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Old 05-10-07, 06:46 AM   #1
LittleBigMan
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How many cyclists are regular VC forum posters?

Just wondering. It's as if a handful of cyclists (who have decent computers) constanty show up here and argue over...you know.

As much as I love what technology offers us, do we really represent a true sample of the cycling community?

I wonder if now we are going to start arguing over what the opinions of those who do not (or cannot) post here would be, if they did/could post, or if their opinions matter...
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Old 05-10-07, 07:11 AM   #2
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Furthermore, are us "regulars" on A&S even a representative sample of those of us on BF? I'm sure there's a lot of lurkers that don't want to post.
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Old 05-10-07, 07:54 AM   #3
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From the number of PMs the moderators receive complaining about A&S and the VC subforum, I would say there there are just a few posters (relatively speaking) and many lurkers (who would like to post but are totally repulsed by the nature and the tone of many of the arguments here).
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Old 05-10-07, 08:57 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by donnamb
From the number of PMs the moderators receive complaining about A&S and the VC subforum, I would say there there are just a few posters (relatively speaking) and many lurkers (who would like to post but are totally repulsed by the nature and the tone of many of the arguments here).
We're sort of the unofficial "leper colony" of BF?

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Old 05-10-07, 09:15 AM   #5
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Suprised?
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Old 05-10-07, 09:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
As much as I love what technology offers us, do we really represent a true sample of the cycling community?
I don't recall anyone ever arguing that we did represent a true sample of the cycling community.

But I think the answer is, of course not.

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Old 05-10-07, 09:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by donnamb
From the number of PMs the moderators receive complaining about A&S and the VC subforum, I would say there there are just a few posters (relatively speaking) and many lurkers (who would like to post but are totally repulsed by the nature and the tone of many of the arguments here).
Sounds like the VC subforum should be rated "R".
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Old 05-10-07, 10:41 AM   #8
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Suprised?
Well, yes...at least, the first time I realized it, I was suprised.

Now, I just live with the stigma on a day-to-day basis and try not to look at the dark side.
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Old 05-10-07, 10:52 AM   #9
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Actually, my main point was not that we are being shunned by so many potential posters. Boosting participation is not the reason to post, anyway. It's about expressing your views.

I was thinking more along the lines of how a small group of mostly the same faces go round-and-round about the same issues. It's almost like Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring-Summer...

...I'm starting to think we resemble family get togethers where the same stories keep getting recirculated. "Gee, I haven't heard that story, Uncle Bob!"
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Old 05-10-07, 11:26 AM   #10
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I'm thinking around 12 or so people here. With a core of about 8. Compare that to the number of lurkers who's numbers at any one time number in the 30's and 40's. One poll, I am pretty sure, recieved well over 100 votes, but the same 12 or so people were the only ones posting.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
I'm thinking around 12 or so people here. With a core of about 8. Compare that to the number of lurkers who's numbers at any one time number in the 30's and 40's. One poll, I am pretty sure, recieved well over 100 votes, but the same 12 or so people were the only ones posting.
yup, this sub-forum is the P&R of cycling. The only reason I come in here anymore is for entertainment from reading the endless, pointless, circular debate just like the debates over abortion, gun control, etc. because there is NO advocacy going on here.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:51 AM   #12
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I have a hunch the majority of cyclists have no idea what VC is, nor any of the other terminology so often tossed around here for that matter. It's likely that most cyclists just hop on their bikes and don't ponder over every excruciatingly subtle little nuance about the experience. They just ride and enjoy it for what it is. Probably have to deal with the occasional a-hole motorist and poor road conditions, but somehow learn to live with it and still have a good time riding their bicycles.

Just a guess, of course I have no statistics to back up any of those statements.
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Old 05-10-07, 12:24 PM   #13
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Just a guess, of course I have no statistics to back up any of those statements.
Then god forbid you post that statement in a VC forum thread other then this one
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Old 05-10-07, 12:49 PM   #14
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yup, this sub-forum is the P&R of cycling. The only reason I come in here anymore is for entertainment from reading the endless, pointless, circular debate just like the debates over abortion, gun control, etc. because there is NO advocacy going on here.
What do you mean by advocacy?

I think that there is discussion of relevant issues. But the vast majority of discussion is about the topics that people disagree on.
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Old 05-10-07, 01:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
As much as I love what technology offers us, do we really represent a true sample of the cycling community?
Of course not. Do you think even 1% of the cycling community ever heard of the term "Vehicular Cycling?" Or give a dang what John Forester says or ever said?

IMO, a problem for some on this list (and elsewhere) is that they exclude from their consideration of "the cycling community" anyone and everyone who doesn't fit the profile that they think represents Real Cyclists, usually adult college trained bicycling enthusiasts.


