"Cyclist Inferiority Complex." It's something you'll occasionally see bandied about on vehicular cycling sites and exchanges, leaving the impression that the unfortunate CIC victim is somehow crippled by paranoid delusions that motorists are all hunting for him or her. Well, it ain't necessarily so.
I see curb-hugging people on bikes riding all sorts of places that I'm reluctant to travel, and some of them are complying with all applicable traffic laws. Case in point - seen Monday morning, on the Alliance Gateway Freeway (Hwy 170), headed east from Old Denton Road, a lonely bicycle rider near the edge of the right lane. The scene looked just like the photo (with the addition of the solitary bicycle). I've never ridden that part of AGF, though it has GREAT sightlines. It just seems like a long stretch of fast road and I have other choices for where I want to go. I've thought about riding it - a lot. But I've never done it. If I did ride it, it would be on the way home, as an alternate to Westport, shown here.
Anyway, motorists saw the bicycle rider a LONG way back and moved over a lane. They would have done the same whether he was riding the fog line or far to the left of the right lane. I'd have done the same if I saw a cyclist when I was driving down Hwy 170. Heck, they'd probably moved over a half mile back if he'd been riding in the middle lane. Nobody wants to mess up their whole day and have to deal with insurance, even if the police think everything's OK.
Despite stereotypes, adherence to the law, common sense, courage, and cycling approach have little connection. Yes, I happen to think that vehicular cycling is good for me and good for motorists (though they may not always agree). But the simple reality is that a lot of this is opinion and theory with less hard evidence than might be suggested. Cycling really IS safe and fun unless you're doing something REALLY dumb. Even if you're not following what I think is the absolute best practice. Remember this post if you ever read something I write that seems to say otherwise...