Amongst many of the ideas we are lacking in terms of discussing vehicular cycling topics, is the total lack of a specific definition of "vehicular". We've attempted to come to one before, but it always got muddled up in the need for certain people to expand the definition to fit the world so that they can be purist in their description of their cycling, regardless of their actual maneuvers on the road.
What brought this up was noisebeam's use of the term "vehicular" to describe avoiding an intersection by cutting across a corner parking lot in the "VC vs. Hurst's 'Urban Cycling'" thread.
What is the spirit of the term "vehicular cycling"? This is my question I'd like to discuss.
I view it as cycling with the flow of traffic. "Flow" here being used in the expansive definition, rather than the mere description of riding on the right hand side of the road (left if in "left of the road" nation states).
This is a blatent attempt to negate posturing on both sides of this "debate" (we'll see to the debate after we are done discussing the terminology), and a blatent attempt to inject "lingo" so that we can more precisely talk about traffic cycling and vehicular cycling ideas.
Language can be used as a weapon, or it can be used for communication. Too often, when talking about vehicular cycling, language is conscripted into the former role. This happens on both sides. Not just with the insults and the ad hominem attacks, but in the way we try to force people to admit a retorical point by using language in a nondescriptive way. I'm guilty of this, so is basically all the "regulars" on this particular forum. I was guilty when, in the last attempt to talk about "vehicular", I introduced a version which was tailored to negate some common vehicular cycling practices as "non-vehicular". Helmet Head was guilty when he tried to expand the term "vehicular" to cover many non-vehicular, though common practices, such as explicitly giving up right of way for the "greater good" of keeping traffic flowing steadily, or making two step left turns. I reduced vehicular cycling to "destination lane positioning" and HH expanded it to "everything you do on a public road".
I don't want to expand on the view I offered above. I offer it merely as my opinion. I want to ask the question above in bold: What is the spirit of the term "vehicular cycling"? Problems in engineering and philosophy are considered in stepwise fashion. In school, this cumulates in the saying "first, you must define the problem". The purpose of this thread is NOT to define the term "vehicular" in "vehicular cycling". It is to consider the spirit of this term.
Once we have done that, and only once we have done that, can we arrive at a working definition and strip the retoric from this discussion. That is the end goal.