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Old 03-17-08, 11:18 AM   #1
John Forester
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Vehicular Cycling in Britain

I looked up some relevant website documents under the following URLs: cyclingengland.co.uk; bikeability.org.uk; ctc.org.uk, ctsb.org.uk

Cycling England is a government sponsored program that combines bicycle planning and cyclist training.
Bikeability is the cyclist training program.
The Cyclists' Touring Club is a participant in the CE program, basing itself on its long history of cyclist training.
The Cyclist Traning Standards Board is the organization that sets standards for content of courses and accreditation of instructors and courses.

The source books listed for information are by Cyclecraft by John Franklin, Guidelines and Cycle Training Instructor's Manual by Bamford and Carnegy (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), and some book by Forrester.

Quite clearly this is government-sponsored training in vehicular cycling.

Rather astonishing, this, in its similarities to the Effective Cycling Program. But then, EC descended, at least in principle, from the earlier CTC program.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:24 AM   #2
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You know you often insist that the cycling in certain parts of Europe (Copenhagen, Germany, Finland and others) is due to the older design of the roads, and the economic situations of driving there... (to sum it in few words).

Is it possible that the vehicular cycling of which you are so familiar and insist works so well in England is also due to the particular conditions found in that country... which are unlike the conditions seen here in the US. We don't, for instance, have the narrow country roads of the type seen in England... we tend to have rural hiways.
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Old 03-17-08, 11:32 AM   #3
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...We don't, for instance, have the narrow country roads of the type seen in England...
Lucky you.

The joys of the 50mph brush past on roads barely two cars wide, more often less, with no shoulder, high banks and hedges either side and every corner and rise completely blind. Not to mention the lay byes on truly narrow lanes can be as much as 500m or more apart.

Sorry, that was negative as fork and I'm remembering the rare a'hole rather than the 99 other drivers who were patient and courteous.

JF - the ctc training can vary wildly in quality unfortunately (see the comments on the CTC training forum). It is however a good start and seems to be moving towards VC as you pointed out.
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Old 03-17-08, 12:10 PM   #4
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You know you often insist that the cycling in certain parts of Europe (Copenhagen, Germany, Finland and others) is due to the older design of the roads, and the economic situations of driving there... (to sum it in few words).

Is it possible that the vehicular cycling of which you are so familiar and insist works so well in England is also due to the particular conditions found in that country... which are unlike the conditions seen here in the US. We don't, for instance, have the narrow country roads of the type seen in England... we tend to have rural hiways.
That is a reasonable question to ask, but is based on misunderstanding of these discussions. I have never argued that the type of cycling, be it vehicular or not, in these parts of Europe "is due to the older design of the roads and the economic situations of driving there", or, indeed, on what I consider to be very significant, the fact that the high bicycle transportation volumes exist in "walking cities". I have argued that the volume, the amount of bicycle transportation that people choose to use, depends on these things, but not the manner in which it is done. For that matter, when you argue that the older design of the roads is significant, you are arguing against yourself, because the bike lanes are a new design imposed on older roads.

However, your argument could be valid, but it is contradicted by several historical facts.

The British road system contains roads very similar to those in the USA. Not all, of course, but there are many, enough to show that vehicular cycling does not depend on the presence of narrow country lanes. Indeed, I do not recall that I cycled much on narrow country lanes in my initial cycling years in England, 1937-1940. Certainly not on narrow country lanes of the type on which I did cycle in 1985.

While I early acquired the vehicular cycling principle, and brought that view with me to the USA, I found it already in use in the USA by adult club cyclists. As I have written frequently, some of these vehicular cyclists brought it with them when immigrating from Europe, some Americans had learned it during stays in Europe, while others learned it from the combination of contact with these foreign notions and the experience of cycling in an adult manner.

All the formal development of vehicular-cycling theory occurred in the USA many years after I had left England, and was developed on American roads, the formal part after 1970. So it reflects modern American road conditions.
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Old 03-17-08, 01:10 PM   #5
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Is it possible that the vehicular cycling of which you are so familiar and insist works so well in England is also due to the particular conditions found in that country... which are unlike the conditions seen here in the US. We don't, for instance, ride on the wrong side of the road. <--- blue text inserted by ChipSeal
Ha! We also don't spend $10 for a gallon of gasoline!
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Old 03-17-08, 02:05 PM   #6
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Ha! We also don't spend $10 for a gallon of gasoline!
Yet.
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Old 03-17-08, 02:08 PM   #7
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Well having ridden in the UK and US (Bay area) recently, I wouldn't say there is much difference between rider techniques.

