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Old 06-28-11, 09:46 AM   #1
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The wonderful side of strangers

I just wanted to share an apparently long-winded story about how absolutely disgusting drivers can be towards cyclists but, more importantly, how wonderfully kind most people are.

My commute home started off so great; I was feeling strong, making great time and having a great time until I looked up to see my entire lane was taken up by an on-coming dump truck.

My commute home is 35km with most of the ride along a two-lane highway that is not terribly busy and have never had a problem with cars or trucks. Well yesterday after about 10km there happened to be a line painting crew in the oncoming lane and a handful of cars that were slowly making there way around. As I approached the cars stopped passing except for a dump truck driver that decided to pass about 5 cars plus the line painting crew using my lane. So as the dump truck was coming straight towards me (and he did see me since he was waving at me to get out of the way) I quickly pulled off the road (over a small ledge) to the very loose gravel shoulder. Luckily, I had no problems stopping and my bike and I were just fine. I would not normally be angry about something like this except that as he passed me he decided the most appropriate thing to do would be to SPIT on me as he passed.

Unfortunately, I didn't get his license plate since I was distracted by the wonderful sound of my rear tire hissing as it went flat from hitting the gravel. I know that there are dickheads in cars and the point of this story was not to vent about how terrible people can be (although that gave me some satisfaction) but to be thankful for all the great people - which came next.

After the incident and a whole bunch of cursing to myself I started to go about the task of repairing the flat. Grabbed the pump, tire levers, texted my wife that I would be a little late and looked for my spare tube - of course no spare tube. Obviously, this was followed by a few more choice words to myself. That is when I met a lovely and kind lady that had recently retired and was just returning home. She asked if everything was ok and I told her the what had just happened and that I was unable to fix the flat.

This lady then went to check if her son was home to help. She told me her son was currently training for an ironman in Hawaii and, in a direct quote from this lady, her son had a "Lance Armstrong-type bike" and would surely have a spare tube for me to fix the flat. Unfortunately, her son wasn't home so she opened her van flipped the seats down and told me to put my bike in the back and she was driving me home. I assured her that my wife would come get me and that I was still 25km away from home but she insisted - what else could I do but accept.

As she drove me home we had a wonderful chat and I completely forgot about the incredibly rude driver that nearly ran me over and then spit on me. People like this make up for all of the rude drivers I have ever encountered out on the road. On this forum I have read a lot about the terrible side of strangers we meet on the road (and always enjoy a good rant) but I would love to know i if anyone else has a story like this.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:13 AM   #2
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If you ever want to get published, I think your story has potential, but it needs to be reworked just slightly. It should start with "Dear Penthouse; I never thought something like this would happen to me..."

Other than that, it's just about right.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:31 AM   #3
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Geez, Richard!

I was thinking more along the lines of a Stephen King novel!
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.

Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-28-11, 10:40 AM   #4
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Pretty sure I would have grabbed a handful of gravel and whipped it at his truck. Glad you've got a calmer temper than me, and that there are still some good people (your SAG driver) out there in the world.

I've stopped and picked up stranded cyclists before. Usually freaks them out until they realize that there's a 4-bike rack on the back of my Jeep. A dirty, banged up, noisy 4x4 slowing down next to you as you're walking along the roadside isn't usually a good sign.
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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Old 06-28-11, 12:48 PM   #5
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Well, that's just a great ending to an otherwise crappy event. Good for you!
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Old 06-28-11, 05:26 PM   #6
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It is always a good thing when your faith in people gets renewed like that. Remember to pay it forward, and her faith in helping out people will be justified.
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Old 06-28-11, 10:00 PM   #7
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Cool story! I read lots of terrible people threads but in my case, I've met 10 times more nice drivers on the road than terrible. I've had many drivers stop to offer help when I've flatted on the road.

Funny though. One thing the recorder is good for is keeping some drivers in line. If I hear tires screeching from behind, I hold up the recorder to get them on video. You'd be surprised at how many drivers will slow their speed when they see it.

Of course the dude that spit on you is a total animal so he may not have cared but still shots can be extracted for license numbers etc.
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