Ok--silly question, but an honest one.
[I usually don't hang out here so I'm pretty much a newb in this forum. I have become more interested in cycling safety and advocacy over the last year as last Sept. I began commuting to work on my bike when practical. I've been trying to convince more people in the ofice to take their steeds in once it gets nicer out.]
I really don't understand this whole vehicular cycling/adaptive cycling debate. I am certainly not a "pedestrian cyclist," that is, I don't ride the wrong way down the street, don't ride on sidewalks, etc. All the definitions I've seen for VC/AC seem to be self contradictory. I will describe the way I ride and would like to know how others "classify" it.
1. I believe bicycles have the same right to use the roads as any other vehicle and should follow the rules of the road when practical. What I mean by that last caveat is that if I am riding in city traffic I will occassionally "break" the "rules of the road" in order not to be killed or hurt. For instance, if a car suddenly stops, I will take evasive action, even if that means hopping on the sidewalk for a bit or passing on the left (in a car you simply hit your brakes and enjoy the ride until the collision)
2. I do not beleive cyclists should be "restricted" to bike lanes and MUPS but do find these facilities useful. While I believe I have every right to be on the road, there are some roads that I find impractical to ride on and will use a MUP or alternative, less-congested back streets---Times when I find street riding impractical include a suburban/urban 2 lane thouroughfare at 45 mph during rush hour where both lanes start and stop so there is no realistic chance to "take the lane" and there is not a sufficient shoulder to ride on. I know I have every "right" to be on this road, but I chose not to due to: 1) the danger, 2) the inefficiency, and 3) the annoyance and hastle of being honked at by every single car that passes me.
3. I certainly do not "bob and weave" during traffic or blow red lights (unless a JAM behind me is physically pushing my bike). However, I rarely come to a complete stop at suburban stop signs unless there is a vehicle approaching. I certainly slow down and look, but I am not gonna come to a complete stop, unclip, dismount, and then go when there is no traffic around. On the other hand, when I come to a 4 way stop w/ motor vehicles, I insist they proceed following the appropriate rules of right of way---i.e. I won't go in front of the guy to my left even though he is waving me on through.
So I really don't know the above attitudes and behaviors make me. In sum, I beleive and try to follow the rules of the road when practical because I beleive that the more motorists see a cyclist as a vehicle on the road that is predictable, the safer the roads will be for us and the more respect they will have for us. On the other hand, I am not going to blindly follow the "rules of the road" if doing so is dangerous in any given circumstance. Also, as a realist, I choose sometimes not to ride on the road where there is an available MUP nearby (or alternate less congested road) and the road/driving conditions aren't conducive to riding in traffic because, quite frankly, I don't like getting run off the road, honked at, sweared at, etc. etc., and one of the main reasons I decided to start commuting was to avoid the hastle of rush hour traffic and be able to enjoy a quiet ride into the city.
I am just curious as to how some here would label that type of cycling/attitude because I genuinely don't understand some of the terms being thrown around here. [I really don't care one way or another---I just want to know into which group people here think I fall so i know how terms are being used]