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Thread: educate me!

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    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    educate me!

    okay, so ive heard this term pop up alot on this forum; vc, aka Vehicular Cycling

    theres even a wiki page about is (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicular_cycling) 'explaining' what its all about

    altho i keep wondering, isnt this cycling?? havnt i been cycling for the last 25 years, was it all a big scam?

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    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Vehicular Cycling is about using the roads more like other vehicles (mainly motor vehicles) use them. Some say "riding big" which is all about being more visible to other traffic, which in my experience keeps me safer. "Taking the lane" on multi-lane roads, moving left and using the left turn lane to make a left turn, etc.

    There are several good resources around the internet on this style of riding. www.iamtraffic.org is one of my favorites. They have some great videos demonstrating how-to and the benefits of VC. Also Keri Caffrey of Commute Orlando has many videos on the subject, also shown on I Am Traffic.

    This video IMHO is the best one I have ever seen demonstrating how much more visible you can be when you take the lane.

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    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    ima watch the video

    but my confusion lies in the "is about using the roads more like other vehicles (mainly motor vehicles) use them. Some say "riding big" which is all about being more visible to other traffic, which in my experience keeps me safer. "Taking the lane" on multi-lane roads, moving left and using the left turn lane to make a left turn, etc."

    what other option is there? right lane to turn left? flying over the intersections?

    what the video is showing me:
    A LOT OF DANGEROUS DRIVING ****!

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    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Many folks who use only bike lanes, or ride on the sidewalk, will make a left turn like a pedestrian: go straight across the intersection (on the right side), turn and face left, then go straight across the intersection again, again on the right side. This makes you vulnerable to right hooks and cars pulling out to turn right on red as much as FOUR TIMES during that maneuver. Moving over to the left turn lane and making the left turn has almost none of that danger.
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    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    im more and more getting the idea thats its simply a culture/infrastructure difference?

    for me, crossing an intersection as a ped goes like:
    1) stop for the intersection
    2) turn left
    3(optional ) press button to get a green light
    4) look
    5) cross

    but even in the usa if one would want to turn left, then isnt the most obvious choice.. to go left? or is that illegal?

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    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    If you're walking on the right side of a street, and you want to go left on the cross street, but be on the right side of the cross street after turning, then you have to cross the intersection 2 times - walk straight across the cross street, turn to the left, and walk straight across the street you were on previously. Many cyclists who are not comfortable being out with traffic make a left turn at an intersection (junction) in a similar fashion. But that opens you up to more chances for collisions from motor vehicles when you traverse an intersection like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
    ima watch the video

    but my confusion lies in the "is about using the roads more like other vehicles (mainly motor vehicles) use them. Some say "riding big" which is all about being more visible to other traffic, which in my experience keeps me safer. "Taking the lane" on multi-lane roads, moving left and using the left turn lane to make a left turn, etc."

    what other option is there? right lane to turn left? flying over the intersections?

    what the video is showing me:
    A LOT OF DANGEROUS DRIVING ****!
    What is the dangerous driving that you see in this video? It is true that the video shows that it is better to occupy a lane than to try to share it, but where, in all of that, is the dangerous driving? I don't see any; it is just normal traffic.

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    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    What is the dangerous driving that you see in this video? It is true that the video shows that it is better to occupy a lane than to try to share it, but where, in all of that, is the dangerous driving? I don't see any; it is just normal traffic.
    too many cars move over at the last moment, that shows theyre not looking far ahead enough or dont reconize whats actually in front of them, and im not even gonna mention the "motorcyclists" what a bunch of **

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    Senior Member delcrossv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
    too many cars move over at the last moment, that shows theyre not looking far ahead enough or dont reconize whats actually in front of them, and im not even gonna mention the "motorcyclists" what a bunch of **
    Well, that's what life is like in the States. In my experience the safest way to get from A to B is to use the riding style that works best in the moment. Usually it's VC, sometimes it's ride like a ped, sometimes it's use the bike path.
    Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
    too many cars move over at the last moment, that shows theyre not looking far ahead enough or dont reconize whats actually in front of them, and im not even gonna mention the "motorcyclists" what a bunch of **
    That's the point the video is trying to show, and IMHO does a great job of it. When the guy is riding far right, he is not as visible and cars wait until the last second to get over, sometimes splitting lanes, etc. When he rides farther out in the lane, people see him earlier and move over much earlier. My experience is pretty much the exact same when riding on similar local roads (5 or 7 lane roads, or 4 or 6 lane roads with center median).

