my way, that it makes my sister so angry? I'm curious. My way works for me.
Interesting concept.
By a very basic definition, a vehicle is any mechanical device designed to take a person from point A to point B. So a bike is a vehicle by that definition. A star trek teleporter is a vehicle by that definition. A pair of skates, heck, a pair of sneakers is a vehicle by that definition.
Texas vehicle code, and probably other states, reconizes bicycles, recumbents, hand cranked cycles, wheelchairs (!) and kick scooters (!!) as human powered vehicles that can be legally operated on the roads, the only exception being the freeway.
The code doesn't call bikes cars, and damned sure doesn't give the car any right to bully bikes. The code says bikes are legal road vehicles, just as it calls cars legal road vehicles.
If it helps, just think of yourself on your bike as a very light, very quiet, agile motorcycle that can go anywhere but the freeway and sips gatoraid instead of gas. Serious problems arise when drivers believe that bikes have no right to the road, contrary to what the law says, and believe they can terrorize riders and get away with it. Then you got the oblivious nimrods that aren't paying attention and driving recklessly and even illegally with complete disregard for anyone's safety...
It's a mentally ****ed up, incredibly lazy, stupid, paranoid, self-indulgent, insanely greedy mindset the car culture has created, and that mindset refuses to see the trouble it's causing for everyone. And don't get me started on the connection between the car, oil gluttony, resource wars, and terrorism. Bikes aren't the problem; bikes are the solution.
Ride with pride!
[/endrant]

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Old 01-07-06, 08:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wilke
My health insurance company considered me a pedestrian as far as my accident (hit by car), what about the police?

jw
Here accidents involving cyclists are categorized as pedestrian accidents, and the cyclist is described as "pedestrian" on the accident form. Just the kind of little thing that sticks in your craw.
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Old 01-07-06, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheeledsoul
Interesting concept.
By a very basic definition, a vehicle is any mechanical device designed to take a person from point A to point B. So a bike is a vehicle by that definition. A star trek teleporter is a vehicle by that definition. A pair of skates, heck, a pair of sneakers is a vehicle by that definition.
Texas vehicle code, and probably other states, reconizes bicycles, recumbents, hand cranked cycles, wheelchairs (!) and kick scooters (!!) as human powered vehicles that can be legally operated on the roads, the only exception being the freeway.
The code doesn't call bikes cars, and damned sure doesn't give the car any right to bully bikes. The code says bikes are legal road vehicles, just as it calls cars legal road vehicles.
CA vehicle code calls a bicycle a "human powered device," not a vehicle.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:32 AM   #7
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I'd feel better about bicycling if I could buy bicycle insurance, just like I get auto or motorcycle insurance -This is my personal preference, and not one that reflects the good of the general bicycling populace .
I use my bikes as transportation every day on roadways with a bunch of idiots just like myself, but most of them are driving 2 ton vehicles.
I'd like to be covered as a bicyclist on the road, instead of the cobbed togther version of personal property and injury protection advanced by the American insurance industry.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
What's wrong with my way, that it makes my sister so angry? I'm curious. My way works for me.
Here's a scenario I frequently encounter. I pull up to a 4-way stop and I actually stop. But behind me another cyclist whips past me and blows the stop. The problem is that I stopped and everybody assumed their rightful right of way in relation to my behavior. But the other cyclist has come careening through the intersection, cross-traffic be damned. Now everybody screetches to a stop to avoid hitting that guy. Now all eyes turn to me because now I can't be trusted. What am I going to do? Follow the cyclist who blew the light? Are we together? And because I'm left waiting at the stop, all anti-cyclist rage can now focus on me. Everybody stares. Everybody glares. And then no matter how long I wait for them to complete their rightful right of way moves, they all wave and glare and wait until I finally go.

I HATE that!!!

Stop at the bloody stop signs why don't you already? You'll make us a whole lot more friends out there and we'll all be a whole lot safer.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
I ride based on a philosophy I call "centaurian".

My bike takes me places, but is different enough from a car to not limit itself to the legal hinderances I face while driving.

I am not a pedestrian while riding a bicycle, but I have the same perspective and hazards as a person walking.
The term I've seen used for what you describe is a "rolling pedestrian".


