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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 05-02-07, 11:28 AM   #1
N_C
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VC acolytes, followers, disciples, etc.

I have some serious questions for you. If you see a cyclist riding in a non VC or what you consider or interprite to be a non VC manner & if you can catch up to them do you stop them & educate them on how to ride VC? I am talking about if they are riding with traffic obeying traffic laws but as far as you can tell they are not riding VC or what you consider to be VC. If you do why?

I can tell you right now if you stopped me & tried to "educate" me on riding VC I'd tell you to **** off & worry about your own riding & let me worry about mine, especially if I'm not doing anything wrong obeying traffic laws, etc.

Before you say anything about it, yes it is possible to not ride VC, still ride on the roadways & obey all traffic laws. I know I've had to do it when I have needed to.

So would you or have you done this? If you have what was the reaction from the person you educated?
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Old 05-02-07, 11:33 AM   #2
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The only thing I do is yell 'wrong way' to wrong way riders I pass.

I don't even discuss or mention vehicular cycling when out riding with friends who are doing things non vehicular, in fact I even follow them if they are in the lead and their position doesn't severely compromise my safety. But when I am in the lead, I make a line as I do solo (with the added consideration of being a 'longer' vehicle made up of several individual drivers of course) Sometimes they follow, sometimes they don't. We don't talk about it over beers afterward.

edit: The friends I ride with don't do stupid stuff like running lights, etc. Usually the things they do I wouldn't do solo include filtering forward when not needed, riding a bit closer to curb than my comfort zone.

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Last edited by noisebeam; 05-02-07 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I have some serious questions for you. If you see a cyclist riding in a non VC or what you consider or interprite to be a non VC manner & if you can catch up to them do you stop them & educate them on how to ride VC? I am talking about if they are riding with traffic obeying traffic laws but as far as you can tell they are not riding VC or what you consider to be VC. If you do why?
I don't. One reason I don't is because it would be impossible: I would have to catch up and stop and educate almost every cyclist I see.

Quote:
I can tell you right now if you stopped me & tried to "educate" me on riding VC I'd tell you to **** off & worry about your own riding & let me worry about mine, especially if I'm not doing anything wrong obeying traffic laws, etc.

Before you say anything about it, yes it is possible to not ride VC, still ride on the roadways & obey all traffic laws. I know I've had to do it when I have needed to.

So would you or have you done this? If you have what was the reaction from the person you educated?
The closest I've come to doing this in the last few years is one time that happened just a few weeks ago when I saw a cyclist up ahead riding without lights. When I caught up with her, I saw that she had a rear light, but it was off, and I asked if her batteries had died. She said yes. I said, "too bad, please be careful".

Other than that, I have said "good job with the lane positioning" a few times when I see a cyclist positioning him or herself on the left side of wide straight-or-right lane at a red light, thus making room for right turners to turn right on red.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
The only thing I do is yell 'wrong way' to wrong way riders I pass.
I forgot! I do do that too.

Also, when riding in groups, I will yell "five feet from the cars please" when someone in front of me is riding in the door zone, and I also yell "aim for the bike lane" when the head of the paceline is headed for the RTOL instead of the BL to the left of it at an intersection where we go straight.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:40 AM   #5
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You just gotta laugh, considering N_C was the guy who used to advocate handing out organ-donor cards to people who refused to wear a helmet at RAGBRAI. He's kinda reminding me of Dan Akryod after he got framed in Trading Places.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:06 PM   #6
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The only thing I do is yell "wrong way" to the cyclists riding against traffic, on my side of the road, because they affect me directly.

The best way to advocate better cycling is to do it well.

If beginning cyclists ask me to take them for a ride, I establish the ground rules in advance, i.e. use the correct lane, no running red lights and stop signs. I may explain why I'm doing something different than they are. Sometimes a beginning cyclist riding with me breaks the law or does something potentially very dangerous, causing problems for the group. I may try to explain the problem to them, but it may not go easily, especially with people older than I am.

