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  1. #1
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    the impact of vc in popular culture is nonexistant

    interesting blog post today from the estimable Mikhail Collville-Anderson at Copenhagenize.

    he researched the etymology of various cycling terms in popular literature using a google parsing search function,

    the graphed results are hilarious as the concept of 'vc' doesn't even register!

    the link:

    historical references about bicycling

    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-11-11 at 08:56 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  2. #2
    High Roller
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    Just a linguistic nitpick, but there is no such word as "entymology". "Entomology" = the study of insects, and "etymology" = the derivation of a word. I believe you intended the latter, yes?

    How many hits did he get for segregated/childish/incompetent/inferiority cycling?
    Last edited by High Roller; 12-22-10 at 10:32 AM.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
    Just a linguistic nitpick, but there is no such word as "entymology". "Entomology" = the study of insects, and "etymology" = the derivation of a word. I believe you intended the latter, yes?

    How many hits did he get for segregated/childish/inferiority cycling?
    About 35,000 results... but alot of that comes from "Segregated" and "Cycling..."

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Please keep in mind that Google's n-gram viewer (1) only searches in the corpus of books that have been scanned into Google's book search engine, and (2) is an exact match only search. Their web search does stemming ( run will match running and ran ), but the book data has to be a perfect match. It's even case sensitive.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    JRA
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    A meaningless exercise (though perhaps an interesting idea) and a meaningless result. Garbage in, garbage out.

    I would ask how it is possible to disentagle the word "bike," meaning bicycle, from the identical word meaning motorcycle. I have a similar question regarding the word "cycle."

    The fact that "vehicular cyclist" doesn't register isn't news. A lot of bicyclists have never heard of vehicular cycling and even those that promote it don't use the term "vehicular cyclist" all that much. I'll bet if you tried the term "dynamic lateral lane positioning" or even "danger zone cycling," they wouldn't register, either.
    "It may even be that motoring is more healthful than not motoring; death rates were certainly higher in the pre-motoring age."- John Forester
    "Laws cannot be properly understood as if written in plain English..."- Forester defending obfuscation.
    "Motorist propaganda, continued for sixty years, is what has put cyclists on sidewalks." - Forester, sociologist in his own mind
    "'There are no rules of the road on MUPs.' -John Forester" - Helmet Head quoting 'The Great One'

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    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRA View Post
    I would ask how it is possible to disentagle the word "bike," meaning bicycle, from the identical word meaning motorcycle. I have a similar question regarding the word "cycle."
    Term extraction, and TF/IDF against a meaningful set of corpora.

    Next question.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    In my opinion the term vehicular cycling is a redundancy any way. Bikes are vehicles, riding a bike at any time, under any circumstances is a vehicular pursuit. I understand what is meant by the title to the thread, but as long as we are nitwitting....

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    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    i would not be surprised to find that sharrows are equally unknown if not in google search, in practical understanding by the average person (vs the people who hang here)
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  9. #9
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    i would not be surprised to find that sharrows are equally unknown if not in google search, in practical understanding by the average person (vs the people who hang here)
    Perhaps, but sharrows are relatively new to roadways. The term "vehicular cycling" has been around at least since the mid '70's.

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    Senior Member ianbrettcooper's Avatar
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    The impact of any kind of cycling in popular culture is nonexistent. If you have a DVR, try saving searches for any cycling specific word. Apart from bicycle racing (which is a niche sport to say the least), the only hits I get are 'I Love Lucy' reruns (the show has one bicycle-tour episode), three episodes of 'Cops', a Martha Stewart show episode and now 'Triple Rush' - which is, sadly, the only show in the history of US TV to cover cycling as more than a one-off curiosity or a bad joke.

    You're more likely to get hits for the 'Bicycle Playing Card Poker Tournament' than anything remotely to do with cycling.

    In terms of movies, we have to go back 25 years to find 'Quicksilver'. Cycling, as a serious issue to be considered by media, is about as popular as circumcision.

