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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    I don't know Larry. Seems to me the most direct path (for a bicyclist) would almost always involve some sidewalk riding, wrong-way riding, or other creative use of available surfaces. And the quickest, most 'efficient' mode of travel to your destination is very likely to put one in conflict with the traffic law. If you're talking about the most direct, efficient route that is also completely lawful and VC, that would be something else entirely.

    Robert
    I don't even really agree with the first half of your statement. I can go much faster in the vehicular lanes than on the sidewalks for a variety of reasons (fewer pedestrians to dodge, smoother and more continuous surfaces, safer intersection conflicts allowing me to proceed through or turn without slowing to hyper-vigilant levels of speed), and as for wrong way cycling it creates the same set of problems as wrong way driving in a car. I may decrease the distance but unless I fail to consider getting there without a crash as an efficiency consideration I'd have to move much more slowly.

  2. #52
    Member Spike3905's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    If you'll read read the first line of the initial post you've excerpted carefully you'll discover that my entire purpose in starting this thread was in response to a vapid and pointless straw man thread which was active at the time I posted.
    Thanks for the clarification. I haven't seen the other thread. Sorry to have assumed you had a larger point to make.
    Active Transportation: Burn Calories, Not Carbon!

  3. #53
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    hardly a 'straw man' argument, larry. that 'vapid' thread discussing if vehicular cyclists are all comfortable on all roads at all times even had you admitting there are some road conditions you are uncomfortable with, and choose different routes if you have time.

    even the fawning vc sometimes find some road conditions less than desirable and choose alternates.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    I don't even really agree with the first half of your statement. I can go much faster in the vehicular lanes than on the sidewalks for a variety of reasons (fewer pedestrians to dodge, smoother and more continuous surfaces, safer intersection conflicts allowing me to proceed through or turn without slowing to hyper-vigilant levels of speed), and as for wrong way cycling it creates the same set of problems as wrong way driving in a car. I may decrease the distance but unless I fail to consider getting there without a crash as an efficiency consideration I'd have to move much more slowly.
    I think you must be forgetting that, while traveling exclusively on the roadway as a VC-er, you will be waiting... waiting...waiting along with the cars at stop lights. The scofflaw does not stop, but keeps making progress toward the destination, using sidewalks, whatever it takes. By the time the light turns green and you start moving, even an extremely careful and deliberate scofflaw could be a mile further ahead. This is what keeps bike messengers in business. A messenger attempting to ride solely in the traffic lanes and obeying laws would be useless.

    Now, I'm not suggesting that people should go around riding like messengers -- if you want to do that, become a messenger, it's simple enough. And there are loads of good reasons to obey laws and avoid sidewalks, etc. But let's not pretend that VC represents the most efficient mode of travel by bike. Not even close. In fact there is a whole world of cycling between pure VC and extreme messenger-style adaptivity, all of which would be faster and more efficient than VC.

    Robert

  5. #55
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    I want straight answers: who here would really ride a BMX to work? Are any of you serious?
    I normally commute on a 'big bike' these days, but occasionally I commute on a girls 20" magna, 'High Fashion' model; I also occasionally ride an old-school Schwinn Stardust Stingray; and I regularly rode a reissue Raleigh Chopper for a couple of years until the frame broke. I'm also planning on building up an old chrome GT BMX frame I've got, and will probably use it to commute occasionally when it's done.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    even had you admitting there are some road conditions you are uncomfortable with.
    Another fine Monty Python moment along Bekologist's own private Road to Damascus. I'd suggest that anyone who wants to know what I said, in context, go back and read through the "mellow routes" thread.

