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Old 04-10-05, 08:07 PM   #1
BostonFixed
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Any Non-Vehicular Cyclists here?

I don't want to start another vehicular cyccling thread where we debate the merits of VC vs. Non VC cycling, but I want to know if there are any riders who don't follow VC cycling.

I'd say I don't really follow VC most of the time, but I do adopt some of the principles. I do blow most red lights/stop signs, lane split, ride in bike lanes, etc.

Any other Non VC cyclists out there? I'm just curious, not trying to conninve you to ride a certain way or anything.

PLEASE! I DO NOT WANT TO START A DEBATE ON VC vs. NON VC, SO PLEASE DON'T POST ON THAT SUBJECT!
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Old 04-10-05, 08:10 PM   #2
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I try to be visible but also to follow what feels like common sense and instinct & I'm not a dogmatist, so I guess I'm not particularly VC.
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Old 04-10-05, 08:34 PM   #3
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I tend to stay in the bike lane when it's there. I only move out as needed near intersections. I don't ever run straight through a red light, but have slowed down to a crawl and made a right turn on red. At lines of cars waiting for lights, I slow down and pull ahead on the right.
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Old 04-10-05, 09:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
I'd say I don't really follow VC most of the time, but I do adopt some of the principles. I do blow most red lights/stop signs, lane split, ride in bike lanes, etc.
I'd say that fits my riding style quite accurately, mainly because it's practical.
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Old 04-10-05, 09:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BostonFixed
... I want to know if there are any riders who don't follow VC cycling.
I don't follow VC cycling. I lead.
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Old 04-10-05, 10:50 PM   #6
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What is the different between VC and Non VC cycling?

As I never heard these terms before.
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Old 04-10-05, 11:21 PM   #7
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Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
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Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 04-10-05, 11:24 PM   #8
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A VC cyclist is required to stop and wait at four way stops until a car approaches the intersection, validating the VC cyclists' traffic ettiqute, and a non VC cyclist wears black while riding the wrong way down busy streets at night.
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Old 04-11-05, 06:08 AM   #9
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I'm a mixture of both, total noob here but currently building up to holding my own with traffic.
I ride the sidewalks alot but am very careful about it. If there is no autos around I'll blow lights and signs if I am sure I'll be safe doing it. And occasionally I'll pull out into traffic and ride VC style, but not very often and usually only do so if it is absolutely necessary.
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Old 04-11-05, 07:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwv
What is the different between VC and Non VC cycling?

As I never heard these terms before.
In my experience VC (Vehicular Cyclists) ride on the same side of the road as motor traffic.
Non-VC ride against motor traffic or on the sidewalk. Sometimes against traffic and on the sidewalk.

VC tend to observe stop signs though they will sometimes roll them after slowing enough to verify there is no cross traffic. Non-VC ignore stop signs and weave through where ever they think they can get through.

When riding in groups VC cycles will proceed together in the same lane, usually but not always in single or double file depending on road width and conditions. Two non-VC cyclists on a four lane road (two lanes each direction) will ride one in each lane into oncomming traffic with one near curb and the other just inside center stripe and will force cars to split the two lanes to pass inbetween them. If at night they will do this while wearing black with no reflectors, lights or helmets. (I'm not streching here folks, I've observed it many times.)

While riding along a street with parked cars a VC cyclist will ride just outside the door zone until there is a long enough break between parked cars to move over and allow faster traffic to pass. Non-VC will weave in and out between the parked cars when ever there is a car length between them and will pass the parked cars in the door zone.

VC cyclists will position themselves approaching an intersection according to where they are headed, generally in the right most lane that normally goes in the direction they want to go. Non-VC hold to the curb up to the intersection and will proceed through the intersection in the pedestrian crosswalk.

I really don't have time to keep going so hopefully you get the idea.

Jeff
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Old 04-11-05, 08:11 AM   #11
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I've seen all of the things mentioned above and worse too many times and too frequently. Most of us fall somewhere between the exteems.

Personally I consider VC to be generally following normal vehicular road rules to the extent that conditions, experience and expertice allow. There are a lot of situations where I can't proceed exactly as I would in a car. I don't get bent out of shape about it, I proceed on in whatever is the safest and most reasonable method at hand.

I'm also not dogmatic about bicycle lanes or multi-use-paths one way or the other. I do think it's prudent to understand their associated potential hazards and take them into account as appropriate to the specific situation.

Be Safe.
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Old 04-11-05, 09:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed

PLEASE! I DO NOT WANT TO START A DEBATE ON VC vs. NON VC, SO PLEASE DON'T POST ON THAT SUBJECT!
I've already warned a few people on this thread. Please honor BostonFixed request as in original post.