My strategy right now is to try to recruit beginners into Road 1 classes. That way they can get the whole picture ahead of time, and any advice I give will be listened to.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:07 PM   #7
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You just gotta laugh, considering N_C was the guy who used to advocate handing out organ-donor cards to people who refused to wear a helmet at RAGBRAI. He's kinda reminding me of Dan Akryod after he got framed in Trading Places.
Yeah, I'm not sure which N_C I prefer.... he has such a sense of (equity/fairness/justness)[select one] but there is something else that is a little incongruous about him being anti-VC-ideology....
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Old 05-02-07, 12:19 PM   #8
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HH - "FIVE FEET FROM THE PARKED CARS!" I Swear he's admitted yelling at cyclists on group rides. sure way to have someone go 'Team Cinzano' on him, IMO.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bekologist
HH - "FIVE FEET FROM THE PARKED CARS!" I Swear he's admitted yelling at cyclists on group rides. sure way to have someone go 'Team Cinzano' on him, IMO.
Do you ride in pacelines and/or tight/fast pelotons that average 20 mph over hilly terrain much, Bek?

Something tells me you don't, and if you did, most of the yelling would be directed at you.
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Old 05-02-07, 12:31 PM   #10
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Needs to take a Dale Carnegie course

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Old 05-02-07, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Do you ride in pacelines and/or tight/fast pelotons that average 20 mph over hilly terrain much, Bek?

Something tells me you don't, and if you did, most of the yelling would be directed at you.
Something tells me you don't either, mr. head. you're a club fred weekender, though, that's for sure.

Nobody's yelling at me on group rides. The group rides I ride with average 22 MPH.
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Old 05-02-07, 01:08 PM   #12
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The group rides I ride with average 22 MPH.
Hmm. What bike do you use on those rides? Do these guys race? What cats? Do you?
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Old 05-02-07, 01:25 PM   #13
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nope. MYOB is my motto.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:02 PM   #14
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I once had a cantankerous roadie yell "Signal your turns" as I nodded to him while turning right.

The irony is that I had just signalled the turn.

With that idea in mind, I don't tell anyone how to ride while I'm riding. I may have missed something they did. The only thing I do is yell "Wrong way" to the obvious offenders, but even that is rare, as they're usually not in the road.

It's not my responsibility to babysit.
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Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:06 PM   #15
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Is it true? Is HH actually trying to pry out some street cred out of another cyclist when he won't answer questions as to his experience himself?

Somehow, in living carless and bike touring for a week from Seattle to Portland, I don't think that Bek needs to answer to HH's challenge.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:07 PM   #16
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Oh yea, I don't tell anyone how to ride their bike. It's not my place. I merely show by example.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:22 PM   #17
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I was once in the shared thru/RT lane adjacent to a LTOL. I was left biased about 3-4' to the right of the stripe separating thru from LT lane, with bike positioned directly over center of inductive sensor (they are left biased in shared thru/RT lanes). A decked out older commuter on bike pulled into left turn lane next to me and asked me in annoyed tone way which direction I was going and I told him straight and he gave me some lecture about needing to be more clear about which way I was going. I told him I couldn't be more clear, he responded saying that cyclist going straight should be to the right (actually he said/pointed 'over there' where there is a button to push to activative signal for those that can't figure out inductive sensors I guess) and it looked like I was going to turn left apparently turning into him or some such. At this point I was thinking and probably gave him a WTF look, but the light turned green so we went on our ways.

Sure he was being communicative and making sure, being 'extra safe', but the tone made me want to turn in front of him after all that.

Al
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Old 05-02-07, 02:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N_C
I have some serious questions for you. If you see a cyclist riding in a non VC or what you consider or interprite to be a non VC manner & if you can catch up to them do you stop them & educate them on how to ride VC? I am talking about if they are riding with traffic obeying traffic laws but as far as you can tell they are not riding VC or what you consider to be VC. If you do why?

