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Thread: What is VC?

  1. #1
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    What is VC?

    Somebody posted this:
    What is VC?
    VC stands for Vehicular Cycling and can be summed up as:
    Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles
    There is much debate around here about what "act as drivers of vehicles" means and whether or not being "treated as drivers of vehicles" is something worth enforcing by law or leaving to cyclists to try and elicit from drivers with various behaviors.

    Many here believe that "acting as drivers of vehicles" means eschewing bike lanes, even good bike lanes. Many others here believe that bike lanes are just traffic lanes like any other, and that the use of bike lanes is included in those practices that make someone a vehicular cyclist. But being pro- or anti-bike lane is not vehicular cycling.

    I think most of us would agree that "vehicular cyclist" means we follow the rules of the road. It includes at the minimum that we ride in the street, not the sidewalk, travel in the same direction as other traffic, use destination positioning, use hand signals and use whatever other equipment (lights, bells or whatever) are required by law.

    I think most of the arguing comes down to this: We disagree on what it means to act as drivers of vehicles and we disagree on how much responsibility drivers of motor vehicles have to treat us as drivers of vehicles. Secondarily we disagree on what constitutes "the street" or "the roadway" and what consitutes "defensive" driving. Otherwise, among those of us who argue the most, we are all vehicular cyclists.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

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    Senior Member R-Wells's Avatar
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    Thanks Diane.
    I posted that question.
    I searched the forums for the past two days trying to figure it out.
    I started to ask again, but I didnt want to seem any dumber than I aready am.

    By the way, I am really impressed with your Beach chair.

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    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    well put, Diane. although I DO ride on the sidewalk occasionally and still call myself a vehicular cyclist.

    I think your beach chair is cool, too.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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    Senior Member R-Wells's Avatar
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    Around my neighbor hood about every other house the kids have ramps set up on the sidwalks for skate boards and bikes.
    I have to admit I have been tempted by those ramps a time or two.

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    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    me too!

    and just to add, I think it's time that cycling "moderates" take back the VC label from the "radical VCers" who preach different "Brands" of VC that hate certain types of road stripes or have certain political ideals that some on this forum represent, promote and sympathize with. to me, vehicular cycling means that you follow the rules of the road when you are on the road. and that's about it.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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    Senior Member tomcryar's Avatar
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    To me VC simply means cycling as a vehicle. In this case, vehicle, meaning motorized. When we cycle on the road (that is: the road where motor vehicles travel) we are simply a two, or three-wheeled vehicle with no "motor".

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    See the link in my signature for a more indepth description of VC.

    By the way, VC is not "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated like vehicle drivers".

    VC is acting in accordance to the rules of the road for vehicle drivers when riding on roadways.

    The VC principle is a qualitative statement about why one should adopt VC when cycling on roadways.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 09-18-06 at 01:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    well put, Diane. although I DO ride on the sidewalk occasionally and still call myself a vehicular cyclist.
    Same here. The Vehicle Code does allow for it, after all...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    See the link in my signature for a more indepth description of VC.

    By the way, VC is not "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated like vehicle drivers".

    VC is acting like a vehicle driver when riding on roadways.

    The VC principle is a qualitative statement about why one should adopt VC when cycling on roadways.
    I really should know better than this....

    But....

    If your statement is true, that VC is acting like a vehicle driver when riding on roadways, then you'd have to admit that POWERWEAVING out in front of vehicles so they can see you before you POWERWEAVE back into your lane really ain't VC.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    If your statement is true, that VC is acting like a vehicle driver when riding on roadways, then you'd have to admit that POWERWEAVING out in front of vehicles so they can see you before you POWERWEAVE back into your lane really ain't VC.
    DLP is standard vehicular behavior - for drivers of slow vehicles. From farmers who temporarily pull partially in the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass (and then move back to the left when they pass), to the bull dozer drivers who (technically illegally) temporarily merge right into the bike lane to allow "platoons" of cars to pass sometimes during my commute (yes, I merge out of the bike lane to pass the bulldozer on the left too, then watch him move left back into the travel lane after we all pass).

    Heck, Bek likes to tease me about pointing this out, but when driving on 2 lane rural roads I have temporarily pulled into the shoulder to allow motorcycles to pass me on the left when the oncoming lane is unavailable for safe passing.

    The reason DLP (a.k.a "POWERWEAVE" by those with an anti-HH vendetta) does not seem vehicular is because it's easy confuse "vehicular" with "normal speed" vehicular driver behavior. But "vehicular" encompasses the whole range of vehicle driver behavior, including the behavior of drivers of slower vehicles, which, of course, is more comparable to bicyclists much of the time.

