I have a favorite intersection, don't you? I encounter my favorite intersection on the way home from work, the same route in reverse is not so pleasant. Some intersections are like that: ok one way and the suck in the other. So on the way home I am travelling on Charleston. There are four lanes of cars with a bike lane on the far right. The two lanes on the left side are for people going left. I go left so that is where I want to be.
What I love: getting in my lane and waiting for the light with cars in front and behind. The light turns and the cars start rolling forward. I am right with them. They accelerate. I accelerate! We're all hoping to make it to that green left arrow before it turns amber and red. I can pace cars travelling like this, I've hit that intersection at 26mph with cars fore and aft. I love it. I feel fast then, and as if I have a place in the pack. It is love. And the cars which try and cut me off can't do it because I am sandwiched between a Toyota 4Runner and a something or another Tundra. Haha on them!
Here's the annoying thing. The other bicyclists spot the red light and then ride in the bike lane to the very front. Then they waddle their bicycles over and put themselves in the left turn lane in front of everyone else. Then the light turns and they slowly waddle through the intersection fucking things up for the rest of us.
But here's what happened yesterday! I was waiting in line and a bicyclist approached. Instead of cutting everyone off and going to the front he fell in beside me as if it was the most normal thing ever. I goggled. I said "It's pretty cool you took a place in line. Most bicyclists push their way to the front."
The bicyclist looked over at me with an expression that said "I hope you are not a sociopath." He must have decided that I was ok because he smiled and said pleasantly (with a slight accent) "But that would be cheating."
We went on to discuss how if you lane split to the front, you find yourself on the far right which is the lane for people getting on the highway, how it is far better to be in the 2nd from the left lane and in line because then you are in the lane for people going straight which of course is what we want because the on the far right is the on-ramp for interstate 101, the 101 being notoriously unfriendly to bicyclists and the cars getting on the 101 being notoriously unfriendly to bicycles crossing in front.
I don't often meet a kindred spirit on the road!
We both cleared the intersection when the light turned green!