    In terms of VC, TV and movies tend to show VC practices much more commonly than the alternative. You don't see Dave Stoller riding in the gutter, or on a bike path, in 'Breaking Away'.
    Last edited by ianbrettcooper; 05-02-11 at 05:19 PM.
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    All I need is a bike and a road, and to be left with the same freedom any other road user has to decide what's the safest lane position.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    you do see Dave pull up on the right of a car at a stoplight though in Breaking Away.... someone around here would call that "incompetent"

    did you even read the article, or are you just coming to the defense of vehikular cykling, Ian? The riding and racing and flirting by bike in Breaking Away as exemplary vc is quite the stretch.


    A simple look at the article i linked to shows the phrase 'bicycling' was quite the hit at the google ngram books viewer.

    The vc political platform of fighting tooth and nail against any and all bike specific road designs is vc's own self-inflicted deathknell. vc will be little more than a bile-filled hiccup in the history of world cycling.

    the political elements of VC certainly isn't catching on in any significant manner in popular culture, and that's Mikhail Colville-Andersen's point about the non-existence of vc in popular culture.

    Safe cycling is promoted by every state, and lawful cycling is certainly expected of ALL road users on bikes in ALL states. What is catching on in states around the country (and world for that matter- The Dutch, the Germans, the Finns, have mandatory bike ed) is the distillation and perpetuation of lawful, competent cycling in communities planning for bike traffic, and smart cycling for both children and adults.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-02-11 at 09:03 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    Senior Member ZCow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    The vc political platform of fighting tooth and nail against any and all bike specific road designs is vc's own self-inflicted deathknell. vc will be little more than a bile-filled hiccup in the history of world cycling.
    You have a horribly obscured vision of what vehicular cycling promotes. Where I live, vehicular cycling isn't about getting rid of bike specific facilities, but promoting their usage in areas that need them. Florida is a state with a mandatory bike lane law; if one is available we MUST use it. This is highly problematic here, as many of the bike lanes end, drop you off in horrible conditions, have tons of debris, are never checked after they are painted, and most importantly, don't seem to be taken in on a case-by-case basis. Instead of seeing a road that is perfectly fine for riders to take the lane, they install a bike lane under low-hanging trees. In a matter of weeks glass and other debris litter the lane making it a lackluster area to ride a bicycle. Vehicular cycling here, is promoted in a way that looks at the given conditions of a road and aids us in choosing the best way in which to ride it. Putting bike lanes on fast roads also tend to be horrible. One of the main roads around the college campus here is technically a shoulder, not a bike lane. But it is ridden by cyclists anyway. I know of four collisions THIS SCHOOL TERM of students turning into cyclists on the shoulder, pulling out into the side of the cyclist, and an instance where a car turned right and nailed the back wheel of a cyclist. All of these took place in broad daylight.

    This particular use of a bike lane is a good example of how much is lacking in the basic knowledge of placing these: http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&sourc...74.56,,0,14.38

    Two cyclists were hit here: one going left to access the shoulder and one going straight to get into the development. Both of these instances could have been prevented by utilizing the lane to the left, queuing up, and going straight and/or left. It is also an unsafe bike lane in the sense that it puts the rider in a situation such as that. By getting rid of it, you are helping to rid these conflicts.

    This entire bike lane: http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&sourc...,3.39,,0,10.05

    is broken, has debris, tons of sand, etc. It also ends abruptly around this corner and leave the cyclist in the middle of traffic leaving school. Is this bike lane needed? I mean, it does encourage and promote more cycling. The short answer is no. The road here is smoothly paved and is a slow speed that doesn't necessarily need to facilitate a bike lane at all. There have been numerous falls, close calls, and accidents on this lane. Could have been avoided had the cyclists known to move over into the lane away from the debris and with the flow of motorists.