    Make sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    DLP is standard vehicular behavior - for drivers of slow vehicles. From farmers who temporarily pull partially in the shoulder to allow faster traffic to pass (and then move back to the left when they pass), to the bull dozer drivers who (technically illegally) temporarily merge right into the bike lane to allow "platoons" of cars to pass sometimes during my commute (yes, I merge out of the bike lane to pass the bulldozer on the left too, then watch him move left back into the travel lane after we all pass).
    That's the opposite of POWERWEAVE, though, and is required by law. In POWERWEAVE, the slow-moving cyclist intentionally pulls in front of faster vehicles before returning to its own lane.

    Heck, Bek likes to tease me about pointing this out, but when driving on 2 lane rural roads I have temporarily pulled into the shoulder to allow motorcycles to pass me on the left when the oncoming lane is unavailable for safe passing.

    The reason DLP (a.k.a "POWERWEAVE" by those with an anti-HH vendetta)
    Come on, you know it's catchy....

    does not seem vehicular is because it's easy confuse "vehicular" with "normal speed" vehicular driver behavior. But "vehicular" encompasses the whole range of vehicle driver behavior, including the behavior of drivers of slower vehicles, which, of course, is more comparable to bicyclists much of the time.

    Make sense?
    Well, as a slower vehicle with its own lane, it makes no sense, in that slower vehicle context, for the slower vehicle to deliberately pull out in front of approaching faster vehicles.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    VC stands for Vehicular Cycling and can be summed up as:


    There is much debate around here about what "act as drivers of vehicles" means and whether or not being "treated as drivers of vehicles" is something worth enforcing by law or leaving to cyclists to try and elicit from drivers with various behaviors.
    It should be noted that Diane does not even understand what the debate (at least with me) is about here.

    Yes, much debate here is about what "act as drivers of vehicles" means. However, no one, as far as I know, certainly not me, has argued that cyclists being "treated as drivers of vehicles" is something that is not worth enforcing by law, or should be left "to cyclists to try and elicit from drivers with various behaviors.". I have argued that cyclists should act like vehicle drivers in order to be treated like vehicle drivers (in fact, if they don't act like vehicle drivers they can expect to not be treated like vehicle drivers), but that's different (though Diane obviously does not understand the difference, no matter how many times one tries to explain it).

    Many here believe that "acting as drivers of vehicles" means eschewing bike lanes, even good bike lanes.
    False.

    Many others here believe that bike lanes are just traffic lanes like any other, and that the use of bike lanes is included in those practices that make someone a vehicular cyclist.
    There is debate about whether riding in a bike lane necessarily constitutes "using" a bike lane.

    But being pro- or anti-bike lane is not vehicular cycling.
    True. And no one disputes this, for the alternative is nonsensical.

    I think most of us would agree that "vehicular cyclist" means we follow the rules of the road.
    True.

    It includes at the minimum that we ride in the street, not the sidewalk, travel in the same direction as other traffic, use destination positioning, use hand signals and use whatever other equipment (lights, bells or whatever) are required by law.
    Sort of. VC only applies when riding in the street.

    I think most of the arguing comes down to this: We disagree on what it means to act as drivers of vehicles
    OK.

    and we disagree on how much responsibility drivers of motor vehicles have to treat us as drivers of vehicles.
    I know of no disagreements on this point.

    Secondarily we disagree on what constitutes "the street" or "the roadway" and what consitutes "defensive" driving.
    I know of no disagreements on any of these points.

    Otherwise, among those of us who argue the most, we are all vehicular cyclists.
    A meaningless statement from someone who does not know what it means.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Blue Order - the difference in our views is where is the slow vehicle driver's own lane? Is it the slow lane on the road? Or is it the shoulder or bike lane?

    The vehiclar cyclist treats the bike lane the same as a slow vehicle driver treats the shoulder - space to use to allow faster traffic to pass. Now, just like a farmer may choose to driver for longer periods in the shoulder, so may the vehicular cyclist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Blue Order - the difference in our views is where is the slow vehicle driver's own lane? Is it the slow lane on the road? Or is it the shoulder or bike lane?
    This is driving 101. Many, perhaps even most states require all motor vehicles to use the right lane, and to use the left lane for passing slower vehicles. This is interpreted as "fast lane, slow lane." The bike lane is a separate lane, for bicycle use only. Generally, motorists are not allowed to use the bike lane, and cyclists are required to use it, except under specific circumstances.

    The vehiclar cyclist treats the bike lane the same as a slow vehicle driver treats the shoulder - space to use to allow faster traffic to pass. Now, just like a farmer may choose to driver for longer periods in the shoulder, so may the vehicular cyclist.
    Nonsense. That's how you ride. The Vehicular Cyclist rides in accordance with the law.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    The Vehicular Cyclist rides in accordance with the law.
    A common misconception of vehicular cycling is that the vehicular cyclists follows the letter of the law.
    In particular, when the law requires the cyclist to violate the vehicular rules of the road (which is not the same as the law), then he often does not follow them.