Speed limiting on many UK roads is changing rapidly. Most "country lanes" used to have the National Speed limit designation, 60 mph for a single carriageway road. However in recent years there has been a change to restrict speeds in most places. In the US, speed limits seem to be lower on shoulderless roads.
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Old 03-17-08, 03:04 PM   #8
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Left out is the most relevant point.....The attitude of that population.
Peoples attitudes are very cycle tolerant in civilized counties.
Its easy to go VC where you have a friendly and educated population.
We are not that lucky here.
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Old 03-17-08, 03:16 PM   #9
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Left out is the most relevant point.....The attitude of that population.
Peoples attitudes are very cycle tolerant in civilized counties.
Its easy to go VC where you have a friendly and educated population.
We are not that lucky here.
Perhaps that depends where you are, but it is certainly not a black and white comparison. I have experienced plenty of rude & cycle intolerant motorists in England. I was concerned on moving to the states, being member of Bikeforums for some years before moving to California from England and reading various stories. What I found was little different to home, and in some cases, a higher degree of courtesy is offered.
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Old 03-17-08, 03:34 PM   #10
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^^^^ Yes, I am aware of that, but on the whole most of the US is not
very cycling tolerant. In agreement with you, I moved from Vermont
to South Florida and it was quite a culture shock. Vermont was mostly
narrow farm roads, bumpy, some with shoulders, some without and the
population was very, very cycling tolerant. People were very patient
and friendly. It was easy to be VC in this type of civility.
1100 miles southernly is an entirely different world. Lots/most(?) of the
population appears to be very unfriendly and intolerant of anything, and the
way you get treated on the road is a reflection of this mindset.
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Old 03-17-08, 04:24 PM   #11
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^^^^ Yes, I am aware of that, but on the whole most of the US is not
very cycling tolerant. In agreement with you, I moved from Vermont
to South Florida and it was quite a culture shock. Vermont was mostly
narrow farm roads, bumpy, some with shoulders, some without and the
population was very, very cycling tolerant. People were very patient
and friendly. It was easy to be VC in this type of civility.
1100 miles southernly is an entirely different world. Lots/most(?) of the
population appears to be very unfriendly and intolerant of anything, and the
way you get treated on the road is a reflection of this mindset.
I'm prepared to believe you Łem. I have been lucky in moving to a (generally) cycle friendly area here in the States. What gives rise to the differences you see (in driver attitude) Between Vermont and Florida is an interesting topic for speculation.

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Old 04-18-08, 08:51 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
I looked up some relevant website documents under the following URLs: cyclingengland.co.uk; bikeability.org.uk; ctc.org.uk, ctsb.org.uk

Cycling England is a government sponsored program that combines bicycle planning and cyclist training.
Bikeability is the cyclist training program.
The Cyclists' Touring Club is a participant in the CE program, basing itself on its long history of cyclist training.
The Cyclist Traning Standards Board is the organization that sets standards for content of courses and accreditation of instructors and courses.

The source books listed for information are by Cyclecraft by John Franklin, Guidelines and Cycle Training Instructor's Manual by Bamford and Carnegy (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), and some book by Forrester.

Quite clearly this is government-sponsored training in vehicular cycling.

Rather astonishing, this, in its similarities to the Effective Cycling Program. But then, EC descended, at least in principle, from the earlier CTC program.
Jesus Christ. And your point is................................?
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Old 04-18-08, 08:56 AM   #13
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vehicular cycling does not depend on the presence of narrow country lanes..
If you "took the lane", so to speak, on one of our narrow country lanes in England your quite likely to get yorself hurt and not necessarily from the contact with another vehicle but probably as a result of contact between your nose and a big knuckly fist.
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Old 04-18-08, 02:56 PM   #14
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If you "took the lane", so to speak, on one of our narrow country lanes in England your quite likely to get yorself hurt and not necessarily from the contact with another vehicle but probably as a result of contact between your nose and a big knuckly fist.
Quite possible... I bet Mr Forester was riding in the south
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Old 04-19-08, 12:02 AM   #15
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If you "took the lane", so to speak, on one of our narrow country lanes in England your quite likely to get yorself hurt and not necessarily from the contact with another vehicle but probably as a result of contact between your nose and a big knuckly fist.
Assuming the Big Knuckly Fist could haul his Fat Hass out of his car to do the job.
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Old 04-19-08, 07:55 AM   #16
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Is this thread supossed to assist us in referencing another country that, with a focus on vehicular cycling, has eroded cycling participation, decreased ridership, and whose bicyclists suffer from a very high accident/colission rate compared to other countries that better accomodate bicyclists and bicycling?

