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Old 08-06-07, 07:02 PM   #1
Bekologist
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riding shoulders- 'vehicular'? "VC"?

Just got back from a 170 mile, overnight trip around the Hood Canal and up to Port Townsend for some fantastic pizza. I was riding mostly on state highways yesterday and today with steady traffic and wide, clean shoulders.

This morning, leaving Port Townsend, I was tooling along in the shoulder, watching lines of steady traffic approach to overtake me in my rear view mirror, and I began to question my riding -

With steady highway speed traffic, narrow lanes and a wide shoulder on a two lane state highway, there was NO lane sharing or grabbing the lane necessary. I was riding, happy as a clam, on the wide, clean shoulder.

was i being vehicular? Was I in denial of "VC"? what would a bonifide, 'EC certified' rider have been doing? would they have been vehicular? would john be riding VC in the shoulder or not?

what do you do while riding two lane highway speed roads with narrow lanes, wide clean shoulders and steady streams of traffic? are you still vehicular? do you still abide with the "VC" camp?

Can VC ride in shoulders? are they doing it vehicularly? or are they adaptive and non vehicular when they do so?

Last edited by Bekologist; 08-06-07 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 08-07-07, 07:33 AM   #2
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I operate on the shoulder if it is clean, between intersections. I merge into the through lane when approaching intersections or if there is debris (or other surface problems) on the shoulder.

If there is little traffic I ride in the travel lane near the fog line in order to reduce the risk of a flat.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:09 AM   #3
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John would be driving his car. Helmet Head would be weaving in and out of the shoulder. The rest of the cycling world would be riding just as you were.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:54 AM   #4
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The rest of the cycling world would be riding just as you were.
Except we'd be enjoying the ride and wouldn't be agonizing over whether or not it is VC/EC/whatever.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:27 AM   #5
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there was NO agony, trust me.

so, steve, is your riding in the shoulder vehicular? is it "VC"?

oh, yeah, and in a few places, leaving Port Townsend, there was a bike stencil...
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Old 08-07-07, 09:39 AM   #6
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is your riding in the shoulder vehicular? is it "VC"?
It is part of the vehicle code in many states that slow moving vehicles should pull over into the shoulder if they are impeding the flow of traffic (slowing down 5 or more vehicles) and there is no same direction or other available lane for passing. With steady passing traffic (no long gaps between pods of vehicles), you'd be consistently slowing down traffic which makes staying the shoulder a reasonable choice assuming it's wide and clean enough for the speed you are travelling. At intersections, you should be looking to merge into the rightmost straight lane as Steve has suggested though or at least verifying that you can safely cross the right hook zone without crossing paths with a right turner (sometimes easy to do, sometimes not).

If there were significant gaps between pods of vehicles (30+ seconds) I'd ride in the traffic lane in those gaps for a variety of reasons that have been previously discussed. Doing so is definitely vehicular as is moving back into the shoulder when faster traffic approaches.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:42 AM   #7
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not sure, but I do have to say, I have seen slow moving vehicles (farm equipment, cars with flats etc) using the shoulder as a lane so they do not impede faster traffic. I do not know the legality of it, but I know I did the same thing when I had some car problems I had to drive slowly with one time.
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Old 08-07-07, 09:57 AM   #8
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not sure, but I do have to say, I have seen slow moving vehicles (farm equipment, cars with flats etc) using the shoulder as a lane so they do not impede faster traffic. I do not know the legality of it, but I know I did the same thing when I had some car problems I had to drive slowly with one time.
Surpisingly, Illinois does not have any laws that I can find about operating slow moving vehicles. They do have this law prohibiting driving on the shoulder though:

Sec. 11‑709.1. (a) Vehicles shall be driven on a roadway, and shall only be driven on the shoulder for the purpose of stopping or accelerating from a stop while merging into traffic. It shall be a violation of this Section if while merging into traffic and while on the shoulder, the vehicle passes any other vehicle on the roadway adjacent to it. (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...ehicle+Code%2E)

Bicycles are to be operated on the roadway as well (as is the case in most states). Of course, bike lanes muck up the laws (as most as just shoulders with a stencil, so is it part of the roadway or the shoulder?) as do inconsistencies in states laws in regards to slow moving vehicles and cyclists (they should be treated as the same thing but often they are given different operating restrictions).
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Old 08-07-07, 04:02 PM   #9
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Just got back from a 170 mile, overnight trip around the Hood Canal and up to Port Townsend for some fantastic pizza. I was riding mostly on state highways yesterday and today with steady traffic and wide, clean shoulders.