To see just how unrepresentative the BF community can be outside of A&S take a look at the commuting list. How representative do you think the bikes pictured are of the bikes used by by bike commuters who don't fit the profile of bicycling enthusiasts and club cyclists who happen to commute.

Read the responses when people ask if the other BF commuters wear a helmet, cycling gloves, cycling shorts, or most telling - bike shoes that attach to the pedals. Nothing wrong with any of those things but the percentages seem all out of whack when looking at the so-called "kit" of the commuting cyclists on city streets. And of course doesn't even remotely represent the appearance or equipment usage of the largest commuting populations in the US - youth, low income workers and college students.
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Old 05-10-07, 01:22 PM   #16
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count the number of responses to any poll in this section and you will have your answer. Based on zeytoun's recent poll, that number is less than two dozen.
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Old 05-10-07, 01:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Just wondering. It's as if a handful of cyclists (who have decent computers) constanty show up here and argue over...you know.

As much as I love what technology offers us, do we really represent a true sample of the cycling community?

I wonder if now we are going to start arguing over what the opinions of those who do not (or cannot) post here would be, if they did/could post, or if their opinions matter...
It is obvious that this group, both those who post and those who only lurk, is not representative of cyclists.

However, it might well be more reasonably considered to be representative of those who think about the issues involved in bicycle transportation and who are active in their communities. I have not seen any posting by people who are active bicycle planners, and one might consider this to be a serious deficit, but I disagree. I disagree because I defined the subject as thinking about the issues involved in bicycle transportation, and I see precious little thought in the bicycle planning field. Such persons simply believe the current superstition and carry it out according to the official instructions for doing so, without considering what they should be doing instead.

We here have a serious discussion of the real issues regarding bicycle transportation, at least in the American context. I think that it is reasonable to say that the content of these discussions represents the best thinking in the field. Bicycle transportation is so low on both the intellectual and the professional scales that it has been impossible to produce a technical society with journal to suit. There have been several tries at a technical journal over the years, and each has failed from lack of interest in the form of money. I have tried to form a technical society several times, or to join the efforts of others to do so, and each of these attempts has failed. So there it is.

In a way, these discussions depict today's foremost thoughts on bicycle transportation, and that constitutes knowledge, which is valuable.

The above was deliberately written without advancing any conclusion as to the most reasonable conclusions to be drawn from these discussions. Just accept that there has been value in them.
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Old 05-10-07, 04:23 PM   #18
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... or most telling - bike shoes that attach to the pedals.
How true.
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Old 05-10-07, 04:52 PM   #19
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I come for the entertainment.
However, I have to admit, that I have also learned a lot.
Sometimes it takes a lot of filtering to find that nugget of gold info, but it is there, hidden away in some of the threads.
The other thing I wonder, is when do these people ever ride their bikes or have any resemblence of a real life. They post all day and night. I ride every chance I get, and post when I can't be riding {like at work...oopps...here comes the boss now**

One bad thing about lurking in VC, is it makes all the other forums seem boring and overly polite.
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Old 05-10-07, 05:48 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by invisiblehand
What do you mean by advocacy?

I think that there is discussion of relevant issues. But the vast majority of discussion is about the topics that people disagree on.
Well, I don't mean endless arguments about the merit of JF's work. Our in-fighting here only reflects poorly on cyclists as a whole. Not that as a body we should not be able to air issues out, but we also shouldn't be picking scabs every chance we get either.

There are people that come in this forum to read about how to be better cyclists and how to be a better advocate for their sport to increase numbers of those enjoying it, retain their legal rights and to teach others to be better, safer cyclists. I don't think that we are serve that reader or the cycling community very well.
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Old 05-10-07, 07:32 PM   #21
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I think we need a poll.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:33 PM   #22
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Well, I don't mean endless arguments about the merit of JF's work. Our in-fighting here only reflects poorly on cyclists as a whole. Not that as a body we should not be able to air issues out, but we also shouldn't be picking scabs every chance we get either.

There are people that come in this forum to read about how to be better cyclists and how to be a better advocate for their sport to increase numbers of those enjoying it, retain their legal rights and to teach others to be better, safer cyclists. I don't think that we are serve that reader or the cycling community very well.

+1000.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:54 PM   #23
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(#1)...it might well be more reasonably considered to be representative of those who think about the issues involved in bicycle transportation and who are active in their communities.

(#2) We here have a serious discussion of the real issues regarding bicycle transportation, at least in the American context. I think that it is reasonable to say that the content of these discussions represents the best thinking in the field...

(#3) In a way, these discussions depict today's foremost thoughts on bicycle transportation, and that constitutes knowledge, which is valuable...

