Q Maybe you can offer me a little advice about how to apologize to someone who is probably under the impression, the completely understandable impression, that I tried to run her over.
A You did what?
Q My wife and I were heading out of a driveway onto Minnesota Avenue in San Jose when a runner crossed in front of us and I stepped on the brakes. But as I did, the engine revved. I pushed harder on the brakes and the engine revved higher, causing the rear wheels to squeal.
I was stunned. I've never had anything like this happen and it took me a few seconds to sort it out. The heavy rubber cargo mat may have gotten bunched up behind the brake with a corner over the accelerator. But from the runner's perspective I'm sure it looked as if I was just trying go scare the living daylights out of her.
By the time I got the car in neutral and kicked the mat off the pedals she had mouthed "what the ****" and was down the road.
I feel awful. I'm a runner and have been at the receiving end of careless drivers. It's really no fun at all. It happened so fast, I just wanted to apologize. Not that "Gosh, I'm sorry" is really adequate if someone thinks you've tried to kill them. What do you think?
A Hmmm. There's a chance she may run down your street again and if she does, you might explain your story to her then.
Q I find the complaints about the Hedding Street bike lane amusing. Keep on publishing them.
A Amusing? I haven't fielded this much anger since I wrote about drivers who wanted bicyclists banned from Mount Hamilton Road.
Q This savvy biker loves those lanes. I love that cars don't cut me off, or come inches from hitting me when they pass too closely and too quickly. Those who complain of seeing zero bikers need to watch for the dozens of us that pass by between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on our way to work in San Jose, Milpitas and Fremont. And those who complain about sitting in traffic: Go get a bike. It's faster, healthier, good for the environment and justifies consuming more calories during the day.
I've been biking down Hedding for three years and will continue as long as my knees allow it.
A May your knees be sound for years to come.
Q I love the Hedding bike lane flap. We should continue to urge people to get out of cars for a million different reasons.
A Such as ...
Q When gas prices reach $5 or more a gallon, you'll likely find your bike lane haters among the loudest demanding that we have more options to driving -- such as bike lanes.
A And ...
Q The problem with the Hedding Street bike lane is that it doesn't go anywhere.
A But it will. Plans call for the Hedding bike lane to run from BART's Berryessa station to Winchester Boulevard.