Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cycling American Style: Vehicular Cycling in the Land of Make-Believe

If you ride a bike between Brooklyn and Manhattan, you've no doubt noticed by now that the north side of the bridge is open to bicycles again.  If you don't ride a bike between Brooklyn and Manhattan, all you need to know is that the bikes were supposed to go on one side and the pedestrians were supposed to go on the other side, and then the pedestrians were supposed to go on the bike side and the bikes were supposed to go on the pedestrian side, but most people were too dumb to figure it out and so they had to hire people to stand there and tell everybody where to go, but it didn't work because the people hired to stand there mostly just texted, but now it's gone back to the way it was originally, though it doesn't really matter since nobody really pays much attention anyway.  It's confusing enough to make even David Byrne say, "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai."

  
(David Byrne gives away his bike at the launch party for his new book, "Fuck It, I'm Leasing a Hyundai.")

In any case, today was my first day on the north side of the Manhattan Bridge since they reversed the reversal.  I'd been wondering why it had been closed to bikes for so many months, and it turns out the reason for the detour was so that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene could install these nutrition-related PSAs:


You don't have to tell Mario Cipollini twice, since as everybody knows by now he's been on an all p-word diet since October of 2009:


I guess that makes him a v-gan.

Indeed, it was a morning brimming with promise.  The weather was warm and sunny.  The north side of the bridge was open to cyclists again.  And streetwear enthusiasts were lined up on the sidewalk waiting for something to "drop:"


I don't know what exciting new product they were waiting for, but I'm guessing it wasn't a hat with pointy earflaps, since this guy already had one:


I must be even more out of it than I thought, because I had no idea that Tibetan headgear was the new flat brim cap:


Actually, maybe they were waiting for the new style of Tibetan hat to "drop," and in a few hours they could all be walking around in these:


The only problem I see is that they're not really compatible with giant headphones.

Speaking of trends, every winter I make the mistake of thinking that the whole fixiebike thing is finally over.  Then, as soon as the temperature heads above about 55 degrees or so (that's 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 12 degrees Communist) they suddenly reappear in droves and I realize they've merely been lying dormant and waiting to bloom anew, like tulip bulbs or cold sores.  There disappearance was especially perplexing this winter, since here in New York we didn't really even have a winter.  I had always just assumed that the fixiebike riders had sort of an inner thermostat that caused them to shut down at a certain temperature, but maybe it's more of a biological clock that sends them into hibernation like bears.  Still, this doesn't account for the early reappearance this year.  Either way, some naturalist should put tracking devices on a few of them so we can find out what they do all winter.  Do they migrate to warmer climes in other trendy cities, or do they simply like dormant in basements in Bushwick and Bed-Stuy?

If the fixiebike riders do go someplace warm for the winter, I wonder if it's San Diego.  As it happens, a reader recently forwarded me the following article, in which one cycling "advocate" discusses the merits of "vehicular cycling:"


Issakov subscribes to a philosophy called vehicular cycling, which maintains that bicyclists are safest when they act like drivers. That often means mixing with cars in traffic lanes on high-speed roads like La Jolla Village Drive.

“It’s totally non-intuitive, but once you do it a few times its like, ‘Wow, why don’t I do this all the time?’” he said of the vehicular approach. “Thinking like a driver completely changes your experience out on the road.”

Issakov doesn’t think La Jolla Village Drive needs a bike lane—that with the right training, anyone can ride here comfortably like he does. In fact, some in the vehicular cycling movement, which has followers all over the world, are vehemently against bike lanes.

What a complete duncebag.  It's bad enough Americans spend so much time "training" so they can suck at racing.  Now we should "train" so we can pretend to be cars on the way to work, too.  Sure, forget the bike lanes--let's all spend two hours every morning riding a trainer in the basement like that Fred from the Wall Street Journal so that one day maybe we can be fast enough to actually ride our bikes on the street for transportation.  Actually, I think we should also extend the "vehicular cycling" concept to pedestrians.  I mean, why do we even need sidewalks?  Sure, it's totally non-intuitive, but once you "take the lane" and run alongside a Honda Civic at 30mph a few times it's like, "Wow, why don't I do this all the time?"  

There's something uniquely American about the "maintain the illusion of equality at any cost, including death" approach, and I suppose part of it has to do with our unwillingness to admit that anyone can hurt us more than we can hurt them --as though  if we ride our bikes in bike lanes then it somehow means the cars have "won."  In fact, I was reading reviews of my book that hasn't even come out yet, and one of the reviews contained the following passage:

Central to the book is the battle between motorists and cyclists. We all know motorists generally don't like to share the roads with cyclists. And the author would have you believe that cyclists don't want to share the roads with motorists. I'm an avid cyclist and I love to share the road with a truck traveling the highway at 55 or 60 miles an hour while I draft off of it. And I have NEVER had a problem sharing the roads with motorists, or felt I was in harms way because I might get run over.

Right.  Even Fabian Cancellara with a Gruber Assist and a tailwind couldn't draft a truck at 60mph.  Still, it's a compelling image, and I'm sure that one day in the not-too-distant future Dutch bikes will share America's highways with SUVs and tractor trailers, all traveling at 60mph in perfect harmony.  Anyway, the only way I'd believe that guy is riding around behind trucks at 60mph would be if he's the time-traveling t-shirt-wearing retro-Fred from the planet Tridork, spotted recently in yet another incarnation by a Tweeterer:

(This company must sell Flux Capacitors.)

There's vehicular cycling, then there's quantum cycling, and we all know which one TTTSWRFFTPT practices.

By the way, yesterday I mentioned the $8,800 water bottle cage, and a reader was kind enough to point out that you can actually pair it with a $99,915.25 bottle:


Just don't drop it while you're drafting that 18-wheeler.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

OH YEAH!!!!

Anonymous said...

You'll have no need of that weapon with me Gurney Halleck

Anonymous said...

3

OBA said...

Podium

Vannevar said...

yesssss

Kenny said...

AND WHEN THEIR ELOQUENCE ESCAPES YOU, THEIR LOGIC TIES YOU UP AND RAPES YOU!

An Sell Adamz said...

I am still smarting over that "old timey" camera comment from yesterday!

mikeweb said...

Bad lead out from Cipo...

samh said...

Cutters.

KNOW LIFE said...

"...or do they simply like dormant in basements in Bushwick and Bed-Stuy?"

Remove the first "in" or that pesky extra "k" in "like" please.

You need a new Spencer.

Anonymous said...

In Breaking Away they do the drafting a truck at 60 thing--on a fixie, IIRC.

crosspalms said...

On the other hand, drafting semis would make it easier to haul my Olivetti from coast to coast. But give me a bike lane any day.

some jerk from the East Bay said...

The vehicular cycling thing has some merit. In city driving it's often safer to take a traffic lane, and in fact out west you're encouraged to do so.

In traffic you're more visible, less likely to get doored and dinged by cars passing on your left. If you ride following normal traffic laws it's easier for a driver to anticipate your actions. I never have trouble keeping up with city traffic.

Bike lanes are good too though.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

You city folk are funny.

mikeweb said...

Snob,

That truck drafting comment was obviously from Dave Stoller.

Anonymous said...

Westra punchin' it up the jalabert!!

Top XX

Anonymous said...

16th and coming up fast!

cycle

mikeweb said...

@some jerk,

+1

Anonymous said...

Headline in my local paper - Car Severely Injures Jogger. This is outrageous! We are not putting enough cyclists on the road and so drivers now have to run over joggers and on a bike path no less! We have to put more cyclists in harms way to stop this alarming trend.

cycle

Jed said...

Tweeting while eating pussy? I can hardly whistle. The headwind is a bitch anyway.

Buy-cycle said...

nope

Anonymous said...

I have a funny hat.


Signed,

The Bishop's




balls™

Paul Bowen said...

"Vehicular cycling" which is also called "assertive cycling" but which I call "getting to and from work in one piece at a reasonable-but-not-too-taxing speed" is surely your only option if there isn't a bike lane? And we don't have to train to be "fast enough to actually ride our bikes on the street for transportation". What we have to be is confident and assertive (which will be more of a stretch than getting fit enough to go fast for some, admittedly).

The problems with it as a policy are (a) it terrifies some people who are thinking of commuting by bikes and (b) the "vehicular cycling" fundamentalists alluded to in the piece. In a discussion with me on an urban cycling newsgroup some years ago, one of them called bike lanes "ghettoes for cyclists". I mean ffs.

spokefolk said...

What nonsense. What cyclist would ever want to ride IN traffic if they had any other choice?? I ride in traffic and act like a car BECAUSE I HAVE TO in my city lacking bike lanes. I take lanes with confidence BECAUSE I HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE to ride a bike. If I had bike lanes, I would ride in them, or even better, if there was a SEPARATE path, I'd take that. I'm so sick of this macho BS that suggests if you can't ride 20-25 mph everywhere you go, you shouldn't be riding. The 'vehicular cyclist' wants only elite athletes to ride a bike, not normal individuals (or women for that matter)to ride, under the delusion that they can somehow keep up.If you think your toned and tan legs and little carbon bike can out power a car, you are a total freakin' idiot.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read the San Diego article; I don't doubt the guy's an ass.

But I don't think the proliferation of bike lanes here in NYC is an unmitigated good (and I bike about 100 times more often in the city than I drive).

Note I didn't say "bad"; I said not unmitigated good.

I'm sure there are a lot of people here, including some of our armed, embadged heroes in ballistic blue, who will use the system of bike lanes to try to delegitimize bikes' presence on streets without them. ("If you didn't want to get run over, why didn't you stick to streets with bike lanes?")

