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  1. #1
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    Can non-vehicular cyclists choose a more efficient route?

    This is a companion thread to "Can vehicular cyclists choose a more mellow route".

    This afternoon as I watched a sidewalk cyclist on a department store bike undulate from side to side like a drunken armadillo, seemingly frozen in the highest gear, covering at least as much distance at right
    angles to his direction of travel as in forward motion I pondered the question:

    Can non-vehicular cyclists choose an efficient route?

    Now on the face of it that might seem like an odd question. After all route choice is independent of the ability to travel in a straight line or degree of side to side wobble..

    And I have to admit there are those rare times when a combination of sidewalks, bike lanes, MUPs, drainage trenches, neighbor's yards and strip mall parking lots do constitute the most direct path to a destination.

    But I'd really like to know if avoidance of direct and efficient routes is a requirement of the non-vehicular cycling crowd.

    (For those of you who are sputtering "Ack, Ack" at the moment, count your blessings. I considered starting a thread entitled "different levels of incompetency amongst "non-vehicular cyclists" but decided it might be deemed uncivil ).
    Last edited by larryfeltonj; 08-03-07 at 04:04 PM. Reason: added emoticons

  2. #2
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    I protest on behalf of all drunken Armadillos.

    and no.
    Last edited by rando; 08-03-07 at 05:30 PM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    This is a companion thread to "Can vehicular cyclists choose a more mellow route".

    This afternoon as I watched a sidewalk cyclist on a department store bike undulate from side to side like a drunken armadillo, seemingly frozen in the highest gear, covering at least as much distance at right
    angles to his direction of travel as in forward motion I pondered the question:
    Why not ponder this? What the heck does the provenance of a cyclist's bicycle, or a bicyclist's cadence, or degree of "undulting have to do with status/non status as a Vehicular Cyclist? Perhaps you meant the cyclist didn't fit your approved profile for a Serious Cyclist.

    What makes you think the stranger (to you) was not a Vehicular Cyclist who decided that the sidewalk was where he felt like riding today?

  4. #4
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Why not ponder this? What the heck does the provenance of a cyclist's bicycle, or a bicyclist's cadence, or degree of "undulting have to do with status/non status as a Vehicular Cyclist? Perhaps you meant the cyclist didn't fit your approved profile for a Serious Cyclist. What makes you think the stranger (to you) was not a Vehicular Cyclist who decided that the sidewalk was where he felt like riding today?

    that's a good point.
    undulating -1 serious point
    inexpensive bike -5 serious points
    wrong gear choice -5 serious points
    sidewalk rider -10 serious points.

    poor guy doesn't have a chance in hell of getting to the serious level. not without some classes and some serious upgrades.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    Can non-vehicular cyclists choose an efficient route?
    I tried, in the beginning (strangely enough I had forgotten my childhood experiences with staying off sidwalks, perhaps due to years of driving a car) to choose every route based on these criteria:

    1) Was the speed limit very slow?

    2) Was traffic light?

    3) If 1) and 2) were negative, was there a sidewalk, bike path, or dirt trail to follow? I can show you a detailed map of Atlanta and surrounding areas on which I had used a yellow highlighter to color every possible alternate route to avoid major arteries.

    So yes, in my case, a non-vehicular cyclist did choose more efficient routes, because he got tired of riding 18 miles in a tangled mess just to get to work.

    But the beauty of my experience is that I discovered that there are many ways to skin a cat. Now I know so many alternate routes that I'll probably never get lost!

    And now I have the option of taking shaded routes in the afternoon, instead of baking in the sun in concrete deserts. I like having options, I prefer fewer limitations, including being limited from the most efficient, most direct route.
    Last edited by LittleBigMan; 08-03-07 at 07:43 PM.
    No worries

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Why not ponder this? What the heck does the provenance of a cyclist's bicycle, or a bicyclist's cadence, or degree of "undulting have to do with status/non status as a Vehicular Cyclist? Perhaps you meant the cyclist didn't fit your approved profile for a Serious Cyclist.

    What makes you think the stranger (to you) was not a Vehicular Cyclist who decided that the sidewalk was where he felt like riding today?
    The sidewalk is a pedestrian facility, not a vehicular one. The side to side motion and mashing (high gear, slow pedaling) showed a lack of skill with the bike. The cadence would have been meaningless except that he was going nowhere much with a great deal of effort.

    And, yes, I'd say he failed my "approved profile for a Serious Cyclist" by a wide margin.
    Last edited by larryfeltonj; 08-04-07 at 02:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rando View Post
    that's a good point.
    undulating -1 serious point
    inexpensive bike -5 serious points
    wrong gear choice -5 serious points
    sidewalk rider -10 serious points.

    poor guy doesn't have a chance in hell of getting to the serious level. not without some classes and some serious upgrades.
    I'd have to rework the wording a little bit to fit my own evaluation system.

