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  1. #1
    Planet Saver billwatson58's Avatar
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    a tale of cyclists needing serous help

    So Tuesday around 11am I'm about an hour south of Macon GA on Hwy 23 and come over a little rise in the road and I pass 3 people walking their bikes, on the wrong side of the road, and get a sense they might need help. I turn around and they tell me they are traveling from Knoxville TN to Florida to visit a sick grandparent. They were walking on the wrong side of the road because it had more shade. The son's (William) bike had a major problem with the rear wheel hub, as in it was super loose. I try to adjust/tighten it (happened to have my bike tools with me), it's still way sloppy, so I take it off the bike to inspect it and find it is missing one of the bearings. They were walking to the next town 15 miles ahead to see about getting it fixed. If they were walking at 4 miles an hour it would take them nearly 4 hours to walk into town. I tell them I will take William and the bike into town to try and get it fixed. Before William and I leave, I pump up everyone's tires - all of them had 20 psi or less and they should have had 65 psi. The mom and dad were both pulling trailers with camping gear in them, and their 3 dogs! One trailer had one dog, the other one had two. So I take William and his bike to town, talk to someone the hardware store and explain the situation and he said he would try to help him. I head back north and find the mom and dad riding along, I stop and tell them that William is at the hardware store, wish them luck and continue on my way.
    Bikes are fun. And better.

  2. #2
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    Doh!!!! That is like a story with no ending...... A cliff hanger.... Very cool of you to help out though...
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
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  3. #3
    ... Brittain's Avatar
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    Good thing you came along and were able to help them. Hope they get back on their way quickly (and with tuned-up bikes).

    Hearing how much stuff they have reminds me of some tourers that came through recently. A mom and a daughter were carrying so much gear. My guess is that they were carrying 100 lbs each (they had it all boxed up since they were taking the train, but I am so curious how they carried all of it on the road). I guess some people feel like they need to have a lot of stuff (I can't fathom having 3 dogs also, though).

  4. #4
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    I forgot when I made that post above last night. A few years ago while riding on a rail trail I saved myself a $100 ticket by stopping to help somebody. I was riding out, on an out and back on a rail trail and slowed WAY down at the one stop sign like I always do, like everybody does. This stop sign is out in the middle of nowhere, maybe 1 time in 20 do you see a car on the road there. Good visibility so you can see if any traffic is coming. Anyway on the way back I did the same thing at the sign only as I went through I noticed another cyclist walking his bike. So I stopped and offered him a patch and the use of my tire pump. While helping him out a State cop walks over and says "you just saved yourself a $100 ticket for being a good samaritan, I saw you not stop on the way by the first time and was going to give you a ticket if you didn't stop on the way back". He was parked behind some trees where you could hardly see him.
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by billwatson58 View Post
    3 people walking their bikes, on the wrong side of the road,
    By the "wrong" side of the road, do you mean against traffic? If so, realize that many (if not most) states have laws requiring pedestrians to walk against the flow of traffic if there is no sidewalk. It's a safety thing. Because walking is usually undertaken at a slower pace than cycling, you don't have the reduced reaction time factor that you do when you cycle against traffic.

  6. #6
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Yep, here in PA it's ride with traffic, walk against it (though I don't think it's a law):

    http://www.drivesafepa.org/Traffic-S...strian-Safety/

    Pedestrian Safety Tips

    • Wear light-colored, reflective clothing so you can be seen.
    • Walk against traffic.
    • Make eye contact with motorists before crossing the street.
    • Be aware of your surroundings.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LarryMelman's Avatar
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    There are several things about this story that seem... well, let's just say "fishy".

    If their bikes were in the dire condition described, you might have extended their lives by a day or two. Or you escaped a scam. Or the whole thing is made up. Can't really tell.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagraham View Post
    Yep, here in PA it's ride with traffic, walk against it (though I don't think it's a law):
    Almost certainly the law too. The law is the same in every state (as far as I know).

