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  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Why does John Forester have to pass a beauty contest?

    It's pretty obvious that John Forester is here posting because some of us have made some stark accusations publicly, and if shots were being fired at me, I'd like to be close enough so I could shoot back a little.

    I've said before I don't always like Mr. Forester's sometimes abrasive style of communication, but I've also said that this trait has it's benefits. He's a fighter, and that may be what it takes to stand up to people who want to brush cyclists aside, off into the gutter.

    Now this part of his personality is not politically-correct enough for some of us. But it's exactly what was needed at one time, and probably still is. He's a hammer, and you don't want to use a hammer on a screw, but try hammering a nail with something else.

    Frankly, his straight-forward style worked well in getting me out on the road, and I surely haven't been sorry. If he isn't a perfect angel, I won't be disappointed.
    No worries

  2. #2
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    It's pretty obvious that John Forester is here posting because some of us have made some stark accusations publicly, and if shots were being fired at me, I'd like to be close enough so I could shoot back a little.

    I've said before I don't always like Mr. Forester's sometimes abrasive style of communication, but I've also said that this trait has it's benefits. He's a fighter, and that may be what it takes to stand up to people who want to brush cyclists aside, off into the gutter.
    'fraid that don't wash, LittleBigMan. Forester is not defending cyclists in this forum, he's defending his previous work by shooting the same blanks (of faulty and misleading risk analysis, sophistic arguments and psycho babble), he's been firing for the last 30 years. Smokescreens of obfuscation, straw men/ad hominem arguments, stereotypes, exaggerated enemies, etc won't make those blanks anymore effective at shooting down righteous criticism.

  3. #3
    N_C
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    I think part of the issue on how others feel about him is because they themselves are the same way or similar. When this happens there is conflict. Either because we do not like seeing ourselves in other people or because 2 people with the same personallity because 2 of the same type can clash. Those with an aggressive unrelenting personality prefere to associate with people who are more subdued & not as aggressive.

  4. #4
    Road Runner PDay's Avatar
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    Who IS John Forrester? I hear lots about him but dont have any idea who he is!

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    'fraid that don't wash, LittleBigMan. Forester is not defending cyclists in this forum, he's defending his previous work by shooting the same blanks (of faulty and misleading risk analysis, sophistic arguments and psycho babble), he's been firing for the last 30 years. Smokescreens of obfuscation, straw men/ad hominem arguments, stereotypes, exaggerated enemies, etc won't make those blanks anymore effective at shooting down righteous criticism.
    You're entitled to your opinion.

    I can only go by personal experience on this. Everyone else will too, I'm sure.

    When I started riding my bike to work years ago, only one strategy made it practical: those put forth as part of vehicular cycling. Bike facilities were either non-existant or totally impractical for my needs--there is one path/route that goes from Stone Mountain to Atlanta, but it's almost 20 miles long, very slow, and has many tricky or blind intersections.

    Principles put forth by John Forester (the curmudgeon) were almost solely responsible for enabling me to discover the great joys of bike commuting at a time when all the "advocates" were still saying I couldn't do that in Atlanta because we still needed more bike facilities. In fact, 10 years later, the "advocates" are still saying that.

    With all the negative publicity he's gotten on these forums, I'd like to say publicly, thanks John.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 03-23-07 at 07:41 AM.
    No worries

  6. #6
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    You're entitled to your opinion.

    I can only go by personal experience on this. Everyone else will too, I'm sure.
    Personal opinion and personal experience are the best reference for reporting your personal opinion and experience; and personal anecdotes, too.

    Personal opinion and personal experience (and personal agendas) are not a very "scientific basis" for recording/evaluating "evidence" about cyclist behavior or safety records, reaching conclusions about comparative risk, and making psychological evaluations of the entire population of cyclists, would be cyclists, and never were cyclists.

  7. #7
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Personal opinion and personal experience are the best reference for reporting your personal opinion and experience; and personal anecdotes, too.

    Personal opinion and personal experience (and personal agendas) are not a very "scientific basis" for recording/evaluating "evidence" about cyclist behavior or safety records, reaching conclusions about comparative risk, and making psychological evaluations of the entire population of cyclists, would be cyclists, and never were cyclists.
    This has zero to do with my contention that John Forester's vehicular cycling techniques, and his insistance that roads without bike lanes can be ridden safely, were responsible for releasing me from the fear of traffic and motivated me to ride to work, for which I am happy to express my gratitude publicly.

    Once again, if I had listened to the other bicycling advocates in Atlanta years ago, I would have believed that it was impossible to ride my bike to work in Atlanta.

