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Old 05-12-07, 03:53 PM   #1
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Has the zealocy of "VC Advocates" shaped your opinion?

This is a serious question.
I have been thinking some lately about the whole "VC" thing. I'm not talking about riding vehicularly, which people have been doing for ages, but rather the "whole" of the serman that is preached by VC zealots about attitude and all the other stuff that causes the flame wars.
For me; I had never heard of "VC" until I started coming in here. And after reading the posts by the zealous VC advocates and seeing how condecending they come off in their posts to others I made up my mind right then and there that "VC" is something that I do not want a part of and that I disliked John Forester before I ever read a thing he wrote. It was this forum (A&S) and a select few people that turned me off "VC" before I ever had a chance to see what it was all about. And since I am human (stubborn and set in my ways) I find it hard if not impossible to change that opinion, an opinion that, it would seem, was not made by me but instead forced upon me by the condecending nature of the advocates.

Is there anyone else in here who this applies to as well, in any form? Has anyone else had their opinion of "VC" molded by the asenine arguments and posts that happen in this forum?

Last edited by pj7; 05-12-07 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 05-12-07, 04:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by pj7
This is a serious question.
I have been thinking some lately about the whole "VC" thing. I'm not talking about riding vehicularly, which people have been doing for ages, but rather the "whole" of the serman that is preached by VC zealots about attitude and all the other stuff that causes the flame wars.
For me; I had never heard of "VC" until I started coming in here. And after reading the posts by the zealous VC advocates and seeing how condecending they come off in their posts to others I made up my mind right then and there that "VC" is something that I do not want a part of and that I disliked John Forester before I ever read a thing he wrote. It was this forum (A&S) and a select few people that turned me of "VC" before I ever had a chance to see what it was all about. And since I am human (stubborn and set in my ways) I find it hard if not impossible to change that opinion, an opinion that, it would seem, was not made by me but instead forced upon me by the condecending nature of the advocates.

Is there anyone else in here who this applies to as well, in any form? Has anyone else had their opinion of "VC" molded by the asenine arguments and posts that happen in this forum?
Well, yes, some people have been cycling in the vehicular manner since the beginning of cycling, or at least since the formal organization of traffic. And you imply that you do it. I suppose, however, that you had not noticed that societal policy and governmental policy and practice are opposed to vehicular cycling. That means that vehicular cycling needs to be defended. And you complain that we present a rather condescending attitude. Of course we do, because obeying the rules of the road is obviously the right thing to do and because the opposition to vehicular cycling is based on nothing but superstition, initially generated by the motoring establishment for the convenience of motorists. If the opposition to vehicular cycling had ever put up arguments based on facts and advanced by reason, there would be something to discuss. However, that has not occurred, yet the opposition still exists and is as argumentative as ever. Condescension? You deserve no more, and maybe worse.
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Old 05-12-07, 04:18 PM   #3
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Yes, the caustic nature of mossy john has DEFINETLY got me opposed to his lousy, autocentric visions.
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Old 05-12-07, 04:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by John Forester
Well, yes, some people have been cycling in the vehicular manner since the beginning of cycling, or at least since the formal organization of traffic. And you imply that you do it. I suppose, however, that you had not noticed that societal policy and governmental policy and practice are opposed to vehicular cycling. That means that vehicular cycling needs to be defended. And you complain that we present a rather condescending attitude. Of course we do, because obeying the rules of the road is obviously the right thing to do and because the opposition to vehicular cycling is based on nothing but superstition, initially generated by the motoring establishment for the convenience of motorists. If the opposition to vehicular cycling had ever put up arguments based on facts and advanced by reason, there would be something to discuss. However, that has not occurred, yet the opposition still exists and is as argumentative as ever. Condescension? You deserve no more, and maybe worse.
You are correct in assuming that I have not noticed that society nor government is against vehicular cycling, in fact I am sitting here under the impression that they are more on the pro side than the con. Sure, people yell "get off the road" and other sweet sentiments to us, but that does not necessarily mean that they are against vehicular cycling. I used to laugh at the people out jogging on the sidewalks every morning because they looked silly in their skin tight clothing while running in place waiting for the crossing signal, and would sometimes make snide remarks out my window about them runing from an invisible man, but that does not mean I am against physical fitness.
As for the condecending remarks, it is the remarks made to others, not the ones made in general, that helped to form my view, especially the "you don't get it" comments that seem to be a last ditch effort to bail out of a conversation. Or saying that the people who "don't get it" somehow have less of an IQ than those that do. there is a difference between poking fun at someone (me calling you a furry faced gibbon for example) and totally trying to make someone feel inferior by telling them that the reason they do not understand what you are talking about is because they do not have a proper education or that they have an intelligence less than the people you would perfer to talk to.
I do understand that we need a voice in the public, but if that voice personally degrades the people it is supposedly trying to help then where is the good in it? If a minority leader called the people he was trying to speak for (ignorant <insert racial slur here>) then really, how much good is he acomplishing when the people in the majority just laugh at him and use his comments to enforce their own prejudices.

