- Series: MIT Press
- Paperback: 625 pages
- Publisher: The MIT Press; sixth edition edition (December 29, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0262560704
- ISBN-13: 978-0262560702
- Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,267,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Effective Cycling: 6th Edition sixth edition Edition
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About the Author
John Forester is a bicycle transportation engineer and the author of Bicycle Transportation: A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers (MIT Press). An experienced cyclist, cycling advocate, and onetime racer, he lives in Lemon Grove, California
Top customer reviews
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For those of us who have become transit wonks, or bicycling advocates, or just want to expand our knowledge and stay safe on the road, this book it is. It's got a bit of everything in it, maintenance, lighting, clothing suggestions, riding technique and safety in traffic. I can't recommend this book enough. Even though I disagree with some stuff, it's all minor. I happen to like wool for riding out here in the Pacific NW, instead of the polyester stuff. I happen like using a reflective vest instead of an auto reflector for rear visibility, I happen to like Dinotte lights, fore and aft, but those are minor personal preferences. I don't always ride in the safest manor, ie, a long line of cars at a stop sign and you'll find me working my way up the right side, but slow enough to avoid a door prize.
If you are a traffic planner, and are thinking that all you need to do is drop some sharrows of bicycles along the door zone to make a road safe, this book will explain how you just made life worse. Same for cycletracks without removing free right turns at intersections. The thing is you may disagree with his conclusions, but he has the data to back up his statements and conclusions. As far as I can tell the rest of the auto driving world is more interesting in what "feels right" from the perspective of a auto driver vs what actually works from the perspective of a bicycle rider.
That said, the one thing that makes a road safe for both bicycles and pedestrians is slow driving cars. That's no more than 25mph on the flats, and more like 20mph on a street with parked cars all over it.
But as I began to incorporate these subtle changes in my own riding the results were amazing. My relationship with car drivers completely changed. Instead of interacting with them once in a while -- only when necessary -- I became an integrated participant with the rest of traffic.
It is impossible to explain in words how just subtle lane positioning changes, and a new attitude, can make such a radical difference in one's cycling experience in traffic. But consider what Forester conveys in this simple statement: "Between intersections, position yourself according to speed; at intersections, position yourself according to destination". You may think you do this already, but based on the fact that I almost never see any cyclists do this consistently, I can almost assure you that you don't. And I'm not talking about kids and "recreational cyclists". I'm talking about experienced commuters, and experienced club riders and racers. Only a very small percentages of cyclists actually behave like a (slow) vehicle driver consistently. Much of the time on the road is spent in space "left over" by motorists, riding too far to the right, not positioning at intersections according to destination (THINK about what that means), etc. etc.
"Cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles" - John Forester
This book is for you if any of the following is true:
* You want to learn to LOVE to ride your bike in traffic, not just tolerate it.
* You're tired of motorists passing you and then cutting you off when they turn in front of you, or motorists coming from the other direction cutting you off when they turn in front of you (believe it or not, if you read this book you will learn how to stop them from ever doing this to you again!).
* You are comfortable riding in bike lanes passing stopped or slow car traffic on their right.
* You think that you should assume that you're invisible to motorists, and ride accordingly.
* You don't think you should position yourself away from the edge of the road, often in the path of motorists coming from behind, in order to be more visible and predictable.
* You don't feel safe riding in traffic.
* Your greatest fear is that you will be hit from the rear.
* You don't know that almost all bike-car collisions are caused by, or could have been prevented, by the cyclist.
* You feel safer riding on shoulders and in bike lanes than "out" in the regular traffic lanes.
* You're rusty on what the laws are regarding cycling.
* You believe the best thing that can be done for cycling is building more bike lanes and bike paths.
* You've never taken any courses on cycling in traffic (like LAB's Road 1 course - see bikeleague.org).
* You don't believe cyclists have the same rights on the road as do motor vehicle drivers.
* You ride on the side of the road opposing traffic (like a pedestrian should walk).
* You ride on sidewalks.
* You value your life and want to ride your bike accordingly.
This is not the perfect book. Forester does tend to ramble, and some of the advice I don't agree with (like you don't really need a rear light at night, just a rear red reflector and a good front light). Also, some of the material, like on equipment and racing, is dated. But the chapters on riding in traffic are timeless and priceless, and so TRANSFORMATIONAL that they alone make this a 5-star book.