I got kicked off the Facebook group "Cyclists are Drivers" for posting this remark: "I just watched a video of the cycling situation in NYC which made a pretty compelling case for physically separated bike lanes. streetfilms dot org/physically-separated-bike-lanes
My question is whether this fanatical adherence to the party line rather than accepting that one can approve of rail trails and bike lanes (especially those separated by a physical barrier from car traffic) and still defend cyclists' rights to use the roads like any other vehicle without demanding FTR (farthest to the right) is somehow antithetical to the latter cause.
Dan Gutierrez, the group's moderator, wrote:"You are not welcome in this group, since it is clear you don't support bicycle driving. There are plenty of other groups suited to your advocacy."
However, this was preceded by comments I had made fully supporting cyclists' rights to ride in the road without hugging the right side.
Comment history:Bob Sutterfield Marvin - It's good to hear you agree cyclists have the right to use the roads by the ordinary rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. That's a huge step that many don't get past.
When you learn to apply that principle to your own cycling, you'll find it emancipates you from the restrictions you now feel. You'll no longer feel confined to paths. The entire public roadway network (except freeways) will be available to you! You'll be able to go anywhere you want! No need to wait till a path is built, just get on your trike and ride!
I encourage you to stick around here, listen in, and avail yourself of educational opportunities to help you along the way. Read some of the material at cyclingsavvy dot org and iamtraffic dot org and keep asking lots of questions. Even if there's no workshop in your area, you can create opportunities to meet up with experienced bicycle drivers near you, and learn from them too.
Enjoy the journey!
(Marvin writes) I looked at these materials before you suggested them and I found them useful. But none of the videos showed the kind of roads around here that I stay off. These are two lane roads with 35 mph going to 50 mph speed limits (often exceeded), narrow paved shoulders that I see DF cyclists riding on with cars passing too closely. There is enough oncoming traffic and traffic going the same way that if I controlled the lane they would be stacked up behind me waiting quite a while (given my 10 mph average speed) before I could pull into someone's driveway to give them an opportunity to pass. On the low traffic country roads that I do ride on, there are few enough oncoming cars that getting stuck behind me is not a problem except maybe on a long hill that I'm going up at a snail's pace, and then, if I can, I will pull into a driveway and wave the car(s) behind me on. I do not hug the right side, never, because I don't want anyone to think they can pass me without crossing over the center stripe. Almost everybody gives me a fairly wide berth, but there are more than a few who pass me when they cannot see over the next rise or around the next curve, so they're risking a head on collision. Given the impatience that leads to that kind of stupidity, I can only imagine what such a driver would do if I were controlling the lane while a long succession of oncoming cars made it impossible to pass.
(Marvin writes) That's great if release is possible. [Control the lane and release the lane.] When there are no shoulders, high banks or deep ditches on the side of the road, no driveways or intersecting roads to pull into, then it's not possible. I would stay off roads like that which also had enough oncoming cars to make overtaking impossible on the few straight stretches. Also, and I may be mistaken, I think the slow speed and the width of my trike probably influence the situation. I just watched a video of the cycling situation in NYC which made a pretty compelling case for physically separated bike lanes. streetfilms dot org/physically-separated-bike-lanes
It seems to me that many more people would be riding bikes if their fear of traffic could be calmed and the more bike riders, the better. If getting people started riding requires protected bike lanes, fine. After they gain confidence, they might then be persuaded to ride in traffic, especially if they could first take a course in effective cycling.