You very well could be one of the nicest and most formally educated people I have every come into contact on the internet, but since my opinion of you was molded by smoeone else long before you ever came here I feel I will never find that out or accept it if I do.
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Old 05-12-07, 04:36 PM   #5
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I've been riding vehicularly since I started commuting.

I think VC is a wonderful thing.

I think Foresterism isn't so wonderful, though. I think Foresterism is called VC on these boards.

So, to answer your question: VC advocates, as in people who advocate for cycling in a vehicular fashion, are great. VC advocates, as in people who preach Foresterism, are atrocious.
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Old 05-12-07, 04:53 PM   #6
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Yep, I have ridden by the law for many, many thousands of miles before I even came across "VC" and 99% of those miles involved riding in the lane, following the law as a vehicle, etc. However, it wasn't done becase I was talked to like a child who needed someopne who knows what's best for me to do that. It was done becasue it made sense to me in a self-preservation sort of way based on how I ride and do things - not on how I think it should be for everyone's situations. The VC insansity here had lead me to make it VERY clear that I am not "VC", just a very attentive and alert cyclist who follows the rules of the road because it makes sense for me.
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Old 05-12-07, 05:04 PM   #7
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Vehicular cycling as a term to define riding according to the rules of the road is a good thing. The political BS that comes with it from John Forester and his band of merry zealots only divides the cycling community and empowers those who want to see bicycles removed from the road.
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Old 05-12-07, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pj7
This is a serious question.
I have been thinking some lately about the whole "VC" thing. I'm not talking about riding vehicularly, which people have been doing for ages, but rather the "whole" of the serman that is preached by VC zealots about attitude and all the other stuff that causes the flame wars.
For me; I had never heard of "VC" until I started coming in here. And after reading the posts by the zealous VC advocates and seeing how condecending they come off in their posts to others I made up my mind right then and there that "VC" is something that I do not want a part of and that I disliked John Forester before I ever read a thing he wrote. It was this forum (A&S) and a select few people that turned me of "VC" before I ever had a chance to see what it was all about. And since I am human (stubborn and set in my ways) I find it hard if not impossible to change that opinion, an opinion that, it would seem, was not made by me but instead forced upon me by the condecending nature of the advocates.

Is there anyone else in here who this applies to as well, in any form? Has anyone else had their opinion of "VC" molded by the asenine arguments and posts that happen in this forum?
I would agree with this whole-heartedly. In fact, In my own personal experience is that most blow-hard jackasses are pretty much wrong about everything, so the natural assumption is that they would be wrong about this as well. I have stated this before that a select few of the VC zealots in here do exactly the opposite of what they are intending to do just through their style of doing it, and have accused HH of actually being a pro-facilities plant placed here to enflame people against VC (jury's still out on that one). However, some others who directly or indirectly advocate VC at times like Zeytoun, Steve, Bek, and even Chip sometimes, that pass on their experience and advice without being condescending and pedantic have begun to change my opinion of "following the rules of the road" ;D
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Old 05-12-07, 05:39 PM   #9
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SingingSabre, natelutkjohn, chipcom, I think you hit the nail on the head... it isn't the message, but the delivery of the message that is corrosive.

