A collection of terms commonly used when discussing the bicycle transportation issues. As time permits, a discussion of each definition will be expanded through content elsewhere on the site in order to facilitate further discussion. If the reader feels additional terms merit inclusion on this list, please feel free to contact the administrator.

Glossary of Terms

Bike Lane
an on-street facility deigned for use by bicycles, which is separated from the regular travel lanes by a painted stripe.
Bike Path
a grade separated cycling facility located away from the normal roadway on which bicycles can operate free of motor vehicles. Usually interchangeable with an MUP.
Bike Route
a signed or stenciled route on a local street which has been identified as being friendly for novice or timid cyclists; also used for directional purposes.
Cyclist Inferiority Complex: an unofficial psychological disorder afflicting some cyclists. It is manifest in the belief that operation of a bicycle in a vehicular manner, on the roadway, will lead to certain serious injury or death. It can also be influenced by or manifest through the attitudes of motorists and governmental staff toward cyclists.
Complete Streets
a transportation design wherein the intention is to create safe, accessible and comfortable accommodation of all users — cyclist, motorist, pedestrian and mass transit user alike.
Cycle Track
a segregated cycling facility located adjacent to the roadway. Similar to a sidewalk, it is usually separated through the use of bollards, curbs or other architectural features to protect against incursion by motorists.
Far to Right: a statutory rule specifically requiring a cyclist to stay as far to the right as practicable.
Infearior Cyclist(s)
A derisive, but entirely apropos description of an individual or group who, either through inexperience or self-loathing, prefers a roadway position cowering in the gutter. These persons usually subscribe to the belief that all motorists are out to murder them and almost universally support one of more forms of segregating facilities.
Mandatory Bike Lane: a statutory requirement that cyclists use a delineated, on-road bike lane if one is present.
Mandatory Side Path: a statutory requirement that cyclists use an adjacent, off-road MUP or sidewalk if one is present.
Multi-Use Path: a recreational facility designed for use by a wide range of pedestrian and non-motorized conveyances (e.g. bicycles, skaters, scooter, equestrians, etc.)
Slow Moving Vehicle: a vehicle which, by its very nature of operation, is incapable of achieving a speed comparable to other roadway users.
Safe Routes To School: a national movement to facilitate safety improvements in order to encourage more children to walk or bike to school. Secondary goals cited are the reduction of traffic congestion, reduction of pollution and improvement of health. More information available at the National Center for Safe Routes to School.


Single Witness Suicide Swerve: ascribing blame to a cyclist following a fatal crash involving a motor vehicle and whose only surviving witnesses is the instrumental motorist.
Vehicular Cycling: the philosophy and practice of operating a bicycle on the roadway in the manner of a legitimate, legally recognized vehicle. This term must not be confused with the more general concept of transportation cycling. More information is available through this introduction at Bicycling Life.

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