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Old 08-09-05, 08:15 PM   #1
BostonFixed
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Helping other riders

So, today on my way home, I passed by someone walking their bike, with a flat rear tire. The man had a nice bike; a newish cannondale road with mostly 105 components.
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Old 08-09-05, 08:20 PM   #2
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Did you stop to offer help or did you shout, "On your left" as you whizzed by?
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Old 08-09-05, 08:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
So, today on my way home, I passed by someone walking their bike, with a flat rear tire. The man had a nice bike; a newish cannondale road with mostly 105 components.
I'm sure there's more to this story...right?
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Old 08-09-05, 08:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by twahl
I'm sure there's more to this story...right?
here's the rest: After the rider experienced an unfortunate "accident" with a frame pump, BostonFixed was seen shortly thereafter riding a newish Cannondale road with mostly 105 components. The end.
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Old 08-09-05, 09:36 PM   #5
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Whoops. I pressed enter before I finished the post, and went on to browse another website.

Haha. Nice senarios though.

So, here's the rest of the story.

He had no spare tube, patch kit, pump, co2, etc.

So being the nice guy I am, I offer him the use of my pump, levers, and patch kit. The man struggles with the whole affair, removing the tire, etc. He botches the tube repair 3 times, using 3 glue patches on one hole, and finally settles for a random glueless patch that I had. Start to end time is about 45 min.

Now, being the tube repair master that I am, I probably could have done the repair with one patch, correctly the first time in about 10-15 minutes.

It really bothered me to see the man struggling, but I thought that it would be weird if I just fixed his flat for him. -So next time, what should I do?

Fix someones flat for them if they don't have the tools, etc, or let them sorta struggle with my tools, or give them advice and hints as they go along, which I can find REALLY annoying sometimes.


BTW, the guy was at least 8 inches taller than me, so the bike wouldn't have fit by anymeans. And I have a mini pump, not a frame pump. But I have been lusting after a geared (gasp!) road bike lately. Maybe the story would have been different if he was closer to my size.
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Old 08-09-05, 10:20 PM   #6
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If I was in your situation I would have fixed it for him. Couple reasons. One, I would have used less patches. Two, would have been back on the road faster. I'm a nice guy, but I do have other things I need to do too.
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Old 08-09-05, 10:36 PM   #7
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I often stop and help people. I think it's a 50/50 shot that if they don't have what they need to fix a flat, they might not have the knowledge either, so I'll ask first if they have done it before. If not I'll go ahead and do it, but explain what I'm doing and why. So far I don't seem to have made anyone think I was talking down to them, they are generally all smiles and will sometimes ask what they need or brands or other relevant questions.
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Old 08-10-05, 03:49 AM   #8
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I wouldn't hesitate to help any cyclist in need. I only hope that the problem is something I CAN fix. If its a flat, no problem, I have changed enough of my own on these crap roads here in Trenton, NJ.

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Old 08-10-05, 05:14 AM   #9
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I would stop to help others unless I'm running late to get home, very late.

Now whether or not to do the repair. It depends on how pretty she is... No really, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
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Old 08-10-05, 05:25 AM   #10
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Someone once suggested asking "Do you have what you need?" and not "Are you ok?" Sounds more helpful and less condescending.

When it became apparent that this person did not know what he was doing, I would have offered to help: "Mind if I make a suggestion? Try doing it this way. Here, let me show you." Another approach is to simply assume some of the work. For example, you might check the tire for the cause of the flat while he was working on the tube.

After all that, I would also feel entitled to suggest to him that he stop at the LBS on the way home and buy the basics for flat repair.
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Old 08-10-05, 05:44 AM   #11
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When I went out earlier this year - the first time in about 10 years - my short ride turned into a long ride and I got a flat. Someone stopped to help and wouldn't take any money for the patch.

So two lessons learned for me, without any lecture. 1) carry a repair kit. 2) stop and ask about helping.

The person who stopped offered to fix the flat. Fortunately, I did it myself or there would have been a 3rd lesson learned - take a maintenance class.

I think you did the right thing when you stopped. Letting him fix the flat or fixing it yourself were both ok - you just decided on one way after you spoke to the guy. Hopefully, he's learned a couple of lessons as I did and will pass the kindness on.
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Old 08-10-05, 05:59 AM   #12
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I think I would have let him fix it, but pointed out the "how's" if he was doing it wrong, or on certain parts, doing it to show him, then letting him do it. I must have been a teacher in a past life.
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Old 08-10-05, 06:44 AM   #13
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I always stop to offer my help, parts, tools.

I ask if they want to do it or have me do it (The latter is a lot quicker, IMHO).

Oddly, I can't remember a time when passing cyclists asked me if I needed help when I was in the midst of a repair. It's always the passing cars that ask if I need help and usually offer a ride!
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Old 08-10-05, 06:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
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It's always the passing cars that ask if I need help and usually offer a ride!
One afternoon, I was driving home from a ride when I saw a cyclist at the side of the road pumping his tire up with a frame pump. I stopped and offered him my floor pump to make the inflation process easier and to ensure that he had adequate air pressure to avoid a pinchflat on the rest of his ride. It can be quite pleasant to be part of the cycling fraternity, don't you think?
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Old 08-10-05, 03:42 PM   #15
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I agree....You rock!
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Old 08-10-05, 03:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
Did you stop to offer help or did you shout, "On your left" as you whizzed by?

I always offer to help, but recently I had an incident that leaves me questioning that edict.

The other day I came upon a recumbent rider with a blowout on his 20" front tire - couldn't really help him much, except for use of my cellphone to dial up a ride...

After that, things got really weird.
I think I was hit on
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Old 08-10-05, 03:55 PM   #17
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i'll only help if i can get something out of it. i usually ask for a small fee to cover the cost of my time.






i kid, i kid.
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Old 08-10-05, 03:58 PM   #18
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i'll only help if i can get something out of it.
Actually - all joking aside - I think this is why we ALL do it.
It's the good feeling of helping someone in need (and the hidden idea, that Karma will smile on you when you're in the jam)
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Old 08-10-05, 04:25 PM   #19
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Nothing wrong with making a deposit in the 'ole kharma bank. I carry enough resources to help. Not sure I woulda been able to stand there 45 minutes, though.
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Old 08-10-05, 08:00 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the great suggestions so far, and some great stories.

I like the idea of kinda giving suggestions and pointers through the repair, or asking the rider if I should do it for them.

I wasn't in a rush or anything, I had just started my lesuirely ride home from work, and happened upon a rider in distress a few minutes into the ride. if this happened on the way TO work, I probably wouldn't have stopped.

The guy seemed like he knew how to change a tube, he was just a novice, and did a few things differently than what I would have done. Used 3 levers to take the tire off, where I could have used only one, and botched the patch attempts..

Part of the slowup was because my pump was in schrader mode, and he had a presta tube, and I had to change it over, having never done it before.

I asked him if he needed help; it wasn't like he flagged me down or anything.

Thanks all for the advice, and I will use these suggestions next time. I think the 'teaching' method will be the best route next time if I encounter a novice tube-changer/ tire patcher.

I really felt like doing something nice yesterday, to make up for the rest of the time for being a jerk and a *******.

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Old 08-10-05, 08:04 PM   #21
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I ask if they have ever done it before and tell them I don't mind doing it for them.
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Old 08-10-05, 08:14 PM   #22
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I ask if they have ever done it before and tell them I don't mind doing it for them.
Chuck, this may be the best solution so far. Thanks.
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