    Another problematic bike lane: http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&sourc...=12,74.95,,0,0

    This is put in a slow speed area next to on street parking. The spots to the right are filled with cars and pre/post work hours have cars moving in and out and opening doors. By moving over into the lane you avoid all of these conflicts. The bike lane isn't needed at all.

    My point here, is that I am for bike lanes and facilities that are MADE PROPERLY. Increasing cycling doesn't really mean much if they are still unsafe. All new road plans here are made to include bike lanes, which is part of the problem. They add them without seeing how traffic works in said areas. If an accident occurs because someone was curb-hugging, their immediate reaction is "well, a bike lane will solve this" when it really does nothing. They are mere afterthoughts, and they hope paint and a sharrow solves problems. I think you pay way more attention to John Forester than really seeing how vehicular cyclists promote safe riding. We are NOT against bicycle facilities, we are against bicycle facilities done WRONG. I feel vehicular cycling is promoting the notion to not be restricted by the bicycle facilities based on the sole fact that they are there. Because the city put them in, it must be safe to ride them. I have noticed many conflict areas since I have been riding in the roads and leaving the gutters and sidewalks. We are all always going to have different viewpoints on the matter. I don't live where you live and you don't see what I see. I see the clear possibilities of utilizing the roads in the safest and lawful manner as possible. Stop lumping everyone into the "John Forester's of the 21st century" and see what is actually being promoted.

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    My point here, is that I am for bike lanes and facilities that are MADE PROPERLY.
    Then advocate for such and decry those that keep insisting that "all roads are bike lanes" and that one merely just need to "man up" and "become the alpha dog" and expect to be treated as the driver of a vehicle simply by acting as the driver of a vehicle.

    The problem is that the VC crowd fails to advocate for anything but simply joining their very small (and remaining small) club.

    If perhaps those voices joined together and stated in one loud voice that they want facilities that are "MADE PROPERLY," progress might just take place.

  14. #14
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZCow
    Stop lumping everyone into the "John Forester's of the 21st century" and see what is actually being promoted.
    it's now 'smart cycling' and traffic skills dontchyaknow.

    I most assuredly promote safe roadway cycling.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Senior Member ZCow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Then advocate for such and decry those that keep insisting that "all roads are bike lanes" and that one merely just need to "man up" and "become the alpha dog" and expect to be treated as the driver of a vehicle simply by acting as the driver of a vehicle.

    The problem is that the VC crowd fails to advocate for anything but simply joining their very small (and remaining small) club.

    If perhaps those voices joined together and stated in one loud voice that they want facilities that are "MADE PROPERLY," progress might just take place.
    Again, we see things differently. I never mentioned once about manning up and being an alpha dog and am not necessarily speaking for every VC out there. What vehicular cycling has taught me is to view the road as a viable way to get from point A to point B. I was a sidewalk rider prior to knowing anything much about VC, and I feel I am more adept at dealing with what the roads offer and how to optimize my commute. I don't advocate for people to join the group, but I am an advocate for at least showing and making cyclists realize that roads can be used safely (which is something not many cyclists see). Vehicular cycling is a great way to ride a bicycle, and I have run into far less problems since doing so than before. I can only speak for me.

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    Senior Member ZCow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    it's now 'smart cycling' and traffic skills dontchyaknow.

