I'm a newbie oldie road biker.
I find when I am in a left turn lane by myself (no other cars) the bike and I are not heavy or big enough to trip the left turn position or optical sensor and I never get the left turn arrow.
When there is little or no traffic, I usually run the red left turn arrow (for which I could get a ticket). I did this once when there was a cop car near by but he did'nt come after me. There is usually no danger of an accident, but it must unnerve the oncoming through traffic which have the green light.
If there is more traffic, I wait it out until a car pulls up behind me to trip the left turn sensor. I then stand up and peddle like mad to get to the right side bike lane. The cars behind me making left turns usually pass me but give me lots of space. Some times they wait for me to make it to the bike lane.
How do the more experienced road bikers and commuters handle this situation?
Problem number 2 is getting to the left turn lane, especially when there are 3 lanes: 2 lanes going straight through and the the third left turn lane. I will be pedalling down the bike lane on the right and will have to cross two lanes when I get close to the turn. I have a bike mirror on my helmet but it has blind spots. I look for a clear shot from the bike lane to the left turn lane as safely as I can with emphatic hand signals.
Will it be just a matter of time before I get hit?
If the traffic is heavy, I pull over to a stop on the bike lane well before the traffic light and wait for a break in the traffic to cross over to the left turn lane.
I can always wimp out and bike to the traffic light and then cross over to the left in the walking lane, which is what most of the kids do with their Huffy bikes and the less experienced bikers do, but I prefer to exercise my rights to the road.
I would appreciate any comments.