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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.

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Old 05-06-10, 08:50 PM   #1
Raiden
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I'm a little confused as to why the 'VC' subforum exists.

Its my (American; primarily Californian) perspective that most roads are in place for all forms of transportation. Few roads have specific accommodations for any specific type of vehicle- the basic 'road' is a bare strip of pavement (I'm not sure if a white line on either side is even a legal requirement for a road). Sometimes, there are posted limits to follow- lines to pilot your vehicle between, speed limits to obey, maximum height and weight allowances- but not always, and in an absence of posted limits (and in addition to them), all rules default to the vehicle code.

Of course, in many places, there are bike lanes and separated bike paths- but they're not everywhere (in fact, they're only on a tiny percentage of roads in the US). I'm assuming a non-'vehicular cyclist' would default to the shoulder of a road in the absence of a designated bike lane, which would increase the percentage of roads usable to non-'vehicular cyclists', but would not be 100%. This means that its (currently) impossible to be a non-'vehicular cyclist' on all roads. Also, a non-'vehicular cyclist' on a road, with or without specific accommodations for a bicycle will always be a vehicle and subject to the vehicle code.

My point is that I think this part of the forum is organized backwards, and that the separation is bizarre. I realize that it sounds like I'm taking the term 'vehicular cycling' too literally, but I think splitting cyclists into specific camps is unnecessary. I consider myself a 'vehicular cyclist' because I ride on the roads with everyone else- but you'll typically (not always) find me on the shoulder or bike lane if there was a separated bike path that was faster or safer than the road, I'd use that too. By the typical definitions, I'm not a hardcore 'vehicular cyclist', nor am I whatever the other school of thought calls itself.

Bike lanes and bike paths are tools, just like the law is a tool and my bike is a tool. When I ride, I try to use the best tool for the job. I feel that vehicular cycling is the norm, and the use of additional cycling infrastructure is a bonus, but not the default method of cycling.

Sorry if that was long-winded, redundant, and/or pedantic.

Forum suggestion: If a separation in the forum is truly needed, eliminate 'VC' and install 'Grandma, Not Lycra' or, uhh, 'Progress Toward the European-Style Cycling Utopia' in its place.
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Old 05-06-10, 08:59 PM   #2
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A friend of mine (banned a long time ago, he was a smart-a$$) told me it was because there was a lot of conflict going back and forth about VC vs. other styles of riding; it was getting into every thread, or so it seemed to him. He didn't help it any, either; he was impatient and aggressive with other people.

The capsule description of this sub-forum seems to bear that out -- "nothing has polarized ... like VC...."

He told me his screen name; I looked it up, and found a couple threads he'd been on; they were pretty contentious.
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Old 05-06-10, 10:06 PM   #3
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The difference is that strict vehicular cyclists abhor shoulders and bike lanes... While you may ride on the streets, your use of shoulders and bike lanes is counter to the thinking of those that consider themselves "vehicular cyclists" and who generally tout full lane use on all but the very widest streets, and decry the use of shoulders or any other non travel lane use such as segregated facilities for cyclists.

Your view of how you ride is not considered "vehicular" by the VC folks... may cyclists ride the way you do and it has been called "adaptive cycling" by many here.
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Old 05-07-10, 12:24 AM   #4
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I fail to understand why someone wouldn't use a perfectly good shoulder, if they are moving slower than the normal flow of traffic. Of course, I would probably fathom a guess that someone who refuses to use a perfectly good shoulder, might be the same person who drives 10mph under the speed limit in a car on a one lane highway without provisions for passing, and refuses to pull off to the side to let the 20 cars behind them pass.
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Old 05-07-10, 06:09 AM   #5
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A friend of mine (banned a long time ago, he was a smart-a$$) told me it was because there was a lot of conflict going back and forth about VC vs. other styles of riding; it was getting into every thread, or so it seemed to him. He didn't help it any, either; he was impatient and aggressive with other people.

The capsule description of this sub-forum seems to bear that out -- "nothing has polarized ... like VC...."

He told me his screen name; I looked it up, and found a couple threads he'd been on; they were pretty contentious.
Hmm- maybe we need a 'Helmets? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Helmets!' subforum.
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Old 05-07-10, 07:42 AM   #6
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yes, assertive lane positioning was creeping into every thread, wether it was a thread about children riding to school, or daytime running lights for safety, any topic.

so the VC forum was created to shunt a lot of this sidetracking and smokescreening away from the general safety and advocacy forum. to allow discussions to continue largely unfettered.

even in the VC subforum ,however, its still not possible to discuss certain subjects without other posters getting so uppity threads get locked and deleted...... there's a lot of foot soldiers protecting their vision of cycling to the extent healthy debate is virtually impossible, even in the VC subforum.
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Old 05-07-10, 08:29 AM   #7
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even in the VC subforum ,however, its still not possible to discuss certain subjects without other posters getting so uppity threads get locked and deleted......
You are fairly efficient at getting posts locked (you seem quite the expert at it).

