I think it would be very helpful to new-comers (and semi-new-comers like me) for people to simply tell what the conditions are where they ride and how they ride them. There is a great deal of collective wisdom in this forum, and I would love to hear others ideas. Again, no preconceived notions just a place for us to explain where and how we ride and why we choose to ride that way so others can learn from our ideas good or bad.
I ride in two distinctly different areas: Where I live and where I work.
Where I live:
Small town with all 25MPH speed limits and sidewalks where it is illegal to ride.
Here I ride in the roadway and take the lane wherever it is too narrow for a car to pass or where I need to stay out of the "door zone". This is typically not too much of an issue as there is seldom a great deal of traffic, and I can get pretty close to the speed limit. I do sometimes jump into a parking lot if there is one alongside the roadway where I can easily get back to the road to allow vehicles behind me to pass. Just to be courteous.
Where I work:
Just outside of my town is rural/suburbia with lots of 4 and 5 lanes roads with center turn lanes and 45-55 MPH speed limits. Most of this area is commercial with lots of heavily and not so heavily trafficked private drives. Along almost all of these roads are MUP's which are just wide sidewalks where it is legal to bike and they are offset from the road about 5'. I ride mostly on the MUP's as the roads here are like the wild west the rate of accidents being at least 10x what I would find in my city. I chose to ride the MUP's and take it slowly out here being very wary of private drives, etc, but my commute is only 5 miles and I ride an old MTB so going slow is not too hard :D. In the summer there is actually a fair amount of bicycle and pedestrian traffic on the MUP's so I have found that most drivers DO actually check the MUP's for traffic, most of the time.
EDIT: Type of Riding:
I am a utilitarian/commuter/MTBer. I don't race or own a roadie although I am not opposed to it.
So how and where do you ride, and what do you think of how I ride?
Note to MODS: It may be nice if people like this idea to make this thread a "reference only" one and move discussions to another thread.