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  1. #76
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Not the concept - the brand.

    I understand what Brian is trying to do here and I think it's a good approach. IMO the only reason anyone should have a problem with this approach is:

    a. they do not have the capacity to think outside the box to better define the box
    b. they feel their 'ownership' of a dogma, methodology or core belief is threatened.
    Chipcom, do you agree or disagree that riding a bicycle on roadways in accordance to the rules of the road for vehicles (as opposed to rules of the road for pedestrians) is a concept?

  2. #77
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    This is just another thread where someone is trying to redefine terminology for their own self-validation.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. I think Brian has laid down a challenge to those who can engage in independent thinking and debate, rather than being threatened by anything that is not status-quo or hard to understand.
    "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

  3. #78
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I think Brian has done a pretty good job of it actually.

    "Lane Sharing" IS a non vehicular concept. a vehicular cyclist may choose to share lanes, but it is NOT vehicular cycling. and two step lefts? Definelty not 'vehicular' in the strictest sense.

    and yet the vc drum thumpers persist. I think vehicular cycling as defined by all the supporters of vehicular cycling the brand are using the term VC to loosely define "safe cycling."

    There are a lot of "sometimes" in the traditional vc ideology, and it is not at all clearly defined by forester or the lot of the rest of you.

    I think Brian has got a great idea to define vehicular cycling seperate from the VC branded 'foresterite' ideas of how to ride safer, and calling his idealogy "vehicular cycling."
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  4. #79
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    The term is not well-recognized and your worries about terminology indicate that you feel you have some ownership of the term and feel threatened by any discussion that is not under your control. Why don't you try working with Brian here in an honest way, as you always claim that you wish, rather than fighting tooth and nail anything that you might not understand?
    Chip, I've already said that I think the definition in the OP is fine. My only comment is that associating the term "vehicular cycling" with the very specific definition in the OP is likely to cause confusion because it means something other than what "vehicular cycling" is most often used to mean, the general concept of riding a bicycle on roadways in accordance to the rules of the road for vehicles.

  5. #80
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    At any rate, I don't know what the definition in the OP defines, but it ain't VC. No doubt about that.
    No offence intended here, but you don't seem to have a good handle on what you think "VC" is either.

    Does anyone disagree that the main differentiating point between vehicular cycling and other cycling techniques is that vehicular cycling encourages and advises cyclists to use the full roadway and "take the lane" for a measure of safety?

    What is the main difference between "vehicular cycling" and the so-called "gutter cycling"?

    The hallmark of vehicular cycling is the act of "taking the lane." Barring real or imagined PR issues (which can be handled later and doesn't even really apply here on these forums), is there any reason not to focus primarily on this one very real difference between vehicular cycling and everything else?

    Put it this way: If you see a cyclist controlling the lane, in the process of making a vehicular left turn, you would say: ah ha!... that's vehicular cycling.

    If you see a cyclist who is timidly hugging the gutter, slowing at every minor intersection to avoid some right hook, sharing lanes all the time, you would say: no... that cyclist is not riding vehicularly.

    A cyclist is not operating vehicularly simply because they ride on the road, on the right hand side, and stop at stop signs. All cyclists, to get anywhere using the road system, have to do this. A cyclist who is out there, taking the lane to avoid a danger, who positions him/herself in the middle of the rightmost through lane at an intersection: that's operating vehicularly.

    Now, how do you encode this into a working definition? This is precisely what I did in the OP.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  6. #81
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    now it is distilled into a 'general concept'. not very specific, is that?

    I'm curious as to a specific scenario I encounter last week on a 60 mile ride out of the city. 8 lane arterial, 45 MPH traffic, center turn lane, marginal or nonexistant shoulder. I was line weaving for expediency and taking the lane when needed for safety.

    Continuous stream of traffic in the thru lanes. I was tootling along, and got to the county line. All of a sudden, there were signs designating the right most lane "right turn only, except Buses and bicycles."

    NOW, what is vehicular in that instance? is it following the signage, designating a lane as specific for class of vehicles, or would I be NON-vehicular because I was in a right turn only lane?

    Should I have ignored the designation, and instead have fought it out with the continuous stream of fast traffic in the first thru lane?

