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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: Regarding the books Cyclecraft and Effective cycling do/have you
own both 4 13.79%
own one 9 31.03%
read both 2 6.90%
read one 3 10.34%
none of the above 10 34.48%
other (please explain) 1 3.45%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-10-08, 01:07 PM   #1
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Woohoo! My "almost new" copy of Effective Cycling arrived

So, who, amongst you ayes and noes, either actually own a copy or have read a copy?

I'm going to add Cyclecraft in as it's slightly less scholarly (dense ) than effective cycling and therefore possibly more accessible to joe "in the gutter" commuter.

...and now for something completely different, here's a video that makes me cringe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WFhlddGqmE
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Old 03-10-08, 01:58 PM   #2
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...and now for something completely different, here's a video that makes me cringe

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WFhlddGqmE
I guess it's true that some cyclists swerve suddenly without signaling nor looking back and pass other cyclists too closely.
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Old 03-10-08, 02:11 PM   #3
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I have and have read both Forester's Effective Cycling and Hurst's The Art of Urban Cycling: Lessons from the Street. I find the latter far more readable, and far more contemporary.

I also find it somewhat interesting that both Forester and John Franklin, both from the other side of the pond, have found it "necessary" to write books on cycling.

On the other hand, I would love to see a peer review of Forester's work by Hurst, Franklin and John Allen... the latter who wrote "Street Smarts" which IS ONLINE. http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/

Of course, for balance, in a peer review, I would also like to see Pucher who wrote Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany and Jeffery Hiles on that committee too.

Pucher has written several other papers regarding cycling... Which are available at his web site... and Hiles wrote Listening to Bike Lanes, which is an attempt to get beyond the "feud" and look at what works and what doesn't.
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Old 03-10-08, 05:27 PM   #4
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I own and have read The Art of Cycling and I enjoyed it. Thanks Mr. Hurst!

I intend to read Cyclecraft next, But the last few times I tried to buy it at Amazon it was sold out.

After that, I intend to read Effective Cycling. I like his reasoned and persuasive writings here on the forums, and I'm grateful for his posts. Thank you, Mr. Forester!
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Old 03-10-08, 06:15 PM   #5
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I just read the road. <shrug>
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Old 03-10-08, 07:18 PM   #6
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I have and have read both Forester's Effective Cycling and Hurst's The Art of Urban Cycling: Lessons from the Street. I find the latter far more readable, and far more contemporary.

I also find it somewhat interesting that both Forester and John Franklin, both from the other side of the pond, have found it "necessary" to write books on cycling.

On the other hand, I would love to see a peer review of Forester's work by Hurst, Franklin and John Allen... the latter who wrote "Street Smarts" which IS ONLINE. http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/

Of course, for balance, in a peer review, I would also like to see Pucher who wrote Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany and Jeffery Hiles on that committee too.

Pucher has written several other papers regarding cycling... Which are available at his web site... and Hiles wrote Listening to Bike Lanes, which is an attempt to get beyond the "feud" and look at what works and what doesn't.
I take issue with your statement that: "Pucher who wrote 'Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany' [and] ... several other papers regarding cycling..." I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling. And when Pucher has conducted public correspondence on the subject of cycling, he has shown that he knows nothing beyond the most extreme of the common superstitions. Pucher's sources and subject are governmental reports concerning bicycle transportation, which is not cycling, but only a biased, limited, and self-serving version of actuality.
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Old 03-10-08, 07:27 PM   #7
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I take issue with your statement that: "Pucher who wrote 'Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany' [and] ... several other papers regarding cycling..." I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling. And when Pucher has conducted public correspondence on the subject of cycling, he has shown that he knows nothing beyond the most extreme of the common superstitions. Pucher's sources and subject are governmental reports concerning bicycle transportation, which is not cycling, but only a biased, limited, and self-serving version of actuality.
John, you do make me laugh. Thanks.
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Old 03-10-08, 07:38 PM   #8
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I just read the road. <shrug>
Is that 'reed' or 'red', Allister, I want to know if your information is current!
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Old 03-10-08, 07:59 PM   #9
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Is that 'reed' or 'red', Allister, I want to know if your information is current!
The former. Or the latter, in that I 'red' it on the way to work this morning.
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Old 03-10-08, 08:28 PM   #10
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The former. Or the latter, in that I 'red' it on the way to work this morning.
Thanks for the translation into redneck 'merican. I trust it had a happy ending.
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Old 03-10-08, 09:03 PM   #11
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Thanks for the translation into redneck 'merican. I trust it had a happy ending.
It left me gasping.
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Old 03-11-08, 06:49 AM   #12
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It left me gasping.
Yeah, a well "rid" road will do that...
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Old 03-11-08, 07:00 AM   #13
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john has read Professor John Pucher's papers on transportation policies and was unable to find anything related to cycling?

