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Something to thing about

Old 05-23-06, 08:54 PM
  #1  
sgtsmile
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Something to thing about

In a previous post someplace I mentioned that I am not a fan of the word cager. The reason is simple: the term is derogatory, and has, I believe, no basis for use in an intelligent discussion. A rant maybe, but not a discussion.

It seems to me that most people when they use this term refer to a motorist who has done something dangerous and go on to bemoan the lack of attention to legal driving behaviours (as well as unsafe ones). Please note that I make a distinction between legal and safe. The two terms are not interchangable. (I thought of this while reading a post by HH in another thread where he talks about people doing legal but unsafe things on bikes, but could not make my point, such as it is, without a thread highjacking - something I am trying not to do!!)

The ironic thing about this is that I would be willing to bet that most of us - and by us I refer to people who have spent a lot of time thinking about traffic safety and spend a lot of effort working towards making roads more safe for multiple users - do many legal things that contraviene effective safe driving practices while driving their cars. Of course, I have no proof of this except what I have read on these forums (like always, no matter what, driving at or below the speed limit... which is not always the wisest thing to do btw) and what years of teaching people how to drive and not die have shown me.

Now consider this: if we, who spend a lot of time considering this topic can and do make mistakes while driving and while riding WITH THE BEST OF INTENTIONS, wont people who do not spend as much time as we do thinking about this tend to make more? Is every bad experience we have cycling the result of malicious behaviour? Do we not poison our view of other road users so that we unwittingly communicate hostility to other legitimate road users and unconsciously read hostile intent into innocent (if thoughtless) actions of other road users? (remember, if we are legit, so are they) If we start viewing motorists as the enemy then have we not just become what we claim to despise? a narrowminded tunnelvisioned cager, but one trapped not in a car but in a closed mind.

Something to think about, or ignore
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Old 05-24-06, 04:15 AM
  #2  
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It's a word, the power you choose to give it is all your decision.

Personally, I abhor current society's trend to make an incredible fuss over semantics for a "positive image". A rose by any other name still has the same stinky.

I think cager is absolutely descriptive. For those of us that spend regular amounts of time out in the open air, it's also about losing the trapped feeling that those inside have never felt, or for those that haven't felt it in so long they've forgotten. Yes, it's derogatory, but so what? If I called them knuckleheads, would that be better? And that doesn't convey the feeling, or the bond we share as cyclists nearly as well as cager.

I think it's quite clever. I've been using it for decades, and I will continue to do so. If someone happens to be offended by it, that's pretty much thier problem. Sticks and stones and all that.

Az
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Old 05-24-06, 07:39 AM
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I think it is a very appropriate term because being shut in an insulated box isolates the driver from the rest of humanity. Then he finds himself surrounded by other people, but he cant communicate with them.
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Old 05-24-06, 08:10 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sgtsmile
In a previous post someplace I mentioned that I am not a fan of the word cager. ...

I commend you. You are not a fan for a simple reason. Its nothing more than carping and name calling, in lieu of forming a complete thought. The cycling/anti-fossil fuel lobby is replete with such childish monikers and slogans..we aren't blocking taffic, we are traffic; a bicycle is a vehicle; ad infinitum.

When I am riding my bicycle I am alert and aware of the roadway around me, because my life depends on it. When I am riding my volvo, I am alert and aware of the roadway around me, because my life and the lives of others (including cyclists) depend on it. When I am riding in my car, I have an opportunity to set a good example to other motorists how cyclists on the rose should be given their due space and how I should be vigilant to their moves, (since bicycles do not have brake lights, for example).

The roadway is a multiple use facilility and there is a time and place for all users.

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Old 05-24-06, 08:39 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
The cycling/anti-fossil fuel lobby is replete with such childish monikers and slogans.. a bicycle is a vehicle; ad infinitum.
Just curious, how is saying "a bicycle is a vehicle" childish? I must be missing something.

I'm not anti-oil, I love my motorcycles. In fact, the term cager was coined by motorcyclists almost 40 years ago, so it really doesn't have anything to do with the "anti-fossil fuel lobby". (That's an odd statement, seeing as how the oil companies have the largest and most powerful lobbying organizations in the country)

Why does everyone think that folks that enjoy bicycle riding are hippies?

