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  1. #1
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Adaptive Cycling (AC) Defined

    We are going to try something new here in the A&S forums. Rather than engage in the decades-old debate concerning Vehicular Cycling (vc) versus bicycling-specific facilities (side paths, bike lanes [BL], bike paths, multi-use paths [MUP], etc), we accept that bicycle-specific faclities exist, will continue to exist, are used by cyclists and, in many cases, preferred by cyclists. We also accept that these facilites sometimes have flawed designs that may pose specific problems to cyclists who use them - indeed, in the case of a MUP or sidewalk, the facility was not designed specifically for cyclists at all.

    Rather than accepting the conventional logic (of some) that one must operate a bicycle as either a vehicle (vc), or as a pedestrian, we maintain that a bicycle is a unique form of transportation that can be operated in a wide variety of environments and thus can use a combination of paradigms to be used safely and efficiently.

    Adaptive Cycling (AC) is a cycling paradigm that reflects the uniqueness of a bicycle and the mulitude of environments that it can operate in. Its premise is that there is no one methodology or technique of cycling that can or must be applied to every situation or environment, rather existing methodologies are just tools that are part of a larger toolbox that the cyclist can use to adapt to his/her unique cycling needs and environment. Adaptive cycling seeks to use a combination of existing techniques and methodologies to provide solutions for specific situations that a cyclist faces in the environment they choose to ride in, as well as to create new, innovative solutions that not only apply to today's cycling world, but hopefully into the future.

    Some ground rules:

    1. Existing Bike Forums rules and guidelines concerning posts apply, as always.

    2. Threads that fall under the Adaptive Cycling paradigm will have their subjects appended with 'AC'
    Example: AC: How do I ride a widget?

    3. Debates concerning the pros and cons of facilities versus the roadways are prohibited. There are plenty of non-AC threads for those. NO PRO-ANTI BIKE LANE DEBATES

    4. Debates concerning the pros and cons of Vehicular Cycling as a methodology, paradigm or concept are prohibited. There are plenty of non-AC threads for those. This DOES NOT prohibit discussion of vc techniques as can be applied to solving specific problems within the environment under discussion. Vehicular cycling IS part of the toolbox a cyclist can choose from, so applying vc techniques to the environment in question is proper.

    Example: (Edited) If the environment of choice or necessity is a MUP, while one can advise that perhaps the roadways might be safer, such advise should be accompanied by advise that fits the MUP environment.

    5. Occasional off-topic humor and light banter are always welcome. Advocacy does not have to always be serious and boring. Think of this as sitting around sharing an evening with friends, not a schoolroom or formal public meeting. Have fun!

    I recommend that this thread become a 'sticky' that can be used both to address questions concerning Adaptive Cycling and to further refine its definition and rules of discussion.
    Last edited by chipcom; 02-26-07 at 10:32 AM.
    "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

  2. #2
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    So the basic rule is - no counter views to chipcom and cohort's are allowed.

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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    And that is the problem, you choose to ignore the problems of the poorly designed facilities, look for some riding technique to make those facilities less dangerous. In the end, you will have selected riding techniques that others have called VC, but you will call it by some other name - AC(TM).

    I am all in favor of riding techniques that make us safer, but working to get rid of the dangerous facilities is the best long term option. Why can’t all cyclist work together to get rid of such facilities? Is that not in the spirit of this thread? Is it not also in the spirit of the thread to share the facility designs that are truly safe for cyclist and share those designs so we can all push our local governments to build based on only those safe designs?

  4. #4
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    So the basic rule is - no counter views to chipcom and cohort's are allowed.
    Sounds reasonable to me.

    I hope I am right in assuming that this thread is here to lay out the basis/basics of (AC) Adaptive Cycling. So stating other theories of cycling would not and should not fit in here. Personally I like the idea of this and hope to contribute to it since, after all, this has been my method of cycling since day one.
    I'm awaiting other peoples responses to this to see how it takes off.

  5. #5
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    So the basic rule is - no counter views to chipcom and cohort's are allowed.
    What part of
    "This DOES NOT prohibit discussion of vc techniques as can be applied to solving specific problems within the environment under discussion. Vehicular cycling IS part of the toolbox a cyclist can choose from, so applying vc techniques to the environment in question is proper."
    gives you that impression?