Are you talking about the tenured Rutgers University professor from their school of Planning and Public Policy? The one that recently published "Making Cycling irresistible..."

Here's the first sentence of the abstract from the paper "making Cycling irresistable"- in case anyone has any questions about the relevance of Pucher's work- "This paper shows how the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have made bicycling a safe, conveinent and practical way to get around their cities."


Is forestor talking about THE professor John Pucher that's been researching and writing about bicycling as urban transportation for over a decade? The Pucher that calls himelf "Car Free John", john? (in contrast to john forester's moniker, "Car Apologist john")


I wonder if john forester is being obtuse? One way or the other it looks bad - no offense, john.

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Old 03-11-08, 01:08 PM   #14
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john has read Professor John Pucher's papers on transportation policies and was unable to find anything related to cycling?

Are you talking about the tenured Rutgers University professor from their school of Planning and Public Policy? The one that recently published "Making Cycling irresistible..."

Here's the first sentence of the abstract from the paper "making Cycling irresistable"- in case anyone has any questions about the relevance of Pucher's work- "This paper shows how the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have made bicycling a safe, conveinent and practical way to get around their cities."


Is forestor talking about THE professor John Pucher that's been researching and writing about bicycling as urban transportation for over a decade? The Pucher that calls himelf "Car Free John", john? (in contrast to john forester's moniker, "Car Apologist john")


I wonder if john forester is being obtuse? One way or the other it looks bad - no offense, john.
No, Bekologist, for you have made my point exactly. Pucher's opening sentence states exactly his scope and subject: governmental policies regarding bicycle transportation, which is what I stated earlier. Pucher has published nothing that explains the mechanism by which these governmental acts make cycling better. In his public correspondence, however, Pucher has demonstrated that his knowledge of bicycle transportation extends only to the most extreme popular superstitions. You praise Pucher highly for the depth of his research into "bicycling as urban transportation." It is, therefore, very significant that this Pucher has been unable to describe the mechanism by which bike-lane stripes make cycling better. That is, aside from his argument that bike-lane stripes improve the vision of elderly cyclists so they can better see the motorists who might collide with them. Amateurs such as yourself, Bekologist, have been defeated by the task of explaining why bike-lane stripes make cycling better. That professionals such as Pucher, and indeed Clarke also, have equally failed in this endeavor suggests very strongly that such a mechanism does not exist, and that all you bikeway promoters are running on nothing but popular superstition.
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Old 03-11-08, 05:34 PM   #15
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I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling.
If you are not being obtuse about one of your contemporaries ( who is universally regarded as a current force in bicycling transportation literature and analysis,)

then you are obviously suffering some kind of disconnect from reality, john.
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Old 03-11-08, 05:47 PM   #16
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If you are not being obtuse about one of your contemporaries ( who is universally regarded as a current force in bicycling transportation literature and analysis,)

then you are obviously suffering some kind of disconnect from reality, john.
John's right... technically Pucher's writings are about the promotion of cycling for transportation, and the infrastructure and policies involved. It is not about actually cycling.

