So I've been commuting from Cary into RTP for a little over a year now. I've tried a few different routes, but there aren't that many options between my home and work. My current route takes me up NC-55 (from Green Hope High School) up to Kitt Creek (past the 540 exchange). Originally I generally rode in the middle of the shoulder. Lately, with the construction traffic and related debris that's been there, I've moved into the extreme right of the right-hand lane. When I was riding in the shoulder I would occasionally (very rarely) get honked at by a passing motorist who apparently felt that I wasn't entitled to be on the road at all. Since I started riding in the lane, I've been getting honked at by tractor trailers (usually at least once a day) who apparently think that, despite the fact that there's a left-hand lane, I need to get out of their path entirely. This week, for the first time in my year of commuting, some yahoo in a utility truck yelled at me to "get off the road". I know that gas prices are high and that truckers are getting hit especially hard, but I'd rather not be the target of their frustration.
So, my question is this, where should I ride to be safest? I clearly have a legal right to ride along the right-hand edge of the right lane and I feel that I'm most clearly visible from that position to passing motorists (less likely to be tuned out as visual noise). I also feel that if, as I did originally, I ride in the shoulder, I will sometimes need to move quickly back in to the lane to avoid debris (dead deer, fallen trees, construction equipment, parked construction vehicles, mounds of rock, etc.). If I ride in the lane, I get the additional stress of dealing with these motorists who think they own the road. I'm thinking I should make a T-shirt that has an arrow on the back pointing left and oversized letters that say "Keep Left 200 ft." - kind of like those trucks that put "Keep back 200 ft. - not responsible for windshield damage." :-)
I don't think there's a right answer to this question. Honestly I just needed to vent a bit. Thanks for listening.