Maui Road Rage: A Local Tried to Kill Us

I kicked the shit out of a local that tried to kill us

When the road rage incident that I’m going to tell you about happened, besides the initial shock, I decided to not broadcast it online. We were just finishing up our annual Maui vacation. I didn’t want to bring bad mojo onto our family time or describe riding in Maui as dangerous or not recommended.

I’ve ridden with @mzsitka for years in Maui. We’ve spent hundreds of hours in the saddle and thousands of miles riding without incident. What happened there could happen anywhere to any cyclist, just like the incident ealier in the year when a cyclist I was riding with was attacked on a NYC bike path.

maui

Shoulder riding with distracted drivers, some of them very angry

So What Happenend Was

This all happened fast, but in slow motion

We were riding to from Napili to Paia to meet up with our teenagers for a late lunch. Crossing over from one highway to another, we got on Hansen Road at the Sugar Plant museum. We’ve ridden that road before and it’s one that you get on/off quick with no shoulder and broken pavement – it’s a couple miles between highways. I came to the front to set a tempo and heard a “WTF” from Pam. Glancing back, I saw a truck at her hip honking and moving violently back and forth. I turned, waved my arm for the truck to pass and it zoomed ahead of me. It turned abruptly to the side of the road, skidded to a stop, and the door opened knocking me down.

knee

Where it went down

A Chuck Norris Kick from Jens Voigt

What I remember at this point in the story happened very quickly and I’ve been reliving it since in slow motion. After my helmet struck the pavement, I remember seeing the local moving rapidly out of the truck and raging towards me. I was vulnerable on my back with one foot still connected to a pedal. As he roared, I kicked him in the groin as hard as I could. That threw him back into the cab of the truck. I then slammed the car door into him with my hand and kicked it repeatedly until he recoiled all the way into the truck. Pam told me she grabbed the bike away from under the truck door before it sped off. By this time, a group of motorists stopped and stayed there to protect us while asking how we were with looks of astonishment.

A few hundred yards away from us, the local skidded to a stop again. I was ready for more, but he didn’t come back. Instead he jumped out of his cab, tore his shirt off like the Incredible Hulk, did a dance, and yelled how he was going to actually kill us this time. A window washer truck was behind him and followed him away from the scene. A few minutes later, after more motorists asked how we were, the window washer returned and said he had his license plate.

The police were on the way.

knee

The road took a layer off my fav scar like a gritty cheese grater

Pam and I debated whether to leave or stay and then heard the sirens of the EMT. The medics checked me out, just a road-rashed knee, and then the cop cars arrived. We told them the story, they checked with the other witnesses, and then we rode onto Paia. We had a few beers and pizza.

pizza

Felt better after beers and this pizza

No Further Action

The cop asked us repeatedly what happened and seemed amazed that I “won.” I wasn’t severly injured. He didn’t hit me or Pam. It was a twist on the usual bike v. car narrative that too often ends in tragedy. That day was a win for the Maui cyclists because a motorist tried to kill us and got a set of Time cleats in his nuts for a reward.

I don’t advocate violence or suggest anyone fight a motorist. I do insist that we ride offensively with a keen awareness of the surroundings. There is no defensive cycling on the roads of the States and most places I travel. I also lost a few nights of sleep over this incident and believe I wouldn’t have done anything different. I was defending myself and my wife.

Maui has no road rage laws and I expect nothing further to happen. I’ll ride there again with Pam and with an even stronger sense of protecting ourselves from angry drivers.