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  1. #1
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    why are there so few vehicular cyclists

    why do 95% of cyclists either ride the wrong way, on sidewalks or in the gutter? If you search for guitar on YouTube you find lots of talented people demonstrating their craft. But there seems to be no consensus on how to ride a bicycle correctly. Here are some reasons I have come up with for why VC is not the gold standard:

    cycling has only been around for 100 years and so has not evolved as much as other activities
    VC requires powerful front and rear lights which have only been possible with recent advances in the LED technology

  2. #2
    Seņor Wences jwbnyc's Avatar
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    Natural selection.

  3. #3
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Self preservation instinct
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

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    Look! My Spine! RubenX's Avatar
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    Trollage?

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    In New York City, it's against the law for cyclists over 10 years of age to ride on sidewalks, or ride against traffic (though all the delivery guys seem to do so, one even got into an argument with me claiming it was much safer to see the car that was about to hit you versus having it take you from behind).

    However, where I'm moving in Long Island, the major roads like Jericho Turnpike don't have much extra space, and drivers don't expect to see a cyclist... and would likely mow him down before they realize what that funny thing with the reflective jacket and the bright reflectors & lights actually was. I wouldn't dream of going on anything BUT the sidewalk for most of my route there.

    Furthermore, the sidewalk on the north side of Jericho Turnpike (at least around me) is WAY nicer than on the other side, so I'll likely go on the same sidewalk both ways...

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    Unlike a musical instrument, anybody can hop on a bike and ride it. There's no compelling reason for people to take either take a course or become informed on their own. So, most people, especially in cultures that aren't naturally inclined to cycle, end up being pedestrians on a bike, rather than cyclists. They follow pedestrian practice when they ride, not vehicular practice. It doesn't help that our North American cities and suburbs are designed for the rapid movement of automobile traffic. It's just too fast to encourage people to adopt vehicular cycling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    Unlike a musical instrument, anybody can hop on a bike and ride it. There's no compelling reason for people to take either take a course or become informed on their own. So, most people, especially in cultures that aren't naturally inclined to cycle, end up being pedestrians on a bike, rather than cyclists. They follow pedestrian practice when they ride, not vehicular practice. It doesn't help that our North American cities and suburbs are designed for the rapid movement of automobile traffic. It's just too fast to encourage people to adopt vehicular cycling.
    Those are some good points to consider..Is it safe to generalize that any skill that is easy to learn will have a majority of unexceptional practitioners?

  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    why do 95% of cyclists either ride the wrong way, on sidewalks or in the gutter? If you search for guitar on YouTube you find lots of talented people demonstrating their craft. But there seems to be no consensus on how to ride a bicycle correctly. Here are some reasons I have come up with for why VC is not the gold standard:

    cycling has only been around for 100 years and so has not evolved as much as other activities
    VC requires powerful front and rear lights which have only been possible with recent advances in the LED technology
    You are entitled to have your own reasons to match your assumptions that Vehicular Cycling represents "correct cycling" or talented people demonstrating the craft of cycling, let alone the Gold Standard of anything. All of it pegs the hot air rhetoric meter.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    VC requires powerful front and rear lights which have only been possible with recent advances in the LED technology
    Ummm... What?



    Why isn't this in the VC thread? It's not even in A&S.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Ummm... What?



    Why isn't this in the VC thread? It's not even in A&S.
    Where could you get a 200+ lumen light that runs on AA batteries for under $50 ten years ago? Anyways my question is more general in nature as to why there is such a variety of riding styles given how prevalent the activity is? One would think the more people doing it, the more likely they are to be doing it consistently, like guitar.

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    since when does cycling by *any* set of standards, including VC, during the day require "powerful lights"?

    BTW, OP - this should have gone in the A&S forum. Moved in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

  12. #12
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    Where could you get a 200+ lumen light that runs on AA batteries for under $50 ten years ago? Anyways my question is more general in nature as to why there is such a variety of riding styles given how prevalent the activity is? One would think the more people doing it, the more likely they are to be doing it consistently, like guitar.
    1) what light is that? Dinotte is way over $50, and P7s run on 18650 batteries. I have a $20 AA flashlight that puts out about 150 lumens, though, so i guess two of those would fit the bill.

    2) The simple fact that I ride on the road already puts me around the 99th percentile in vehicular-riding-ness in my area; taking the lane will put me at 100. I think this comes from the simple fear of cars ingrained on children, and even many adults.

    3) In my area, where it's not hard to go a month or more without seeing a cyclist on the road in the summer, cyclists do ride consistently - on sidewalks and paths.

    as a point of reference, I used to walk home (which takes 1 hour) 3 days a week, and from August last year to April or so, I have only seen three cyclists riding on the road. Granted, most of this is winter months, but still...
    Last edited by degnaw; 05-01-09 at 06:02 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by crispy010 View Post
    since when does cycling by *any* set of standards, including VC, during the day require "powerful lights"?