But then again, nothing John has written actually promotes cycling. In fact, I have never read anything by John Forester that promotes cycling, or encourages people to take up cycling. He typically refers to that issue as "anti-motoring."
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Old 03-11-08, 05:51 PM   #17
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no, gene, i disagree strongly. Pucher definetly writes about bicycling. He writes at length on bicycling, bicycling safety and topics related to cycling and bicyclists and bicycling. He even writes about bicycling techniques and training in general terms.

how you both can glibly state "(pucher) doesn't write about cycling" is really beyond the pale. or beyond all (lack of) comprehension.

I mean, really.

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Old 03-12-08, 11:09 AM   #18
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John's right... technically Pucher's writings are about the promotion of cycling for transportation, and the infrastructure and policies involved. It is not about actually cycling.

But then again, nothing John has written actually promotes cycling. In fact, I have never read anything by John Forester that promotes cycling, or encourages people to take up cycling. He typically refers to that issue as "anti-motoring."
That is not correct. Effective Cycling was written to encourage cycling. Read the passages that describe the joys of cycling. Read what I have written so many times even in this forum, that in America bicycle transportation is likely to be done by either those whose circumstances almost compel it or those for whom the joy of cycling for transportation outweighs the costs of doing it.

It is certainly correct that a vehicular cyclist can promote bicycle transportation because he or she disapproves of motoring; there are some in this forum, for example. However, I do not bother to apply the anti-motoring criticism to such people, because they are doing good. I do apply the anti-motoring criticism to those many who promote cyclist-inferiority and incompetent bicycling on bikeways because they oppose motoring. These seem to be the most vociferous of the type in promoting the bikeway system that was designed by motorists to shove cyclists aside. Because they are doing harm to cyclists, I criticize them for all the reasons that are applicable, including their anti-motoring motivation.
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Old 03-12-08, 11:13 AM   #19
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no, gene, i disagree strongly. Pucher definetly writes about bicycling. He writes at length on bicycling, bicycling safety and topics related to cycling and bicyclists and bicycling. He even writes about bicycling techniques and training in general terms.

how you both can glibly state "(pucher) doesn't write about cycling" is really beyond the pale. or beyond all (lack of) comprehension.

I mean, really.
I have written that Pucher's only writings about the technical aspects of bicycle operation display no more than the extreme of popular superstition instead of real knowledge. You, Bekologist, dispute that claim. Then please provide quotations from Pucher's works that demonstrate your claim.
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Old 03-12-08, 09:49 PM   #20
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Oh, I seeeee, john, so when you said

"I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling"you actually meant

'Pucher writes about bicycling but my prejudices prevent me from endorsing any of it.'

I will give you one thread to grasp: Pucher is not thought of as a bicycle instructor and doesn't write specifically to bicycling technique instruction....

Rutgers University Professor John Pucher, AKA 'car free john', from rutgers' Blousetein School of Planning and Public Policy definetly, MOST DEFINETLY, writes about bicycling!!!

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Old 03-13-08, 04:11 PM   #21
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Oh, I seeeee, john, so when you said

"I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling"you actually meant

'Pucher writes about bicycling but my prejudices prevent me from endorsing any of it.'

I will give you one thread to grasp: Pucher is not thought of as a bicycle instructor and doesn't write specifically to bicycling technique instruction....

Rutgers University Professor John Pucher, AKA 'car free john', from rutgers' Blousetein School of Planning and Public Policy definetly, MOST DEFINETLY, writes about bicycling!!!
Bekologist, my challenge to you was: "I have written that Pucher's only writings about the technical aspects of bicycle operation display no more than the extreme of popular superstition instead of real knowledge. You, Bekologist, dispute that claim. Then please provide quotations from Pucher's works that demonstrate your claim."

