I don't care much for traffic laws. At least as they currently stand when it comes to bicycles, and, particularly when it comes to stop signs and red lights. Still, I recognize the importance of communicating clearly with drivers, especially when blowing a stop sign, and especially when the car has reached it a few seconds before me. Imagine then, my chagrin while riding shotgun in a sports car two days ago, when a spandex clad Lance Armstrong-looking dude rolls through a 4-way intersection up on the Westside without so much as a nod or wave.
The driver sitting next to me knows I'm an ardent bicyclist and does her best to cover up her annoyance and put a positive spin on what just transpired.
"See how I let that rider go through even though it was my turn?"
I try not to say anything as for some reason I've just become the spokesperson for every bicyclist who's ever broken a traffic law. I mean, I could honestly give a shit less that we came to a full stop a few seconds before Armstrong arrived at the intersection. And yeah, technically he was in the "wrong" but considering we were at the top of a hill, for a bicyclist, losing momentum at this point would really hurt, plus, Armstrong was no doubt clipped into his pedals - coming to a full stop was simply not an option.
Still, I can't get away from the fact that he didn't nod and signal his intentions to us. I mention this to the driver in an attempt to assuage any perceived insult.
"I always wave," I say, which is true - that, plus some direct eye contact and 95% of the time, I never have a problem running a stop sign. You'd be amazed how much people will oblige you if you wave.
My friend sneers and guns the engine. It's not what she wanted to hear. I add, "It was very nice of you to let him pass." The mild amount of tension dissipates. She drives on.