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Death of VC thread

Old 12-05-20, 08:32 AM
  #51  
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I too took the LAB road 1 course about 12-14 years ago, decades after I "figured it all out on my own". I thoroughly enjoyed it and managed to still learn a thing or two. I know several IRL and here on BF who have.

Yep, John Forester's Effective Cycling, John Franklins Cyclecraft, Bicycling Street Smarts, the LAB road courses, and others I'm sure I've forgotten (all based on VC principles) are still very much alive and well... and for good reason.
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Old 12-05-20, 09:06 AM
  #52  
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OK, enjoy your niche. I'm out.
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Old 12-05-20, 05:03 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
John wrote a book about that almost 50 years ago, (still selling 7 editions later) and practiced it long before that. It seems pretty obvious that you (and starkmojo based on everything in his post) don't have a beef with actual VC techniques as much as you do with certain VC proponents. Oh well.
There are plenty of reasons to beef about the more zealous and strident Vehicular Cycling proponents, especially those who quote John Forester's allegedly scientific crash studies to substantiate his mantra that cyclists “fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.”

The fact remains that there are no credible safety studies of any group of cyclists who have been identified as routinely practicing most or all of the so-called Vehicular Cycling techniques, regardless of where the cyclists learned the techniques. There remains no credible studies that evaluated the bicycling safety record (good, bad or indifferent) of any group of cyclists that have been identified as Vehicular Cyclists (no matter how they learned about these techniques) nor if they really "fare best."

Rather than rehash the VC hash all over again, anyone who would like a refresher on the subject of beefs about Vehicular Cycling bunk can go to BF Thread debunking Forester
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Old 12-07-20, 08:04 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
There are plenty of reasons to beef about the more zealous and strident Vehicular Cycling proponents, especially those who quote John Forester's allegedly scientific crash studies to substantiate his mantra that cyclists “fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.”

The fact remains that there are no credible safety studies of any group of cyclists who have been identified as routinely practicing most or all of the so-called Vehicular Cycling techniques, regardless of where the cyclists learned the techniques. There remains no credible studies that evaluated the bicycling safety record (good, bad or indifferent) of any group of cyclists that have been identified as Vehicular Cyclists (no matter how they learned about these techniques) nor if they really "fare best."

Rather than rehash the VC hash all over again, anyone who would like a refresher on the subject of beefs about Vehicular Cycling bunk can go to BF Thread debunking Forester
You proved my point!

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
It seems pretty obvious that you (ldl) (and starkmojo based on everything in his post) don't have a beef with actual VC techniques as much as you do with certain VC proponents. Oh well.
Some are plain unable to separate cycling techniques they themselves use regularly* with JF or other passionate VC proponents they do have a beef with.

All your hash has nothing to do with VC techniques. (and nothing to do with my comment!)

I understand that many old time experts like yourself feel they can learn nothing from any VC training, and I'd agree! But many can, and would be much better off for it.

*Based on their own posts! (sometimes with the proud "I learned it by myself" disclaimer)
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Old 12-08-20, 12:19 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
You proved my point!



Some are plain unable to separate cycling techniques they themselves use regularly* with JF or other passionate VC proponents they do have a beef with.

All your hash has nothing to do with VC techniques. (and nothing to do with my comment!)

I understand that many old time experts like yourself feel they can learn nothing from any VC training, and I'd agree! But many can, and would be much better off for it.

*Based on their own posts! (sometimes with the proud "I learned it by myself" disclaimer)

I know I said I was out, but you're completely misrepresenting what I said and being fundamentally dishonest and it made me mad. You're begging the question by labelling anything I do as "VC technique". My point is quite simply that millions of people who've never heard of VC, let alone read any book or took a course were using those "techniques" at the time he wrote the book and millions of others are learning how to do so quite adequately without any assistance from the "training" advocates.

Right now, I think you're reduced to the position of someone who claims that their method of training people to tie their shoes entitles you to claim credit for inventing shoe tying even though 99.57% of the shoe-tying population has never heard of your training method and is tying their shoes just fine.

And my point wasn't that I taught myself the techniques I use to ride, it's that EVERYONE I know who rides taught themselves
If anything, we taught each other by doing, mostly as kids.

