Mass Bike had a good post about good bicycle manners. It’s a post I’ve been meaning to make, myself, so I’ll do it now.
Ride your bike as you would have others cycle around you.
1. be predictable. Although in real life I would never suggest you be predictable, it is the safe route when riding a bike. Let other people know what you’re doing. Use directional signals. Although technically you should use the signals drivers should use, in reality it’s probably best to point with your finger in the direction you are heading.
2. pass on the left. Don’t pass cyclists on the right. Let them know you are passing them so they don’t swerve to avoid something and hit you. And give them some space, in case they have to swerve anyway. Consider getting a nice sounding bell. I know “on your left” is descriptive, but I find it annoying to have people shouting at me even if they’re on a bike and trying to be helpful.
3. don’t cut the line. When you arrive at a red light, don’t just get in front of the cyclist who has already stopped at the light. That’s plain rude.
4. try to keep your cool. When someone does something dumb that puts you in danger, but you somehow evade getting hurt, try to keep your cool. I know it’s hard; it’s natural to have an explosive reaction to a near-accident. But if you can calmly explain to the person what happened and how they nearly killed you, that might actually be helpful. Sometimes people really are trying to hurt you, but I like to think they are usually just dumbasses who need to get schooled.
5. think like a driver. If you think like one, you can anticipate what they might do. For instance, a driver is stopped at a red light with his or her right turn directional signal on. They do not expect someone to pass them on the right as they make the turn. Don’t be that flattened person!