Az
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Old 05-24-06, 09:04 AM
  #6  
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I see nothing wrong with the term cager. When I use it, I try to use it exclusively to refer to an @sshole motor vehicle driver. There are drivers and cagers.

My take on your legal/safe dichotomy. Just because something is legal does not make it safe and more importantly, just because something is illegal does not make it unsafe.

It is safer as a bicyclist to stop at, then go through a red light when his actions will absolutely interfere with no one. It is safer for the cyclist and cars for the cyclist to be out and moving in front of traffic than to be in front of cars when they begin their drag race once the "tree" turns to green. The most likely time for a fall on a bike is the transition from stopped to moving or vice-versa. It is not safe to lose you balance just as cars behind you have launched.

Now the followers of the Church of the VC will inevitably chime in as if on cue to crucify me for this position. The VC take this position because The First Commandment of the Church of the Vehicular Cyclist sates that:

THOUGH SHALT SLAVISHLY OBEY EACH AND EVERY LAW, ORDINANCE AND CODE, NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL AND NO MATTER WHETHER IT IS SAFE OR UNSAFE

and,as it is written in the Gospel of THE NOTION, many years ago, soon after the creation of the car and the bicycle, the car drivers became unhappy with cyclists because the cyclists broke the covenant with the God of Transportation and violated the first Commandment, thus leading drivers to the position and belief that cyclists are unworthy and must be banished from the roadways.

Well, this apostate declares that cagers hate bicyclists for many reasons, ignorance of laws, arrogance and selfishness, among other things, and that the fact that cyclists break laws is not the main reason we are hated.

I will continue to do what is safe, even though it may technically be a traffic violation. Other countries, such as Holland, that has a huge bicycling population, have realised that bikes and cars are safer when bicyclists can proceed before cars at stop lights. They have separate lights for cars and bicycles and bicycles are allowed to proceed before cars.

Just because something is the law does not necessarily make it safe.
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Old 05-24-06, 09:07 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
The cycling/anti-fossil fuel lobby is replete with such childish monikers and slogans..
I didn't realize the cycling and anti-fossil fuel lobby were the same.
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Old 05-24-06, 03:14 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
My take on your legal/safe dichotomy. Just because something is legal does not make it safe and more importantly, just because something is illegal does not make it unsafe.

My point exactly.....
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Old 05-24-06, 03:21 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
It is safer as a bicyclist to stop at, then go through a red light when his actions will absolutely interfere with no one. It is safer for the cyclist and cars for the cyclist to be out and moving in front of traffic than to be in front of cars when they begin their drag race once the "tree" turns to green. The most likely time for a fall on a bike is the transition from stopped to moving or vice-versa. It is not safe to lose you balance just as cars behind you have launched.
I think it safer to stay at the end of the line of traffic, that way you don't need be in front of the drag race.
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Now the followers of the Church of the VC will inevitably chime in as if on cue to crucify me for this position. The VC take this position because The First Commandment of the Church of the Vehicular Cyclist sates that:

THOUGH SHALT SLAVISHLY OBEY EACH AND EVERY LAW, ORDINANCE AND CODE, NO MATTER HOW TRIVIAL AND NO MATTER WHETHER IT IS SAFE OR UNSAFE
VC is not about strict adherence to law. It is about following the vehicular rules of the road. Just as motorists will break laws (not fully stop, speed, etc.) while operating vehicularly, so can cyclists.

Personally I prefer to follow all laws when on my bike, just as I do when driving a motor vehicle. (wont speed, come to full stop at quiet residential 4-ways with no one is sight) I like to follow the rules to the letter, even if it may seem tedious to some.

Al
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Old 05-24-06, 03:54 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
I think it safer to stay at the end of the line of traffic, that way you don't need be in front of the drag race.

VC is not about strict adherence to law. It is about following the vehicular rules of the road. Just as motorists will break laws (not fully stop, speed, etc.) while operating vehicularly, so can cyclists.

