During my 8 mile commute home tonight, I had 3 motorist within a 2 mile area challenge me to a race. Obviously, I won; but what is it that makes motorists want to challenge a cyclist minding his own business rather than a pedestrian or other motorist? Being a learning driver, I have watched cyclists ride past an intersection, but never felt the urge to race them or even say anything to them. Maybe this is because, being a cyclist myself, I know that we don't really like to be disturbed by gas guzzling motorists.
Another related question: I have had a few other riders coast past me and I notice that just about all of them have ear buds, but I can still have curt conversations with them. To me, this implies that they are not listening to any music at all and only have the ear buds to prevent motorists from bugging them. Is this true? If not, isn't it unsafe to have ears plugged whilst on the road?