Thanks
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Old 04-11-05, 09:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
VC "experts" can detect non-VC behavior at the root of almost all cycling accidents; hence accidents almost never happen to the "competent" vehicular cyclists who are always clever/clairvoyant enough to be always doing the right thing at the right time and to be always in the right place at the right time.
I can say for a fact I am not a vehicular cyclist.

I don't weave.

I don't wear black at night.

I don't ride in the "door" zone.

I never ride against traffic.

Yet all the VC "experts" seem to think that everyone who isn't out there pretending their bike is a car does.

I'm so tired of the generalizations, I could drop dead.

I'm not a VC rider. I'm proud to not be. I ride my bike. I'm safe. I'm visible. I'm predictable, and unless I'm on a deserted street early in the morning, I follow stop signs, traffic lights, and so on.

Oh, and despite my reckless behavior, I've never been in an accident.
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Old 04-11-05, 09:53 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
I don't want to start another vehicular cyccling thread where we debate the merits of VC vs. Non VC cycling, but I want to know if there are any riders who don't follow VC cycling.
Perhaps you should define "follow VC cycling" for your inquiry if you don't want to start a debate.


For some VC "advocates", VC cycling requires more than just following the applicable traffic law and using common sense.

I don't "follow VC cycling" if it requires espousing/practicing a dogmatic belief in the ONLY way to "fare best" when cycling, regardless of local conditions or individual requirements.
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Old 04-11-05, 09:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Any other Non VC cyclists out there? I'm just curious, not trying to conninve you to ride a certain way or anything.
In urban gridlock, it would take me 30 mintues instead of 12 to get home if I followed all the VC guidelines. As it is, I hold my place in the right tire track of the right lane, move up between lanes at stops, and proceed through reds after ensuring no cars or peds are coming. To me, this is one of the benefits of commuting via bike as opposed to bus.
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Old 04-11-05, 09:59 AM   #16
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Humm I slow way down for lights and stop signs, but if no one is around my wheels might not stop turning. I ride on the right, but outside of the door zone . I try to remember to signal before turning. I don't know what "mode" I'm in. -

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Old 04-11-05, 10:55 AM   #17
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Wait a minute. If there are two lanes full of traffic jammed cars, not moving anywhere, is it VC to ride between them? Is that what "lane splitting" is?
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Old 04-11-05, 11:29 AM   #18
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There is a very big difference between being an ignorant non-VC cyclist vs. a non-VC cyclist who understands what VC is, the benefits of it and can ride VC. The later then can make intelligent risk based decisions* on when and how to deviate from pure VC riding.

As with learning anything that requires a mix of art, skill, strategy (music, photography, sports, chess, business, etc.) it is often the best route to first solidly learn and practice the fundamentals until they are fully internalized, then as you become an expert you learn how to break or bend the rules within the framework you have mastered.

*This should be understood to allow that a non-VC approach to a specific situation may even be lower risk.

Al
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Old 04-11-05, 11:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzosi
I can say for a fact I am not a vehicular cyclist.

I don't weave.

I don't wear black at night.

I don't ride in the "door" zone.

I never ride against traffic.

Yet all the VC "experts" seem to think that everyone who isn't out there pretending their bike is a car does.

I'm so tired of the generalizations, I could drop dead.

I'm not a VC rider. I'm proud to not be. I ride my bike. I'm safe. I'm visible. I'm predictable, and unless I'm on a deserted street early in the morning, I follow stop signs, traffic lights, and so on.

Oh, and despite my reckless behavior, I've never been in an accident.
I do not understand. From your description, you sound pretty VC, but you say you're not. What is the difference? If the difference is a vague attitude--people cannot discuss it intelligently. If the difference is observable behavior, we can talk productively. You say you are tired of generalizations, so please be more specific! And whatever you do, please don't drop dead--especially in a bike lane!
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Old 04-11-05, 12:12 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
There is a very big difference between being an ignorant non-VC cyclist vs. a non-VC cyclist who understands what VC is, the benefits of it and can ride VC. The later then can make intelligent risk based decisions* on when and how to deviate from pure VC riding.

As with learning anything that requires a mix of art, skill, strategy (music, photography, sports, chess, business, etc.) it is often the best route to first solidly learn and practice the fundamentals until they are fully internalized, then as you become an expert you learn how to break or bend the rules within the framework you have mastered.

*This should be understood to allow that a non-VC approach to a specific situation may even be lower risk.

