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Old 10-10-07, 08:04 PM   #1
pj7
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What happened to John Forester?

It never occured to me that he had gone missing from here until tonight. Granted I was away for a while, and now am only really on for a few minutes a few days a week, but he hasn't posted in a couple of months.
What happened to him?
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Old 10-10-07, 08:12 PM   #2
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You always make me laugh Pete, no matter how bad of a night I am having at work. (and I mean that in a good "thanks" kind of way, not a "how 'bout some prison sex" kind of way)

Seriously, anyone, what the hell happened to him? He just dropped off the face of the BF earth.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:12 PM   #3
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I don't know but several people I know from other bicycle-related life business have emailed me to ask that very question. Apparently the VC subforum is a popular spot for bikey lurkers to amuse themselves. I guess I'll tell 'em it was carnies. (The ones who work the Rose Festival are pretty scary-looking.) Thanks, Pete.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:17 PM   #4
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Don't be knocking the carnies folks. I doubt they'd appreciate people lumping them in the same group as the "man that invented VC".
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Old 10-10-07, 10:21 PM   #5
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I suspect once John started admitting that vehicular bicyclists actually can ride vehicularily in a bike lane, it was pretty much over.
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Old 10-11-07, 09:17 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pj7 View Post
It never occured to me that he had gone missing from here until tonight. Granted I was away for a while, and now am only really on for a few minutes a few days a week, but he hasn't posted in a couple of months.
What happened to him?
You can always find him on Chainguard.

-G
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Old 10-11-07, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
And as an added bonus you can see Serge getting his pet theories destroyed by the VCers.

Same funny Serge drivel, different setting, different audience.
That is just too funny.

Quote:
3)
> Serge supports his argument [that it's safer to ride in the center of the lane because motorists will notice you]
> by observing that a great proportion of drivers who come up behind
> cyclists express the belief that they, in the person of each
> motorist, is confused as to what to do about each cyclist they see ahead.
This is truly hilarious when supported by this gem just a few lines down the page:

Quote:
In a wide lane, the cyclist whom [a motorist] would hit with either the center
of his radiator or his right headlamp is significantly more likely to
be noticed than the cyclist off to the side that he would not hit at
all (assuming the motorist continues to track along his intended
path).
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Old 10-11-07, 11:39 AM   #8
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"I might add that on a 35-40 mph descent during the LCI Seminar, Dan
Gutierrez (who was assisting) reporting noticing in his mirror that a
motorist was approaching from behind a bit too fast, and he was about
to issue the slow/stop left-arm signal when he noticed that I, who
was right behind him, was already doing so."

Can you imagine riding with these guys? And these are the 'certified instructors.'

R.
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Old 10-11-07, 12:59 PM   #9
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"I might add that on a 35-40 mph descent during the LCI Seminar, Dan
Gutierrez (who was assisting) reporting noticing in his mirror that a
motorist was approaching from behind a bit too fast, and he was about
to issue the slow/stop left-arm signal when he noticed that I, who
was right behind him, was already doing so."

Can you imagine riding with these guys? And these are the 'certified instructors.'

R.
I've ridden a bit with Helmet Head... group rides mind you... He fit right in with everyone else... was a bit chatty, but otherwise didn't seem to do anything I might consider unusual.

He gets some rolled eyes at the local advocacy meetings when he starts to express opinions... But it probably comes from folks that have "heard it all." I've only been to a couple meetings with him.

The funny (ironic) thing is we would probably all ride in about the same manner, given the chance to ride with one another. A few may be a bit more bold or daring, but I doubt there would be any huge standouts.
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Old 10-11-07, 01:21 PM   #10
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I've ridden a bit with Helmet Head... group rides mind you... He fit right in with everyone else... was a bit chatty, but otherwise didn't seem to do anything I might consider unusual.

He gets some rolled eyes at the local advocacy meetings when he starts to express opinions... But it probably comes from folks that have "heard it all." I've only been to a couple meetings with him.

The funny (ironic) thing is we would probably all ride in about the same manner, given the chance to ride with one another. A few may be a bit more bold or daring, but I doubt there would be any huge standouts.
You are probably right. Still, it impresses me how some people prefer to stage a grand production when getting passed by a car.

R.
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Old 10-11-07, 03:43 PM   #11
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You are probably right. Still, it impresses me how some people prefer to stage a grand production when getting passed by a car.

R.
I think in his case he is trying to "systemize" all the subtle nuances that come somewhat naturally to an experienced cyclist.

You've written a book... quite a nice read I may add. Now imagine writing a "how to" manual for cycling at the most basic level... where someone perhaps has actual bicycle experience, but it goes no further than say park riding, and you want them to be able to ride on the street.

