Q May I thank 87 percent of the drivers out there?
A You may, but for what?
Q My husband just left for work on his bicycle. He commutes from our home in the area of Yerba Buena/San Felipe Road to Valley Medical Center about three times a week. Although I love his commitment, it's nerve-racking for me. I worry all the time someone is going to mow him over.
But, he says about 87 percent of the people out there in cars are respectful of his presence. They let him have the lane when needed, wave him on at rights of way, make eye contact and don't blow their horn at him for no reason.
So, thanks to all the drivers that share the road with my husband and countless others. I'd like to thank this 87 percent who realize that not only is cycling good for your health, it keeps the mileage down on the car and keeps gas money in your wallet.
A Hmm. Wouldn't you like to see that percentage jump to the 95 percent range?
Q I bike and find drivers to be very courteous. They give me plenty of room and allow me to cross in front, even when I'm fine with letting them go first. By design, I bike only where there is little traffic, and I think drivers treat bikers very well.
A Maybe we're up to 88 percent!
Q While I was cycling along Summit Road and Soquel-San Jose Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, two vehicles at different times honked while immediately next to me. These were not friendly toots, but long, angry honks.
I'm curious how these drivers justify this behavior. I was as far over on the shoulder as
I assume that these people know that I have a right to be there and that startling someone on a bike in traffic jeopardizes his life. Will these folks or others who do the same own up to this behavior and explain themselves?
A Obviously, these motorists are not part of the 87 percent. Honking at a bicyclist is a big Roadshow no-no.
Q After having hit my second bicyclist in a year and a half (shared fault in one, no fault in the other), I realized that driving and walking have become seriously scary activities on San Jose streets. Cyclists speed down sidewalks and walking trails, run stop signs and lights. I call it "jaycycle," and they do it at will, taunting motorists with their seeming invulnerability to law, injury and reprimand.
They also tend to wear earbuds so that no car engine or horn might penetrate their "world of one."
Do I sound angry? Well, I am. I have just spent two days trying to calm myself from a cyclist who ran a stop sign, messed up the front of my new car in the process, and garnered all kinds of support from individuals who popped up like dandelions to commiserate with him. I got the glares and the "bad person" looks.
So I put these question to you: Are bicycle riders ever ticketed? Is much of anything considered illegal in bicycle riding by law enforcement?
A Yes, they sometimes do get ticketed, but it's up to bicyclists and drivers both to heed the rules of the road. And another big Roadshow no-no is bicycling on a sidewalk.
Q I am making a right-hand turn in my car and there is a bicyclist next to me going straight. Do I wait for him to go and then turn? Or do I turn and cut him off? I think I should wait.
A You have it right -- sort of. Pull in behind the bicyclist as close to the curb as possible and make your right turn after he's out of the way.