I have been biking for years (mountain biking but I also rode on the road with it a lot). I just bought my first road bike and am loving the ability to put major miles on wherever I want to go. I have always been very considerate of bikes on the road when I'm driving and I have always been very considerate of driver's when I am on my bike. I am always sure to stay off to the side of the road as much as possible for safety and for courtesy. I feel it is important to ride in such a way that non-bikers will respect us and continue to be willing to share the road with us.
Today when I was driving in my car on my way home from a nice ride I passed a couple of bikers. One of them was on the shoulder and the other was pedaling next to him in the road sitting upright with his hands off the bars as if he didn't have a care in the world and he didn't seem to be paying any attention to the cars coming in either direction (this was a two lane highway with a speed limit of 55 mph).
Even as a rider, this bothered me and made me wonder how this makes us look to non bikers. I think we need to be sure to be considerate of drivers in just the same way that we feel they should be consider of us when we are riding.
When riding in pairs, should we ride side by side ONLY if the shoulder allows it??? (On busy roads or highways)
Or should we ride side by side even if it means we are in the road??? (empty, untraveled roads don't count)