It would be far easier to show that person physically how to do it than to write the words to explain all the nuance.

I believe this is the approach that Helmet Head is taking... although for most here on BF, he really is preaching to the choir.

I think the other thing he is doing (and this is the most controversial area), is to try and plant the idea in cyclists' brains that riding along the side is just not right. No doubt this is where much of the debate comes from... roughly the idea that we are fully equal to and allowed all the roadway of a motor car in just about all situations. That's a hard thing to swallow in a an autocentric society... not to mention just the physical differences between cars and bikes that rather makes the argument even more difficult.

Anyway JMHO.

Heck most of the stuff goes way too far here just dancing on the head of the rhetoric pin.
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Old 10-11-07, 05:24 PM   #12
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"I might add that on a 35-40 mph descent during the LCI Seminar, Dan
Gutierrez (who was assisting) reporting noticing in his mirror that a
motorist was approaching from behind a bit too fast, and he was about
to issue the slow/stop left-arm signal when he noticed that I, who
was right behind him, was already doing so."

yeah, that bit struck me as pretty dang funny as well. H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!

it sounds like there's a group of chestbeatingly proud, fumblefooted VC in san Diego who like to go on group rides (that old bike safety in numbers fallacy! which also doesn't accurately reflect solo riding in traffic) to show off their prowess like a bunch of keystone cyclists.

I think john and his avid acolytes should fight amongst themselves in chainguard....the VC-type A's and the VC type B's. I bet john is furious someone like serge is claiming he's a better vehicular bicyclist than big bad john.

The San Diego Keystone Cyclists.
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Old 10-11-07, 05:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
I disagree.

To me it's more like he's a rabid Scientologist trying to preach to a room full of agnostics/atheists/skeptics.
Oh god I hate Scientologists. I used to work with a guy who "claimed" to be one. all I remember about my years of servitude there was making fun of him for believing (or so I spun it to seem so) that the more you farted the closer you got to becoming a diety... or something like that.
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Old 10-11-07, 06:03 PM   #14
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I disagree.

To me it's more like he's a rabid Scientologist trying to preach to a room full of agnostics/atheists/skeptics.
Good one.
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Old 10-11-07, 06:05 PM   #15
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The San Diego Keystone Cyclists.
Well I have said it is a "unique" area...
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Old 10-11-07, 06:16 PM   #16
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No doubt this is where much of the debate comes from... roughly the idea that we are fully equal to and allowed all the roadway of a motor car in just about all situations. That's a hard thing to swallow in a an autocentric society... not to mention just the physical differences between cars and bikes that rather makes the argument even more difficult.
Riding out of the motor traffic when it's safe and practicable to do so (eg. using a bikelane when an adequate one is provided) is not inherently bowing to the 'autocentric' view.

Last edited by Allister; 10-11-07 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 10-11-07, 06:46 PM   #17
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Riding out of the motor traffic when it's safe and practicable to do so (eg. using a bikelane when an adequate one is provided) is not inherently bowing to the 'autocentric' view.
I have to laugh as bikelanes were created to keep bikes out of the way of cars... that is indeed very autocentric.
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Old 10-12-07, 12:02 AM   #18
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I have to laugh as bikelanes were created to keep bikes out of the way of cars... that is indeed very autocentric.
But riding in them isn't.
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Old 10-12-07, 02:06 AM   #19
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Personally I like to keep my attention directed forward and both hands on the bars during 35-40 mph descents, but I guess they don't teach that at LCI school.

Robert
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Old 10-12-07, 06:06 AM   #20
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Personally I like to keep my attention directed forward and both hands on the bars during 35-40 mph descents, but I guess they don't teach that at LCI school.

Robert
That valuable time must be alloted instead to preaching about the evil origins and intentions of the bike lane conspiracy, as well as its horrific effect on Real Cyclists' ability to practice their craft.
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Old 10-12-07, 08:14 AM   #21
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But riding in them isn't.
Not as long as you realize that you can leave them too.
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Old 10-12-07, 01:02 PM   #22
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Personally I like to keep my attention directed forward and both hands on the bars during 35-40 mph descents, but I guess they don't teach that at LCI school.

Robert
When riding in an inside lane (because the outermost lane is diverging to become a freeway onramp) on a multilane freeway-like road (onramps/offramps) with 60 mph traffic it can be beneficial to maintain some rearward situational awareness with mirror glances. In this case noticing the approaching driver early allowed me to help her, by issuing a slow/stop arm signal, to realize sooner that she needed to change lanes to pass us. But, no, this is not explicitly taught in LCI school.