I see that you, Bekologist, have been unable to answer the challenge about the works of the author whom you so much admire. If you want to call Pucher's field the field of bicycling, go right ahead, but whatever you name Pucher's field, he still knows nothing but the extreme of superstition about the field of bicycle traffic operation, and without that knowledge he cannot be capable of making the causal links between the governmental statistics that he presents and doing good for cyclists. Indeed, while Pucher has tried to do so, his answers are also no more than the extreme of superstition, as in his claim that bike-lane stripes improve the failing vision of elderly cyclists so they are more able to see the motor vehicles that threaten them.
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Old 03-13-08, 05:34 PM   #22
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woah, woah, johnny. I originally adressed the innacuracies of YOUR statement:

john, your statement earlier "I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling" is either

a)obtuse hyperbole; or

b)a blatant lie about another bicycle transportation researcher.

which one is it? is it a lie, or hyperbole?


let's look at a couple of sentences from "making cycling irresistable" and you decide if the sentence is

a) about cycling; or b) not about cycling.


"Some might assume that bicycling levels in Europe have been consistently high. In fact, cycling fell sharply during the 1950's and 1960's, when car ownership surged and cities started spreading out. From 1950 to 1975, the bike share of trips fell by roughly two thirds in a sample of dutch. danish and german cities...."

about bicycling, or not about bicycling, john?


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Old 03-13-08, 06:14 PM   #23
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Somebody please smack me in the head for even being on this forum, but Bekologist, that passage does not discuss the operation of a bicycle. It discusses motivations for its use and disuse.

I don't even pretend to understand why you feel so strongly about your point of view, nor do I really care. I do on the other hand see the point that that passage does not focus on Bicycling, it focuses on modes of transportation. I could substitute the word "train" for "bicycle" and no one would miss a beat.
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Old 03-13-08, 06:21 PM   #24
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Frankly, this argument is about as useful for bike advocacy as the discussion of the commandment "Thou shall not murder" in preventing cirme. The shouted platitudes do not move transportation planners to do what you want. If you want more done, you need asses in seats and money in pockets. Get people out to demand what you believe will do the most good.

Personally, VC and bike paths are good with me. Let's get cyclists to behave well on the streets, get respect from motorists, and give us options of where to ride without cars. That would really suck, eh?
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Old 03-13-08, 07:07 PM   #25
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woah, woah, johnny. I originally adressed the innacuracies of YOUR statement:

john, your statement earlier "I have read two (or three ?) of Pucher's papers on his favorite subject, and I have never found any information regarding cycling" is either

a)obtuse hyperbole; or

b)a blatant lie about another bicycle transportation researcher.

which one is it? is it a lie, or hyperbole?


let's look at a couple of sentences from "making cycling irresistable" and you decide if the sentence is

a) about cycling; or b) not about cycling.


"Some might assume that bicycling levels in Europe have been consistently high. In fact, cycling fell sharply during the 1950's and 1960's, when car ownership surged and cities started spreading out. From 1950 to 1975, the bike share of trips fell by roughly two thirds in a sample of dutch. danish and german cities...."

about bicycling, or not about bicycling, john?

Bekologist, you are merely misusing words in the pretense that you don't understand. Or, of course, because you actually don't understand the subject, which would not surprise me at all. The reader has acquired no knowledge about how to cycle, where to cycle, why people cycle, operation of bicycles in traffic, or anything else. And, quite clearly, Pucher was not there to observe and count cyclists. The information that the reader has acquired is that governmental statistics (probably stated in the endnotes) show changes in the volume of bicycle transportation. That, we all understand, is a matter of great concern to you. But the point at issue is whether the subsequent resurgence in volume of bicycle transportation was caused by the European bikeway programs. You claim that it was, but neither you nor Pucher has offered any explanation of why bikeways would cause such a resurgence, let alone making bikeways the most probable cause. To make that connection requires that one show that bikeways make some large substantial contribution to the welfare of cyclists making transportational trips. In typical transportation analysis, the important factors are safety and convenience. There has been no showing that bikeway systems of any type produce those benefits. But, in any case, my point has always been that Pucher's own statements in public correspondence show that he is incompetent to make such an analysis, because he is ignorant of the subject of the operation of bicycles in traffic.
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