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Thread: Road magic

  1. #1
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    Road magic

    I was just wondering how many of you have ever been on a loaded tour and had a total stranger offer you a place to stay for the night or maybe you were broke down on the side of the road or sick or mabey you were injured and someone stopped to see if you needed help.In backpacking we call that Trail Magic.I was in Georgia backpacking on the A.T. at a road crossing and the spring was dried up and some guy came up to me and gave me several bottles of water.Same principal here except i'll call it Road Magic.

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    Not quite the same thing, but I got invited over to a trailer and was plied with dogs and beer at a campground in NH after a family saw my little tent and felt sorry for me. Later during that trip, a woman at a campground gave me half a pie she had baked. The manager of a campground outside of Pozo Alcon, SP gave me a bottle of wine when I told her I had ridden over some pass. It was a challenge, but not grueling, but she was impressed, so who was I to argue?In Oxford Jct., IA our group was invited to spend the afternoon and night in the town's senior center in order to escape the near the 100 degree heat.Several offers of water over the years.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    The kindness of strangers is one of the nicest things about touring. It has taken the form of offers to stay in folks homes, food, cold water in the middle of a hot desert, offers of rides or assistance when broken down, comped rooms, and many other courtesies or generosity.

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    It's true, man.
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    Had a tough guy Harley type hand me $20 dollars "'cause you're doing something cool".

    Had an ex-marine give me a ride 45 miles out of his way to a town when I snapped off a pedal in a remote place. Two days before this, I had found the 6" Crescent wrench I would need to remove and install the plastic platform pedals I then bought off a pawnshop bike and put on my own. I never saw that wrench again. When I found new pedals 125 miles later, the shop I bought them from lent me a wrench to take them off.

    In both cases the conversations that led to the magic was initiated by positive comments on my Marine Corps bike jersey.


    Last edited by truman; 04-24-12 at 09:41 AM.

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    Yep, happens all the time. You can make that magic happen at will after you get some experience, but there is a fine line between magic and mooching, so do your best not to take advantage of it.
    ...

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Yep, happens all the time. You can make that magic happen at will after you get some experience, but there is a fine line between magic and mooching, so do your best not to take advantage of it.
    Yep, I have known a few who definitely crossed that line and went into blatant mooching.

    I will add that those who benefit from road magic should remember to pay it forward.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    I was just wondering how many of you have ever been on a loaded tour and had a total stranger offer you a place to stay for the night or maybe you were broke down on the side of the road or sick or mabey you were injured and someone stopped to see if you needed help.In backpacking we call that Trail Magic.I was in Georgia backpacking on the A.T. at a road crossing and the spring was dried up and some guy came up to me and gave me several bottles of water.Same principal here except i'll call it Road Magic.
    My version of the kindness of strangers.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Yep, I have known a few who definitely crossed that line and went into blatant mooching.

    I will add that those who benefit from road magic should remember to pay it forward.
    What he said.Always give back.

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    I ride by a high school on my way back and forth to work.

    Just the other day I had a young girl offer to buy me lunch,she thought I was homeless.She opened her wallet and started to give me $5,looked like she only had about $10-$12 in there.I thanked her,told her I was on my way home from work and I gave her a $20 for being so nice.

    I get offers all the time for one thing or another while touring,you meet the nicest people most of the time while touring.
    Last edited by Booger1; 04-24-12 at 01:31 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Yes, quite often. We call them Road Angels.
    Last edited by Doug64; 04-25-12 at 10:07 AM. Reason: SPELLING

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    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    When riding through Alberta last summer, a woman who was driving a pick-up offered the use of her cabin to stay for the night. We would have taken her offer if we weren't hell-bent on getting to Edmonton that night.

    When we were in La Crosse, Wisconsin we stopped by a bike shop for a quick repair. The mechanic knew we were trying to head south this day. We then went to the food co-op and had lunch. During this time it started to rain. We ran into the mechanic there who came over to us and said "You don't want to ride in that rain today." He offered us a place to stay. This time, we took up the offer. It was a great night as his house, as we talked a lot about bikes and looked through his collection of bikes and vintage bike ephemera.
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    All the time. As mentioned above, it's the best thing about bike touring. One most memorable time was trying to find a motel in Eugene, OR, after getting off the busy highway onto some residential streets. I asked a woman walking her dog where to find a motel, and she immediately offered her house! Years later, I picked up two German cyclists at my local library and brought them home--they stayed three days and we remain great friends. Definitely pay it back.