Here is a view from the road (Fairmont Ave) of the location in question. The red car is in the rightmost lane which eventually becomes a freeway onramp. We had just merged into the adjacent lane to the left of that (the rightmost through lane). If you rotate the image around, you'll see the rearview mirror image, of course, or this. That car is closer than was the car to which I signaled, but you get the idea. They were further back, and when I issued the slow/stop signal, she immediately changed lanes (to her left).

In situations like this, while most of my attention remains directed forward of course, I find it quite useful to maintain some situational awareness rearward, because traffic is approaching at such a high rate of speed and many drivers don't expect to encounter a 30-35 mph cyclist in the middle of the road here. The sooner they notice me, and realize they need to change lanes and/or slow down, the smoother the overtaking process becomes. They seem to appreciate the acknowledgment and assistance. I prefer friendly waves and smiles to angry honks and extended middle fingers, but maybe that's just me.

It might be interesting to note that the official "bike route" involves keeping to the right of the rightmost lane here, and a few hundred feet down the hill, right before the rightmost traffic lane diverges to the freeway, diverges to the right to a separate bike path. Here is the entrance. It's a really crappy bike path, but it does go over the diverged lane/onramp and then reconnects, at a right angle, into Fairmont in a horrible place under the I-8 freeway overpass.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-12-07 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 10-12-07, 02:09 PM   #23
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Personally I like to keep my attention directed forward and both hands on the bars during 35-40 mph descents, but I guess they don't teach that at LCI school.

Robert
But if you do that, how on earth can you know if your slow-stop signals are being acknowledged with smiles and waves, sunshine and rainbows?
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Old 10-12-07, 02:24 PM   #24
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It might be interesting to note that the official "bike route" involves keeping to the right of the rightmost lane here, and a few hundred feet down the hill, right before the rightmost traffic lane diverges to the freeway, diverges to the right to a separate bike path. Here is the entrance. It's a really crappy bike path, but it does go over the diverged lane/onramp and then reconnects, at a right angle, into Fairmont in a horrible place under the I-8 freeway overpass.
It should be noted that both the rightmost two lanes can be used as freeway on ramps, so that any cyclist in the rightmost lane could easily be swept onto the freeway by dense traffic using both the right most lanes to get onto the freeway.

Yeah, the path is somewhat narrow and crappy, but frankly if you are going down Montezuma, it sure is nicer than trying to cross both those right lanes to ensure you are not caught by freeway entering motorists.

What really disappointed me about that whole interchange is that years and years ago when they added the path, the whole area could have been laid out better to serve cyclists and it just wasn't done. Certainly the land exists... the narrow area that is paved on Montezuma for "drainage" could have been laid out better and a retaining berm would have kept the rocks and sand off of the path. But that takes a real commitment to cycling as transportation.

Sidenote... just up the hill there, SDSU restricted bikes to off campus for a few years after 1995. They since have allowed bikes back on campus. But it was just your typical show of shortsightedness towards cycling in the area. The intersections around the campus have for years had the highest bicycle traffic flows in the city**... yet the school determined that bikes were not "important." Meanwhile, the school built yet another parking garage. Go figure.

** from studies done at the time.

As a further sidenote, that particular bike pathed intersection is what that even John Forester agreed was "autocentric" due to the design of the road and the sweeping onramps to hiway 8. This was in a discussion we had some time back here on BF.
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Old 10-12-07, 04:55 PM   #25
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It should be noted that both the rightmost two lanes can be used as freeway on ramps, so that any cyclist in the rightmost lane could easily be swept onto the freeway by dense traffic using both the right most lanes to get onto the freeway.
Exactly, which is why we merge left early, as soon as traffic/negotiating allows after the Montezuma/Fairmont merge.

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Yeah, the path is somewhat narrow and crappy, but frankly if you are going down Montezuma, it sure is nicer than trying to cross both those right lanes to ensure you are not caught by freeway entering motorists.
If you merge left early you're not really "crossing" both lanes. You can be controlling the Montezuma offramp lane as you merge onto Fairmount, and then just merge one lane over. Of course, you bias left since this lane eventually serves two destination (left to stay on Fairmount, right to go to the freeway), and you're destination is left. It is precisely soon after we merged into this lane that I saw that the car coming down Fairmount under the Fairmount/Montezuma interchange overpass was not slowing or changing lanes - so I helped her.

Not only is the condition of the path bad, but the way it connects at the bottom is really bad. It's okay if you're continuing straight, but if you need to turn left on Camino Del Rio N, they dump you 10-20 feet from the intersection, with 2 or 3 lanes to cross. I much rather just stay on Fairmount.
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