    BTW, OP - this should have gone in the A&S forum. Moved in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .
    it's the same reason that cars have DRL. Now consider the fact that cyclists have no cage to protect them and the need for powerful lights becomes that much more important.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
    Trollage?
    Bingo.

  15. #15
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Hopefully this thread will be moved to the VC sub-forum. Until then, I will attempt a reply similar to an old friend from that forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    why do 95% of cyclists either ride the wrong way, on sidewalks or in the gutter?
    How did you arrive at that figure?

    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    If you search for guitar on YouTube you find lots of talented people demonstrating their craft. But there seems to be no consensus on how to ride a bicycle correctly.
    Is Vehicular Cycling the only way to ride a bicycle correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    cycling has only been around for 100 years and so has not evolved as much as other activities
    What other activities are you talking about and how have they evolved?

    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    VC requires powerful front and rear lights which have only been possible with recent advances in the LED technology
    Really? Then how did John Forester ride in a VC manner in the 1970s ?

    Sorry, I could not help it.
    Last edited by urban_assault; 05-01-09 at 08:43 PM. Reason: typo

  16. #16
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    One more thing since we are trolling and I have been drinking...

    Effective Cycling is great as a handy door stop.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by urban_assault View Post
    One more thing since we are trolling and I have been drinking...

    Effective Cycling is great as a handy door stop.
    Well if you don't want your copy, send it to me!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by urban_assault View Post
    H

    Really? Then how did John Forester ride in a VC manner in the 1970s ?

    Sorry, I could not help it.
    I never heard of John Forester, but I just googled him. His website is pretty interesting. In fact he says the same thing I said:


    The greatest defect in American bicycling is the predominance of incompetent, unlawful, fearful, and superstitious cycling behaviors and beliefs among the population, both bicycling and general, and the corresponding paucity of lawful, competent, and confident cyclists.

  19. #19
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Uh, since Forester is the supposed "founder" of VC, I think it's fair to say you're the one saying the same thing he did.

    Quote Originally Posted by crispy010 View Post
    Well if you don't want your copy, send it to me!
    But then his door will fall shut!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    why do 95% of cyclists either ride the wrong way, on sidewalks or in the gutter? If you search for guitar on YouTube you find lots of talented people demonstrating their craft. But there seems to be no consensus on how to ride a bicycle correctly.
    youtube cycling how-to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU4nK...eature=related

  21. #21
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crispy010 View Post
    Well if you don't want your copy, send it to me!
    Like degnaw said, I need it.

    I tried using The Art of Cycling by Robert Hurst, but as you can see, it lacks enough pages
    to actually stop the door.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by urban_assault; 05-01-09 at 11:02 PM.

  22. #22
    53 miles per burrito urban_assault's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    I never heard of John Forester, but I just googled him. His website is pretty interesting. In fact he says the same thing I said:
    OK, I see.

    What about answers to the other questions I posed to you?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    why do 95% of cyclists either ride the wrong way, on sidewalks or in the gutter? If you search for guitar on YouTube you find lots of talented people demonstrating their craft. But there seems to be no consensus on how to ride a bicycle correctly. Here are some reasons I have come up with for why VC is not the gold standard:

    cycling has only been around for 100 years and so has not evolved as much as other activities
    VC requires powerful front and rear lights which have only been possible with recent advances in the LED technology
    They don't, 95% is a ridiculous exaggeration, if there are few bicyclists in your area it may seem that way to you but it isn't that way.

    There is no consensus on how to play a guitar correctly, and youtube has many videos of pro and amateur cyclists demonstrating various skills at various levels.

    Cycling has been around for more than 100 years but has evolved at a ready pace despite it's young age compared to many other contraptions.

    VC requires dogma and faith with a rigorous standard of self aggrandizement that few can meet and that even fewer want to try to meet. It is a flawed system that simply has a very vocal chorus of wingnuts, that's all. To keep the wingnuts occupied and allow everyone else to talk about cycling there is a special forum for them in a special corner of the special needs forum at the top of the rest of the forums. Go there.

  24. #24
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rarebird View Post
    They don't, 95% is a ridiculous exaggeration, if there are few bicyclists in your area it may seem that way to you but it isn't that way.
    If sidewalk riders are included in that figure, and he lives in an exurb (as I do), it may well be 95% or more.

  25. #25
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    why do 95% of cyclists either ride the wrong way, on sidewalks or in the gutter? If you search for guitar on YouTube you find lots of talented people demonstrating their craft. But there seems to be no consensus on how to ride a bicycle correctly. Here are some reasons I have come up with for why VC is not the gold standard:
    Why do 95% of air guitarists move their fingers in a manner that would never produce any sounds even remotely resembleing the music they are listening to? We need a consensus on a gold standard for air guitarists.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

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