And I'll let you in on a little secret--I drive a fair amount and I bike a lot. I see a lot of drivers and bicyclists on the road. I'm pretty sure close to 100% of the drivers have taken a formal course of training while pretty close to 0% of the cyclists have. By far, I see a lot more unpredictable and lawless behavior on the part of the drivers than I do bicyclists. It's not even a question. I see no reason to believe that any program of formal training for bicyclists is necessary, and as I-Like-To-Bike has stated repeatedly and you really can't refute, there is no evidence that the "system" of techniques actually makes anyone safer. Oh, and here's the little secret part--controlling a bicycle is a whole lot easier than controlling a car, and the consequences of mishandling a bike are likely to be far less severe than those of mishandling a car. There's good reasons we don't let 7 year olds drive cars.

It takes a lot of doing to get me and I-Like-To-Bike on the same side of an argument. All you had to do was put a bunch of words in my mouth that I didn't say.

Oh, and before you accuse me of being inconsistent--when I said I used "VC techniques", I put the phrase in quotes to indicate that that label is BS, I and pretty much everybody I knew was using them before anyone ever heard of VC.. My point was VC people take credit for inventing stuff that everybody already knew. Stop twisting that into me bragging I taught myself--my claim is that pretty much everybody taught themselves.

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Old 12-08-20, 03:34 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
... I'm pretty sure close to 100% of the drivers have taken a formal course of training while pretty close to 0% of the cyclists have. By far, I see a lot more unpredictable and lawless behavior on the part of the drivers than I do bicyclists. It's not even a question. I see no reason to believe that any program of formal training for bicyclists is necessary, and as I-Like-To-Bike has stated repeatedly and you really can't refute, there is no evidence that the "system" of techniques actually makes anyone safer...
I recently witnessed a motorcycle crash. A pack of about 12-20 motorcyclists, riding in pairs, tried to pass on the right on a 75 mph-posted interstate. It was very painful to watch one rider tumble then skid along the concrete. I'm going to emphasize: it was very painful to watch.

There's motorcycle training out there that suggests a safer pattern is a stagger. I'm not a motorcyclist, but would believe it. I see other groups of motorcyclists in a stagger.

I see people on bikes riding against traffic on 4 lane, no-shoulder, 45 mph-posted.

Not all training is created equal, and not all training is a system, and not all systems are good or bad. And the trainee has to be motivated.

I administered a training system for my daughter in preparation for her driver's license. It had very little real safety content. I've taken defensive driving class. Pretty darn useless. I've been to training that might have been pretty good, but I didn't want to be there. I think I did.. not sure.. can't remember.

LAB's "Smart Cycling"? Not the best safety training content I've had, but pretty good for adult beginners. There are a lot of them out there.

It is the case that some readers of this forum would gain very little from the class. (Though on attending, they might contribute a lot.) I believe for adult beginners, a training class can help them pick up good practices with less "near-misses" and trial-and-error.

P.S. This has nothing to do with infrastructure, unless you believe that the only place to ride is a MUP (reference FYI Houston: Speed Limit now officially 10mph in Terry Hershey at all times - Bike Forums) or a velodrome where dealing with motor vehicles is not an issue.

Last edited by flangehead; 12-08-20 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 12-09-20, 07:46 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I know I said I was out, but you're completely misrepresenting what I said and being fundamentally dishonest and it made me mad. You're begging the question by labelling anything I do as "VC technique". My point is quite simply that millions of people who've never heard of VC, let alone read any book or took a course were using those "techniques" at the time he wrote the book and millions of others are learning how to do so quite adequately without any assistance from the "training" advocates.

Right now, I think you're reduced to the position of someone who claims that their method of training people to tie their shoes entitles you to claim credit for inventing shoe tying even though 99.57% of the shoe-tying population has never heard of your training method and is tying their shoes just fine.

And my point wasn't that I taught myself the techniques I use to ride, it's that EVERYONE I know who rides taught themselves
If anything, we taught each other by doing, mostly as kids.

And I'll let you in on a little secret--I drive a fair amount and I bike a lot. I see a lot of drivers and bicyclists on the road. I'm pretty sure close to 100% of the drivers have taken a formal course of training while pretty close to 0% of the cyclists have. By far, I see a lot more unpredictable and lawless behavior on the part of the drivers than I do bicyclists. It's not even a question. I see no reason to believe that any program of formal training for bicyclists is necessary, and as I-Like-To-Bike has stated repeatedly and you really can't refute, there is no evidence that the "system" of techniques actually makes anyone safer. Oh, and here's the little secret part--controlling a bicycle is a whole lot easier than controlling a car, and the consequences of mishandling a bike are likely to be far less severe than those of mishandling a car. There's good reasons we don't let 7 year olds drive cars.

