Author Topic: Campaigner John Forester Dies  (Read 1353 times)

Campaigner John Forester Dies
« on: April 23, 2020, 01:11:13 pm »

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 01:51:44 pm »
Quote
Forester was the son of English writer C. S. Forester, author of The African Queen and the Horatio Hornblower novels, and without whom there might never have been any Gremlins or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Cecil Scott Forester encouraged British air ace and later intelligence officer Roald Dahl to become an author). Forester Jr. was born in England in 1929 and became an American citizen in 1951.
I did not know any of these three things. It's striking and perhaps kind of useless how much we learn about people from their obituaries.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 02:56:12 pm »
Quote
Forester was a suburbanite, with no interest in getting more people on bikes. For him, cycling was a “minority activity and I didn’t expect it to be any more than that because I knew the difficulty. It was real fun, but on the other hand it had its costs, time and social opprobrium and such.”
I did not know this and have no idea whether it is common amongst the advocates of vehicular cycling but it does lead me to wonder if it might be related to why the approach has never resulted in mass participation.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2020, 02:59:33 pm »
I don't think so. I think it is highly unfair to put the blame on John for poor cycling take up. Equally to blame is our permissive approach to dangerous motor sentencing, letting anyone own a 130 mph death machine, not using traffic calming inside urban/suburban neighbourhoods, the fuel duty freeze etc. Not to mention poor support for the cycling sector and huge subsidies for motoring. I support cycleways but there is no doubt that they're only part of what we need. There's never going to be a cycleway up hardknot pass or box hill etc.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD



Ban cars.

Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 06:46:55 am »
I simply observe that vehicular cycling has never resulted in mass participation, and as an aside is it really a better solution than segregation for the kinds of dual carriageways that often take the most direct routes into towns and cities?

Has anybody ever suggested that the Hardknott Pass is likely to be an important thoroughfare for large numbers of utility cyclists, or that it needs a separate cycle path?

Is it not the case that the classic “Dutch cycleways” only actually exist beside busy roads carrying lots of fast traffic even in The Netherlands?

fd3

Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2020, 11:26:43 pm »
Shit.

As to the VC argument - it's a hard sell and not one that people are likely to take up despite it making sense because they "intuitively" reject it.  It's a bit like reducing rates of ten pregnancy and STDs by telling kids about sex and giving them condoms, it works but most people are against it.
[/I could be wrong]

Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2020, 07:07:18 pm »
I felt uncomfortable reading that, surely they could have found someone to be at least objective for an obituary.
So I googled and all you get about his death is this headline that a dinosaur has died.  Dug a little more and this interview last year paints a fuller more balanced picture, without shying away from the criticism.

 https://medium.com/@peterflax/a-sunday-conversation-with-john-forester-f997e053d0db

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2020, 08:10:27 pm »
Thanks for that.^^ I'm presuming this:
Quote
It had only three speeds because I could use a standard 1/8-inch chain I could buy anywhere. Sources for things like 2-millimeter chains were far apart — and I didn’t know what they were.
is some sort of transcription error or typo. Or a really, really different way of measuring things.  ???
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

Re: Campaigner John Forester Dies
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2020, 05:01:30 pm »
Thanks for that.^^ I'm presuming this:
Quote
It had only three speeds because I could use a standard 1/8-inch chain I could buy anywhere. Sources for things like 2-millimeter chains were far apart — and I didn’t know what they were.
is some sort of transcription error or typo. Or a really, really different way of measuring things.  ???

Or hyperbole on Forester's part. Derailleurs would have been pretty exotic in early '50s US, and anything narrower than the standard 1/8 inch chain might just as well have been 2 mm, for all the luck Forester would have had finding one when he needed it.

I lived in Oakland and Berkeley in the early '80s and spent a good bit of time on a bicycle there, so Forester's reminiscences about cycling in the Berkeley Hills brought back some good memories. Excellent interview, thanks for posting it.