Today, while on my usual ride, I passed another cyclist who was laboring slowly up a hill. He caught up to me when I stopped for the next red light, and demanded, "Are you playing games, or just an *******?"
I was bewildered, and asked him "What?! What are you talking about?"
He snapped, "F*** you!" and rode off.
Granted, he may have been paranoid; but what bothered me the most was having no idea what might have set him off.
Finally I realized that he may have: (1) not known that cyclists are required to obey traffic laws (including stopping at red lights), (2) assumed that I only stopped because I felt like it, and then (3) assumed that anyone who passes him and then stops ahead of him must be messing with him.
I started thinking about how to teach all cyclists what the rules of the road really are. A public information campaign probably wouldn't reach everyone, and driver's ed sure won't teach you how to ride a bike. Then I remembered hearing that motorcycle riders need a "motorcycle endorsement" on their driver's license in order to show that they've taken the motorcycle version of driver's ed. Maybe a "bicycle endorsement," and mandatory education for cyclists, would help all of us share the road safely.
Has there been any discussion of this in the past?
What do you think the pros and cons would be?