2 weeks ago, during my trip to South Africa, I stayed bike fit by borrowing my niece's tri bike. Once while riding a 2 lane each way main road, I got a huge fright when this earsplitting cacophony broke out directly behind me. Purely out of instinct I jerked the bike off the road onto the coarse gravel shoulder, only to see a police car drive by, officers laughing heartily! The idiot had just briefly turned his siren on on the "rapid" setting.
As aggressive and rude as Melbourne drivers may be, I really appreciated them after experiencing Pretoria clueless drivers for 2 weeks. Every single person I talked with warned me about the road safety, most thought I was taking my own life. I once saw a girl crashing after a clueless driver bumped into her while talking on his cell phone. She was not injured.
I know the feeling. While in China during February, I wanted to check out the city I was in transit in (Kunming) so I rented a bicycle from the hotel (the buses were too crowded to take in the sights) to check out the city. Little did I know that I was taking my life into my own hands. Crazy driving (and I've travelled enough to know that driving in places like that are pretty crazy--still I did it) and bicyclists nearly ran me down all the time. It was elbow to elbow bicycling, and sometimes elbow to door riding! However, I loved the city and obviously did survive. By the way, I met some Americans living there who bought some new Giant MTB's (at least that was the label) there for about 600 yuan (around 80 dollars) each. Either they were fake, or made there and the shipping/labor wasn't an issue.
I've been to China a few times a year for the past 9 years, and they are fast losing the biking culture, replacing with motor scooters and cars. And yeah, traffic there hits a 12.5 on my weird-sh1ttometer which has a max of 10. When members here talk about a bike utopia where everybody goes about on their bike, I think of China and the roads choked with bicycles, and nobody able to get up some speed, and appeciate our own deserted bike paths during my commute.