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Common Sense Cycling

Old 07-17-20, 04:41 PM
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holytrousers
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Common Sense Cycling

Vehicular Cycling seems to have become a much stigmatized word. Besides, its name is counter productive because it suggests that bicycles aren't vehicles already and one should cycle like a "vehicle", a real vehicle like a car.

Vehicle : That in or on which any person or thing is, or may be,
carried, as a coach, carriage, wagon, cart, car, sleigh,
bicycle, etc.; a means of conveyance; specifically, a
means of conveyance upon land.
[1913 Webster]
What the hell, bicycles are actually super vehicles, they are the most energy efficient vehicles, they take the least space and they keep their users healthy !

Let's get rid of all the controversial residue related to this term, i'm no expert on this topic but it seems like there has been some advocating against building bike lanes and let's replace it with another name : my suggestion would be Common Sense Cycling (abbreviated CSC) because it seems so obvious and besides there is no other way than taking back our roads, getting rid of that paralyzing fear from sharing the road with other cars and ride safer, with dignity.
Anyone suggesting a better name ?
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Old 07-17-20, 05:00 PM
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I see vehicular cycling as a last resort for cyclists who ride on roads. I do it--taking the lane when necessary, but I do not like it, and it is stressful. Much preferable and safer is having a separate, segregated bike lane or MUP where I don't have to deal with cars and drivers. Advocating for vehicular cycling implies that safer cycling infrastructure is not needed because we can just ride beside cars.
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Old 07-17-20, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I see vehicular cycling as a last resort for cyclists who ride on roads. I do it--taking the lane when necessary, but I do not like it, and it is stressful. Much preferable and safer is having a separate, segregated bike lane or MUP where I don't have to deal with cars and drivers. Advocating for vehicular cycling implies that safer cycling infrastructure is not needed because we can just ride beside cars.
On the contrary, bike lanes are necessary because they prevent cars from closely overtaking the bikes on the same lane. The problem is with the mentality that bikes don't belong to the road and should be ghettoed in bike lanes : bikes will share the roads with cars because it is impossible to create a totally isolated infrastructure for bikes.
This topic is about the aspect of behaving and being treated like any other vehicle on the road.
I don't understand why the mods moved the topic from general cycling to vehicular cycling : the whole point is about getting rid of the whole stigma surrounding Vehicular Cycling.
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Old 07-17-20, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
On the contrary, bike lanes are necessary because they prevent cars from closely overtaking the bikes on the same lane. The problem is with the mentality that bikes don't belong to the road and should be ghettoed in bike lanes : bikes will share the roads with cars because it is impossible to create a totally isolated infrastructure for bikes.
This topic is about the aspect of behaving and being treated like any other vehicle on the road.
I don't understand why the mods moved the topic from general cycling to vehicular cycling : the whole point is about getting rid of the whole stigma surrounding Vehicular Cycling.
I'm confused. You say bike lanes are necessary, then say it's impossible to create them.
FTR, I consider myself a vehicular cyclist and am against seperate bike lanes
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Old 07-17-20, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
I'm confused. You say bike lanes are necessary, then say it's impossible to create them.
FTR, I consider myself a vehicular cyclist and am against seperate bike lanes
I said it's impossible to create a totally isolated infrastructure for bikes from the rest of the road network.
I think bike lanes in many cases are good, but they should never be mandatory : because the world is too complex and cars and bikes should learn to live on the same planet.
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Old 07-17-20, 05:50 PM
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Sorry, but I prefer to drive without bikes around me, and I prefer to bike without cars around me. I really enjoy both activities, just like to keep them separated.
Obviously doesnít always work out that way, but thatís my pipe dream. Forcing the issue, with a nation of distracted drivers, is not anywhere near what I would call common sense, or have they dumbed that down too.
Tim

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Old 07-17-20, 05:57 PM
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The #1 reason that I hear from people who do not like to ride is that it's too dangerous. They are scared to death of riding the same strip of road as cars. You're going to convince them that should not only ride with cars, but take up an entire lane because it's safer? It may very well be safer, but you're not going to convince most people to take up an entire lane with cars bearing down on them and aggressive drivers honking at them.

If we want more people to ride bikes, and we do want to have more people riding bikes because it's good for everything and everyone, then we need to separate them from cars. Period.

