Do cyclists ride in the middle of the road simply to annoy motorists? @bikeroar

Let me start by pointing out the obvious: Cyclists DO block the road. It is also true that many motorists find this extremely frustrating, which has led, unfortunately, to terrible decisions being made and cyclists ending up injured or killed.
Do bike riders do this deliberately to put themselves in harm's way? I can vouch for most road cyclists that one of the main objectives when heading out on a bike is to arrive home firmly in the land of the living, not the realm of the dead.
One popular television journalist likened road cyclists to cockroaches, and we all know what happens to them! (the cockroaches, not the journalists). I implore every road user to ignore this foolish ignorance, but if you wonder, "if it is so important to stay alive, why do so many cyclists seem intent on blocking traffic by riding in the middle of the lane?", then read on...