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Wheeled pedestrian...slow riding...trans-sport...utility riding...transport cycling..

Old 08-22-15, 06:44 AM
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Roody
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Wheeled pedestrian...slow riding...trans-sport...utility riding...transport cycling..

"Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat."
--From the Wheeled Pedestrian blog
Wheeled pedestrian...slow riding...trans-sport...utility riding...transport cycling...everyday cycling...

All of these terms describe a very old approach to bicycling that's coming back into its own again. Bicycling is not only a flashy sport for the elite athlete, but an ordinary part of living for the ordinary shmoe of any age or physical condition. Bikes are fun, but they're also tools to get your butt from Point A to Point B at a sensible pace. Any bike that works is a great bike, even if it is a $200 "classic cruiser" from Walmart or a $40 used mountain bike from the pawn shop (which is what my first bike was).

The riding style is slow but steady. Sweat is a dirty word. The streets packed with 40 mph cars are not great places to ride. The sidewalks aren't much better...but until something better comes along, many wheeled pedestrians will ride on the sidewalks.

I don't know if this can be described as a movement. Mostly it's just normal people riding bikes without giving it much thought. Most don't even know--or care--that "serious" cyclists look down on them because their equipment is cheap, their riding style is wrong, and they're just too damn slow. They are just (slowly) pedaling through a sea of controversy and loathing in the "real" cycling community.

I suspect that a lot of the people reading this are wheeled pedestrians or everyday cyclists, but perhaps reluctant to discuss it on a website that's devoted to cycling as sport for weight weenies, poseurs, and other "serious" cyclists. I hope some of you slow riders will come out and share your philosophy and practice of bicycling and what it means to you.

I'll add some blogs and websites that pertain to everyday cycling (or whatever name you like) as I think of them. I hope others will do the same.

https://wheeledpedestrian.wordpress.com/
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Old 08-22-15, 06:55 AM
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A manifesto for wheeled pedestrians from the blog:

A wheeled pedestrian chooses to…
  • travel by bicycle rather than by car for short, local trips.
  • travel by bicycle rather than on foot when it is quicker and more convenient to do so.
  • wear a helmet if it satisfies personal anxieties of real or perceived safety.
  • wear a helmet if it satisfies need for compliance with legal obligation.
  • ride a bicycle that provides maximum comfort and utility.
  • ride at a speed slow enough so as to arrive at destination cool and fresh.
  • ride in clothes suitable for intended purpose at destination.
  • ride slowly on the footpath if it feels prudent to do so.
  • ride without feeling obliged to behave like a two-wheeled motorist.
  • enjoy the feeling of freedom that mobility as a wheeled pedestrian provides.
‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bike’ is everyday activity. No sweat.
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Old 08-22-15, 07:37 AM
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Personally, I'm trying to increase my speed and strength quite significantly so that I might be able to engage in utility cycling (commuting to work by bicycle) once in a while.

I will not be cycling like I'm a pedestrian. I've got walking for that.
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Old 08-22-15, 08:15 AM
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Very good post Roody, your post describes most of the cyclists that I see riding around in my area, just regular folks wearing backpacks and non-cycling clothing and riding bikes for transportation, and I can identify with a lot of what you wrote... Most of my riding is done at a lower intensity, but I am also very capable of riding like a speed demon, if I choose to do so. I do throw in a sprinting and hill climbs into my commutes regularly, and I am more then capable of riding a 100 mile century if I wanted to.. I don't wear flamboyant spandex costumes, I don't use clipless pedals, I don't use drop bars, I don't shave my legs, I never had professional fitting done, and I don't care about Strava, I just ride because I like to ride...
I guess whenever I ride on the sidewalks I am a wheeled pedestrian and when I ride on the roads I am "real cyclists".
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Old 08-22-15, 08:27 AM
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One time, years ago, I was walking on the sidewalk when a fat older lady passed me, riding her bike at a cadence that was certainly slower than my own steps. I have to admit that I chuckled to myself because she looked so slow and ungainly. But only a few minutes later, I saw the lady again. She was riding just as slowly, but now she was only a little dot in the distance, still on the sidewalk a block or two ahead of me. It became apparent that she was working less hard than me, but making better progress.

