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Vehicular Cycling (VC) No other subject has polarized the A&S members like VC has. Here's a place to share, debate, and educate.

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Old 03-21-07, 04:25 PM   #1
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Why does VC exist anyhow?

This is a serious question. I already have my suspicions that the whole buzz term was created just to sell books. But from what I am gather, VC is nothing more than a *suggested* way to ride a bike while on the streets that will *likely* be safer for the cyclist. Okay, fine, I get it.
But why have a whole new culture about it? Mr. Forester himself admits to riding on the sidewalks. VC zealots will and do use seperated/segregated facilities. I've read here from the VC folks (at least one) that they have no problem with cutting thru a parking lot as a shortcut, which is illegal in alot of areas. So what is the point of the whole label and culture? Couldn't it just be rolled up into one big panphlet about riding a bike in general without having to have it's own buzz label?
This is just silly, and it why I am being outspoken in the VC threads. Not because I oppose riding a bicycle in the streets safely and legally, but because I oppose the fact that people have to label it. It's no different than kids in highschool who feel they need to belong to some sort of social cliche with a title in order to fit in (preppy, grunge, jock, etc etc). Are we not adults here (most of us anyways)? Do we really NEED someone to put a label on something like this?

silly, just silly

[EDIT]
Why can't VC zealots face the facts that sometimes it is safer, funner, etc to ride on the shoulder, or to use the shoulder to thwart a possible incident with a motorist instead of standing on the pedals and swerving and dancing like a monkey with an organ griner? Why is it so hard for some of them to accept that no matter what, your safety out there depends just as much on the other person as it does you? Why can't we just ride a damned bike instead of having to go thru all of this garbage?

Last edited by pj7; 03-21-07 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:30 PM   #2
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I think it was Steve Goodridge who said it best [paraphrased, probably terribly, Steve feel free to post your real response here], the term vehicular cycling was created to seperate the style of cycling in traffic as a vehicle driver from cycling in all the other ways one might cycle in traffic. Keep in mind, plenty people still believe that cyclists should act like pedestrians and ride against traffic on the roads. That could be labeled "riding a bicycle in traffic" but it's not vehicular cycling.

Starting to make more sense now?
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Old 03-21-07, 04:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by pj7
This is a serious question. I already have my suspicions that the whole buzz term was created just to sell books. But from what I am gather, VC is nothing more than a *suggested* way to ride a bike while on the streets that will *likely* be safer for the cyclist. Okay, fine, I get it.
But why have a whole new culture about it? Mr. Forester himself admits to riding on the sidewalks. VC zealots will and do use seperated/segregated facilities. I've read here from the VC folks (at least one) that they have no problem with cutting thru a parking lot as a shortcut, which is illegal in alot of areas. So what is the point of the whole label and culture? Couldn't it just be rolled up into one big panphlet about riding a bike in general without having to have it's own buzz label?
This is just silly, and it why I am being outspoken in the VC threads. Not because I oppose riding a bicycle in the streets safely and legally, but because I oppose the fact that people have to label it. It's no different than kids in highschool who feel they need to belong to some sort of social cliche with a title in order to fit in (preppy, grunge, jock, etc etc). Are we not adults here (most of us anyways)? Do we really NEED someone to put a label on something like this?

silly, just silly
700-800 cyclists are killed each year in the U.S. while bike riding. Countless others are seriously injured while bike riding. Trying to reduce those numbers is, ultimately, what the concept know as VC is about, particularly with respect to the fact that probably more than half were violating Basic VC rules (riding on the wrong side of the road, swerving in front of traffic without yielding, riding at night without lights, entering intersections from sidewalks at relative-to-peds high speeds without yielding, etc.), and most of the other half was not engaged in Advanced VC best practices (riding further left to be visible, predictable and with improved sight lines and safety buffer zones rather than too close to the right, particularly at ALL intersection approaches, going straight at intersections and any place where there is a potential conflict with right turning or right tending traffic without looking back, etc.).

With respect to why the concept needs a label, it's not much different from why Prince's attempt to shed his label (name) was not very effective.

If a concept has value, and I believe this one does, then it's very helpful to be able to refer to it by name. That's all.