Is this to help us compare american and british cycling participation rates and accidents and compare them with countries that dedicate ample space and place a high social emphasis on bicycling?

Rather astonishing how low bicycling participation in Britian is, how high their accident rate is.

Astonishing.
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Old 04-19-08, 09:17 AM   #17
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Is this thread supossed to assist us in referencing another country that, with a focus on vehicular cycling, has eroded cycling participation, decreased ridership, and whose bicyclists suffer from a very high accident/colission rate compared to other countries that better accomodate bicyclists and bicycling?

Is this to help us compare american and british cycling participation rates and accidents and compare them with countries that dedicate ample space and place a high social emphasis on bicycling?

Rather astonishing how low bicycling participation in Britian is, how high their accident rate is.

Astonishing.
This post would be much more useful if it supplied data. As is, it just seems to be the same old dreary political infighting. Nothing is learned. No one is helped. Nothing is advocated. Safety is not enhanced.

And, most egregiously, the post arrives here while it is raining!
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Old 04-19-08, 12:00 PM   #18
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i would think my post much more informative than the last two previous, gcottay, but oh well.

pointing out england has a low cycling participation rate and higher accident rates than other countries that better accomodate cyclists isn't informative? please.

London is increasing cyclist participation by infrastructure enhancements and varied carrot and stick techniques that move more people towards biking.
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Old 04-20-08, 02:08 AM   #19
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The websites mentioned in the OP were:

Cycling England
http://cyclingengland.co.uk
"Cycling England is the national body which co-ordinates the development of cycling across England... Cycling England was launched by the Minister for Local Transport in March 2005, replacing the previous National Cycling Strategy Board."

Cycle Training Standards Board
http://ctsb.org.uk
"the custodian body of the National Standards for Cycle Training."

Bikeability
http://bikeability.org.uk
Bikeability is administered by Cycling England. "Bikeability is the Cycling Proficiency Test for the 21st century, designed to give the next generation the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today's roads. There are three Bikeability levels and children will be encouraged and inspired to achieve all three levels, recognising that there is always more to learn and to enjoy on a bike."

CTC (Cyclists' Touring Club)
http://www.ctc.org.uk/

-------------

Cycle Digest can be downloaded from the CTC website:
http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3361

I found it interesting. Article titles include: "Government puts millions into cycling" and "Government to Study Cycle Safety."

---------------------

The following excerpts are from Transport Trends - 10th edition. Available from the Department of Transport:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics...ations/trends/



Personal Travel by Mode

Car use has increased as disposable income has risen, against a backdrop of little change in the real cost of motoring and rising real costs of public transport fares. Although the average number of trips people make has declined over the last ten years, the distance travelled and the time spent travelling has increased.

Total road traffic increased by 84 per cent between 1980 and 2006, from 277 to 511 billion vehicle kilometres. Most of this growth occurred between 1980 and 1990; since 1990 traffic has increased by almost a quarter.

The majority of the growth has been in car traffic, which has risen by 87 per cent since 1980, from 215 to 402 billion vehicle kilometres. Car traffic grew sharply in the 1980s, but has risen more slowly since. Following the decrease between 2004 and 2005, car traffic has grown again, increasing between 2005 and 2006 by 5.2 billion vehicle kilometres.

Pedal cycle traffic grew in the early 1980s but fell by 37 per cent between 1984 and 1993, and then remained steady at 4 billion vehicle kilometres per year between 1993 and 1999. Between 2000 and 2006, pedal cycle traffic grew from 4.2 to 4.6 billion vehicle kilometres, the highest since 1992.

Between 1980 and 2006, the distance travelled by motorcycle and by pedal cycle fell by 30 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The proportion of trips made by car increased slightly from 61 per cent in 1995/97 to 63 per cent in 2006. The average number of annual trips people made by car was 658 in 2006, compared to 664 in 1995/97.

Over the same period, the number of trips made on foot declined by 15 per cent from 292 to 249 trips per person per year. Trips by bicycle or motorcycle also fell, by 14 per cent from 22 to 19. Note that short walks are believed to be under-recorded in 2002 compared with other years.

The growth in car travel and the fall in bus patronage since 1980 have been accompanied by a slight reduction in motoring costs and rising bus fares in real terms.