It wasn't long after that when I started riding a bike myself!
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Old 08-22-15, 08:52 PM
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I like most of the points they make, but once you get on the street, you are traffic and must behave as such, no matter how slow you are going. You have to abandon the pedestrian mindset.
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Old 08-22-15, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
... but once you get on the street, you are traffic and must behave as such, no matter how slow you are going. You have to abandon the pedestrian mindset.
+1

Absolutely!!
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Old 08-23-15, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
I like most of the points they make, but once you get on the street, you are traffic and must behave as such, no matter how slow you are going. You have to abandon the pedestrian mindset.
Absolutely, and I'm sure those pedestrian cyclists would agree. They would just say that they shouldn't have to ride out in the street; there should be adequate infrastructure to allow for those who are unable or unwilling to mix it up with fast heavy cars. Even if that means riding slowly on the sidewalk.

In my old neighborhood, I used to ride daily on a 4 to 5 lane city street with posted 35 mph. I loved the narrow lanes because I was able to take the right hand lane and cars would have a pretty easy time with overtaking me, by veering partially or totally into the left hand lane. I rode fairly fast then, and had good vision, balance, and reflexes.

Yesterday I was visiting the old 'hood and I noticed that they rebuilt this street along bike-friendly lines. There's a flowered median to calm traffic, a wide bike lane, and only two traffic lanes instead of 4-5. A few years ago, I would have thought, "This is nasty--all these flower pots are just going to slow me down." But then I thought how nice it would be to ride slowly in the bike lane, to remain alert but with much less fear that I wouldn't be noticed by drivers. After a few minutes, I noticed that there were people on bikes actually riding in those new bike lanes. When I lived there, you rarely saw anybody on a bike, and if you did, they were riding on the sidewalks only. What a marvelous change--I finally decided. Plus, the flowers were kind of pretty!
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Old 08-23-15, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
...they shouldn't have to ride out in the street; there should be adequate infrastructure to allow for those who are unable or unwilling to mix it up with fast heavy cars...
Amen to that. But the bitter irony for pedestrians and utility cyclists is that, at least in my area, the sidewalks are least likely to be there where you most need them. In the neighborhoods, with no traffic, where you could easily walk or ride in the street without risk, sidewalks are everywhere, on both sides. But, if you dare to think you have the right to take the overpass across the interstate, or go to the mall on foot or by cycle, get your affairs in order first, because you are on your own vs. the cars.
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Old 08-23-15, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Amen to that. But the bitter irony for pedestrians and utility cyclists is that, at least in my area, the sidewalks are least likely to be there where you most need them. In the neighborhoods, with no traffic, where you could easily walk or ride in the street without risk, sidewalks are everywhere, on both sides. But, if you dare to think you have the right to take the overpass across the interstate, or go to the mall on foot or by cycle, get your affairs in order first, because you are on your own vs. the cars.
Yep, that is the same here. Or was. Since the Complete Street laws were passed, anytime they do major road rebuilding, they have to put in bike facilities and sidewalks. This is slow and gradual, but it is starting to make a difference. Where I live, we have Complete Streets on city, county, and statewide levels. I just posted (#8) about a road fix in an old neighborhood--that was a result of Complete Streets.

They are now rebuilding the highway/street between my house and the regional mall, where there are currently no bike lanes and few sidewalks. That's in a separate suburb, so we will see if they have to put in bike lanes and sidewalks there too. I hope so! I have always avoided shopping there because of the poor infrastructure.
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Old 08-23-15, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Yep, that is the same here. Or was. Since the Complete Street laws were passed, anytime they do major road rebuilding, they have to put in bike facilities and sidewalks. This is slow and gradual, but it is starting to make a difference. Where I live, we have Complete Streets on city, county, and statewide levels. I just posted (#8) about a road fix in an old neighborhood--that was a result of Complete Streets.

