Cycling offers a lot of thrills, but probably none can match the exhilarating rush stopping at a traffic signal.
Will it change? Am I positioned correctly? Does my life have meaning?
Sometimes when you’re there all alone, you get that feeling of deja vu when the signal has gone through a complete cycle.
I interrupted this out of body experience yesterday turning left on Figueroa onto 2nd street.
If you’re unfamiliar with this stretch, the section between 1st & 2nd is one of the weirdest streets you’ll encounter on a bike in Los Angeles.
Heading south on Figueroa, you go from having an adequate bike lane to un-elegantly merge with traffic crossing 1st.
All the cars in front of you are forced to turn right as Figueroa becomes a one way street at second, but there is a left turn lane reserved just for buses and bikes.
It’s tricky getting across two lanes of traffic, but once you get to the intersection, triggering the left hand turn becomes quite a bit of adventure.
I’ve had such little success that I now turn left into the driveway in front of the intersection and then take the sidewalk until I cross 2nd.
Yesterday was different because seeing how my camera was already recording, getting the cops and the cyclist might make for some good imagery.
By the time I pulled up behind, the cyclist unabashedly took the crosswalk to set himself up with the CiclaValley shortcut.
I wouldn’t have done this in front of the police, but the next few moments would reveal what was happening.
The cops tried repositioning themselves on the circles even bouncing up and down to get them going, but as the cycle completed itself again, they were still stuck with a red arrow.
Not wanting to keep playing this intersectional game of Russian Roulette, the policeman just took off and who can blame them?
If you’re unfamiliar, you’re supposed to trigger the lights by placing your wheel along the edge of the ring as this video explains:
Still, many of these intersections don’t function well for cyclists and I’ll usher drivers into position and let their oversized prowess take hold.
I can’t say I’ve even been stranded while driving because being caught in a spot for eternity always leaves a memorable impression.
People wonder why cyclists don’t abide by all the laws when sometimes infrastructure doesn’t abide by simple physics.
I’m willing to cut the city some slack for this, just make sure to do the same next time you see a cyclist not follow the rules.