Quote:
[EDIT]
Why can't VC zealots face the facts that sometimes it is safer, funner, etc to ride on the shoulder, or to use the shoulder to thwart a possible incident with a motorist instead of standing on the pedals and swerving and dancing like a monkey with an organ griner? Why is it so hard for some of them to accept that no matter what, your safety out there depends just as much on the other person as it does you? Why can't we just ride a damned bike instead of having to go thru all of this garbage?
What you refer to above as "VC zealots" sounds like "Strict VC zealots". I don't know of any of those. Do you?

EDIT: For definitions for what I mean by "Advanced VC", "Basic VC" and "Strict VC", please see the OP of the Some VC definitions thread.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by joejack951
I think it was Steve Goodridge who said it best [paraphrased, probably terribly, Steve feel free to post your real response here], the term vehicular cycling was created to seperate the style of cycling in traffic as a vehicle driver from cycling in all the other ways one might cycle in traffic. Keep in mind, plenty people still believe that cyclists should act like pedestrians and ride against traffic on the roads. That could be labeled "riding a bicycle in traffic" but it's not vehicular cycling.

Starting to make more sense now?
And in every place I know of, riding a bike on the road, against traffic, is illegal. So that would be cycling illegaly. Do those people have UC (Unvehicular Cycling) zealots? Doubt it. Maybe I should start it, write a book, and make some bank.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:35 PM   #5
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+1.

I'm a cyclist. I ride with mannerisms which help keep me alive and, at the very least, able to ride more.

Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it any different, to quote my favorite author.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:40 PM   #6
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700-800 cyclists are killed each year in the U.S. while bike riding. Countless others are seriously injured while bike riding. Trying to reduce those numbers is, ultimately, what the concept know as VC is about, particularly with respect to the fact that probably more than half were violating Basic VC rules (riding on the wrong side of the road, swerving in front of traffic without yielding, riding at night without lights, entering intersections from sidewalks at relative-to-peds high speeds without yielding, etc.), and most of the other half was not engaged in Advanced VC best practices (riding further left to be visible, predictable and with improved sight lines and safety buffer zones rather than too close to the right, particularly at ALL intersection approaches, going straight at intersections and any place where there is a potential conflict with right turning or right tending traffic without looking back, etc.).

With respect to why the concept needs a label, it's not much different from why Prince's attempt to shed his label (name) was not very effective.

If a concept has value, and I believe this one does, then it's very helpful to be able to refer to it by name. That's all.

What you refer to above as "VC zealots" sounds like "Strict VC zealots". I don't know of any of those. Do you?

EDIT: For definitions for what I mean by "Advanced VC", "Basic VC" and "Strict VC", please see the OP of the Some VC definitions thread.
wait.. what? I didn't say anything about strict anything.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pj7
And in every place I know of, riding a bike on the road, against traffic, is illegal. So that would be cycling illegaly. Do those people have UC (Unvehicular Cycling) zealots? Doubt it. Maybe I should start it, write a book, and make some bank.
And in every place I know of, very many illegal cycling practices are accepted. A couple of weeks ago I saw a cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road (which had angled curb parking, by the way) against traffic, in front of a police station, with a police car driving by. No one even blinked.
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Old 03-21-07, 04:45 PM   #8
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wait.. what? I didn't say anything about strict anything.
Yes, you didn't use the term "strict". but the implied meaning of "VC zealots" in the context of what you wrote is "strict VC".

Look at it again (my emphasis):

Quote:
Why can't VC zealots face the facts that sometimes it is safer, funner, etc to ride on the shoulder, or to use the shoulder to thwart a possible incident with a motorist instead of standing on the pedals and swerving and dancing like a monkey with an organ griner? Why is it so hard for some of them to accept that no matter what, your safety out there depends just as much on the other person as it does you? Why can't we just ride a damned bike instead of having to go thru all of this garbage?
The highlighted portions would only apply to a zealot of Strict VC (one who believes that non-VC cycling is never acceptable).
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Old 03-21-07, 04:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pj7
And in every place I know of, riding a bike on the road, against traffic, is illegal. So that would be cycling illegaly. Do those people have UC (Unvehicular Cycling) zealots? Doubt it. Maybe I should start it, write a book, and make some bank.
So it sounds like you believe that it's universally known that it's illegal to cycle against traffic. Let's assume that's true. Do you think it's universally known that a cyclist can legally use a left turn lane to make a left turn?
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Old 03-21-07, 05:03 PM   #10
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Do you think it's universally known that a cyclist can legally use a left turn lane to make a left turn?
Should we assume that motorists ever bother opening the driver handbook?
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Old 03-21-07, 05:08 PM   #11
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Yes, you didn't use the term "strict". but the implied meaning of "VC zealots" in the context of what you wrote is "strict VC".