This morning, leaving Port Townsend, I was tooling along in the shoulder, watching lines of steady traffic approach to overtake me in my rear view mirror, and I began to question my riding -

With steady highway speed traffic, narrow lanes and a wide shoulder on a two lane state highway, there was NO lane sharing or grabbing the lane necessary. I was riding, happy as a clam, on the wide, clean shoulder.

was i being vehicular? Was I in denial of "VC"? what would a bonifide, 'EC certified' rider have been doing? would they have been vehicular? would john be riding VC in the shoulder or not?

what do you do while riding two lane highway speed roads with narrow lanes, wide clean shoulders and steady streams of traffic? are you still vehicular? do you still abide with the "VC" camp?

Can VC ride in shoulders? are they doing it vehicularly? or are they adaptive and non vehicular when they do so?
All cyclists, including vehicular cyclists, employ integrated, segregated and separated styles of riding. The key difference is that vehicular cyclists pay attention to which mode they are in when, when they transition from one mode to another, and are aware as to the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to employ each one safely and efficiently.

So, certainly vehicular cyclists can choose to ride in shoulders in segregated mode under certain conditions. But when doing so they recognize they are segregated, and not integrated or separated, and understand the associated right-of-way and conspicuity consequences, and think and ride accordingly.
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Old 08-07-07, 08:06 PM   #10
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so, we have one vehicular with contradictions (joejack) one dodge (brian, an LCI) one its okay but keeping mum if its vc or not (Steve, another LCI) and one it's not vehicular but it is VC (helemt head)


interesting contradictions. so, helemt, does that mean, EVERY time you move across a shoulder line to let faster traffic pass, you are going non-vehicular? how does that jibe with "VC, all the time?"

do "VC" riders often go adaptive cyclists? is VC rendered null and void with every shoulder stripe, narrow lane, speed differentials and steady traffic?

Why, how does that work that way???

(In my opinion, shoulder riding as I described is defiently vehicular and has no contradiction with safe cycling or vehicular cycling concepts.)
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Old 08-07-07, 08:39 PM   #11
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so, we have one vehicular with contradictions (joejack)
Did I contradict myself in my post or are you referring to the Illinois law that I quoted?
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Old 08-07-07, 08:40 PM   #12
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the IL law.
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Old 08-08-07, 10:58 AM   #13
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You don't have to be "VC" to pay attention to which mode you are in.

Stop labeling normal, successful, competent cyclists with Forester-based nonsense.
+1 it seems he's found a new angle...
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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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Old 08-08-07, 11:03 AM   #14
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Seems the difference is whether you are playing peekaboo with traffic or with your own self-definition of what kind of rider you are (now I'm VC! now I'm not! Peekaboo!) or whether you're just plain old riding your bike (in which case you're not playing peekaboo at all -- you're just doing whatever comes most naturally and makes the most sense at the time.)
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Old 08-08-07, 12:03 PM   #15
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The key difference is that vehicular cyclists pay attention to which mode they are in when, when they transition from one mode to another, and are aware as to the advantages and disadvantages of each, and how to employ each one safely and efficiently.
You don't have to be "VC" to pay attention to which mode you are in.

Stop labeling normal, successful, competent cyclists with Forester-based nonsense.
Yes, you do have to be VC to pay attention to which mode you are in. VC is just a word used to distinguish the minority of cyclists who understand and can apply the vehicular rules of the road to their riding from the vast majority of cyclists who cannot. If you're not a vehicular cyclist, then you don't even understand what the modes are, by definition.