"Uppity" is nicely racist (and quite revealing too)!

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Old 05-07-10, 08:59 AM   #8
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look up the screen name "Helmet head" and soon you will understand.
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Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me
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Old 05-07-10, 12:00 PM   #9
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The difference is that strict vehicular cyclists abhor shoulders and bike lanes... While you may ride on the streets, your use of shoulders and bike lanes is counter to the thinking of those that consider themselves "vehicular cyclists" and who generally tout full lane use on all but the very widest streets, and decry the use of shoulders or any other non travel lane use such as segregated facilities for cyclists.

Your view of how you ride is not considered "vehicular" by the VC folks... may cyclists ride the way you do and it has been called "adaptive cycling" by many here.
This is a false description of vehicular cycling invented for the purpose of denigrating it. Equally false is the other description, also frequently used in these discussions, of vehicular cycling as curb-hugging, also invented for the purpose of denigrating vehicular cycling. I think that, to an outside observer, the creation of this Vehicular Cycling forum was intended to denigrate vehicular cycling for the purpose of proclaiming the superiority of bikeways in attracting new cyclists.
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Old 05-07-10, 12:17 PM   #10
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This is a false description of vehicular cycling invented for the purpose of denigrating it. Equally false is the other description, also frequently used in these discussions, of vehicular cycling as curb-hugging, also invented for the purpose of denigrating vehicular cycling. I think that, to an outside observer, the creation of this Vehicular Cycling forum was intended to denigrate vehicular cycling for the purpose of proclaiming the superiority of bikeways in attracting new cyclists.

Do you support the use of shoulders and bike lanes and the use of segregated facilities?
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Old 05-07-10, 01:09 PM   #11
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Do you support the use of shoulders and bike lanes and the use of segregated facilities?
It is useless to ask such meaningless questions, for no answer is possible without trying to work out what you, and what the readers, might mean by such a question and its possible answers. Sometimes I wonder whether you don't understand the problem, sometimes I wonder the reverse, that you are brilliantly smart at asking unanswerable questions.
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Old 05-07-10, 01:22 PM   #12
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It is useless to ask such meaningless questions, for no answer is possible without trying to work out what you, and what the readers, might mean by such a question and its possible answers. Sometimes I wonder whether you don't understand the problem, sometimes I wonder the reverse, that you are brilliantly smart at asking unanswerable questions.
Well in this case you pointedly stated that my earlier response was "a false description of vehicular cycling invented for the purpose of denigrating it." All I am trying to do is determine what exactly is false about my statement. So quite simply, do you support the use of shoulders and bike lanes and the use of segregated facilities by cyclists?

As far as my statement that vehicular cyclists "generally tout full lane use on all but the very widest streets," I believe you will find that IS the case of many of those on the bicycle driving and chainguard lists... They typically recommend wide outside lanes, which are travel lanes of about 16 feet in width and nearly as rare as bike lanes when one considers all the streets in America.

So just feel free to tell us all exactly what you find false about my description of vehicular cycling with regard to the content given in the opening post. The opening post discusses the use of the road, and bike lanes, and paths... the latter which you often decry as being for "incompetent" cyclists.
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Old 05-07-10, 01:29 PM   #13
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Well in this case you pointedly stated that my earlier response was "a false description of vehicular cycling invented for the purpose of denigrating it." All I am trying to do is determine what exactly is false about my statement. So quite simply, do you support the use of shoulders and bike lanes and the use of segregated facilities by cyclists?

As far as my statement that vehicular cyclists "generally tout full lane use on all but the very widest streets," I believe you will find that IS the case of many of those on the bicycle driving and chainguard lists... They typically recommend wide outside lanes, which are travel lanes of about 16 feet in width and nearly as rare as bike lanes when one considers all the streets in America.

