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Vehicular Cycling (VC) No other subject has polarized the A&S members like VC has. Here's a place to share, debate, and educate.

View Poll Results: Does VC come naturally to you?
Yes 19 70.37%
No 8 29.63%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-27-08, 05:54 PM   #1
nun
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VC is just natural

I only heard of John Forester recently and read about VC, but I realize that its how I've been riding a bike since I was 10 years old. It seems a perfectly sensible, safe and natural way to ride. Maybe that's because in 1970 I took the UK's Cycling Proficiency Test which emphasized following the Highway Code as a bike is a vehicle on the road and lane positioning strategies similar to VC.
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Old 02-27-08, 06:12 PM   #2
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I only heard of John Forester recently and read about VC, but I realize that its how I've been riding a bike since I was 10 years old. It seems a perfectly sensible, safe and natural way to ride. Maybe that's because in 1970 I took the UK's Cycling Proficiency Test which emphasized following the Highway Code as a bike is a vehicle on the road and lane positioning strategies similar to VC.
I started cycling in London, England, at the age of seven. Vehicular cycling came to me by a process that appeared to be natural, because everyone that I knew had grown up in a society in which vehicular cycling was the proper and required way to ride. When I started to consider the views of Americans regarding cycling, I realized that the great majority view was that cycling ought to be done in the cyclist-inferiority manner for the safety of the cyclist, because of the false superstitions of the great danger of same-direction motor traffic and of the incapability of the cyclist. The minority view that cyclists should operate in the vehicular manner was held only by either former European cyclists or experienced cyclists, nearly all of whom were club cyclists. What we see in the US today is just the continuation of the old American superstition.

I see no problem in suggesting that what one grows up with appears to be natural; after all, that is a basic sociological and anthropological fact.
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Old 02-27-08, 07:25 PM   #3
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VC is counter-intuitive in the American culture. What's intuitive in the U.S. is to ride as far right as practicable all the time, unless you have a good reason not to, and even when you have a good reason not to.

An excellent example illustrating this can be found in this recent thread up in A&S.
A cyclist was hit by a woman driver who did not yield coming out of a fast food joint, and his assumption is he now needs a daytime flashing light.
Most of the others assumed where he was riding was not an issue. The topic of destination positioning (a key VC principle) was not even raised, never mind that riding one foot from the fog line (which is where it was eventually revealed he was riding) is proper destination positioning for turning right into the fast food place.

Not only do they not think vehicularly (and thus not don't ride vehicularly), they don't want to.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 02-27-08 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 02-27-08, 07:34 PM   #4
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Get a room.
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-ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"
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Old 02-27-08, 07:58 PM   #5
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savvy vehicular cyclists realize the benefits in accomodations for bicycling including bike specific on road bike lanes, intersection accomodations, signage, wide lanes, unaccomodated streets, traffic calming, off street bike paths and other inducements to bicycling.

vehicular cyclists like head and john have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the progression of community and roadway designs to better accomodate bicyclists.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:00 PM   #6
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heaad- that woman WAS riding vehicularily, despite your protestations.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:06 PM   #7
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savvy vehicular cyclists realize the benefits in accomodations for bicycling including bike specific on road bike lanes, intersection accomodations, signage, wide lanes, unaccomodated streets, traffic calming, off street bike paths and other inducements to bicycling.

vehicular cyclists like head and john have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to the progression of community and roadway designs to better accomodate bicyclists.
A simple yes/no to the poll would suffice.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:08 PM   #8
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....derath, but thanks for your concern.

vehicular cycling should have no prejudical infrastructure edicts imbedded within its methodology.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:08 PM   #9
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Yes, in fact I never realized I rode "VC" until I found these forums.

For me I have always defaulted to riding in the lane because, well, the lane is nicer to ride in. Going fast downhill for example, I don't want to be limited to a small strip of road where I have no wiggle room if something ends up in my path.

Of course I use common sense, and I am not going to stay out in a lane when a vehicle is barrelling down at me going a high rate of speed. But whenever I can I default to the lane.

