Whenever I ride, I force myself over as far to the edge of the road as possible, since I don't really belong on the road. I always keep a spare tube, since there's more glass on that part of the road. As my Boy Scout leader always said, "Be prepared."
I stare in my rear-view mirror constantly. I'm more worried about being run over from behind than I am about what's directly in front of me. (I sure wish I could look in front and behind at the same time!)
Whenever possible, I hit the sidewalk. It's bumpy, and I have plenty of near-misses with cars and pedestrians, but I feel more comfortable there. At least I don't make motorists mad!
I prefer bike paths over streets, since the traffic on paths is slower and less aggressive. Why, the other day, a sweet lady walking her dog actually apologized to me (she was quite attractive, mind you) after the dog suddenly darted across my path and caused me to crash. I told her I was ok, that my HMO would cover the broken wrist. I hope she didn't blame herself, or worse, her dog!
Yes, when I'm forced to ride on the street, I try my best to keep up with traffic, no matter how fast it's going. I want to be a good bicycle ambassador and never hold people up. Don't want to inconvenience anyone!