So just feel free to tell us all exactly what you find false about my description of vehicular cycling with regard to the content given in the opening post. The opening post discusses the use of the road, and bike lanes, and paths... the latter which you often decry as being for "incompetent" cyclists.
You ask what part of your description of vehicular cycling is false. Here is one false part of your description of vehicular cycling: "While you may ride on the streets, your use of shoulders and bike lanes is counter to the thinking of those that consider themselves "vehicular cyclists"." That is false, as you should know from the detailed discussions that have long taken place.
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Old 05-07-10, 02:11 PM   #14
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You ask what part of your description of vehicular cycling is false. Here is one false part of your description of vehicular cycling: "While you may ride on the streets, your use of shoulders and bike lanes is counter to the thinking of those that consider themselves "vehicular cyclists"." That is false, as you should know from the detailed discussions that have long taken place.
That is not the view held by many cyclists that call themselves vehicular cyclists. As a primary example is "chipseal" who himself has had run-ins with the sheriff in Texas for not using the shoulder of the road. There are quite a few "vehicular cyclists" that feel only designated travel lanes are valid places to ride a bike.

http://chipsea.blogspot.com/

Frankly I am in disagreement with this, as I have found road shoulders quite suitable, especially on CA state highways such as 94 and highway 1. I have toured several western states and Baja, and found road shoulders to be quite usable. (oddly enough, this puts you and I in utter agreement)

This is why there is a VC subforum, (the question of this whole thread) as some here in BF constantly advocated the use of the traveled way, while others felt that any part of the paved roadway was suitable for use by cyclists.
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Old 05-07-10, 02:16 PM   #15
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As far as my statement that vehicular cyclists "generally tout full lane use on all but the very widest streets," I believe you will find that IS the case of many of those on the bicycle driving and chainguard lists... They typically recommend wide outside lanes, which are travel lanes of about 16 feet in width and nearly as rare as bike lanes when one considers all the streets in America.
Here's a nice short and available "standard" VC text by an early, authoritative proponent of VC techniques. Where is a quote from this that "touts full lane use on all but the very widest streets"? (I don't assume that Allen speaks for Forester.)

http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm

It's hard to argue against random, non-authoritative people posting at places "bicycle driving", etc, without actually seeing what they actually say.

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That is not the view held by many cyclists that call themselves vehicular cyclists. As a primary example is "chipseal" who himself has had run-ins with the sheriff in Texas for not using the shoulder of the road. There are quite a few "vehicular cyclists" that feel only designated travel lanes are valid places to ride a bike.
So what? People can call themselves whatever they want. They can believe whatever they want. As an primary example, Chipseal doesn't succeed in presenting himself as a "expert" (in my opinion). (He's just some guy on the internet with an opinion not soundly argued. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...der&highlight=)

It doesn't make any sense to require Forester to defend them.

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Old 05-07-10, 02:45 PM   #16
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Here's a nice short and available "standard" VC text by an early, authoritative proponent of VC techniques. Where is a quote from this that "touts full lane use on all but the very widest streets"? (I don't assume that Allen speaks for Forester.)

http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm

It's hard to argue against random, non-authoritative people posting at places "bicycle driving", etc, without actually seeing what they actually say.


So what? People can call themselves whatever they want. They can believe whatever they want. As an primary example, Chipseal doesn't succeed in presenting himself as a "expert" (in my opinion). (He's just some guy on the internet with an opinion not soundly argued. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...der&highlight=)

It doesn't make any sense to require Forester to defend them.
Foster stepped in himself. My response was to the original poster that asked why there was a VC subforum. I presented the issues of the constant debate. Forester stepped in and defended vehicular cycling in general, without addressing the terms of the OP, but in doing so, he attacked me with his statement of "false description of vehicular cycling invented for the purpose of denigrating it."

I had no intention of denigrating vehicular cycling, I merely tried to explain the rhetorical wars that caused a separate sub forum. Perhaps I should have been more verbose in my response.

BTW I tend to agree with your opinion of chipseal. I think that some who consider themselves vehicular cyclists take the rhetoric of "rights" way too far without considering the practicality of the use of the roadways. Of course that is exactly why this sub forum exists.
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Old 05-07-10, 02:56 PM   #17
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Foster stepped in himself. My response was to the original poster that asked why there was a VC subforum.
No problem there.

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Forester stepped in and defended vehicular cycling in general, without addressing the terms of the OP, but in doing so, he attacked me with his statement of "false description of vehicular cycling invented for the purpose of denigrating it."
No, Forester is defending his definition of "vehicular cycling". He isn't defending anybody else's peculiar definitions.

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That is not the view held by many cyclists that call themselves vehicular cyclists.
The error here is the assumption that Forester has some sort of responsibility for whatever unspecified views these people have.