They are now rebuilding the highway/street between my house and the regional mall, where there are currently no bike lanes and few sidewalks. That's in a separate suburb, so we will see if they have to put in bike lanes and sidewalks there too. I hope so! I have always avoided shopping there because of the poor infrastructure.
It is starting to make a difference here too. When I first moved here, the word on the street was that Des Moines was dull and Iowa was bleeding talent. Nowadays, thanks to a forward-looking city government, there's a completely different perception. I was just talking today with a newbie to the city who thought the bike trails and the large city parks are a great addition... but it's the Complete Streets initiative that drives that "fun/no fun" perception. If you are in Des Moines, swing by Ingersoll Ave where bike lanes are just a part of a vibrant, booming neighborhood.
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Old 08-23-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
"Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat."
--From the Wheeled Pedestrian blog
Wheeled pedestrian...slow riding...trans-sport...utility riding...transport cycling...everyday cycling...

All of these terms describe a very old approach to bicycling that's coming back into its own again. Bicycling is not only a flashy sport for the elite athlete, but an ordinary part of living for the ordinary shmoe of any age or physical condition. Bikes are fun, but they're also tools to get your butt from Point A to Point B at a sensible pace. Any bike that works is a great bike, even if it is a $200 "classic cruiser" from Walmart or a $40 used mountain bike from the pawn shop (which is what my first bike was).

The riding style is slow but steady. Sweat is a dirty word. The streets packed with 40 mph cars are not great places to ride. The sidewalks aren't much better...but until something better comes along, many wheeled pedestrians will ride on the sidewalks.

I don't know if this can be described as a movement. Mostly it's just normal people riding bikes without giving it much thought. Most don't even know--or care--that "serious" cyclists look down on them because their equipment is cheap, their riding style is wrong, and they're just too damn slow. They are just (slowly) pedaling through a sea of controversy and loathing in the "real" cycling community.

I suspect that a lot of the people reading this are wheeled pedestrians or everyday cyclists, but perhaps reluctant to discuss it on a website that's devoted to cycling as sport for weight weenies, poseurs, and other "serious" cyclists. I hope some of you slow riders will come out and share your philosophy and practice of bicycling and what it means to you.

I'll add some blogs and websites that pertain to everyday cycling (or whatever name you like) as I think of them. I hope others will do the same.

https://wheeledpedestrian.wordpress.com/
Nice post [mention=]Roody, and I quoted it in its entirety to capture your full description. Recently on the Fifty-Plus sub-forum was this well-subscribed thread: ”Bike Riding vs Cycling”

Originally Posted by Viking55803 View Post
…was thinking about how the way most folks refer to cycling - riding a bike or biking - are just inadequate words to describe how I think or feel about what I am doing. Riding a bike seems to be more about getting from here to there, while cycling seems to be about being on the bike. It doesn't really matter where I go, how far I go, or how long it takes me as it does about the experience itself. Of course, the cliche' comes to mind: it's not about the destination, but he journey, but sometimes cliche's are apt, and I think cycling embodies that in a way few other activities do.

Not that any of this matters, of course …Still, I feel like I woke up and for me that's what cycling is about.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… So in considering your post, my first thought was I think I see the distinction you are drawing, but then thought it seems to hint a bit of elitism…I am a real cyclist; the others are just riding their bikes, though I presume that was not the intent…

Not that this matters of course, as you said, and I’m not being argumentative; just reflecting on your thoughtful post. I would suggest a definition of a cyclist as one who claims to being a cyclist. For me I make that claim by describing that I live a cycling lifestyle. IMO this is distinctive, and a virtually “alternative” lifestyle.

But to get back to the immediate experience you described, as I understand it, I describe to myself as "becoming one with the bike." I'll leave the roadie vs Fred distinction for my previous "Fred Manifesto".
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Very good post Roody, your post describes most of the cyclists that I see riding around in my area... Most of my riding is done at a lower intensity, but I am also very capable of riding like a speed demon, if I choose to do so. I do throw in a sprinting and hill climbs into my commutes regularly, and I am more then capable of riding a 100 mile century if I wanted to.. I don't wear flamboyant spandex costumes, I don't use clipless pedals, I don't use drop bars, I don't shave my legs, I never had professional fitting done, and I don't care about Strava, I just ride because I like to ride...
I guess whenever I ride on the sidewalks I am a wheeled pedestrian and when I ride on the roads I am "real cyclists".

