You’re a bicyclist in downtown Seattle, riding amidst automobile traffic, and the light you are coming up to changes. Do you:
- Slow down with the rest of the traffic and maintain your position
- Lane split past the slowing/stopping cars to come to the “bicycle box” right by the crosswalk, giving you a jump forward when the light changes
- Pedal like crazy and lane split, then zoom out into the intersection after the light changes to red and make a big sweeping left turn just as traffic going in your new direction starts to roll
You’re a bicyclist in downtown Seattle, riding amidst automobile traffic behind a pickup truck, and traffic is stopped at a light. When the light changes, the pickup truck starts to roll forward and make a right turn, but then stops partway through the turn due to a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Do you:
- Stop and wait for the truck to be able to continue his turn
- Edge around his back bumper, maybe even a little into the next lane, so you can squeak past
- Edge around his back bumper, maybe even a little into the next lane, so you can squeak past, and then bang your fist on his rear fender and yell at him for blocking traffic
If you said “a”, you are a tame bicyclist. (I’m sure you would call yourself “defensive” or something else that makes you sound better.) You’re not in a hurry to get somewhere, and you figure you’re better off (safer) by staying right where you are.
If you said “b”, you are an aggressive bicyclist. You are willing to push the envelope of what is technically allowed in order to get where you are going in a timely manner, and you know that you can get away with it. But you still totally respect that there are other vehicles on the road with you, and that they are way bigger than you.
If you said “c”, you may have been one of the two bicyclists I saw within the space of a minute at the intersection of Pine and 5th last Friday. You’re totally an asshole and an idiot. Someday, you’re going to get hit or counter-attacked by a pissed off driver and you’ll likely have deserved it.
Updated on January 18, 2011
This behavior is apparently called APD (Aggressive Pursuit of Destination), per this listing in Schott’ Vocab Blog.