Paul Bowen said...

Anon @ 12.54
(If you didn't want to get run over, why didn't you stick to streets with bike lanes?"

I guess if cops do start saying things like that then my newsgroup interlocutor of long ago will have been in large part vindicated (even if still not justified in using ghettoes in that context - boy that annoyed me).

Anonymous said...

@ anon 12:35

BA truck drafting scene was a slow leadoff for dude on a westcoast masi with 10 speeds, but note that the triumphant shot of him spinning reveals that he achieved the amazing speed in the little front ring.

that is all.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read Snob's new book, but I am supremely disappointed that in not reading it I did not attain total transcendence. It's all his fault of course.

Billy said...

...drafting off a semi, seriously? Paging Lucas Brunelle!

If drivers weren't murderous, sociopathic assholes, vehicular cycling would be just fine. But that will happen just as soon as I learn to breathe underwater, and I'll just move someplace with canals and bicycle in those.

Anonymous said...

Embrace your slowness!

cycle

Neil said...

I like to ride in the street, but I don't like sharing with cars. Why can't they get up on the sidewalk where they belong?

Anonymous said...

Panties!

collapse comments said...

Panties!

collapse comments said...

Panties!

Ben said...

I agree with 'some jerk from East Bay'.
Here in NYC, when I ride in Manhattan, it's often a relief when I find myself on an avenue without a bike lane. Taking the lane in the middle of an avenue can be a little hair-raising but feels a lot less dangerous, and a lot faster, than picking my way through a bike lane full of carts, delivery trucks, opening doors, pedestrians, and cars turning across it every second street.
Manhattan avenues are kind of a special case though. In general I appreciate bike lanes.

Ben said...

I agree with 'some jerk from East Bay'.
Here in NYC, when I ride in Manhattan, it's often a relief when I find myself on an avenue without a bike lane. Taking the lane in the middle of an avenue can be a little hair-raising but feels a lot less dangerous, and a lot faster, than picking my way through a bike lane full of carts, delivery trucks, opening doors, pedestrians, and cars turning across it every second street.
Manhattan avenues are kind of a special case though. In general I appreciate bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

David Byrnes' Panties!

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:54 replying to @Paul Bowen 12:59:

I have to admit that I haven't yet encountered the concern I described, and certainly there are enough really real hassles about biking here that maybe I shouldn't feel the need to make up new ones.

I also acknowledge that bikes and motor vehicles are very different machines with different capabilities, and separation can make sense.

But I do feel the relentless pursuit of separation (I certainly won't say "segregation" into "ghettoes"!) overlooks the wisdom of a shared-space approach, as taught by late Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman

Captain Kirk said...

Captain Kirk's Panties!

Anonymous said...

maybe it's time for a new pic of David Byrne? How about http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/red/blue_pics/2011/09/15/davidbyrne_460x276.jpg

McFly said...

Spokefolk says: wants only elite athletes to ride a bike, not normal individuals (or women for that matter)to ride, NOT NORMAL INDIVIDUALS.....OR WOMEN....heehee. "Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hooker."

CommieCanuck said...

If I wanted to eat more pussy, I'd get lunch in Chinatown.

Punctuation snob said...

Dumbass said:
"And I have NEVER had a problem sharing the roads with motorists, or felt I was in harms way because I might get run over."
Guess breathing all those exhaust fumes gave him brain damage and made him forget what to do with an apostrophe.

CommieCanuck said...

some jerk...the more people ride in traffic, the more drivers will get used to cyclists. This segregation and concentration lane approach doesn't work. If Rosa Parks were alive today, she'd be rockin' and rubbin' with the traffic.

David B said...

fuck it, I'm leasing a korean Hooker named hyundai.

Paul Bowen said...

Anon @ 12.54 and 1.18

Re separation, the relentless pursuit of, I totally agree. And thanks for that name - I know the concept but I don't remember seeing Monderman's name before, I'll look him up.

Anonymous said...

vehicular cycling is pretty effective.


Read John Forester "Effective Cycling"

Helmet and panties said...

Bike good.
Car bad.
Wear helmet or be asshole.
Power to the pussy!

Anonymous said...

A Dune reference in the top 3.

Sting lyrics in the top 10.

Today is good day.

I personally do the cycling as if I am a car thing every now and then.

I'd do it more if I wasn't ruthlessly honked at each time.

Cheers

Serge Issakov said...

Folks, we have a misunderstanding. The "training" I was talking about -- "Issakov doesn’t think La Jolla Village Drive needs a bike lane—that with the right training, anyone can ride here comfortably like he does" -- was not physical training to get in shape.

This is not about being able to go fast enough, since it doesn't matter very much if you're going 10, 15 or 25 when everyone else is going 35-45+. Whether I'm riding my lightweight bike or hauling a kid in a trailer, I still act like a driver and control the lane except to move aside occasionally when necessary, safe and reasonable to allow others to pass.

The training is mostly about learning the skills and practices to ride comfortably in traffic like that. It can be accomplished by taking a class from the League of American Bicyclists or Cycling Savvy, but you can also teach yourself by reading a book like Cyclecraft from John Franklin.

But really it comes down to just learning to think of yourself as operating a low power motorcycle (not a car!), and to ride accordingly.

Anonymous said...

'This is not about being able to go fast enough, since it doesn't matter very much if you're going 10, 15 or 25 when everyone else is going 35-45+. Whether I'm riding my lightweight bike or hauling a kid in a trailer, I still act like a driver and control the lane.'
Mr. Issakov, you are, with all due respect, an idiot. The fact that you've decided to PRETEND your bike can "control" vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds more than you is like me pretending I can outsprint Cavendish. See you in France!

Marcel Da Chump said...

That book critic sounds like our old buddy Luke.

Marcel Da Chump said...

That book critic sounds like our old buddy Luke.

Anonymous said...

Comment posted twice

Anonymous said...

comment posted twice

Invisible Man said...

I am no Vehicular Cycling fundamentalist. But I do think it makes more sense than you give it credit for. In Copenhagen, where 37 per cent of journeys to work and education are by bike, I've seen cyclists knocked off by motorists at the point where the segregated bike lane crossed the side street. The head of Copenhagen's city transport department told me they put in segregated lanes because people liked them and it encouraged them to cycle. But the only thing it did for safety was to rearrange the accidents, clustering them around the junctions, rather than putting them all along the road.

I also point out in the latest post on my own blog - http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/ - that in the UK pedestrians actually have a higher fatality rate than cyclists. Given that pedestrians have a separate sidewalk, it does invite the question whether the answer to cyclist safety really is to put them somewhere separate too.

That said, there are clearly limits and belting down a busy freeway with the cars doesn't sound like the brightest idea. I use the bike lane in preference to cycling right round Hyde Park Corner in London, for example. But part of the idea is that, if motorists have to share the road with cyclists, they might actually slow down and behave with some consideration. It's a long shot, of course, but it just might happen.

Invisible.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Interesting theory, this taking up a whole lane as if you were a car, and I have done just that from time-to-time. However, part of my state's vehicular code requires bikes to ride as far to the right as road conditions will allow, and I know that my state is not the only one with such a law. In fact, I recall discussions on here about police hassling cyclists for riding two abreast in violation of this law.

Paul Bowen said...

"Mr. Issakov, you are, with all due respect, an idiot. The fact that you've decided to PRETEND your bike can "control" vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds more than you"

He isn't an idiot. He said he can control the lane - he does this by occupying it and by making it clear to motor vehicle drivers (you seem to have forgotten that cars and trucks have people in them) what he's doing and what he's going to do. The vast majority of drivers, in my personal experience, respond well if you act in this way. You seem to imagine that all drivers will simply crush any slower, smaller vehicle in front of them. Generally they don't, thank goodness.

Anonymous said...

@some jerk from East Bay

i'm just in from my morning ride which includes parts of broadway, 27th ave, telegraph and peralta... i like to think of those routes as vehicular mountain biking... being some of the roughest surface in the bay area, but with cars. choose your line carefully.

berkeley, on the other hand, seems to be some sort of magnet for weird powered vehicles on the bike paths (oh those whacky intellectuals)... electric bikes on the ohlone greenway are nearly everyday sightings and even "normal people and women" should have enough pride to buck-up and keep-up with them for shame's sake.

ploeg said...

Re: vehicular cycling:

1. I think that it's more pleasant to bike on a wide road than on a narrow road. And if the road is wide, it doesn't make any difference whether or not you have paint on the road to signify that one portion of that wide road is a bike lane. Except, of course, in cases where the paint on the road tells you to do odd things for no apparent reason whatsoever (for example, cross traffic to ride in a bike lane on the left side of the road, where the convention is for slow traffic to stay on the right).

2. I prefer to ride on quiet streets and roads rather than busy streets and roads. If I am forced to ride on a busy street to get to where I want to go, I can do that, and if it isn't safe for me to ride on the shoulder and I'm forced to "take the lane," I can do that too. I trust that motorists are looking out for all kinds of obstacles (other cars, fallen tree limbs, blown semi tires, stray dogs/cats/deer, miscellaneous debris), and one of the lesser problems for a motorist to have is to pass a cyclist who's riding in a straight line on the right side at 15 mph. If a bike can't take you where you need to go, then you might as well go lease the Hyundai.

Anonymous said...

V-gan....!

We've had a bit of a non-winter here too; I've been riding my fixiebike as usual. The only difference is that it now sports some rather blindingly bright lights.

hey nonny mouse

Jimbo said...

A puta come-se!

