Question about riding in the city - Chicago.
So, i hope this is the right place to ask this. I have recently fixed up my bike and have been using it as my main mode for transportation for almost everything. For those familiar with Chicago terrain, i live in the south loop and most of the time i can get things done with a 5-10 minute (depending on my hustle) bike ride to the downtown loop area of Chicago.
With that said, as you can probably tell, I mostly ride in city traffic. At first it was pretty scary, almost terrifying, then i started to figure things out a bit. Now, its just addictive-ly fun, even though i am still learning a bit. I bike to school three time a week, but i am always looking for other stuff to do in order to have an excuse to take the bike out. I did a 13 mile ride today for an errand I normally run with a car...
What i am looking for is some basic advice from those that ride a lot in the city. Basically, I would like some pointers on what not to do. I would really hate to be that guy that pisses people off, but has no clue that he is doing it. I like to be knowledgable about the things that I do, and I also have an appreciation for etiquette. Of course some "DO's" can go along with this as well.
Anyway, I would love to hear some advice from seasoned city riders/commuters.
Here is what i have been doing so far:
-always ride in street
-use bike lanes when available
-get out of bike lane when obstructed with enough time to make sure everything goes smoothly.
-Obey traffic lights (mostly)
-I do not ride all the way to the right hand side near the curb, as I find it to be dangerous. Between road debris, potholes, and not having anywhere to go in a jam due to the curb, I only did that once, never again.
-Yield to pedestrians at all costs: bikes are to cars, as people are to bikes...
-This one i am not 100% sure on: I tend to stick to the white lines of the road, unless the lane is free, then i just take over the lane. (without a bike lane present of course)
-is it OK to ride in a yellow median?
-Can you ride on the sidewalk on Michigan avenue (by the museum and grant park) since its so wide and the streets are so narrow?
-How often is it acceptable for a bike rider to have a car lane to himself.
OK, i know there is a lot here, but i have a lot on my mind. Thanks in advanced for any advice...