Why I Ride Bikes The Way I Do
There are two main schools of riding bikes in or around traffic:
1. Ride as traffic
Where you take up a whole lane, you signal your turns, follow all the road rules etc. This would be ideal, and it is in fact the only lawful way to ride, except for one problem: A huge percentage of people driving cars don’t understand that bicycle’s are both allowed to and are in fact required to drive in a full lane as traffic. So these people honk at you, make dangerous maneuvers to try to get around you (often pushing you off the road for fear of getting hit) or just riding your ass and generally being aggressive, unsafe drivers.
2. Stay as far away from cars as you possible can
This is where you ride on sidewalks, across parks, down bikelanes, on shoulders, and generally try to take small roads that are sparsely trafficked. The reason for this is that it is THE SAFEST way to ride, although it is technically illegal. The people who don’t think you deserve the right to be in the road can’t fuck with you if you are on the sidewalk. Because of this, if obeying a traffic rule like coming to a full stop at a stop sign would end up putting you closer to a car or truck (it’s speeding up behind you, there’s one at a red light a block away to your left) and it is safe for you and others to not obey that rule, then it is desirable and in fact SAFER to not obey the rule.
I used to belong to group 1, but after three different cars in one day came an inch away from vehicularly manslaughtering my ass, I transferred to group 2, and decided proving the point of bikes getting the same rights as cars is not worth risking my life over.