    Showing the point of view from a car several hundred yards back in the video is also a great help in illustrating just how the cyclist is visible sooner when riding farther out into the right lane.
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    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    That's the point the video is trying to show, and IMHO does a great job of it. When the guy is riding far right, he is not as visible and cars wait until the last second to get over, sometimes splitting lanes, etc. When he rides farther out in the lane, people see him earlier and move over much earlier. My experience is pretty much the exact same when riding on similar local roads (5 or 7 lane roads, or 4 or 6 lane roads with center median).

    Showing the point of view from a car several hundred yards back in the video is also a great help in illustrating just how the cyclist is visible sooner when riding farther out into the right lane.
    i understand the point of the video, but even with the correct lane position, it does not magically cause motorists to see and realize whats in front of them, so even tho the video was about lane positioning (not something i connected to vc but just regular safety) it still shows the general attitude (maybe not the right word, car-centric culture would fit better?) towards things that are not cars/expected

    it reminded me of a situation i had 2 weeks ago
    i went to pick up some stuff in another city late in the evening and by the time i went home the bit of rural part (that strech of road only lasts for 5min but there are no lights and has a 60km limit) was totally fogged over, making me totally invisible
    i moved to the other side of the road so i could see oncoming cars and be able to move into the grass if needed, and it was needed, about 30% only noticed me from 15meters away
    i would feel most safe riding on the pavement in that video..

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    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
    i understand the point of the video, but even with the correct lane position, it does not magically cause motorists to see and realize whats in front of them, so even tho the video was about lane positioning (not something i connected to vc but just regular safety) it still shows the general attitude (maybe not the right word, car-centric culture would fit better?) towards things that are not cars/expected
    The video clearly shows how people wait longer and will get closer behind the cyclist before changing lanes because they think they initially think they can squeeze by when he rides to the far right. This causes traffic to stack up behind him, and then other cars farther back can't see him until they are very close. When he rides farther out, people know much earlier that they have to change lanes, do so earlier, which lets other traffic farther back see him earlier. It's almost like a domino effect.

    I did not see anything that would indicate bad attitudes from the drivers in the portion where the cyclist was taking the lane.
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    Senior Member italktocats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    I did not see anything that would indicate bad attitudes from the drivers in the portion where the cyclist was taking the lane.
    I think thats simply a matter of standards between pro- and anti-cycling cultures

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    Quote Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
    too many cars move over at the last moment, that shows theyre not looking far ahead enough or dont reconize whats actually in front of them, and im not even gonna mention the "motorcyclists" what a bunch of **
    That's nonsense. At no point in the video did any driver get into the position of having to take a sudden movement, or even slow to the cyclist's speed, to avoid colliding with the cyclist.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    The video clearly shows how people wait longer and will get closer behind the cyclist before changing lanes because they think they initially think they can squeeze by when he rides to the far right. This causes traffic to stack up behind him, and then other cars farther back can't see him until they are very close. When he rides farther out, people know much earlier that they have to change lanes, do so earlier, which lets other traffic farther back see him earlier. It's almost like a domino effect.

    I did not see anything that would indicate bad attitudes from the drivers in the portion where the cyclist was taking the lane.
    Of course not... displaying such an attitude in a positive video promoting cycling just wouldn't fit the need. And truth be told such negative attitudes by motorists really don't occur all the time... In fact in a year of bike commuting I would maybe find bad or aggressive behavior aimed toward me as a cyclist maybe once or twice a year.

    More often, (maybe once a month or so) what I was more likely to encounter was either a distracted motorist... someone just not paying attention, or some motorist that flat out had no idea how to handle a cyclist "acting like the driver of a vehicle." In the latter situation, the motorist would just do something unpredictable like not enter a left or right turn lane behind me, and would make a turn from an awkward and strange place on the road, or make some other odd movement.

    The motorists that tended to scare me were the distracted ones... they didn't see me, they were not looking for me and they drove oblivious to cyclists and the signals of others. Occasionally one of these distracted motorists would suddenly "come awake," and I would actually see the startled expression on their faces as they became aware of nearly plowing into me.

    These drivers tend to be the ones that follow other drivers too closely, driving like zombies while they check text messages and the like... their reactions are slow, and they could very well plow into a lane taking cyclist just moments after the lead car (they one they are following) peels away, leaving the distracted motorist to now survey and evaluate the scene... in seconds. On lower speed roads those seconds may be enough for the motorist to make the right move in time or for the cyclist to evade the problem... on high speed roads those seconds may not be enough time for action.
    Last edited by genec; 10-26-13 at 10:01 AM.