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Personally, I'm trying to increase my speed and strength quite significantly so that I might be able to engage in utility cycling (commuting to work by bicycle) once in a while.
I do (mostly) ride/train with clipless pedals, drop bars, Spandex shorts (no jersey), and ride a high-end carbon fiber bike, and rarely ride as a wheeled-pedestrian, almost always for convenience, like a shortcut on the sidewalk.

Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
I like most of the points they make, but once you get on the street, you are traffic and must behave as such, no matter how slow you are going. You have to abandon the pedestrian mindset.

Originally Posted by Machka View Post
+1
Absolutely!!
Actually, not to raise the usual controversy, IMO when I’m on the bike, I consider myself as an amphibian. Like the biologic species between reptile and fish, I exist as a cyclist and wheeled pedestrian. I obey traffic laws, and respect fellow road-users, but as noted above, I may assume pedestrian privileges, like circumventing traffic by going on to the sidewalk, and even some ”bad” habits of pedestrians, not appropriate for mention on a car-free centered forum.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have a golden rule of cycling, “Do unto the peds, as you would have the cagers do unto you.” So while peds should be more alert, walking on a MUP is a petty carefree activity, whereas cycling demands more attention, and cyclists IMO, are possibly more vulnerable in a crash.

The ability of a cyclist to do damage in a crash I would say is intermediate between that of a ped and an automobile, but I think a cyclists’s own safety demands that he/she be the most attentive of the three, and frankly assume the others are jerks.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-23-15 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Added last quote
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Old 08-23-15, 05:06 PM
  #13  
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As a point of confession there are only a few things people riding bicycles ever do that draw my ire. Ride on the sidewalk, ride against traffic and ninja ride at night.

I don't care for riding at night but when I do I am lit up like a UFO. To me the sidewalk if for walking. When I walk out of a store onto the sidewalk and a bike comes cruising by I almost I chewed tobaco so I could spit on them.

Wrong way riders tick me off to no end. I will not cede the inside in a pass. If someone is going out into traffic it will be the wrong way rider. If they get a close view of the front end of a SUV it cleans the gene pool in my opinion.

Other than those three pet peeves I don't care how slow a person rides or what they are riding. It is just good that they like to ride.

That my be just me or even a flaw in my thinking but it hasn't changed since my state changed the rules for bicycle riding in the late 50s or early 60s.
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Old 08-23-15, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
As a point of confession there are only a few things people riding bicycles ever do that draw my ire. Ride on the sidewalk, ride against traffic and ninja ride at night.

I don't care for riding at night but when I do I am lit up like a UFO. To me the sidewalk if for walking. When I walk out of a store onto the sidewalk and a bike comes cruising by I almost I chewed tobaco so I could spit on them.

Wrong way riders tick me off to no end. I will not cede the inside in a pass. If someone is going out into traffic it will be the wrong way rider. If they get a close view of the front end of a SUV it cleans the gene pool in my opinion.

Other than those three pet peeves I don't care how slow a person rides or what they are riding. It is just good that they like to ride.

That my be just me or even a flaw in my thinking but it hasn't changed since my state changed the rules for bicycle riding in the late 50s or early 60s.
Sounds as though you see a cause and effect relationship between changes to "rules" and the type of bicycle riding that bothers you?

I'm known to get on the sidewalk at a few isolated places where the road is too dangerous. Usually there's nobody else on the sidewalk. If there is I pass very slowly or not at all. My longest distance on a sidewalk is a couple city blocks.
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Old 08-23-15, 07:04 PM
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Walter:
I would have the same complaint about motor vehicles on a bike path as I do about bikes where pedestrians should be free from bicycles. Wrong way riders and ninja night riders endanger me and my friends with selfish disregard. IMHO.