  7. #57
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    ..i don't know larry, you admitted some road conditions were so uncomfortable you prefer to choose alternate routes at times. what is the problem, can't deal with the truth?

    not all vehicular cyclists will be comfortable on all roads all the time, to the point they may avoid some roads sometimes, like larry.

    vc is not the panacea to riding all road and traffic conditions.

    some cyclists that have the knowledge of how to ride according to the rules of the road may choose to avoid some high traffic roads all the time.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    ..i don't know larry, you admitted some road conditions were so uncomfortable you prefer to choose alternate routes at times. what is the problem, can't deal with the truth?

    not all vehicular cyclists will be comfortable on all roads all the time, to the point they may avoid some roads sometimes, like larry.

    vc is not the panacea to riding all road and traffic conditions.

    some cyclists that have the knowledge of how to ride according to the rules of the road may choose to avoid some high traffic roads all the time.
    Bekologist, my friend ... In the context of forums like this I can deal with virtually anything. The truth, duplicity, high drama, low comedy, stylized pomposity, incoherent tantrums ... Having been a systems administrator since before the internet existed, this has all become a form of cultural anthropology to me.

    The problem I see with the repetitive mantras you've been composing is that they don't really prove what they purport to prove.

    You wrote:

    "some road conditions were so uncomfortable you prefer to choose alternate routes at times"

    This is true, although the way you've worded it over-dramatizes it in the interest of your polemic. A better way of putting it is that if I have a choice between a pleasant route and an unpleasant one, and the pleasant route isn't too inefficient, I'll choose the pleasant one.


    "they may avoid some roads sometimes, like larry". This is a real stretch. I don't really avoid any route if I want to cycle somewhere, and there isn't an alternative route.

    " vc is not the panacea to riding all road and traffic conditions." Vehicular Cycling isn't intended as a panacea for anything. No cycling philosophy is going to cure all of the hassles of travel. VC is intended as a guide to best realistic practice for cycling on the roads.


    "some cyclists that have the knowledge of how to ride according to the rules of the road may choose to avoid some high traffic roads all the time"

    Sure. They may do that, and not only may they do that but I'm not really going to criticize them for it.

    So now that we've gone through that loop again, what aspect of it wasn't pointless and vapid?

  9. #59
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    hmmmm..... interesting, you agree with the points I make about vehicular cycling and vehicular cyclists, even validate some of them, but call my thread vapid.

    I think the folly is in this thread, larry.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    hmmmm..... interesting, you agree with the points I make about vehicular cycling and vehicular cyclists, even validate some of them, but call my thread vapid.

    I think the folly is in this thread, larry.
    Of course this thread is folly, Bekologist. I've found it's more satisfying to be deliberately foolish from time to time than to stumble into it unknowingly.

  11. #61
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
    I don't know Larry. Seems to me the most direct path (for a bicyclist) would almost always involve some sidewalk riding, wrong-way riding, or other creative use of available surfaces. And the quickest, most 'efficient' mode of travel to your destination is very likely to put one in conflict with the traffic law. If you're talking about the most direct, efficient route that is also completely lawful and VC, that would be something else entirely.

    Robert
    Robert Hurst,

    I know there are different ideologies out there about how to get there on a bike. In fact, I think there are as many ways to ride as there are cyclists.

    Here in Atlanta, one-way streets are fantastic for one purpose: going one way. So I can get to the grocery store from my job in an Atlanta minute.

    Getting back is another issue. I could ride the sidewalk directly on the one-way street, or go up a block and take a one-way in the other direction (but in a mile, sidewalk riding saves very little time, except in gridlock.)

    Same thing with connecting to the train station from my job. Inbound, very fast. Back, I have to zig-zag (cut through lots and use a few sidewalk connectors) to get there fast. Same thing with gridlock, I can hop an empty sidewalk on my MTB and get there faster than any other form of transportation downtown (except an ambulance,) if I swap between sidewalk and road. It can work...

    (here it comes...) ...but I differ from you on the above post. You said, "Seems to me the most direct path (for a bicyclist) would almost always involve some sidewalk riding, wrong-way riding, or other creative use of available surfaces. And the quickest, most 'efficient' mode of travel to your destination is very likely to put one in conflict with the traffic law."

    I differ with the "almost always" part about using sidewalks and "illegal" cycling modes.

    Downtown, for quick jaunts, I occasionally "cheat the system" (and nobody cares) by using cut-throughs on sidewalks, parking lots, handicapped ramps or whatever. I'd use the stairs if I could. But time saved over those short distances (except in gridlock) is not much.