FWIW 9% of my riding involves roads with a shoulder at best.

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Old 02-27-08, 08:11 PM   #10
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....derath, but thanks for your concern.

vehicular cycling should have no prejudical infrastructure edicts imbedded within its methodology.

And when it comes up jump all over it. But why must you muddy a simple thread such as this? YOU are the first to bring up ANYTHING about infrastructure in this thread.

And to think you are the one that says the other side is constantly prostelytizing...

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Old 02-27-08, 08:19 PM   #11
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really????

the muddying of the thread was in jon forestors post, derath.

there needs to be a redefinition of vehicular cycling that purges john forestors' prejudical engineering and socialogical fallacies.
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Old 02-27-08, 08:31 PM   #12
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really????

the muddying of the thread was in jon forestors post, derath.

there needs to be a redefinition of vehicular cycling that purges john forestors' prejudical engineering and socialogical fallacies.
Read again. Where in his post above does he say ANYTHING about facilities [edit] (replace facilities with infrastructure to keep in line with your posts)?

-D
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Old 02-27-08, 09:04 PM   #13
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muddyed with his crackpot 'childish cycling inferiorities' and already wasted before my comments about SAVVY vehicular bicyclists shedding anti-infrastructure prejudices.

sorry to see you worked up at a simple reiteration of what direction modern vehicular cycling is moving, derath.

it is IMPERATIVE 21st century vehicular cycling moves beyond john's prejudices and let anti-accomodationalism wither.

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-28-08 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 02-27-08, 09:14 PM   #14
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Well, in spite of the immediate junk posts, I suddenly realize why I've always ridden differently. I spent my summers growing up in the UK. So cycling as if I were a real vehicle probably seemed pretty natural. While I've had close calls, acting as if I belong on the road has done me very well. Of course, I'm at odds with many of the other aspects of US culture.
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Old 02-27-08, 09:24 PM   #15
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Even though I have been a vehicular cyclist for years... the whole concept of mixing heavier faster vehicles with un protected cyclists moving a much lower speed is akin to trying to outrun and dodge boulders in a landslide.
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Old 02-27-08, 09:27 PM   #16
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muddyed with his crackpot 'childish cycling inferiorities and already muddied before my comments about SAVVY vehicular bicyclists shedding anti-infrastructure prejudices.
Where in his post does he say anything regarding anti-infrastructure? And he at least starts out ANSWERING the OP's question. I will agree he takes it a bit far. So you would have been well within the topic to say (here I will do it for you)

"Hey John. The OP asked about if VC riding is natural to YOU. Not your observations about everyone else. So why don't you do everyone a favor and not speak for them ok?"


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sorry to see you worked up at a simple reiteration of what direction modern vehicular cycling is moving, derath.
I think you have that backwards. I'm getting a good chuckle. It is funny to see you being so worked up over HH and JF that you feel the need to answer a question that hasn't been asked.

In fact, you are the only one in this thread talking about infrastructure. And you are the only one participating in this thread who hasn't actually answered the OP's question.

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it is IMPERATIVE 21st century vehicular cycling moves beyond john's prejudices and let anti-accomodationalism wither.
I don't disagree with you. I welcome any well designed cycling specific infrastructure. I also recognize it is a pipe dream to think it will ever encompass 100% of the roads I ride, so I must also be able to ride unaccomodated roads safely.

I just question why you feel the need to muddy this thread with infrastructure talk when it hasn't even been brought up yet. Do you feel the uncontrollable urge to post in every thread that HH and JF touches with your canned stump speech?

-D
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Old 02-27-08, 09:27 PM   #17
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would a vehicular cyclist that has grown up in an accomodated community ride vehicularly in a well provided bike lane and feel totally natural doing so?

OF COURSE THEY WOULD.

vehicular cycling must purge itself of its' ideological prejudices.
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Old 02-27-08, 09:47 PM   #18
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would a vehicular cyclist that has grown up in an accomodated community ride vehicularly in a well provided bike lane and feel totally natural doing so?