The above was deliberately written without advancing any conclusion as to the most reasonable conclusions to be drawn from these discussions. Just accept that there has been value in them.
#1. As someone who has been involved in cycling advocacy (and remains active) since 1970. I respectfully disagree. The discussions in the A&S forum and in this sub-forum in particular are not representative of most contemporary urban planning and advocacy, which is more accurately represented by groups like "Livable Streets" and "Transportation Alternatives". These groups are far more wholistic in their approach to the integration of bicycles as part of a broad spectrum of solutions to the flaws of our transportation infrastructure with particular attention to congested urban areas.
They are far less narrow minded, remarkably resourceful, open minded and accepting of new ideas and approaches than anything I have seen in this sub-forum. I very occasionally lurk here and very seldom post in this sub-forum because it is usually a waste of valuable time spent either biking, involved in real advocacy, doing my laundry, watching a movie or reading a good book.

#2.see the above. I think anyone posting, lurking or obsessing over the VC sub-forums is deluding themselves if they think they are actually providing useful information, promoting cycling or safe cycling practices. This sub-forum seems devoted to those who love to argue. The fact that in the year and a half I've been reading and posting in BF the same arguments have been spinning their wheels with no forward momentum at all is all the evidence I need that it is for entertainment value at best. I liken it to putting your bike on a trainer, riding it for 5 hours and claiming to have ridden a challenging century. It's not the same thing. Sure it's a workout but it's a virtual workout- you haven't really gone anywhere.

#3. Again, I respectfully disagree. If the same 2 dozen people who post here regularly spent a like number of hours riding their bikes, talking with other cyclists, attending advocacy meetings, writing to legislators it would be infinitely more valuable. And open minds and civil discourse would be evident in these threads, which in my opinion is sorely lacking.

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Old 05-10-07, 10:15 PM   #24
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#1. As someone who has been involved in cycling advocacy (and remains active) since 1970. I respectfully disagree. The discussions in the A&S forum and in this sub-forum in particular are not representative of most contemporary urban planning and advocacy, which is more accurately represented by groups like "Livable Streets" and "Transportation Alternatives". These groups are far more wholistic in their approach to the integration of bicycles as part of a broad spectrum of solutions to the flaws of our transportation infrastructure with particular attention to congested urban areas.
They are far less narrow minded, remarkably resourceful, open minded and accepting of new ideas and approaches than anything I have seen in this sub-forum. I very occasionally lurk here and very seldom post in this sub-forum because it is usually a waste of valuable time spent either biking, involved in real advocacy, doing my laundry, watching a movie or reading a good book.

#2.see the above. I think anyone posting, lurking or obsessing over the VC sub-forums is deluding themselves if they think they are actually providing useful information, promoting cycling or safe cycling practices. This sub-forum seems devoted to those who love to argue. The fact that in the year and a half I've been reading and posting in BF the same arguments have been spinning their wheels with no forward momentum at all is all the evidence I need that it is for entertainment value at best. I liken it to putting your bike on a trainer, riding it for 5 hours and claiming to have ridden a challenging century. It's not the same thing. Sure it's a workout but it's a virtual workout- you haven't really gone anywhere.

#3. Again, I respectfully disagree. If the same 2 dozen people who post here regularly spent a like number of hours riding their bikes, talking with other cyclists, attending advocacy meetings, writing to legislators it would be infinitely more valuable. And open minds and civil discourse would be evident in these threads, which in my opinion is sorely lacking.
Ah, yes, Livable Streets and Transportation Alternatives, two of the big noises in the anti-motoring sphere, reasonably "representative of most contemporary urban planning and advocacy," which is precisely what's wrong with them. Anyone who thinks that "contemporary urban planning and advocacy" will do anything significant for the welfare of cyclists is deluded. That field is primarily opposed to motoring, with, unfortunately, the side effect of being harmful to cyclists. And, in fact, not able to do much good for cyclists by producing new cities that are suited to bicycle transportation.
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Old 05-10-07, 10:29 PM   #25
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Ah, yes, Livable Streets and Transportation Alternatives, two of the big noises in the anti-motoring sphere, reasonably "representative of most contemporary urban planning and advocacy," which is precisely what's wrong with them. Anyone who thinks that "contemporary urban planning and advocacy" will do anything significant for the welfare of cyclists is deluded. That field is primarily opposed to motoring, with, unfortunately, the side effect of being harmful to cyclists. And, in fact, not able to do much good for cyclists by producing new cities that are suited to bicycle transportation.
Why is the side effect being harmful to cyclists? Most traffic reduction and urban renewal plans make explicit their inclusion of cyclists. I am not familiar with these two groups; Portland seems to have its own homegrown version of this (as well as cycling advocacy). How does their planning make things worse for cyclists?
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