This evening I saw a couple of cyclists taking the lane and it was certainly a case where it was something I would do the same. I was approaching Porter Square from the east on Mass Ave and traffic was moving slowly. I noticed the cyclists right away. It was a mom and child. The child was on a trail-a-bike. I snapped a picture when we were waiting for a light and chatted with them. The mom said that she had been doing this for a couple of years, since her son was 4, and both of them enjoyed it. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. They were talking and singing as they inched along with the traffic flow. And with the recent northeaster, there was a lot of snow on the edge of the road and there still was a row of cars parked along Mass Ave, which effectively eliminated any space for a cyclist except if they were in a lane of traffic. No one seemed to mind that they were on the road and they certainly kept up with traffic. I didn't notice any lights (though they may have had some) but the surrounding cars seemed to respect them and give them their space. It was nice seeing cyclists and drivers getting along.
Their bikes were nothing special. Mom's bike looked like a re-purposed mountain bike with a front rack. They both had backpacks. Mom had a great pair of tall rubber boots. And they looked comfortable. Here they are: