With so much traffic on the roads, you would think it might be chaos, and noone would get anywhere fast. Well I reckon, Auckland needs to learn a bit from Asia about traffic movement. The rules of the road seem to go like this:
Who ever is biggest has right of way. That means big trucks and buses go first. You get out of their way. Next are the smaller trucks and buses, then mini buses and mini trucks, then cars, then scooters, and way down the list are bicycles, rickshaws and anyone silly enough to be walking.
That doesn't stop scooters and cyclists though. Often in the city the traffic flow is not much more than how fast I'm going on my bike....perhaps 20 to 25kph ( which may seem slow, but when I'm in Auckland, so often I seem to be STOPPED in traffic, so moving is a plus ) So scooters and cyclists (not that there are that many cyclists, but let's count Fiona and I in there ) get lots of opportunities to weave between larger vehicles, and catch them at intersections. Scooters are the way to go Auckland.
At intersections, who ever arrives first, goes first. Unless there are traffic lights. Red light, you stop, unless you're turning left, then you keep going and merge. Or if it's a T intersection, and you're going across the top of the T...keep going. If there is no traffic coming, and you have waited, and light hasn't turned...you go. It all seems to work. Traffic flows.
When you're turning right, and you see lots of traffic coming towards you, but you spot a gap, even if you're 100m from the corner, its okay to ride over to the right hand side of the road, and travel along that side until you reach your turn, what we in NZ would call cutting the corner.
Roundabouts are just there for decoration or to support some statue of some famous person or event. Take the shortest route to your destination. Basically, you can do and go anywhere you want on a road, as long as you keep going, others will go around you. Don't stop and start, and do be predictable.
Use your horn, because noone looks or uses indicators. An indicator blinking means it works. It may have been used once last week by accident, or the three year old standing in the footwell of the scooter may have switched it on, or it may have been bumped when you loaded the bail if grass onto the handle bars.
There is no such thing as overloading. If it fits, and can be strapped on, ( or not ), and your wheels can still go around, then you're good. Riding in traffic is a big part of my adventure.
Next time you're in Bali, and hire a scooter, and get stopped by the police.....don't quote me on these rules. They're just what I've observed.
It was a big chain ring day today, except for a couple of hours going up a big hill. How come the climb always comes at the hottest part of the day? Rest of the day was flat or downhill, with a gentle following wind. Thus the 120km.
Some sort of festival is still happening in this area. Many of the roadside stores are not opening, and even in the towns not everything is open. But that didn't stop the Night Market from going off just across from my hotel. Very busy. Lots of very cheap, colourful clothes and shoes, and side show rides for the kids. And the variety of street food amazing.
One thing I'm having difficulty finding is toilet paper. I'm guessing thats where the term "going native" comes from. Once of the joys and new experiences of travel. Always shake with the right hand.