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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Replacing the old memes with new/VC memes

    I started these lists in another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    The main effort is to replace the old memes, like
    1. The main rule is: stay out of the way of cars.
    2. Always assume you're invisible.
    3. Bike lanes keep motorists from hitting cyclists.
    4. Cyclists need their own separate space.
    with VC memes:
    1. Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
    2. Position yourself to be conspicuous and predictable.
    3. Trust, but verify.
    4. Ignore bike lane stripes - that is, decide where to ride as if the bike lane stripe is not there (which may or may not result in you riding in the bike lane, or even on the stripe, depending on conditions).
    5. At junctions and intersections and their approaches, use destination positioning (left if going left, right if going right, in between if going straight).
    6. Use speed positioning between junctions and intersections (slower traffic keeps right).
    Let's try to identify all of the old memes we're trying to replace, and the new memes we're trying to replace them with.


    To start, here is another old meme that needs to be tossed: There is often/usually one particular appropriate lateral position for bicyclists to use, largely independent of the current situation and conditions. (note that this is part of the basis for bike lanes and sharrows).

    The new VC meme is: The appropriate lateral position for bicyclists often varies based on the current situation and conditions.


    References:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    A meme (pronounced /miːm or mɛm/) consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods and terms such as race, culture, and ethnicity. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a "culture" in a manner similar to the behavior of a virus. As a unit of cultural evolution, a meme in some ways resembles a gene. Richard Dawkins, in his book, The Selfish Gene,[1] recounts how and why he coined the term meme to describe how one might extend Darwinian principles to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothing-fashions, ways of making pots, and the technology of building arches.

    Meme-theorists contend that memes evolve by natural selection (similarly to Darwinian biological evolution) through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance influencing an individual entity's reproductive success. So with memes, some ideas will propagate less successfully and become extinct, while others will survive, spread, and, for better or for worse, mutate. "Memeticists argue that the memes most beneficial to their hosts will not necessarily survive; rather, those memes that replicate the most effectively spread best, which allows for the possibility that successful memes may prove detrimental to their hosts."[2]
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme


    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Memetics is a neo-Darwinian approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer based on the concept of the meme. Started from a metaphor used in popular writings of Richard Dawkins, it has later turned into an approach in the study of self-replicating units of culture. It has been proposed that just as memes are analogous to genes, memetics is analogous to genetics.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memetics
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-26-08 at 07:17 PM.

  2. #2
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    I started these lists in another thread:



    Let's try to identify all of the old memes we're trying to replace, and the new memes we're trying to replace them with.


    To start, here is another old meme that needs to be tossed: There is often/usually one particular appropriate lateral position for bicyclists to use, largely independent of the current situation and conditions. (note that this is part of the basis for bike lanes and sharrows).

    The new VC meme is: The appropriate lateral position for bicyclists often varies based on the current situation and conditions.
    Are we maintaining that slower traffic should still keep to the right??? If that is the case, then there may indeed be a somewhat preferred lateral position for cyclists.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Are we maintaining that slower traffic should still keep to the right??? If that is the case, then there may indeed be a somewhat preferred lateral position for cyclists.
    Yes, but the old meme is that cyclists should keep right whether the condition of faster same-direction traffic is present applies or not.

    The new meme (actually this and most of these are very old tried and true memes of traffic behavior - what is new is the acceptance of their application to cyclist behavior) is that slower traffic keeps right and the recognition that slower is a relative term which can only apply when faster same direction traffic is present.

  4. #4
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Yes, but the old meme is that cyclists should keep right whether the condition of faster same-direction traffic is present applies or not.

    The new meme (actually this and most of these are very old tried and true memes of traffic behavior - what is new is the acceptance of their application to cyclist behavior) is that slower traffic keeps right and the recognition that slower is a relative term which can only apply when faster same direction traffic is present.
    OK but then we may be creating the meme that cyclists should always get out of the way...

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    OK but then we may be creating the meme that cyclists should always get out of the way...
    Yes, and that (except for the always part) is a new meme too.

