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  1. #1
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    How about a Moderate Vehicular Cycling movement? We could write a book called, "Highly Effective Cycling" hire some statisticions to help us prove our point. We could say that Bike Lanes were OK if that is what you liked, or riding as far right as safe(according to local laws) was also cool if that was what you liked. We could offer classes to kids ready to stop riding on sidewalks around their neighborhoods, maybe hold some bike rodeos at schools. Then we could lobby alongside other bike groups for bicycle awareness and rights to the roads. If the government wanted to spend some money on bike facilities we could help direct their efforts to help both Transportation oriented riders and Recreational riders. We would never have any radical loonies try to derail our movement by sticking to one point of view without even a smidgin of compromise. We would try to help others understand our point of view through civil discussion and not angrily slamming it in their face. Hmmm. On second thought maybe we should shoot for world peace instead.
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  2. #2
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    How about a Moderate Vehicular Cycling movement? We could write a book called, "Highly Effective Cycling" hire some statisticions to help us prove our point. We could say that Bike Lanes were OK if that is what you liked, or riding as far right as safe(according to local laws) was also cool if that was what you liked. We could offer classes to kids ready to stop riding on sidewalks around their neighborhoods, maybe hold some bike rodeos at schools. Then we could lobby alongside other bike groups for bicycle awareness and rights to the roads. If the government wanted to spend some money on bike facilities we could help direct their efforts to help both Transportation oriented riders and Recreational riders. We would never have any radical loonies try to derail our movement by sticking to one point of view without even a smidgin of compromise. We would try to help others understand our point of view through civil discussion and not angrily slamming it in their face. Hmmm. On second thought maybe we should shoot for world peace instead.
    I think the majority of cyclists are already members of this movement. But you would never know it to read the postings of the so-called advocates on BF.

    The "radical loonies" that dominate BF advocacy/safety discussions (both the VC™ proselytizers and counter-culture, "cager" bashing zealots) advocate their counterproductive causes/agenda as having far higher priority than the needs or desires of the majority of cyclists - for whom they are in active opposition.

  3. #3
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Let's just get rid of the zealots and let the majority of cyclists who already do have a moderate, common-sense view have their voice without the background noise and interference of the fringe groups?
    "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
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    OP: Your proposal does not sound one bit different than the cycling advocacy that is already being done in this country. Teaching children and adults how to ride safely and legally on the streets (AKA vehicular cyling) is a major emphasis in advocacy already. So is the effort to make motorists more aware of our right to share the road. So are lobbying efforts to help governments to spend cycling funds in the most effective way.

    These are all things that you mentioned that are already being done. Please point out any areas that you feel bicyling advocacy is ignoring, as you seem to have forgotten them in your orignal post.

    Also please point out why you believe that calling other advocates "radical loonies" is going to help you acheive your goals of "compromise" and "civil discussion."
    Last edited by Roody; 01-12-06 at 12:02 PM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Let's just get rid of the zealots and let the majority of cyclists who already do have a moderate, common-sense view have their voice without the background noise and interference of the fringe groups?
    I think this is a phony argument. There is only one real area of difference (albeit an important one) that divides cycling advocates into two camps.

    That divisive issue is separtated bicycle facilities. We virtually agree on everything else that's an issue for advocacy.

    When you say "get rid of the zealots," I assume that you actually mean "get rid of everybody who disagrees wih my own zealously held position."


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  6. #6
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    In every movement there are those who represent the majority who often are reluctant to speak up for themselves since not everyone has an agressive personality. Also in every movement are the fringe, the people who tend to be very vocal about having everyone else convert to their viewpoint. These people in their zeal to achieve a utopian solution often cause the entire movement to lose it's effectivity as the rest of the group gets looked on with the same disapproval from outsiders as the fringe even if they do not hold the same views. The above post was meant to have a bit of a sarcastic tone. I orginally started it out in earnest but then I realized that at least here in Arizona that is what the advocacy groups do. Reading the advocacy forum here however it often does not appear this way. Sometimes it appears you are not a bicycle advocate if you do not eschew the very idea of bike lanes, multi use paths, or bike paths. It seems to me there are an awful lot of cyclists out there. Homeless ones, day labor ones, recreational ones, commuters, kids, racers, mountain bikers, recumbent riders, etc etc. Many of these people don't even read the paper much less use the internet. It seems like some of the Zealots only are concerned that everyone follows their own specific agenda and that they know what is best for all cyclists in all situations. Sometimes the fear of losing ones freedom causes the loss of freedom none the less I guess.
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  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Or could it be that in order to get something on the table, the advocates ask for "everything" in hopes of simply being able to settle on "something" in the end.