It takes a lot of doing to get me and I-Like-To-Bike on the same side of an argument. All you had to do was put a bunch of words in my mouth that I didn't say.

Oh, and before you accuse me of being inconsistent--when I said I used "VC techniques", I put the phrase in quotes to indicate that that label is BS, I and pretty much everybody I knew was using them before anyone ever heard of VC.. My point was VC people take credit for inventing stuff that everybody already knew. Stop twisting that into me bragging I taught myself--my claim is that pretty much everybody taught themselves.
Sorry ldl, a VC technique is a VC technique. They have been long established and everyone here knows what they are. Like it or not, "Anything you do" either is or isn't a VC technique. I know that like me, you often use them because they work. ILTB does too. How and when we learned them is really a separate subject.

What I'm reading is that you and others want to discredit JF. I get it, he can be abrasive. But he's the one who promoted VC in a large way much earlier than anyone else, and as such is often considered the Father/Grand Father of VC. If you wrote the book in the 70's it could have been you!
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Old 12-09-20, 10:20 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Sorry ldl, a VC technique is a VC technique. They have been long established and everyone here knows what they are. Like it or not, "Anything you do" either is or isn't a VC technique. I know that like me, you often use them because they work. ILTB does too. How and when we learned them is really a separate subject.

What I'm reading is that you and others want to discredit JF. I get it, he can be abrasive. But he's the one who promoted VC in a large way much earlier than anyone else, and as such is often considered the Father/Grand Father of VC. If you wrote the book in the 70's it could have been you!
"Everyone here" could fit into a phone booth. The vast majority of bicyclists will give you a blank stare if you refer to VC techniques.

He spent several decades discrediting himself. And seriously, you do realize that LAB training was disowned by him because nobody wanted to read that damn book and suffer through 30 hours. They scrapped his program in the 1980s.

Sorry if I don't want to credit your tin idol with inventing the safety bicycle, but I'm not practicing VC technique. I'm mostly FRAP, and love me some smooth shoulder. Now do me the favor of not telling me what I think, I really suspect you don't understand just how annoying your condescension is.

And finally, no I'm not limiting myself to discrediting Forester, I'm discrediting pretty much anyone who's holding themselves out as some sort of safety guru. I'm pretty sure that includes you at this point.
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Old 12-10-20, 10:31 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
"Everyone here" could fit into a phone booth. The vast majority of bicyclists will give you a blank stare if you refer to VC techniques.

He spent several decades discrediting himself. And seriously, you do realize that LAB training was disowned by him because nobody wanted to read that damn book and suffer through 30 hours. They scrapped his program in the 1980s.

Sorry if I don't want to credit your tin idol with inventing the safety bicycle, but I'm not practicing VC technique. I'm mostly FRAP, and love me some smooth shoulder. Now do me the favor of not telling me what I think, I really suspect you don't understand just how annoying your condescension is.

And finally, no I'm not limiting myself to discrediting Forester, I'm discrediting pretty much anyone who's holding themselves out as some sort of safety guru. I'm pretty sure that includes you at this point.
Mr. ldl, my friend. This is not the first post where you made unfounded accusations against me. I will continue to ignore and stay on topic.

Actual on road VC techniques were still in the LAB course after the JF/LAB divorce. I know this because I took the course since then. I don’t believe you have.

Also, Frap and VC are not exclusive or incompatible. Cyclists are permitted to ride left of the roadway edge for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the center of the lane is FRAP, both practically and legally. It’s written right into the laws! But I’m pretty sure you already knew this.