The overall cost of motoring (including purchase, maintenance, petrol and oil, and tax and insurance) has remained at or below its 1980 level in real terms, although the real cost of fuel in 2006 was 19 per cent higher than in 1980.

In contrast to overall motoring costs, public transport fares have risen in real terms since 1980. In 2006, bus and coach fares and rail fares were both 40 per cent higher than in 1980.

The proportion of trips to work that were made by ‘car’ increased from 68 per cent in 1994 to 71 per cent in 1997 and has remained around that level since then.

The increase in trips to work by ‘car’ was compensated for by small declines in other modes: from 12 to 11 per cent on foot, from 9 to 8 per cent by ‘bus’, and from 5 to 4 per cent by motorcycle and bicycle. The proportion of trips to work by rail increased very slightly from 6 to 7 per cent over the period.

In 2006, just over half (52 per cent) of trips to school by primary school children were made on foot, similar to the proportion in 1995/97 (53 per cent). The proportion of trips by car over the same period increased slightly from 38 to 41 per cent.

Among secondary school children, the proportion of trips to school made on foot, was similar in 2006 (41 per cent) to 1995/97 (42 per cent) and the proportion by car was the same at 20 per cent.

Over the same period, the proportion of children aged 11 to 16 travelling to school by bus (including school coaches) declined slightly from 33 to 31 per cent. About 3 per cent of secondary school pupils cycled to school in 2006.

The proportion of shopping trips made by car has increased from 57 per cent in 1995/97 to 62 per cent in 2006.

Over the same period, the proportion of shopping trips made on foot declined from 31 per cent to 25 per cent.

Between 1995/97 and 2006, the average length of a trip to work increased from 8.2 to 8.7 miles, and the average time taken increased from 24 to 27 minutes. The length of business trips increased slightly from 19.0 to 19.4 miles on average, while the average time taken increased from 36 to 38 minutes. The average trip made for education purposes went up from 2.9 to 3.3 miles, and average time taken increased from 18 to 21 minutes.

Over the same period, the average shopping trip increased from 3.9 to 4.2 miles, although the average time taken increased only slightly, by less than 1 minute, reflecting the increased use of cars instead of walking. The average trip length for leisure trips went up from 8.4 to 9.0 miles, and average time taken increased by 2 minutes.

Safety

Fatality rates for car occupants more than halved between 1980 and 1993 from 6.2 deaths per billion passenger kilometres in 1980 to 3.0 in 1993. Fatality rates since then have continued to decline, but at a slower rate, to 2.6 in 2005.

In 2006, the fatality rate for pedestrians was 54 per cent lower than the 1980 level and for pedal cyclists it was 46 per cent lower.

Between 1980 and 2006, road traffic has increased by 84 per cent. Over the same period, the number of road accidents resulting in personal injury has fallen by 25 per cent, a slightly greater decrease than the 21 per cent reduction in total casualties. The number of fatal and serious road casualties has fallen by 62 per cent.

Health and the Environment

Walking and cycling for travel purposes have both declined significantly over the past decade. The accompanying growth in motorised transport has resulted in a 52 per cent increase in carbon dioxide emissions from domestic transport sources since 1980, which now account for 23 per cent of UK carbon dioxide emissions.

The number of stages cycled for travel purposes declined steadily between 1996 2005, from 19 to 16 per person per year in Great Britain, a fall of 15 per cent. Over the same period, the average distance cycled has fallen by 11 per cent, from 43 to 38 milea year. It should be noted that the average is based on the whole population, whether they cycled during the survey period or not. (A trip consists of one or more stages. A new stage is defined when there is a change in the form of transport or when there is a change of vehicle requiring a separate ticket. It should be noted that the data presented ... are collected as part of a survey to monitor trips by people for a purpose and do not cover all walking and cycling activity...)


End of qoutes from Transport Trends - 10th edition.

--------------------------------------

And now for something completely different.

In the gallery of the Cycling England website, there's a section devoted to "Various types of cycle lanes, bus lanes and ways of allowing cyclists down one way streets."

Just a few examples:

Go to "Reallocation of road space" for more.
http://cyclingengland.co.uk/gallery.php?id=9

----------------------------------

And then there's this from the DfT:

Cycling policy: an overview
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/sustainabl...policyoverview

Selected excerpts:


Cycling Training

Currently less than one third of children in schools receive any form of cycle training. The quality of the training also varies from old style off road training to good quality on road training. To address this, the Department of Transport with the help of cycling and road safety groups has established a new National Standard for cycle training. The new standard is being delivered under the brand name of Bikeability. Our priority is to train children to make trips to school by bike before they leave primary school and to allow most children to cycle to school.