Monchberter said...

I'm backing Invisible on this one. Snob, what your refusal to accept vehicular cycling really says is that the US is pretty much an awful place to cycle. Even in London, UK where every second person I speak to says "oh, I don't cycle because it's too dangerous" realises that cyclists belong on the road not necessarily squirreled away in some invariably crap cycle lane, as they can't be put everywhere.

Just because a brain dead driver doesn't think you should be on the road, it doesn't mean you have to not be there. Anyway, in the UK at least urban traffic speeds are around 12mph, more than easy enough to keep up with, even on a fully loaded Bakfiets. I suggest you move to London for a bit to learn how to cycle confidently in traffic.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr. Bowen, you slay me. (Falls in the floor while attempting to stifle uncontrollable laughter):
'You seem to imagine that all drivers will simply crush any slower, smaller vehicle in front of them. Generally they don't, thank goodness."
You're quite right that MOST drivers would rather not have to pay a small fine for killing or permanently maiming a cyclist.
Personally, I consider it a good ride when only one car or truck crushes me.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Serge Issakov,

If you're ever in town let's get on our cargo bikes and go food shopping with the kids. I'll show you why we need more bike lanes.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Marcel Da Chump said...

So sorry about the double-post...there was a Ghost in the Machine...
de do do do de da da da da...

Anonymous said...

Yarbles and yarblettes!

http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/03/07/new-saddles-by-prologo-plus-series/#more-41127

leroy said...

Wildcat Rock Machine--

That wasn't a random gaggle of streetwear you saw.

Clearly that was a nascent Purim parade.

The pointy hamantaschen shaped earflaps were the giveaway.

Honestly, I thought that was obvious.

And say what you will about vehicular cycling, all I know is it would be a shandeh for a Purim paceline to draft a truck at 60 mph.

You'd miss all the costumes.

mikeweb said...

I tend to use streets with bike lanes because those streets are generally wider than streets without them. Then of course there's the NYCDOT invention called the "Sharrow", which is their subtle way of telling drivers that yes cyclists ARE allowed to ride in 'your' lane, so please don't honk at or run over them.

My street choice paradigm:

One way > two way

Wider > narrow

Not busy > busy

But that last one is tricky. Busy usually = slower speeds, thus making it more practical to 'control a lane'. But busy to point of gridlock slows everyone down. A cyclist can kind of pick through, or use the bike, but either will be slower. It's not a great idea to cruise a 4 foot bike lane at 20+ MPH with gridlocked traffic on one side and the door opening zone on the other, not to mention pedestrians who like to play peek-a-boo out of nowhere in the middle of the block.

Anonymous said...

Wiwm, ha,ha...you said "abreast."

Anonymous said...

Scanus!

Anonymous said...

Scranus!

Billy said...

Vehicular cycling has been dominant in the cycling advocacy world for the past 30 years, and the result has been the effective banning of cycling in the streets. Less than 1% mode share is fewer people than break the speed limit or smoke pot, things that are *actually* illegal.

Vehicular cycling as dogma has made cycling de facto illegal, though thankfully not de jure.

Can we all accept the fact that vehicular cycling has *not* worked to "tame" motorists and encourage anyone outside the lunatic fringe to ride a bicycle for perfectly ordinary 2-5 mile trips?

It's only in the past 5 years when vehicular cycling has taken a back seat to the League of American Bicyclists' five Es, in particular the Engineering aspect, that cycling mode share has increased and there's been a renaissance of sorts.

Argue all you like about correlation and causation, but vehicular cycling had 30 years to make a difference, and none was made.

Bike lanes start to go in, and regardless of their merits on their own, cycling rates go up, which provably *has* made all of us safer.

Anyway, funny post, Snob. I just wish any mention of "VC" didn't bring all sorts of wingnuts out to spout off.

Anonymous said...

fucking drivers lose their shit when we "get in their way" in a bike lane imagine riding in front of one on a highway chugging along at 15-20mph. I'm sure they will be happy the share the road. not fucking likely.

Focus said...

"Uniquely American unwillingness to admit that anyone can hurt us more than we can hurt them"

Like when dealing with brown people around the world...we get so indignant when they refuse to acknowledge how swiftly and completely our gigantic military can grind them into dust so continue to shoot and explode at us for years on end until it costs so much that we declare victory and beat a hasty retreat.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a dirty secret, but I don't get that much grief from drivers when I am biking in a city street lane, even when some do have to pass me because my "motor" can't compete with theirs. Maybe that's because I do it when it basically makes sense, not trying to prove a point by getting in their way, but not trying to hide off to the side at risk to myself.

Then again, I do most of my riding in Manhattan and the Bronx; Snob has to deal with those animals in Brokklyn.

Still, surprisingly unnuanced opinionating by our esteemed blogger/etymologist/fashion plate today.

Piskian said...

Mario isn't a V-gan,merely a vagitarian.
I advocado "mehicular cycling".Just can't be bothered riding in any lane.

Anonymous said...

"There disappearance..."

Ahhoooga! Neenooneenooneenoo!

Euro style spelling waambulance going the wrong way down your street.

Anonymous said...

"Sure, it's totally non-intuitive, but once you "take the lane" and run alongside a Honda Civic at 30mph a few times it's like, "Wow, why don't I do this all the time?" "

Funny. Because it's true!

McFly said...

In Tenn "Taking the lane" is also known as "Taking the grill".
HOOD MEAT

mikeweb said...

@anon 2:59,

Me also. I'm actually surprised at how little I get honked at. When I do hear a car horn in the area, I glance and it's usually a motor vehicle honking at another motor vehicle.

And to others on here, if I do happen to be "chugging along at 15 to 20 MPH" in front of a car, it's almost always because there's another car in front of ME chugging along at 15 to 20 MPH, with another car in front of them chugging along, etc. etc. Otherwise, try to get far enough out of the way to let them by if possible. And yeah, taking a lane just to make a statement IS a douche move. Proof of that is that it's what CM does.

PowerRobbingFlex said...

55mph=53X11X145rpm

mikeweb said...

Umm, that was for anon 2:49...

bikesgonewild said...

...personally, i find the 'taking the lane' thingy to be scary as fuck in 90% of the situations i could imagine...

...scenario::: envision 3 lanes moving in one direction...motor vehicular traffic in 2 lanes is generally going 10 to 45 mph faster than the speed of the cyclists 'taking the lane', depending on the location...

...it only takes one inattentive driver, whether due to cell phone usage, impatience due to traffic frustration, the slow response of someone elderly due to traffic fear or just the general 'clue nada' malaise of vast numbers of the motoring public...

...& knowing that, you wanna trust your life to one of those kinda people ???...

...if any one of those types of drivers happens to be behind a truck or bus in the middle lane & they swing blindly into that curb lane, thinking it's clear, what really are your chances considering the discrepancy in speed, whilst being one of those cyclists ???...

...so, with all that in mind, add in the evolving negative attitude so many motorist's have towards cyclist due to stereotyping even though it's not entirely undue & there you have it...

...me ???...i know i'm 'entitled' to a safe portion of the roadway infrastructure for my cycling needs but until such time as support from an aware motoring public helps me claim that, i'm not gonna claim it by foolishly giving up my life...

...just sayin'...

crosspalms said...

Does this mean Cipo should get credit for inventing the Happy Meal?

Cipo said...

eating pussy

Anonymous said...

I had to cycle in Atlanta for most of the 90's with almost no bicycle infrastructure. Had I not read Effective Cycling I would have not been able to. That said I don't mind using the lanes and paths that I now have access to (not in Atl any more), even though many of them are obviously poorly designed.

crosspalms said...

Mikeweb and BGW,
Agree. I only take the lane in city traffic when it's busy and moving at my speed, when it's not safe to keep right (hello, Mr. Bus, meet Mr. Pothole), or when there's no bike lane. Holidays are trouble: fewer cars and they all want to go fast. But I'm surprised at how rarely I get honked at, too. Maybe it's my sunny demeanor.

John from london said...

Good post and good comments, tho I am a bit drunk

Serge Issakov said...

Bike Snob, no travel plans to NYC at this time, but I'll let you know if that changes. Thanks for the invite.

bikesgonewild, two key things that helped me are building up to faster roads from slower roads, and using a mirror.

Obviously I wouldn't encourage someone who currently curb hugs on the quietest and emptiest residential streets (you know, the guy that weaves in and out of the occasional vacant parallel parking spot and riding in the door zone of the cars parked in the occupied spots) to control the lane on a 45 mph arterial.

You have to start by avoiding door zones -- track at least five feet from parked cars -- on quiet streets, experience how overtaking traffic reacts to you, get comfortable with it, then move on to busier streets.

The mirror really helps because then you can see how they react, and how far back in time and space they are when they react. Once you get used to using a mirror (it seems to take most people about 2 weeks of daily use - I'm talking mirror or eyeglass mounted) you learn what the normal reaction is, and so the abnormal reaction (someone not slowing down nor changing lane) sticks out like a sore thumb long before it's too late for you to react (a reaction can be a look back, a slow/stop arm signalling, standing up, weaving a bit, or, perhaps, actual ditching, but I've never had to resort to that). This same principle and technique works in faster traffic, but, again, you have to work up to it, get "acclimate" if you will, just like with most new environments. But we're talking in terms of weeks, not months.

Serge Issakov said...

"I'm talking mirror or eyeglass mounted"

I meant: "I'm talking HELMET or eyeglass mounted [mirror]".

BikeSnobNYC said...

Serge Issakov,

I'm pretty sure Bikesgonewild knows how to handle a bike in traffic, but I'm sure he appreciates the mirror instructional.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Anonymous said...

