Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Vehicular Cyclists

Vehicular Cyclists is a phrase coined by John Forester (born 7 October 1929) is an American industrial engineer and a noted cycling activist known as "the father of vehicular cycling"  and for coining the term Effective Cycling.
Vehicular cycling  (also known as integrated cycling, integrated traffic cycling, cooperative cycling, and bicycle driving) is the practice of riding bicycles on roads in a manner that is visible, predictable, and in accordance with the principles for driving in traffic.
The phrase vehicular cycling was coined by John Forester to contrast the deferential stay-out-of-the-way-of-cars style of cycling and practices that he found to be typical in the United States with the bicycle driver style utilized in his native U.K..
In his book Effective Cycling, Forester contends that "Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles".  Forester's book is generally considered the primary modern reference work about vehicular cycling, along with Cyclecraft by John Franklin, which is part of Bikeability, the UK's national standard for cycle training, and Bicycling Streetsmarts by John S. Allen, a compact tutorial also published in custom formats including as bicycle driving manuals for some states.

I'm not sure I go along with this opinion, although I do live in America.  The streets are just to dangerous to cycle, with motorists intent on other distractions besides watching for cyclists.  I'd rather bike in a dedicated lane or sidewalk.  But it's good to know there are strong opinions out there to promote bicycling.


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