Vehicular cycling, or whatever you want to call it, is a last resort solution, and is far, far from ideal.
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Old 07-17-20, 06:14 PM
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Again this is not about advocating against bike lanes, it's about behaving on streets with no bike lanes or when bike lanes are obstructed.
Once again i'm asking the mods to move back this thread to general cycling or at least to advocacy and safety, this is not about advocating against bike lanes.
mcours2006 The reason why people are scared to death is because when they stick to the right, a truck will eventually kill them, if not then scare them to death because it almost killed them.
When one takes the lane, the driver will slow down and maybe (illegally) honk at you : that can scare you, but it's not gonna kill you.
That's the safe way to drive.
tkamd73 Well we don't live on two different planets and it's impossible to totally separate bikes from cars, there will always be places where they will have to coexist.
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Old 07-17-20, 06:20 PM
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Lowering the speed limits for roads that are scare with businesses, nearby freeway access, & that have minimum road surface requirement (ie: no heavy triple axle vehicles) might be better at sharing the road with bicycles.
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Old 07-18-20, 04:25 AM
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
Again this is not about advocating against bike lanes, it's about behaving on streets with no bike lanes or when bike lanes are obstructed.
Once again i'm asking the mods to move back this thread to general cycling or at least to advocacy and safety, this is not about advocating against bike lanes.
mcours2006 The reason why people are scared to death is because when they stick to the right, a truck will eventually kill them, if not then scare them to death because it almost killed them.
When one takes the lane, the driver will slow down and maybe (illegally) honk at you : that can scare you, but it's not gonna kill you.
That's the safe way to drive.
tkamd73 Well we don't live on two different planets and it's impossible to totally separate bikes from cars, there will always be places where they will have to coexist.

"Common sense" tells me there are times to take the lane, but on most roads with 35-40 mph traffic, which is the norm around here, it's usually a very stupid thing to do.

I do most of my riding in 2 states, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. MA does not have a FRAP rule, so vc-style riding is legal there, NH has a FRAP rule, so you can only take the lane where the right side is unsafe, to turn left, or to avoid being to the right of a right-turning lane. As far as I've observed, people in MA ride pretty much exactly like riders in NH do. No one here seems to want to get into endless conflicts with drivers who want to pass you. mm

I'm not interested in martyring myself to educate anyone, that's the antithesis of common sense.
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Old 07-18-20, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I see vehicular cycling as a last resort for cyclists who ride on roads. I do it--taking the lane when necessary, but I do not like it, and it is stressful. Much preferable and safer is having a separate, segregated bike lane or MUP where I don't have to deal with cars and drivers. Advocating for vehicular cycling implies that safer cycling infrastructure is not needed because we can just ride beside cars.
Until you get to an intersection or any other crossing where motor vehicles have to cross the bike lane or whereever the bicyclist is riding. Studies have shown that intersections are the second most dangerous place for a bicyclist to be with parkin g lots being number one.

What's an intersection?

An intersection is any driveway as well as where two roads meet. The problem with segregated bicycle lanes is that they remove the bicyclists from the motorist's consciousness and line of sight. A motorist is driving along a road and goes to pull into a driveway or into a plaza or other parking lot and because the bicyclist is not in the motorist's field of view may not even see the approaching bicyclist especially if the bicyclist is travelling fast.

You're in a bike lane or segregated path and you want to turn left onto another road. How do you get into the left lane to make that turn without leaving the bike lane? Will traffic even let you merge to do so?

What do you do when the bike lane ends? Do you get off and walk the bike? I see many bike lanes that end suddenly and MUPs that don't go near where any shopping is or even businesses and thus aren't very good at all for commuting.

Every single driveway, entrance to or entrance from a parking lot is a potential accident for any bicycle in a bicycle lane or segregated bicycling facility. MUPs can be even more dangerous due to pedestrians and dog walkers who are totally unaware of anything around them.

I far prefer to ride one the road with traffic than I do in many so called bicycle lanes that are very poorly designed and thus are a hazard to me. YMMV

Cheers
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Old 07-18-20, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
"Common sense" tells me there are times to take the lane, but on most roads with 35-40 mph traffic, which is the norm around here, it's usually a very stupid thing to do.

I do most of my riding in 2 states, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. MA does not have a FRAP rule, so vc-style riding is legal there, NH has a FRAP rule, so you can only take the lane where the right side is unsafe, to turn left, or to avoid being to the right of a right-turning lane. As far as I've observed, people in MA ride pretty much exactly like riders in NH do. No one here seems to want to get into endless conflicts with drivers who want to pass you. mm

I'm not interested in martyring myself to educate anyone, that's the antithesis of common sense.
On 70km/h roads i with 2 lanes (same direction) what happens when i take the lane ? Approaching cars slow down and overtake. This has to be done while frequently checking backwards and when a car stays too long behind me (usually while being overtaken by other cars) i let them pass but if it's a truck i don't because the lanes aren't wide enough for both of us.
When there are three lanes, i don't care and always take the lane because ere is enough room for everyone.
Now suppose i stick to the right side all the time : what happens is : cars arriving from behind won't even consider my presence and just overtake me without even slowing down. The worst scenario is with large trucks and buses: that's me putting myself in real danger. please care to explain where is the martyrdom part in my reasoning ?
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Old 07-18-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
Vehicular Cycling seems to have become a much stigmatized word. Besides, its name is counter productive because it suggests that bicycles aren't vehicles already and one should cycle like a "vehicle", a real vehicle like a car.


What the hell, bicycles are actually super vehicles, they are the most energy efficient vehicles, they take the least space and they keep their users healthy !