I give the lane when it's appropriate and I take the lane when it's appropriate. I assume that the driver's around me need and want to know what I am doing so I try my best to be predictable and situationally aware.
I do a lot of pointing and waving. I am humble and, most importantly, engaged and part of the traffic.

And,as a result, everyone loves me.

Anonymous said...

And I wear the same gaudy jacket almost every day. They know me by my gaudy jacket. "Look out for that clown" is what I imagine they all think as they pass by.

Ivana DuBois-Knightly said...

Chill Surge

mikeweb said...

I think one of the main factors in determining how to deal motorized traffic is whether or not the road/ street you're on has a shoulder.

I grew up in relatively rural Connecticut, so at least 95% of the time I was riding in the road shoulder, or in the absence of a shoulder in the right part of the lane and on quiet roads where you see a car in either direction once every 2 minutes or more, keeping my ears open for vehicles approaching from behind, so I could swing right and let them by. This works best if you don't have ear plugs jammed into your head blasting music, BTW. Would I take a lane on a two-way state highway there when there's a perfectly fine shoulder? No effing way.

For the most part, city streets don't have shoulders, so this changes the paradigm a bit. Add to that the existence of on street parking, with the associated door to the face possibility, and you see the necessity of bike lanes, more than anything just to carve out some space, not to mention to plant the idea in drivers heads that they should plan to see and deal with cyclists in the street.

grog said...

I use a mirror only when in a reflective mood.

Anonymous said...

"Issakov subscribes to a philosophy called vehicular cycling, which maintains that bicyclists are safest when they act like drivers. That often means mixing with cars in traffic lanes on high-speed roads like La Jolla Village Drive."

It's not like most people doing decent mileage have a choice of mixing with cars during their ride.
I subscribe to a "philosophy" called "Don't Fuck With Me" which maintains that in the event of a car-bike incident I will fuck the motorist up real good if he was at fault, in the unlikely event that I'm still breathing.

bikesgonewild said...

...mirror, mirror,
on my wall,
should i bother
to cycle at all ???...

...mirror, mirror,
whilst i look behind,
some cyclists say,
to "pay no mind"...

...mirror, mirror,
on my helmet,
i sense i'll be,
a car grills banquet...

...mirror, mirror,
"take the lane"
but at this time
i'm sensing pain...

...mirror,mirror,
perched on my head,
i think i saw
who made me dead...

...mirror, mirror,
on a mortuary wall,
a fool with a point
still takes the fall...

...mirror, mirror,
i'm in the ground
memorialized by bikesnob,
i'll sleep so sound.........

DerZoots said...

Assertive panties.

Anonymous said...

Same thing here in Montreal...

The fixed-gear sissies go into hibernation and then reappear when its 10 degrees Communist like today.

The winters are devoid of Mile-End hipsters on bikes... and that makes streets safer for everybody.

But then, we still have some ever-serious Freds thinking they are rad, commuting like they are about to win the Tour de France or cyclocrossing on the Mont-Royal. Maybe this is worst than hipsters.

Yeah guys, it's me talking, the Catlike helment-wearing geezer with the crappy rusty single-speed black Kona with the front basket!

Serge Issakov said...

BikeSnobNYC, I have no reason to believe that Bikesgonewild can't handle a bike in traffic expertly, but his comments suggest he probably avoids controlling lanes (which isn't about bike handling) as much as possible.

I mean, if I described an activity as being "scary as fuck in 90% of the situations i could imagine", I don't think I would engage in it much, if at all. Would you?

He also thinks it involves trusting "your life to one of those kinda people", another strong indication that he avoids it.

What we do know from his comments is that he has an active imagination. Here is a situation he imagines: "if any one of those [inattentive] types of drivers happens to be behind a truck or bus in the middle lane & they swing blindly into that curb lane, thinking it's clear, what really are your chances considering the discrepancy in speed, whilst being one of those cyclists".

This reminds of people who won't get on airplanes because they can imagine the pilot deciding to commit suicide by plowing the plane into a mountainside. Anything can happen, but we really need to take probabilities into account. If the scenario he imagines has occurred more than a dozen times in the last hundred years, nationwide, I would be surprised. I've heard of all kind of bike crashes, but I've never heard of that type actually occurring. It is apparently popular to imagine, however, because it comes up surprisingly often in discussions like this. That doesn't mean it never happens, but it does indicate it's very rare. Now, motorists drifting into unnoticed bicyclists in bike lanes or shoulders? I hear about that type of crash all too often. That's a big reasons I prefer a much more conspicuous position... in the traffic lane.

So if your mind obsesses about highly unlikely scenarios that might occur while controlling a lane, you're not going to spend much time riding out in the traffic lane, and therefore you won't get much experience doing it. Without much experience bicycling in a traffic lane in traffic, you really can't know much about it.

Anonymous said...

Lantern rouge.

ervgopwr said...

WCRM,

A more likely scenario is when you come visit San Diego (for your book tour, right?) and we can go ride.

Paul White was just out here and got some riding in. Anyway, I know Serge, and the legacy of Mr. Forester's vehicular cycling culture. It's "effective" if only you want nothing to ever improve and to keep cycling participation levels below 1% as billy points out.

The future is more seperated infrastructure. NY proves it, Portland does too. BGW and everyone here who rides daily, practices it to some degree just existing as a cyclist on any road today. But that will not be enough to grow more people and more trips. Only cycle tracks and Euro style facilities will do that, for women, families and more users.

So VC'rs, just ride like you would, educate drivers and potential riders, but don't get in the way of new infrastructure and re-engineered roads, because they are going to change and for the better.

ERVG OPWR

ervgopwr said...

See Serge @5:21, just let it go.

BGW and all of us are going to ride as much as we do on roads we feel we want to.

Daily I do it on multilane freeway merging on-ramps. I know the risks, I want to ride to work, so I do it. Do I want a better facility, seperate, so I don't have to? Absolutely.

Just let it go.

Matt said...

Mirrors are often skewered on this blog (along with other things, of course) but I really really like having a mirror. Sure, it's mounted on my helment, sure, I look like a dork, but I can see what's going on back there which is great for safety.

Yep, I have a beard, too, but I don't ride a recumbent. I can't imagine picking my way through traffic at hubcap level.

I did think of next level of dorkitude: Bell makes the mirror for my helment and they make a right-hand mirror for the UK helments. I could put a mirror on both sides! Nobody could sneak up on me! Cycle Ninja!

Matt said...

If mirrors on stalks are too dorky for you but you want that rear view, check out the Reevu helment with the built-in periscope mirror system! Reevu review

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bikesgonewild said...

...so THERE, bsnyc/rtms/wcrm !!!...i hope you, like me feel put in your place...

...i'd also maybe suggest that a certain commentators personal high sense of logic equally qualifies as "...an active imagination..." whilst perusing said comments...

...& speaking of 'minds obsessing', well, need i say more ???...

...other than that, i'm hoping for the 'write in' vote to be the new american poet lariat, i mean laureate...

bikesgonewild said...

..."...once upon a midnight dreary...",
...'whilst truing wheels & getting beery
...

...i could keep going but i sense this isn't the time...

crosspalms said...

Speaking of mirrors, I was parking at the grocery the other day when an old guy (older than me, anyway) stopped, looked at my bike and said" Ya got a horn? You should get a horn. They'll run ya down. They almost ran me down. You're wearing a helmet, that's good. Ya got a rearview mirror?" I pointed to the mirror, and the bell, and said I can yell pretty loudly, too. "Ya got a bell? Good. They'll run ya down."

Anonymous said...

Hey RHNYC,

I tend to agree with the idea of cycling with cars in the city center where they are not going too fast.

In my city (not to name it, Montreal), we have a vast network of bike lanes but sometimes I find them more dangerous than the street.

When you make your presence visible to motorists, they respect you and let you go your way without much trouble.

The bike lanes are mostly populated with tourists and people on rental bikes, and people who are not super comfortable on bikes, commuters whose passion is not cycling.

For the 20 years or so that I have been commuting this way in this city and other cities (such as London) I have not had any accidents or major problems like the one we see regularly appear on the news or youtube.
Car and truck drivers are usually understanding.

Am I lucky? I don't know. But I do know that I make myself visible to drivers (without the british orange vest and super horn).

But then, it's not the USA.
Reading your blog, that might explain it a little bit.

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wishiwasmerckx said...

Helmet mirror? Sir, have you no decency whatever?

I am still dealing with the fallout for my insistence on wearing the arms of my expensive prescription sunglasses under my helmet straps.

I spent nearly $300.00 on a helmet which weighs about the same as an (unused) tampon, and you want me to throw a n f--ing MIRROR on it?

Get real. I'd just as soon die first, which I guess is sorta your point anyways, huh?

McFly said...

Take it easy on Surge, if he keeps up his style he will probably not be around much longer. I actually ride with a guy NAMED FRED that takes the lane and it really pisses people off. But he is a preacher, so therefore, he is much more comfortable with death than me. Also I have a mirror and loved but in an attempt to UNFRED myself I put it down. I guess I don't really care what's back there.
"Car Back....CARRRR BACKKK...ca....oh nevermind they turned off."

wishiwasmerckx said...

BGW, I am guessing that one man's a
"active imagination" is another man's "acid flashback," no?

Paul Bowen said...

Anon @ 2.04:
"Oh, Mr. Bowen, you slay me. (Falls in the floor while attempting to stifle uncontrollable laughter)"
If you've concluded that it's uncontrollable there would seem little point in attempting to stifle it.

