The "father of vehicular cycling", John Forester, born 1929, is getting up there. Nonetheless, it would seem he has lost none of his ability to move people. I bike T.O. , a Toronto based cycling blog that I read often, has had a couple of posts about John Forester and Vehicular Cycling lately. For those of you who have been living and breathing the tenets of John Forester for decades, it may seem quite bizarre that these articles make VC/JF seem like something "new". The fact is, however, that for most recreational cyclists and the encouraging numbers of transportational cyclists taking to the road lately, he is. For a great many people, John Forester's ideas and the Vehicular cycling concept are still some pretty crazy talk, especially now that bike lanes and cycletracks and sharrows and such are becoming the most popular answers to cycling woes.
People sure do get passionate about this stuff, and John Forester has become a rather polarizing figure who people either love or love to hate. The first piece I noticed set the table for a critical analysis of VC stuff and the second piece started in with gusto. Of course there are plenty of people ready to blast those critics right back. Most of the comments, while heavily biased, have been pretty polite so far. I do wish, however, that people who ride bikes would try a little harder to ride and let ride... everybody has a right to their own opinion, so please go for a bike ride and settle your nerves before you type. Warring factions within an already tiny army begin to look kind of ridiculous after a while.
The people I like reading best in such matters are those that don't deal in absolutes and show some flexibility in how they think and open minds to how others might think. Treating others as you would like to be treated in print as well as on the road is an important first step. That sounds suspiciously like Civility to me. I like that word. It sums everything up pretty nicely.
Your Civil Servant,
R A N T W I C K