    Old meme: Cyclists should never be in the way of motorists.

    New meme: When faster traffic is present and it is safe and reasonable to do so, cyclists (like all drivers of slow moving vehicles) should try to get out of the way of faster traffic.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-26-08 at 08:35 PM.

  6. #6
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Ill stick with the old ones that really work, thanks.
    Leave the theory stuff to the students.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  7. #7
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    1. Do not unreasonably obstruct other roads users.
    2. Be visible, but don't rely on always being seen.
    3. Bike lanes are just another lane.
    4. Cyclists prefer, but shouldn't rely on their own separate space.


    Fixed them for you. Now, what did you want to change?
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

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    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    The new meme (actually this and most of these are very old tried and true memes of traffic behavior - what is new is the acceptance of their application to cyclist behavior) is that slower traffic keeps right and the recognition that slower is a relative term which can only apply when faster same direction traffic is present.
    Actually, I just check my local regs, and there's not actually a law defining that. Seems to me it's more a convention than a hard and fast rule.

    Just where do you ride that you get such gaps in traffic with any regularity anyway? The only time I ride in conditions like that is in the middle of the night. In that situation, no passing traffic usually also means no crossing traffic, so ride wherever you damn well please. Sometimes I slalom down the dashed centre line just for fun. Such conditions hardly seem to be a worthwhile basis for lane positioning whilst riding in traffic.
    Last edited by Allister; 03-26-08 at 09:34 PM.
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    Actually, I just check my local regs, and there's not actually a law defining that. Seems to me it's more a convention than a hard and fast rule.

    Just where do you ride that you get such gaps in traffic with any regularity anyway? The only time I ride in conditions like that is in the middle of the night. In that situation, no passing traffic usually also means no crossing traffic, so ride wherever you damn well please. Sometimes I slalom down the dashed centre line just for fun. Such conditions hardly seem to be a worthwhile basis for lane positioning whilst riding in traffic.
    Exatamondo!

  10. #10
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    Let me just address this one:

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Position yourself to be conspicuous and predictable.

    here's something from a posting of mine in "How was your commute today?" (BTW a far less contentious forum and far more informative than A&S without all the vitriol)

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzman
    I don't know what it is for some people about bike riders and how we become invisible.

    I was riding into work in Boston yesterday coming through Kenmore Square on Commonwealth Ave.. As I cross the intersection a cop is directing traffic past some construction site surrounded by orange cones. Three lanes of traffic are moving towards him and another lane moving in from his left. He waves all three lanes of cars past him and the cones and lets two cars ahead of me go right through- I'm taking the full right lane at the same speed as the traffic and a safe distance behind the second car, I'm wearing a bright orange jacket, yellow helmet and I'm 6'3 and really visible. The cop looks right at me and then turns to his left and waves the merging traffic right into my path!

    I couldn't believe it- I veer hard to the left, around the other side of the cones but man! I really think there's something called "bike blindness".
    So I was as conspicuous and predictable as a cyclist can get, acting very much as a driver of a vehicle. Had I not been a cyclist who "assumes invisibility" despite riding predictably and conspicuously I might have suffered a serious collision.

    How does your new meme serve me in the above situation?

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Getting back to the discussion though, consider that the memes that exist now are due to that issue of slower traffic having to stay to the right... whether that slower traffic has to move there (and indicate "always" moving aside... in the eyes of the motorist...) or already be there, (again being "out of the way" for motorists...) then the conditions will remain pretty much the same... motorists will continue to feel like the superior road user and cyclists will have to give way to this "superiority."

    If you really want to explore new memes... consider assigning superiority to humans and human powered vehicles, vice machines. Consider that the bicycle and rider are far more efficient than the motorcar for delivering a single passenger to a location. Consider for instance a situation where driving an automobile was considered wasteful and harmful to the planet. Consider a situation where driving was the last choice that most of us would make for transportation... due to cost, either as a consequence of say a "carbon footprint" or other evaluation that really looked at the entire cost of supporting individual cars as personal transportation.

