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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Really? So while driving, you have had things thrown at you from other cars???

    Yes?

    Well, it was hard to tell if I was the intended target or not.



    To be honest, I can't think of anything thrown at me from a car while riding at all.

  2. #27
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Let's say you're right, and that some kind of motorist education would have these results: bad behavior that originates from the sense of driver entitlement would decrease significantly.

    For a cyclist like me, the total amount of motorist "bad behavior" that I encounter and affects me that originates for any reason whatsoever is so rare that my behavior is virtually unaffected by it. So eliminating motorist bad behavior altogether would have little effect. And reducing an essentially insignificant problem by some small percentage (the percentage of all bad behavior that "originates from the sense of driver entitlement") would be even less significant. So I would be honked at 0 times per year instead of 6 times. Big deal.

    Okay, so that's me. What about other cyclists you say? Fine. If you look at cyclist fatalities, at least half originate from bad behavior on the part of the cyclist. And that's using a conservative assessment of cyclist "bad behavior", and does not include all behavior that I would include being "bad" (such as going straight from the right side of the lane into an intersection without due diligence, passing a slowing motorist on the right, etc.). But, let's say for the sake of argument that in half of car-bike cyclist fatalilties "bad behavior" on the part of the motorist is the major factor. Of those, what percentage do you believe the bad behavior "originates from the sense of driver entitlement"? Frankly, I would be surprised if it was 5%, and would not be surprised if it was less than 1%. But even if it's 10% (double the most I think it could possibly be, that's 10% of half). Assuming about 800 cyclists are killed per year, that means, at most, we would save about 40 cyclist lives per year. You say, that's great, 40 lives are worth saving, no matter the cost. But imagine if we spent all that focus and energy within the cycling community, and a fraction of those millions, on bringing about change in cyclist behavior instead... we could save not just up to 80 lives per year, but hundreds of lives per year, and countless more injuries. This is why I'm an advocate of best practices in traffic cycling.
    What you are missing in your reaction piece above is that by better educating motorists, cyclists are not the sole beneficiaries.

    Consider that fewer motorists will be killed, as well as fewer pedestrians. Making better drivers is not about saving cyclists. It is about making better drivers, period.

    On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with making better cyclists either. At the very least I would applaud any public effort that gets cyclists riding on the proper side of the road.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    What you are missing in your reaction piece above is that by better educating motorists, cyclists are not the sole beneficiaries.
    Gene, I was addressing the claim that driver education would significantly decrease "bad behavior that originates from the sense of driver entitlement". Perhaps I misunderstood, but I interpreted that to mean the "entitlement" that drivers feel they have relative to cyclists, and the "bad behavior" that originates from that. Cyclists would be the sole beneficiaries of that, by definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Consider that fewer motorists will be killed, as well as fewer pedestrians. Making better drivers is not about saving cyclists. It is about making better drivers, period.
    Now you're talking about something else again, much more general, and assuming that increased driver education can achieve what you imagine it can: "making better drivers, period". A dubious presumption, I think.

  4. #29
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Gene, I was addressing the claim that driver education would significantly decrease "bad behavior that originates from the sense of driver entitlement". Perhaps I misunderstood, but I interpreted that to mean the "entitlement" that drivers feel they have relative to cyclists, and the "bad behavior" that originates from that. Cyclists would be the sole beneficiaries of that, by definition.


    Now you're talking about something else again, much more general, and assuming that increased driver education can achieve what you imagine it can: "making better drivers, period". A dubious presumption, I think.
    Yet oddly, countries such as Germany, where it is harder to get a drivers' license, have better drivers, higher speed roads, and better treatment toward cyclists.

    Now of course your response will indicate that the laws are different... and while that is true, perhaps that also is something that should be done here.

    Oh and with regard to that entitlement issue... I believe that motorists occasional poor behavior with each other also stems from that same entitlement issue... so this is not about cyclists alone, but about improving motorist behavior in general... which even insurance companies and certain states (which have toughened their driver's license testing) apparently also believe.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Yet oddly, countries such as Germany, where it is harder to get a drivers' license, have better drivers, higher speed roads, and better treatment toward cyclists.
    To the extent that countries like Germany actually have better drivers, I agree that's probably because of the greater difficulty associated with getting a license. But that still ignores that bad-driving-that-could-be-eliminated-by-better-education is a relatively insignficant factor in terms of bike-car crash causes (and, therefore, the fact that improving driving could not have a very significant effect in reducing bike-car crashes). The supposed better treatment of cyclists in Germany is probably due to cultural factors rather than legal or educational. Try to ride a bike on a street with a sidepath in Germany and see how well you're treated. Likewise, the treatment of cyclists is quite good in the bike capital of the USA, Davis, CA, which has the same laws as the rest of the state. And this was true even before the first bike lane stripe was painted there in the late 60s, so that's not the reason. It's the culture, and high use of bikes in the culture, that is the main factor in determining how well cyclists are treated.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Oh and with regard to that entitlement issue... I believe that motorists occasional poor behavior with each other also stems from that same entitlement issue... so this is not about cyclists alone, but about improving motorist behavior in general... which even insurance companies and certain states (which have toughened their driver's license testing) apparently also believe.
    That would be a different entitlement issue from the one I was talking about, which was specifically drivers' entitlements over those of cyclists.

