Monday, May 23, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

The other day on my way home from work I headed out to Magnolia for a quick couple laps around one of my favorite short training routes. It was a beautiful day to be out riding. The sun was shining and I was feeling great, enjoying the view along the Magnolia bluff and the ups, downs, twists and turns of the road.

After one and a half laps, when I was as far away from home as the route gets, I heard the hiss-hiss-hiss of a tire going flat. Ordinarily not a big deal, it just adds a few minutes to the ride. ...except that, being sort of a dope, I had taken the tool bag off my bike at home for some reason and forgot to put it back on. You know, the tool bag with the spare tube and tire irons and the patch kit? With no way to fix the flat tire, I had no choice but to start walking. This still was far from disastrous since I could easily walk to a bus stop, and while I'd probably have to wait for half an hour for a bus, then change buses a time or two (waiting another half hour each time), eventually I could get myself home.

I hadn't walked more than a block when I came upon another cyclist, in full team kit with a super deluxe high-zoot bike. He was just standing astride his bike beside the road. Now, all cyclists know that the guys in full team kit with super expensive bikes are all... well you know the things that porcupines have? It's true. Anyway, I said howdy and kept walking, but Mr. Team Kit immediately asks if I need a spare tube or anything. I stopped and explained my dopey situation and said, no worries I could just catch a bus. But he persisted and insisted on giving my his spare tube. So I graciously accepted his offer. Not only did he give me his spare, but he also did most of the work fixing the flat. He was one of the quickest flat fixers I've ever seen, and I've seen some fast ones riding with Randonneurs and all. I tried to pay him for the tube but he wouldn't have it. So, I thanked him several times and wished him all the good karma he could carry and then we rode off our separate ways.

Moral: Kind strangers come in all kinds of outfits.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! I'm glad you had one of these experiences too. It reminds me of when my rear wheel blew up but Mr. Tour Pro going the opposite direction insisted on pulling over, truing my wheel, and handing me a kevlar spoke "just in case". He *really* saved my bacon because I was 20 miles from the next town. Pay it forward, eh?!