Warning...this is a rant.
Hadn't been able to ride in a couple of weeks, so was anxious to get on the bike this morning. Met up with another rider, Casey and headed to climb one of Oahu's steeper hills, Tantalus. Weather report called for a slight chance of rain and 30mph winds in the afternoon....however, as I've learned recently, weather forecasts for Oahu are notoriously inaccurate. It began pouring as we reached downtown Honolulu in the middle of rush hour. Aside from the heavy rain and pools of water, the ride to the base of Tantalus was uneventful. The five mile climb was great...took it fairly easy, as my legs aren't back at full strength. Got to the top, and the wind started to really pick up. As we started to descend, the wet roads, cool winds, wet socks made the ride very interesting...descending sucks to begin with, but cold feet and slick roads make it even more miserable....not to mention the truck that decided to drive in the middle of the road...we can call that near death experience #1. Aside from that, the climb was great and worth the trip out..on the other hand, the trip back made me never want to do it again. As we re-enter town, traffic was still pretty thick. One car attempted to cut me off, just after the driver laid on his horn as a 70 year old woman crossed the road. As we stop at the next traffic light, the car decides to weave around us and make a right hand turn in front of us...as it turns, the Hawaiian woman sticks her head out the window and calls us "Fucking white trash!"...I couldn't tell if she removed the Marlboro from her mouth to utter this ironic slur. As we get into town, the rain starts to pickup...this time it's raining sideways, and it's damn cold. So, we have to get off the road for a few minutes...during the next leg of the ride, I had 2 cars cut me off. Normally this is now big deal...they cut me off, I yell, they give me the finger, I tell them I love them, we move on. The rain and wet brakes add another element, as I have very poor reaction time. At this point, I'm hyper-vigilant and ready to get on a highway with a bikelane. Turns out those are pointless, as many cars decided to block them out stop lights and the city finds it okay to sweep trash into the lanes. As we're riding down the bikelane, I'm riding about 10 yards behind Casey...next thing I know, I see a truck ease over into the bike lane, nearly pushing him over the curb. We both yell at the guy, but doubt he could hear as he was glued to his cell phone.
I've had some shitty rides before, and usually have a couple of run-ins with idiots when riding through the city...this ride seemed unusually bad. Not sure if I'll be doing much riding through Honolulu, especially during the week. It's too bad, as it's necessary to pass through there in order to get to some of the better rides on the island.
Was in Borders tonight thumbing through Bicycling Magazine...found this article on bike-car crashes. It's too bad that some folks show more empathy towards drivers...doesn't make much sense to me.