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Old 04-15-07, 05:36 PM   #1
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VC vs. Hurst's "Art of urban cycling"

WHO?

This thread is for anyone who knows and has practiced advanced vehicular cycling (basically, the style/practice/methods/techniques/philosophy espoused in John Forester's Effective Cycling, John Franklin's Cyclecraft, and John S. Allen's Streetsmarts) and has read Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Urban Cycling (or the 2nd edition, The Art of Cycling).

WHAT?

The topic of this thread is to compare the style/practice/methods/techniques/philosophy of vehicular cycling to both vehicular cycling as described in Hurst's book, and to the style/practice/methods/techniques/philosophy that he advocates.

To kick-off the discussion, here are some questions:
  1. Is Hurt's depiction of vehicular cycling in his book fair and accurate, as compared to how you understand vc? Based on on how he writes about vc, do you believe Hurst has a good understanding of vc? Please explain.
  2. Compare Hurst's "Art" (the style/practice/methods/techniques/philosophy that he advocates in his book) to VC. Are they basically the same? Substantially different? Please explain.
  3. Compare and contrast (as best as you can based on your knowledge/understanding of each) the different lane positioning approaches:
    1. Forester's destination and speed positioning principles/rules; positioning in order to maximize conspicuity and predictability.
    2. Franklin's "primary" and "secondary" riding positions.
    3. Hurst's positioning to maximize buffer space and vision.
  4. Do vigilance and responsibility play significantly different roles and/or have significantly different priorities in Hurst's philosophy than they do in VC? Please explain.
  5. Does "following the rules" play a significantly different role and/or have a significantly different priority in Hurst's philosophy than it does in VC? Please explain.
WHY?

The reason I'm starting this thread is because I believe Hurst's book is valuable and influential (and I strongly recommend it), but I think it has some problems in certain areas. I believe these problems are significant and are related to his depiction of VC (which I believe to be inaccurate) and some of the differences between VC and what he recommends. I think comparing Hurst's riding philsophy to the VC philosophy is a valuable exercise as part of forming, evaluating and refining one's own riding philosophy.

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Old 04-15-07, 05:48 PM   #2
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Do I have to read the books or can I just spout off???
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Old 04-15-07, 05:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galen_52657
Do I have to read the books or can I just spout off???
You have an obvious strong understanding of VC, so reading the VC books is not required. But this is mostly about comparing VC to Hurst, so reading Hurst is probably required, unless you have gleaned his philosophy well enough from other sources (like his posts on this forum).

If you feel you can address the questions effectively, go for it!
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Old 04-15-07, 06:18 PM   #4
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Books, Movies, Music, & Entertainment
That is the forum this thread belongs in.
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Old 04-15-07, 07:10 PM   #5
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Robert has called HH on some of his wacky theories, so now the bashing of Hurst's book is HH's latest crusade.
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Old 04-15-07, 07:11 PM   #6
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get the pitch forks!!!!
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Old 04-15-07, 07:30 PM   #7
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Is this like MTV's "Celebrity Deathmatch?"

Do we get clay models of Forester and Hurst to fight in a ring? Who gets to chuck cogs at the other?! This could be quite exciting!

Oh...wait...it's just a pointless, circular debate.
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Old 04-15-07, 07:43 PM   #8
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Old 04-15-07, 07:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
WHO?

This thread is for anyone who knows and has practiced advanced vehicular cycling (basically, the style/practice/methods/techniques/philosophy espoused in John Forester's Effective Cycling, John Franklin's Cyclecraft, and John S. Allen's Streetsmarts) and has read Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Urban Cycling (or the 2nd edition, The Art of Cycling).
So we can only comment on Hurst's book if we're Foresterites?

