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Old 05-07-11, 03:41 PM   #1
AlphaDogg
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It pays to help people who have flat tires--both literally and figuratively

I was riding on the Cherry Creek trail in Denver, and I saw a couple with their bikes laying down on the grass off to the side of the trail. I asked them if they needed help. They said yes-they have a flat tire. I couldn't get the wheel off because they didn't have any quick-releases and I don't carry a wrench, so I put a tube patch on the hole in the tire itself. The male in the couple gave me $5 for helping. At first I told him to keep it, but he kept persisting, so I took it from him.

Second-I was riding from the Cherry Creek trail in Denver to the Highline Canal trail in Denver, and I saw a guy off to the side of the trail. He had a flat, he changed his tube, and he couldn't get his hand-pump to work. I tried mine, but it didn't work either. It turned out that the metal screw on the presta valve was jammed. He ended up fixing it, and he still couldn't get his hand pump to work, so I let him use mine. He thanked me. I then noticed that he had no water, so I gave him my spare (disposable) waterbottle. He was so gracious. We got to talking and it turns out that he is Jewish, just like me. He started telling me some sayings in yiddish and Hebrew. I told him my mom's last name is "******" (censored for identity). He said "Oh! I know the ******'s! I know **** ******" and I said "and his daughter ***** ******?" He said "yeah!" I said "well, they're my cousins." I called my mom and told her who I helped, and she said "Oh! I know him! Maybe he'll call and say I owe your son money for fixing my bike... No, he probably won't do that."

I did my 100th mile of the week on today's ride!
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Old 05-07-11, 04:19 PM   #2
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Maybe he'll call and say I owe your son money for fixing my bike.

I did my 100th mile of the week on today's ride!
Congratulations on the mileage and I hope your mother was joking because that is a lame thing to say to someone who was out being nice to others.
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Old 05-07-11, 04:20 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the mileage and I hope your mother was joking because that is a lame thing to say to someone who was out being nice to others.
Thanks! Yeah, she was kidding. She kids with me a lot...
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Old 05-07-11, 09:59 PM   #4
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I've always stopped, or at least slowed down and asked if they need anything. It surprises me how many people ride without patches, pumps or tools.
Around here, though, there's a big assortment of testosterone-crazed ARPs. I'm in my 60s and pretty much look it (I can still change a tube and pump it up with a frame-fit Zefal in less than four minutes, though). Discouragingly often, when I offer help to a 23-year-old dressed like Mighty Mouse, he'll say something like, "What are YOU gonna do, gramps?" or "Eff you, old man."
OK, then, well, I'll just ride on.
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Old 05-08-11, 06:53 AM   #5
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I've always stopped, or at least slowed down and asked if they need anything. It surprises me how many people ride without patches, pumps or tools.
Around here, though, there's a big assortment of testosterone-crazed ARPs. I'm in my 60s and pretty much look it (I can still change a tube and pump it up with a frame-fit Zefal in less than four minutes, though). Discouragingly often, when I offer help to a 23-year-old dressed like Mighty Mouse, he'll say something like, "What are YOU gonna do, gramps?" or "Eff you, old man."
OK, then, well, I'll just ride on.
I just ask if they have everything they need. Most of the time they say "Yes." and I continue on. I've never gotten a rude reply.

I've been on the other end too. Once, while fixing a flat on the katy Trail, I had so many offers of help that it got to be silly.
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Old 05-08-11, 07:51 AM   #6
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Stopped to help a lady in Toronto yesterday. She had a fixed or IGH bike upside down on the side of the road. She'd been carrying fabric in her rear basket that had blown over the side and got caught in the chain. Got it out and carried on and then saw some more strips of the same fabric up the road. Three inch wide strips about 8 feet long. Guess they'd been blowing out until one finally got caught.

Does remind me I need to get a replacement pump though, last one stopped pumping. Guess they need lubing or something inside?
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Old 05-08-11, 08:10 AM   #7
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...The male in the couple gave me $5 for helping. At first I told him to keep it, but he kept persisting, so I took it from him.
Classy guy. That's why you should take $5 when you ride.

I never expect anything in return for helping. I've been on both sides of deal and know that what goes around comes around. I never expect it, but it's a pleasant surprise when help arrives.
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Old 05-08-11, 10:47 AM   #8
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Actually, I stop to offer even when I'm driving.

A couple of months ago, I saw a guy pushing a bike. Stopped and asked if he needed help. He did. Just purchased the bike and didn't know how to fix the flat... Can't believe dealers don't show new buyers how to do that before leaving the store... Didn't have tools, patch, etc.. and neither did I. Do I loaded his bike on my roof rack and drove him about 7 miles out of my way to his home...

Then a little over a week ago I was touring the old indian ruins in the southwest, specifically the Gila cliff dwellings when I was stopped at an intersection by the local police to allow a group of racers in the Tour de Gila by. One of the racers asked the police if he had a hex wrench. The cop didn't so the racer took off and didn't hear when I shouted that I did--since I was traveling with my mountain bike. The cops cleared me through the intersection so I could help the guy. I caught him quickly. We stopped and he fixed his derailer... Which was important to him since this was a mountain stage and he was stuck in the big ring... Then I spent the next hour and a half driving among the racers... Saw a LOT of ROAD RASH. Not a race I can understand people doing. I didn't like going down those mountain roads with the far better brakes on my car...
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Old 05-08-11, 11:25 AM   #9
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I won't take money for helping someone. I've given othe rides my spare tubes while nearing the end of my ride. they offer to send me money but I refuse. Some offer to pay me money but I won't take it.

A few years ago I did an organized ride in the desert. Ride was pretty much over as well as the postride BBQ. I headed out of town and took the back scenic route which happened to be part of the course. I ran across 3 riders that were stranded 20 miles out of town with no support as the vehicles were already back in town long after the ride was over, so they thought.

I had my floor pump so I jumped out of my truck and offered help. Fairly new riders with SWEET new bikes, top of the line stuff. 1 guy had a severly out of true wheel rubbing the brakes and the other two had flat tires. They had gone through 5 tubes and couldn't get any further than a mile without flatting. Of course when they mentioned the new bikes, I new what the problem was, rim strip.

So I repaired the two flats and corrected the rim strips. Plus I trued the dudes wheel. Gina follows me for kicks in my truck on organized rides so I had supplies. Filled their bottles with gatorade, donated 3 tubes and good luck. Plus I got to give them the "don't ever do a long ride on a new bike" speech. They offered me money but I told them to keep it incase they needed a boot for a split tire.

Heck , just the other day I did a nearly total re-setup for some dude on the trail with rear derailleur problems.

I've also asked my wife to drive support on MANY MANY rides, including forum rides. Provided goodies, gatorade, carry jackets etc, even cupcakes for one guy's birthday and we never taken a dime from anybody. It is amazing though. You can help hundreds of riders but the one time you choose not to help one rider, you're considered a jerk by people that sit back and do nothing for others.


Gina (my wife) driving my truck as support through the mountains with tools, ice chest, water, gatorade and sandwiches.
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