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One thing that irks me are other cyclists that don't follow the rules. These are the cyclists that give all others who do, a bad name.

Guy at the end... I ended up catching with him. Was it worth it running red lights and a stop sign?

Are you a red light/stop sign runner?

And if so, why?

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And what will this expose` reveal -- that there are bad actors out there? Gambling in Casablanca? I am shocked!

I am curious what defines 'pro-looking' and 'triathlete.'

That's H-O-T! And he's definitely "over-dressed."

I got to thinking about this post, and believe I need to make a correction to my original comment.  There are a few times when I believe it's really in the bikers interest to run a red light...

1. At a tee intersection, when the entering street is not on your travel side.  This allows you to get a few blocks ahead of the traffic piled up behind you.

2. At Milwaukee and Hubbard, travelling southbound to make a left on Kinzie.  If you wait for the red to turn green, you have to try and cross the rush hour traffic to get into the left turn bike lane without getting creamed by a bunch of angry motorists.  If you run the red, when Hubbard is clear, you can easily cross the lane into the left side bike lane and not have to deal with the motorists.  It's a terrible design to begin with, but it makes a world of sense to run the red in that case.  I'm sure there are many other intersections where it's safer to run the red as well.

So what?

Zero close calls there.

With all that is wrong in this world, and you choose to obsess about THIS??? Ernesto, speaking of stopping, give it a break.

I said this earlier in the thread and it seems like it's worth repeating. Trying to correct or shame someone to stop at a red is ineffective. People get very defensive when you try to correct them or they straight up ignore you. I have never had someone respond with "golly, you're right sir. I'll stop at reds" when calling out another cyclist, so I stopped doing that years ago. The best I can do is just keep myself and hope others will figure it out.

As a sidebar, it may not be well known that both cyclists and motorcyclists in Illinois CAN proceed when a light is still red, after a stop, all clear and apparent that your two-wheeled vehicle will not be able to trigger the light sensor (625 ILCS 5/11-306).

And to Ernesto's point, yes, our behavior as cyclists does have ripple effects on us all. I agree trying to correct people in real time in largely ineffective (although it is often warranted). This forum is actually a perfect place to have a more reasoned conversation, because as with many things, getting people to understand the golden rule is a battle for hearts and minds, not one of citations and insults.

I should mention the only time I was able to correct someone was when I said nothing. I kept playing leapfrog with a cyclist running reds, until he eventually stopped with me at a red and said "you have inspired me to follow the traffic laws." The best method is to be a good influence, and those who care will watch and learn. The opposite example, which is one of many, was when I told a cyclist, kindly, that it's best for us all to follow the rules of the road, and he just interrupted me and told me to f*** off. The latter example is a hopeless case who won't change no matter what you say and is the reason why I just mind my own business.

I'm not saying I disagree with the spirit of your personal approach, I do the same. Insults and abrasiveness just turn people off, and many of them either don't know the actual rules of the road or thanks to the prevalence of terrible drivers have just forged their own path. But while I agree with your intent, that's not a systemic or even effective method of correcting the problem.

The best method is for adults and schools and society to teach people how to ride in traffic from the time they're too old to ride on the sidewalk. Stop at reds. Proceed cautiously through stop signs when you're on residential side streets, respect right of way when other users are present.

This was a tried-and-true method of learning how to safely ride a bike in Chicago. IMO this tradition was disrupted, at least in gentrified neighborhoods, by the reversal of white flight and Chicago's increasing transient population, many of whom operate under assumptions and experiences more along the line of the "municipalities with less than 2,000,000" clause in the IDOT rules. I'm Chicago born and raised but a UIUC grad. You can ride with way more latitude in a city of < 100,000 residents, so when you go from Chicago to a less hectic environment, you can alter your behavior accordingly - but this needs to work the other way around as well. What one can get away with in a Midwestern small/medium sized city & Big Ten college town does not fly in an ultra-dense environment.

So that brings me back full circle to the stop at reds issue. Just do it. When it's a safety issue at 2 am and you feel naked and exposed on a big street, use your best judgment. But as we teach in my dojo - imagine being caught on video and having to explain your actions to a judge and/or jury. It's sound advice on many levels.

This conversation is interesting for me. And very Chicago in its culture. I lived nearly my whole life in Chicago with one year in Wisconsin. Most of my urban riding was learned on Chicago streets, in Chicago bike lanes. Now that I'm in DC, I have struggled to adapt to the different culture. Some things are kinda nice - it's very rare for another cyclist/pedestrian/motorist to make any comment/gesture/communication to you at all. They either keep it to themselves or don't bother. I find that nice because I took it as an opportunity to try to shake myself of the Chicago habit. I think it makes for a more pleasant day. 

I use my best judgement. I'm not big on going against a red at nearly every intersection (I do make exceptions at 3-ways). Sometimes my anger at a motorist cutting me off in the bike lane gets the best of me. I'm working on that.

If someone shoals me or passes me on the right, I stopped saying anything.

This all said, I have noticed there are streets in DC that are way more dangerous than most of what I experienced in Chicago. Why? DC motorists will U-turn with no signal, no warning. Dooring in areas I can't ride outside of the door zone have me in a little fear on my regular downhill. I can't go as fast as I'd like because motorists are unpredictable and regularly dangerous.

I've been struggling with it. I guess my big take-away from this culture change is that I'm going to embrace the good - the community has been really fantastic, welcoming, helpful, and felt like home immediately. It's been a real life-saver. Part of the reason it's so great? People don't tend to get judgy or critical, just chill and happy. I kinda needed that.  The bad? I'm working on adapting and learning from the different motorist behaviors. Don't know that I had a huge point aside from maybe we should all be a little kinder to each other. 

I've been nearly creamed about 4 times since I got my Brompton. All on the same street (18th). It's been helpful to reach out to the community here and get some much needed empathy, advice, and comfort. I do agree, if someone is super critical of me, I tend to turn off to the message. I try to remember that when tempted to say something. :-) 

btw, I really miss Chicago and the cycling community. Sometimes it is helpful to swear at a motorist and not feel like a jerk. :-) Plus, I miss the rides to beers, social, etc. Chicago is a city like no other and I love it with my whole heart. 

Hear, hear.

I've personally found that a great approach to keep my blood pressure & outlook at healthy levels is when I see that single driver/cyclist/Segway user, etc. doing something batshit bonkers, I force myself to acknowledge everyone who is actually doing things just fine. Which is generally 99% of the surrounding public. It's kind of my way of reminding myself that sometimes, the grass is plenty green right on your own side of the fence.

Regarding DC, my brother lives there so I've had plenty of opportunities to visit and explore. I don't know how cyclists cope with both the summer heat & humidity and those hills!



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