The tourists are swarming into Waikiki once more. The street entertainers and hawkers are delighted with the influx. All along iconic Kalakaua Avenue the mics are set at deafening decibels to attract the crowds. To muffle the racket, I often have to tightly cover my ears, as I do when I hear shrieking ambulance sirens.
But the other day during my powerwalk, I would have appreciated a loud noise or two. Without warning, a bicyclist silently sped past me. If I had slightly moved to my right on the narrow sidewalk, there might well have been a collision. Of course, this potentially dangerous incident should never have occurred in the first place because it is illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalks of Waikiki. In any case, the bicyclist should have exclaimed that he was about to pass me. I wouldn’t have cared if what he said was polite or crude, as long as it was audible enough so that I would stay steady in my lane. A few moments later, another bicyclist zipped by unannounced. Fortunately, I hadn’t moved in his direction as he maneuvered around me.
If bicyclists won’t accommodate me with their imminent presence, I’ll just have to turn around more often to see if they are approaching. Of course, by doing so, I might get hit full frontal instead of rear ended.
But why complain? The situation is much worse in Amsterdam. There the streets and sidewalks are cluttered with omnipresent unapologetic bicyclists, as my wife and I discovered when we visited a few years ago. And that was no Dutch treat.