There are two schools of thought regarding bicycles and traffic. The Critical Mass school of thought says that cars must be slowed down to make the roads more pleasant and safer for bikes. I did a Critical Mass ride once. Next time, I am going to buy a 2nd hand Leopard tank from the army and take out as many of the fuckers as I can. Grease my tank treads, you socialist turds.
The second school of thought says that if cyclists are fit and fast enough to keep up with traffic, they'll be safe.
Here is a demonstration of school number two - George St during the morning peak hour.
It's a long video - at over 2 minutes, the longest I have ever done. I tried to cut as much as I could, but Windows Media Maker is not the best for that task.
The first thing you might ask is, "Where are all the cars?" I was wondering the same thing. Traffic on George St was nowhere near as bad as I expected. Most of the time, it moved at 35-40km/h, which is not bad for the CBD.
I was a bit hamstrung - the rear gears were playing up, so I only had the bottom 4 to play with, plus the big cog on the front. I was maxing out at 35km/h, but that was enough for me to keep up with every vehicle - except for one delivery truck. Buses make up a large amount of the traffic on George St, and they don't exactly hoon along here when they are full of people.
Notice that I didn't blow through any red lights, attack any pedestrians or "filter" through the traffic to the front of the queue. I just rode as if I was a car (if that makes sense). I had no hassles, no annoyances and no road rage incidents. I think motorists go berko when they are stuck behind a lame cyclist who is pootling along at slightly above the top speed of a zimmer frame. If you can't keep up with the traffic on a particular stretch of road, find another stretch of road with less traffic or slower traffic.
Now that's easier said than done in the CBD, so the next best thing is to get a bike that is quick (no stupid mountain bikes with fat tyres and low gears) and train and train and train until you can flog that thing from one end of the CBD to the other faster than a mad illegal immigrant moonlighting as a taxi driver.
One thing I did discover is that there is an amazingly huge number of manhole covers and the like that have sunken into the tarmac like old mine shafts - dodging and weaving around them was a full time business.