Look at it again (my emphasis):


The highlighted portions would only apply to a zealot of Strict VC (one who believes that non-VC cycling is never acceptable).
didn't you have the tag "Avid VC Zealot" attached to your name at one time? Did that mean that YOU were advocating STRICT VC? If so then you had better ammend your definitions thread because you said you don't know of any of them. If not, then what is your point here?
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Old 03-21-07, 05:10 PM   #12
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And in every place I know of, very many illegal cycling practices are accepted. A couple of weeks ago I saw a cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road (which had angled curb parking, by the way) against traffic, in front of a police station, with a police car driving by. No one even blinked.
So what are you getting at here exactly with pertaining to the topic of this discussion?
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Old 03-21-07, 05:11 PM   #13
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So it sounds like you believe that it's universally known that it's illegal to cycle against traffic. Let's assume that's true. Do you think it's universally known that a cyclist can legally use a left turn lane to make a left turn?
No, I don't believe that at all.
Just like I don't believe everyone knows that in Winchester Kentucky it is illegal to walk down main Street with an ice cream cone in your pocket.
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Old 03-21-07, 05:15 PM   #14
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Should we assume that motorists ever bother opening the driver handbook?
I would assume that the vast majority either never have or did so long ago that they've forgotten most of what's in there that they don't experience on a regular basis.
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Old 03-21-07, 05:21 PM   #15
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Do you think it's universally known that a cyclist can legally use a left turn lane to make a left turn?
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No, I don't believe that at all.
Ok, so like CTAC has shown, while it's in that nifty little pamphlet, most people don't know it's true. Most people do know it's true that vehicle drivers (which most people assume to be motorists exclusively) can and should make left turns from the left turn lane. Doesn't the term "vehicular cycling" then make it a lot easier to imply doing all of those things that you would do as a vehicle driver in traffic even though you are on a bike? How does the phrase "cycling in traffic" convey any of the same message without the pamphlet to go along with it?
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Old 03-21-07, 05:23 PM   #16
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I would assume that the vast majority either never have or did so long ago that they've forgotten most of what's in there that they don't experience on a regular basis.
True, they had to open it in order to get their license in the first place. But after years and years of driving, common sense law and rules lay way to bad habbits. I would make the guess that NO ONE, including myself, drives 100% correctly, as stated by law.
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Old 03-21-07, 05:30 PM   #17
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didn't you have the tag "Avid VC Zealot" attached to your name at one time? Did that mean that YOU were advocating STRICT VC?
No, I have never been an advocate of STRICT VC, and never will be.

Quote:
If so then you had better ammend your definitions thread because you said you don't know of any of them. If not, then what is your point here?
(taking the if not option, which is the one that applies here) My point here is you're writing about a perspective (which I happen to call strict VC) which no one actually holds, yet you seem to think someone does.

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Old 03-21-07, 05:35 PM   #18
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silly, just silly
What is silly is morons riding against traffic, wearing earbuds, not having lighting or reflectors and all the other stupid stuff that people do on bikes.
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Old 03-21-07, 05:35 PM   #19
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And in every place I know of, riding a bike on the road, against traffic, is illegal. So that would be cycling illegaly. Do those people have UC (Unvehicular Cycling) zealots? Doubt it. Maybe I should start it, write a book, and make some bank.
And in every place I know of, very many illegal cycling practices are accepted. A couple of weeks ago I saw a cyclist riding on the wrong side of the road (which had angled curb parking, by the way) against traffic, in front of a police station, with a police car driving by. No one even blinked.
So what are you getting at here exactly with pertaining to the topic of this discussion?
I thought your pointing out that riding a bike against traffic is illegal is somehow evidence that the concept/term of vehicular cycling is not needed.