    AGAIN, i think all this talk of VC in this forum is largely political and branding of more generalized 'safe cycling' practices.

    Brian has it quite well thought out in the original post.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  7. #82
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Does anyone disagree that the main differentiating point between vehicular cycling and other cycling techniques is that vehicular cycling encourages and advises cyclists to use the full roadway and "take the lane" for a measure of safety?
    Yes, I do.

    What is the main difference between "vehicular cycling" and the so-called "gutter cycling"?
    Vehicular cycling is about being integrated with traffic; "gutter cycling" and other techniques are about riding outside of traffic.

    The hallmark of vehicular cycling is the act of "taking the lane."
    When reasonable, safe and not inappropriate to do so, yes. I have to make this qualification because it is so often misunderstood (as it was earlier today by your dad who thought VC means never riding in bike lanes).

    Barring real or imagined PR issues (which can be handled later and doesn't even really apply here on these forums), is there any reason not to focus primarily on this one very real difference between vehicular cycling and everything else?
    I have no problem with focusing on that aspect of it. I do recommend not referring to that alone as "vehicular cycling", for the "causes confusion" reasons specified earlier.

    Put it this way: If you see a cyclist controlling the lane, in the process of making a vehicular left turn, you would say: ah ha!... that's vehicular cycling.
    Not necessarily... I wouldn't.

    If you see a cyclist who is timidly hugging the gutter, slowing at every minor intersection to avoid some right hook, sharing lanes all the time, you would say: no... that cyclist is not riding vehicularly.
    That I agree with.

    A cyclist is not operating vehicularly simply because they ride on the road, on the right hand side, and stop at stop signs. All cyclists, to get anywhere using the road system, have to do this. A cyclist who is out there, taking the lane to avoid a danger, who positions him/herself in the middle of the rightmost through lane at an intersection: that's operating vehicularly.
    That's an example of operating vehicularly.

    Now, how do you encode this into a working definition? This is precisely what I did in the OP.
    Well, yeah, you defined a subset of vehicular cycling and called the subset vehicular cycling.

  8. #83
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Chip, I've already said that I think the definition in the OP is fine. My only comment is that associating the term "vehicular cycling" with the very specific definition in the OP is likely to cause confusion because it means something other than what "vehicular cycling" is most often used to mean, the general concept of riding a bicycle on roadways in accordance to the rules of the road for vehicles.
    I'm glad that you are okay with the OP definition. Realize that, within your own circles, your concept of what "vehicular cycling" is is fine, because you are dealing with like minded people. In real life, outside of the VC circles, people see person controlling lane = cycling vehicularly/person hugging curb != cycling vehicularly.

    Simply defining "vehicular cycling" as "following vehicular rules of the road" is overbroad for discussion amongst many different people with differing viewpoints.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  9. #84
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist
    now it is distilled into a 'general concept'. not very specific, is that?
    NOW? Where have you been? VC has always been defined as a general concept, like defensive driving.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Common misconceptions about vehicular cycling

    ...

    "VC is needlessly blocking cars"

    Cyclists who ride in the center of a lane needlessly impeding faster traffic are sometimes mistakenly referred to as vehicular cyclists; yet by definition a cyclist who needlessly impedes faster traffic is violating the vehicular rules of the road and is hence not riding vehicularly.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicul...ocking_cars.22



  11. #86
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    NOW? Where have you been?
    sorry to come in to this little 'debate' all truncated. I was out putting down 60 miles on my bike, like an adaptive vehicular cyclist, but definelty NOT always vehicular. although I was 'generally' following the rules.

    THAT'S the type of generalization that is exemplary of the vagaries of VC 'best practices' versus Brian's attempts to formally define vehicular cycling.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #87
    Conservative Hippie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Does anyone disagree that the main differentiating point between vehicular cycling and other cycling techniques is that vehicular cycling encourages and advises cyclists to use the full roadway and "take the lane" for a measure of safety?
    I will disagree with this blanket statement. Under certain conditions yes, the cyclist should take the lane for safety reasons, but not under all conditions all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    The hallmark of vehicular cycling is the act of "taking the lane."
    Not taking the lane, but when to take the lane. Understanding the "when" and "why," (under what circumstances?) is very important.

