The cycling article in the Post Register had this piece of terrible advice, "Ride on the right side of the road, but not so far right that it tempts people to try to pass you without changing lanes to pass." Riding this far out in the road and slowing traffic when the shoulder is clear is unnecessarily obstructing traffic, which is against law. Cyclists have the same rights as motor vehicles, but with the rights come responsibilities, which includes sharing the road and cooperating with other vehicles to enable the smooth flow of traffic.
Riding away from the shoulder puts you in the traffic lane, where any driver that does not see you will collide with you. The vehicle driver will likely be at fault, but you may be too dead to care. For safety, you should ride as far to the right as possible, near the white line or outside of it, if the shoulder permits. Puncture resistant tubes and tires are readily available.
A safe passing occurs when the overtaken cyclist can maintain a reasonable road position and there is no collision, that's it, no collision. This is different than a comfortable passing where the cyclist is not alarmed by the passing vehicle. What is a comfortable passing distance? Sixteen inches, three feet, five feet? Depends on the cyclist and the relative speeds. But as a cyclist, you only have a right to a safe passing, not a comfortable one.