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  1. #101
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    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!!
    I'm glad you got a chuckle out of it. It is a bit of an "in" joke for the regulars here (welcome to our world ).

    In a nutshell, sometimes the legal rules of the road as they pertain to cyclists are not in the cyclist's best interest. Here, we discuss exactly what it is that makes cyclists safe when mixing with motorized traffic. Vehicular cycling defined broadly is for a cyclist to use the full roadway width (even the "car" parts of the roadway) and operate like other traffic.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  2. #102
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I'm glad you got a chuckle out of it. It is a bit of an "in" joke for the regulars here (welcome to our world ).

    In a nutshell, sometimes the legal rules of the road as they pertain to cyclists are not in the cyclist's best interest. Here, we discuss exactly what it is that makes cyclists safe when mixing with motorized traffic. Vehicular cycling defined broadly is for a cyclist to use the full roadway width (even the "car" parts of the roadway) and operate like other traffic.
    Two things about that ....

    According to the law in Manitoba and Alberta, cyclists are supposed to ride as far to the right as is practicable ... meaning that if we deem that there is some sort of obstacle in the road which forces us to take the lane, that's within the law, but otherwise we are supposed to keep to the right side of the road.

    I'm perfectly happy complying with that because cyclists are safer when they do so. Motorized vehicles can pass them ... so drivers don't become angry and frustrated with the cyclist and consequently do things to put the cyclist in danger (or try to harm the cyclist). And the cyclists are predictable so that motorists don't have to guess what the cyclist might do next. As a driver, I get annoyed when cyclists are pedalling slowly down the middle of the road, but as a cyclist, I really try to be sympathetic to them ... yet I nearly yelled at one to get off the road a few weeks ago!! I can just imagine what drivers who are not cyclists must be feeling ... it's no wonder cyclists get hit, run over, yelled at, etc. etc.

    I'd much rather ride safely than break the law in order to make some sort of point.

  3. #103
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Two things about that ....

    According to the law in Manitoba and Alberta, cyclists are supposed to ride as far to the right as is practicable ... meaning that if we deem that there is some sort of obstacle in the road which forces us to take the lane, that's within the law, but otherwise we are supposed to keep to the right side of the road.
    Look that up. Most jurisdictions have some version of such a "keep to the right" law, but in almost all cases, it seems to apply only when faster same direction traffic is present and allows for many more exceptions than just an obstacle in the road (like approaching an intersection, preparing for a left turn, etc.).

  4. #104
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    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.
    It's only confusing for someone who tries to pigeon hole "vehicular cycling" into being something other than "riding a bicycle on roads in accordance to the vehicular rules of the road".

    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.
    You're misreading.

    Vehicular cycling is a set of practices.

    Vehicular cycling policy is the policy to which Forester refers to on p. 557, a policy that supports the right of cyclists to ride vehicularly.

  5. #105
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Okay, I am misreading. Who coined the term then? This is the only context it comes up in in Forester's book.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  6. #106
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Brian Ratliff]One cannot talk about lanes independently of their lane markings. The space... and the designations... create the symbolic construct known as a traffic lane.
    ...
    QUOTE]

    The elegance of the basic vehicular rules that form the basis of vehicular cycling is that you don't need "lanes" of traffic for them to work; you can instead merely have "lines" of traffic. This is how traffic works on roads without lane striping - and after all, the vehicular rules of the road were created before most roads had any lane markings. Right turning traffic takes the line of traffic on the far right, left-turning traffic takes the line to the left (but still on the right half of the road) and through traffic follows between these extremes. Between intersections, slower traffic operates to the right, and faster traffic passes on the left.