Quote:
When I ride my bike in the city, I approach each situation as a pedestrian (i.e. use of sidewalks, crosswalks, and safely running lights/crossing streets) and as a vehicle (i.e. riding in traffic, signaling lane changes, etc.)
Me too. The key is to be especially vigilant and cognizant during the transition between being a "rolling pedestrian" and a "vehicular cyclist". For example, yesterday I saw a cyclist ride off a sidewalk and into traffic without even a half-hearted look-back, much less a signal and check for a gap. The driver he pulled in front of had to suddenly hit the brakes to avoid hitting him. I'm not saying you do this, I'm just saying it's really easy to overlook the hazards when switching between the two modes. The most common place I see this is when cyclists exit bike paths into traffic.


Quote:
Having a bike to me is like being a centaur, half'n'half. Why should I treat my bike like a car?
Have you read something somewhere that indicates you should treat your bike like a car?
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Old 01-07-06, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head

Have you read something somewhere that indicates you should treat your bike like a car?
I've seen recommendations about using auto wax to keep your frame shiny, but I'm lazy and use lemon pledge.

Seriously though the one problem I see with all of our different riding styles is that it confuses motorists. When motorists see the majority of cyclists riding in the gutter they assume I'm in the wrong when I'm more safely away from the curb or door zone. But I don't see anything changing that when most motorists can't all agree what speed a roadway should be travelled at and that the left lane is supposed to be for passing only.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:39 PM   #11
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I clean my frame with liquid auto wax... works great and the stuff helps remove road grime. I highly recommend it.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:44 PM   #12
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How about joggers who jog in the road ?
Am I a bad guy for riding up on the sidewalk to avoid them or
should I swing way out into the road and slow up cars at the risk
of adding to the potentiality of an undesirable situation ??
I cant worry about what cars think of me. Im only bound by my
own rules of staying out of everyones way and my own safety.
The only rule I abide by is Never impede a car or a ped.
If I blow stop signs but havent impeded a cars forward motion in any
way, so what. It's a 'them' problem if they dont like it, not mine.
Each mode of transportation has benefts inherent to them. Cars keep
thier occupants out of the weather but at the risk of being inefficient in
a congested situation whereas bycycles allow thier occupants to
traverse from point "A" to "B" in a hightly efficient manner but at the risk
of the riders exposure to the elements for two minimal examples.....
How silly is to think that I should have to sit in a traffic jam or 5-car-deep
stop sign mess created by cars.......??
We live in a society that increasingly has no regard for other peoples/cyclists
wellbeing or consideration. As the weaker element, cyclists suffer worse for it.
There will be peace in the Middle East before the average car driver is going to
say "gee....I dont mind being held up for someone higher societal concience than
I do" Let Lance be an ambassador, Im not going to flatter myself or waste time
worrying or thinking about if I just changed a car drivers perception of cyclists by
my freindly, VC riding style or by rolling a stop sign when there are no other cars
crossing me.
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Old 01-07-06, 01:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
CA vehicle code calls a bicycle a "human powered device," not a vehicle.
Ouch!! I hope CA at least reconizes you as a legal road user. Then again, considering the CHP cops that bullied the club riders...
My condolences, Gene.
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Old 01-07-06, 02:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genec
I clean my frame with liquid auto wax... works great and the stuff helps remove road grime. I highly recommend it.
I coat cables with turtle wax. It makes a great long lasting dry lube that scares the rust demon away from exposed cables.
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Old 01-07-06, 03:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
If I blow stop signs but havent impeded a cars forward motion in any way, so what. It's a 'them' problem if they dont like it, not mine.

How silly is to think that I should have to sit in a traffic jam or 5-car-deep stop sign mess created by cars.......??
This is an excellent post. Logical, efficient, simple.
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Old 01-07-06, 03:13 PM   #16
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kill all cars
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Old 01-07-06, 03:20 PM   #17
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an no time during the operation of a bike either in a vehicular manner, extravehicular manner, or a mischarecterized 'rolling pedestrian' manner, at NO TIME have I ceased to be the rider of a bicycle, and should be recognized by all other humans in public conveyance as a bicycle rider.

I don't want to look like a shopping cart, pedestrian, car or other. I am riding a bike.

Usually the road or lane or shoulder or path or walk, a 'most expedient' for others and also safe for me. I'll wrong way it, if it helps a crowded, congested situation. I split lanes. I use both sides of any lane, and ride in the middle on occasion if expediency dictates and safety doesn't deny it.

