Re: What is your comfortable Cruising speed ?
jay sawdust - I think yer dead-on.
It is all about judgment and your local area. Some of the riding habits described above as "courtesy" would enrage drivers in other environments and conditions. Even just putting down the side of the road at 15mph could irritate more than doing the same speed as the cars when conditions permit as you're forcing them to swing out to pass you.
Yet driving IN traffic could also bother some car drivers despite the fact you're doing the same speed - it's unusual and "different" scares sheeple o_O
It's all about courtesy. Regardless if you technically have the right-of-way, "tipping your hat" and letting other motorists have the road is often the safest route if nothing else. As a car driver, I for one despise bicyclists that stake a claim to 1/3 of the lane regardless of the width of the shoulder. Often it's two bicycles riding in semi-formation instead of one behind the other, forcing all traffic to slow to a crawl behind them.
Often decked-out spandexers, this is NOT how to leave a good impression... except mebbe on some cager's hood.
Yet it's also so very true that cars just don't get it. There's those that veer a little to give you room as they pass you, these folks are nice and probably the most competent and thus the rarest. Then there's of course the folks that don't give you ANY room at all as they pass almost clipping your mirror, I suspect these fall into two groups - those that just don't care and those that didn't see you as they do whatever it is they're doing other than paying attention.
Then there is that... other group O_o The ones that pull ALL the way over into the oncoming lane, endangering everyone in their fear. I have no idea why so many think I need over eight feet of clearance - but I really wish they'd stop doing that before they cause a serious head-on collision.
Do whatever speeds you wish, but I'd advise just giving cagers as much room as humanly possible. Right or wrong, legal or illegal, slow or fast - none of that really matters, do the gentlemanly thing and let 'em have the road.
They just don't understand anythin' else lol