I too have toured in a number of places in this country and in other countries with out the aid of any bike facilities and with some bike facilities... needless to say I accomplished my goals quite well without knowing of "VC" or "EC" or any of the politics involved. I commuted and was car free for about 10 years in the late '70s and early '80s and did it in a vehicular manner. I did not hear of Forester until some time in the mid '90s, and I only read his book about 5 years ago.

On the other hand, I have also observed a trend that seems to have come out of the "me generation" of the '80s; where motorists have been a bit less tolerant of cyclists on the road... perhaps it is the types of vehicles, or pace of life, or just general crowding... at any rate, the message isn't reaching the general public and they seem to be fine with crowding cyclists off the road. So the VC message certainly has barely made it to the tip of the cycling crowd and hasn't even begun to penetrate to the rest of the population... I think they feel they are just being nice by giving room to cyclists... it has nothing to do with our "rights" which the general population has no real idea of anyway.
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Old 05-12-07, 05:49 PM   #10
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SingingSabre, natelutkjohn, chipcom, I think you hit the nail on the head... it isn't the message, but the delivery of the message that is corrosive.
You got that right. I can't stand to read what Mossy John and Tom Cruise have to say anymore. I'm sick of being told that I have "Inferior Cyclist Syndrome" or whatever the **** they call it, when I know it's not the case. I ride in a manner that allows me to get where I need to go without getting killed and making as few concessions as possible. I also know that the couple hundred pounds of me and the bike have no chance in winning an argument with a couple thousand pounds of car or truck. I take the lane, I hold my position, but if the JIAC presses the issue I don't care what anyone says I'm taking the escape route I ensure I have at all times. The law of the land may be on my side, but the laws of physics sure aren't.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:25 PM   #11
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Yes, the zealotry of VC-ists here has definately helped turn me against VC-ism. VC zealots on this forum have been a compelling argument against VC-ism.

I have ridden according to the vehicular rules of the road for decades as a primary means of transportation. When I joined bikeforums, I pretty much believed everything that could be called VC dogma.

The absurd arguments of zealous VC advocates here and, especially, their despicable tactics, set off all kinds of crackpot alarm bells, so I started investigating further.

The recent behavior of John Forester here on this forum has removed any doubt I might have had.

I now honestly consider VC-ism to be about the worst (if not the worst) thing that has happened to the vehicular cycling concept in my lifetime.

I have no respect for some of the tactics some VC-ists (including, and maybe especially, their leader) employ. They discredit themselves. Their shoot-yourself-in-the-foot tactics have convinced me. I am now as strong an opponent of VC-ism as there could be. VC-ism is lunacy masquerading as science.

The VC-ist message and the way it is presented, not only here but elsewhere, is offensive and an insult to the intelligence of anyone exposed to it. The VC-ist brain trust evidently believes that they have all the answers and that the rest of us are all just too stupid to know what is in our own best interest. They turn a deaf ear to what life-long vehicular cyclists have to say, just as I'm sure they will turn a deaf ear to what is said in this thread.

Because, you see, VC-ists already know everything.

VC-ism is defined by the total lack of respect it has for the intelligence of others -- if there is any attitude that characterizes VC-ism, it is the belief that VC-ists, and only VC-ists, have the right answer. If there is any tactic that characterizes VC-ists, it is the tactic of belittling others (I would argue that name-calling and being insulting are John Forester's two greatest talents).

If fact, if someone asked me what VC-ism is all about, I'd say, "belittling and ridiculing others", the two things that most define the guru of VC-ism. The rest is just window dressing.

As it turns out, VC-ism is an ideology founded on quicksand - the quicksand of John Forester's wacky psychological and social theories.