Its not in accordance with a code of vehicular conduct or whatisit to compel me to ride my bike as if it was a vehicle...i mean, really! like surly fem points out,w hy get caught up in a traffic snarl of cars' own devising, if a bike can skirt the issue cleanly?
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Old 01-07-06, 03:56 PM   #18
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How I ride, is so I don't get killed, thats number one. I take the lane, I don't let cars push me around. Most of the time I bike as if my bike is a car. I do use bike path to bypass freeway, here in Wisconsin we can't by law. Bike paths our also good for getting out of the city. Of couse I bike in city and out. I have taken highways out of town where there are no bike paths. KEEP SAFE!!
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Old 01-07-06, 03:58 PM   #19
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One of my favorites:
http://www.spikedhumor.com/articles/...n_Traffic.html
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Old 01-07-06, 04:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
Im only bound by my
own rules of staying out of everyones way and my own safety.
The only rule I abide by is Never impede a car or a ped.
If I blow stop signs but havent impeded a cars forward motion in any
way, so what. It's a 'them' problem if they dont like it, not mine.
.....
How silly is to think that I should have to sit in a traffic jam or 5-car-deep
stop sign mess created by cars.......??
Im not going to flatter myself or waste time
worrying or thinking about if I just changed a car drivers perception of cyclists by
my freindly, VC riding style or by rolling a stop sign when there are no other cars
crossing me.
This is exactly what happens when there are insufficient bicycle facilities on the road. It becomes an invitation to bike free-for-all. This is why I personally am opposed to a pure VC WOL only type of solution as it offers no guidance out there to real cyclists in the real world.

You need markings on the road to shape the behavior of free-for-all cyclists into lawful, safe behavior. Otherwise you get guys who think the only choice is to either a) blow the stops after filtering to the front, or b) wait in line at a long line of traffic. Otherwise you get wrong-way and sidewalk cycling and people riding in a totally antisocial, me-first, "it's your problem if you don't like it" manner.

All it takes is a few guys blowing the stops and then the next time something happens, every letter to the paper about cyclists will be all about how those outlaw cyclists never stop at stop signs, they ride in a way that almost gets them killed and gives the motorists a near heart attack. They'll think all of us are like that. Then they'll ban us from the streets because obviously we're all a bunch of arrested adolescents playing with our toys and impeding the safe passage of the grownups in their cars, and not people with jobs just trying to get to work or get a little exercise.

It's very simple. You ride down the bike lane or off to the right of a lane without one. You're in a predictable spot on the road. Everybody can trust you. They know what your direction of travel will be.

At the light or stop you filter to the front, wait your turn, and go. Negotiate your way through the intersection from the rightmost ridable portion of the lane that is going in your direction, whether that's left, right or center, and whether that lane has a bike lane or not.

You haven't impeded anybody. You haven't obsessed over what's happening behind you. You haven't had to make a lot of gratuitous lateral lane positioning changes all along the way, or crazy hand signals nobody will understand (they'll just think you're crazy or giving them the finger anyway). Smooth and simple. Point A to point B. The real world.

This is how I ride. It is not rocket science. It's the polite thing to do. Remember, this is still the civilized world.

[/rant]
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Old 01-07-06, 04:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
This is exactly what happens when there are insufficient bicycle facilities on the road. It becomes an invitation to bike free-for-all. This is why I personally am opposed to a pure VC WOL only type of solution as it offers no guidance out there to real cyclists in the real world.

You need markings on the road to shape the behavior of free-for-all cyclists into lawful, safe behavior. Otherwise you get guys who think the only choice is to either a) blow the stops after filtering to the front, or b) wait in line at a long line of traffic. Otherwise you get wrong-way and sidewalk cycling and people riding in a totally antisocial, me-first, "it's your problem if you don't like it" manner.

All it takes is a few guys blowing the stops and then the next time something happens, every letter to the paper about cyclists will be all about how those outlaw cyclists never stop at stop signs, they ride in a way that almost gets them killed and gives the motorists a near heart attack. They'll think all of us are like that. Then they'll ban us from the streets because obviously we're all a bunch of arrested adolescents playing with our toys and impeding the safe passage of the grownups in their cars, and not people with jobs just trying to get to work or get a little exercise.