    At a town park somewhere, the local kids took up a collection to buy me a motel room. I think they made it up to about five bucks in loose change. Very touching.

    I'm also a long distance hiker and likewise totally enjoy the trail magic when least expected. My favorite on the AT was finding a box of cupcakes and a thermos of hot coffee right on the trail on a cold rainy morning with nobody around.

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    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Someone on this site offered to let me and my touring companions stay at his place along the California coast, not once, but twice. Thanks Al !

    Someone in El Salvador pulled over in front of us and offered bottles of ice cold water.

    An Argentinian woman who we had met at a hostel in Nicaragua met us on the road (by chance) twice over the following couple of weeks, and both times pulled over (she was touring in a rental car) and shared her refreshments with us.

    When my girlfriend had a blowout in a small town in Northern California where there were no 700c tires to be found, Sports LTD in Redding, CA, (60 miles away) put one on a local shuttle bus for us. And when it arrived, we discovered the employees had thrown in chain lube, energy bars, Lip Schit balm, Sport Beans, a Guinness wrapped in a cold pack, and an encouraging note. That was magic.

    On the "pay it back" side of things, we've bought dinners for those who have helped us, gave a lift to a northbound Pacific Coast tourist who was hitchhiking at the start of the long climb to Leggett, CA, gave two Kiwis a 90-mile ride to the Coast so they wouldn't have to ride narrow, winding Hwy 199 in Southern Oregon, and give Sports LTD in Redding a plug every chance we get.
    Last edited by simplygib; 04-24-12 at 07:45 PM.

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    As others have mentioned, it happens all the time. I've been given rides into the nearest city with a bike shop when my tandem's headset blew up, been offered free lodging in very nice houses a number of times, been fed and offered much-needed beverages and have had many wonderful, supportive words from total strangers. Once, I got too ill to go on while at a campground south of Alamosa, CO. The woman who owned the campground arranged for her daughter to drive my companions and me to the hospital and then to the airport. She helped get two bike boxes for the two of us who were flying home, waited until we got on our flight and then drove our remaining rider back to the campground so he could continue on.

    Of course we pay it back/forward whenever the opportunity presents itself. We have changed several car tires for stranded motorists while on tour and have often invited tourists we meet to come over for meals and lodging. My husband gave an Australian tourist he met on the coast $40; that rider had been ripped off while in Eugene (sadly, a common occurrence) and was just about out of cash and needed to ride another 150 miles to meet up with friends who would take care of his troubles.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    Yes, quite often. We call them Road Angles.
    Are acute Road Angles better than obtuse ones? Are right Road Angles the best ones?
    Stuart Black
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    a nice big pot of pasta from a lovely gentleman in a campsit in france, lovely people those french.

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    a nice big pot of pasta from a lovely gentleman in a campsit in france, lovely people those french.

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    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    In my backpacking days, a nearby camper brought over a plate of pancakes with maple syrup one morning. I thought it was for me, but then he set it down in front of my dog! My dog at least got a good breakfast that day.

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    Stuart, don't be obtuse!

    that did get a smile though.

    PS--having had numerous kind offers while on the road, as others have said, it sure is important to give back when you can.

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    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Are acute Road Angles better than obtuse ones? Are right Road Angles the best ones?
    Thanks, there are just some things spell check can not do!

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    We haven't toured a lot but have had Road Magic experiences.

    Not sure if it's road magic or just the universe providing something needed:

    A couple of years ago on a springtime tour from our door, our first day out, we were riding some rural mountainous roads. We saw a lot of road bike riders passing us going the other way heading back to town. My SO remarked that he wished he had brought some armwarmers for the trip. A few minutes later we see a pair of armwarmers strewn all over the road. Stopped to pick them up. One of those road riders had lost them. They had sponsor logos all over them. We had no way of catching up to them to try to return them the the person who lost them, we we kept them and my SO used them.

    On that same road a few years prior on the outskirts of a small town we saw a bunch of quarters (25 cents coins) strewn along the shoulder. We picked up nearly $5 worth of coins.
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    Russ and Laura of pathlesspedaled.com call this serendipity.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

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    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    Nothing a dramatic as some, but often when we stop to consult our map, some will stop their car or walk over to us to give directions. It has been quite helpful at times.

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