    Thanks for the bump, pending any needed cleanup by the mods.
    "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

  6. #6
    pj7
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    CB HI: Please, we have enough debate over this already and it seems to get us nowhere. I am all in favor of a productive thread finally popping up here in A&S, wether it be about Adaptive Cycling, or the price of tea in China, so long as it is productive.

    So here is my first bit of input on this subject.
    I see (AC) as a step forward in getting your average every day Joe into cycling, wether it be for recreation, transportation, or fitness. From what I have gathered it can be used by those as young as six years of age making ann attempt to get to school via pedal power, or an eighty-six year old woman wanting to go get groceries down at her local market. One does not need years of experience to make Adaptive Cycling work for them, nor do they need to read several books written by many authors with varying viewpoints on politics and what have you. They only need to do what is legal and safe for them to get from point A to point B.
    I welcome this thread and idea.

  7. #7
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    I am all in favor of riding techniques that make us safer, but working to get rid of the dangerous facilities is the best long term option. Why can’t all cyclist work together to get rid of such facilities? Is that not in the spirit of this thread? Is it not also in the spirit of the thread to share the facility designs that are truly safe for cyclist and share those designs so we can all push our local governments to build based on only those safe designs?
    Nobody is preventing you from working to get rid of unsafe facilities and there are plenty of other threads where you can engage in those debates. The premise here is that such facilities DO EXIST and wishing they would go away does not solve the problems of the cyclists who either must use them or choose to use them. If you'd like to contribute vc techniques that help address those problems, within those environments, we welcome your input, but we will not get into debates concerning their existence...that is a horse that is already out of the barn.

    There is nothing prohibiting the exchange of ideas concerning the design of facilities either. Just pick a topic and start the thread. I eagerly await your first thread to discuss the design of a facility.
    "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

  8. #8
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    I am all in favor of riding techniques that make us safer, but working to get rid of the dangerous facilities is the best long term option. Why canít all cyclist work together to get rid of such facilities? Is that not in the spirit of this thread? Is it not also in the spirit of the thread to share the facility designs that are truly safe for cyclist and share those designs so we can all push our local governments to build based on only those safe designs?
    No one is claiming that there aren't all kinds of dangerous facilities, from flat-out poorly designed roads, to poorly designed bike retrofits to poor bike-specific designs. Neither do I believe anyone is opposed to eliminating or changing poorly designed roads and/or bicycle facilities. But if that's what you want to discuss, quit trying to hijack Chip's threads and start your own thread. Or think outside the box and be prepared to discuss other design / behavioral modification options.

  9. #9
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    So here is my first bit of input on this subject.
    I see (AC) as a step forward in getting your average every day Joe into cycling, wether it be for recreation, transportation, or fitness. From what I have gathered it can be used by those as young as six years of age making ann attempt to get to school via pedal power, or an eighty-six year old woman wanting to go get groceries down at her local market. One does not need years of experience to make Adaptive Cycling work for them, nor do they need to read several books written by many authors with varying viewpoints on politics and what have you. They only need to do what is legal and safe for them to get from point A to point B.
    I welcome this thread and idea.
    Sounds like the pro-facilities, anti-VC arguement from 30 years ago. As long as it got more butts on bikes, every facility was good.

    Why not try teaching our kids how to ride bikes safely. It works on Oahu.
    http://www.hbl.org/bikeEd_general.html

  10. #10
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    I would agree that education efforts aimed at all age levels and to all road users would be highly desireable.

  11. #11
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Sounds like the pro-facilities, anti-VC arguement from 30 years ago. As long as it got more butts on bikes, every facility was good.

    Why not try teaching our kids how to ride bikes safely. It works on Oahu.
    http://www.hbl.org/bikeEd_general.html
    This is not 30 years ago, is not anti-vc and we DO seek to teach EVERYONE how to ride safely, in the environment they choose, or are forced to ride within, without limiting them to ONLY 30+ year old theories that may or may not apply.

    I look forward to seeing a thread discussing how kids learn to ride safely on Oahu.
    "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

  12. #12
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    So the basic rule is - no counter views to chipcom and cohort's are allowed.

    CB HI I really don't think chipcom or anyone else posting in here is trying to use this thread to discredit or in any way disallow the value of "vehicular cycling". I'm seeing the term "adaptive cycling" as being inclusive of VC while allowing for the possibility of taking advantage of the highly adaptive nature of the bicycle itself in how we ride it.

