Christ: another one. Why is it that any time someone points out that despite bicycling being a clean and cheap mode of transportation our cities make it much more dangerous and difficult than it ought to be, the first reaction is always, ALWAYS for people to exclaim: “But sometimes bicyclists run stop signs or ride on sidewalks!”
I’m really trying to keep this short, so I’ll just say: speaking for cyclists everywhere, out A-#1 top priority is not getting killed by automobiles. I’m sorry that this edges out “not startling those not on bikes” and “not inconveniencing those driving”, but it does. The stakes are just a wee bit higher, is the thing. We’re riding to get away from cars, to get seen by cars, and to avoid winding up under cars. If you don’t ride a bike you don’t understand, and you certainly have no right to make assumptions about the correctness of typical cyclist behavior based on your occasional prudish outrage at the antics of a few reckless downtown couriers.
Someday I hope we’ll all be able to live in peace and harmony. But as someone who’s employed all three modes of transportation, take it from me: right now irresponsible or dim-witted drivers put cyclists in danger much more frequently and to a greater degree than cyclists endanger walkers and drivers. Please try to apportion your outrage accordingly.