"You're quite right that MOST drivers would rather not have to pay a small fine for killing or permanently maiming a cyclist."
I'm also right when I say that a driver intent on murder can murder you just as easily if you ride in the gutter as if you occupy the lane. The difference is that if you occupy the lane you won't tempt non-homicidal drivers into maneuvers that put you at risk.

However funny you may find it, this isn't theory, it's based on 25 years of commuting in London.

Anonymous said...

BikeSnob...
Next time you're in SF, let's load the kids onto the cargo bikes and hit the Molly Stone's in Twin Peaks via the bike lane on Clipper. Clipper is ~1 mile long at over 10% grade. If you can haul big dummy and 35lbs of toddler up it without walking, I will be impressed. If you stay in the confines of the bike lane for the full descent, I will buy you your groceries.

This will prove nothing definitive about bike lanes but may snag you free cheddar bunnies and frozen chicken legs.

Zack

some jerk from the East Bay said...

I should also point out that, as a rule, city traffic in Oakland, Berkeley or San Francisco is unlikely to go past 20 MPH. So it's not difficult to keep pace. Even if you're only able to hit 16-18 MPH, the speed differential is not going to be so great as to be dangerous.

I'm fairly certain most cyclists in Norcal would agree that it works. We also have a fairly extensive bike path system, but you're not required to use them.

Once you're in the suburbs however it can be sketchy. Speeds on thoroughfares out there are a lot faster and the drivers tend to be less tolerant of cyclists.

Interesting statistic: the more you ride the less likely you are to be in an accident. I think this is the kind of training Serge was talking about.

bikesgonewild said...

...wishiwasmerckx...

...i'm betting surge thinks he's a rocket surgeon & i'm also betting that the high opinion he has of himself when he looks in the mirror is not quite what those around him see...

...what i don't have to bet on, is that i'm about to turn 63, i've been cycling regularly since i was a kid (with a few short lapses years ago), i've never been hit by a motor vehicle & that whilst riding, i'm known within my cycling community to be an aggressive rider & yet to be a positive influence as regards the cycling/motoring dynamic...

...surge's opinion doesn't really matter to me one way or the other but it's always tiresome to see one's name dragged into something by a clueless know-it-all & sometimes it's liberating to fire back...

Serge Issakov said...

"Take it easy on Serge, if he keeps up his style he will probably not be around much longer. I actually ride with a guy NAMED FRED that takes the lane and it really pisses people off. "

This is another misconception. One measure of how well I'm doing I use is the frequency of undesirable interactions with others I experience, by which I mean close calls, getting "buzzed", getting honked at, getting middle fingered, etc.

Before I learned about the benefits of assertive lane positioning, I experienced a few undesirable interactions per week. I figured that was the norm if you're going to ride in the streets in traffic, and there was nothing I could do about that.

But one of the reasons I stuck with assertive lane positioning is once I started it, I noticed almost immediately how much better I was treated by everyone. That is, they would give me much more room, and generally I got smiles, waves and nods rather than sneers, honks and middle fingers.

Anonymous at 5:49 wrote about this too: "When you make your presence visible to motorists, they respect you and let you go your way without much trouble. "

Now, here again, the mirror is very useful. Why? Because it allows you to know when someone behind you is being impeded by your presence, thus alerting you to look for an opportunity to temporarily move over. I like to glance back to let them know I know they're back there, which apparently conveys that I care, because when I do move aside, they often express "thank you" in some way (smile, node, wave, etc) as they pass. I'm convinced that most of the frustration motorists experience with bicyclists in "their" lane slowing them down is not so much the slowing down, but the bicyclist's apparent obliviousness to causing the slowing. And this can quickly escalate through the various stages of road rage before the mirror-less cyclist even knows what's going on. So the mirror is great for alerting the lane controlling cyclist when the ideal moment arrives (when the motorist is just slowing down but has not had time to get frustrated yet) to let the slowed-down motorist know the cyclist is not oblivious, which nips the road rage in the bud. This alone probably eliminates 90% of the honking mirrorless lane-takers might experience.

Like I said, I used to experience a few undesirable interactions per week. After adopting my new style, that dropped dramatically to a few per year. I can't even remember the last time I had any kind of close call. This is why I'm convinced this style of riding is much safer than trying to be out of the way of cars all the time. It's certainly much more pleasant.

But, yeah, trying to stay out of the way of cars as much as possible, though it is the intuitive, natural and seemingly safest way to go, is a tiring and trying style, especially in busy traffic. I don't miss it. And it's no wonder that the majority of bicyclists, since they naturally do ride in the "stay out of the way" manner, would rather ride in separated infrastructure.

bikesgonewild said...

...wow...as stated - 'obsessed'...

...a surge in one direction can cause a drain in another...

...i'm done...tomorrow is a new day...

Jonathan Whitney said...

Seriously, you folks just get too riled up.

For some folks, vehicular cycling is the ONLY option. This is true where I live and I get about one honk every other month. Really, really rare. And I do take the lane. If I didn't, I'd probably be much more likely to get run over.

But if they put lanes in, that would be great and I would use them. I think it would encourage more riders and increase overall visibility. But until that happens, I'm not going to stop riding to work and school just because there aren't any lanes. That would be an "If it rains, take the bus" attitude.

And finally, as maligned as the scene in Breaking Away is for their small ring error, the actual double was actually doing 60 mph in the wide shot. That said, the "reviewer" is obviously BSing about his own abilities. Still, I'd put money on Cavendish or Cancellara being able to do it.

Anonymous said...

On that note,
Rodania!

Good night and thank yous.

Anonymous said...

"There disappearance was especially perplexing this winter"

Grammer fail. Dare I say, an epic one at that. Rapha-esque epic at that that.

McFly said...

getting middle fingered, etc.

Oh Surge, you are making this too easy, it's like shootin' fish in a barrel, or hittin' cyclists in a lane-take....I'm getting back to the excitement that is Paris-Nice.

Anonymous said...

McFly and Mr BikesGoneWild, you don't seem to get that there are a lot of experienced cyclists, bike advocates and BikeSnob fans commenting in support of Serge here. The jury is definitely not out on either bike lanes or assertive cycling. Anyone who takes it in the ass in a BikeSnob posting and then comes here and articulates their position logically and coherently deserves a bit more respect... even if they have a weird mirror fetish.

McFly said...

I get the concept. It just seems silly to "take the lane" only to keep looking back over your shoulder (or consult your sweet reflective device)and undoubtedly move BACK over to the right, then "take the lane", then....back over to the right, then "take the lane", then...you guessed it, BACK over to the right. Why not just stay on the right, hold your line, and not really worry about it. Would it not be dangerous and less efficient?

McFly said...

Then.....BACK over to the right.

McFly said...

Then "take the lane"....

McFly said...

Then BACK over to the right.

Dooth said...

I'm not an habitual assertive cyclist, but when a lane opens up--I take it and hold for as long as possible, which mirrors my attitude towards smoking weed.

Elias said...

What? Drafting at 60mph is OLD news brother! Have you never heard of the great Mile-A-Minute Murphy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Minthorn_Murphy

McFly said...

Don't mind me. I'm spoiled. Cyclists in rural Tenn are an anomoly which in turn makes the place very bike-friendly. "Hey Mommy look at the man with the funny clothes, let's not kill him today, OK mommy?"

semi serious cyclist said...

Serge's insistence that 'taking the lane' is the solution for planning for bikes in San Diego will keep rider share stunted there.

A far more reasoned approach is how NYC has nearly tripled rider share in the last few years - plan for roadway bike traffic.

.....Forcing your GRANDMOM to take the lane on La Jolla Drive is no way to plan for her to get around on a bike if she decides to retire to Socal.

Long Beach is planning for roadway bike traffic, LA is planning for roadway bike traffic.

'taking the lane' on high speed arterials is nothing more than a coping mechanism and no way to plan for bike traffic. San Diego deserves much better than the Walter Mitty fantasies of a miniscule club of self-aggrandizing deucebags trying to keep bikelanes off La Jolla drive and other high speed roads in and around san Diego.

Moms and kids and senior citizens and the slow and the differently abled and disabled veterans deserve to ride around San Diego in a reasonable manner, not just forced to 'take the lane' on high speed arterials like the few, the proud, the self important CAT 6 commuters with an inflated road manner.

antibozo said...

I use a mirror (bar-mounted), both on roads an on trails? What's wrong with that? It's kind of nice to know when you're being overtaken by someone too rude to signal.

J-Bird said...

I'm sure if we just continue to confidently assert our right to "take the lane" in 40 mph traffic, we'll increase the ranks of transportational cyclists by at least .00000000001% over the next few decades. And don't ever forget, bike lanes are really, really, dangerous . . .

leroy said...

The problem with Serge's argument is that it's self-serving anecdotes about stuff like how happy folks are to see him taking the lane.

That's not logic. That's magical thinking.

BikeTode said...

Mmm-kay. How are all these people getting copies of the new Snob book to review when it hasn't been released yet? Just pre-ordering it ain't enough, I guess. Maybe I can pick up a used copy from one of those disenchanted with the East-Coastiness before my pre-ordered copy ships...any takers?

DerZoots said...

@ Semi Serious cyclist

I like your douchebag typo because a duecebag is obviously a #2 in a bag.

It works with either version.

How often do typos work out so wonderfully?

Scranties.

g-roc said...

12 degrees Communist. Love it. Good thing this isn't twitters - 141st.

Anonymous said...