But the statement was made as a personal confession about my belief about responsible cycling. It is something I just feel strongly about. Other than those three things I don't care much how slow someone rides.
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Old 08-24-15, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Actually, not to raise the usual controversy, IMO when I’m on the bike, I consider myself as an amphibian. Like the biologic species between reptile and fish, I exist as a cyclist and wheeled pedestrian. I obey traffic laws, and respect fellow road-users, but as noted above, I may assume pedestrian privileges, like circumventing traffic by going on to the sidewalk, and even some ”bad” habits of pedestrians, not appropriate for mention on a car-free centered forum.
I like the amphibian analogy, but I see myself more as an embryo, which goes through developmental phases that echo the evolution of species. When I first learned to ride as a kid, it was exclusively on the sidewalks, like a fish or tadpole. As a teenager I learned to ride on streets, but mostly those that didn't hold much car traffic. In this amphibious stage, the highlight was riding on the brand new pavement of I-75, the day before it opened to car traffic. As a young adult, I was VC all the way. I zipped among the fast cars and looked in disdain at the "freds" who were riding on the sidewalk or in the gutter. I guess this was the mammalian stage of my development.

Now, as an older rider, I hope that I'm more fully developed and evolved. I can switch back and forth between the various types of riding, depending on mood and circumstance. And I don't feel much need to look up to--or down on--others who use other riding styles. I no longer feel that their practices reflect on me, and I really don't think they're endangering anybody because they ride the "wrong" way on a street. There's nothing inherently dangerous about riding on the sidewalk either, if you're aware of crossing cars and respectful of other sidewalk users. And there's nothing wrong with the opposite extreme of zipping through traffic like joeybike, provided you have the skill set, sensory awareness, and physical stamina to do it.
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Old 08-24-15, 10:19 AM
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I always ride a bike like I'm hiking. They seem like about the same activity to me, except the muscle groups are somewhat different. Biking is better than hiking because of the added breeze and much much farther distance you can travel. I spent a week hiking 60 miles on the appalachian trail this summer whereas I went 150 miles in a day recently by bike. I probably went slower hiking because I could free camp along the way, though, whereas I had to race to avoid camping on the bike trip. Since I can't really race, I ended up spending 16 hours en route, which is in itself a pain (literally but also figuratively) because it gets harder to maintain a decent speed as the day progresses. Still, I always ride with more or less the same idea in mind, which is to maintain a speed that is as fast as possible without exerting enough effort to wear out my muscles for later. If you need to go an extra 50 or 100 miles, it's good to have your legs still functioning after 8 hours of pedaling.
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Old 08-24-15, 10:36 AM
  #18  
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I use the Zebra striped crossing to cross the streets, which are also highway routes , walking my bike.
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Old 08-24-15, 01:44 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
A manifesto for wheeled pedestrians from the blog:

A wheeled pedestrian chooses to…
  • travel by bicycle rather than by car for short, local trips.
  • travel by bicycle rather than on foot when it is quicker and more convenient to do so.
  • wear a helmet if it satisfies personal anxieties of real or perceived safety.
  • wear a helmet if it satisfies need for compliance with legal obligation.
  • ride a bicycle that provides maximum comfort and utility.
  • ride at a speed slow enough so as to arrive at destination cool and fresh.
  • ride in clothes suitable for intended purpose at destination.
  • ride slowly on the footpath if it feels prudent to do so.
  • ride without feeling obliged to behave like a two-wheeled motorist.
  • enjoy the feeling of freedom that mobility as a wheeled pedestrian provides.
‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bike’ is everyday activity. No sweat.
Are they still a "wheeled pedestrian" if they:
- don't wear a helmet
- don't ride a bicycle that provides maximum safety and comfort
- ride fast when they need to even if it means they will arrive at destination hot and sweaty
- adopt clothes more suitable for their chosen mode of transport
- ride like they are obliged to follow vehicle code as outlined by law

I don't appreciate the effort and idea behind it. It seems that this further breaks down, rather than builds up, the community of bicycle riders; encourages "If you're not riding bicycles the way I ride bicycles, you're doing it wrong," mentality.