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    Yet another video demonstrating rosy and also totally deluded wishfull VC thinking. There wasn't enough traffic there to delay anybody changing lanes. YMMV in rush hour traffic. There is NO SUCH LAW as any vehicle not allowed to partial lane pass. certainly NOT FOR MOTORCYCLES. Idiots. And neither does it matter what the center stripes or lane width. 3 or 4 feet pass is what you get, likeit or lump it.

    Good luck the next time a drunk or foggy headed senior has 2 seconds or less to swerve 8 or 10 feet left to miss your a$$.
    Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 10-27-13 at 12:20 PM.

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    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Vehicular Cycling is about using the roads more like other vehicles (mainly motor vehicles) use them. Some say "riding big" which is all about being more visible to other traffic, which in my experience keeps me safer. "Taking the lane" on multi-lane roads, moving left and using the left turn lane to make a left turn, etc.
    Is that part of VC? I almost always use the left turn lane to turn left, and almost all bike commuters I see every day do that, too. The only other option that I can think of is the Copenhagen left, where you cross two pedestrian crossings to arrive at the destination lane. I use the Copenhagen method only when it's clearly quicker than going in the left turn lane.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Anderson

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    The video clearly shows how people wait longer and will get closer behind the cyclist before changing lanes because they think they initially think they can squeeze by when he rides to the far right. This causes traffic to stack up behind him, and then other cars farther back can't see him until they are very close. When he rides farther out, people know much earlier that they have to change lanes, do so earlier, which lets other traffic farther back see him earlier. It's almost like a domino effect.

    I did not see anything that would indicate bad attitudes from the drivers in the portion where the cyclist was taking the lane.
    This is how people get their agenda out there. They state assumptions and others take it as truth. The video did not show that people will wait longer because they think they initially think they can squeeze by. It just shows that people will not move completely into the other lane when passing. Either way, the cars were approximately the same distance from the cyclist whether in the middle of the lane and cars went around entirely in the other lane or the cyclist on the right side and cars moved half a lane over and straddled the line dividing the lanes. In no way can you say that people think they can squeeze by in that video. You can not prove what a person is mentally thinking with video.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    This is how people get their agenda out there. They state assumptions and others take it as truth. The video did not show that people will wait longer because they think they initially think they can squeeze by. It just shows that people will not move completely into the other lane when passing. Either way, the cars were approximately the same distance from the cyclist whether in the middle of the lane and cars went around entirely in the other lane or the cyclist on the right side and cars moved half a lane over and straddled the line dividing the lanes. In no way can you say that people think they can squeeze by in that video. You can not prove what a person is mentally thinking with video.
    Rodgers is technically correct, in that the video did not show motive. However, it does show that when the cyclist occupies the full lane overtaking motorists are motivated to use the entire adjacent lane, while when the cyclist uses only the right-hand part of his lane motorists make a straddle overtake. It is correct that when there is little traffic in the adjacent lane both types of overtake are possible, and it is correct that the overtaking clearance is approximately equal in each case. But overtaking clearance in this case is not the point of the lateral placement. The prospect of making a straddle overtake tempts the motorist (and we have heard much from motorists on this point) to believe that he can make a similar overtaking movement between the cyclist and the traffic in the adjacent lane. When the cyclist occupies the lane his position removes that temptation from the motorist; he has to recognize that he must make a full lane change. Removing the temptation to squeeze between the cyclist and the traffic in the adjacent lane is the purpose of cycling so that the cyclist is occupying the whole lane. The purpose has nothing to do with overtaking clearance as such; it is to remove the temptation to make a dangerous overtaking movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
    ... lane positioning (not something i connected to vc but just regular safety)
    I know what you mean. Mammary glands are not something I connect to females but just regular mammals.

    Seriously, isn't vehicular cycling mostly about lane positioning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninety5rpm View Post
    I know what you mean. Mammary glands are not something I connect to females but just regular mammals.

    Seriously, isn't vehicular cycling mostly about lane positioning?
    No, vehicular cycling is about obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. When all drivers obey the same rules, the rules make the operation safe and reasonable.

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    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    No, vehicular cycling is about obeying the rules of the road for drivers of vehicles. When all drivers obey the same rules, the rules make the operation safe and reasonable.
    +10

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