Surge/Forester and Co in a talk to Google (available online) on Google's (?) bike to work day said that cycling was obsolete and that one should just drive everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure VC will work, you just have to hope you're not one of the multitude to get squished before drivers start paying attention. I also ride a motorcycle and have had inattentive drivers almost wipe me out more times than I care to remember. Many times the only thing that saved me was being able to out accelerate them; unfortunately, I can't pedal that fast.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Biketode, chances are that they had the "advance reader's copy" with typos and without illustrations. I had that for Snob's first book well in advance of its publication.

Anonymous said...

I use my gopro in conjunction w my powermeter while I ride aggressively through traffic wearing 400 dollar insoles while my kickstarter campaign selling bike accoutrements makes money while my custom monocock crabon tri bike is being made, custom, of course.

Yes, this is a drunken comment.

McFly said...

I am just proud to be involved in a discussion without injecting sex into it.

McFly said...

Wait for it...wait for it...

McFly said...

Sex injection.

Klaus Mohn said...

"The jury is definitely not out on either bike lanes or assertive cycling."
Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahahaha.

The Nether fucking lands, and the <1% modal share in America. Those are the direct results of segregation on the one hand, and VC on the other hand. As Billy said earlier, VC has had 30 years to prove that it's the right way to promote safe and effective cycling, and it's failed miserably.

I know you're always gonna ride anyway, vehicular cyclist, any way you want to. I sincerely wish you the best, but I also don't care. Stay out of advocacy and let the people who care about getting your kids, your parents, your wife, your coworkers who drive SUV's, on bikes.

bikesgonewild said...

...i do believe bsnyc/rtms/wcrm was on to something when he titled this post - "Cycling American Style: Vehicular Cycling in the Land of Make-Believe"...

...ahhh, yes - the reality of 'make believe' as borne out by people like surge...i've enjoyed visiting disneyland a few times myself but i wouldn't want to live there because i think it would make it hard to find perspective in the rest of the real world...

...whilst perhaps there are numerous places in america wherein the non-cycling locals graciously accept the antics of their cycling counterparts with open arms & no honking of horns, i'd venture to say those places are few & far between...

...the likely scenario is that while there is a certain percentage of acceptance of 'surge-like' behavior within a given community, the greater number treat cyclist's like the village idiot...

...accept but not take seriously...i guess that works for some cyclists but i find that acceptance subject to change with the least provocation...

...then it's time to leave make believe behind...

...this isn't denmark, holland or disneyland & yes, don't get me wrong, that is a shame for us all...

Kenneth Trueman said...

They either airbrushed Brett's t-shirt from yellow to pink or they removed the logo from his new pink Rapha jersey ... or maybe quantum time travel just blew the smugness of it all off.

ce said...

Anon 2:49 said: "Still, surprisingly unnuanced opinionating by our esteemed blogger/etymologist/fashion plate today."

That was my reaction too. Also, I interpreted "training" in the quote from Serge as skill improvement, not fitness for speed. I figured Snob must have been in a hurry today and didn't have time to finely draw out the truths as he so often does. But then we get gold like "v-gan", so who knows?

Vehicular scranties.

ce said...

..."skill improvement" as in the specifics relating vehicular cycling.

WPVelo said...

take a lane when you need to (intersection) it's a visibility dealio. works for me, but i'm out beyond hickbillyfarms. wait i remember learning that down in university city. gutter riders irritate me as a motorist (at an intersection)-what the hell are they going to do next?

big lights. laser emitting diodes rock.

Spence said...

Why Bikesnob, that nutritional message, whatever do they mean? Could you explain what that Eat More P means? Not everybody is as hip as you are. Eat catmeat?

STFU already said...

I think people like Serge need to learn that it is better to be passionate and preachy about their philosophy as 'A way to ride', as opposed to 'THE way to ride.'

tjp said...

Having driven on La Jolla Village Drive numerous times I don't recommend making pretend you're driving a car while cycling there. Odds are the motor vehicle equilvent of a Fred will be tooling down the same drive in his six-figure [insert name of exotic imported sports car here] while drinking a coffee, talking on a cell and puffing on his custom installed console hookah. Said Fred is obvious to the rest of the human race and lives firmly grounded in the belief that the Milky Way Galaxy orbits around him or her (sometimes they come in couples too).

mikeweb said...

What we have heeere, is a faaailure to communicate

I'm not exactly sure whether or not Serge is advocating for taking a lane when the traffic in that lane is moving at 40+ MPH, but in my nuanced opinion, in about 99% of the situations and type of thoroughfare I can think of, that would be fucking stupid (yeah! NUANCE!!)

Anyway, it seems that maybe most of the people who think Serge is an idiot are the same people who ride mostly on rural or semi-rural roads (please reference my previous rural vs. urban and shoulder vs. non-shoulder opining) where traffic is typically moving at 40+ MPH. I've done almost all of my daily cycling for the last 15 years on dense city streets and most of it for the 20+ years before that on less dense urban roads. In many ways the safest riding style in these two environments is radically different, though there are of course many common sense similarities. I can say that especially in urban riding, curb hugging is definitely NOT the safest place to be, especially in intersections. Fireman Michael Long and Matthew Lefevre's grieving parents can attest to that. As cyclists, we have literally 360 degrees of vision out there (with a mirror do you get 720?), but depending the type of vehicle and even considering their mirrors, drivers have considerably less than that. Most serious and fatal bike accidents happen because they DON'T SEE US. I'd much rather a driver see me and think I'm an asshole than not see me, knock me over and run over my chest because they DIDN'T see me when making a right turn.

Is bicycle specific on street or separate infrastructure preferred? Absolutely! Should all cyclists be forced to use it? Absolutely not! It's a free country.

All experienced, and most inexperienced cyclists, ride in a manner that they feel safe and comfortable doing. Whether we're talking about taking a lane or not, or waiting out red lights or not, my opinion is that it's not necessarily a matter of obeying the law or making sure that you, drivers and walkers are safe, it's about not being an asshole, yes, in the sense that you're being unnecessarily rude or dangerous to others.

CommieCanuck said...

Mirrors simply aren't cool. I took all my mirrors off my car, and now it's cool as fuck.

LANE CNGE

mikeweb said...

Oh, and, Get mad at dem eggs, boy!!

Serge Issakov said...

Confirming my obsession regarding this topic (my obsession would be absurd to deny... but is obsession necessarily bad? show me someone who is exceptionally good at something and I'll show you someone obsessed with that something)... I'm compelled to address some points that have been raised.

McFly wrote: "Why not just stay on the right, hold your line, and not really worry about it. Would it not be dangerous and less efficient?"

First, it's not dangerous to move laterally a few feet if it's always preceded with a look-back confirmation that the adjacent space is unoccupied.

Second, I don't move back and forth nearly as often as you apparently imagine. But how often and why depends on the situation. A key factor is whether the curb lane is wide enough (14 feet) for safe sharing - they rarely are. This article, video and associated discussion covers the multi-lane road situation thoroughly:

http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/11/29/helping-motorists-with-lane-positioning/

On those types of roads (multi-lane, narrow outside lane), which are very common, the only time I move over is if I'm actually impeding someone who has slowed to my speed and cannot change lanes to pass for some reason. That's very rare.

On roads with wide outside lanes (14' or wider), or roads with bike lanes where I ride depends on how much traffic there is. But because of traffic lights, traffic usually travels in platoons, so I usually control the lane during the gaps, and move aside into what John Franklin calls the secondary riding position for the platoons.

On 2-lane roads I'll typically temporarily move aside into the secondary riding position when someone is behind and there is no oncoming traffic, but even then only if they can't pass safely with me in the primary riding position, which is basically whatever is a typical lateral roadway position for a motorcycle.

And so on.

semi serious cyclist wrote: "Serge's insistence that 'taking the lane' is the solution for planning for bikes in San Diego ... "

I insisted nothing of the sort, though I'm curious what I wrote that caused you to get that impression.

San Diego does have a biking plan that will add some paths, cycle tracks and bike lanes over the next forty years. Even after all of that, much less during those decades, using a bicycle in San Diego will require riding on roads. Knowing how to do that safely and comfortably in all kinds of conditions will make it safer and more comfortable (and more enticing). Hence, my focus (okay, obsession) with this aspect.

(cont)

Serge Issakov said...

Anonymous 11:49 PM wrote: "Surge/Forester and Co in a talk to Google (available online) on Google's (?) bike to work day said that cycling was obsolete and that one should just drive everywhere."

I had nothing to do with that talk (except for watching the video), and Forester said nothing of the sort in it.

Anonymous 11:53 PM said: "I'm sure VC will work, you just have to hope you're not one of the multitude to get squished before drivers start paying attention."

There is no panacea, but everyone I know who has adopted more assertive positioning is convinced that they are much less likely to be overlooked and hit.

In general, I do expect to be overlooked from time to time; the practices I use account for that.

Pilots understand that practically all crashes are due to pilot error, and are avoidable if the pilot adopts and follows safe practices. Their practices account for the potential errors that others will inevitably make. Defensive driving practices are based on this same principle, as are my cycling practices (did I mention I use a mirror?). Are yours?

Anonymous 11:53 PM also said: " I also ride a motorcycle and have had inattentive drivers almost wipe me out more times than I care to remember. Many times the only thing that saved me was being able to out accelerate them; unfortunately, I can't pedal that fast."

On a motorcycle you know that you have that acceleration escape option, and you ride accordingly. On a bicycle you know you can't do that, and you have to adjust your practices accordingly. As a result, the timing and acceptable margins are different. The bottom line is whether you're on a motorcycle or bicycle, you can't ride in a manner that makes you vulnerable to being hit by inattentive drivers - because then it's only a matter of time before that will occur.