    "open high" and bargin down?

  8. #8
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I think this is a phony argument. There is only one real area of difference (albeit an important one) that divides cycling advocates into two camps.

    That divisive issue is separtated bicycle facilities. We virtually agree on everything else that's an issue for advocacy.

    When you say "get rid of the zealots," I assume that you actually mean "get rid of everybody who disagrees wih my own zealously held position."
    No I mean get rid of those who take extreme positions to the detriment of the majority of cyclists...and even oppose the majority. Ship em off to China, let em advocate their causes there, or perhaps Antartica.

    There is much more that separates the two camps, one example being the support of cyclists who have broken the law, not because of any conviction, but in order to spin the case towards their own views..which is in the case I am thinking about does go back to bike lanes...so we're both right I guess.
    "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

  9. #9
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    I guess I need to define Zealot in regards to the bike lane argument because that is originally what set me off on this. A zealot is someone who says, bike lanes are bad, VC is good and therefore you should not have bike lanes available to you. Someone who is not a zealot would say, well, I personally don't use bike lanes for the following reasons....... but if other people want to use them more power to them. I do not tell die hard VC supporters they must use the bike lanes and every road should have one so in that light I don't necessarily consider myself a zealot but I guess that is always arguable from any given perspective, I could be a zealot to some for just riding my bike 25 miles to work every morning or even riding my bike outside of my neighborhood off the sidewalk.
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  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I am such a nincompoop. All the time here, I thought vehicular cycling was a simple noncontroversial topic that boiled down to the following Q & A:

    Question: There is a cyclist. There is a driver. There is a road. How does the cyclist safely and efficiently share the road with the motorist?

    Answer: Both should follow the vehicular code and the rules of the road.

    Now if there was a different answer to the question, we could have a debate. But so far nobody has told me a different answer. So what is the debate about?

    I guess I misunderstood the question.


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  11. #11
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    vehicular cycling is more than just following the rules of the road.

    It's also doing so defensively (as in defensive driving), including riding to be visible and predictable.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I am such a nincompoop. All the time here, I thought vehicular cycling was a simple noncontroversial topic that boiled down to the following Q & A:

    Question: There is a cyclist. There is a driver. There is a road. How does the cyclist safely and efficiently share the road with the motorist?

    Answer: Both should follow the vehicular code and the rules of the road.

    Now if there was a different answer to the question, we could have a debate. But so far nobody has told me a different answer. So what is the debate about?

    I guess I misunderstood the question.
    No issue with that. Unfortunately, VC'ists seem always to take certain political positions in addition to the technical stuff which put them on the fringe of general cycling advocacy.
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  13. #13
    lost in the ozone
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    Rules of the road........... I was reading the thread about the NYC cyclists being charged with impeding traffic, in that discussion was a link to a bicycle advocacy group that rates state's vehicle codes . My home state of NY got an F-, one the demerits was for recording points on a motorists license for bicycle infractions.

    How can we be expect to be treated as equals on the road when some want the right to use the roadways but don't want to take responcibilty for thier actions?

  14. #14
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    There is much more that separates the two camps, one example being the support of cyclists who have broken the law, not because of any conviction, but in order to spin the case towards their own views..which is in the case I am thinking about does go back to bike lanes...
    I can't believe how much you missed the point in that thread.