  6. #31
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Correct.

    How does that relate to my post that you quoted?
    You wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I've spent enough time at the wheel of a car to question whether I want to be treated as the driver of a vehicle.

    It's my opinion that drivers of motor vehicles threaten and harass each other far more than they bother cyclists.
    This seemed to imply that there is a high level of inevitability in terms of harassment, and that there was little that could be done about it. That's why I wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    There are friends and family members who are more prone to harassment and crashes than are others. When you are a passenger in their car it quickly becomes obvious why.

    The biggest factor, by far, in determining how you are treated, or the likelihood you will be in a crash, is your behavior. This is just as true if you're driving a car, motorcycle, bicycle or bus. I can't even imagine what factor might come in second place, but I know it would be a distant, distant second. This is a point that defensive driving, Hurst's Urban Cycling, and Forester's vehicular cycling all have in common.

  7. #32
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    To the extent that countries like Germany actually have better drivers, I agree that's probably because of the greater difficulty associated with getting a license. But that still ignores that bad-driving-that-could-be-eliminated-by-better-education is a relatively insignficant factor in terms of bike-car crash causes (and, therefore, the fact that improving driving could not have a very significant effect in reducing bike-car crashes). The supposed better treatment of cyclists in Germany is probably due to cultural factors rather than legal or educational. Try to ride a bike on a street with a sidepath in Germany and see how well you're treated. Likewise, the treatment of cyclists is quite good in the bike capital of the USA, Davis, CA, which has the same laws as the rest of the state. And this was true even before the first bike lane stripe was painted there in the late 60s, so that's not the reason. It's the culture, and high use of bikes in the culture, that is the main factor in determining how well cyclists are treated.
    And how might we improve the lot of cyclists here in this country such that we too have a high use of bikes in the culture?

    Simply telling cyclists that they have the same rights of motorists and then pushing the cyclists out onto 45/50MPH arterials just doesn't seem to be working.

    Could it be that folks are in so much fear of "other drivers" that they have both taken up supposedly "safer" vehicles such as SUVs (which statistically are NOT safer) and pushed for mandatory helmet laws, wherein in fact these are just bandaids to a larger problem... that of poorly trained motorists operating in a poor manner. This certainly is the general public impression (that continues to sell SUVs)... and with that impression, no amount of cyclist training is going to change our culture.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    And how might we improve the lot of cyclists here in this country such that we too have a high use of bikes in the culture?
    Change zoning laws to allow for much higher density populations.
    Get rid of free parking, add tolls to all/most roads... stop building roads with general funds... i.e., making motoring less convenient and so inexpensive, especially for short trips.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Simply telling cyclists that they have the same rights of motorists and then pushing the cyclists out onto 45/50MPH arterials just doesn't seem to be working.
    It does work with those who pay attention and think. Obviously, it does not work with the obstinate. Because of them, the changes I listed above would be required in order to "have a high use of bikes in the culture".

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Could it be that folks are in so much fear of "other drivers" that they have both taken up supposedly "safer" vehicles such as SUVs (which statistically are NOT safer) and pushed for mandatory helmet laws, wherein in fact these are just bandaids to a larger problem... that of poorly trained motorists operating in a poor manner.
    Those are all overreactions to the false perception that "other drivers" are so dangerous such extreme measures are warranted.

    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    This certainly is the general public impression (that continues to sell SUVs)... and with that impression, no amount of cyclist training is going to change our culture.
    I agree that's the impression. I disagree that impression is based on an accurate and reasonable perception of reality, if that's what you're arguing.

    Until you change that impression, no one who thinks they need to be surrounded by a 6,000 lbs SUV to be safe "out there" is going to ride his bike in or near any of that traffic, and certainly knowing that some motorists had some extra education is not going to change that irrational impression.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Try to ride a bike on a street with a sidepath in Germany and see how well you're treated.
    Don't recall ever seeing a sidepath in Germany parallel and in close proximity to a street in my 10 years there. Have you?

    I never had a problem with anybody in those 10 years with either riding in the street or on sidepaths that went through the woods and fields. I fared pretty damn well cycling in Germany. What's the extent of your bike riding experience in Germany?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by iltb-2 View Post
    Don't recall ever seeing a sidepath in Germany parallel and in close proximity to a street in my 10 years there. Have you?

