Cyclist Makes My Morning

March 18th, 2010 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

Thank you, Campbell’s Soup Kid.

Today in a personal bike crisis at Ruggles station, I had a heartening moment with another cyclist. A really nice rider stopped to offer assistant. The effect was increased by her actually looking like one of those full-faced, pink-cheeked advertising cartoons.

I had been doubly stupid and deserved to be stranded, in all candor. Last week, I ran over some alien something that cut into a tire on my road bike and sliced the tube. I found it still embedded in the tread; it looked like a cat’s claw made of industrial ceramic.

After removing the object and changing the tube, I knew that I should trash the tire when I got home. I have several spares. I was too lazy or forgetful. Yet I knew deep down that the tire slash could let in other awful things from the asphalt.

Moreover, I was heading to Cambridge this morning for a tech writer’s meeting on agile development.  I was in bike clothes, but I swapped my regular, small bag for a full messenger one, which held shoes, dress pants and a nice shirt, along with cell phone, note bad, biz cards and on and on. I thought of everything…except my regular repair kit. You, know the one with the tire levers, spare tube, patch kit and so forth.

I’m good at changing tubes and had the rear tire off when I visualized my spare parts in my yellow bag in the basement. It was a real Homer doh! moment.

Although chilly, the sun inspired herds and hoards of cyclists headed to work or school. Dozens, maybe 100, whipped on by.  Jolly cycling

It was a no-bikes-on-the-T time. I reasoned that I might be able to lock up the bike, take the T to the meeting, and then return to find myself in the same fix. Instead, I accepted the situation and called my wife to come get me for the first time ever.

While waiting for her, I got the treat of cycling fellowship. Among the many passing, one stopped. She asked about my troubles and then offered me the use of her levers as well as a replacement tube.

She was all decked out in cycling clothes and a yoga mat was obvious in her backpack. She was not only willing to stop but would have taken the time to get me back on the road.

If she had stopped before my wife left the house, I would have done it and then gotten enough information to get her the spare tube back. Good on her.

I didn’t even introduce myself or get her name. She’s the considerate cyclist to me only. Again, good on her.

Not to be self-congratulatory, but I can say that I have done the same before, while this is the first time I got the offer myself. Particularly when I rode downhill bikes,  I had learned to carry two tubes. Those trail hazards can be nasty. A couple of times then, I found dummies in the Blue Hills and elsewhere with flats and no spare tubes.

Today, I was the dummy.

All hail to that cyclist. She has a good heart. In fact, I think I’ll tuck a second tube in my bag. I ride with one but it wouldn’t hurt to be ready for someone else.

Today, I’m feeling good about Bostonians.

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