I can tell you right now if you stopped me & tried to "educate" me on riding VC I'd tell you to **** off & worry about your own riding & let me worry about mine, especially if I'm not doing anything wrong obeying traffic laws, etc.

Before you say anything about it, yes it is possible to not ride VC, still ride on the roadways & obey all traffic laws. I know I've had to do it when I have needed to.

So would you or have you done this? If you have what was the reaction from the person you educated?
The question has no meaning. If a person is cycling to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, then he is riding in the vehicular manner.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
I was once in the shared thru/RT lane adjacent to a LTOL. I was left biased about 3-4' to the right of the stripe separating thru from LT lane, with bike positioned directly over center of inductive sensor (they are left biased in shared thru/RT lanes). A decked out older commuter on bike pulled into left turn lane next to me and asked me in annoyed tone way which direction I was going and I told him straight and he gave me some lecture about needing to be more clear about which way I was going. I told him I couldn't be more clear, he responded saying that cyclist going straight should be to the right (actually he said/pointed 'over there' where there is a button to push to activative signal for those that can't figure out inductive sensors I guess) and it looked like I was going to turn left apparently turning into him or some such. At this point I was thinking and probably gave him a WTF look, but the light turned green so we went on our ways.

Sure he was being communicative and making sure, being 'extra safe', but the tone made me want to turn in front of him after all that.

Al
This is why random acts of education don't work. If one wants to reach some commuters, start a community college class and teach them to ride in an environment where people are expecting to be taught. If you teach at random on the roadside, you just make people clam up and harden to your message, regardless if you are right or not.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
This is why random acts of education don't work. If one wants to reach some commuters, start a community college class and teach them to ride in an environment where people are expecting to be taught. If you teach at random on the roadside, you just make people clam up and harden to your message, regardless if you are right or not.
Thats why I wrote this example.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
Is it true? Is HH actually trying to pry out some street cred out of another cyclist when he won't answer questions as to his experience himself?

Somehow, in living carless and bike touring for a week from Seattle to Portland, I don't think that Bek needs to answer to HH's challenge.
+1 on both counts.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Forester
The question has no meaning. If a person is cycling to obey the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, then he is riding in the vehicular manner.
Curb hugging is within the traffic laws (and actually might be encouraged in some places), yet is not what most would consider riding in a vehicular manner.

Per your own ideas outlined in your book, rules of the road for drivers of vehicles are a subset of traffic law and are not always equivalent. When talking in reference to bicyclists, sometimes the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles encourages a riding style which is outside the specific traffic laws related to bicyclists.

I believe that N_C is referring to cyclists who are obeying traffic law, but are not adhering to commonly recognized principles of vehicular cycling.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
Thats why I wrote this example.
Al
Just reinforcing your opinion.
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Old 05-02-07, 02:57 PM   #24
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Educating car drivers on the other hand, can be quite rewarding.

Yesterday I was riding on a segment that has bike lanes and 35mph limit, but two signaled intersections in rapid succession on a downhill. So I exit the Bike Lane and smoothly merge into the right lane before the first intersection, and stay there through the second one. At the first light, the car driver behind me shouts "Why aren't you in the bike lane?!" After the 2nd light, I pull back into the BL, and we pull up side-to-side at the 3rd light (no right turn at the intersection). I give him the roll-down-your-window sign, and say, "Safety, my man. Imagine me in the bike lane getting right hooked by anyone turning right. This way is safer, and smoother. I'm not trying to hold anybody up." He looks at me and says, "Ok."
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Old 05-02-07, 03:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeytoun
Educating car drivers on the other hand, can be quite rewarding.
Here is my example which has similarities to yours:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UVCKzKJ74A (This is a video I've posted before)

As in this example (and like in zeytouns) I usually don't talk unless invited to.

Al
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