    Something we really don't consider is the public support of the use of the individual motor car. We don't consider the subsidies provided in the form of tax incentives for oil companies and the land alloted just for the storage of the individual car... what is the largest room in your house, for instance, if you have a garage and house... is it your garage perhaps?

    So considering those extremes, perhaps a new meme could be that human transportation has the highest priority, followed by any other form of animal energy for transportation, followed by commercial vehicles, with individual motor vehicles having lowest priority and generally limited to freeways and well located parking structures. (yeah yeah, dream on... but consider, you mentioned "new memes..." )

    Consider a ROW and priority similar to that given sailing boats and other boats...

    When the sailboat is sailing, it has ROW over just about any other powered boat... (yes, there are rule 9 considerations.)

    Humans should have ROW over powered vessels. Consider that meme.

  12. #12
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Let me just address this one:




    here's something from a posting of mine in "How was your commute today?" (BTW a far less contentious forum and far more informative than A&S without all the vitriol)



    So I was as conspicuous and predictable as a cyclist can get, acting very much as a driver of a vehicle. Had I not been a cyclist who "assumes invisibility" despite riding predictably and conspicuously I might have suffered a serious collision.

    How does your new meme serve me in the above situation?
    Amazing... full "Casper mode." You were a ghost that only the believers could see... invisible to everyone else.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    "Let's try to identify all of the old memes we're trying to replace, and the new memes we're trying to replace them with."

    What exactly is this "we" you speak of ?


    "The main effort is to replace the old memes, like

    1. The main rule is: stay out of the way of cars.
    2. Always assume you're invisible.
    3. Bike lanes keep motorists from hitting cyclists.
    4. Cyclists need their own separate space.

    with VC memes:

    1. Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.
    2. Position yourself to be conspicuous and predictable.
    3. Trust, but verify.
    4. Ignore bike lane stripes - that is, decide where to ride as if the bike lane stripe is not there (which may or may not result in you riding in the bike lane, or even on the stripe, depending on conditions).
    5. At junctions and intersections and their approaches, use destination positioning (left if going left, right if going right, in between if going straight).
    6. Use speed positioning between junctions and intersections (slower traffic keeps right)."


    I live by some of those old rules like assuming I am invisible because there are drivers out there that cannot seem to see other cars, let alone me on my bike.

    I love my bike lanes and my bike paths because then I only have to deal with meat pylons and other cyclists and I tend to get to where I am going much faster and it is much safer.

    If cyclists had their own space in certain areas, it would work better for them and motorists... we have routes like this here and they work.

    I do position myself to be as conspicuous as possible and would like to be treated like the driver of another vehicle but that isn't happening all the time.

    I ride where I am going to be the safest and sometimes that means I am in the bike lane and sometimes I will be vehicular... it's not a black and white thing.

    I don't have an issue riding with traffic because I can usually keep up and not impede the traffic flow but sometimes being in the middle of traffic is not the best place to be.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    Let me just address this one:




    here's something from a posting of mine in "How was your commute today?" (BTW a far less contentious forum and far more informative than A&S without all the vitriol)



    So I was as conspicuous and predictable as a cyclist can get, acting very much as a driver of a vehicle. Had I not been a cyclist who "assumes invisibility" despite riding predictably and conspicuously I might have suffered a serious collision.

    How does your new meme serve me in the above situation?
    Sounds like typical inattentional blindness to me, and you did not pay heed to the but verify part of the trust, but verify meme, the purpose of which is to anticipate this. A traffic cop is particularly prone to inattentional blindness because he's standing in one position looking at thousands of cars coming from a fixed number of positions, over and over. He naturally gets attuned to looking for cars, because, well, that's what he's dealing with. A motorcyclist would probably be just as likely to be overlooked in that context.