Personally I prefer to follow all laws when on my bike, just as I do when driving a motor vehicle. (wont speed, come to full stop at quiet residential 4-ways with no one is sight) I like to follow the rules to the letter, even if it may seem tedious to some.

Al
Maybe not from you, but many VC argue that even if it is safer to break the law, it must be obeyed because when cagers see us break the law, it gives cyclists a bad name and cager resentment and cager bad behavior towards cyclists increases. Where's Helmet Head, he'll confirm this.
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Old 05-24-06, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Maybe not from you, but many VC argue that even if it is safer to break the law, it must be obeyed because when cagers see us break the law, it gives cyclists a bad name and cager resentment and cager bad behavior towards cyclists increases. .
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicul..._of_the_law.22

Not breaking the law is not a requirement of VC, but like you said it is a good thing to do if you want to advocate for same rights, same rules.

Also a VC may argue the point that breaking a specific traffic law in a specific cas is not safer. In many cases what is perceived as safer may not be if one fully rides vehicularly (like my example of lining up behind cars, instead of filtering forward and then trying to get a jump on the green light)

You can wait for HH, but I clearly remember him writing a few times that not coming to a full stop at a stop sign is vehicular. Certainly if he disagreed with the wiki he would have made edits/comments to it as well.

Al
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Old 05-24-06, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Az B
Just curious, how is saying "a bicycle is a vehicle" childish? I must be missing something.

I'm not anti-oil, I love my motorcycles. In fact, the term cager was coined by motorcyclists almost 40 years ago, so it really doesn't have anything to do with the "anti-fossil fuel lobby". (That's an odd statement, seeing as how the oil companies have the largest and most powerful lobbying organizations in the country).

Why does everyone think that folks that enjoy bicycle riding are hippies?

Az
Vehicles have brake lights, stall lights, turn signals, safety features, and other things that are designed to automatically (in many cases) inform other roadway users what their intentions or behavior are. Bicycles do not. I don't care what the law calls us...a bicycle on the road is.....(drum roll please)....a bicycle.

The debate is not about where the world cager came from, its about its use. As I said, it is just carping by people who cannot accept the disadvantages that cycling has, along with its numerous advantages.

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Old 05-24-06, 07:45 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
Vehicles have brake lights, stall lights, turn signals, safety features, and other things that are designed to automatically (in many cases) inform other roadway users what their intentions or behavior are. Bicycles do not. I don't care what the law calls us...a bicycle on the road is.....(drum roll please)....a bicycle.
You stated that the phrase "a bicycle is a vehicle" was childish. I wanted to know what made the phrase childish, not what makes a bicycle not a vehicle.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. The main difference between our viewpoints is that the law in all 50 states is on my side. You're pretty much on your own. I will give you points for circular logic though.

Az
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Old 05-25-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Az B
The main difference between our viewpoints is that the law in all 50 states is on my side.
Not quite. In many states bicycles are not defined as vehicles. But instead operators of bicycles are given rights/responsibilities of drivers of vehicles. There are a few variations of this.

https://www.bicycledriving.com/trafficlaw.htm

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Old 05-25-06, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Az B
You stated that the phrase "a bicycle is a vehicle" was childish. I wanted to know what made the phrase childish, not what makes a bicycle not a vehicle.

You are, of course, entitled to your opinion. The main difference between our viewpoints is that the law in all 50 states is on my side. You're pretty much on your own. I will give you points for circular logic though.

Az

OOOPS! touche! Sorry for the 'circular' logic.

I meant it is childish because people just repeat it over and over again as if it were true, without knowing whether this in fact the case. And, even if the law in many states 'says' they are vehicles, I gave several reasons why this really is not true. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc, are vehicles. Cyclists are secondary road users.

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Old 05-25-06, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
Cyclists are secondary road users.
Not in law, only in the eyes of bullies and the ignorant. In most states they are given all the rights and responsibilities of drivers of vehicles. This is not a secondary status.

Al
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Old 05-25-06, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Not in law, only in the eyes of bullies and the ignorant. In most states they are given all the rights and responsibilities of drivers of vehicles. This is not a secondary status.