    But to go 15 miles from outer suburbs to downtown, there's no way in hell that "the quickest, most 'efficient' mode of travel to your destination is very likely to put one in conflict with the traffic law."

    On the contrary, the quickest, most efficient mode of travel to my destination puts me in complete harmony with both traffic and the law. To ride a sidewalk or some other "non-vehicular" means would take me, instead of an hour, an hour and a half. And instead of smooth sailing, I'd be stop-and-go all the time.

    Fuggedaboudit.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-16-07 at 07:55 PM.
    No worries

  12. #62
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    FWIW I think you both said the same thing.
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  13. #63
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    FWIW I think you both said the same thing.
    Only if Robert rephrases his statement that, "the quickest, most 'efficient' mode of travel to your destination is very likely to put one in conflict with the traffic law."

    My experience is the opposite. Occasionally, I can avoid an inconvenience (gridlock) by using sidewalks, parking lots, and other off-beat routes.

    But the fastest way to just about anywhere around here is on the road, stopping for lights and all.

    I don't mean to be disagreeable with your statements, THC, but I think Robert is incorrect. At least, in my particular experience.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-16-07 at 08:09 PM.
    No worries

  14. #64
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you really believe stopping for lights is quicker than running the reds?

    I'm not endorsing wholescale running of traffic signals, and doubt he is either, but Robert Hurst has it spot on, little big man. think about it....
    Last edited by Bekologist; 08-17-07 at 09:19 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  15. #65
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    What I am hearing (reading) is just about every cyclist does a little something non-vehicular from time to time for efficiency.
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  16. #66
    livin' the nightmare syn0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    I want straight answers: who here would really ride a BMX to work? Are any of you serious?
    I do. My former boss had a few roadies and would often crack jokes about my BMX. I run 100psi tires, and have put wider & taller handlebars on it, raised the seat, to make it a bit easier to commute on. The bottom line though is that it is a fun way to get around.

    I'll ride it on the street in slow traffic, jump onto sidewalks, through alleys, etc when I'm faced with higher speed traffic/high volumes of traffic. It doesn't have much in the way of top speed (I can hold 16ish mph, anything above that means a rediculously high cadence) so I don't like to ride on the high speed roads so I don't create a hazard to other cycles and motorists. Still, downtown around the university, I ride in the middle of lanes, signal, etc.

    I don't really care if the "serious cyclists" judge me or not. So what if I'm on the sidewalk or cruising through an alley behind a store? I'm probably having a better time, and I can accelerate like a madman so I don't have to see the looks of disapproval.

  17. #67
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    you really believe stopping for lights is quicker than running the reds?

    I'm not endorsing wholescale running of traffic signals, and doubt he is either, but Robert Hurst has it spot on, little big man. think about it....
    I don't have to think about it.

    Running one or two lights/reds over 14 miles won't help me anymore than racing to the next red helps a motorist. Just like them, my only excuse is oversleeping, and it's a lame one.

    But I know how to time the lights, unlike a lot of motorists, who race ahead and wait. In fact, it's kind of a challenge. But instead of complaining like a spoiled motorist that I caught a red, I squeeze my lazy fingers and stop.

    Downtown is the only place jumping curbs and taking cut-throughs makes a difference in time. But we're talking about 1 or 2 miles, at best, not 14-18.

    There are times during gridlock, urban or suburban, where creative cycling makes a difference in time/comfort/efficiency. But running reds has NOTHING to do with that in my case, only jumping curbs, riding sidewalks, or cutting through parking lots. (Overzealous police would call that, "avoiding an intersection," etc.)

    But these "creative solutions" aren't applicable over long distance commutes, only a mile or two at bottlenecks and congested areas, and are more for comfort (in my case) than speed.

    What can I save in downtown gridlock by jumping curbs? Let's say I saved a full 5 minutes over two miles. Whoop-de-do. It's more about comfort and convenience, not time saved.