    I never had a problem with anybody in those 10 years with either riding in the street or on sidepaths that went through the woods and fields. I fared pretty damn well cycling in Germany. What's the extent of your bike riding experience in Germany?
    As you know, my bike riding experience in Germany is very limited. But there were plenty of sidepaths (glorified sidewalks) along major arterials in the suburb of Munich where we were visiting family. On any sidestreet through the residential areas with speed limits of 20 kph vehicular cycling was the norm. But on the 60+ kph roads... no bikes on the road. Same thing around Lake Constance.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    As you know, my bike riding experience in Germany is very limited. But there were plenty of sidepaths (glorified sidewalks) along major arterials in the suburb of Munich where we were visiting family. On any sidestreet through the residential areas with speed limits of 20 kph vehicular cycling was the norm. But on the 60+ kph roads... no bikes on the road. Same thing around Lake Constance.
    Well I dunno. I rode my bicycle on the road on the German side of Lake Constance (Bodensee) from Konstanz through Fredrichhafen (even visited Eurobike 2001) to Lindau for a very enjoyable day trip. I had no problem on the road, did you?

    But on the 60+ kph roads... no bikes on the road So? Maybe the Germans you encountered are into biking for pleasure, not demonstrating their "vehicular status" for no particular good reason, and chose a more enjoyable route when available.

    What happened to You when YOU cycled on those "60+ kph roads..."?

  12. #37
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    I agree that's the impression. I disagree that impression is based on an accurate and reasonable perception of reality, if that's what you're arguing.

    Until you change that impression, no one who thinks they need to be surrounded by a 6,000 lbs SUV to be safe "out there" is going to ride his bike in or near any of that traffic, and certainly knowing that some motorists had some extra education is not going to change that irrational impression.
    Uh, I never said it was reality... just a perception... and indeed a bit of education for "some motorists" won't be enough...

    Just as a bit of education for cyclists "won't be enough..."

    But trying to convince cyclists that the world is "flat" if you have the "right" attitude, use the "right" stare, "trust but verify" (through tinted windows and sunglasses) and portray the "right" body language is just as foolish an exercise too... BTW I can't help but wonder how you plan on teaching "the stare," "the body language," and "the attitude" in your classes.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by iltb-2 View Post
    Well I dunno. I rode my bicycle on the road on the German side of Lake Constance (Bodensee) from Konstanz through Fredrichhafen (even visited Eurobike 2001) to Lindau for a very enjoyable day trip. I had no problem on the road, did you?

    But on the 60+ kph roads... no bikes on the road So? Maybe the Germans you encountered are into biking for pleasure, not demonstrating their "vehicular status" for no particular good reason, and chose a more enjoyable route when available.

    What happened to You when YOU cycled on those "60+ kph roads..."?
    Let's just say Germans have a much stronger sense of what is appropriate behavior, and what is not, and they let me know in no uncertain terms that riding in the street on a bike was not acceptable. This was in Friedrichshafen.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Uh, I never said it was reality... just a perception... and indeed a bit of education for "some motorists" won't be enough...

    Just as a bit of education for cyclists "won't be enough..."

    But trying to convince cyclists that the world is "flat" if you have the "right" attitude, use the "right" stare, "trust but verify" (through tinted windows and sunglasses) and portray the "right" body language is just as foolish an exercise too... BTW I can't help but wonder how you plan on teaching "the stare," "the body language," and "the attitude" in your classes.



    HH's single Commandment of VC Dogmatics is too funny....."All cyclists ride wrong".
    Really...sometimes I think he is playing the ultimate joke on us by posting this stuff here.
    He is intelligent enuff to make it seem that the stuff he proposes just cant be real.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    But trying to convince cyclists that the world is "flat" if you have the "right" attitude, use the "right" stare, "trust but verify" (through tinted windows and sunglasses) and portray the "right" body language is just as foolish an exercise too... BTW I can't help but wonder how you plan on teaching "the stare," "the body language," and "the attitude" in your classes.
    No need to teach these things explicitly, Gene. It comes naturally once you understand your rights, pay proper attention to traffic around you, and adopt the right attitude (assuming you have the basic cycling skills already). Al that is virtually automatic once you accept, deep down, that you have the same right to the road as does any driver, and that is true regardless of what they think and do.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Let's just say Germans have a much stronger sense of what is appropriate behavior, and what is not, and they let me know in no uncertain terms that riding in the street on a bike was not acceptable. This was in Friedrichshafen.
    So, if this could happen in Germany, why do you think it doesnt happen here ?
    Re: Your responses to any of my posts about lane sharing.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    So, if this could happen in Germany, why do you think it doesnt happen here ?
    Re: Your responses to any of my posts about lane sharing.
    First, I never said it can't happen here.
    Second, we don't have very many sidepaths.
    Third, where we do have sidepaths, we generally don't have laws that require their use (and prohibit bicycle use of the road).

