Yesterday, I waited for the light to turn green in the left turn lane of northbound Damen at the three-way intersection with Irving Park and Lincoln. I was on my bike, in front of a long line of cars. As soon as the light turned green and the road was clear, and I pulled out into the middle of the intersection, a driver of an SUV proceeding straight on Damen thought it fit to roll down his window to shout the words "You're crazy!" as he sped past me.
I have over twenty years of experience using my bike for transportation in Chicago. I am familiar with the laws pertaining to the use of bicycles on urban streets, and (with one important exception) obey those laws. I do not use any devices on my bike that distract me from concentrating on what I'm doing. I don't run red lights. I wear a helmet. I use hand signals. In all my street cycling, I try to act cautiously and predictably so as not to endanger or aggrevate others around me. And the vast majority of cyclists I see around me do all those things too.
Crazy is when you bike against traffic. Crazy is when you cycle on a street with your hands off the handlebars. Crazy is when you are in traffic with heaphones on. Or when you use your cellphone while biking.
And, speaking of driving, crazy is when you commit your entire life to a blind dependence on a car, and don't for a moment consider that there might be a better alternative. And even if this alternative doesn't work for you, it's crazy to make that decision for others around you. And crazy is deliberately startling a cyclist trying to concentrate on her maneuvers in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in Chicago.