Ugh... did you not read the parent post at all? He didn't say all bicyclists were super respectful and safe there. Quite the opposite in fact. The point is one CAN be safe, and its often the poor choices of a cyclist that cause the issues (not always, and drivers and pedestrians could do a lot better too).
For a long time (maybe still occuring) there is one road on Stanford land where the bikes will ride side by side blocking the entire lane while ignoring the bike lanes
I would be surprised if local laws say that's wrong. It's also well established that, when a bike lane is more-or-less the gutter or berm of the road, it's far safer to travel in the actual lane with traffic. Most driving laws state that cars must treat bicycles as vehicles, so they may not pass them unless it is completely safe. If there is just one bike in the actual lane, the car should not pass unless there is another lane or they are on a dashed-line divided road where they can go into the oncoming traffic lane safely. However, most cars will try to squeeze by if there is just one bike near the side of the road, which can be dangerous. Furthermore, the drier is less likely to even see the cyclist if it's over to the far right all by themselves - driving double wide is considered by many to be a safety measure.
In short, I doubt they're doing it to piss off drivers. Pissed off drivers are the most dangerous, and it's obvious who wins if they play bumper cars.
As far the trails, I don't know what you are referring to specifically, but my experience has been that usually happens when the trail is a shared trail, and the trail clearly states that slower runners/walkers/cyclists/etc should remain to the right. If there's a group walking side-by-side, they are going to get yelled at by anyone jogging, running, skating, cycling, etc. It's like two cars side by side on the highway doing 50 in a 65 zone - that's violating the law, rules, and social contract, so get the fuck out of the way.
I'm not trying to be an apologist for all cyclists. Many of them are assholes, as are many people using all modes of transportation. But that's was kinda the GP's point - you always have to expect everyone else to be making mistakes. It's rule one of defensive driving, and applies to all modes of transit.
If you're biking on a sidewalk you're wrong (99.999% of the time).
If you're jaywalking, you're wrong (99...etc)
If you're driving in the bus or bike lane; wrong.
If you're walking in the bike lane; wrong.
Loitering in the middle of the street (one of your example); wrong.
If you think you have some exclusive right to the place you are going, wrong.
This isn't difficult, but it feels like you have a bias against cyclists, whether your on foot on in your car. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe your coworker is right, and you should get on a bike, if not for daily commute, then just so you understand that group better. I hope I'm just wrong, and you're just ranting :-)