    So, comparing the results in my individual case (not the entire population of cyclists, as you put it,) Forester's vehicular cycling technique achieved results for me that our local bike facility advocates still cannot, not a decade later.

    I judge my own case by results.
    No worries

  8. #8
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    This has zero to do with my contention that John Forester's vehicular cycling techniques, and his insistance that roads without bike lanes can be ridden safely, were responsible for releasing me from the fear of traffic and motivated me to ride to work, for which I am happy to express my gratitude publicly.

    Once again, if I had listened to the other bicycling advocates in Atlanta years ago, I would have believed that it was impossible to ride my bike to work in Atlanta.

    So, comparing the results in my individual case (not the entire population of cyclists, as you put it,) Forester's vehicular cycling technique achieved results for me that our local bike facility advocates still cannot, not a decade later.

    I judge my own case by results.
    Your case appears to be that reading Forester's insistence that roads can be be ridden without bike lanes was the catalyst for your cycling freedom. Most people can recognize that fact by opening their eyes. In fact, who documents that they can't?
    Preferences and desirability are another story.

  9. #9
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Your case appears to be that reading Forester's insistence that roads can be be ridden without bike lanes was the catalyst for your cycling freedom. Most people can recognize that fact by opening their eyes. In fact, who documents that they can't?
    Preferences and desirability are another story.
    Having ridding a bicycle for transportation for much longer than I, perhaps you take for granted that which you are accustomed to. In my case, it took more than just "opening my eyes" to get me to understand that I could use the same road to ride my bike that I used to drive my car. For you to minimize that only shows that your frame of reference is limited to people like you who already mastered cycling techniques and conquered any fear of motor traffic (perhaps you never had any fear to begin with.)

    So your case is different, I'm glad for you. I truly am, and I having seen some of the routes you are forced to use to get to work on your bike, I understand why you feel bike paths would not limit you, but rather expand your freedoms. I'm not closed-minded on this subject.

    Please don't take my gratitude for what I believe Forester did for me as taking sides in some great cosmic debate over bike facilities around the world. I can only speak for myself, and I have done so honestly.
    No worries

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Your case appears to be that reading Forester's insistence that roads can be be ridden without bike lanes was the catalyst for your cycling freedom. Most people can recognize that fact by opening their eyes. In fact, who documents that they can't?
    Preferences and desirability are another story.
    Search for the word "suicide" or "suicidal" in this forum and you will find many BF posters using those words to refer to riding on arterial roads without bike lanes. I would take that as evidence that people, even those who already ride bikes in traffic, believe that those roads can NOT be used by a cyclist. Now, look at the rest of the population who believe cycling in any amount of traffic is suicide and take a guess at what their opinion of riding arterials would be.

  11. #11
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Please don't take my gratitude for what I believe Forester did for me as taking sides in some great cosmic debate over bike facilities around the world. I can only speak for myself, and I have done so honestly.
    If Forester's book helped you out and prompted further enjoyment of your bicycling experiences, then indeed your gratitude is justified. I really don't feel as if I'm in any cosmic debate about "bike facilities." Only exposing (for what they are,) the bogus and sophistic "Scientific Processes" being referenced as "evidence" of the "Scientific Basis" for many, most, and perhaps all of Forester & Associates quantitative claims and statements about cycling risk and cyclists' motivations.

  12. #12
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Removed the (funny) off topic posts. moderator Rev.Chuck
    Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
    Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.

    I am in the woods and I have gone crazy.

  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
    Removed the (funny) off topic posts. moderator Rev.Chuck
    I'm sure you guys are still laughing at them even now.

    You probably loaded them onto your hard drive.
    No worries

  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I'm sure you guys are still laughing at them even now.

    You probably loaded them onto your hard drive.
    I've got my hard drive filled with better stuff than that. No room for Chipcom Man porn.

  15. #15
    N_C
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    Man, we can't even have fun in here. Did someone whine to the mods. about this? I don't imagine Chipcom did. I'm beginning to think the mods. eat coal & produce diamonds. That or it is the thin skins in here that do.

  16. #16
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    Man, we can't even have fun in here. Did someone whine to the mods. about this? I don't imagine Chipcom did. I'm beginning to think the mods. eat coal & produce diamonds. That or it is the thin skins in here that do.
    I reported it to the mods. Not being thin-skinned, just practical. Sort of like closing the door when you want to have a serious discussion.

    Normally, I joke around quite a bit, too.
    No worries

  17. #17
    N_C
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    I reported it to the mods. Not being thin-skinned, just practical. Sort of like closing the door when you want to have a serious discussion.

