This tale (from last night's ride home) is four blocks long. The intersection at the end of each block is controlled by a traffic signal. The first two blocks are westbound, the second ending at a "T" intersection. The next two blocks are left (southbound).
The intersection at the end of the first block is with a major arterial, and I rarely get the green here. But yesterday I noticed there were already 4 cars waiting, and one cyclist, and figured I might get lucky with the timing. As soon as I stood up to accelerate, of course the light turned green. I still made it and was just able to catch some draft from the last car as it accelerated away from me after I crossed the intersection into the 2nd block.
Because the first block is slightly downhill, I was going around 25 mph when I passed the cyclist -- a guy in his 30s or 40s on a commuter "hybrid" bike -- about half way to the next light. As I approached that light, the 4 cars were now waiting to turn left. This is the T intersection, so there is a left turn lane and a right turn lane, separated by a triangular shaped gore. Most cyclists seem to use the debris-filled gore as "stay out of the way space", but I took my normal position behind the last (4th) car. A bit later the cyclist I passed now passed me, on the right, on his way to stop in the gore at the stop line. As he passed, he said something, softly... You're not a car. I wasn't 100% sure, and couldn't quite believe it, but that's what it sounded like. The light turned green, and, as I expected, the driver of the first car hesitated, obviously made nervous by the cyclist next to him. Once the cyclist got going, then did the drivers, and, finally me.
The 3rd block is slightly uphill, and I didn't catch the commuter-cyclist until the red light at the end of that block. Normally I stay out of the bike lane to give right turners space here, but he was already stopped up ahead (in the crosswalk) blocking traffic, so I figured I would bend my rules, carefully, and filter forward in the bike lane up to him. When I stopped I clicked my brake lever so he would know I was there, a bit behind him and off to the side, but he didn't turn around. So in the nicest and most disarming tone I could muster, I said, "Excuse me, did you tell me I'm not a car?" At this point he finally turned his head to acknowledge me, and there was a scowl on his face, but it instantly disappeared, perhaps because he saw the smile on my face.. "Yeah, you're not a car. You're fast. But you're not a car". At this point the light turned green, and we both started off, as I passed him I said, "Yeah, I know I'm not a car... I'm a driver... Same rights...."
Now the 4th block is interesting because it's four lanes and the outside lane has a bike lane, but it's also wide enough for cars to share side-by-side... if the right-turners encroach into the bike lane, which they normally do, especially at rush hour. Turns out this is where I turn right, and this other guy needed to go straight. Anyway, there were many cars backed up waiting to turn right. I filtered forward, passing on the left side of the outside lane, then found a good spot to wait behind the 3rd car turning right. As usual, I turned around to nod and "say hi" to the driver I was stopping in front of. She nodded to me. Now, there were only a couple of cars going straight, so this other guy passes me and stops behind the second car. Note that he's out in the street in a line of cars, to the left of another line of cars. As the light turned green and we all started going, I yelled "you are a driver!"