    I most assuredly promote safe roadway cycling.
    I am sure you do promote safe roadway cycling. We all love cycling and we all want to be safe. VC, to me, is a viable option for riding and does provide adequate skill sets for understanding the roads available. To be honest, I don't know the spectrum of VC advocates out there, but where I live and with the people I ride with, I never feel there is a negative vibe towards other cyclists that don't adhere to VC rules or regulations. Maybe I just feel that the whole of VC seems to have effected the parts.
    Last edited by ZCow; 05-10-11 at 05:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZCow View Post
    I am sure you do promote safe roadway cycling. We all love cycling and we all want to be safe. VC, to me, is a viable option for riding and does provide adequate skill sets for understanding the roads available. To be honest, I don't know the spectrum of VC advocates out there, but where I live and with the people I ride with, I never feel there is a negative vibe towards other cyclists that don't adhere to VC rules or regulations (whatever those may be). Maybe I just feel that the whole of VC seems to have effected the parts.
    The definition of vehicular cycling is very simple. It is cycling in accordance with the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. In the typical Vehicle Code for each state, there is a section titled Rules of the Road. The rules in that section control traffic movements. By far the greater number of these rules are stated to apply to all drivers of vehicles. Cycling in accordance with those rules is vehicular cycling. In that section there are also a few rules that apply only to drivers of motor vehicles; neither cyclists nor wagon drivers need to obey these rules. The same would go for the rule for drivers of streetcars, if such a rule still exists in the code. There are also a few rules that apply only to persons riding bicycles. Those rules were created by motorists for their own convenience and their own view of bicycle traffic as seen by the "superior" motorist, and they cause infinite trouble. Obeying those rules is not part of vehicular cycling.

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    Senior Member ZCow's Avatar
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    I will edit, John. I understand the definition, my issue was more with how people (especially in these forums) tend to understand said definition. There also seems to be MANY different ideas of what exactly strict VC means, or, at least, interpretations are misinterpreted and eschewed.

  19. #19
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Woah, woah WOAH, there, john, hold on. don't be giving bad advice in the forum.... cyclists have to break the laws to ride in a vehicular manner in most states?


    Quote Originally Posted by john forester
    .....By far the greater number of these rules are stated to apply to all drivers of vehicles.Cycling in accordance with those rules is vehicular cycling. In that section there are also a few rules that apply only to drivers of motor vehicles; neither cyclists nor wagon drivers need to obey these rules. The same would go for the rule for drivers of streetcars, if such a rule still exists in the code. There are also a few rules that apply only to persons riding bicycles. Those rules were created by motorists for their own convenience and their own view of bicycle traffic as seen by the "superior" motorist, and they cause infinite trouble. Obeying those rules is not part of vehicular cycling.
    Cyclists should not follow the laws applicable to them and need to break the law?

    lawbreaking while riding doesn't sound like very smart cycling.

    I want to emphasize my following statement, and if people don't grok it you'll have to give it some thought - I can confidently make the statement that

    I've never broken the law on my bike avoiding bikelanes in mandatory bikelane states.


    Vc is quite the fractured, incomplete and unrealistic method if its predication is that cyclists will have to break the law to ride vc. No wonder vc has no relevance in popular culture. it's walter mittyish. Riding to the highest moral standard, breaking the law to attain 'true' vehicular operation....



    Daydream believers with idle *pocketa pocketa pocketa* vehicular fantasies of how the world works and how to ride a bike.

    Postulating that VC is the act of breaking the law while riding your bike in most states is the self immolation of VC.

    Common lawbreakers!
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-11-11 at 08:18 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZCow View Post
    I will edit, John. I understand the definition, my issue was more with how people (especially in these forums) tend to understand said definition. There also seems to be MANY different ideas of what exactly strict VC means, or, at least, interpretations are misinterpreted and eschewed.
    Or it may be an issue of what people promote in the name of VC vice what John really means.

    Some of Forester's Followers can be pretty extreme in their way of thinking.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ZCow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Or it may be an issue of what people promote in the name of VC vice what John really means.

    Some of Forester's Followers can be pretty extreme in their way of thinking.
    I agree with this. This extreme way of thinking seems to overshadow what VC tries to do, which, in my opinion and what I have been exposed to, is a way of looking at roads as a viable means to get from one point to another as safely and considerately as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Woah, woah WOAH, there, john, hold on. don't be giving bad advice in the forum.... cyclists have to break the laws to ride in a vehicular manner in most states?




    Cyclists should not follow the laws applicable to them and need to break the law?

    lawbreaking while riding doesn't sound like very smart cycling.

