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Old 05-30-07, 03:45 PM   #1
Niles H.
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The myth of the perfectly competent cyclist

It is dangerous to presume that one's skills, however evolved, are infallible or perfect.

Even the most experienced and skillful cyclists still make mistakes.

Throw any cyclist a few curve balls and see how perfect his batting average is. Cyclists, including VCers, are often somewhat athletic, but far from perfectly athletic. Put them out in the real world, in a variety of fast-breaking difficult (hardball) situations, and see how perfectly they respond. See what their reaction times are.

See how some of their theories fall apart completely.
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Old 05-30-07, 04:02 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Niles H.
It is dangerous to presume that one's skills, however evolved, are infallible or perfect.

Even the most experienced and skillful cyclists still make mistakes.

Throw any cyclist a few curve balls and see how perfect his batting average is. Cyclists, including VCers, are often somewhat athletic, but far from perfectly athletic. Put them out in the real world, in a variety of fast-breaking difficult (hardball) situations, and see how perfectly they respond. See what their reaction times are.

See how some of their theories fall apart completely.
Perfect competence, e.g., achieving 100 on Forester's test, is not required to be competent (only 70% is required).

There are VCers playing "hardball" in every corner of the world, including all over the U.S.
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Old 05-30-07, 04:31 PM   #3
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Not really sure what your point is Niles or what is up with the multiple threads on what appear to be similar rants.
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Old 05-30-07, 05:16 PM   #4
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To the OP....did you just figure that out? Don't care who you are or how you ride...best laid plans of mice and men and all that...

To HH - Forester's test is to cycling competence as tarot cards are to predicting the future.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by chipcom
...Don't care who you are or how you ride...best laid plans of mice and men and all that...

...Forester's test is to cycling competence as tarot cards are to predicting the future.

We all goof up at times -- try anything like basketball, football, soccer, baseball, or a wide variety of other things, and (unless one is not honest with oneself) flaws appear. Misses. Fumbles. Dropped catches. Bad swings, bad moves, bad calls.

Yet somehow, some cyclists (or arguers for certain theories) do not take this into account very well.

The combination of bad calls or moves and highly dangerous (or not very forgiving) environments is a dangerous one. Riding among vastly heavier, harder, stronger vehicles when they are traveling at high speeds, and then making a wrong move now and then (as we all do) is..........

Yet somehow, there is a certain (flawed) logic train that some people follow and buy into that leads them to do things that are self-endangering.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Niles H.
We all goof up at times -- try anything like basketball, football, soccer, baseball, or a wide variety of other things, and (unless one is not honest with oneself) flaws appear. Misses. Fumbles. Dropped catches. Bad swings, bad moves, bad calls.

Yet somehow, some cyclists (or arguers for certain theories) do not take this into account very well.

The combination of bad calls or moves and highly dangerous (or not very forgiving) environments is a dangerous one. Riding among vastly heavier, harder, stronger vehicles when they are traveling at high speeds, and then making a wrong move now and then (as we all do) is..........

Yet somehow, there is a certain (flawed) logic train that some people follow and buy into that leads them to do things that are self-endangering.
Actually, a big part of VC - the whole visibility/predictability thing - rests on the possibility of the cyclist screwing up. If he screws up while visible and predictable he's likely to be better off than if he screws up while being overlooked and/or unpredictable.

VC is also about being less likely to screw up in the first place, by relying on habit and good practices along with vigilance rather than relying more on vigilance and less on habit and good practices as is done in other methods.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H.
We all goof up at times -- try anything like basketball, football, soccer, baseball, or a wide variety of other things, and (unless one is not honest with oneself) flaws appear. Misses. Fumbles. Dropped catches. Bad swings, bad moves, bad calls.

Yet somehow, some cyclists (or arguers for certain theories) do not take this into account very well.

The combination of bad calls or moves and highly dangerous (or not very forgiving) environments is a dangerous one. Riding among vastly heavier, harder, stronger vehicles when they are traveling at high speeds, and then making a wrong move now and then (as we all do) is..........