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post


    HH's single Commandment of VC Dogmatics is too funny....."All cyclists ride wrong".
    Really...sometimes I think he is playing the ultimate joke on us by posting this stuff here.
    He is intelligent enuff to make it seem that the stuff he proposes just cant be real.
    If you want to disagree with something I said, and maybe even ridicule it, I can understand that.
    But deriding something I never said -- "All cyclists ride wrong" -- what is the point of that?

    Anyway, do you disagree with my contention that most cyclists ride as if their #1 job is to stay out of the way of cars, period?

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    No, I dont disagree with that at all.
    I disagree with the "One size fits all" philosophy that you
    project. People should ride the way they feel comfortable and
    safest in the environments they ride in. Me for instance, I
    am fine with the philosophy of taking a lane. I personally
    dont do it often because my "B" type personality prefers
    non-confrontational riding style. I dont like being told that is
    wrong just because our priorities differ sightly. Personally,
    I would love to see bicyclists attain the type of notoriety 1% MC
    gangs did in the 60's. I think our spineless pacivity (me included)
    is an effort in futility as far as getting motorists to respect us.
    I would like it if car drivers would be mortified when they close
    passed or did something else stupid to us.
    But, Im too old and tired to lead that revolution

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    I personally dont do it often because my "B" type personality prefers non-confrontational riding style.
    Something tells me your problems riding a bicycle in traffic are much more related to your perception that taking a lane is "confrontational" than they are to the drivers in your area.

  21. #46
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    As usual, something tells you wrongly. I ride in/around some of the
    worst traffic in the country every day. I can ride traffic.
    I do what I can to mitigate the unpleasantness of it.


    http://www.local10.com/news/9223887/...s=mia&psp=news
    Last edited by -=(8)=-; 02-03-08 at 05:01 PM.

  22. #47
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I too ride in a non-confrontational way, have very few issues with drivers, but use and misuse many vehicular cycling principles.

    When the road or lane is narrow I take the lane.
    When the road or lane is wide enough to allow safe sharing, I ride far right and watch for right hooks.
    When a two-lane road is narrow with heavy high speed traffic I try to avoid it.
    When I have taken the lane, I do not filter forward.
    When I have shared a lane, I will carefully filter forward.
    When there is a dedicated bike path or MUP I will use it unless the road is more attractive.
    When both road and path are not good for riding, I will, albeit rarely, use the sidewalk.
    When riding on a sidewalk I slow way way down.
    When riding at night I use a light front and rear.
    When riding I am invisible.

    In my opinion, awareness of vehicular cycling combined with good sense and local knowledge makes for fine riding.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    I too ride in a non-confrontational way, have very few issues with drivers, but use and misuse many vehicular cycling principles.

    When the road or lane is narrow I take the lane.
    When the road or lane is wide enough to allow safe sharing, I ride far right and watch for right hooks.
    When a two-lane road is narrow with heavy high speed traffic I try to avoid it.
    When I have taken the lane, I do not filter forward.
    When I have shared a lane, I will carefully filter forward.
    When there is a dedicated bike path or MUP I will use it unless the road is more attractive.
    When both road and path are not good for riding, I will, albeit rarely, use the sidewalk.
    When riding on a sidewalk I slow way way down.
    When riding at night I use a light front and rear.
    When riding I am invisible.

    In my opinion, awareness of vehicular cycling combined with good sense and local knowledge makes for fine riding.
    This is my riding style to a "T"



    Passive VC ?

  24. #49
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    Cyclists fare best when they act in a predictable manner as a vehicle. This eliminates burdening the motorist with uncertainty and having to guess the cyclists intentions, which causes resentment.

    "Fare best" does not mean the cyclist will never have to deal with bullies and cowards. They can be found while engaging in any activity.
    Last edited by CommuterRun; 02-04-08 at 02:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    This seemed to imply that there is a high level of inevitability in terms of harassment, and that there was little that could be done about it.
    Okay, I see that you have bundled two seemingly unrelated ideas together. What does being harassed by other road users have to do with getting in a lot of accidents?

    When riding, I get almost all of my honking and yelling when I take a centrist lane position on a NOL, for instance, (sorry Joe, four of the last four incidents) a location that a lot of cyclists, yourself included, use to minimize accidents.

    In a car, most aggression seems to result from "delaying" other motorists by obeying the speed limit or stopping at red lights. Although this leads to occasional honking from behind, I don't think it is a major cause of collisions.

    My observations suggest the road users who do the most screaming and threatening themselves are more likely to be the accident-prone type, and I think insurance and police statistics reinforce this.

    What are you basing your comments on?

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