Where’s the aloha in driving an enormous, oil-sucking rig?
First, without knowing you or the specifics of your situation, in general, I can say that I despise you. Sure, there are exceptions to my acidic feelings toward all of you oil burners, but it's easier to tell you the reasons why I have such feelings of loathing for so many of you.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: I don't own a car. I sold my last car four years ago, and for the most part I haven't missed it. I ride a bicycle, a skateboard, walk or run to where I need to go. If I need to go further, it's pretty easy and economical to catch a bus. I can even put my bike on the bus. The problem isn't with inadequate public transportation; the problem is with all of you thoughtless drivers. This is my second point.
Riding a bicycle on Oahu should be pleasant. On a bike, I'm not polluting the environment, I'm not contributing to traffic problems, I'm keeping myself healthy, and I'm putting myself closer to the beauty of our island and the friendliness of our population.
Unfortunately, riding a bicycle is often not pleasant at all. I'm not referring to the steep uphills, the frequent weather changes or the sometimes strong headwinds. No, the problem is you, the drivers. Sure, the Department of Transportation is partly to blame. When I rode my bike to Kailua the other day, the bike lane on the Pali Highway coming into Kailua town was fenced off. So, for the short stretch where there was no bike lane, I moved into one of the two traffic lanes. That was when one of you drivers decided to stay in the lane I was in and, rather than waiting 15 seconds for me to get back to where a bike lane opened up again, she laid on the horn and tailgated me while revving her engine.
Just to make things clear, this driver was neither a tourist nor an ice head. She was one of you.
Several more of you have done the same thing to me on Manoa Road, where I live. Several sections of Manoa Road have no bike lane or paved sidewalk. Believe me, I appreciate you guys blowing your horns at me as I am pedaling uphill. Thanks for your aloha!
If you drive a car everywhere, you are probably overweight. Strike that, you are probably fat. You are contributing to the most dangerous epidemic of our times -- obesity. By traveling while sitting on your gluteus maximus, you are ensuring that the health care system is going to collapse. And you are going to die a miserable death after a miserable obese life. While this might sound like good news for bicyclists, it's not, because chances are that you're breeding multiple heavyweight drivers to take your place.
By driving everywhere, you are making it essential that we "stay the course" in Iraq so we can control enough oil to get your flatulence-making girth from point A to point B.
If you have to drive, can't you at least get something that gets better than 20 mpg? Personally, I love this place. I know lots of you say that you do, but come on, if you really loved it maybe you would sell that big truck that for some reason our local culture seems to think is really cool. Trust me -- the pictures of honu, maps of the islands, or "local girl" sticker on the back of that monstrosity doesn't change the fact that you are killing our aina.
Here are some answers to the issues I've brought up:
» Don't drive unless you have to. Take the bus, ride a bike, or walk.
» Show some aloha to those who aren't driving.
» If you don't drive as much, you will lose weight.
» Lower the demand for oil by -- you guessed it -- not driving
» If you have to drive, get something small, economical and quiet. (A brand new Yaris is only $10,000!)
Now I have to admit something. I probably don't hate you, I just hate the results of what you are doing. I'd like to see you on a bike or talk with you on the bus. It would be nice to have the chance to talk story and show you some aloha.
Chris Damitio lives in Manoa.