Riding home today, a car passed me on Leavenworth's left lane (I, of course in the right 3rd of the right lane) which contained a passenger that rolled down the window in rainy weather to yell, "Side Streets, BITCH!"
So yeah, significant progress.
1. The argumentative passenger was in a vehicle that was kind enough to make a full lane change to get around me. I've found most people do this nowadays. It also helps that I do take up a 3rd of the lane. There's not enough room to allow a cyclist and a car in 1 lane on Leavenworth (or many of Omaha's streets) so I take enough of the lane to require a full lane change to pass me. This is safer for all involved.
2. As the one sided argument went, I should seek out, and travel on side streets. This is a somewhat valid point. The side streets are probably significantly safer than the main streets, albeit substantially hillier. However, I was 4 blocks from joining Leavenworth's bike lane, and there's no real side street route to get to said bike lane. This argument is a huge upgrade from the old, "get on the sidewalk," or, "get off the road" admonishments. Had the conversation been 2 sided in a more relaxed situation, it might have went,
"I ride a bike to work."
"Oh really? I accept that riding a bike is a viable means of transportation, I only request that you stick to the side streets so the faster moving, heavier traffic could move along more expeditiously. Have a good day."
Well I can dream, can't I?