    Once we understand how the vehicular rules apply to roads without lane striping, then it's easy to figure out how to deal with lanes that are much wider than one's vehicle. When turning right, get in line with the right-turing traffic, or at least far enough to the right to discourage straight-travelers from passing on your right. When turning left, get in line with the left-turning traffic, or at least far enough left to discourage through-traffic from passing to your left. These rules of vehicular cycling are especially useful for safety when operating near other cyclists, who, as drivers of narrow vehicles, may be inclined to try to pass you in the same lane. I've experienced a number of near-collisions cycling in groups where cyclists tried to turn right from the center of the rightmost lane, or tried to pass me on the right when I was preparing to turn right. Thus, it's the actual position of the vehicles that matters most in vehicular cycling, rather than the route of the center of the lane. Lane sharing is a reality for operators of narrow vehicles; vehicular cycling teaches cyclists not only how to use wide lanes lawfully, but also how to use them most effectively for their own safety.

  7. #107
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Machka brings up a good point; some state laws preclude practicing the strict definition of 'vehicular cycling.' However, 'vehicular cyclists" live in these places, surely.


    This contradiction and other contradictions are what causes the vc club to form looser definitions of 'vehicular cyling' to include 'safe legal cycling' as part of their branded attempts to make their brand the only way to ride.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #108
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I think the peanut gallery just can't accept a definition of vehicular cycling that makes it vehicular to ride in a bike lane but not vehicular to share a lane. They will only accept lane controlling if the lane is full width. And since control and release of the lane is central to their definition, they aren't going to accept a new definition that puts "release" on the non-vehicular side of the spectrum.

    Their definition is ideological. It's about the control and the identity formed around having that control. Your definition is about measurable actions that people may or may not take in the course of riding their bicycles. None of us can claim to BE vehicular cyclists with your definition. While this is perfectly ok to me, it's not ok to them, so they will never accept your definition.
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  9. #109
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I think the peanut gallery just can't accept a definition of vehicular cycling that makes it vehicular to ride in a bike lane but not vehicular to share a lane.
    I, for one, have no trouble accepting it. Brian has already said he's going to use it, and that's fine with me.

    My only point is that I believe it will cause further confusion, because it is distinctly differerent from the meaning used by those of us who advocate vehicular cycling.

    But I have no problem accepting it.

  10. #110
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    Okay, I am misreading. Who coined the term then? This is the only context it comes up in in Forester's book.
    I can't find it right now, but I'm almost certain he defines it somewhere in the book.
    I always thought he coined it, but maybe not.
    It's also possible that he never clearly defined it in the book.

  11. #111
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    This thread should be retitled 'misinformation in the name of confusion'.

  12. #112
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    i think the broad definitions of 'safe, rider determined bike positioning' called 'vehicular cycling' is ALREADY confusing enough and a brand concious attempt to cover ALL contingencies.

    Come on! two step left turns are 'vehicular?' VC the brand IS bunk science. broad, sweeping generalizations for safe cycling.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  13. #113
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I think the peanut gallery just can't accept a definition of vehicular cycling that makes it vehicular to ride in a bike lane but not vehicular to share a lane. They will only accept lane controlling if the lane is full width. And since control and release of the lane is central to their definition, they aren't going to accept a new definition that puts "release" on the non-vehicular side of the spectrum.

    Their definition is ideological. It's about the control and the identity formed around having that control. Your definition is about measurable actions that people may or may not take in the course of riding their bicycles. None of us can claim to BE vehicular cyclists with your definition. While this is perfectly ok to me, it's not ok to them, so they will never accept your definition.
    I don't have any ideological objections to the misdefinition of vehicular cycling. I'm simply explaining the practical inconsistency between the misdefinition and the basic concepts of vehicular cycling as they are traditionally taught.

    As a practical matter, striped lanes are often much wider than a bicyclist, and other vehicle operators including cyclists will often attempt to overtake in the extra space. Vehicular cycling education materials teach cyclists which portion of the lane to use in context by generalizing from the vehicular rules of the road as they apply where lane striping doesn't separate users.

    Since the safest prescribed positioning for inevitable lane sharing is derived from basic vehicular rules, it is popularly considered a basic part of vehicular cycling. Thus, attempting to define vehicular cycling as prohibiting lane sharing is fundamentally incompatible with the basics of vehicular cycling education and practice.