Your VC arguments get weaker with every breath you take, HH...
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Old 04-15-07, 08:04 PM   #10
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I ride VC- a lot more often than the original poster, and likely a lot more "advanced" than the original poster, and also recognize riders can ride VC in a bike lane.

where does that put me in this thread analysis?
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Old 04-15-07, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
WHO?
This thread is for anyone who knows and has practiced advanced vehicular cycling (basically, the style/practice/methods/techniques/philosophy espoused in John Forester's Effective Cycling, John Franklin's Cyclecraft, and John S. Allen's Streetsmarts) and has read Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Urban Cycling (or the 2nd edition, The Art of Cycling).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Advanced VC (AVC) is the collection of VC techniques, skills and practices
few experienced cyclists already utilize, at least not consistently, and
almost all novices have not learned, such as:
So you want people who fit into your definition of AVC to post here, which you claim are few and far between, and expect this to be an impartial discussion?
Don't plan on having many people post here eh? You said yourself that few cyclists utilize it.

Then you talk about compairing Hursts definition of VC to (whos?) definition of VC based off your definion of VC. But only want it to be discussed by people who practice AVC.
I think I can speak for the masses here when I say HUH??
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Old 04-15-07, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
Books, Movies, Music, & Entertainment
That is the forum this thread belongs in.
Politics and (especially) Religion seems to me to be the appropriate place for this topic.
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Old 04-15-07, 08:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
I think I can speak for the masses here when I say HUH??
I hear the cycling population chanting WTF!
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Old 04-15-07, 08:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I hear the cycling population chanting WTF!
Sir, I believe you are correct.
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Old 04-15-07, 08:19 PM   #15
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Why does anybody read books about cycling? Is it to study and deconstruct every single word? Does anybody really want yet another topic deconstructing the words of Robert Hurst in order to prove that John Forester is more precise about some abstract topic that has little to do with reality? I really can't see how this helps anybody, unless stroking egos is helpful.
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Old 04-15-07, 08:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
Why does anybody read books about cycling? Is it to study and deconstruct every single word? Does anybody really want yet another topic deconstructing the words of Robert Hurst in order to prove that John Forester is more precise about some abstract topic that has little to do with reality? I really can't see how this helps anybody, unless stroking egos is helpful.
Does Hurst have anything to say about how many angels can dance on a painted stripe? If this subject is not covered in excruciating detail there is nothing to discuss.
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Old 04-15-07, 08:33 PM   #17
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i think robert hurst covers cycling a lot more succintly than john forester does. john's book is out of print and not available even at major public libraries. must have been a real stinker in the eyes of librarians, critics, etc.

i find some unadulterated idol worship going on by the original poster....fawning over a long out of print, out of date book that contains a lot of malarky about bicycling.
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Old 04-15-07, 08:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Order
So we can only comment on Hurst's book if we're Foresterites?
Not at all. Anyone who understands VC and Hurst would be interesting to hear from. An example of someone who understands VC but is clearly not a "Foresterite" is JRA. Genec and Brian Ratliff too. There are others, but they come to mind. Chipcom, Bek, and sbhikes are good examples of folks who don't get VC (they couldn't explain, for example, the fundamental differences between VC and Hurst's views). An excellent example outside of the forum of someone who understands VC is Jeffrey Hiles, author of "Listening to Bike Lanes".
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Old 04-15-07, 08:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Chipcom, Bek, and sbhikes are good examples of folks who don't get VC (they couldn't explain, for example, the fundamental differences between VC and Hurst's views).
Maybe they have the good sense to not give a poop about those "fundamental" differences. In fact, who but HH does give a dang?
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Old 04-15-07, 08:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Some people claim that they were unable to ride a bicycle on pavement until they read Forester's book.
Really? Who?
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Old 04-15-07, 08:55 PM   #21
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[CONFESSION]
I was unable to ride a bicycle on pavement until I read Foresters book.
[/CONFESSION]
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Old 04-15-07, 09:03 PM   #22
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Sadly, I rode on pavement for years before I...

No, wait, I've never read Forester's book.
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Old 04-15-07, 09:09 PM   #23
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oy vey.
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Old 04-15-07, 09:14 PM   #24
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I have to say, though, I'm really enjoying Hurst's book.

Still, according to HH, one can only comment on it if one "understands" VC...
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Old 04-15-07, 09:21 PM   #25
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helmie, you think I don't know how to ride a bike according to the rules of the road? think I can't ride my bike like a vehicle?

what a wonk.
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