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Old 05-12-07, 07:37 PM   #12
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Wow JRA, you really had alot to say. It seems as though you have thought about this greatly yourself.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:51 PM   #13
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Wow JRA, you really had alot to say. It seems as though you have thought about this greatly yourself.
I have thought about it a lot. And done a fair amount of research, including reading just about everything I have access to that John Forester has written. I have also spent a ridiculous amount of time reading various websites, both pro and anti-VC-ism. VC-ism is absurd. Some of the opposing philosophies are also absurd. I'm currently in the middle treading water and riding my bike.
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Old 05-12-07, 07:57 PM   #14
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I have thought about it a lot. And done a fair amount of research, including reading just about everything I have access to that John Forester has written. I have also spent a ridiculous amount of time reading various websites, both pro and anti-VC-ism. VC-ism is absurd. Some of the opposing philosophies are also absurd. I'm currently in the middle treading water and riding my bike.
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Old 05-12-07, 08:25 PM   #15
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Well, yes, some people have been cycling in the vehicular manner since the beginning of cycling, or at least since the formal organization of traffic. And you imply that you do it. I suppose, however, that you had not noticed that societal policy and governmental policy and practice are opposed to vehicular cycling. That means that vehicular cycling needs to be defended. And you complain that we present a rather condescending attitude. Of course we do, because obeying the rules of the road is obviously the right thing to do and because the opposition to vehicular cycling is based on nothing but superstition, initially generated by the motoring establishment for the convenience of motorists. If the opposition to vehicular cycling had ever put up arguments based on facts and advanced by reason, there would be something to discuss. However, that has not occurred, yet the opposition still exists and is as argumentative as ever. Condescension? You deserve no more, and maybe worse.
I guess, John, that you feel the need to be condescending toward those of us who question certain provisions in what you define as VC. This kind of communication, in Transactional Analysis terms, is a "crossed communication." Usually, in a discussion within a community like we have here, we try to talk "adult to adult." But when the discussion comes back from the VC people, it is "parent to child." If we continue to discuss adult-adult, then you start calling us names. When you (plural senser of the "you") come in, and some others I could easily name, except they don't go by their own names, with this VC dictitorial approach ("My way or the highway...") toward others who disagree with you, you definately turn people off. And these are the very people who take the time to come to this A&S forum because we are excited about bicycling. If you are willing to make enemies here, and this response above is one which will not make anyone a friend, then what are you really offering to the bicycling community? I will be explaining more of my thoughts on the term "VC," and the connotations I have from these forums, in this thread:

Why are there no women advocating VC?

John
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Old 05-12-07, 08:30 PM   #16
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I guess, John, that you feel the need to be condescending toward those of us who question certain provisions in what you define as VC. This kind of communication, in Transactional Analysis terms, is a "crossed communication." Usually, in a discussion within a community like we have here, we try to talk "adult to adult." But when the discussion comes back from the VC people, it is "parent to child." If we continue to discuss adult-adult, then you start calling us names. When you (plural senser of the "you") come in, and some others I could easily name, except they don't go by their own names, with this VC dictitorial approach ("My way or the highway...") toward others who disagree with you, you definately turn people off. And these are the very people who take the time to come to this A&S forum because we are excited about bicycling. If you are willing to make enemies here, and this response above is one which will not make anyone a friend, then what are you really offering to the bicycling community? I will be explaining more of my thoughts on the term "VC," and the connotations I have from these forums, in this thread:

Why are there no women advocating VC?

John
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Old 05-12-07, 08:32 PM   #17
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Well, yes, some people have been cycling in the vehicular manner since the beginning of cycling, or at least since the formal organization of traffic. And you imply that you do it. I suppose, however, that you had not noticed that societal policy and governmental policy and practice are opposed to vehicular cycling. That means that vehicular cycling needs to be defended. And you complain that we present a rather condescending attitude. Of course we do, because obeying the rules of the road is obviously the right thing to do and because the opposition to vehicular cycling is based on nothing but superstition, initially generated by the motoring establishment for the convenience of motorists. If the opposition to vehicular cycling had ever put up arguments based on facts and advanced by reason, there would be something to discuss. However, that has not occurred, yet the opposition still exists and is as argumentative as ever. Condescension? You deserve no more, and maybe worse.
The consistency of this message and its inherent negativity is truly frightening.
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Old 05-12-07, 08:34 PM   #18
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Vehicular cycling as a term to define riding according to the rules of the road is a good thing. The political BS that comes with it from John Forester and his band of merry zealots only divides the cycling community and empowers those who want to see bicycles removed from the road.
+1
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Old 05-12-07, 08:37 PM   #19
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On the other hand, I have also observed a trend that seems to have come out of the "me generation" of the '80s; where motorists have been a bit less tolerant of cyclists on the road... perhaps it is the types of vehicles, or pace of life, or just general crowding... at any rate, the message isn't reaching the general public and they seem to be fine with crowding cyclists off the road. So the VC message certainly has barely made it to the tip of the cycling crowd and hasn't even begun to penetrate to the rest of the population... I think they feel they are just being nice by giving room to cyclists... it has nothing to do with our "rights" which the general population has no real idea of anyway.
This is why the failure to include motorist education in the Foresterologists agenda is so egregious.