Al

AS I have made clear earlier when i discussed my reasons, the law can say whatever it wants. It can call bicycles chariots of the gods, for all I care. Without stall lights, brake lights, turn signals, and numerous other features (rear view mirrors in several places, to borrow a controversy from a different thread), as well as safety features, no way a bicycle is a vehicle in any traditional sense.

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Old 05-25-06, 04:55 PM
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Cager is biker (outlaw motorcycle) term. It works for me.
When I'm in one, I feel caged. And most drivers behave like caged animals.
If it feels derisive, then if the shoe fits.....

Cager
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cager is a term used mainly by motorcyclists and cyclists to describe a person who drives a car. The term is derived from the common feeling among motorcyclists that driving or riding in a car feels like being trapped in a cage, as well as alluding to the safety cages in modern cars, and to a certain extent the locked-in mindset of "cagers" who refuse to acknowledge the practicality of other modes of transport.
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Old 05-25-06, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
I didn't realize the cycling and anti-fossil fuel lobby were the same.
They overlap.
https://www.bikesnotbombs.org/
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Old 05-25-06, 06:28 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Roughstuff
AS I have made clear earlier when i discussed my reasons, the law can say whatever it wants. It can call bicycles chariots of the gods, for all I care. Without stall lights, brake lights, turn signals, and numerous other features (rear view mirrors in several places, to borrow a controversy from a different thread), as well as safety features, no way a bicycle is a vehicle in any traditional sense.

roughstuff

Mattie told hattie, about a thing she saw.
Had two big horns, and a wolly jaw,
WOOLY BULLY! Wooly Bully. wooly bully!

By any traditional definition of vehicle a bicycle is a vehicle. As is a rickshaw, a motorcycle, an amish horse and wagon, a semi and a hummer. Things like a farm tractor or a wheelbarrow are borderline, but if the tracktor is pulling a wagon it clearly is a vehicle.
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Old 05-25-06, 06:48 PM
  #21  
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San Rensho, Al's views expressed in this thread so far match my own.

As far as I know, VC advocates abide to the vehicular rules of the road about as much as other drivers of vehicles. Perhaps a bit looser in some areas (because we post less of a threat), perhaps a bit more in others (because we are generally more vulnerable than cagers), but overall our adherence is about the same.

As far as the term "cager" goes, I find it useful to differentiate those users of the road who are somewhat protected by a structural frame (car, truck, van drivers) from those who are not (bicyclists, motorcyclists, mopedists, etc.). Nothing else seems to work for this purpose. Driver is too vague (may cyclists consider themselves to be drivers). Motorist includes motorcyclists. Car driver excludes truck drivers, etc. etc. Cager covers it.
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Old 05-26-06, 04:35 AM
  #22  
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The history of the term cager was not one that I was familiar with, Thanks.

However, I still think my original point was not really focused upon. If we are to consider ourselves advocates of the bicycle who operate in the real world, one with cars/trucks in it, then I think it would benefit us to discuss relationships between the differing traffic types without all of the emotional baggage that a term that is often used in a negative manner brings with it.

Think about this: we share the road with a variety of road users. Every once in a while we have an encounter with a motorist which either scares us, or causes us a direct threat due to a deliberate action on their part. If we then talk of all motorists as the "enemy" and use a term like cager in a negative way, are we truly any different that the motorist who calls all cyclists by some negative term because every once in a while a cyclist does something which threatens or scares them?

Many posters here act as if bikes and their riders have some sort of moral high ground, and in at least the health and environmental sense, they do. A lot of this is undermined when those self same people act in as barbaric a manner as SOME drivers of cars do.

Cager as a descriptive term I can and do understand (except for the safety cage part at least historically - if the term dates from the 60's, WHAT safety cage? ;p); but cager as a term used to lable a motorist as an enemy is a simple case of pot calling the kettle black, and should be beneith us.

Btw, I am fully aware of the fact that sometimes ranting is needed. And of the fact that this forum is a safe place to rant in the pressence of people who will understand. I think all I am asking is that the vindictiveness that I see here NOT be taken into the real world of advocacy, or you will get exactly no where changing laws and more importantly, changing people's attitudes (laws are nice, people who follow them or make allowances for different road users are nicer.)
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