    The new memes are about improving conspicuousness, not guaranteeing it, and, so, they're also about being prepared for being overlooked in the rare(r) cases when you are still overlooked.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I live by some of those old rules like assuming I am invisible because there are drivers out there that cannot seem to see other cars, let alone me on my bike.
    If you take assuming you are invisible to heart -- that is, you program your subconscious to truly assume you are invisible -- that's quite different from being prepared to be overlooked. Being invisible would be much like riding at night without lights or reflectors, no ambient light, and in black clothing. In other words, it would be almost impossible to get anywhere effectively unless traffic was very light. So if you really assume you are invisible, that's quite debilitating in terms of being able to travel in traffic. People call it assuming they're invisible, but they must be doing something else. I suggest being clear about what it is you're actually assuming is a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I love my bike lanes and my bike paths because then I only have to deal with meat pylons and other cyclists and I tend to get to where I am going much faster and it is much safer.
    Believing that you don't have to deal with motorists just because you're in a bike lane is a dangerous delusion. It's funny how many cyclists admit to doing this, while others deny it happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    If cyclists had their own space in certain areas, it would work better for them and motorists... we have routes like this here and they work.
    My dream is to underground all motor traffic, leaving all surface streets to peds and bikes. In the mean time, I accept that total segregation is not going to happen, and that I need to be good at integrated traffic cycling.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I do position myself to be as conspicuous as possible and would like to be treated like the driver of another vehicle but that isn't happening all the time.
    Actually positioning yourself as conspicuously as reasonably possible and loving bike lanes have never been characteristics of any one person I've ever met, but maybe you're an unusual exception.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I ride where I am going to be the safest and sometimes that means I am in the bike lane and sometimes I will be vehicular... it's not a black and white thing.
    Your words imply that being in a bike lane is necessarily not being vehicular. Why?
    I too sometimes ride in bike lanes and sometimes not. I don't know any cyclists for whom that is not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I don't have an issue riding with traffic because I can usually keep up and not impede the traffic flow but sometimes being in the middle of traffic is not the best place to be.
    Indeed. I try to be in the alternative place when that is the case. I assume you do as well.

  16. #16
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    1. Do not unreasonably obstruct other road users.
    2. Be visible, but don't rely on always being seen.
    3. Bike lanes are just another lane.
    4. Cyclists prefer, but shouldn't rely on their own separate space.


    Fixed them for you. Now, what did you want to change?
    1 and 2 are fine. 4 is probably true for the majority of cyclists, but not for all.

    3 is not true for the following reasons:

    1. The design of "just another lane" that is nearest the curb does not discourage right turning motorists from merging into it prior to turning right. The design of a bike lane that is nearest the curb does discourage right turning motorists from merging into it prior to turning right.
    2. "Just another lane" nearest the curb that allows through traffic is not adjacent to another lane from which right turns are allowed.
    3. Because "just another lane" has regular motor traffic in it that sweeps debris out of it, "just another lane" does not collect debris. Because bike lanes do not have regular motor traffic traveling in them, puncture and crash-causing debris does collect in them (we recently had a bicyclist fatality in San Diego caused by debris that collected in a bike lane).
    4. Most drivers don't subconsciously think and treat "just another lane" like a striped shoulder or gore area; most drivers do subconsciously think and treat a bike lane like a striped shoulder or gore.


    A bike lane is not just another lane. So:

    1. Do not unreasonably obstruct other roads users.
    2. Be visible, but don't rely on always being seen.
    3. A bike lane is NOT just another lane.
    4. Though many if not most cyclists prefer their own separate space, they shouldn't rely on it, and should strive to learn to ride effectively, safely and comfortably in space shared with motor traffic.

  17. #17
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    The new meme (actually this and most of these are very old tried and true memes of traffic behavior - what is new is the acceptance of their application to cyclist behavior) is that slower traffic keeps right and the recognition that slower is a relative term which can only apply when faster same direction traffic is present.
    Actually, I just check my local regs, and there's not actually a law defining that. Seems to me it's more a convention than a hard and fast rule.

    Just where do you ride that you get such gaps in traffic with any regularity anyway? The only time I ride in conditions like that is in the middle of the night. In that situation, no passing traffic usually also means no crossing traffic, so ride wherever you damn well please. Sometimes I slalom down the dashed centre line just for fun. Such conditions hardly seem to be a worthwhile basis for lane positioning whilst riding in traffic.
    Interesting. We definitely have it in the states. Here is the California version:



    Slow-Moving Vehicles

    21654. (a) Notwithstanding the prima facie speed limits, any vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall be driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    ...

    Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles

    21656. On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.


    www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21654.htm
    www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc21656.htm

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Amazing... full "Casper mode." You were a ghost that only the believers could see... invisible to everyone else.
    Being completely and totally overlooked by someone looking right at you is not that unusual, should be expected once in a while, and is definitely not amazing. This is something Robert Hurst got across to me quite clearly, and I am indebted to him for that. Didn't you read his book as well?

    Allister gets it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Allister View Post
    1. Do not unreasonably obstruct other roads users.
    2. Be visible, but don't rely on always being seen.
      ...

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I don't assume that just because I am riding as conspicuously and as safely as possible and am as well lit as anyone that people in cars will see me... because quite often they still don't. This is not limited to motorists as there are some bad cyclists out there and they actually account for more accidents than do the cagers. I have come close to hitting quite a few other cyclists who were not following the rules of the road or making like ninjas.

    Is that clear enough ?

    I have no dangerous delusions... bike lanes run parallel to traffic where I live and I ride with my radar on high and with my head on a swivel but the bicycle paths and what we affectionately call bike highways (because that is what they were designed for) provide for long stretches of riding with very little interaction with cars. These routes are very popular and effective for many types of non vehicular traffic to get around safely and quickly. 50 - 60% of my daily commute can be done on routes that I don't share with cars and I have to applaud our city for taking cyclist's needs into consideration.

    Well designed bike lanes are also a good thing and I use them when they are effective but do not feel bound to use them if they put me in a compromised situation.

    I equate vehicular as riding with and in traffic... taking the lane is often really effective while at other times one can safely take up a position where you are 3 feet from the curb or 3 feet from parked cars which allows faster moving vehicles to pass.

    When I approach intersections I take a position in the through lane if I am going through (if I am not already there) so that I am more visible to oncoming cars and will move into the turning lanes if I am turning.

    I rode 16,000 mostly urban kilometres last year and managed to get though all that with one incident of being clipped by a passing truck while I was in the lane and matching the speed of the traffic and hit a car when it shot out of an alley and cut me off.

    In both cases the drivers of these vehicles should have been able to see me since I was positioned correctly and there was nothing to obstruct their view.

    If there had been a bike lane where I got clipped it is very unlikely I would have been hit... the second incident was unavoidable as even if there was a bike lane, the car would have still been moving to cross it and my path.

    So again...I use what works best in a given situation.

    In the winter I often take the sidewalks as there is is often no curb lane due to heavy snow, the main lanes are generally treacherous, and the sidewalks tend to be cleared long before the roads are.

  20. #20
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head
    Yes, but the old meme is that cyclists should keep right whether the condition of faster same-direction traffic is present applies or not.

    The new meme (actually this and most of these are very old tried and true memes of traffic behavior - what is new is the acceptance of their application to cyclist behavior) is that slower traffic keeps right and the recognition that slower is a relative term which can only apply when faster same direction traffic is present.
    OK but then we may be creating the meme that cyclists should always get out of the way...
    Upon futher reflection, this early comment deserve more attention, I think.

    For a meme to survive and prosper in the culture, it needs to have the characteristic of being spread without significant fundamental mutation. That doesn't mean the concept needs to be spread around exactly word for word, but the underlying concept needs to be clear enough so that what is fundamental to it is transmitted from person to person without corruption. The most successful memes are self-correcting. That means if A passes it to B who passes it to C, anything that B gets wrong can be corrected by C. One example that Dawkins uses is origami, the point being that if A teaches B how to fold a piece of paper into a facsimile of a duck, B can pass on those instructions to C such that C's rendition of the origami duck could be better (closer to A's) than B's.