The new National Standard was launched in March 2007 following a six month gearing up stage. It will be rolled out over the whole of the country over the next few years. The initial gearing up stage saw over 10,000 Bikeability badges awarded to 5,000 kids (Levels 1 & 2). The trial areas were Merseyside, Exeter (and Cornwall via an independent National Standards instructor), Kingston, London, Hertfordshire, Manchester, The Isle of Wight and selected schools in Essex...


Q. What is Bikeability?
A. Bikeability is the modern form of Cycling Proficiency updated for the 21st Century. It
will provide children and adults the opportunity to undertake quality cycle training to ride
safely and well on today's roads. It is the trade mark for the National Standard and supersedes
the old style cycle proficiency test.

Q. What are the three Bikeability levels?
A. The new National Standard training levels are:-
  • .. Level 1 award is designed for children aged up to 9 when they start to cycle on off road facilities or when supervised by adults,
  • .. Level 2 training is usually offered to children aged 10 - 11 years old (in school years 5 or 6), allowing them to put their new skills into action on the school trip and riding with parents.
    Note Level 1 & 2 training will often be given together
  • .. Level 3 training is aimed mainly at adults and teenagers who want to travel freely in a wide range of conditions and when they are likely to do longer journeys and seek independence.

Q. There are three levels to Bikeability, do children have to do any/all of them?
A. No, this is not on the national curriculum and is not compulsory...

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Old 04-20-08, 04:55 AM   #20
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i would think my post much more informative than the last two previous, gcottay, but oh well.

pointing out england has a low cycling participation rate and higher accident rates than other countries that better accomodate cyclists isn't informative? please.

London is increasing cyclist participation by infrastructure enhancements and varied carrot and stick techniques that move more people towards biking
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcottay
This post would be much more useful if it supplied data. As is, it just seems to be the same old dreary political infighting. Nothing is learned. No one is helped. Nothing is advocated. Safety is not enhanced.

Just helping you out Bek. I know your reading comprehension can be a bit lacking at times. He is saying without anything to back it up your post is about as informative as me saying the sky is purple today.

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Old 11-06-08, 07:18 AM   #21
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These schemes sound a lot like the old "Cycling Proficiency Test" that just about every British school child took back in the 60s and 70s. I remember riding my bike around the school yard between traffic cones. They even painted lane lines and some junctions on the yard for us to practice before we went on the road. As a result of learning VC at a young age I've never had trouble in traffic, even in London, and my rides through Boston are pain free. Drivers appreciate clear signals and the confident manoeuvres of a cyclist who knows when to take the lane, follows the rules of the road and acts in a predictable way.
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Old 03-01-09, 10:34 AM   #22
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We also have no police to enforce city and state traffic laws! Not to mention a public that demands that they be able to drive just anyway. Discoutyous drivers thinking of only themselves!OUR roads ARE big enough for both to use the same roadway but drivers believe that only they are allowed to be on a roadway and try to run us off the road.A cycle cop in Abilene,TX told the lady that turned right in front of me missing my bike by less than a few inches from her backtire,seeing as how I missed her, couldn't write her a ticket cause there was no harm, no file! In otherwords, Drive any ole wqay you wanna cause w won't ticket you.The number one reason that American drivers can drive safely!
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Old 03-01-09, 10:43 AM   #23
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USA vs. UK drivers

Dear markhr: What people in America won't tell you is that after driving in the UK and Germany for over a decade is that it has nothing to do with the roads but the drivers courtesy of others in which American drivers less much knowledge of this as a piss ant! I've heard many Americans stationed in Europe wonder why auto insurance in Germany was so exspensive. Reason? They cause most auto accidents with the ignorance in which they drive! Give 'em hell!
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Old 03-01-09, 10:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
These schemes sound a lot like the old "Cycling Proficiency Test" that just about every British school child took back in the 60s and 70s. I remember riding my bike around the school yard between traffic cones. They even painted lane lines and some junctions on the yard for us to practice before we went on the road. As a result of learning VC at a young age I've never had trouble in traffic, even in London, and my rides through Boston are pain free. Drivers appreciate clear signals and the confident manoeuvres of a cyclist who knows when to take the lane, follows the rules of the road and acts in a predictable way.
I didn't realize that drinking VC flavored KoolAid also affected the attitudes and actions of all drivers in the vicinity of the blissful cyclist.

Wow, that stuff has a powerful ability to alter reality doesn't it?
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