“Folk cycling” is the antithesis of “vehicular cycling.” While vehicular cycling is the practice of bicycling in a visible and predictable manner in accordance with the principles of driving any other vehicle on the road, most cyclists don’t believe the rules of the road apply to them. They either don’t care about the law, don’t think of themselves operating a vehicle or (most likely) don’t even think about of this stuff.
With the increased popularity of cycling for transportation in France, somebody has published their Outlaw cycling manifesto in which they affirm the right to run red lights and ride the wrong way “for my own safety.” Alex @ Streetsblog at least acknowledges that he does all this for convenience sake in his proposal to loosen up traffic regulations for New York cyclists. He notes that traffic engineering and rules and laws became a requirement after automobiles made streets substantially more dangerous for other road users. Several commentators in the discussion following note, of course, that outlaw cyclists often make conditions dangerous for the other large group of road users — pedestrians.
Speaking of laws, CycleDog posted some good commentary on American Lawbreaking is it relates to traffic law enforcement and bicyclists. He notes that the concerns of cyclists on the road can vary widely from that of motorists. It’s good stuff: go read it.
Photo: Wrong way cyclist in the bike lane on Folsom, Boulder, Colorado. Photo by me.