    See the VC article in Wikipedia. I'm not going to repeat all that here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    A common misconception of vehicular cycling is that the vehicular cyclists follows the letter of the law.
    In particular, when the law requires the cyclist to violate the vehicular rules of the road (which is not the same as the law), then he often does not follow them.

    See the VC article in Wikipedia. I'm not going to repeat all that here.
    And which vehicular rule of the road calls for the slower moving vehicles to pull out in front of the faster moving vehicles?

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    Senior Member tomcryar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    And which vehicular rule of the road calls for the slower moving vehicles to pull out in front of the faster moving vehicles?

    None. The same as ALL vehicle laws apply to all cyclists. Period.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    And which vehicular rule of the road calls for the slower moving vehicles to pull out in front of the faster moving vehicles?
    No rule. But that's not DLP anyway.

    DLP is moving out into the traffic lane when there is no faster same-direction traffic present, recognizing that reasonable people can disagree on how close approaching same-direction traffic has to be to be considered "present".

    Plus no rule says so explicitly. However, that it's normal to operate in the main traffic lane when faster traffic is not "present" (subject to the above subjective definition) is implied by:

    • The rule that says that all vehicles, including slow vehicles, should normally be driven in the traffic lanes (for visibility and predictability).
    • Pulling out of the traffic lanes is an exception for drivers of slow vehicles, particular when safe and reasonable, to allow faster traffic to pass.

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    Finally, I should add that due to the narrow nature of bicyclist/bike, the bicyclist has more reason to move left to increase cognitive conspicuity than does the typical driver of a normal-width slow vehicle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    No rule. But that's not DLP anyway.

    DLP is moving out into the traffic lane when there is no faster same-direction traffic present, recognizing that reasonable people can disagree on how close approaching same-direction traffic has to be to be considered "present".
    I think that people who disagree with POWERWEAVE don't consider pulling out in front of faster moving vehicles to be a reasonable proposition.

    Plus no rule says so explicitly. However, that it's normal to operate in the main traffic lane when faster traffic is not "present" (subject to the above subjective definition) is implied by:

    • The rule that says that all vehicles, including slow vehicles, should normally be driven in the traffic lanes (for visibility and predictability).
    • Pulling out of the traffic lanes is an exception for drivers of slow vehicles, particular when safe and reasonable, to allow faster traffic to pass.
    Except that bicycles often have their own designated lane, which your slow-moving vehicles analogy above conveniently ignores.

    And those slow-moving vehicles NEVER pull out in front of faster moving vehilces, before returning to their lane, which, again, your bicycle analogy ignores.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Finally, I should add that due to the narrow nature of bicyclist/bike, the bicyclist has more reason to move left to increase cognitive conspicuity than does the typical driver of a normal-width slow vehicle.
    While I would argue that due to the slower nature and smaller size of the bicycle, the bicyclist almost always has more reason to stay out of the faster traffic lanes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    A common misconception of vehicular cycling is that the vehicular cyclists follows the letter of the law.
    In particular, when the law requires the cyclist to violate the vehicular rules of the road (which is not the same as the law), then he often does not follow them.
    I disagree.



    And this is interesting:

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    See the VC article in Wikipedia. I'm not going to repeat all that here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    See the link in my signature for a more indepth description of VC.

    By the way, VC is not "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated like vehicle drivers".

    VC is acting like a vehicle driver when riding on roadways.
    ...Because the definition that SBHikes used-- and with which you disagree-- is the definition used in the Wikipedia article you referred me to.

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    Senior Member tomcryar's Avatar
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    I disagree too---the vehicular rules of the road are exactly the same as the law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    I think that people who disagree with POWERWEAVE don't consider pulling out in front of faster moving vehicles to be a reasonable proposition.
    No one advocates pulling out in front of faster moving vehicles.
    The debate is about whether pulling out when there are no faster moving vehicles present is moving out in front of faster moving vehicles.

    Except that bicycles often have their own designated lane, which your slow-moving vehicles analogy above conveniently ignores.
    That fact that almost everyone (motorists and cyclists) treats a bike lane virtually identically with how they treat a shoulder, and that the legal distinction for all intents and purposes has little practical consequences, is not a convenience, but a recognition of reality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    ...Because the definition that SBHikes used-- and with which you disagree-- is the definition used in the Wikipedia article you referred me to.
    Huh? The Wikipedia article says:

    "Vehicular cycling (VC) is the practice of driving bicycles on public roads in a manner which is visible, predictable, and in accordance with the rules of the road for operating a vehicle. "

    It also states that the VC principle is: "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles".

    Diane (and you?) are confusing the definition of VC with the VC principle.

    In other words, the definition of VC is acting like a vehicle driver.
    Whether acting like a vehicle driver, and being treated like one, causes a cyclist to "fare best", is a separate but related issue.

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