  13. #88
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    VAGUE. sometimes you take the lane, sometimes you don't. That's what a vehicular cyclist determines, and that is NOT a strict definition of 'vehicular' cycling is.

    Oh, the brand. can't dilute the magic of the brand.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  14. #89
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Chipcom, do you agree or disagree that riding a bicycle on roadways in accordance to the rules of the road for vehicles (as opposed to rules of the road for pedestrians) is a concept?
    Yes, as a concept that has been stretched and complicated well beyond anything it was intended to be. The point, I believe, of this thread is to define the bare-bones base of the term, not the concept.

    Let's use economics as an example:

    The term, as defined in wiki: Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], 'house', and νέμω [nemo], 'rules' hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. This involves analyzing the production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services.

    Easy eh? Now try to define all of the different economic 'concepts'. Not so easy.

    You, Steve, Al, John Forrester, Bek, Robert Hurst, Brian, JRA, ILTB, et al, have lots of varying concepts concerning what vehicular cycling is...but what is the root definition of the term? I think this is where Brian is trying to go, but might have confused things by trying to define the entire term 'vehicular cycling'. I think to get to that, we first need to define 'vehicle', 'vehicular', the 'rules of the road for vehicles' (which we've gone round and round about before...there is no clear cut, accepted definition). Only when these terms are defined can we try to apply 'cycling' to the term and come up with the root definition. It may well be riding a bicycle on roadways in accordance to the rules of the road for vehicles - but without understanding and agreeing upon the vehicle-related definitions, vc is indeed nothing but a concept, not a term.

    So I guess that's my thread hijack challenge - define a vehicle and the rules of the road for vehicles. I THINK that was what Brian was attempting to do.
    "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

  15. #90
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Chip's got things pretty much right in his assessment of my goal here. But also, I want to define the term in a precise way, in the cycling context. Because there are competing techniques for cycling, and to have a conversation, one needs concrete language to talk about it in.

    Let me postulate this in a different way. Say, you have a road and you are making a decision on lane position. "Ride vehicularly" some would say. Well, what does that mean? How do you define the opposite of "vehicularly" without resorting to terms like "pedestrian" or "ghost cycling" or similar, emotionally ladden and ill defined terms? And once you determine you want to be "vehicular" you still don't have guidance on lane positioning.

    Now, with the narrow definition, there are several precise options without resorting to cycling on the sidewalk:

    1) ride vehicularly (you should know what this means by now, if not, read the OP)
    2) share the lane
    3) ride in the far margin/gutter

    Now, using the OP definition, 3 options, no additional words, and all terms are descriptive of the techniques used to impliment these options. See how nice that is? Moreover, each entails a set of techniques all unto itself. Riding vehicularly entails a different riding style than sharing the lane. Riding in the margin/gutter involves techniques different from both.

    Some will complain that the first option can be adequately described by using the phrase "taking the lane" and all three encompassed (or maybe just the first two, depending on who you ask) by the term "vehicularly." I'd argue that this is imprecise because the invariable next question will be "what do I do at the intersection ahead." The two options:

    1) travel vehicularly through the intersection
    2) use a two part turn if turning left

    In all cases, the term "vehicularly" is clearly analogous to "as a car would do." This is the intent. Everyone sees cars, and most people who come across the term "vehicular cycling" make the reduction down to "as a car would do." Why fight this? It is a rather good descriptor.

    I am not trying to define a paradigm here. I am trying to put a rope around a bunch of techniques centered around taking the lane and destination lane positioning. These both are specific hallmarks of what everybody would describe as cycling "vehicularly."
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  16. #91
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Not the concept - the brand.

    I understand what Brian is trying to do here and I think it's a good approach. IMO the only reason anyone should have a problem with this approach is:

    a. they do not have the capacity to think outside the box to better define the box
    b. they feel their 'ownership' of a dogma, methodology or core belief is threatened.
    Or c. they would like to believe they are vehicular cyclists (as an identity) not cyclists who sometimes ride vehicularly (which makes them no better than all those "paint-n-path" people they so want to be better than.)
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  17. #92
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Brian, I think the peanut gallery would accept your definition of vc if you simply exclude the bike lanes.