VC simply means knowing and understanding the vehicular rules of the road, and riding accordingly.
If you don't know and understand the vehicular rules of the road, you cannot ride accordingly.
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Old 08-08-07, 12:10 PM   #16
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Seems the difference is whether you are playing peekaboo with traffic or with your own self-definition of what kind of rider you are (now I'm VC! now I'm not! Peekaboo!) or whether you're just plain old riding your bike (in which case you're not playing peekaboo at all -- you're just doing whatever comes most naturally and makes the most sense at the time.)
The problem is that "whatever comes most naturally" for most cyclists is often unsafe. For example, if you're riding near the ride side of a relatively wide outside lane it may come most naturally to simply maintain your path of travel relative to the right edge as the road and outside lane narrows, but that doesn't mean it's the safest or correct thing to do. In particular, it may not come naturally to understand that you don't necessarily have right of way to merge left here simply because the lane is narrowing. Since you are riding relative to the right edge of the road, you may not even realize you are merging left. Most cyclists don't in that situation.
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Old 08-08-07, 12:47 PM   #17
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Heres how to ride your bike.

Step 1 un lock
step 2 get on bike
step 3 ride how ever makes you the most comfortable with traffic (while staying safe and legal avoid side walks wrong way cycling etc)
Step 4 the most important thing enjoy the ride.

If you must think about what "MODE" your in then your not going to enjoy riding.
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Old 08-08-07, 12:56 PM   #18
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Enjoy living in your Forester fantasyland.
Why is the relatively vague "normal, successful, competent"[1] an acceptable cyclist label for you, but the somewhat less vague "vehicular" is not? Because Fagerlin coined the former, and Forester coined the latter? What difference does it make who coined the label with respect to whether it's useful to use it or not?
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Old 08-08-07, 01:35 PM   #19
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Serge, enjoy living in your Forester fantasyland.
And you enjoy your Fagerlin fantasyland.
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Old 08-08-07, 04:23 PM   #20
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John would be driving his car. Helmet Head would be weaving in and out of the shoulder. The rest of the cycling world would be riding just as you were.
Stop making such silly statements, Diane. The only time that I have been in Port Townsend was when I was cycling through on a long tour.
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Old 08-08-07, 09:15 PM   #21
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and a dodge from john.

john, care to actually anwser the question posted in the original post, without insulting my, or others point of view?

Is riding in a clean wide shoulder, while steady streams of high speed traffic pass VC or is it not VC? is it vehicular? Do VC riding along go from vehicular to non-vehicular with every move across the white stripe?
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Old 08-09-07, 09:28 PM   #22
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and a dodge from john.

john, care to actually anwser the question posted in the original post, without insulting my, or others point of view?

Is riding in a clean wide shoulder, while steady streams of high speed traffic pass VC or is it not VC? is it vehicular? Do VC riding along go from vehicular to non-vehicular with every move across the white stripe?
Your argument is nothing but semantic foolishness. Why should crossing the line change one from a vehicular cyclist to a non-vehicular cyclist? It's still the same cyclist. You are nothing but a logic-chopping ideologue with a very big axe to grind.
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Old 08-09-07, 10:53 PM   #23
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more dodging from john.

john, is it vehicular for a cyclist to ride in the accomodating shoulder of a roadway, or is a VC riding non-vehicularily every time they cross the white stripe?
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Old 08-10-07, 12:39 PM   #24
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more dodging from john.

john, is it vehicular for a cyclist to ride in the accomodating shoulder of a roadway, or is a VC riding non-vehicularily every time they cross the white stripe?
I can only guess why you think that your question has relevance. It doesn't. It doesn't matter.

Possibly you could inform us of why you think this is important?
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Old 08-10-07, 12:43 PM   #25
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the head poobah vehikular cyclist cannot answer a simple question about his suggested riding style......


what a dodger.

HILARIOUS!!!
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