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I had no intention of denigrating vehicular cycling, I merely tried to explain the rhetorical wars that caused a separate sub forum. Perhaps I should have been more verbose in my response.
He's mostly commenting about the "rhetorical wars" too. I suspect that he is mostly talking about other posters (not you) here who clearly are more interested in denigration than having a discussion. Personally, I think the "rhetorical wars" are stupid and make this forum a bit of a cesspool.

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BTW I tend to agree with your opinion of chipseal. I think that some who consider themselves vehicular cyclists take the rhetoric of "rights" way too far without considering the practicality of the use of the roadways. Of course that is exactly why this sub forum exists.
And Forester isn't required to defend people who happen to call themselves "vehicular cyclists" and have some other unspecified meaning for the term.

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Old 05-07-10, 04:24 PM   #18
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It's hard to argue against random, non-authoritative people posting at places "bicycle driving", etc, without actually seeing what they actually say.
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The error here is the assumption that Forester has some sort of responsibility for whatever unspecified views these people have.


He's mostly commenting about the "rhetorical wars" too. I suspect that he is mostly talking about other posters (not you) here who clearly are more interested in denigration than having a discussion.

So why not specify what other authoritative/unnamed poster(s) and posts Forester and you ARE talking about?
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Old 05-07-10, 04:49 PM   #19
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So why not specify what other authoritative/unnamed poster(s) and posts Forester and you ARE talking about?
????

You are not making sense.

Please explain why anybody should be required to defend the following "sources"? Who is saying what, exactly? Seems awfully vague to me.

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many of those on the bicycle driving and chainguard lists...

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Old 05-07-10, 05:28 PM   #20
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...yes, john forester does like to *****foot around his admission that vehicular cyclists can and do ride in bike lanes and on shoulders of roads when safe and appropriate to do so. In some instances - and more so as bike infrastructure is more well designed according to speed and destination positioning rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, VEHICULAR CYCLISTS will find themselves choosing to ride vehicularily in a shoulder or bikelane and choose it as a default riding position.


Extreme vehicularism to the derailment of reasonable discussion is why this subforum was created.
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Old 05-08-10, 05:51 AM   #21
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Oy, colorful discussion as usual. Thanks for the brief bikeforums history lesson
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Old 05-08-10, 06:11 AM   #22
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????

You are not making sense.

Please explain why anybody should be required to defend the following "sources"? Who is saying what, exactly? Seems awfully vague to me.
YOU are saying, " I suspect that he is mostly talking about other posters (not you) here who clearly are more interested in denigration than having a discussion."

WHO are the "other" posters that YOU vaguely reference. Be sure to include yourself before naming anybody else.
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Old 05-08-10, 07:18 AM   #23
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you are saying, " i suspect that he is mostly talking about other posters (not you) here who clearly are more interested in denigration than having a discussion."

who are the "other" posters that you vaguely reference. Be sure to include yourself before naming anybody else.
????

Still not making sense! What are you going on about?

Bzzt! Criticism <> "denigration".



The following are examples of "denigration"!

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I can only guess about the location of the planet where all these BF cry baby cyclists who are shocked, shocked at cyclists who don't wait for red lights come from.
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There are even a few anal cyclists who can't comprehend why most cyclists with working senses (and who know how to use them) do not treat traffic codes/law as if written in stone, nor as commandments brought down from a mountain top that MUST BE OBEYED.
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Then of course there are the Junior Members all full of themselves who have it all figured out about how all cyclists who aren't like themselves are too lazy/weak/tired, stupid and inept.

Whaddya gonna do? Try growing up, Jack.
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True, as long as *legitimate reason* is defined as any reason found acceptable and approved by Brontide.
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My "logical" thought can discern the difference between riding a bicycle and driving a car and the effects of each. If you cannot, no explanation will satisfy you.
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My guess is that Brontide is a member of the oh-so-special "Cycling Community" I have been hearing so much about on A&S lately. Ya know, the pompous fellows who are embarrassed by the antics of all those lowllife cyclists who don't meet the lofty standards set by the Righteous Cyclists such as themselves.

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Old 05-08-10, 07:55 AM   #24
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Oy, colorful discussion as usual. Thanks for the brief bikeforums history lesson
I suspect we've answered your original question, eh?
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Old 05-08-10, 08:10 AM   #25
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????

Still not making sense! What are you going on about?

Bzzt! Criticism <> "denigration".
My take is that you have searched the Forum for Pearls of Wisdom that in fact accurately reflect and describe the posts/posters that they are in response to and are appropriate (as well as pithy) responses.

A "denigerator" might post responses taken out of context to try and make a point, or better yet read meanings into posts that are from left field such as your semantic nit picking over the term "uppity". Maybe you should be taken to task for use of the term "denigration."
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