Yet somehow, there is a certain (flawed) logic train that some people follow and buy into that leads them to do things that are self-endangering.
If it's so dangerous, why aren't the fatality and injury rates per mile travelled higher? Yes, everyone makes mistakes, but if you pay attention and don't take what you are doing lightly, you are far less likely to make that mistake in a situation that will get you badly injured. The same applies in any endeavor. IMO, getting in a car and driving every day carries much more risk than riding a bike.
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Old 05-30-07, 06:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Actually, a big part of VC - the whole visibility/predictability thing - rests on the possibility of the cyclist screwing up. If he screws up while visible and predictable he's likely to be better off than if he screws up while being overlooked and/or unpredictable.

VC is also about being less likely to screw up in the first place, by relying on habit and good practices along with vigilance rather than relying more on vigilance and less on habit and good practices as is done in other methods.
Yes, we know, vc is everything - especially when you are a zealot.
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"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
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Old 05-30-07, 10:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Yes, we know, vc is everything - especially when you are a zealot.
Baseless opinion and insult that adds nothing to the discourse.
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Old 05-30-07, 10:37 PM   #10
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gap hunter!
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Old 05-31-07, 06:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Baseless opinion and insult that adds nothing to the discourse.
Putting in plugs for your made-up brand of vc doesn't do much for it either. I'm thinking of a new sig line:

HH™ Vehicular Cycling - it'll get ya killed!
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"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
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Old 05-31-07, 08:08 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Baseless opinion and insult that adds nothing to the discourse.
And in other news, the kettle is still black!
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Old 05-31-07, 10:55 AM   #13
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And in other news, the kettle is still black!
Well, if you're suggesting that my post stating "Baseless opinion and insult that adds nothing to the discourse" is itself "Baseless opinion and insult that adds nothing to the discourse", I disagree.

The reasons I disagree are:
  • It's not baseless. The statement I quoted, "yes, we know, vc is everything - especially when you are a zealot.", was obviously pure opinion (no basis was provided for the allegation that my opinion is "vc is everything") and insult ("you are a zealot" was not meant as a complement).
  • It's not an insult.
But I admit it added nothing to the discourse, nor does this post.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipcom
Yes, we know, vc is everything - especially when you are a zealot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casque Tete
Baseless opinion and insult that adds nothing to the discourse.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casque Tete
A Zealous VC advocate is someone who advocates Vehicular Cycling with eagerness and ardent interest. Given the absence of actual advocates of Strict VC, the term zealous VC advocate rarely if ever is used to refer to an actual advocate of Strict VC.
I think zealot is based upon your own words.

You advocate VC with eagerness and ardent interest, do you not?

So by your own admission, you are a zealous VC advocate.

What is the noun form of a person who is zealous? A zealot.

I'm sorry if you find it insulting, but then maybe you should have chosen a different word for yourself.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by zeytoun
I think zealot is based upon your own words.

You advocate VC with eagerness and ardent interest, do you not?

So by your own admission, you are a zealous VC advocate.

What is the noun form of a person who is zealous? A zealot.

I'm sorry if you find it insulting, but then maybe you should have chosen a different word for yourself.
Please stop taking things out of context, zeytoun, as if you don't get the significance.

Surely you recognize that Chipcom intended it to be an insult, not a complement.

Again, context matters. It's akin to it being appropriate for people to use the N-word or the B-word (female dog) in reference to themselves, but not in reference to others.

If someone wants to describe his own zeal with respect to something as being zealous, that's very different from someone else referring to that person as a zealot. If you ignore the relevance and role of context when interpreting words, communication is impossible.

