I was irritated to read it and reflexively posted my own status update about being proud to be a bicyclist, and if people don't like it, then "tough tittay." (Yeah, I have no couth.)
However, she does have a valid point, and her post highlights a truism about the love-hate relationship between cyclists and motorists. Most motorists are fine with--or if nothing else, pay grudging respectful to--cyclists. However, there are plenty of haters out there, and the fact that there are also plenty of nimrod bikers who blow through stop signs does nothing to make the lot of the cycling enthusiast easier.
It's not fair, but cyclists get held to a higher standard. When I call people on their disparaging comments about bikers, the standard reasoning they offer is that we get away with breaking traffic laws. In Kansas, bicyclists must obey all the rules of the road that motorists do. When bikers break those laws, it makes us all look bad.
Never mind that the typical motorist on any given day breaks at least one traffic law, most commonly speed. Sometimes it's illegal turns and u-turns. In some places, it's talking on cell phones. And generally, other motorists who have to share the road do not give a rat's ass--UNLESS the behavior of the offending party directly affects them. Which is exactly why a lot of over-caffeinated, red-faced motorists (and worse yet truck drivers) hate cyclists.
The fact that I'm out catching some breeze in my face on a hilly, Dickinson county road means that several poor saps are going to be five seconds later to their destination because they had to slow down before passing me. Rational or not, this really torques people off. Couple that with the fact that I'm all decked out in spandex shorts, a dayglo green jersey, and funky helmet that makes me look like some sort of overgrown, gay martian, and people are more likely brand me as "one of them bikers" and feel no compunction whatsoever toward running me in the ditch.
This "otherness" of bicyclists wouldn't be a big deal, if the stakes weren't so high for us. A motorist encounters a biker, and the worst that will happen is that he or she will end up getting home a few seconds later. On the other hand, a biker encounters a motorist, and the worst that can happen is she or he ends up roadkill.
Again, most people are reasonable enough that they will give you your four feet when passing, even though they may not like it. But that fraction of a percent who are angrily willing to pass you at 65 MPH and miss clipping you with their rearview mirror by inches -- those are the ones that give me pause. Especially the truck drivers. I'm convinced that if I die an untimely death, it will be at the hands of some toothless, angry moron who had to bring a cheat sheet to pass his CDL exam. (Sorry.... near-death experiences have made me a little bitter.)
With all that said, the burden is on the cyclists to be good stewards for our sport/pastime. We have to obey the law and set a good example. We have to stop at stop signs, even when there are no cars for miles and the prospect of overcoming gravity and friction to get moving again makes us just want to gun it. We have to resist flipping motorists the bird when they pass too close (I say that as much for myself as anyone). And probably most importantly, we need to calmly and coolly stand up for ourselves when people are talking trash -- because if we keep quiet, people will never realize that we aren't just weirdos in strange clothes who impede traffic. We're also neighbors, friends, and associates who every now and again, wear normal clothing (albeit with our gay bike shorts underneath ;-).