"Wheeled pedestrian" brings to mind rollerblades, rollerskates, and (way cool) Heelys. And Segue users.

What's wrong with "utility cyclists," "bicycle riders," or "riders of bicycles" that there needs to be a new term?

"Bicycles: there's nothing pedestrian about them!"
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Old 08-24-15, 02:32 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Are they still a "wheeled pedestrian" if they:
- don't wear a helmet
- don't ride a bicycle that provides maximum safety and comfort
- ride fast when they need to even if it means they will arrive at destination hot and sweaty
- adopt clothes more suitable for their chosen mode of transport
- ride like they are obliged to follow vehicle code as outlined by law

I don't appreciate the effort and idea behind it. It seems that this further breaks down, rather than builds up, the community of bicycle riders; encourages "If you're not riding bicycles the way I ride bicycles, you're doing it wrong," mentality.

"Wheeled pedestrian" brings to mind rollerblades, rollerskates, and (way cool) Heelys. And Segue users.

What's wrong with "utility cyclists," "bicycle riders," or "riders of bicycles" that there needs to be a new term?

"Bicycles: there's nothing pedestrian about them!"
I agree that I don't care for the divisiveness that's behind this. However, that goes both ways.

And there clearly is a difference in emphasis between cyclists who ride for sport or fitness, and those who ride to actually get somewhere.

Utility cyclist means hauling big loads, to me. I like "transportation cyclist" and I love "everyday cyclist". The only problem with "everyday cyclist" is that it requires a bit of explanation.

As a lover of puns and double meanings, I really liked "trans-sport". This means transportation and sport together, but also cycling that is BEYOND sport or outside of sport. I guess it's especially popular in French speaking areas. As a bilingual person, I enjoy word play that work in two different languages.

[hr][/hr]

Here's an interesting Irish blog article that covers some of this topic:
Lovely Bicycle!: Sport vs Transport: a Polarisation

An excerpt:
To me, thinking of roadcycling and transportation cycling as two radically different things just seems like common sense. In Europe I know many people who race for sport, but get around town on a traditional upright bicycle, and this is considered entirely normal. Why even Henry of Workcycles used to race, and still enjoys riding his track bike on the velodrome on a regular basis. Perhaps some day this dichotomy will be better understood in the US as well. Some do believe that road and transportational cycling can overlap, or at least inform each other, and I am not threatened by that point of view. Also, sometimes it's just fun or funny to combine the two: There are, after all, cargo bike races, Brompton races, and no doubt someone out there has held an omafiets race. Steven Fleming of cycle-space wrote a post on how racing for sport and riding a cargo bike for transportation figure into his identity, which I certainly found interesting. Me, I simply see the road vs transportation cycling dichotomy as the 2-wheeled version of walking vs jogging. The more I cycle for transportation, and the more involved I get in roadcycling as a sport, the more I appreciate them as two distinct and separate realms.
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Old 08-24-15, 03:10 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
I like the amphibian analogy, but I see myself more as an embryo, which goes through developmental phases that echo the evolution of species. When I first learned to ride as a kid, it was exclusively on the sidewalks, like a fish or tadpole. As a teenager I learned to ride on streets, but mostly those that didn't hold much car traffic. In this amphibious stage, the highlight was riding on the brand new pavement of I-75, the day before it opened to car traffic. As a young adult, I was VC all the way. I zipped among the fast cars and looked in disdain at the "freds" who were riding on the sidewalk or in the gutter. I guess this was the mammalian stage of my development.
”Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” which according to Wikipedia, ”Since embryos also evolve in different ways, within the field of developmental biology the theory of recapitulation is seen as a historical side-note rather than as dogma.”

Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Now, as an older rider, I hope that I'm more fully developed and evolved. I can switch back and forth between the various types of riding, depending on mood and circumstance. And I don't feel much need to look up to--or down on--others who use other riding styles. I no longer feel that their practices reflect on me, and I really don't think they're endangering anybody because they ride the "wrong" way on a street. There's nothing inherently dangerous about riding on the sidewalk either, if you're aware of crossing cars and respectful of other sidewalk users. And there's nothing wrong with the opposite extreme of zipping through traffic like joeybike, provided you have the skill set, sensory awareness, and physical stamina to do it.
Now, @Roody, since you’re a Native Michigander, even from Metro Detroit, and OP of this thread, I have this experience to relate. Last week I visited the family in Macomb County. IMO, that is some of the nastiest road riding I have ever encountered. The main roads, to get anywhere, are six lane concrete slabs with bumps about every 20 feet, and many cracks and potholes especially on the right, with no shoulders, and heavy, zooming traffic with little patience for (slow) cyclists. Sidewalks alongside are frequently discontinuous, and often non-existent.

Even as an experienced urban commuter, I will often flee to the sidewalks, little used by pedestrians out in suburbia. Some major roads though, like Schoenherr and Gratiot do have continuous sidewalks for long distances. I have developed a technique for riding under such circumstances I call ”bolus riding.” (Bolus = “a small rounded mass of a substance, especially of chewed food at the moment of swallowing”; think of swallowed food as it passes down the esophagus.)

Since the flow of traffic is coordinated by traffic signals, traffic usually flows as a bolus. So using my rearview mirror, when I see a bolus of cars behind me, I go onto a driveway or intersecting street (all with sidewalk curb cuts) and on to the sidewalk. After the bolus passes as seen in the mirror I go back onto the street where I can ride much faster, until the next bolus of cars arrives. I estimate that more than one-half of the distance can be ridden comfortably on these otherwise hazardous roads.

Now actually those suburban counties like Macomb and Oakland have developed some nice, long MUPS, but the prevailing attitude seems to be that bikes are not ”real” transportation, so one usually drives to a MUP to ride the bike; and the MUPS are though rural countryside, with no defined, or non-recreational destination. Fortunately, I can take a nice side street (side streets are not continuous throughways out in the suburbs) to Schoenherr, with a continuous sidewalk up to the MUP to Metropolitan Beach, which adds about 2 miles to the most direct, albeit a hazardous route of about 3 miles.

I used to feel resentful that I was self-relegated off to the sidewalks, but now I accept it as the way it is. I’m a visitor, and must accommodate. To further the evolutionary analogy I am a small furry mammal (cyclist), whose survival depends on avoiding being trampled by the dinosaurs (autos), whose evolutionary pathway may eventually lead to much less ferocious lizards.

(If I were really provocative, I might further suggest that the small furry mammalian cyclists themselves evolved into superior species (Roadie/"real" cyclists) and lesser ones (Freds), but I won't go there. )

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-24-15 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 08-24-15, 04:27 PM
  #22  
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I avoid "the cyclist look" like it's a plaque...When I lock my bike and walk into a store or some other place, I look normal, I look like a pedestrian and nobody even knows I am a cyclists , nobody knows I just rode my bike. I am dressed to blend in with the crowd. I fail to understand why anybody has to wear a goofy looking costume and special shoes and all kind of other cycling specific paraphernalia when they aren't even racing, competing or doing group training rides. When I do multi-modal commute and use a bus I want to look normal when traveling on a bus. There are too many cyclists who act like exhibitionists.
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Old 08-24-15, 04:41 PM
  #23  
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J from B:
Do you also ride the wrong way in the face of fellow cyclists and spend your night riding wearing black with no lights and not even a reflector?
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Old 08-24-15, 04:52 PM
  #24  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
J from B:
Do you also ride the wrong way in the face of fellow cyclists and spend your night riding wearing black with no lights and not even a reflector?
No, never. Safety always overrides convenience, and regarding ninja riding, there's no convenience to be gained. In fact riding against traffic (salmoning) IMO is more risky riding towards cyclists than riding towards cars (though probably not as life-threatening).
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Old 08-24-15, 05:23 PM
  #25  
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I can live with that JFB. With a oncoming rider you can never be sure if they are going to pass on your left or your right. After all they are already on the wrong side what else could they be thinking? Ninjas you simply don't see till you almost hit them. Both in my opinion have a disregard for other's safety.
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