You see, there was this pedestrian.

First, let’s take a look at that intersection: it’s garbage. It’s a spread-out five-points with the going-straight bike lane to the right of the double right-turn lane from which you informed me I was in the wrong. There isn’t a full bike box on that intersection but rather a kind of "V" shaped thing and, as I’m sure you saw, cyclists spread all the way out over it. Because I know I want to go straight, too, I tend to merge soon after crossing the intersection left into the straight lanes, leaving you all to happily turn right from your lanes. In part this is (I admit) because I don’t want to get stopped at the light (because your right turn lane, of course, must take priority over the cyclists going straight), and in part because I feel safer there riding with traffic, since, you know, people in that particular right turn lane tend to be pretty stressed out at that point in the morning commute, and I’d rather avoid confrontation.

So like I said, usually it’s just a matter of getting a bit ahead of you all in the turn lane (no problem) and signaling my merge left into the straight lanes, no big deal. And it wouldn’t have been a problem, save that there was a sweet (one must assume sweet) undergraduate left in Boston probably for some really special internship who was still crossing the street, preventing me from moving forward and making my merge, because, you know, pedestrians always have the right of way in a cross walk. It’s the law, even! Even when they shouldn’t be there, you still really shouldn’t hit them with your vehicle!

And so yes, I admit I was in your lane nearly stopped to let this sweet (one must assume sweet) young person finish crossing the road, but after which I merged into the straight-going lane as usual, at which point you decided to honk and inform me that I ought to get in the bike lane. But the thing is, I’m allowed to be in the road, even if there is a bike lane. In fact, it’s safer for me and for the other bike lane users at the speed I tend to go down that road. It allows me to not get right-hooked by one of the trucks or buses who are constantly pulling over to the side of the road to let folks out or turn into the BU campus, to not get caught up in bike traffic, and generally to feel more comfortable knowing I have road to work with should someone swerve in my way.

But of course, I know it’s inconvenient for you. And while you did still have to wait at the red light for a few seconds before turning onto Carlton St even with the delay I caused, I’m sure it would have been nicer had you gotten there sooner. I’m sure it’s annoying to feel that if you’re going to give up precious road space for a bike lane, it should be used. And frankly I’m a little sleepy and could very well imagine a world in which I was cranky on this Wednesday morning, too!

Nevertheless, I don’t feel that I did anything wrong, or unsafe, or indecorous, and I hope that you won’t take your frustration about my actions out on other cyclists. And who knows, maybe I am wrong, but I’ve been riding bikes in this city a long time and do think I know how to keep myself and pedestrians safe. I even stop at stoplights! Still, I hope you have a better rest of the day. I also hope that in the future you can come up with something better than a "fucking idiot," because really I think that’s a bit tired, really, and I’d love to be called something new.

Yours sincerely, A "Fucking Idiot"

Please note: I didn’t engage with this person after they yelled and they drove off and didn’t bother me anymore and I biked off and tried not to bother anyone else and everything was fine. Except those fucking cyclists who kept pulling ahead of me at stoplights but whom I would then have to pass again on the road…​