  9. #9
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Thanks for helping, you're a good person!!!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  10. #10
    djb
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    nice of you to help, but they certainly were not well prepared or even knowledgeable (20 psi tires)
    I dunno, in my family we did lots of outdoor stuff growing up, but haphazardness and poor prep was never on the list.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Very nice of the OP to help out some cyclists in distress, but I have to wonder about the judgement of the parents. Who would send their kid off with a stranger and not flip out when the stranger returns after leaving him somewhere up the road?

  12. #12
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Nice of you to help them out. I always try to do the same with touring cyclists. Just last week I read in another forum of a couple who were starting their tour in my town. They were foreigners and didn't realize the route they'd take to the coast from here is quite dangerous. I offered to give them a ride past the dangerous part, which they accepted. It was a 180-mile round trip for me, but I met some nice folks and rested a little easier knowing they weren't going to get creamed by a logging truck on a shoulder-less switchback.

  13. #13
    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryMelman View Post
    There are several things about this story that seem... well, let's just say "fishy".

    If their bikes were in the dire condition described, you might have extended their lives by a day or two. Or you escaped a scam. Or the whole thing is made up. Can't really tell.
    I'm guessing they may not be as educated as you on the knowledge of cycling. Not everyone is. I don't think the story is made up. Granted, I wouldn't let my kid go with a stranger but I don't see where a scam could have taken place.
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    Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GoGranny's Avatar
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    I hope these folks meet more good samaritans like you and don't end up in an ER with heat exhaustion before they get to their destination. They sound like they're already at the end of their rope. I wonder if they didn't own a car or perhaps were homeless?
    What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

  15. #15
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Almost certainly the law too. The law is the same in every state (as far as I know).
    New text:
    Don't know where my brain was, but it clearly wasn't engaged when I typed this. Perhaps it was the fact that for two days I was dressed in three layers of clothing in the blazing sun, standing over a hot fire. Gee it felt good to return home last night, and when I woke up this morning, the realization of "you idiot, left IS opposing traffic" hit me. So, njkayaker, it's the law here too in PA - walk to the left - if there is no sidewalk or shouilder.

    Old text:
    Actually, what PennDOT suggests on its Pedestrian Safety Website and what the law reads is contradictory in certain circumstances. For example, see Section 3544 (c):



    Section 3544. Pedestrians walking along or on highway.
    (a) Mandatory use of available sidewalk.—Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it is unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.

    (b) Absence of sidewalk.—Where a sidewalk is not available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway.

    (c) Absence of sidewalk and shoulder.—Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall walk as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall walk only on the left side of the roadway. (emphasis added)

    (d) Right-of-way to vehicles.—Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. (My question is, if bicycles are vehicles, they don't yield to pedestrians except as otherwose provided?)

    Now to return this to the topic...

    I would venture a guess and say that son William was not a minor, right? It was very nice of you to stop. I usually do, whether on my bike or out by auto. You never know when you may need a return favor -- and I've patched many punctured tires and skinned knees, mine as well as others.
    Last edited by jagraham; 07-25-11 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Brain wasn't engaged when posting.

  16. #16
    Planet Saver billwatson58's Avatar
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    I've been on the road* is why I haven't replied. The dad said they would have driven but they didn't have $500 to get the car fixed. I was worried for them given how hot it was and that they were planning on walking to the next town. While I admired their spirit in trying to do what they were doing, it was unfortunate they weren't better prepared/equipped. Here's my picture of them...look closely and you'll see the dog in the trailer. BrokeDownInGeorgia.jpg

    *www.bicycleillinois.com/adecco
    Bikes are fun. And better.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GoGranny's Avatar
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    Wherever they are now, I wish them well. Maybe another forum member will see them.
    What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

  18. #18
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    Well after looking at the photo.... They really don't have the homeless look that some of the rainbow people have when they are in town (they are near me in the Ocala National Forest) once a year. They look well happy considering their situation. And they look clean..... (cleaner than I look after some of my rides... LOL).
    "If you see me walking, my bike is busted!!"
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  19. #19
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    What a kind thing you did! I honestly believe that whenever you do a good turn, it will always come back to you in spades.

    Hopefully, the rest of the trip went smoothly for them.

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