It's very simple. You ride down the bike lane or off to the right of a lane without one. You're in a predictable spot on the road. Everybody can trust you. They know what your direction of travel will be.

At the light or stop you filter to the front, wait your turn, and go. Negotiate your way through the intersection from the rightmost ridable portion of the lane that is going in your direction, whether that's left, right or center, and whether that lane has a bike lane or not.

You haven't impeded anybody. You haven't obsessed over what's happening behind you. You haven't had to make a lot of gratuitous lateral lane positioning changes all along the way, or crazy hand signals nobody will understand (they'll just think you're crazy or giving them the finger anyway). Smooth and simple. Point A to point B. The real world.

This is how I ride. It is not rocket science. It's the polite thing to do. Remember, this is still the civilized world.

[/rant]
I respect your opinion but it wont change the way I ride. BTW, Ive been riding since 1964 and
commuting for parts of the last three decades. Ive survived. I can only think the differences in
our opinions stem from the geographical differences of where we live, as evidenced by your last
statement ........"Remember, this is still the civilized world." Here on the East Coast it is anything
but civilised if you are a cyclist. Anger and open hostility is what one can expect to suffer on
any given ride. It is not a civilised world here and peoples riding styles and attitudes have
evolved accordingly.
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Old 01-07-06, 04:47 PM   #22
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I think that the way you wrote conveyed an attitude of mayhem-style cycling. I did not read it that way, but perhaps others did. There is a difference between blatantly disregarding rules and sensibly bending rules/taking advantage of your vehicle's abilities in your favor. I'm picturing the latter, since you've allegedly been safe where you're riding.

Last edited by sestivers; 01-07-06 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 01-07-06, 05:11 PM   #23
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^^^^ It must be feline mind meld. I cats !!!

Your interpritation is correct. I am a very meek and mild mannered
person who goes out of my way to avoid conflict in any situation.
I suppose upon rereading my own rantage I come across more like a
Starbuck amped NYC messenger. I am scared of cars and go out of
my way to make sure they can go about thier business in anyway
they want and if they let me do the same, I am happy. In the 80's it was
very different. No real anger toward bikes. But when the development
bomb hit all of our scenic roads became thru-ways. I can almost side
with cars in some situations where militant lycra roadies on group rides
would tie up roads and create traffic issues by not letting cars go by.
I think when this phenomenon started to happen regularly we all suffered.
I guess that could lead into a whole 'nother argument though.
I still believe car drivers opinions of us as weirdo's, liberal radicals, etc
are already formed and nothing anyone could do will change that.
Be safe !

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Old 01-07-06, 05:31 PM   #24
Roody
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My suggestion to a new rider would be to follow the rules of the road religiously for a couple years, and use a vehicular cycling strategy during that time, until you feel comfortable riding in the many different situations the world throws at you. During that time, read the several books about cycling that are referenced here, and pay attention to what experienced riders here say, people with diverse opinions such as sbhikes, DC, bekologist, noise beam, genec and several others.

This period is an apprenticeship, and your goal should be to learn from others and also establish a good experience base. Also, learn bike handling techniques, get in better shape, and start finding bikes and gear that work for you.

At a certain point, you will know the basics and you won't feel stressed out by traffic, weather and the other vagaries of cycling. THEN AND ONLY THEN you can easily begin to develop your own riding style. At that point, but not before it, you can throw out the rule book and ride as you see fit.

I have been riding (as an adult) for only 3 1/2 years, but for many thousands of miles. Only now do I really begin to feel comfortable riding in "my own style."
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Old 01-07-06, 05:45 PM   #25
banerjek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipper
I ride based on a philosophy I call "centaurian".
I thought a centaur is half man, half horse's *ss -- probably not the best creature to draw inspiration from.....

That aside, I don't think there's any set of hard rules that works for all situations. I personally prefer to ride as a car when possible. My experience is that if you ride in the lane, follow the rules, and act with consideration for others, people will treat you with respect. We have a nice new law in our state that allows cyclists to pass on the right if it can be done safely, so following the law doesn't imply that you need to sit in traffic jams.

There are times when following the law to the letter actually causes problems. At that point, the basic rule is to be avoid impeding or endangering others in a manner that makes you easy to predict. I bend a few rules, but I don't do anything that I wouldn't be willing to do cop right behind me (I pass within 2 blocks of 2 police stations in different towns on my commute so I see them often).
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