    -Steven Goodridge

  14. #114
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    I can't find it right now, but I'm almost certain he defines it somewhere in the book.
    I always thought he coined it, but maybe not.
    It's also possible that he never clearly defined it in the book.
    I don't think I ever saw the word in his book Effective Cycling. Looking in the index only brings up the "vehicular-cycling policy" reference I stated before. Anyone else know?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  15. #115
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    "misdefinition". Good one sggoodri. You certainly have a way with words and using them to bend a conversation to your will. Is what I am doing any different than your use (misuse) of the term "segregation"? Here, as well as there, the term is certainly descriptive. Here as well as there, the use of the word is an attempt (or alleged attempt, I am still not sure of your motives in this respect) to strip the word of its load and move toward a more descriptive definition.

    Well, you've got your "segregation lanes". I'll take my "vehicular cycling". Every argument I have seen from you can be turned right back around to your own use of language. Language is language and free for all to use. We cannot even find the person who first coined the term to be associated with Forester's "vehicular-cycling policy."
    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

  16. #116
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Let's change the names of things! Everything you have known heretofore as being the color blue, will henceforth be called yellow. That will help folks understand. From now on when you describe the sea it will be 'the great yellow sea'. And the sky is now yellow too...

    Thats MY color definition....

  17. #117
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    "misdefinition". Good one sggoodri. You certainly have a way with words and using them to bend a conversation to your will. Is what I am doing any different than your use (misuse) of the term "segregation"? Here, as well as there, the term is certainly descriptive. Here as well as there, the use of the word is an attempt (or alleged attempt, I am still not sure of your motives in this respect) to strip the word of its load and move toward a more descriptive definition.

    Well, you've got your "segregation lanes". I'll take my "vehicular cycling". Every argument I have seen from you can be turned right back around to your own use of language. Language is language and free for all to use. We cannot even find the person who first coined the term to be associated with Forester's "vehicular-cycling policy."
    If I have used the term "segregation lanes", I was in error. I use the term "segregation striping," to specifically mean the use of striping and stencils to spatially separate road users by class, and "segregated facilities" to generally mean any engineering for explicit separation of travelers by type. Most people know eactly what I mean, so there is no concern about confusion; the only concern is that some people who like user class separation in the context of road engineering may become emotional because they experience segregation as a negative term rather than a neutral descriptive one. Because their emotional reactions to having their sacred cow cast in this light detract from meaningful discussion, I have reduced my use of the term as of late.

    In the case of vehicular cycling, it is clear that vehicular cycling education has always included advice on how to use vehicular rules as a guide to best position oneself in the lane in preparation for the inevitable attempts of faster travelers to overtake. Whether one emotionally disagrees or not with the concept of always blocking traffic from overtaking in the same lane, it is factually incorrect to attribute this to vehicular cycling, both because the best recognized vehicular cycling education programs teach how to vary lateral lane positioning based on context, and because if the lane is wide enough and overtaking vehicle small enough, it is physically impossible to prevent same-lane overtaking.

    -Steven Goodridge

  18. #118
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I think that's "Preferential" striping, actually, Steve
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #119
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Lateral lane position to allow overtaking traffic to pass - photos from Where are the MD people's post

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wabeck/...7594568275462/

    I would call this 'riding in the margin' and would venture to guess that the group moved right to allow faster same-direction traffic to pass.

    In the second photo the riders are further left but barely in the right tire track - 'semi margin' if you will.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wabeck/...57594568275462

    Note that the speed limit is 45 MPH. Personally, I would ride further left in the lane and move right to allow same direction traffic to pass when safe to do so.

