Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vagabond..Volatile..Vigilant..Veloquent

Canadian cycling instructor Bruce Mol developed an interesting matrix of bicycling behavior types. I thought it was a more useful approach than the “Types A, B & C” cyclists that the feds promote. You can think of these cyclists fitting along the X and Y axis of Vehicular Cycling Experience and Social Responsibility. Like so:

Here are descriptions of the types:

Volatile
Integrates with other traffic, but “doesn’t play well with others”
High level physical skills
BUT with poor understanding of vehicular cycling principles and practices
Attitude: “I know what I’m doing; I don’t care about your stupid laws.”
Crash Risk: Moderate-to-High
Facility Effects
Bike Lanes: may “calm” this user in some circumstances, but will not teach him to share the road
Paths: often treats other users as hindrances
Education and Enforcement Needs
Training on principles and practices of cooperative vehicular cycling
Enforcement of stop signs, signals

Vagabond
Poor physical skills (as well as poorly-maintained bike)
Poor understanding of vehicular cycling principles and practices
Low consideration of their own responsibilities
Low expectations for motorist behavior; usually on sidewalks; often “invisible”
Attitude: “I can’t wait ‘til I can get a car.”
Crash Risk: High
Facility Effects
Bike Lanes: often won’t use them, (stay on sidewalk); will still ride wrong way when they do use them
Paths: use them, but likely to ignore rules, especially at intersections
Education and Enforcement Needs
Training on nearly everything
Enforcement of stop signs, signals, wrong-way riding, lights at night

Vigilant
Modest physical skills
Modest understanding of vehicular cycling principles and practices
High consideration of their own responsibilities
Poor expectations for motorist behavior; keeps to local streets and paths, sidewalks on busier streets
Attitude: “I wish I could bike more but it’s so dangerous.”
Crash Risk: Low-to-Moderate
Facility Effects
Bike Lanes: likely to use them, especially after training; will recognize that they don’t address most safety problems
Paths: enthusiastic, responsible users; but want to use roads to get to them
Education and Enforcement Needs
Training on nearly everything
Tend to obey the law

“Veloquent”
High physical skills
High understanding of vehicular cycling principles and practices
High consideration of their own responsibilities
Modest expectations for motorist behavior; travels everywhere, rarely on sidewalks
Attitude: “I wish I could bike more than 5,000 miles a year but I don’t have time.”
Crash Risk: Low
Facility Effects
Bike Lanes: likely to use them, but not upset if they’re not available; understand that they don’t address most safety problems
Paths: will use them if they are convenient and uncrowded
Education and Enforcement Needs
Virtually none -- well-trained and tend to obey the law

So, where do you fit in this scheme?

2 comments:

fred said...

This is a fabulous chart! I'm sure all of us know someone in each category, but can one objectively qualify oneself?

I've seen volatile discussions on various groups regarding changing laws regarding bicycles, making some of them more restricting and relaxing others, but my opinion is that education works far more effectively than legislation.

This chart does a great job of making that even clearer, in my opinion.

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