    Points one and three are basically the same problem, which I'd call "lack of skill in operating the
    equipment". "inexpensive bike" I'd have to change to "non-roadworthy bike". I've gotten good used bikes for less than fifty dollars. I'll leave "sidewalk rider" as is. The sidewalk is a pedestrian facility. It isn't intended for vehicular transportation.

    As for his chances of becoming serious, rather than lunch hour entertainment for me, that depends on whether the community of cyclists does what it's supposed to be doing as a self-sustaining community, and teaches him how to choose a bike and operate it properly (and of course whether he wants and is able to do it. The ride I observed may have given him heart failure).

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    I'd have to rework the wording a little bit to fit my own evaluation system.

    Points one and three are basically the same problem, which I'd call "lack of skill in operating the
    equipment". "inexpensive bike" I'd have to change to "non-roadworthy bike". I've gotten good used bikes for less than fifty dollars. I'll leave "sidewalk rider" as is. The sidewalk is a pedestrian facility. It isn't intended for vehicular transportation.

    As for his chances of becoming serious, rather than lunch hour entertainment for me, that depends on whether the community of cyclists does what it's supposed to be doing as a self-sustaining community, and teaches him how to choose a bike and operate it properly (and of course whether he wants and is able to do it. The ride I observed may have given him heart failure).
    And what does "lack of skill in operating the equipment" or use of a "non-roadworthy bike" (as defined by LarryF) have do with Vehicular Cycling? You mean motor vehicle drivers ARE skillful in operating their vehicles and their vehicles ARE all in tip-top condition? Baloney! You mean the rest of the drivers are not vehicular drivers? Maybe you are only considering the Serious Motorists that fit the profile of your associates.

    I suspect you are the one more likely to have a health problem, due to anxiety over the lack of seriousness of people who don't emulate your saintly ways and don't do what they are "supposed to do" IAW the Gospel of Larry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    And what does "lack of skill in operating the equipment" or use of a "non-roadworthy bike" (as defined by LarryF) have do with Vehicular Cycling? You mean motor vehicle drivers ARE skillful in operating their vehicles and their vehicles ARE all in tip-top condition? Baloney! You mean the rest of the drivers are not vehicular drivers? Maybe you are only considering the Serious Motorists that fit the profile of your associates.

    I suspect you are the one more likely to have a health problem, due to anxiety over the lack of seriousness of people who don't emulate your saintly ways and don't do what they are "supposed to do" IAW the Gospel of Larry.
    Yeah, my posts exhibit deep anxiety

    I do distinguish between serious motorists and inept doofuses behind the wheel of cars. It's a useful distinction to make when I'm exercising basic defensive skills on the road.

    The ability to ride a straight line, keep the bicycle more or less upright, shift gears (on a multi-geared bike), and steer are necessary skills for navigating in traffic, which makes them skills necessary for vehicular cycling. As for roadworthiness, yes, people take all sorts of junk onto the road, motorized and otherwise. I'm not required to admire them for it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    As for his chances of becoming serious, rather than lunch hour entertainment for me, that depends on whether the community of cyclists does what it's supposed to be doing as a self-sustaining community, and teaches him how to choose a bike and operate it properly (and of course whether he wants and is able to do it. The ride I observed may have given him heart failure).
    leaving aside your snide, insulting comments about this guy's riding style and choice of equipment, how do you envision this "Community of Cyclists" and their education program? what should they teach?
    Last edited by rando; 08-05-07 at 09:22 AM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando View Post
    leaving aside your snide, insulting comments about this guy's riding style and choice of equipment, how do you envision this "Community of Cyclists" and their education program? what should they teach?
    Actually if I'd had a chance to interact with the guy I'd have talked to him about gear selection first, and if he's someone I could interact with regularly I'd have begun working on sidewalk riding, control of the bike, and finally, if he expressed an interest in getting more serious, bike selection.

    "Community of Cyclists" is probably beyond the scope of what I can handle adequately in one post, but I'd think my view of the components of an education program should be pretty obvious. It would include pre-ride checkout of a bike, mounting and dismounting a bike, gear selection, lane position, lane changes, lawful behavior on the road, how to outfit for inclement weather ... Hey wait a minute. I think I've seen a similar course outline before ... Let me think ...

    Do you think sidewalk cycling, inefficient gear selection, and poor control over one's bike is a thing to be encouraged and nurtured?

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    To answer larry's question about non VC'ers being able to choose more efficient routes, yes, since I see it constantly, just that they're usually riding on the sidewalk or up against the curb, regardless if there is a BL or not. To comment on larry's certain cyclist observation, I've seen only one such cyclist as he described in the past few years, in my area, they're not going to be riding a bicycle much longer in that manner.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    As for roadworthiness, yes, people take all sorts of junk onto the road, motorized and otherwise. I'm not required to admire them for it.
    I doubt that anyone gives a dang whom you admire because of their choice in equipment or standing in the Serious Cyclist Club.

