The deeper I get into bicycle advocacy, the more I see that our opinions are so divergent about the correct operation of a bicycle on a roadway, building a consensus and taking action is nearly impossible. To make things worse, the people who have probably put the most thought into the matter tend to be the most impassioned and most easily dismissed by their fellow advocates, government officials and even other bicycle riders. How does one build a coalition to advocate for improving people on bikes safety and defending the use roadways, educate people who drive cars that people on bikes are allowed to be there, and in the end, increase the number of people who use bicycles in their daily lives?
- Vehicular - The bicycle is just another vehicle on the road, and the operators of vehicles are prescribed to operate their vehicle in a particular manner in accordance with the laws. The extreme example of this group is opposed to bike lanes and segregated bike paths, believing them to decrease bicycle user safety and insisting that in the stream of traffic is the safest place.
- Libertine - The road exists for people to use, and motorized vehicles are regulated in their manner of usage to keep other users of the roadway safe, but generally, laws for motor vehicle operation don't apply to bicycle operation on a roadway.
- Safety - Essentially generally following the rules of the road is desirable, but getting to your destination alive is the most important thing when mixing with traffic. Many obligations placed on road users are unsafe for bicycle riders (such as signaling, or using bike lanes). This might actually be the same as Libertine, but is based on the 10 rules for Urban Commuting posted by Josh King to Commute By Bike. Alternately, it's a moderate and pragmatic variant of Vehicular.
- Expediency - This is more of an observed class of riders who don't appear to follow any rules. They frequently behave more as pedestrians than road users, riding where convenient at any moment and trusting other users of the roadway to look out for them.