Al
Well put, Al.

I would add that there is also a very big difference between cyclists who can intelligently apply so-called VC principles (i.e. lane positioning and compliance with laws applicable to BICYCLING), and those VC cyclists who "follow," or worse - advocate, a by-the-book "best" solution for all cycling situations
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Old 04-11-05, 12:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I do not understand. From your description, you sound pretty VC, but you say you're not. What is the difference? If the difference is a vague attitude--people cannot discuss it intelligently. If the difference is observable behavior, we can talk productively. You say you are tired of generalizations, so please be more specific! And whatever you do, please don't drop dead--especially in a bike lane!
I don't oppose bikelanes like a zealot, I love bike paths, I don't pretend my bike is a car and drive it like one, and I don't ride with the mistaken belief that motorists are okay with a bike acting like another vehicle.

Sometimes I do cut through a crosswalk to make a left turn because it's more convenient or safer.

Most of all, I understand the difference between having a right to the road and riding like you own it. Vehicular cyclists are generally under the impression that if they want something they can take it. All it takes is one car squeezing you to realize that motorists don't see things that way. The truth is that when you weigh 2 or 3 thousand pounds less than a majority of vehicles on the road, you don't "take" anything. You try to get it and you move on if you don't.

That's why I don't consider myself a vehicular cyclist.
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Old 04-11-05, 01:02 PM   #22
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I'm a vehicular cyclist (sometimes) but I don't consider myself a VC cyclist.

I adhere to most of the fundamental principles of VC riding but I do not accept all of VC dogma. For example, I don't think that VC riding is the best, safest and most effective way to ride under all circumstances.

That said, I ride with traffic, ride predictably, obey traffic laws and take the lane when I need to.

BTW: A bicycle that is used for transportation is a vehicle, no matter how it is ridden. 'Vehicular cycling', as it is used by VC advocates, is a poor choice of words. 'Bicycle driving' would would make more sense.
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Old 04-11-05, 01:05 PM   #23
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As someone who's ridden a lot of miles over the past three decades, I'm not sure whether I'm VC or not. I was never familiar with the term until a couple of weeks ago, when I stumbled onto this forum. So I would imagine, I'm probably not.

I try to ride with courtesy and awareness of those around me. I am very cognizant of the fact that a couple of tons of steel could ruin my whole day, but I generally don't feel intimidated in traffic. There's a little stretch on my commute where it's more convenient to (gasp) ride on the sidewalk for about 100 feet than do a very complicated maneuver at an intersection, so I briefly ride on the sidewalk (I've never, ever seen anyone walking on that stretch of sidewalk). Bike lanes are ok with me. Not having bike lanes are ok with me. I sometimes come to a "rolling stop" at a stop sign and keep going, but I almost always wait at traffic lights, even when there's no traffic. I guess I'm just a crazy mixed up 50-year-old. On the other hand, I've never crashed. At least not yet.
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Old 04-11-05, 01:41 PM   #24
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Gosh no. My bike isn't a car and won't protect me like a car will in the event of a collision. That said, I usually do ride in the road in the car lane toward the right. I have no problem moving to the left to make a left turn (taking the lane) or switching lanes when appropriate. I actually have no trouble behaving like a car. That said, I also have no problem rolling through stop signs (I always stop driving a car). I will run a red light if the scene is deserted. I will jump a red light changing green if I feel the car behind me is chomping at the bit. I will go right into a side street and make a u-turn if there is too much traffic for me to change lanes properly for the left turn I really want to make. I will go on sidewalks to avoid particularly tight intersections (I slow way down) and I will go down empty sidewalks if I want to go the wrong way down a one-way street. I can't do any of this in my car. I also cut through parking lots and alleys ... I guess I could do this in my car, but why?

So, no I don't adhere to VC. I live in Chicago and I don't think it's a very pratical option for getting around. Sometimes it isn't the safest choice either.

I do find the more roadie my bike (quicker pick-up and less apt to hop a curb) the more VC I do ride.

JRA said it well.

I bike.
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Old 04-11-05, 02:06 PM   #25
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Currently no....

I found this great bike path to ride on and since there is no motor traffic, there is no need for me to act like a vehicle...

I more act like a cyclist out to beat the clock... and damn, it is great... the only interactions are with the occasional runner that crosses the path and other cyclists.

I do admit cycling as if I am a motorist for the 1/2 mile or so that it takes to get to the path... But on the path, for the next 20 miles or so... I am "Lance Armstrong -- TDF... ta da" or whatever...
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