If you read nothing else on cyclist's rights, read this essay.
From Steve's essay:
"...“Sharing” is not a concept mandated by law, but is an altruistic concept that relies upon the goodwill of the Share-or to give up a little bit of that which he owns to the Share-ee. No law says that the motorist owns the road and the cyclist may borrow it sometimes, IF the motorist feels like sharing. Yet, motorists frequently act like my two year old son did almost 20 years ago – he got in the face of the proposed “Share-ee” and said, “MINE!”...But this is not the law. Rather, the law is that a PERSON wishing to use the public roads has the right to CHOOSE the vehicle on, or in, which to travel. A bicycle and a car and a truck and a bus and an Amish buggy and a large piece of farm equipment are equally valid, legitimate and lawful choices as vehicles. When it comes to the right to be on the roadway, a person who chooses to ride a bicycle on the roadway has exactly and precisely the same quantity or bundle of rights as one who chooses to operate a car..."