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Old 05-12-07, 08:42 PM   #20
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The consistency of this message and its inherent negativity is truly frightening.
It's one of the main reasons he and "Tom Cruise" can kiss my
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Old 05-12-07, 08:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by John Forester
Well, yes, some people have been cycling in the vehicular manner since the beginning of cycling, or at least since the formal organization of traffic. And you imply that you do it. I suppose, however, that you had not noticed that societal policy and governmental policy and practice are opposed to vehicular cycling. That means that vehicular cycling needs to be defended. And you complain that we present a rather condescending attitude. Of course we do, because obeying the rules of the road is obviously the right thing to do and because the opposition to vehicular cycling is based on nothing but superstition, initially generated by the motoring establishment for the convenience of motorists. If the opposition to vehicular cycling had ever put up arguments based on facts and advanced by reason, there would be something to discuss. However, that has not occurred, yet the opposition still exists and is as argumentative as ever. Condescension? You deserve no more, and maybe worse.
If he rides according to VC, how is he the opposition?

Do you believe the education of VC is important? What sort of relationship should the teacher have with the student to get the best results?
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Old 05-12-07, 09:00 PM   #22
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For me; I had never heard of "VC" until I started coming in here. And after reading the posts by the zealous VC advocates and seeing how condecending they come off in their posts to others I made up my mind right then and there that "VC" is something that I do not want a part of and that I disliked John Forester before I ever read a thing he wrote. It was this forum (A&S) and a select few people that turned me of "VC" before I ever had a chance to see what it was all about.
I'm sorry that's happened to you, and to many others on this board who have always been quite vocal about their dislike of "VC advocates." But as I've also always said, people who share similar opinions about things don't always share the same personalities. You really shouldn't equate (and I don't mean to talk down to you by telling you how to think) personalities with ideas. Not that it's not tempting, but there are many cyclists who share some of John Forester's views on certain aspects of cycling that do not share his confrontational personality. The assimilation of ideas, ideally, should not be limited by personality, but there you have it, it is.

I have sometimes cringed at the overly strong language John Forester has used to ridicule his opponents. But by the same token, his opponents on this board have not exactly been angels, man. I have taken quite a few hits myself, just because I admitted I agreed with the man about some things. But agreeing about some things does not make one a "disciple," "acolyte," etc. (you get the picture, enough of that.)

But seriously, do you not notice that I, myself, have attempted on many occasions to bridge the gap between these opposing groups? I have argued with HH and ILTB, Gene and Bek, Sbhikes. I have also agreed with these people.(I think the only person I have not argued with is myself...wait, no, maybe I have...) I think I have even lost a friend over it. I am not an "idealogue," and I sincerely see the kinship we all share when facing problems associated with sharing the roads with motor traffic, as well as the problems in using some facilities.

My hope is that I can remain honest in my opinions, regardless of which side of the fence those opinions fall, and that you (and other cyclists) can separate personality from viewpoint.

Nobody is cut out like cookies on a sheet. And that's a really good thing, don't you think?
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Old 05-12-07, 09:02 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by georgiaboy
If he rides according to VC, how is he the opposition?

