Just to give you a start - and taste - of the crazy topic I'm opening up, this thread is to write stories - true - of the people you've met as a result of being a cyclist. And how it happened.
I'll start -
Yesterday afternoon I crested the meanest, nastiest, and steepest ascent in my local area. I often strike out for this place. It's next to a college and has a nice bench and a nice picnic-table. And I've seen some of the wildest cast of bicycles and the people who ride them. I gotta learn to always carry a camera. Well yesterday was no exception. Read on.
Behind me, from my viewing-stand at the picnic-table, I heard some strange pseudo-conversation. So I turned around and looked. There was a rather plump and perplexed woman with her old no-name bicycle. She was chatting away with herself(? - you'll see) while dropping things and trying to read some piece of paper she was waving. And she had a big, wire basket. It appeared she was trying to install this basket - in the parking-lot of the college. And not too successfully. In that I always carry a tool-set to help cyclists in need, I walked over to her. I tried very hard not to let my jaw drop.
Dressed in a puffy pink blouse and exercise-pants, she had a very notable beard - like 4:00 o'clock shadow from three days ago. She kept talking to herself, and now to me, as she told me what the problem was. She had a Wald basket in need of being attached to a brand-new rear rack. This was installed very well - the rack that is. So I walked back over to my PUCH and fished my Topeak Alien II multi-tool from my cache, thinking to myself that this Alien II was an ironically perfect tool for this one.
I helped her pick up the bolts and nuts and what-nots she'd scattered about on the pavement under our feet. I looked at the instructions. And, with some missing-parts, managed to get the basket attached enough to ride with - but in need of parts that had vanished into...The Twilight Zone. I lit a cigarette. And I explained to her(?) that without these parts, she wouldn't fly, Orville.
I suggested she go to the shop that sold her this contraption and ask them to find the parts and help her assemble same. The old hybrid-cross-mixte she was on fascinated me - so I took some mental snapshots of it. Cursed myself for not having my digital camera. And made a graceful run for it.
So.....I RAN INTO THE BEARDED-LADY!
(Got the guts? Write it up!)