Klaus Mohn wrote: The Nether fucking lands, and the <1% modal share in America. Those are the direct results of segregation on the one hand, and VC on the other hand.

The Nether fucking lands had a modal share comparable to what they have today, before they had any segregation, as confirmed by video footage from 50+ years ago. Much more significant in increasing modal share than segregation is making motoring expensive (taxes, tools, parking) and inconvenient (no parking, high congestion).

The dominant cycling in the US is not VC. Very few cyclists in the US act like drivers of low power motorcycles, which is what VC essentially is.

bikesgonewild wrote: "..whilst perhaps there are numerous places in america wherein the non-cycling locals graciously accept the antics of their cycling counterparts with open arms & no honking of horns, i'd venture to say those places are few & far between..."

I encourage you (and anyone else) to join the Cyclists are Drivers! Facebook group to meet cyclists from all corners of America... plus Hawaii and Alaska, and just about every place in between, who will confirm that those places are not few & far between, but are ubiquitous. If you eschew Facebook, I invite you to visit or join the BicycleDriving Google group or the chainguard yahoo group for similar information.

ce wrote: "Also, I interpreted "training" in the quote from Serge as skill improvement, not fitness for speed."

Right. And thanks!
(cont)

Serge Issakov said...

STFU already wrote: "I think people like Serge need to learn that it is better to be passionate and preachy about their philosophy as 'A way to ride', as opposed to 'THE way to ride.'"

Sorry if I conveyed the latter; I intend the former. However, when someone argues that segregated (apparently I can use that term here - I've been told some think its offensive so I'm never sure) facilities are required for safety or comfort, I do take issue with that. I suspect that's when I convey the latter.

tjp said: "Having driven on La Jolla Village Drive numerous times I don't recommend making pretend you're driving a car while cycling there. "

Is controlling a lane "making pretend you're driving a car"?

I commuted back and forth on that road between Torrey Pines Rd and Regents Rd for eight years - the only way I could find to do it safely and comfortably was by controlling the lane. Every time I tried sharing a lane I would get buzzed or honked at or both.

This article, video and discussion, though from Orlando, explains why/how/etc.:

http://commuteorlando.com/wordpress/2010/11/29/helping-motorists-with-lane-positioning/

mikeweb wrote: "I'm not exactly sure whether or not Serge is advocating for taking a lane when the traffic in that lane is moving at 40+ MPH, but in my nuanced opinion, in about 99% of the situations and type of thoroughfare I can think of, that would be fucking stupid (yeah! NUANCE!!)

I'm not necessarily advocating it, not for someone who is not accustomed to controlling lanes. You have to work up to this level, for sure. But, ultimately, yeah, that's what I do, and what I advocate cyclists work towards. The video and article linked just above explains, just as these CyclistLorax videos from SoCal and TX demonstrate:

* http://tinyurl.com/rightsanddutiesofcyclists

* http://tinyurl.com/LaneControlAtFreewayRamps

* http://tinyurl.com/LaneControlInDallas

* http://tinyurl.com/BicycleDrivingSoCalArterials


I hope that helps clarify what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Boy, this Serge Issakov bloke sure is some kind of know it all. Wish I wuz that smart. I'd make a million dollars on Wall Street instead of telling people to go get themselves run over.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

I am sort of surprised by the backlash Serge is receiving. Admittedly I'm not versed in the VC vs whatever debate but there are many places (with bike lanes or not) where I will ride in the middle because drivers typically roll through stop signs and well past the edge of parked cars and they will not see me if I'm in the bike lane. I also find that busier roads (not necessarily 8-lane freeways) are safer because drivers entering those roads assume there will be something there that will crush them so they are cautious, whereas in Vancouver, our designated cycle routes don't have much traffic and drivers pull right out without looking. The remedy is to ride very slowly at intersections, but there is a driveway/alley/cross street every 30m. Makes for a slow ride. I suppose people will say that those bike lanes and cycle routes are poorly designed (probably) but budgetwise, it is unrealistic to expect much more than that for cycling infrastructure. In which case we'll have to learn to ride in traffic and that often means taking the lane.

Anonymous said...

LOL Serge Issakov. I know him from bikeforums.net before he got permabanned there. The guy is a zealot.

Anonymous said...

Ad hominem attacks are such persuasive arguments.

Anonymous said...

...said the highly experienced web troll

semi serious cyclist said...

if it's going to take San Diego forty years to build in robust bicycling infrastructure, yet Long Beach can do it in just a couple,

maybe Serge should be fighting to speed up the process instead of ardently fighting to block better planning for bikes in the roadway mix in and around San Diego.

forcing people to 'take the lane' in 50 mph traffic is no way for san diego to plan for bike traffic.

If serge has any sense of community he would be lobbying to improve traffic corridors like la jolla instead of getting his la jollies off thinking grandmas and families with kids in tow want to ride like he does.

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Anonymous said...

Actually, most of what Serge says (regarding vehicular cycling) is taught by the League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills courses and Florida's Cycle Savvy courses. When talking about bicycle facility segregation, he's talking one side of transportation theory.

Anonymous said...

San Diego is bigger and has other fiscal commitments. Long Beach has the audacity to through money at bikes (good for them!). Not all cities and counties will be able to implement the same solutions in the same time frame.

And Serge wouldn't suggest forcing people to take the lane at 50MPH. He's likely suggest taking a different route.

Serge Issakov said...

Indeed, the next street over from La Jolla Village Drive is Nobel - a designated bike route and more popular for east/west travel by bicyclists in the area. It has lovely bike lanes that guide cyclists going straight through intersections to ride to the right of the rightmost lane that allows right turning as well as straight traffic.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=nobel+at+lebon,+92037&hl=en&ll=32.866593,-117.216976&spn=0.010471,0.018947&sll=32.842087,-117.269241&sspn=0.010474,0.018947&hnear=Nobel+Dr+%26+Lebon+Dr,+San+Diego,+California+92122&t=m&z=16&layer=c&cbll=32.866642,-117.217126&panoid=exG0gMwRXukbzO5-hEBxhg&cbp=12,116.24,,0,22.29&source=gplus-ogsb

At least they got rid of the door zone bike lanes it used to have further west where curbside parking is allowed. It also has more frequent traffic lights than LJVD.

Still, if any street is to get improved for cycling around here, it would be Nobel, not LJVD. Maybe in the 2020s?

In the mean time... have mirror, will travel... conspicuously controlling the lane at 15 mph in LJVD 50 mph traffic. Yup, sounds crazy, but works great.

Serge Issakov said...

Long Beach has thrown some money for special facilities on some streets. It still helps a great deal to learn to ride safely and comfortably in any kind of traffic to get between most any two places in Long Beach. That will remain so until they ban bikes from the roads as they already have in much of ballyhooed Europe. That's advocating for bicyclists in some people's view.

Serge Issakov said...

True, except the stuff about using a mirror to maintain rearward situational awareness for communication and positioning purposes - blame or praise - is all on me.

I developed it because it's the only way I could effectively practice Franklin's (Cyclecraft) primary/secondary riding position method (which is awesome for getting safe and comfortable in all kinds of traffic conditions) in serious traffic, though he himself mostly eschews mirror use.

Bob Sutterfield said...

Billy said:
Vehicular cycling has been dominant in the cycling advocacy world for the past 30 years, and the result has been the effective banning of cycling in the streets. Less than 1% mode share is fewer people than break the speed limit or smoke pot, things that are *actually* illegal... Argue all you like about correlation and causation, but vehicular cycling had 30 years to make a difference, and none was made.

No, the government's program of encouraging and sometimes requiring incompetent bikeway cycling has been dominant in the cycling advocacy world for the past several decades. Bicycle drivers have been a tiny minority. While the government and the bicycle advocates have been trying to effectively ban cycling in the streets, lawful competent bicycle drivers have resisted those constraints through law and engineering and education.

Billy said:
Can we all accept the fact that vehicular cycling has *not* worked to "tame" motorists and encourage anyone outside the lunatic fringe to ride a bicycle for perfectly ordinary 2-5 mile trips?

Lawful competent bicycle driving has not been implemented in any large-scale program, so we can't say that such a program has ever been tried and either worked or not. We know the method "works" for all the individuals that adopt it. Its aim (if there is any beside simple effectiveness) is empowerment, not directly encouragement.

Billy said:
It's only in the past 5 years when vehicular cycling has taken a back seat to the League of American Bicyclists' five Es, in particular the Engineering aspect, that cycling mode share has increased and there's been a renaissance of sorts.

The LAB has six Es. Lots of people (including LAB staff and leadership) forget Equity. And the LAB began drifting well more than five years ago, away from defending and supporting lawful competent bicycle drivers.

Anonymous said...

Just read through all the posts.

I've been a commuter via bicycle for about 4 years, in places with and without bike lanes.

In OC, little infrastructure exists.

SF is a lot better in that sense.

THE CONSENSUS-my take-is as follows:

*VC is something cyclists should know. If the gov't meaningfully invested in cycling as transportation, it would be a FACET of what is taught.

**VC as a philosophy of bike riding will never become mainstream. If relied on as a replacement for gov't investment, there will be no cyclists on the road.

***The philosophies of VC and Cycling infrastructure are not competitive: it is very much like the creation vs. evolution, global warming vs not global warming

Cyclists know it only takes one car to not see them to have extremely negative consequences.

Cyclists are not cars.

Roads are build now for cars.

Cheers

Serge Issakov said...