    The relevance here is that for the new memes to be successful they should be tight concepts that are clear enough to be resistant to mutation/corruption and, ideally, are self-correcting. What you seem to be suggesting above is that "slower traffic keeps right" or "bicyclists when slower keep right" can easily mutate to "bicyclists should stay out of the way". That's true, and is of course what probably has actually happened. I'm not sure how to get around this. Allister's wording, do not unreasonably obstruct other road users, seems to reflect essentially the same concept, and is probably equally prone to this mutation/corruption into cyclists should get and stay out of the way of motorists.

    Another example of a mutation in this realm is how the "cyclists must keep right" rule reflected in the law get mutated into "cyclists must ride single file" memes that are often repeated by LEOs, but for which there is no explicit basis (in most states, including CA).

    There may be no solution and we will just have to accept that. I essentially have on this point, though I still strive to counter the false notion whenever possible, including opposing efforts that reinforce it, including most bike lanes. It is my belief that having a few bike lanes here and there no more reinforces the notion that bikes should not be on the road where cars are driven any more than a few truck lanes here and there reinforce the notion that trucks should not be on the road where cars are driven. But, the more widespread bike lanes -- and they are already far more prevalent than trucks lanes -- the more just their presence works to reinforce this very anti-cycling notion/meme that we are trying to replace.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-27-08 at 03:10 AM.

  21. #21
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Perhaps this can explain it better...

    When I leave my home I take a service road for several blocks until I hit an extremely busy 4 lane road at which point I join the traffic and take up a middle position in the right lane... I ride this way for 4 blocks until I hit the bike highway.

    The bike highway takes me 18 blocks and while on it I only have to cross 3 intersections that have crossing lights for pedestrians/ cyclists. These are not bike lanes... these are routes that are car free except for the intersections.

    Then I have another 4 blocks of riding in traffic and again, because the 4 lane is narrow and the traffic is dense, I take the lane and also ride my ass off so no-one can get too pissed about me slowing them down.

    And then I am back on the bike path for another 18 blocks where again, I only have two crossings. These paths are 8 to ten feet wide and have plenty for room for cyclists and pedestrians.

    Then I get to ride 10 blocks on a two lane one way road that has varying degrees of width and eventually transitions into a two lane road... since there is no decent shoulder I take the lane.

    20 blocks of riding south is done on another 4 lane where I am most often in the lane since there is no shoulder and the final 6 blocks is done on a service road that is nicely paved and has little traffic... this is where I usually cool down after putting the hammer down for nearly 8 miles.

    My best time on this commute is 23 minutes.. I can't make this kind of time in a car as when I did drive I did not have some 36 blocks where I was the only person on the road.

    We have another central corridor that will take you across the city east / west and because a good deal of it is isolated bike path / multi use you can ride knowing that you are only sharing your road with other cyclists and pedestrians.

    I am fortunate to live in a city that has been working on improving it''s transportation infrastructure for several decades and for the most part and it's a blend of bike lanes, multi use trails, and dedicated paths that makes getting around safer. Although there will be times we have to play in traffic that time is much less than it would be in other cities.

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    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I don't assume that just because I am riding as conspicuously and as safely as possible and am as well lit as anyone that people in cars will see me... because quite often they still don't. This is not limited to motorists as there are some bad cyclists out there and they actually account for more accidents than do the cagers. I have come close to hitting quite a few other cyclists who were not following the rules of the road or making like ninjas.

    Is that clear enough ?
    Yes, but that's quite different from assuming you are invisible. It's much closer to what Allister wrote: Be visible, but don't rely on always being seen.

