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I owe a big debt of gratitude to John Forester and Bob Soetebier when it comes to providing me initially with the knowledge and confidence to ride a bicycle on-road as a vehicle operator.

I met Bob Soetebier after moving to St. Louis in 1980 to start a new job, and he introduced me to John Forester‘s book, Effective Cycling. That book helped me understand what made on-road cycling a safe and enjoyable activity and while experience since has continued that process of adding knowledge and confidence to my cycling for transportation, it might never have happened otherwise.

Subsequently, I used a versatile and user-friendly drawing program called SuperPaint, which regrettably is no longer supported on current Apple Macintosh computers, to turn Forester’s “Five Basic Cycling Principles” into a one-page handout with illustrative graphics. This is the current version of the page, although I should explain that it hasn’t been updated to reflect my current thinking on the subject of bicyclist road positioning on multi-lane roads, which I’ve added below it:

For example, in “2. Intersection Positioning” above, my current preferred position would be B2, controlling the lane at the stop bar, and in fact on a four-lane road of standard 12 ft. lane width, that would be my preferred position for most of the time to prevent unwanted squeeze-by passes by motorists.

Likewise, in “4. Yield when Changing Lanes or Moving Sideways,” my preferred position in a 12 ft. curb lane as shown would be controlling it, and only sharing it if the lane were extra wide to allow safe & comfortable passing by motorists.

Finally, I should add that my most recent thinking on how bicyclists should interact with motorists has been confirmed by attending a Cycling Savvy course, which I’m glad to note are now being offered by Karen Karabell, who runs CyclingSavvy St. Louis.

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