    I want to emphasize my following statement, and if people don't grok it you'll have to give it some thought - I can confidently make the statement that

    I've never broken the law on my bike avoiding bikelanes in mandatory bikelane states.


    Vc is quite the fractured, incomplete and unrealistic method if its predication is that cyclists will have to break the law to ride vc. No wonder vc has no relevance in popular culture. it's walter mittyish. Riding to the highest moral standard, breaking the law to attain 'true' vehicular operation....



    Daydream believers with idle *pocketa pocketa pocketa* vehicular fantasies of how the world works and how to ride a bike.

    Postulating that VC is the act of breaking the law while riding your bike in most states is the self immolation of VC.

    Common lawbreakers!
    Bek has carried on for two years of so that obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles, as I advocate, is a bad standard, but it has taken him at least as long, perhaps longer, to recognize that obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles means exactly what it says, rather than obeying the conflicting rules of the road for persons riding bicycles. That has been my stated position for forty years now, and Bek has just begun to understand it? But Bek has firmly put himself as supporting obeying the anti-cyclist traffic laws for persons riding bicycles, laws created by motorists to make motoring more convenient regardless of the danger to cyclists. How does it feel, Bek, when doing motorists an anti-cyclist favor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZCow View Post
    I agree with this. This extreme way of thinking seems to overshadow what VC tries to do, which, in my opinion and what I have been exposed to, is a way of looking at roads as a viable means to get from one point to another as safely and considerately as possible.
    What is this extreme VC view that merits your disapproval?

  24. #24
    Senior Member ZCow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    What is this extreme VC view that merits your disapproval?
    The way people tend to shy from VC on these forums and on the roads. Using Bikeforums as an example, it seems that people hear the words vehicular cycling and immediately hone on the "anti-ness" of the culture. They see VC as an extreme way of cycling claiming it blatantly disregards the use of bike facilities and the such and that we frown on anything other than roads for cycling on. My disapproval is with the people that tend to not understand the idea surrounding VC and base their understanding on what they consider extreme ideologies that are just untrue of vehicular cyclists. I feel that many blogs, posts, etc., written by vehicular cyclists push these notions, which seem to show VC as something "holier than thou" or "above" any kind of infrastructure that COULD work.

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    Bek has carried on for two years of so that.......
    woah, there John. I do NOT AGREE WITH YOU. (you have a PM by the way, at the 'notifications' bar at the top of the screen, if you haven't read it yet.)

    Stop putting words into my mouth. You're telling the forum cyclists must break the laws in most every state to ride VC.

    You obviously have lost touch with how to ride a bicycle in a vehicular manner. I, as a vehicular cyclist, have NO problem riding a bike in a vehicular manner and in accordance with all applicable laws in California and Oregon and Washington, for example.

    I will say it again, since john still doesn't get it. I've never broken the law on my bike while avoiding bikelanes in mandatory bikelane states.. which are only about a half dozen states anyways! John thinks, ardently proclaims his mistaken belief that cyclists avoiding bikelanes or unsafe road positions in (for example) California are breaking the law.

    John tirelessly advances unsubstantiated bluster that vehicular cyclists cannot ride a bike without breaking the law in california or most other states, that cyclists break the law when choosing a safe road position.

    What incredibly marginalizing and misleading advice to bicyclists about how the laws apply to us!

    Only ideologically addled cyclists think their act of avoiding a bikelane for safety or positioning reasons in mandatory bikelane states breaks the spirit or the letter of the law.

    Proclaiming that cyclists must break the law to ride in a safe, vehicular manner in most states is a wholly fraudulent ideology.

    That type of misleading, marginalizing skew about cyclists rights is worthless and a disservice to cyclists and cycling.

    I do NOT agree with the lousy, fractured ideology that cyclists must break the law to ride VC.

    That's a crock of unsafe and misleading road advice. Its no wonder VC has absolutely no cultural relevance.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-11-11 at 08:53 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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