    I would like to suggest that a motorist or cyclist who looks right at you and doesn't "see" you is not necessarily a bad driver or cyclist, as your words seem to imply. Many if not most or even all humans are prone to inattentional blindness at least once in a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I have no dangerous delusions... bike lanes run parallel to traffic where I live and I ride with my radar on high and with my head on a swivel but the bicycle paths and what we affectionately call bike highways (because that is what they were designed for) provide for long stretches of riding with very little interaction with cars. These routes are very popular and effective for many types of non vehicular traffic to get around safely and quickly. 50 - 60% of my daily commute can be done on routes that I don't share with cars and I have to applaud our city for taking cyclist's needs into consideration.
    Yes, truly segregated paths and "bike highways" can be a good thing. But the fact is that we're limited on where they can be built in developed urban and suburban areas. We have a pretty cool bike highway in San Diego that Gene likes to write about as if it should and could be clone in other areas, but what he neglects to mention is that 10 years ago the location of that bike highway (and adjacent freeway) was rolling rural hills. So yeah, in a situation like that there was room to build a bike highway (not to mention a 6 lane freeway with a broad median), but in most existing urban/suburban areas paths and bike highways are not a practical option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Well designed bike lanes are also a good thing and I use them when they are effective but do not feel bound to use them if they put me in a compromised situation.
    What is good about a "well designed" bike lane that would not be true on that same road if everything stayed the same except the bike lane stripe were removed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I equate vehicular as riding with and in traffic... taking the lane is often really effective while at other times one can safely take up a position where you are 3 feet from the curb or 3 feet from parked cars which allows faster moving vehicles to pass.

    When I approach intersections I take a position in the through lane if I am going through (if I am not already there) so that I am more visible to oncoming cars and will move into the turning lanes if I am turning.
    Okay, but that's just one aspect of vehicular cycling. Vehicular cycling includes riding integrated with other traffic, but is not limited to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I rode 16,000 mostly urban kilometres last year and managed to get though all that with one incident of being clipped by a passing truck while I was in the lane and matching the speed of the traffic and hit a car when it shot out of an alley and cut me off.
    It's revealing that you write about a clipping incident without mentioning whether the lane was wide enough to be safely shared side by side by bike and vehicle, both fully within the lane, nor where in the lane you were positioned laterally. I mean, merely not providing these particular very relevant details indicates a probable lack of appreciation for the role these particular factors play in reducing the likelihood of being clipped like this.

    As far as the car that shot out of the alley and cut you off, which you hit, was it a Mercedes being backed out of a Denver alley by a woman by any chance (that's an inside joke for anyone who has read Robert Hurst's book)? But seriously, Hurst describes essentially the same thing, but accepts some responsibility for it. Again, it's revealing that you don't talk about where you were positioned laterally. I assume there was no other same direction traffic at the time (or they would have presumably crashed into the same car).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    In both cases the drivers of these vehicles should have been able to see me since I was positioned correctly and there was nothing to obstruct their view.
    Again, being totally and completely overlooked from time to time should not be surprising, including by overtaking same-direction traffic if you are riding in a bike lane or even in a lane sharing position near the outside edge of the lane.

    Also, note that being visible in terms of sight lines is not the same as being conspicuous in terms of being in space where drivers pay most of their attention.

    Not to gloat, but I have not had a crash in over 30 years, and I would be looking at a serious revamp of my behavior if I had two close calls in one year, much less two actual crashes. Perhaps that's why you've been subconsciously motivated to come to A&S?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    If there had been a bike lane where I got clipped it is very unlikely I would have been hit... the second incident was unavoidable as even if there was a bike lane, the car would have still been moving to cross it and my path.
    I wasn't there, but I would suggest that there are probably much more significant factors than the presence or absence of a bike lane stripe that determines whether you are clipped.

  23. #23
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Perhaps this can explain it better...

    When I leave my home I take a service road for several blocks until I hit an extremely busy 4 lane road at which point I join the traffic and take up a middle position in the right lane... I ride this way for 4 blocks until I hit the bike highway.

    The bike highway takes me 18 blocks and while on it I only have to cross 3 intersections that have crossing lights for pedestrians/ cyclists. These are not bike lanes... these are routes that are car free except for the intersections.

    Then I have another 4 blocks of riding in traffic and again, because the 4 lane is narrow and the traffic is dense, I take the lane and also ride my ass off so no-one can get too pissed about me slowing them down.

    And then I am back on the bike path for another 18 blocks where again, I only have two crossings. These paths are 8 to ten feet wide and have plenty for room for cyclists and pedestrians.

    Then I get to ride 10 blocks on a two lane one way road that has varying degrees of width and eventually transitions into a two lane road... since there is no decent shoulder I take the lane.