  20. #120
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    In the second photo the riders are further left but barely in the right tire track - 'semi margin' if you will.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wabeck/...57594568275462

    Note that the speed limit is 45 MPH. Personally, I would ride further left in the lane and move right to allow same direction traffic to pass when safe to do so.
    This photo,

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/159/4...3f75ea.jpg?v=0

    sent shivers down my back. Here's why:

    A couple of years ago a cyclist in his mid 40s, Hans Wichary was killed riding just like this in rural San Diego County. He was 3rd in a paceline of 4 cyclists, just like this one, on a rural road with 11' lanes (can't see how wide this lane is, but 11' is probably close), a fog line, and a paved shoulder that can be measured by a handful of centimeters, just like this one. They were not adjusting for the presence of fsdt (faster same direction traffic).

    When he was killed, fsdt was not present, and the cyclists were riding as far right as possible. Because they were leaving the lane wide open, just like these cyclists are, a driver of an oncoming pickup who wanted to pass a slower vehicle pulling a trailer, and the vehicle behind it, decided to pass. He either did not notice the oncoming cyclists because they were so far out of the way, or decided to pass because he thought he had enough room despite their presence, or probably both (didn't notice them at first, decided he had enough room once he moved left and did notice them); in any case, he decided to pass. Technically, he was right - there was enough room, because he got by 3 of the 4 cyclist without hitting them. The problem is that the first two cyclists saw him coming, and suddenly slowed and moved slightly right (the inch or so more that they could). The 3rd cyclist, Hans, apparently did not notice the pickup coming, was startled by the sudden slowing of the cyclist in front of him, and swerved left, into the path of the pickup, to avoid hitting the cyclist in front of him.

    This is yet another reason why I believe the presence or absence of fsdt is such a critical factor in determining where I am positioned. When fsdt is present, it acts as a "cover". In cases like this (rural 2 lane highway with dashed center stripe) it prevents oncoming traffic from passing. When fsdt is absent, you have to take an assertive/conspicuous position to create your own cover not only to hinder oncoming traffic from using your lane to pass slower traffic moving in their direction, but also to inhibit cross traffic from crossing in your path.

    Edit: changed "prevent" to inhibit above, per note from Bruce.

    Edit 2: changed first instance back to prevents, since I think that's reasonably accurate, and changed second reference to "hinders", just to mix it up.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-07-07 at 01:50 PM.

  21. #121
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Why is this in my thread?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    ^^^^
    Why is this in my thread?
    Seeing that image reminded me of the incident that is probably most responsible for firming up my belief in the importance of taking the presence/absence of fsdt into account when deciding whether to ride in the margin or not, and I decided to share it. It is about an issue that defines (slow moving) vehicular behavior, and thus is arguably relevant to the thread topic of defining "vehicular cycling", I think.

  23. #123
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    ^^^^
    Why is this in my thread?
    To remind us that pace line techniques are neither vehicular cycling, nor necessarily safe? Especially if encourages not looking any farther ahead than the rear wheel of the cyclist 2 feet in front.

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    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    I would hardly describe the riders in the photo as riding in a paceline. If you will note in the first photo, there is quite a bit of distance between riders, not that really makes a difference. Because, to have a paceline, first you need some 'pace'.

    However, in order to facilitate passing by fsdt cyclists will often ride in a line formation to allow fsdt to make one pass and get by everybody.

  25. #125
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Seeing that image reminded me of the incident that is probably most responsible for firming up my belief in the importance of taking the presence/absence of fsdt into account when deciding whether to ride in the margin or not, and I decided to share it. It is about an issue that defines (slow moving) vehicular behavior, and thus is arguably relevant to the thread topic of defining "vehicular cycling", I think.
    Actually, the way that vehicular cycling is defined in the OP (which is what this thread is about), it doesn't matter what the road conditions are, beyond that those cyclists are in "lane sharing mode" and what you are advising is for them to be in vehicular mode.

    Faster, same direction traffic is irrelevent in defining "vehicular cycling". Vehicular cycling is a tool in the tool box that you might pull out in the presence or absence of faster same direction traffic. But application of that tool to specific road environments is best done in a different thread.

    So, please move this little conversation to a different thread.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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