So I was pointing out why the concept/term is needed even though these behaviors are illegal: because illegal cycling is accepted as normal in our culture, it is not understood to be as unsafe and ineffective as it is. Having a concept/term like vehicular cycling helps convey this. At least with some people...
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Old 03-21-07, 05:37 PM   #20
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No, I have never been an advocate of STRICT VC, and never will be.


My point here is you're writing about a perspective (which I happen to call strict VC) which no one actually holds, yet you seem to think someone does.
What are you trying to morph here? Where di I use "persepctive" of strict VC here, you did that my friend. You also made reference to people calling themselves "VC Zealots" as those who advocate "strict VC", but you yourself used to refer to yourself as a "VC Zealot", I only pointed that out to you, and here you go, trying to morph my post about why we need the label of VC into some sort of thread about "Strict VC" and how your are "precieving" that I have a "perspective". My questions are straight forward here with no hidden "persepctives".
silly, just silly
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Old 03-21-07, 05:43 PM   #21
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So I was pointing out why the concept/term is needed even though these behaviors are illegal: because illegal cycling is accepted as normal in our culture, it is not understood to be as unsafe and ineffective as it is. Having a concept/term like vehicular cycling helps convey this. At least with some people...
It's not needed though in my poinion, and aparently in the opinion of others who chose to ride legally on the road as well.
Wouldn't it be easier to say to someone "hey, it's illegal to do that" than to say "you should be riding VC"? The former made the point clear, where as the latter would require an explaination that would end in a comment like "go buy this and that book to see".
Tell me HH, have you ever made money of promoting VC in ANY way? Do you plan on making money off it in ANY way? <-- serious question
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Old 03-21-07, 05:59 PM   #22
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What are you trying to morph here? Where di I use "persepctive" of strict VC here, you did that my friend. You also made reference to people calling themselves "VC Zealots" as those who advocate "strict VC", but you yourself used to refer to yourself as a "VC Zealot", I only pointed that out to you, and here you go, trying to morph my post about why we need the label of VC into some sort of thread about "Strict VC" and how your are "precieving" that I have a "perspective". My questions are straight forward here with no hidden "persepctives".
silly, just silly
If you are going to make accusations, get your facts straight. It's sad that I've paid enough attention on these forums to remember people's signature lines , but HH's previous line was "zealous VC advocate."
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Old 03-21-07, 06:01 PM   #23
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It's not needed though in my poinion, and aparently in the opinion of others who chose to ride legally on the road as well.
Wouldn't it be easier to say to someone "hey, it's illegal to do that" than to say "you should be riding VC"? The former made the point clear, where as the latter would require an explaination that would end in a comment like "go buy this and that book to see".
Tell me HH, have you ever made money of promoting VC in ANY way? Do you plan on making money off it in ANY way? <-- serious question
And who is advocating going around telling strangers that they are not "riding VC?" I'll argue that it easier to tell someone to ride their bike like they are the driver of a vehicle which means operating according to the vehicular rules of the road than it is to tell them to obey the law as it pertains to cyclists (which we've all agreed most people don't know).
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Old 03-21-07, 06:05 PM   #24
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If you are going to make accusations, get your facts straight. It's sad that I've paid enough attention on these forums to remember people's signature lines , but HH's previous line was "zealous VC advocate."
hehehe, it's sad that the both of us remember it indeed, thanks for the clarification.
but don't both terms mean the same thing?
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Old 03-21-07, 06:06 PM   #25
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And who is advocating going around telling strangers that they are not "riding VC?" I'll argue that it easier to tell someone to ride their bike like they are the driver of a vehicle which means operating according to the vehicular rules of the road than it is to tell them to obey the law as it pertains to cyclists (which we've all agreed most people don't know).
no one is advocating going around telling stragners anything... unless she's a hot chick and you're trying to pick her up!
My comment was to make a point about not needing to have this *label* that causes so much flame-throwing and useless threads, such as this one.
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