Please stop playing these semantic games of sophistry.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:35 AM   #16
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yeah, HE says communication is impossible. no doubt.


gap hunters of internet bicycling,

rally behind the banners of weekend club fred bike 'zealots' that drive their cars an awful lot!
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Old 05-31-07, 11:37 AM   #17
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context and experience DO matter when discussing an activity like bicycling or mountaineering. in the climbing world, there's a not-too flattering term for big talkers - "armchair mountaineers"

for the types of junk i see about bicycling posted by a self described 'zealot' about riding bicycles in this forum, 'armchair bicyclist' is pretty appropriate.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Please stop taking things out of context, zeytoun, as if you don't get the significance.

Surely you recognize that Chipcom intended it to be an insult, not a complement.

Again, context matters. It's akin to it being appropriate for people to use the N-word or the B-word (female dog) in reference to themselves, but not in reference to others.

If someone wants to describe his own zeal with respect to something as being zealous, that's very different from someone else referring to that person as a zealot. If you ignore the relevance and role of context when interpreting words, communication is impossible.

Please stop playing these semantic games of sophistry.
Now you are a mind reader too? What can't you do HH?
If you are insulted by the term zealot, you must consider yourself a zealot.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:48 AM   #19
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If someone wants to describe his own zeal with respect to something as being zealous, that's very different from someone else referring to that person as a zealot.

Ok, let's substitute your words in Chip's quote, and see if the meaning changes substantively.

Quote:
Yes, we know, vc is everything - especially when you are very eager and ardent about advocating VC.
Do you find that insulting? I think the substantive meaning of his post is not very different from before.

Quote:
It's akin to it being appropriate for people to use the N-word or the B-word (female dog) in reference to themselves, but not in reference to others.
What does this mean? It's a little confusing. I'm guessing you mean that it's ok for you to call yourself zealous, but that you should not call others zealous. But if you call yourself zealous, then surely others can call you zealous, right?
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Old 05-31-07, 11:54 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Now you are a mind reader too? What can't you do HH?
If you are insulted by the term zealot, you must consider yourself a zealot.
I'm not insulted by anything you morons write about me (if I were, I'd be long gone).

I'm just pointing out when you (or anyone else) refers to someone else as a zealot, it's an insult, and inappropriate in a civil forum. Yes, yes, I know I referred to Bek as a jihadist today. My bad.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:58 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by zeytoun
What does this mean? It's a little confusing. I'm guessing you mean that it's ok for you to call yourself zealous, but that you should not call others zealous. But if you call yourself zealous, then surely others can call you zealous, right?
Depending on the context and intent, maybe or maybe not.

If an African American refers to himself using the N-word, that's one thing.
If someone else, particularly a white guy, refers to him using the exact same word, that has an entirely different connotation. Context matters. You can't simply take words out of one context and insert it into another and assume there are no differences in connotation. I hope this is not news to you.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 05-31-07 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:00 PM   #22
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the myth of helmet heads' riding skills revolves around internet semantics and wordplay versus actual bicycling.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:13 PM   #23
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the myth of helmet heads' riding skills revolves around internet semantics and wordplay versus actual bicycling.
We are trying to communicate about riding skills using words on the internet.

Your apparent inability to discern genuine efforts to accurately convey and clarify meaning from sophistic semantic wordplay is disappointing.
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Old 05-31-07, 12:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casque Tete
morons
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Harassment occurs when a member insults, attacks, and denigrates another member at any time. We have zero tolerance for taking an argument about a any topic to a personal level. For instance, the use of terms such as "idiot, moron, stupid" and other derogatory terms constitutes harassment. The idea is to make this a pleasant environment to discuss cycling, not a schoolyard, or name-calling and rock-throwing festival. Repeated critical and sharply negative posts toward a forum member can also constitute harassment.
By the way, "zealot" is not necessarily a derogatory term. Look it up.

What is the noun form of a zealous person?
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Old 05-31-07, 12:52 PM   #25
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Yes, I shouldn't have referred to others as morons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeytoun
By the way, "zealot" is not necessarily a derogatory term. Look it up.

What is the noun form of a zealous person?
Good question. But the definition of zealot is not simply "a zealous person".
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