    Personally, I don't care if I qualify as a vehicular cyclist or if I can proudly say "I rode vehicularly today." It makes absolutely no difference to my identity, my self-worth, my personal safety, my enjoyment of bicycling, or my qualifications to participate in bicycle advocacy.
    ~Diane
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  18. #93
    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    Brian, I think the peanut gallery would accept your definition of vc if you simply exclude the bike lanes.

    Personally, I don't care if I qualify as a vehicular cyclist or if I can proudly say "I rode vehicularly today." It makes absolutely no difference to my identity, my self-worth, my personal safety, my enjoyment of bicycling, or my qualifications to participate in bicycle advocacy.
    Agreed, any day I made it home without getting smoked by a car, regardless of paradigm, is a good day .

    Brian has offered here something that is quite useful as a reference point in these many, long debated discussions of vehicular cycling that is easily attacked due to its ambitious length and breadth. Instead of attacking him and his definition why not submit your own as a alternative?
    Monsignor: We must always fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men.
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  19. #94
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    There's nothing in this definition about bike lanes. I just listed one consequence of definition which is forced by way of self-consistency. I think behind most of the static though, is about keeping WOLs the prefered cycling facility.

    If it makes everyone feel better, I can adopt HH's concept of an "implicit bike lane" in a WOL to make WOLs consistent with this definition. I still believe it is more akin to lane sharing; as many people pointed out, cars swing out wider when passing a cyclist riding on the right side of a WOL. This is car behavior which is characteristic of a shared lane situation. But on the other hand, we don't have WOLs here in Oregon beyond a couple streets I haven't had the pleasure of riding. So, I can give the guys from San Diego, Pheonix, and South Carolina the benefit of the doubt.

    I don't want to start a facilities debate of all things here. I want to repeat: there is nothing regarding bike lanes or lack thereof in the definition of "vehicular cycling."
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  20. #95
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I still think Brian's definitions are spot on the money.

    'Vehicular cycling' is more limited than what the so-called 'vehicular cyclists' use for safe cycling. the vehicular cyclist uses a fair amount of discretionary judgements about riding position that will not correspond to strict definitions of 'vehicular' operation of a bike.

    Two part left turns? plueaze, NOT vehicular, but vehicular cyclists seem to think they are. lane sharing? how to determine which lane is safe to share ands which are not? much too situational. and generally cars do not share lanes, striped lanes are not designed to be shared by vehicles.

    lane sharing is not vehicular. although 'vehicular cyclists' can share lanes when they think it is safe, its not 'vehicular'.

    I wonder about the road I rode on last week, when i rode across the county line into a
    "right lane right turn only except buses and bicycles"- vehicular to ignore the thru lanes and ride in the preferential lane? or ride only in the thru lane, because riding in a right turn only lane is not vehicular? I think the former, preferential lanes ARE vehicular, also extends to bike lanes for thru traffic. preferential lanes ARE vehicular.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  21. #96
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sggoodri
    Interesting - according to this definition, there are no bike lanes in my town.
    First point: Your comment may explain a good deal about your position in the bike lane debate. It is very difficult to debate a point about a cycling facility you have never experienced.

    Second point: I was looking at bike lanes on my way home tonight (on my bike - through the neighborhoods from Wilsonville to the corner of Scholls Ferry Rd and Murry Rd, for those of you who know the area). 2/3'rds of the 12-15 mile (I haven't measured it but roughly using a map) ride have bike lanes by my definition. The other third has bike lanes in name only. The bike lanes in name only are roughly four feet wide and I don't ride in them. About half of the real bike lanes are 6-7' wide, the rest are 5'. The section of road with the newest bike lane (Scholls Ferry Rd, resurfaced about a year ago) has a six foot bike lane. The 5' bike lanes are mostly in the industrial/commercial zone of my commute near my work and then scattered throughout.

    So, 5' is on the narrow side of what I'd consider a bike lane. Adequate bike lanes are 6' wide. Good bike lanes are 7' wide.

