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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Is it necessary...

    ...to oppose bike lanes in specific to be a vehicular cyclist? I am interested specifically in John Forester's and Helmet Head's answers to this question, but others are welcome to answer as well.

    I ask because it often seems to come down to this question. Might as well ask the question directly. FWIW, I'm not interested in starting a debate about this subject. Just an honest answer.
    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

  2. #2
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I'd be interested in hearing the answer as well.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    ...to oppose bike lanes in specific to be a vehicular cyclist? I am interested specifically in John Forester's and Helmet Head's answers to this question, but others are welcome to answer as well.

    I ask because it often seems to come down to this question. Might as well ask the question directly. FWIW, I'm not interested in starting a debate about this subject. Just an honest answer.
    There are two levels of vehicular cycling. The first is just doing it without worrying about anything else. As long as you are concerned only about yourself, and you live in a state that does not enforce some cyclist-inferiority law (such as a mandatory bike-lane law), that can be all that matters to you.

    However, if you choose to advocate vehicular cycling, then you have to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the social and governmental forces that oppose vehicular cycling, as embodied in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    There are two levels of vehicular cycling. The first is just doing it without worrying about anything else. As long as you are concerned only about yourself, and you live in a state that does not enforce some cyclist-inferiority law (such as a mandatory bike-lane law), that can be all that matters to you.

    However, if you choose to advocate vehicular cycling, then you have to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the social and governmental forces that oppose vehicular cycling, as embodied in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.
    Let me say up front that I have absolutely no issues or questions on the advocacy of better training for cyclists. I agree with you here.

    As for the second part, does this mean to adopt some sort of bicycling license? There is no way to build a road to avoid incompetence, although there are ways of limiting the amount of competence necessary to use the road. This is the general aim of bike lanes, where they are installed in good faith. WOLs suffer from encouraging ill-trained cyclists to ride much further to the right than is safe; if there is a sidewalk, it encourages sidewalk cycling. This has been documented (regardless of what your opinion of the conclusions the study comes to) in the University of Texas study regarding this subject. The only way I can see of engineering a road to avoid some sort of formal and government issued test of competence is to essentially scare ill-trained cyclists off the road. The only problem I see with this solution, though, is that it makes it harder and more stressful (don't confuse this with more dangerous, that is a different question and I am inclined to agree with you on the relevent points you would make) for even trained cyclists to ride on the road.

    How does a vehicular cycling advocate walk this line? How do you avoid the social issues revolving around the adoption of bicycle licensing, and if not that, how do you enforce education?
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    **cross-posted from "Pro VC editorial in LA Times today" thread**

    Quote Originally Posted by joejack951

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    I'll put in Helmet Head's disclaimer:

    I only state my opinion. My opinion is formed by what is talked about by the "pro-VC" camp on these forums. So, to me to be "Pro-VC", it basically all comes down to "no-bike lane." People who ride vehicularly but who do not oppose bike lanes are looked on as heretics.

    Again, this is my impression you all have given me by what you talk about in these forums. Feel free to prove me wrong about the "Pro-VC" clique that doesn't include cyclists like myself who approve of bike lanes but bicycle in a vehicular manner.

    [/sarcasm]

    Someone tell me: If I started a dust up about bike lanes on Chainguard, would I be kicked off, despite my riding in a vehicular manner? I believe at least one member of these forums has been kicked off Chainguard for exactly that? Is it my political positions (the VC politics seem to all lead back to bike lanes, so it seems) that defines me as a vehicular cyclist, or my riding style and my approach to riding in traffic?

    Are you saying that opposing bike lanes is a necessery but not sufficient condition to be part of the clique? But it is necessary, right?

    I would not be opposed to a bike lane which does not promote cycling against the rules of the road. This basically eliminates bike lanes in any urban and most suburban settings. It also means that bike lanes on roads with few intersections and high speeds would be treated as normal traffic lanes in that whenever other vehicular traffic was to cross the bike lane, the bike lane and traffic lane would merge first, then diverge as is common with normal traffic lanes. There would be none of the blue bike lane treatment that Portland seems to be so proud of.
    What do you promote in the bike lane's place? In the hands of the wrong cyclist, a WOL can also promote cycling against the rules of the road and against best practices of traffic cycling. In the hands of a well trained cyclist, neither a bike lane nor a WOL prevent following the rules of the road.
    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

  6. #6
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    However, if you choose to advocate vehicular cycling, then you have to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the social and governmental forces that oppose vehicular cycling, as embodied in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.
    Response to similar Forester statement is below.

    Pro VC editorial in LA Times today

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    **cross-posted from "Pro VC editorial in LA Times today" thread**



    What do you promote in the bike lane's place? In the hands of the wrong cyclist, a WOL can also promote cycling against the rules of the road and against best practices of traffic cycling. In the hands of a well trained cyclist, neither a bike lane nor a WOL prevent following the rules of the road.
    I would promote road striping which assumes a level of competence of the road users, like all of the current road striping (save for bike lanes) does already. This means that on roads where bike lanes are striped, before any intersection the bike lane would merge in with the right most traffic lane like a truck lane does before an exit ramp. At the exit/right turn area, there would be only one right most lane and you would be able to go straight or exit/turn from it. After the intersection, the bike lane would again diverge from the traffic lane. Bike lanes would never cross other traffic lanes and they would never cross the turning path of right turning motorists.