OF COURSE THEY WOULD.

vehicular cycling must purge itself of its' ideological prejudices.
I think it unlikely that a person growing up in a society such as that of The Netherlands or Denmark would develop into a vehicular cyclist. If, on the other hand, he learned vehicular cycling in some other location and then tried riding in either of those nations he would feel that he was one of a very small minority strongly at odds with the other cyclists on the road.
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Old 02-27-08, 09:47 PM   #19
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I only heard of John Forester recently and read about VC, but I realize that its how I've been riding a bike since I was 10 years old. It seems a perfectly sensible, safe and natural way to ride. Maybe that's because in 1970 I took the UK's Cycling Proficiency Test which emphasized following the Highway Code as a bike is a vehicle on the road and lane positioning strategies similar to VC.
As an adult, I have to say that riding a bike on the road with cars was at first, a scary thought. After doing it, I discovered how wonderful bicycling on the road was.

I, too, was cycling on the road at 10 years old according to road rules. I'm glad that John Forester's ideas offer a balance between vehicular cycling and cycling that is separated from motor traffic. Some prefer separation, but that's not for everyone.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:42 AM   #20
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john, if a young cyclist grew up riding vehicularliy in San Diego, on Maui, Seattle, Denver, Portland, NYC or and of the other many and myriad accomodated cities in North America, the young cyclist would have developed his notion of vehicular cycling to include riding vehicluarily in well provided bike lanes-

and they'd be doing it totally naturally!
I suspect there is now a generation of vehicular cyclists in the USA that hold no prejudices against well implemented bike infrastructure.

(time to let your engineering prejudices die the death that vehicular cycling REQUIRES to not be at odds with accomodated communities.

why you must equate 'accomodated' with 'amsterdam' belies your supposed 'transportation engineering' abilities, john. your prejudices are showing!!!!
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Old 02-28-08, 12:44 AM   #21
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if the forestorite vc concede it is perfectly natural to ride vehicularily in a well provided bike lane, they would not be at odds with both riding vehicularism and modern road design-

it ain't the 1950's anymore, Lucy!
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Old 02-28-08, 01:04 AM   #22
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I only heard of John Forester recently and read about VC, but I realize that its how I've been riding a bike since I was 10 years old. It seems a perfectly sensible, safe and natural way to ride. Maybe that's because in 1970 I took the UK's Cycling Proficiency Test which emphasized following the Highway Code as a bike is a vehicle on the road and lane positioning strategies similar to VC.
When I made my first bike trip downtown at age 10 or 11 I was on a one-speed kids' bike from Sears and using the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. I may have arrived at that technique of my own accord but I also vaguely remember being told that cyclists should ride like that in some sort of school program. That was certainly the law at the time. It certainly wasn't a 'club cyclist' who taught me, because I didn't know any club cyclists nor any Europeans at the time. I don't recall anybody ever telling us we needed to get out of the way of cars, ride on the sidewalk, or any other sort of 'childish cycling.'

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Old 02-28-08, 01:43 AM   #23
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the artifical constructs of john's 'childish cycling' bears no relation to fact. bicycling advocacy and education has never been about instututionalizing 'childish bicycling'- what a far fetched conflagration!

google the 1963 bicycle safety movie "Someone got fat" to see bicycling education that predates forestor and posesses none of his hysterical hyperbole.

(personally, i too learned road cycling at an early age, in a school or other bike rodeo type program. I did a half century before I was even 10 years old.)
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Old 02-28-08, 03:51 AM   #24
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I spend all my time posting in A&S instead of riding, thats what real advocates do.
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Old 02-28-08, 05:06 AM   #25
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I spend all my time posting in A&S instead of riding, thats what real advocates do.
actually, bek and head and others in here are doing a valuable public service - keeping JF tied up on BF and out of the city council meetings and off the expert witness stand will do much to help everyday, transportational cyclists, out there riding to and from work, trying to figure out how best to work in their communities developing advocacy and infrastructure methods and materials that promote life on the street that can be sane, rational, and comfortable for people wishing to use the public right of way to go about their business, regardless of 'mode' and whether they are classified as vehicles or not.
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