    Normally, I joke around quite a bit, too.
    You should have left well enough alone dude. It will probably be the only funny thing that happens to this thread. Now it is back to the regular boring ass programming the mods. created for us in this sub-forum dedicated to & created for JF & his disciples.

  18. #18
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    You should have left well enough alone dude. It will probably be the only funny thing that happens to this thread. Now it is back to the regular boring ass programming the mods. created for us in this sub-forum dedicated to & created for JF & his disciples.
    It's his thread and now you are disrupting it even further...just mind your business, k?
    "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

  19. #19
    N_C
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    It's his thread and now you are disrupting it even further...just mind your business, k?
    Please tell me this is satire.

  20. #20
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N_C
    You should have left well enough alone dude. It will probably be the only funny thing that happens to this thread. Now it is back to the regular boring ass programming the mods. created for us in this sub-forum dedicated to & created for JF & his disciples.
    Just change the channel, dude.
    No worries

  21. #21
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    Thumbs up

    Yes, please---another thread about arguing over the argument over the big thread with the big argument.

  22. #22
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    You're entitled to your opinion.

    I can only go by personal experience on this. Everyone else will too, I'm sure.

    When I started riding my bike to work years ago, only one strategy made it practical: those put forth as part of vehicular cycling. Bike facilities were either non-existant or totally impractical for my needs--there is one path/route that goes from Stone Mountain to Atlanta, but it's almost 20 miles long, very slow, and has many tricky or blind intersections.

    Principles put forth by John Forester (the curmudgeon) were almost solely responsible for enabling me to discover the great joys of bike commuting at a time when all the "advocates" were still saying I couldn't do that in Atlanta because we still needed more bike facilities. In fact, 10 years later, the "advocates" are still saying that.

    With all the negative publicity he's gotten on these forums, I'd like to say publicly, thanks John
    .
    I have to agree with you, based also on my personal experience.

    Other than VC, there is no other effective system for riding on roads with cars. Systems that present street cycling as an "art" imply that only those with natural talent can master it, and all others are forced to ride in the bike lanes.

    OTOH, turning cycling into a concrete system (like Forester did with VC) implies that anybody can learn to do ride with the cars. When I started riding, JF's book was the first one I read, and it's still the best. It gave me the courage and the skills set to hit the road, and it's served me well now for many thousands of miles of riding.

    I think the best course is to pick and choose from Forester's writings. Clearly, most modern cyclists would reject a lot of his outdated advice on bicycle mechanics. Likewise, a lot of cyclists will reject his ideas about bike facilities and advocacy. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts of how to ride a bicycle with cars, Forester be beat.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  23. #23
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I have to agree with you, based also on my personal experience.

    Other than VC, there is no other effective system for riding on roads with cars. Systems that present street cycling as an "art" imply that only those with natural talent can master it, and all others are forced to ride in the bike lanes.

    OTOH, turning cycling into a concrete system (like Forester did with VC) implies that anybody can learn to do ride with the cars. When I started riding, JF's book was the first one I read, and it's still the best. It gave me the courage and the skills set to hit the road, and it's served me well now for many thousands of miles of riding.

    I think the best course is to pick and choose from Forester's writings. Clearly, most modern cyclists would reject a lot of his outdated advice on bicycle mechanics. Likewise, a lot of cyclists will reject his ideas about bike facilities and advocacy. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts of how to ride a bicycle with cars, Forester be beat.
    Thank you. Finally, some common ground. All you people out there: pick up Effective Cycling; read chapters 4 and 5. Avoid chapter 6. Chapter 4: indispensable and got me into being a better cyclist. Chapter 5: entertaining at least. Chapter 6: all the controversial social commentary. All the rest of the book: pretty much obsolete.

    If a transportational cyclist reads chapter 4 and nothing else, he or she will get most of what is necessary to know to practice vehicular cycling in traffic.
    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. #24
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
    I am simply amazed that people need/needed a book or a need/needed some instructional course to enable them to ride a bicycle on the road.
    Did you just throw yourself out there and hope for the best, learning from you mistakes?

    Many drivers take courses and/or read to learn how to drive a motorvehicle more safely in traffic, why not somthing similar for a bicycle?

    Al

  25. #25
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Did you just throw yourself out there and hope for the best, learning from you mistakes?
    Yup, that pretty much covers what happened the day after Dad took the training wheels off. For those who started riding as adults, they usually already had some kind of driver training and experience driving, so were far from being ignorant of the rules of the road or at any major risk by learning how to apply them to riding a bicycle. They also have places off-road to practice, like empty parking lots, parks, trails and those nasty bike paths and MUPs.
    "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

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