    The OP seems to be asking us to explore how we ride on existing bicycle specific facilities in an effort to define the ways in which we adapt to those facilities (both good and bad) and how that affects the way we ride.

    Tonight, for example, I biked home from downtown Boston on a combination of city streets that eventually led to the MDC bike path (see photos below to see the current conditions on the path.) I will confine most of my comments to the techniques I employ while riding on the path and not the road.

    Riding "vehicularly" on a path in this condition is basically a moot point. I saw two other cyclist on the approximately 9 miles of path I was on and perhaps as many as 2 or 3 dozen joggers and pedestrians in total. Negotiating oncoming pedestrians/joggers and riding on the ice and through ice water and slush cutting at times across huge sections of frozen snow that were better than pavement required a kind of improvisational mindset.

    From 1970-90 I was exclusively a road bike rider who also used a bike for transportation purposes but always on the road. I accumulated thousands of miles on roads in that time but in 1990 I bought my first mountain bike. Convinced that my skills and strength on the road bike would immediately translate to the mountain bike I tackled some pretty gnarly New England single track right off the bat and was in for a huge shock- I sucked at mountain biking! I was so used to riding in as straight a line as possible, riding as smooth as possible and the idea of riding over rocks and through holes in the ground freaked me out. My learning curve was, and still is, a very steep climb to competence. This is all due to a kind of thinking that came from consistently riding on the road. I, like many who post in A & S, loathed bike paths and refused to ride on them because I couldn't ride on them the way I did on the road. I could not maintain the same speeds, I had to dodge everything from in-line skaters with ski poles to dog walkers with long leashes and Ipod wearing joggers who occasionally boxed with invisible opponents.

    Somehow the mountain bike shifted some of that for me- and not to say I don't bail out of the bike path on some days as I ride into work and just let it rip on the road but I've turned MUP riding into a different kind of experience. I also still put the bulk of my mileage in on the road but it has opened my mind to the possibility that not everyone rides the way I do. If I am advocating for cycling I am advocating for people like my wife, who I guarantee would never ride to her job 8 miles away if 6.5 miles of the commute were not on the bike path. I'll never forget her shock one day when, as we made our way on back streets to a main road that leads to the bike path, she said, "How do you ride to the path when I'm not with you?". I shot out into the lane joined the slow moving line of traffic at about 20-25 mph and eventually moved into the left lane took a left turn and waited for her at the start of the path. When she finally got there via a short stretch of sidewalk riding and pressing the crosswalk signal she looked at me and said, "You're crazy!".

    We then rode together at her modest bike path pace. Dingle, dingle dingling our bells as we passed the joggers and dog walkers. That's "Adaptive Cycling".
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by buzzman; 02-24-07 at 05:26 PM.

  13. #13
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Sounds like the pro-facilities, anti-VC arguement from 30 years ago. As long as it got more butts on bikes, every facility was good.

    Why not try teaching our kids how to ride bikes safely. It works on Oahu.
    http://www.hbl.org/bikeEd_general.html
    Oahu is not like the rest of America, or the world for that matter.
    From my understanding of what is posed, the Oahu bikeED link you just supplied would fit right in to Adaptive Cycling.
    You really do have to take into account that (AC) is meant for everyone from everywhere, the country, the city, the suburbs, etc. All these places are worlds apart when it comes to cycling. Someone accustomed to cycling solely on the streets of NYC would not fare well using those same techniques in the mountains of rural Tennessee. Likewise, someone from Denamrk would have a hard time managing the traffic of the suburban area of Detroit.
    I see (AC) as using your common sense according to the situation. Believe it or not, but there are places that riding VC is quite possibly, illegal. And in other places it is just plain dangerous. Sure, cyclists fare better when they act like and are treated like operators of a vehicle, but let's face it, not EVERYONE is going to treat you, on a bike, as a vehicle operator, no matter what the law is.
    I see (AS) as "Salad Bar Cycling". Pick and chose what suits you best and is legal for your circumstances, and leave the rest.

  14. #14
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Thanks, Buzz, for lighting the bulb in my head concerning another environment where a vehicle-based methodology does not always make the most sense - riding through the boonies where most vehicles are prohibited, but not bicycles.
    "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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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Thanks, Buzz, for lighting the bulb in my head concerning another environment where a vehicle-based methodology does not always make the most sense - riding through the boonies where most vehicles are prohibited, but not bicycles.

