Advocacy for Bicyclists - Not Bicycles
There is a world of difference!

John Forester Collection

Visit the John Forester Website at

"Cyclists ought to act and be treated as drivers of vehicles."

Combining a passion for bicycling and a career in transportation, professional engineer John Forester founded the discipline of cycling transportation engineering, which regards bicycling as a form of vehicular transportation equal to any other. Forester believes that cyclists ought to act and be treated as drivers of vehicles and argues the case for cyclists' rights with zeal and with facts obtained from a lifetime of experience and research.

For over two decades Forester's Effective Cycling program has set the standard for safe and responsible vehicular use of the bicycle and brought about many changes in the national standards for highways, bikeways, bicycles, and traffic laws.

More about John Forester

Mr. Forester has agreed that as his schedule permits he will make material available for publication at CHAINGUARD. This section also links a number of Mr. Forester's publications already available on the Internet. Several of those linked below are from Scott Rose's great site: Bicycling Community Page.



Effective Cycling, 6th Edition, MIT Press 1993.
ISBN 0-262-56070-4

Effective Cycling teaches the craft of cycling - the basic ability to use a bicycle with confidence and competence for pleasure, for utility, or for sport under all highway conditions and conditions of climate, terrain, and traffic.

For over twenty years and six editions, the indispensable source for information and inspiration. Covers maintenance, riding in traffic, commuting, touring, bicycle advocacy, even cycling and the media. The text is the foundation for the Effective Cycling national bicycle education program. No cyclist's library is complete without a copy.


Bicycle Transportation

A Handbook for Cycling Transportation Engineers; Second Edition

2nd Edition, Paperback, 346 pages Publication date: September 1,1994 Dimensions (in inches): 10.93 x 8.55 x .85 ISBN: 0262560798

This new edition of John Forester's handbook for transportation policy makers and bicycling advocates has been completely rewritten and includes new chapters on European bikeway engineering, city planning, integration with mass transit and long-distance carriers, traffic calming, and the art of encouraging private-sector support for bicycle commuting. Appendices offer Forester's cycling proficiency test, racing laws in the Uniform Vehicle Code, and the Safety Report of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Publications, Reviews and Letters:

Fundamental Conflict of the Governmental Cycling Program
"The public superstition says that the prime danger to cyclists is same-direction motor traffic and that therefore the way to make cycling safe is to provide bikeways, be they paths or lanes. The following are the facts: the only known way that cycling can be reasonably safe is for cyclists to operate properly, as drivers of vehicles, on well-designed roads."

Myth vs. Fact in the Bikeway Debate
"Many people want a society in which there is much more cycling transportation. However, many of those with this aim lie about reality in order to promote their ends. That is what I object to, both because it is a lie and because that lie has bad consequences for cyclists."

Review: Seven studies on the opinions of cyclists about different street conditions (72K)
"Initial intents to develop a system of rating the hazards of particular journeys by bicycle, which presumably would have an ascertainable relationship to the accident pattern, all turned into gross surveys of the superstitious opinions of uninformed people..."

Review: FHWA Bicycling and Walking Studies (52K)
"The cardinal principle that cyclists ought to act and be treated as drivers of vehicles has been utterly ignored."

Review: Bicycle-Safety-Related Research Synthesis (75K)
"The document probably persuades the intended readers, who are politicians, highway administrators, and bike planners. However, it is so biased and so demonstrative of ignorance that it persuades a well-informed reader to be very suspicious of any program or policy that is advocated by such bias and ignorance, and of the organizations that produce such documents."

Review: The Effects of Bicycle Accommodations on Bicycle/Motor Vehicle Safety and Traffic Operations (61K)
"These documents and the bikeways program they attempt to justify allow the public's superstition about cycling safety to control the government's cycling policy and program, which suits the purposes of the motoring establishment."


Bike Paths

"The idea that a significant amount of transportation will be done by politically correct people who have been enticed by false promises of safety to ride on slow and dangerous bike paths deserves all the jeering it receives. Basing the national cycling program on such a pathetic hypothesis is a scientific disgrace."

"I have been warning cyclists for years of the people who are considered by the public and by government to belong to the cyclist camp but who advocate getting cyclists off the roads."


The Five Rules of Traffic Cycling

Motorist or Cyclist: Vehicle Drivers

"Cyclists who disobey the rules for drivers of vehicles make motorists less likely to consider them legitimate drivers of vehicles."

Motoring Public "Convenience"
"Fine, if they want to increase their convenience, then we suggest wider curb lanes."

Anti-Motorist Advocacy

"Actions based on improving conditions for cyclists and improving the knowledge of cycling by cyclists would produce better results."

"Cyclists must get over the feelings of inferiority and weakness that make them believe that they need the support of the anti-motoring crowd. Cyclists need to recognize that anti-motoring activism all too frequently produces anti-cyclist results. With friends like these, who needs enemies? Cyclists must concentrate on preserving their rights as drivers of vehicles against the assaults of both the motoring establishment and the anti-motoring organizations who masquerade as bicycling activists. Yes, this is a difficult course between two evils, but if cyclists develop a consistent policy of preserving their rights as drivers of vehicles that policy can be achieved. And remember, nobody else will do it for us, nobody else wants to do it. We must do it ourselves. And we can."

More Than Just Getting There

"I have always written that the basis of transportational cycling in the U.S. is recreational cycling, that few Americans will cycle for transportation unless they enjoy cycling."

The Joy of Touring
Cycling Does It All
A brief history of the derailleur

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