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Old 11-14-08, 08:09 PM
bicycle tourist
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,782

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

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May 14th on a cross Canada trip, my rear rim fell apart near mile 500 of the Alaska Highway. My trip report here: describes 129 miles cycling, 2.5 miles walking and 7 miles hitchhiking on a long day. Unfortunate thing was it took 6 days for a new wheel to be sent up the Alaska Highway. Fortunate thing was that it was right near some beautiful hot springs and a nice lodge in some beautiful country.

August 16th on a trip around Australia, I discovered my frame was cracked. My trip report here: is a little more fortunate that the duct tape held for another 280km to Geraldton and I was able to get a replacement bike after that.

However, a "worst day turns wonderful" story happened to someone else who was on a tour I was leading. This was back when I was in college and I organized a four day ride from Boston to Nantucket and then tip of Cape Cod to return. We had one rest day on Nantucket and it was a beautiful day, so we decided to do a ride around bit of the island. We were out riding admiring the scenery and I was taking up the rear. Another rider, I'll call her "E" was just ahead. I noticed a parked car along the road and expected E to have seen it as well to ride around it. Much to my surprise, E ran smack into the back of the parked car. E had only minor bruises but unfortunately the force of the impact was transferred from steel rims to buckle her frame. The occupants of the car who were nearby watching birds were kind enough to pack up E and the bicycle and take her into Nantucket town. The rest of us cycled there to meet her and consider the options.

The rest of the crew took off to cycle back to the hostel while E and I investigated. Perhaps one could go to the dump when it opened the next morning and look for a discarded frame to transfer components but otherwise it seemed like a bus ride back to Boston was in E's future. We locked up remains of E's disabled bike and then both walked the several miles back to the hostel.

As we got back to the hostel, our other friends met us again. They were smiling and grinning. They introduced us to a gentleman who said he was going to donate his bicycle to E. That seemed a bit strange and a little too generous, so we waited as we got out the rest of the story. This gentleman said he was from NYC and had bought this bicycle prior to the vacation and didn't have much plan to go back and be able to ride again. It truly was a gift from his heart as he heard of E's plight from our friends. We tried once or twice if we might give him something for his troubles, but he really did insist and at some point as college students we gracefully declined. We were very thankful for this stranger's very kind donation.

The next day we retrieved some of the remaining components from E's bicycle and continued on our journey to tip of Cape Cod. We were happy to have E with us, all due to kind generosity of a kind gentleman from New York.
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