    20 blocks of riding south is done on another 4 lane where I am most often in the lane since there is no shoulder and the final 6 blocks is done on a service road that is nicely paved and has little traffic... this is where I usually cool down after putting the hammer down for nearly 8 miles.

    My best time on this commute is 23 minutes.. I can't make this kind of time in a car as when I did drive I did not have some 36 blocks where I was the only person on the road.

    We have another central corridor that will take you across the city east / west and because a good deal of it is isolated bike path / multi use you can ride knowing that you are only sharing your road with other cyclists and pedestrians.

    I am fortunate to live in a city that has been working on improving it''s transportation infrastructure for several decades and for the most part and it's a blend of bike lanes, multi use trails, and dedicated paths that makes getting around safer. Although there will be times we have to play in traffic that time is much less than it would be in other cities.
    Seriously, that sounds great. I would probably use the paths in your city too. I'm involved in local cycling advocacy in San Diego and I can tell you there is just not much room (much less money) for dedicated paths. Also, in most of San Diego the surface streets provide ample and efficient cycling routes.

    The biggest impediment to cycling here is arguably the terrain: the relatively high "mesas" and many canyons create relatively physically challenging cycling routes between most destinations, which is significantly different from most cycling "meccas" like relatively flat Amsterdam and Davis. Even San Francisco with its famous steeps hills has many relatively flat routes between many destinations. Flat routes in San Diego are mostly limited to relatively small areas.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 03-27-08 at 04:14 AM.

  24. #24
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post


    Yes, truly segregated paths and "bike highways" can be a good thing. But the fact is that we're limited on where they can be built in developed urban and suburban areas. We have a pretty cool bike highway in San Diego that Gene likes to write about as if it should and could be clone in other areas, but what he neglects to mention is that 10 years ago the location of that bike highway (and adjacent freeway) was rolling rural hills. So yeah, in a situation like that there was room to build a bike highway (not to mention a 6 lane freeway with a broad median), but in most existing urban/suburban areas paths and bike highways are not a practical option.

    The reality is that there is more room then you imagine... The existing freeways generally have wider land areas dedicated as the freeway right of way. There may actually be enough room to parallel existing freeways with bike freeways. The freeways themselves already lead to the areas of town cyclists want to go to, as those areas were developed based on freeway access. Of course this sort of idea would take dedication to that task by the government to pay for this.

    Consider that nearly all freeways could have one more lane added either way... instead of adding those two lanes, one 10 foot lane would serve cyclists as a two way path... of course additional ramps and bridges would also have to be built to serve this division of traffic, but the US is good at ramps and bridges (we have plenty of freeway to prove it). All it takes is elevating the cyclist to the same or higher priority in the minds of the public and transportation agencies. I already provided a possible meme for that.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Sounds like typical inattentional blindness to me, and you did not pay heed to the but verify part of the trust, but verify meme, the purpose of which is to anticipate this. A traffic cop is particularly prone to inattentional blindness because he's standing in one position looking at thousands of cars coming from a fixed number of positions, over and over. He naturally gets attuned to looking for cars, because, well, that's what he's dealing with. A motorcyclist would probably be just as likely to be overlooked in that context.

    The new memes are about improving conspicuousness, not guaranteeing it, and, so, they're also about being prepared for being overlooked in the rare(r) cases when you are still overlooked.
    I did anticipate his "inattentional blindness" otherwise I'd have been involved in a collision. I made an evasive move to my left (his right) that I was prepared to do.

    Despite the fact that he literally made eye contact with me and he saw me he basically ignored my existence. I have had this happen so many times that it is ingrained in me to expect to be ignored or "to assume that I am invisible". To "trust and verify" requires way too much guess work and leaves way too much room for interpretation and error. Not that it doesn't work in some situations- like a 4 way stop sign but for quick decision making I'll stick with "assume invisibility" and "expect the unexpected".

    And by the way, "memes" evolve they are not imposed. A true meme cannot be replaced by conscious effort. Insisting that others accept these phrases turns them into dogma.

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