Do you believe education of VC is important? What sort of relationship should the teacher have with the student to get the best results?
I do ride vehicularly when it suits me. which means I ride vehicularly any time I am within a lane on a public road. But I am a proponent of bicycle paths, lanes, and other facilities. I could get into the reason why but it will do nothing more than switch this thread from my intentioned purpose to a bike lane debate and I do not want that.
However, I am opposed to the ideology of "VC" as defined by the numerous posts by Helmet Head and others where they believe (or so it would seem) that you need some sort of attitude in order to ride vehicularly and also that you must believe that bike facilities are dangerous and should not be in the first place.
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Old 05-12-07, 09:20 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I'm sorry that's happened to you, and to many others on this board who have always been quite vocal about their dislike of "VC advocates." But as I've also always said, people who share similar opinions about things don't always share the same personalities. You really shouldn't equate (and I don't mean to talk down to you by telling you how to think) personalities with ideas. Not that it's not tempting, but there are many cyclists who share some of John Forester's views on certain aspects of cycling that do not share his confrontational personality. The assimilation of ideas, ideally, should not be limited by personality, but there you have it, it is.
It is not for you to apologize for the way I feel. And as you mentioned, I do not necessarily equate personalities with opinions. there are plenty of other people on here who are VC advocates who do not subscribe to the controversial aspects of it. And I have never (to my knowledge) said one cross thing to any of them. You and Gene come to mind when I think of that. It is quite clear to me that you guys are Vehicular Cyclists but you do not talk about the psychological and political aspects of VC when you are talking about cycling.
It is the other Vehicular Cyclists that have helped to shape my opinion and their "either you are with us or against us and an untelligent illiterate" attitude that irks the ever loving **** out of me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I have sometimes cringed at the overly strong language John Forester has used to ridicule his opponents. But by the same token, his opponents on this board have not exactly been angels, man. I have taken quite a few hits myself, just because I admitted I agreed with the man about some things. But agreeing about some things does not make one a "disciple," "acolyte," etc. (you get the picture, enough of that.)
Yes, I understand you completely. And I have agreed with the VCists myself on certain aspects of things, even Helmet Head. But we are all human and strong language (read: rude language) is a part of our being, so I never take offense at someone for using strong and/or foul language with me, it is the "I'm smarter and better than you" posts that makes my browneye tight enough to turn coal into diamonds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
But seriously, do you not notice that I, myself, have attempted on many occasions to bridge the gap between these opposing groups? I have argued with HH and ILTB, Gene and Bek, Sbhikes. I have also agreed with these people.(I think the only person I have not argued with is myself...wait, no, maybe I have...) I think I have even lost a friend over it. I am not an "idealogue," and I sincerely see the kinship we all share when facing problems associated with sharing the roads with motor traffic, as well as the problems in using some facilities.
Off the top of my head I can not recall any of these instances. But I usually don't remember who posted what in what thread about so and so subject thus I will take your word on it.
But bridging the gap is hard when only one side is willing to comprimise and the other stands on the opposite bank tossing intellectual insults and saying you just don't get it every time they get tired of the discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
My hope is that I can remain honest in my opinions, regardless of which side of the fence those opinions fall, and that you (and other cyclists) can separate personality from viewpoint.

Nobody is cut out like cookies on a sheet. And that's a really good thing, don't you think?
I can back you on this. A statement that some people should really heed.
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Old 05-12-07, 09:28 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by pj7
Is there anyone else in here who this applies to as well, in any form? Has anyone else had their opinion of "VC" molded by the asenine arguments and posts that happen in this forum?
There are more sane VC people out there, pj7. This IS the
worst of the worst if thats any consolation to you. Unfortunately,
this whole board is sort of the microcosm of the macrocosm on
why bicyclists are our own worst enemy and will pretty much just
be relegated to 'fringe' group as far as being a bloc goes.
We will never achieve the power that an ABATE, AARP or NRA has.
Too much petty infighting.....VCers disapprove of non-VCers, commuters
hate roadies, etc...everyone is right and everyone else is wrong...

Last edited by -=(8)=-; 05-12-07 at 09:46 PM.
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