I've also lived in a few small towns, where you'd have to be crazy to bike because everything is 20 miles apart and uphill and motorists treat you with an odd reverence.
For those of us that commute as well as ride long distance for pleasure, this is actually a major upside. Where I live, most drivers will fully enter the opposite lane to give you as wide a berth as possible. When I commute the ~8.5 miles to work, by the time I reach the city, I've encountered drivers who will lay on the horn, crowd you off the road, and lean out the window screaming obscenities. The worst offenders—and this holds true when I drive, as well—tend to be those people who, for reasons unknown, still refuse to use a hands-free device whilst driving.