    Where the number of intersections made bike lanes and the necessary merges and diverges impractical, such as on most urban and many suburban streets, bike lanes would not be striped. Long intersectional stretches of low speed road seem to be pretty uncommon, if not non-existant, so it would generally go without saying that low speed roads would not have bike lanes.

    In cities with dense traffic, wide curb lanes would make filtering by cyclists easier although not as mindless of any activity as bike lanes can make it. WOL's could also be used on higher speed arterials where proper bike lane striping would be cumbersome although as the intersection count went up, I'd prefer a narrow outside lane over a WOL.

    WOL's prevent the common mistake of cyclists assuming that they are not part of traffic because they have their own special lane. WOL's also do not mislead motorists into thinking that the bike lane striped area of the road is off limits for turning manuevers and provide less reinforcement of "cyclists must stay against the curb" mentality for both motorists and cyclists. It's a compromise for sure but much less so than bike lanes in my opinion.

    Incompetent cycling is dangerous no matter where the cyclist is positioned on the road so I don't see a real positive benefit of pulling incompetent cyclists off the sidewalk or away from the curb by striping bike lanes, especially due to the misunderstanding about right of way and positioning at intersections in bike lanes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff
    **cross-posted from "Pro VC editorial in LA Times today" thread**



    What do you promote in the bike lane's place? In the hands of the wrong cyclist, a WOL can also promote cycling against the rules of the road and against best practices of traffic cycling. In the hands of a well trained cyclist, neither a bike lane nor a WOL prevent following the rules of the road.
    I do not know the reason for this argument appearing twice, but I will repeat my question regarding it.

    I presume that you mean that a wide outside lane is more conducive to cycling that disobeys the rules of the road than is a standard width lane. Please explain why you think that this is so.

  9. #9
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    There are two levels of vehicular cycling. The first is just doing it without worrying about anything else. As long as you are concerned only about yourself, and you live in a state that does not enforce some cyclist-inferiority law (such as a mandatory bike-lane law), that can be all that matters to you.

    However, if you choose to advocate vehicular cycling, then you have to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the social and governmental forces that oppose vehicular cycling, as embodied in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.

    Nice to see that you have finally admitted to what I have been saying all along...there are two components to vehicular cycling...technical, as in how one rides, and political. So to be a vehicular cyclist, one merely has to ride according to the rules of the road, while to be an advanced vehicular cyclist, one must be a politician as well.
    "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

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Nice to see that you have finally admitted to what I have been saying all along...there are two components to vehicular cycling...technical, as in how one rides, and political. So to be a vehicular cyclist, one merely has to ride according to the rules of the road, while to be an advanced vehicular cyclist, one must be a politician as well.
    No, to be a VC advocate one must be a politician as well. This is such an obvious distinction, but hardly any of the regulars on this forum understand it. It's like their heads will explode if they have to think of two ideas at the same time.

    KABOOM!!!!


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  11. #11
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Bike lanes were not invented by engineers. The stripping of bike lanes started as a political issue and remains a political issue today.

    So if you oppose the mandatory use of bike lanes or the installation of the terrible, dangerous bike lanes such as Hawaii has, you have to engage in the political arena.

    http://img208.imageshack.us/my.php?i...ture006ft3.jpg
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  12. #12
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    No, to be a VC advocate one must be a politician as well. This is such an obvious distinction, but hardly any of the regulars on this forum understand it.
    It's what I've been saying all along. I'm not a Vehicular Cyclist™ because I don't oppose bike lanes. I ride vehicularly, but don't oppose bike lanes. Opposing bike lanes is required to get the little ™ symbol and the capital letters. Otherwise, vehicular cycling is just another tool for my toolbox.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  13. #13
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    There are two levels of vehicular cycling. The first is just doing it without worrying about anything else. As long as you are concerned only about yourself, and you live in a state that does not enforce some cyclist-inferiority law (such as a mandatory bike-lane law), that can be all that matters to you.

    However, if you choose to advocate vehicular cycling, then you have to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the social and governmental forces that oppose vehicular cycling, as embodied in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.
    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    It's what I've been saying all along. I'm not a Vehicular Cyclist™ because I don't oppose bike lanes. ...
    Diane, it appears you still do not quite get it.

  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Diane, it appears you still do not quite get it.
    Bike Lanes, Bike Shmanes; that is a sideshow. Forester Brand Vehicular Cycling Advocacy is all about the required training that he and his dedicated followers are trying to promote/foist on an uninterested public. And opposition to any program that is not a part and parcel of promoting that training requirement.

  15. #15
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Yes, we all know how much you hate training for cyclist!
    But when were you ever forced to take the mandatory cycling training?

