It's days like this that I remember that America wasn't built for moving people, it was built for moving cars.
We were climbing up a windy section of 101, with no shoulder and complete with blind curves. Like normal, we stayed over to the right as much as possible to allow cars to pass us if they could, but sometimes the cars just have to wait till we can pull over to a wayside or till they have a straight shot.
A car had been behind us for probably ten whole seconds waiting for a chance to pass us. We heard a honk. Fine, sometimes people honk to let us know they're back there, but there's really nothing I can do besides drive my bike over a cliff to let you pass until I reach this pullout in another 30 feet. Another two honks and I got enraged. I turned around and screamed "WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO??" She waved her arm at me to get out of her goddamn way. We reached the turnout five seconds later and let her ass pass.
As a cyclist in America, I probably shouldn't have even engaged her at all. She could have hit me on purpose and gotten away with it with no punishment, as many motorists do when they hit and even kill cyclists. And we're actually very lucky that's the worst interaction we've had with a car in six weeks, which would be unheard of in Florida. Luckily the motorists out West are used to cyclists and the VAST majority of them drive courteously and give us plenty of room when they pass.
But biking alongside two ton vehicles all day long does take its toll. The states of Oregon and California designated these highways as bicycle routes, but the fact remains that they are HIGHWAYS. An RV passed by us on a winding canyon road, and seconds later its tire blew out like a gunshot. The driver maintained control, but a more skittish driver could have easily swerved dangerously. I wasn't paying attention on the Avenue of Giants and I totally pulled out right in front of a car and almost got myself hit. I saw the headlights coming straight on at me till they swerved last second. You have to be on full alert ALL THE TIME or you could die. Easy as that.
After the Redwoods incident I've felt a little shaky biking in high traffic zones, which unfortunately is most of what the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route consists of. I cherish the detours that take us off the main route. Maybe one day there will be change in American attitude that sees bikes not as obstacles to avoid, but as valid forms of transportation. And if anyone wants to put a whisper in the ears of their billionaire friends, I wouldn't mind seeing some dollars put into ACTUAL cross-country bike routes that follow the main highways without sharing them. Think of the awesome views without the cars. Think about the increased cycling awareness. Think about all the rural tourism. Just saying.