Being predictable on a bike could save your life and being unpredictable could cost you your life.
Recently I saw one of the most bizarre cycling behaviors, one that could have easily caused an accident. Fortunately it didn’t, but the cyclist should know why his action was so dangerous. Unfortunately he’ll probably never read this.
I was driving south on Saratoga Avenue in the right-turn only lane to enter the Interstate 280 on-ramp around 6 p.m. A cyclist was ahead with lights on and wearing a helmet. He looked like he knew what he was doing. I stayed behind him because the intersection was only 50 yards ahead. What really ticks me off is when a right-turning motorist pulls in front then stops so you can pass. I make a point of going left when I can. Treat bikes as you would a car and everything will be fine.
The light was green. The rider then slowed and pulled off the road. He punched the pedestrian light to make the orange hand turn white for go! At this point I slowed, not knowing his intentions. It’s a good thing I wasn’t rear-ended.
All he had to do was keep straight and everything would have been fine. Even if the light were red, he shouldn’t have pulled off the road to punch the light. In some situations where the button is within arm’s reach, that’s OK, but not when you have to pull off the road.
If you’re going to push a pedestrian light like that, you’d best be off your bike walking.
Ride like a motorist and you’ll be treated like one (usually).