    I commute and ride recreationally in the summer months through an 18,000 acre state forest on a combination of dirt roads, fire roads and single track where the only motor vehicles I occasionally interact with are ATV's but I have had to dodge a bear that was eating blackberries along the side of a fast piece of downhill single track, three moose on a fire road and a family of coyotes that I trailed along behind as we all climbed a steep section of double track ATV trail.

  16. #16
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman
    I commute and ride recreationally in the summer months through an 18,000 acre state forest on a combination of dirt roads, fire roads and single track where the only motor vehicles I occasionally interact with are ATV's but I have had to dodge a bear that was eating blackberries along the side of a fast piece of downhill single track, three moose on a fire road and a family of coyotes that I trailed along behind as we all climbed a steep section of double track ATV trail.
    And we gotta remember, we want to include ALL cyclists...even those who go messing around where sometimes you are not on a road or trail at all, like my little forays through the half-million acre Carson National Forest and it's half-million acre neighbor Vermejo Park Ranch.
    "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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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    And we gotta remember, we want to include ALL cyclists...even those who go messing around where sometimes you are not on a road or trail at all, like my little forays through the half-million acre Carson National Forest and it's half-million acre neighbor Vermejo Park Ranch.
    don't let sbhikes catch you!

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    Chip-If I understand your definition, that cycling approaches should be flexible and adaptive, andshouldn't be be cubby-holed into one style or definition, like VC, then I agree wholeheartedly.

    My take on it is "when in Rome, do as the Romans". When I am on the road with cars, I ride VC primarily, say 95% of the time. I will take bike paths or wide shoulders but I realize there are joggers, walkers etc and I have to adapt my riding style.

    At other times, I will ride on the sidewalk and at that point I become a pedestrian, riding at basically a walking pace.

    I will even ride as an outlaw, going the wrong way down a one way street (as long as its empty) or ignoring traffic control devices as long as I do not interfere at all with someone elses right of way.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  19. #19
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    Point A .......... Point B

    I will definitely choose the best ........ I can find to get me there.

    +1 on there being a lot of threads that degenerate into bl/no bl disputes, If I wanted to read the same arguments over and over again, I could just pick one of 5-10 active threads at any time. Why not talk about something else...

    As an example, just after a 15 cm snowfall last week - I discovered (gasp!) that it was most efficient to ride on the sidewalk through the side streets. Reason - in Calgary sidewalks are often cleared, and even if they aren't peds tamp down a nice (bumpy) single track to ride in. The side roads entail extensive fishtailing in traffic. Solution ride (at ped speed) on sidewalks rather than flounder in traffic. When I hit a road that was plowed, I went back to the road - because it was faster/safer/easier than the sidewalk.

    BTW the MUP's in the central part of calgary are cleared regularly, unlike a majority of the streets. During heavy snow - you can cruise past all of the cars stuck waiting while you tootle along on a nice sheet of packed snow/ice. Definitely superior than wiping out in traffic.

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    pj7
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    In reality, I think Adaptive Cycling is what *most* people do anyways. Though I feel we should tout being responsible/legal, as San Rensho mentioned, sometimes it is easier, and quite possibly safer, to go the wrong way down a one way street. Which makes me wonder, if you are on the shoulder of a one way road, traveling AGAINST the flow of traffic, is that illegal. I can find nothing in my states law about it, anyone else?

  21. #21
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    In reality, I think Adaptive Cycling is what *most* people do anyways.
    YES!!!
    "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

  22. #22
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    AC: How do I ride a widget?
    I think the correct term is "wedgie". I believe in order to ride one of those, you need padded shorts.

    You did say that humor was allowed, as feeble an attempt as that may be.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  23. #23
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I think the correct term is "wedgie". I believe in order to ride one of those, you need padded shorts.

    You did say that humor was allowed, as feeble an attempt as that may be.
    I had to pick a wedgie 10 minutes ago... darned briefs, I miss my boxers.

  24. #24
    HWS
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    Are we discussing bicycle riding, or trying to launch a space shuttle?

  25. #25
    pj7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWS
    Are we discussing bicycle riding, or trying to launch a space shuttle?
    this is BikeForums, we discuss bicycles.
    If you are interested in discussing the launch of space vehicles (manned and unmanned) there is a really good one going on at http://www.idb.org/ in the section pertaining to "The Farmer Astronaut", it's a really good read, though you have to create an account to access it.

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