As Long As We're Being Honest...
My coblogger has erupted back onto the blogging scene, pulling me out of nonblogging slumber, with an insightful examination of drivers' annoyance toward bikers.
Good. Because I'll tell you, when I'm on my bike, following the laws on the road, I hope I annoy as many drivers as possible.
Part of it is retaliation. When a convertible speeds dangerously close past me, just to stop at the red light, I truly hope the sight of me slowly biking my way past him to the light gets his blood pressure skyrocketing. When a bus driver plays leapfrog with me, swerving around on my left just to stop short in front of me at a stop, I hope she gets angry with me when I get in front of her in the middle of the right lane (as I have the right to do if necessary to my safety).
(I don't go out of my way to be a d**k to drivers. I don't want them to get so mad as to try and kill me. Just following the laws is enough to peeve them, but I do try and get out of the way of madmen.)
Part of it is awareness. If drivers are annoyed at me on my bike now, there's the chance that they'll be more aware of bikers in the future. They might not like it, but too bad. As Hatandcoat pointed out, the law says we share the road. And if that means that cars have to go 15 mph in a 35 mph zone, good. I'm glad to slow the a-holes down.
Drivers' first reaction to me might be annoyance across the board, but, even though I relish their annoyance, I hope my sensible biking scores some points for me and fellow bikers. I'm with drivers on the scofflaw-biker disdain. When a biker zips past me through a red light, I think, "What are you doing?" I hope that drivers see me on the road, get annoyed, but then realize that I'm just trying to follow the rules.
Also, Hatandcoat, you really shouldn't be driving in the city. Don't you know DC is driver-unfriendly? Of course, I'm not opposed to you driving when you're taking me home at midnight in a torrential downpour. But when it doesn't benefit ME, please refrain from getting behind the wheel. Your blood pressure will thank me.