    Anyway, this was a side diversion. Back to the definition of "vehicular cycling" and off the subject of bike lanes.
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  22. #97
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Second point: I was looking at bike lanes on my way home tonight (on my bike - through the neighborhoods from Wilsonville to the corner of Scholls Ferry Rd and Murry Rd, for those of you who know the area). 2/3'rds of the 12-15 mile (I haven't measured it but roughly using a map) ride have bike lanes by my definition. The other third has bike lanes in name only. The bike lanes in name only are roughly four feet wide and I don't ride in them. About half of the real bike lanes are 6-7' wide, the rest are 5'. The section of road with the newest bike lane (Scholls Ferry Rd, resurfaced about a year ago) has a six foot bike lane. The 5' bike lanes are mostly in the industrial/commercial zone of my commute near my work and then scattered throughout.

    So, 5' is on the narrow side of what I'd consider a bike lane. Adequate bike lanes are 6' wide. Good bike lanes are 7' wide.
    Just curious, how do motor vehicle drivers treat these "real" bike lanes? Like shoulders or gores, or do they merge into them when approaching a place where they are turning right?

    How are these bike lanes striped at approaches to midblock intersections with driveways, and at the intersections themselves? Solid, dashed, no stripe?

    I just listed one consequence of definition which is forced by way of self-consistency.
    If the treatment of the bike lane by drivers and traffic engineers is not like the treatment of a vehicular lane (including an express or slow moving traffic lane), then the definition is not self-consistent.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-06-07 at 11:03 PM.

  23. #98
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Just curious, how do motor vehicle drivers treat these "real" bike lanes? Like shoulders or gores, or do they merge into them when approaching a place where they are turning right?
    All major, light controlled intersections are RTOLs, which in effect, means that the lane markings has right turning traffic merging into the bike lane, which widens to full width to accomodate a car. The bike lane then reemerges after the merging zone to keep cyclists to the left of right turning cars.

    How are these bike lanes striped at approaches to midblock intersections with driveways, and at the intersections themselves? Solid, dashed, no stripe?
    Stripping is discontinued across intersections - many times dashed in the immediate approach. In practice, I've had very little problems with right hooks. I've never been right hooked, nor have been put in a situation to have to slow to avoid a right hook.

    If the treatment of the bike lane by drivers and traffic engineers is not like the treatment of a vehicular lane (including an express or slow moving traffic lane), then the definition is not self-consistent.
    It is self consistent. There are imperfections at minor intersections, but it is self consistent at major intersections, where stuff like this matters more. Moreover, roads in new developments are designed here to group minor intersections together on sidestreets, so there are few new developments where there are minor intersections every few yards like with the old style of commercial zoning. Commercial properties are usually in strip malls (uncommon now) or in "squares" of properties grouped around a common, shared parking lot.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  24. #99
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    What's wrong with simply following the rules of the road as they pertain to cyclists? Motorized vehicle drivers are supposed to follow the rules of the road as they pertain to motorized vehicles .... and as both a cyclist and a driver, I greatly appreciate it when they do. It's only courteous for cyclists to also follow the rules of the road too ... cyclists and drivers will appreciate it when we do.


    I'm afraid I don't get this whole Vehicular Cycling thing ....... or is it a bit of an "in" joke among the regulars here. The first post (the only one I read here) was amusing! I had a chuckle over several parts of it!!

  25. #100
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Well, yeah, you defined a subset of vehicular cycling and called the subset vehicular cycling.
    You missed my point. I defined a subset of safe, lawful cycling and called that "vehicular cycling." Most of what you refer to as "vehicular cycling" is, in fact, simply what any safe, lawful bicyclist would do. Yours is a retorical tact to seed confusion. A cyclist who is not a "vehicular cyclist" is forced to concede he is "vehicular cycling" in your sense of the definition. How is this not confusing? You have simply rebranded the hallmarks of safe, lawful cycling for retorical purposes. In fact, those tenets that sggoodrie convenently posted above are simply labeled "principles of traffic cycling" and are quoted verbatum from Effective Cycling.

    Most of what you call "vehicular cycling" is just safe, lawful cycling. What is left over is the techniques for taking a lane and destination lane positioning.

    Just out of curiosity, who, exactly, coined the term "vehicular cycling"? If it was Forester, then it was coined to describe an advocacy policy, not a set of techniques, see page 557, Effective Cycling.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

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