You seem to assume that "the philosophy of Cycling Infrastructure" results in cyclists not being hit by cars. That would be true in a utopia in which all motor vehicle travel is underground, but in the real world true segregation like that is not practically possible, because of intersections. Some are addressed by separate grade crossings or special traffic signal phases, but the vast majority can't be.

I don't know what exactly you mean by "the philosophy of vehicular cycling", but to me it is about increasing societal acceptance of bicyclist driver rights in general, and particularly in the area of lane rights.

Lane rights - having right of way in the lane so those behind must yield or change lanes to pass - are not questioned for anyone else. Why for bicyclists?

My biggest concern is that we will be more and more marginalized until we're barely accepted or legally allowed on the roads, while infrastructure remains far worse that even what Amsterdam has today.

Serge Issakov said...

Finally about a little footage of lane control in NYC. Of course it's shot by the cyclist's helmet cam, so you can't see the bike itself, except for a brief moment in a shadow.

Here is a link of one minute of video demonstrating lane control in the Bronx.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DUIMgy4jTqjY&h=uAQG7YdisAQEGn3YBHMuWBkniM8JjoPBAO6a1pMlS95kHkA

I'm not saying this is preferable to riding on some quaint path along a brook. I'm saying it's possible, and it's preferable to not riding, and also preferable to trying to share those lanes.

Serge Issakov said...

Oops, that was the link via facebook. Here is the link direct to youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UIMgy4jTqjY

Anonymous said...

This will be my last response:

1. I do not assume that there are no accidents in places like Amsterdam. Yet, there are more cyclists, and it is safer. I don't have any ratios here but I am sure you can look it up and have the math tell you the story.

2. I know what controlling the lane is, and I have done it much as your video shows, just as others have attested to have done. I don't see what your point is. Having been a commuter by bike for 4 years would be enough for most people to have made that leap of faith.

3. Cyclist are marginalized because, as mentioned before, roads are built for cars, cyclist are not people in cars.

4. VC will not stop the marginalization of cyclists on the road. Why? See #3.

Look what I found by searching on the internet for 30 seconds.

http://www.bikesbelong.org/resources/stats-and-research/statistics/safety-statistics/

http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/bikeuse_PBA.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/04/nyregion/number-of-female-cyclists-lags-in-new-york-with-safety-as-a-concern.html?pagewanted=all

The cycling community-at least in SF-is focused on both safety and getting more people on bikes.

Not seeing how you are addressing either.

Serge Issakov said...

GETTING MORE PEOPLE ON BIKES:
I'm a big proponent of sharrows, which are all over San Francisco now.

I would like sharrows in the rightmost lane of every road in San Diego, coupled with "Bikes May Use Full Lane" signs - I bet that would increase cycling more than anything else... at a fraction of the cost. You can sharrow/BMUFL miles of roads for a few thousand bucks... cycletracks are over a million dollars per mile these days (some paths are pushing $5M/mile). It's just not realistic to believe anything else will work in the foreseeable future.

MAKING CYCLING SAFER:
Nothing can increase cycling safety like making cyclists more aware of how much influence they have on their own safety by adopting safe practices... this is the tried and proven method for pilots and defensive drivers - I see no reason why it can't work for cyclists, and it's what I practice and advocate.

Syzlak said...

I didn't know VC was still worth discussing. 1) There is a direct correlation between the amount a city spends on cycling and the bicycle modeshare. Don't say the Netherlands has a high modeshre because driving is too inconvenient or expensive. Driving and operating a car in London is very expensive yet they still have horribly low bike modeshare. Conversely owning and operating a car is cheaper in Portland than in London yet Portland has a higher modeshare.

2) Rather than giving up on bicycle facilities because they are substandard, wouldn't we lobby for better facilities? Here in LA we were told we were getting a 5' bike lane. LACBC told everyone to support it. BikesideLA argued that 5ft was still to much in the door-zone. Thanks to BikesideLA we ended up getting 5.5ft bike lane and in other parts it was placed out of the door-zone. We need to fight for what we want, not settle for less or sharing with motorists.

James said...

Serge, I take the full lane (unless there's a bike lane), and also worry that our right to the road will erode with separation. But having ridden that way in several states, I've been harassed and threatened so many times, I don't expect bike usage to expand that way--and that's been the default way for many decades, with a poor showing for bike commuting. Agreed: gas taxes and other disincentives to driving are crucial. But studies of occasional and potential bikers show that their perception of the the safety of biking is the main factor in how willing they are to ride (as does common sense). My kids bike commute every day, and I taught them to take the lane when needed--but if they need to do that, I recommend they get off the bike and walk it to a safer street. Do you have your kids commute the same way you do, on similar roads?

Benjamin Marcus Raucher said...

Nice to see the lane open

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Serge Issakov said...

I'm all for nice safe separated paths with grade separated intersections, etc., whereever there is space for them to be built practically.

Bike lanes and cycle tracks seem to create more problems than they solve, especially at intersections. The best you can do is have separate phases for bicyclists on the cycle track, but that only works at intersections with traffic signal controls, and increases time spent at each such intersection for everyone.

There does seem to be some correlation between infrastructure and modal usage. Causation is another matter, and far from proven.

More likely what is at play is cultural acceptance - and the role infrastructure plays there is primarily iconic.

That's why I suggest plastering San Diego (or any city willing to experiment) with sharrows and BMUFL signs - those will also serve as icons to the acceptance of cycling - and in particular the acceptance of cycling on the roads (as opposed to bike lanes and cycle tracks which express the acceptance of cycling as long as it's not on the road, or at least not on the part of the road that is "for cars" - which is more motoring advocacy than bicycling advocacy, in my view).

Serge Issakov said...

Bike Snob and others give me shit for my mirror emphasis, but I know of no other way to address concerns such as that expressed by James above:

But having ridden that way in several states, I've been harassed and threatened so many times...

We will not have total separation in our lifetimes. That means no matter how successful those efforts are, most of us will have to travel on roads for most of our cycling time. The only effective method I know to reduce and practically eliminate undesirable reaction from motorists involves using a mirror as I discussed above.

The main point is that a mirror allows for you to extend your situational awareness rearward, which means you can notice and address potential contention with motorists approaching from behind with plenty of time and space to nip it in the bud well before it escalates to road rage.

The method rests on the presumption that most of the frustration motorists have with cyclists in the lane up ahead stems not from the cyclist being "in the way", but the cyclist being oblivious to being "in the way". With a mirror, it's easy to learn how to behave in a way that makes it clear you're not oblivious, and that you're being cooperative. They appreciate that.

This working hypothesis is validated every time I'm on my bike by the experience of pleasant driver behavior like waves, safe passes, nods and smiles rather than honks, middle fingers and buzz passes.

Anonymous said...

bike lanes are great. increases ridership, increases safety, accessible for cyclists of varying comfort levels, yay.
as for fears of "taking the lane", how often are riders hit in the bike lane, or cutoff by turning vehicles, doored, cabs swerving to pick up a fare, bike lanes occupied by people/carts/ double parked cars/cop cars etc...bike lanes aren't a fix-all.
bad drivers can get you wherever you ride.
and if you commute, chances are a bike lane won't bring you all the way to your destination, some portion of your trip will be outside of a bike lane. so you'll need to keep yourself safe the best way you can, whatever that may be. i find riding conspicuously and confidently as an engaged and aware component of the road works really well. but whatever floats one's boat. and of course i do support more bike lanes.
youguysarethebest

Anonymous said...

In the absence of bike lanes, when you ride all the way to the right you are inviting traffic to drive past you as close as they dare. You are telling drivers that you have no right to be there, so they have no obligation to share the road, and no obligation not to hit you. You declare that you are at best, just something in their way.
Being rear ended or otherwise hit when taking the lane is far less likely to happen than being sideswiped when you cling to the right-most edge of the road.
It's also the best way to be visible. As was said earlier, I'd would rather be SEEN and thought an asshole, than NOT SEEN and killed.

Anonymous said...

These vehicular cyclists huge pains in the ass here in San Diego. Any other city want them?

Anonymous said...

Horse pie! I used to ride in the ghetto and damn near got killed every day. When I started taking my lane the ass munches honked their horns in frilustration but I found they stopped gambling with my life quite so much :oP make the fuckers slow down and go around I say >:o(

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Anonymous said...

While you understandably have a good time making fun of cycling in a vehicular manor, in many place it's either that or don't ride at all. And, the techniques promulgated by vehicular cycling work, so why all the hate? The fact is, that if you ride a bike for any length of time and ever venture out of the city, at some point (probably quite quickly) you will have to ride your bike on a road without any bike-specific infrastructure - not even a shoulder. It's much safer to ride conspicuously and several feet out into the road (depending on lane width) than it is to hug the edge of the road. Many more overtaking motorists will SLOW DOWN to pass you and wait until it's safe to pass if you are restricting the lane width available to them. If you ride far-right, say 6" of the edge or even on the white fog line, motorists will attempt to pass you IN THE LANE YOU ARE IN without slowing down or moving over. As a road user, you have the right to the lane. Take it.

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superkaos said...

Why are people afraid of calling things by their name? a bike lane is clearly a ghetto for cyclists. Built so that the public roads that the motorist think is theirs are kept free of road users they don't like. Why is this so difficult to understand? Many times I have been yelled at by a motorist who thinks I should be in "my place", even on roads with low speed limit, two lanes for each way, very little traffic and with plenty of room to pass. But of course a bike lane next to it which I ignored. That's what a bike lane causes, more yelling. That is proof of the real purpose of bike lanes. Otherwise why would they care where I ride?

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