I just wanted to solicit some opinions. So far in my browsing through A&S, it seems a significant portion favor observing all traffic laws in almost all situations; behave like a car because you are on the road. From this camp, I hear the arguments about how disregard for the law leads motorists to disrespect ALL cyclists; we'll never get anywhere with advocacy if people don't respect us...
There is also the minority that calls for "personal safety" as numero uno; I'll break the laws when practical and to keep myself alive.
It seems logical to think many of the first group primarily ride in more rural or suburban areas, and many of the minority group ride in the city. Am I wrong?
I ride in both the suburbs and the city, and I find myself riding lawfully in the suburbs; practically in the city. Defensively in the suburbs; offensively in the city. Different situations call for different strategies. All I'm saying, is that we all need to stop pointing fingers at each other. Law-abiding cyclists angry at the urban cyclist for riding recklessly and endangering others. The urban cyclist scoffing at the impracticality of a commuter waiting at a red light when no one is coming.
We all take our own lives into our own hands every time we saddle up. So let people ride how they will. If you want to wait at a stop light, go for it. You're spending your own time. If you want to roll through it when no one is around, go for it. But don't blame anyone else if a cop sees you and writes you up. If you want to blast through a light brakeless at full speed, go for it. But don't blame anyone else if you get hit.