    First, neither Steve nor I were supporting the CM cyclists.
    Second, you were the one accused of splitting cyclists into two camps, because of your lack of support for the CMers.
    Finally, no one was trying to spin anything. Steve brought to our attention the language used by the judge to convict the CMers, which he found problematic, and explained why. In that same ruling, I found support for a longheld argument of mine regarding the effect of bike lanes on reinforcing the notion that cyclists have an obligation to stay out of the way of cars. Your inability to separate these issues and deal with independent of the overall case is not evidence of anyone spinning anything.

  15. #15
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I can't believe how much you missed the point in that thread.

    First, neither Steve nor I were supporting the CM cyclists.
    Second, you were the one accused of splitting cyclists into two camps, because of your lack of support for the CMers.
    Finally, no one was trying to spin anything. Steve brought to our attention the language used by the judge to convict the CMers, which he found problematic, and explained why. In that same ruling, I found support for a longheld argument of mine regarding the effect of bike lanes on reinforcing the notion that cyclists have an obligation to stay out of the way of cars. Your inability to separate these issues and deal with independent of the overall case is not evidence of anyone spinning anything.
    More spin? Luckily, folks can just read the thread.
    "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

  16. #16
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    More spin?
    What spin?
    You're the one who spun, "one example being the support of cyclists who have broken the law". Please show me the language which you think qualifies as support of the CM cyclists.

    Here's an example of what I wrote in that thread: "Defending cyclists who were clearly in the wrong is ultimately probably not acting in the best interests of cycling."

    Does that sound like "support of cyclists who have broken the law?"

    Like I said before, we have different ideas of what paying attention means.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 01-12-06 at 09:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Nothing is going to come from the middle, you have to have the fringe to push the envelope, I think the problem is knowing when to stop bickering and come together in unity.

  18. #18
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I agree with you randya, and I've asked Chipcom to join me in finding common ground. He refuses, and apparently prefers to bicker. Whatever. It's not my preference, but I think I've proved quite soundly that I can do that too.

  19. #19
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Paul L you are my hero. Everything you said: +1!
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member spandexwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randya
    Nothing is going to come from the middle, you have to have the fringe to push the envelope, I think the problem is knowing when to stop bickering and come together in unity.
    +1
    I also wonder why it is that instead of doing real advocacy, like telling people the benefits of biking we have people spending hours arguing over inane, irrelevant issues. It's easy to go into a forum and try and convince people of stuff, but the real advocacy is getting out there and addressing the public who are often in the dark about why we live this lifestyle.
    Urban Cycling Vocabulary
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    High A lateral position on a street more toward the center line. I.E., If you look like you are leading a funeral procession of slow moving cars, you are probably positioned too "high."

  21. #21
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spandexwarrior
    I also wonder why it is that instead of doing real advocacy, like telling people the benefits of biking we have people spending hours arguing over inane, irrelevant issues. It's easy to go into a forum and try and convince people of stuff, but the real advocacy is getting out there and addressing the public who are often in the dark about why we live this lifestyle.
    Believe it or not, what some of us are doing is discussing exactly how to do that. Or at least trying to get there.

    Unfortunately, we rarely ever get there, and usually intead get bogged down along the way, and so it's really hard to tell that that's what we're trying to do.

    Also, I can try to get to N people directly, or I can try to get to N people on BF, each of which will try to get to N people, each of which will try to get to N more people. N * N * N > N.

    In the mean time, some of us, including myself, are active advocates in our communities.

  22. #22
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L.
    It seems like some of the Zealots only are concerned that everyone follows their own specific agenda and that they know what is best for all cyclists in all situations. . . .
    Funny. That's exactly what I think about the people trying to put bike lanes on 25 mph streets where cyclists can be ticketed for not riding in the lanes.

    It's hypocritical to call from compromise and harmony and then call people who disagree with you "zealots" and "loonies."

    Over and over again, I have proposed that bike lane skeptics should temper their skepticism of bike lanes as long as bike lane proponents push for laws making use of the lanes completely voluntary. But bike lane proposents don't appear to be interested in compromise. By harmony, they mean, "everyone should agree with us and cycle like us."

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