Your refusal to acknowledge VC as VC by name is telling but doesn’t change established facts. VC is (still) a real thing. VC techniques are well documented and indisputable. Some cyclists may use them even without knowing it, yes, but training is widely available (even more so today thanks to the internet) and can certainly quicken the learning curve. There’s good reason VC is still around 40 plus years later, and that’s because it works.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 12-10-20 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 12-10-20, 11:12 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by holytrousers View Post
the law should give cyclists the right to use the whole lane. no car can safely overtake a bike on the same lane. vehicular cycling is so obvious i don't understand what are the other approaches.. and bike lanes should simply be considered narrower lanes..
  • In many jurisdictions the law *does* give cyclists the right to use the whole lane.
  • Lots of cars can safely overtake a bike [in] the same lane (if the lane is wide enough). On yesterday's ride one stretch was marked as a two lane road (one lane each direction) but was literally wider than two lanes each way.
  • Vehicular cycling is obvious for some situations, but is only one tool available in the cyclists toolbox. There are lots of other approaches.
  • Bike lanes being considered narrower lanes (with all the same rules as motor traffic lanes) can lead to conflicts if they are not properly implemented, especially at intersections.
So, I guess I would have to say I disagree with everything you say.

Maybe that's the point. John Forester and his VC adherents seemed to speak in absolutes. VC is a series of techniques that are useful tools for riding bicycles in traffic. There are other useful tools that do not fall into the category of VC. The fact that they are not VC does not make them any less useful.

Is a bike a car or isn't it? It depends on the situation. Sometimes it's a vehicle. Sometimes it's a pedestrian. Sometimes it's a scofflaw that rolls through Stop signs and red lights. Sometimes it's none of the above.

In a short stretch I commonly ride (probably less than a mile), I am a bicycle on a multi-use path, then I'm a car in the traffic lane, then I'm a pedestrian on a sidewalk until I can connect to an adjacent neighborhood when I become a car again. I'm sure John Forester would roll over in his grave if he saw the way I ride, but it's very safe, very sensible and very logical in the context of the situation.
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Old 12-10-20, 11:15 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Mr. ldl, my friend. This is not the first post where you made unfounded accusations against me. I will continue to ignore and stay on topic.

Actual on road VC techniques were still in the LAB course after the JF/LAB divorce. I know this because I took the course since then. I don’t believe you have.

Also, Frap and VC are not exclusive or incompatible. Cyclists are permitted to ride left of the roadway edge for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the center of the lane is FRAP, both practically and legally. It’s written right into the laws! But I’m pretty sure you already knew this.

Your refusal to acknowledge VC as VC by name is telling but doesn’t change established facts. VC is (still) a real thing. VC techniques are well documented and indisputable. Some cyclists may use them even without knowing it, yes, but training is widely available (even more so today thanks to the internet) and can certainly quicken the learning curve. There’s good reason VC is still around 40 plus years later, and that’s because it works.

I get it, you have a canned view of the universe where the style of road riding has somehow been invented magically by John Forester, mass numbers are being trained in this technique, and we're all in this giant's shadow. The proof for this is a bloated text that no one buys or reads anymore. Feel free to enjoy your cult, and continue to tell me how I ride and what I should call it, but you're now on my ignore list.
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Old 12-10-20, 11:49 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I get it, you have a canned view of the universe where the style of road riding has somehow been invented magically by John Forester, mass numbers are being trained in this technique, and we're all in this giant's shadow. The proof for this is a bloated text that no one buys or reads anymore. Feel free to enjoy your cult, and continue to tell me how I ride and what I should call it, but you're now on my ignore list.
I think nothing magical about JF, and don’t agree with everything he taught or said. Few of my posts here even mention him. I actually have more reverence for those who came after him who aren’t so dogmatic, but hey, he was first, so at least some credit is due, like him or not.

I’m sorry to hear you felt it necessary to put me on your list over this issue. Oh well, at least I’ll still get to see your posts. Enjoy your rides!
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Old 12-10-20, 03:18 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Sorry ldl, a VC technique is a VC technique. They have been long established and everyone here knows what they are. Like it or not, "Anything you do" either is or isn't a VC technique. I know that like me, you often use them because they work. ILTB does too. How and when we learned them is really a separate subject.
Perhaps you can expound on what you mean when you say that using Vehicular Cycling Techniques "works." Riding on the sidewalk or the shoulder of the road sometimes "works"; riding while not following every traffic law also "works" quite well in many cases.

What documentation can you cite that demonstrates that any population of cyclists using identified Vehicular Cycling Techniques "fare better" than any other similar (age and location, at least) populations of cyclists, by any safety metric (or any other measurable metric.)