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post

    Do you think sidewalk cycling, inefficient gear selection, and poor control over one's bike is a thing to be encouraged and nurtured?
    Do you know anybody who encourages or nurtures such behavior? Mr. Straw Man perhaps?

    Disapproval of a sneering condescending attitude towards other cyclists who don't fit the Larry F. approved profile is not encouragement or nurture of any negative cycling behavior. It is a condemnation of your snooty, elitist attitude towards other cyclists.
    BTW, I doubt that you can promote VC classes/training very well with such a negative pitch.

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    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    just let other people ride what and where they want, and have them do the same for you. Don't make fun of them for their equipment or skill. provide help if asked. that's about it. It's really none of my business how, where, or what people choose to ride, despite the serious VC bike and riding style nanny/mafia that has very definite ideas on the matter...
    Last edited by rando; 08-05-07 at 10:51 AM.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

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    Larry F: "And, yes, I'd say he failed my "approved profile for a Serious Cyclist" by a wide margin."

    i hope i never fit into the "serious cyclist" profile. Riding a bike is too much fun to make it another chore.

    have we considered that the guy could have been learning how to ride a bike? Maybe that was his first time. Maybe his second. In any case, i would imagine that he didn't feel comfortable in traffic, and so (wobbling and all) that was his most efficient (and safest) route.

  17. #17
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Mr. Straw Man perhaps?
    Ding, we have a winner of the best straw man argument on BF. Congratulations Mr. ILTB!
    Cycling Advocate
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    =()>()

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    I doubt that anyone gives a dang whom you admire because of their choice in equipment or standing in the Serious Cyclist Club.
    Evidently you must care somewhat since you're the poster most likely to comment on my use of the word "serious" to describe cyclists.

  19. #19
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Next time you're out on your seriously expensive bicycle with your seriously tight gear on, shifting your gears with perfect propriety, take a look around you and see how many non-serious mashers in fast food restaurant uniforms are actually out on your supposedly more serious, more vehicular, more direct route. I'll betcha there are way more of them than you.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Next time you're out on your seriously expensive bicycle with your seriously tight gear on, shifting your gears with perfect propriety, take a look around you and see how many non-serious mashers in fast food restaurant uniforms are actually out on your supposedly more serious, more vehicular, more direct route. I'll betcha there are way more of them than you.
    I actually don't see cyclists in fast food uniforms. Roadies dressed much like me, a few non-roadie commuters on hybrids in street clothes, delivery cyclists on fixies dressed like delivery cyclists on fixies, and a scattering of folks like armadillo man pretty well cover adult cyclists here.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Do you know anybody who encourages or nurtures such behavior? Mr. Straw Man perhaps?

    Disapproval of a sneering condescending attitude towards other cyclists who don't fit the Larry F. approved profile is not encouragement or nurture of any negative cycling behavior. It is a condemnation of your snooty, elitist attitude towards other cyclists.
    BTW, I doubt that you can promote VC classes/training very well with such a negative pitch.
    Snooty and elitist? Me? You misunderstand me, I-Like-Ike. I'm like a thin, aging teddy bear in garish synthetic jersey and shorts. I've tried sneering, but my face isn't the correct shape for it. It looks more like a silent snarl when I try sneering.

    And you notice that even the title of this thread leaves open the possibility that non-vehicular cyclists can devise routes that don't add 40% in distance to every trip. I think that's pretty damned positive myself.

  22. #22
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larryfeltonj View Post
    Snooty and elitist? Me? You misunderstand me, I-Like-Ike. I'm like a thin, aging teddy bear in garish synthetic jersey and shorts...
    ...who lives in a region that is so homogenous that you only ever see others like yourself when you go for a bike ride.
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    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  23. #23
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    The question was, "Can non-vehicular cyclists choose a more efficient route?"

    The question all the answers focused on was, "Can a non-vehicular cyclist ride wherever he wants?"

    The OP's question remains unanswered, yet. But respondents have done an excellent job of dodging it.

    (Larry, you look really sorry in mud. )

    Of course, if Larry sees the light, he'll be everyone's friend...
    No worries

  24. #24
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    larryfeltonj,

    Nothing gets ILTB going more than using the words "serious cyclist" or "bike specific clothing".

  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    larryfeltonj,

    Nothing gets ILTB going more than using the words "serious cyclist" or "bike specific clothing".
    Sure there is; a character who thinks and boasts that his brand of Serious Cycling or choice in equipment makes him and his like minded pals more worthy (of advocacy) than those who don't fit the Serious/Real/True Cyclist profile.

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