Cyclists are ever vigilant for anomalous behavior on the part of motorists, as it makes us profoundly nervous. Ironically, one of the most common reasons motorists behave unexpectedly is out of courtesy toward us, such as at a four-way stop when a driver skips their turn and motions for the cyclist to proceed instead—it’s a kind gesture but a bad idea. When a driver strays from the rules of the road it confuses not only cyclists, but—more perilously—other drivers, as an element of uncertainty is abruptly injected into what is normally a well-ordered system.
Whether you bike for transportation or just for exercise I think the full article is a must read.
I’ve come back to it a couple times now, and more and more the above portion of Baldwin’s piece stands out in my mind.
More and more I will approach a four-lane street, where as a biker I face a stop sign, and motorists will come to a complete stop and allow me to cross.
I appreciate the gesture, but as a biker should I ever get too used to that, I’m setting myself up for a dangerous encounter.
Left unsaid, there’s a necessary flip-side that is also true in that bikers should act in a consistent manner and not surprise motorists with spur-of-the-moment decisions, or by running traffic signals or stop signs.