Let's get rid of all the controversial residue related to this term, i'm no expert on this topic but it seems like there has been some advocating against building bike lanes and let's replace it with another name : my suggestion would be Common Sense Cycling (abbreviated CSC) because it seems so obvious and besides there is no other way than taking back our roads, getting rid of that paralyzing fear from sharing the road with other cars and ride safer, with dignity.
Anyone suggesting a better name ?
If drivers had any common sense, a rare thing these days, they should actually be promoting cycling. This would seem to be especially true during morning and evening rush hours. More bikes being used by bike commuters mean more parking places available in the city centers.
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Old 07-18-20, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
The problem with segregated bicycle lanes is that they remove the bicyclists from the motorist's consciousness and line of sight.

this is also valid when there are no bike lanes : The problem with sticking to the right side of the lane is that it removes the bicyclist fron the motorist's consciousness and line of sight.
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Old 07-18-20, 07:57 AM
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If I rode a bike as if I were in a car, I'd probably get killed in the first 30 minutes. I forget that not everyone has traffic blasting past them at +60mph. For every mile of bike lane we've got, there's two miles of shoulderless, crumbling pavement with a posted speed limit of 50mph.

By approach and behavior to cycling is almost diametrically opposed to that when I'm driving.
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Old 07-18-20, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If I rode a bike as if I were in a car, I'd probably get killed in the first 30 minutes. I forget that not everyone has traffic blasting past them at +60mph. For every mile of bike lane we've got, there's two miles of shoulderless, crumbling pavement with a posted speed limit of 50mph.

By approach and behavior to cycling is almost diametrically opposed to that when I'm driving.
Can you further elaborate your point ? I am afraid i didn't understand you properly
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Old 07-18-20, 09:27 AM
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All bicycles are vehicles, but not all vehicles are automobiles. There are a great many instances-- especially in my local area-- where "vehicular cycling" is simply not a viable option. A gravel truck (or any other motor vehicle, really) on a shoulderless, undivided 2-lane isn't concerned with my legal right to take the lane. He's just trying to fit on the road.
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Old 07-18-20, 10:05 AM
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I pity you people who have to ride in such terrifyingly dangerous areas that you're scared to be on the road with motor vehicle traffic. I'm glad that I live where I do.

Cheers
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Old 07-18-20, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
All bicycles are vehicles, but not all vehicles are automobiles. There are a great many instances-- especially in my local area-- where "vehicular cycling" is simply not a viable option. A gravel truck (or any other motor vehicle, really) on a shoulderless, undivided 2-lane isn't concerned with my legal right to take the lane. He's just trying to fit on the road.
i have such a stretch where there is no separation between the lanes .. what i do is try to ride 1~2m from the right side and frequently check whether there are any oncoming vehicles and slowly move to the right.. that way i systematically slow them down and give them time to overtake me safely..
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Old 07-18-20, 12:09 PM
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I think we can agree that Tunisia ≠ Southern California. I do not, and will not "take the lane" on a two-lane undivided road with a posted speed limit of 50mph. Not that I care a whit about traffic laws in regard to bicycles, but obstructing the flow of traffic is illegal here. A bicycle doing 20mph in a lane designated for cars to do 50mph is a danger to everyone involved.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I think we can agree that Tunisia ≠ Southern California. I do not, and will not "take the lane" on a two-lane undivided road with a posted speed limit of 50mph. Not that I care a whit about traffic laws in regard to bicycles, but obstructing the flow of traffic is illegal here. A bicycle doing 20mph in a lane designated for cars to do 50mph is a danger to everyone involved.
What behaviour do you recommend then ?
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Old 07-18-20, 12:24 PM
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I proceed in a fashion which I have determined to maximize my personal safety. Don't take certain roads at certain times on certain days. I cycle by Safety Third, in which my personal safety is paramount, followed by the safety of others, and lastly by adherence to the law.

I'm not out there to pretend that I'm a car. Cars have every advantage, from the letters of the law, to the design of the infrastructure, to the fact that they're just physically bigger, heavier, faster, and ubiquitous. As a cyclist, I would never attempt to bend them to my will. Such is folly.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:48 PM
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OK everyone, from now on, we stop using roads because they can be dangerous.
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Old 07-18-20, 12:55 PM
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Of some things I can be sure: I ride more miles, every day, on roads potentially more dangerous than you do. I do not wheel out of the driveway full of trepidation or fear. By the same token, I do not leave the driveway on a crusade to bring parity between bikes and cars. I use what was once called "common sense." I sincerely hope that your quest for vehicular equality is not one day interrupted by an incursion of harsh reality.
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Old 07-18-20, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Of some things I can be sure: I ride more miles, every day, on roads potentially more dangerous than you do. I do not wheel out of the driveway full of trepidation or fear. By the same token, I do not leave the driveway on a crusade to bring parity between bikes and cars. I use what was once called "common sense." I sincerely hope that your quest for vehicular equality is not one day interrupted by an incursion of harsh reality.
A less experienced rider is asking you for some advice. He asks you what tactics do you embrace to deal with dangerous situations.. while riding on these "third-world" roads. Your answer is to simple avoid riding on them when they don't feel safe enough.
Where did the crusades come from ?
I'm afraid you are misunderstanding the whole point here : i'm not calling for "vehicular equality" : that's the attitude one needs to adopt to overcome irrational fear in order to embrace a safer positionning on the road.
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