    Now I'll grant you this, Mr. Beck, I sure as heck don't want to sit on my bike in 102 deg. 58% humidity in gridlock on my bike with 1,000 hot-as-hell smog-producing cars on steaming blacktop when I could be cruising cool on a shady sidewalk with a self-made breeze. There, I agree with you. And the cops do, too, cuz that's what they do.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-17-07 at 11:49 PM.
    No worries

  18. #68
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syn0n View Post
    I do [ride BMX.] My former boss had a few roadies and would often crack jokes about my BMX. I run 100psi tires, and have put wider & taller handlebars on it, raised the seat, to make it a bit easier to commute on. The bottom line though is that it is a fun way to get around.

    I'll ride it on the street in slow traffic, jump onto sidewalks, through alleys, etc when I'm faced with higher speed traffic/high volumes of traffic. It doesn't have much in the way of top speed (I can hold 16ish mph, anything above that means a rediculously high cadence) so I don't like to ride on the high speed roads so I don't create a hazard to other cycles and motorists. Still, downtown around the university, I ride in the middle of lanes, signal, etc.

    I don't really care if the "serious cyclists" judge me or not. So what if I'm on the sidewalk or cruising through an alley behind a store? I'm probably having a better time, and I can accelerate like a madman so I don't have to see the looks of disapproval.
    I stand corrected. I am with you in the "who cares what anyone thinks" attitude. I never would have believed it, but I didn't know people rode BMX bikes to work as a choice. Power to ya.

    And that's great, I'm all for it. Why should I criticize your choice of bikes?

    My point was that a lot of people grab someone else's bike who won't be riding again tomorrow, instead they'll be back in a car, where they want to be. No problem, I'm not judging that, either, it's their choice, at least they know a bike works wonders.

    But most cyclists who are in it for the long haul who I've talked to find a bike that works best for them, and it's usually not a BMX..

    But your bike-of-choice is not my place to criticize, in fact, I think it's kinda cool.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-17-07 at 11:51 PM.
    No worries

  19. #69
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car View Post
    What I am hearing (reading) is just about every cyclist does a little something non-vehicular from time to time for efficiency.
    So does every motorist.
    No worries

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan View Post
    ... What can I save in downtown gridlock by jumping curbs? Let's say I saved a full 5 minutes over two miles. Whoop-de-do. It's more about comfort and convenience, not time saved. ...
    To me, a few minutes over two miles is a massive time savings. Unless we can define efficiency in terms other than getting from A to B in the shortest time, that means the most efficient cyclist must be a scofflaw cyclist. And anyone claiming Efficiency is most important should rightfully bow down to the scofflaw carving up traffic, not to some do-right VCer. That's all I'm saying. But I also agree with you that it's more about comfort and convenience, that we should just leave earlier, and agree with others that it's not a good idea to ride unlawfully, generally speaking. (If Efficiency is king in your cycling world, you are either a practitioner of industrialized cycling, or a misguided hobbyist. Either way something has gone gravely wrong.) But let's acknowledge, lest we lose all remaining credibility, that running red lights is faster than sitting at them. You are correct to note that this effect is magnified in the urban core and diminishes as we head outward.

    Robert

  21. #71
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    I think that a discussion regarding an efficient route without considering safety is incomplete. Some of the posts have touched on the issue--talking about red lights for instance--but I think that we can agree that in large, riding in the streets is the fastest way to get from point A to B when factoring in some minimum level of cycling velocity and safety threshold.

    Just to give a few examples:

    When I ride to work in the morning, the Custis Trail is sparsely used by pedestrians. Even though I cycle at a slower velocity and have to exercise a higher level of vigilance on a 1/4 mile section crossing streets with somewhat restricted visibility, the lack of traffic lights makes the trip consistently faster than the trip down Wilson Blvd.

    When I ride home in the evening, the Custis Trail is a madhouse making Wilson Blvd. consistently quicker.

    And yes, even though I practice VC on a regular basis, when I go to a excellent bike shop in Vienna (VA), the fastest way by far is the WOD since these crazy suburban streets and the beltway prevent a direct route.

    Mind you, I don't think choosing these alternatives makes one a non-vehicular cyclist anyway.

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