Being away from the lovely cycling utopia where I normally live, I've been exposed to a lot of suburbia-style road designs that I'm not familiar with riding on. While I know some alternate routes that can help me keep off the arterials that concern me, there's really no way to avoid these arterials on some of their worst sections.
What has really concerned me though is a tendency I've started to notice in drivers making last-second merges to avoid running me down (as I really have no choice but to take the lane). Even worse, the clueless driver behind them who had an obstructed view has even less time to realize what's going on, and these roads are sopping wet and being traveled at speeds of 50-55 mph. It's not that they don't have a lane that they could easily pass me in, but they're waiting until the last second to do so... and that ability for them to merge over is dependent on whether traffic is in that lane or not. And the car behind is put in an even more precarious position.
I've literally taken to walking my bike down the sidewalk on the few occasions I actually try to ride my bike around here (couldn't ride it... power lines and fire hydrants right in the middle) to avoid some of these stretches, because it just doesn't feel safe. I really don't know what to do... the last thing I want is become roadkill for some SUV, but I also don't want to feel mandated to drive a car to get around town (which has essentially become my current solution... I drive my car into other neighborhoods where these street designs aren't used).
Anybody got advice? Like I said, I'm really concerned about turning in to roadkill here and this seems like a really bad thing to have happening behind you. Anybody think anything or have experience with this?