Perhaps you should review this essay: Listening to Bike Lanes: Moving Beyond the Feud
Chapters 4 and 5 are particularly relevant to discussion of John Forester's promotion of his Vehicular Cycling Program and the proprietary "educational" materials as well as addressing what techniques are or are not included the definition.
Chapter 4 Chapter 4, Bicyclist Behavior 1 The Ideal: Vehicular Cycling
Chapter 5 Chapter 5 Bicyclist Behavior 2 The Real: How Bicyclists Actually Behave (and how hard that is for some of us to accept)
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Old 12-11-20, 06:35 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Perhaps you can expound on what you mean when you say that using Vehicular Cycling Techniques "works." Riding on the sidewalk or the shoulder of the road sometimes "works"; riding while not following every traffic law also "works" quite well in many cases.

What documentation can you cite that demonstrates that any population of cyclists using identified Vehicular Cycling Techniques "fare better" than any other similar (age and location, at least) populations of cyclists, by any safety metric (or any other measurable metric.)

Perhaps you should review this essay: Listening to Bike Lanes: Moving Beyond the Feud
Chapters 4 and 5 are particularly relevant to discussion of John Forester's promotion of his Vehicular Cycling Program and the proprietary "educational" materials as well as addressing what techniques are or are not included the definition.
Chapter 4 Chapter 4, Bicyclist Behavior 1 The Ideal: Vehicular Cycling
Chapter 5 Chapter 5 Bicyclist Behavior 2 The Real: How Bicyclists Actually Behave (and how hard that is for some of us to accept)



I have to say that I find it ironic that the only way to get any action going on the VC thread was to bait me and another poster by claiming we're somehow closet supporters of "VC techniques" , whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

But, here's what I think you're onto. All this training nonsense has the hallmarks of rent-seeking --dubious "scientific" claims for its efficacy, overstating the dangers to "untrained" riders, and false claims of expertise that can be shared . The miniscule numbers of people who actually get the training and the lack of any government looking at making such training mandatory makes it obvious that this is a failed strategy.

Speaking of failed strategy, pretty obvious that the LAB at one time was looking at trying to be a mass interest group along the lines of the NRA. Gun training was a vital part of what attracted large numbers of people to the NRA in the first place. This strategy hasn't worked for the LAB as almost no one wants or thinks they need a bike safety course.

What fraction of 1% of cyclists actually get "safety trained" anyway?
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Old 12-11-20, 08:29 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
Sorry ldl, a VC technique is a VC technique. They have been long established and everyone here knows what they are. Like it or not, "Anything you do" either is or isn't a VC technique. I know that like me, you often use them because they work. ILTB does too. How and when we learned them is really a separate subject.
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike in response to Almost Trick
Perhaps you can expound on what you mean when you say that using Vehicular Cycling Techniques "works." Riding on the sidewalk or the shoulder of the road sometimes "works"; riding while not following every traffic law also "works" quite well in many cases.

Quoting I-Like-To-Bike
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have to say that I find it ironic that the only way to get any action going on the VC thread was to bait me and another poster by claiming we're somehow closet supporters of "VC techniques" , whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.
??? Who is baiting you?
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Old 12-11-20, 09:20 AM
  #66  
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Let's all agree to disagree and keep it on topic if possible. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-11-20, 10:33 AM
  #67  
BillyD
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@livedarklions and I-Like-To-Bike . . . both of you guys leave the thread. Disruption.
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Old 12-11-20, 11:38 AM
  #68  
AlmostTrick
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VC works for me in the areas that I ride. "Works" as in gets me where I want to go safely with the least amount of issues. I know it works for others too, based on their comments here and in real life. I don’t dispute that sidewalks etc. can work in some situations also, but there are few opportunities around here for that to be the case for me. Maybe some areas have great bike infrastructure and wide shoulders. Sure, I'd ride them.

The thing I like most about VC is it gives one the confidence to ride more roads as they are today… roads that many untrained cyclists fear using.

Before learning of VC I used what I like to call the "Hug and Hope" technique. Hug the right edge and hope for the best. It seems a lot of cyclists do this. Yet I still had way more conflicts and close calls back then, even though I avoided more roads than I do now. The truly ironic thing to me is that some of the most strident VC detractors who rally against all things VC actually use it in their travels. The wise ones at least admit there's some positive in the techniques and training.
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