  16. #16
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI
    Yes, we all know how much you hate training for cyclist!
    But when were you ever forced to take the mandatory cycling training?
    Don't be obtuse.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    However, if you choose to advocate vehicular cycling, then you have to both advocate better training for cyclists and oppose the social and governmental forces that oppose vehicular cycling, as embodied in the policy of incompetent cycling on bikeways.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Bike Lanes, Bike Shmanes; that is a sideshow. Forester Brand Vehicular Cycling Advocacy is all about the required training that he and his dedicated followers are trying to promote/foist on an uninterested public. And opposition to any program that is not a part and parcel of promoting that training requirement.
    ILTB, and, as I have written before, quite a few of us know who he is (though I am not going to out him on this forum), writes as though he has some personal grudge against me. So far as I know, this is not the case. Rather, his underhanded and lying opposition pays me the compliment that he considers me to be the leader of the group that is most likely to cause trouble to, and possibly defeat, the advocates of incompetent cycling on bikeways, the cycling method that is so dear to his heart.

  18. #18
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester
    ILTB, and, as I have written before, quite a few of us know who he is (though I am not going to out him on this forum), writes as though he has some personal grudge against me. So far as I know, this is not the case. Rather, his underhanded and lying opposition pays me the compliment that he considers me to be the leader of the group that is most likely to cause trouble to, and possibly defeat, the advocates of incompetent cycling on bikeways, the cycling method that is so dear to his heart.
    You sir, are no threat to anybody; but are just a leader of a gang of obstructionists unsuccessful in promoting your own cherished scheme.

    I consider you the promoter of a bicycling con job that has been unsuccessful for 30 years due to its inherent logical and statistical flaws and distortions, and worse than wee-wee poor leadership/salesmanship.

    Look to HH, CB HI and a few other wide eyed acolytes around here or on Chainguard if you want electronic compliments.

  19. #19
    Striving for Fredness deputyjones's Avatar
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    Does anyone here have an answer to the original question? It seems like a pretty straight forward one to me.
    Monsignor: We must always fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men.
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    Murphy: Aye.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    as far as I can tell from observation, the intense VC (Foresterite) crowd is against some, most or all bike lanes. I have not seen one yet that said they liked them or thought that they were a good idea. I could be wrong. as an adaptive cyclist, I don't like all bike lanes either.
    Last edited by rando; 05-20-07 at 06:37 PM.

  21. #21
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deputyjones
    Does anyone here have an answer to the original question? It seems like a pretty straight forward one to me.
    Why was post #3 insufficient for you?

  22. #22
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deputyjones
    Does anyone here have an answer to the original question? It seems like a pretty straight forward one to me.
    I can't speak for the gurus but I'll give you my amateur answer, or you might say my crackpot answer. My answer is "yes."

    I oppose bike lanes as they are usually constructed. They currently serve two real purposes: to get cyclists out of the way of motor traffic, and to make city planners feel good without doing any actual good. They are of little benefit for utility cyclists. I believe this because I regularly see cyclists riding on the sidewalk along bike paths here in Lansing. If they thought the bike lanes were groovy, they'd likely ride on them.

    However, I support the construction from the ground up of a new travel infrastructure in our cities and suburbs. City streets should favor cyclists, pedestrians and mass transit. The current high-speed streets with complex lanes and tricky intersections should be phased out. I'm not sure what the replacement will look like, but it will move slowly and cagers will feel about as welcome on it as cyclists and pedestrians feel on our current streets.

    I expect this change will start slowly in the next few years, and be complete in about 30 years. In fact it's already beginning in Portland and a few European cities. I doubt if anybody can stop this change from occurring. It seems inevitable as cars become increasingly unacceptable and impractical.

    In the meantime, cyclists are better served by the regular travel lanes than they are by the putative bicycle lanes. VC is overall the best system for riding in travel lanes, even if we all "cheat" a little at times. If you feel more comfortable in a BL or sidewalk, more power to you. Just remember that feeling comfortable and being safe are not always the same thing.

    So the answer to the original question is "yes."
    Last edited by Roody; 05-20-07 at 06:51 PM.


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  23. #23
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    as far as I can tell from observation, the intense VC (Foresterite) crowd is against some, most or all bike lanes. I have not seen one yet that said they liked them or thought that they were a good idea. I could be wrong. as an adaptive cyclist, I don't like all bike lanes either.
    I would say it is more like -
    against poorly designed dangeous bike lanes
    and
    simply see training, WOL and sharrows as better options than the best designed bike lanes.

  24. #24
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I thought the answer was an unequivocal yes, you must oppose bike lanes if you claim to be a Vehicular Cyclist Advocate. But an optional yes or no if you are just a vehicular cyclist.

    In other words, if you advocate for Vehicular Cycling you are required to oppose bike lanes. But if you simply ride vehicularly, opposing bike lanes is up to you.
    ~Diane
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes
    I thought the answer was an unequivocal yes, you must oppose bike lanes if you claim to be a Vehicular Cyclist Advocate. But an optional yes or no if you are just a vehicular cyclist.

    In other words, if you advocate for Vehicular Cycling you are required to oppose bike lanes. But if you simply ride vehicularly, opposing bike lanes is up to you
    .
    I'll buy that until John F. or ILTB tell me how I'm supposed to think.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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