To make myself more visible and safer on the road, I took the advice of a couple safety posts and read some info at http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/usa/index.htm. But after my commute this morning, I basically feel less safe.
My first try I wanted to avoid some terrible potholes and a string of parked cars which spanned about 3 blocks. I looked behind me to make sure it was clear and moved into the middle of the right lane. I got buzzed by 3 cars soon after (saw one driver shake her head). While at the stoplight one of the motorists scolded me for not staying on the right. I tried to tell him that it's within my rights under California law, but he argued back that it wasn't and that this was for my own safety. What more could I say? (BTW, he was on his phone while yelling this to me.)
The second time I was going around some trees that I usually duck under and again some bad potholes. I checked behind me to make sure it was clear, made my move into the middle of the right lane, and proceeded to get honked at (although she did go around me).
In both these cases, the road was clear and the cars were far behind me as I made my move into the lane.
These incidents raised a couple questions in my mind... What else could I have done? How do you argue with a motorist regarding this? Does "forcing" yourself onto the road help educate drivers that the road needs to be shared? What state/national efforts are there to raise awareness? What legal recourse is there for being buzzed (is it attempted vehicular homicide)?
I'd like to stay off the sidewalks and keep myself safe from parked cars, but I'm not sure I can do this if I'm to be buzzed and honked at each day. It really seems like a no-win situation.