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I picked up a random stranger who got dropped

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I picked up a random stranger who got dropped

Old 09-09-19, 10:57 PM
  #1  
softreset
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I picked up a random stranger who got dropped

This evening while driving home from work on my usual route, I had the Sacramento area river ride zip past me. Or at least I think that's what it was, they were coming down W Elverta Road (just NW of the airport) but before Power Line Rd. Not a typical route if I recall.

Anyway, I saw a gentleman who was clearly making the call of shame so I safely pulled over to the side of the road about 100 feet past him and asked if he needed help. I typically keep a "go kit" of misc cycling supplies in my vehicle at all times for myself, such as a floor pump, tubes, a spare tire and other misc things. I drive to work and bring my bike for a post-work ride pretty regularly. Ironically I had taken all that stuff out yesterday because I was going to get the car detailed one last time for the year before the winter season.

I first made sure he was OK and he said "yes" followed by... "I'm calling an Uber." No spare tube/refill device.

I know the ride typically departs from the greater Garden Hwy area (figured Chevy's) and I offered to give him a ride back to his car. About 15 miles away, in the complete opposite direction of Roseville (where I live & was headed).

He was very grateful, we chatted about his predicament and some replacement tire options. He was probably still stunned what was happening and maybe even more surprised that I was also clearly an avid cyclist. All's well that end's well, I dropped him off at his truck and drove home.

Truthfully, all I could think about... "all the Bike Forums threads about waving and helping/asking cyclists on the side of the road/MUP/trail" when I drove by. I knew I had to stop, it just felt right. Because next time I can say, "as a motorist, I pull over." Plus, I wanted some good karma on my record to maybe cash out for a Raider's W tonight at home. Looking good on that front.

My wife, shockingly, wasn't mad that I picked up a random hitchhiker. As I joked with her, "the only guy going to get mugged was the dude that put the $7000 bike in my car." (not serious, don't need another bike) Anyway, figured I'd share that amusing story with ya'll. I've never stopped like that for a cyclist in need but it was (in some weird way) motivated by my love of those types of threads on BF that compelled me to do it.
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Old 09-09-19, 11:23 PM
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Wow, good for you! You definitely have earned some bike karma. I haven’t done the Monday night ride in a while, but I think that’s the typical Monday night route: basically a loop of the airport and heading back south on Metro Air Park.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:49 AM
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Old 09-10-19, 06:38 AM
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I wouldn't call it a "call of shame" if he had a flat or other mechanical issue that kept him from going. If he was dropped from a group ride and couldn't get back by the time it got dark and had no lights, that'd be a different story IMO. Or if he was doing some type of long ride (like a double century) in a loop, was 30 mi away and just couldn't do the rest.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by firebird854 View Post
I wouldn't call it a "call of shame" if he had a flat or other mechanical issue that kept him from going. If he was dropped from a group ride and couldn't get back by the time it got dark and had no lights, that'd be a different story IMO. Or if he was doing some type of long ride (like a double century) in a loop, was 30 mi away and just couldn't do the rest.
- He had a flat and didn't bring any supplies to address it on the ride.
- Almost an hour of sun left
- 15 miles into a 30 mile ride

He used the phrase as well when we were discussing it.

"Call of shame" is a pretty nebulous, in my opinion. I agree that there are absolutely scenarios where there's no shame in calling for a pickup.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:15 AM
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I also used to keep a box of bike supplies in my car for this purpose. Of course, like OP, the one time I pulled over to help someone, it turns out I had taken it out of my trunk a few days earlier for some reason.

This reminds me, I need to buy an extra pump for my new bike. Went out for a 5 a.m. ride this morning and realized about 15 miles in that I'd left my pump at home. Luckily didn't need it, but I shouldn't tempt fate.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:39 AM
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If I'm ever in the same situation, I hope someone like you drives by to help.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:08 AM
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I was on a ride on Saturday and I saw a woman cyclists with two tubes out and frustration on her face. I yelled, "are you Ok?". She yelled, No. I stopped, gave her a tube and a CO2 cartridge and got her tire on her rim for her. That is the sixth tube and CO2 cartridge I have given to stranded riders this year. What goes around, comes around. Hopefully, I'll find someone that can help me when I am stranded.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:17 AM
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First of all: good on you, and I hope if I'm ever in a situation of need, someone with your mentality and good intent comes along!

re: the "Call of Shame"--I used to ride with a complete kit to fix my tires, levers, pump, multitool, two spare inner tubes (just in case of the dreaded double flat!). Along with phone, keys, credit card, etc...it started getting very bulky. Plus going with progressively more aero and lighter bikes, while trying to gain speed...it was all too much. I was on a search for ever more streamlined saddle bags, but the race-style saddles coming with my race and aero bikes would make mounting them more and more difficult. Even when I did get them to mount, it often looked awkward and bulky.

So I've decided, since most of my rides are on or near well traveled roads and big cities, to leave all that behind. I went tubeless, which should fix all but the most egregious punctures, and keep just the keys and phone I need in a small Silka undersaddle pouch that is basically the same dimensions as my cell phone but maybe an inch and a half thick when fully loaded. I have one small frame pump in case the sealant takes longer to fix the puncture and deflates the tire too low. I left all the other tools and flat kit behind, and have resigned myself to using Uber/Lyft/Friend if something goes horribly wrong. Water bottle, Wahoo Roam, and nutrition (on long rides) are the only other things I bring. I alleviated probably 2-3lbs and associated bulk from my bikes.

First week or so with this new strategy I felt nervous, wondering when the hole in my plan would surface. But now it's been over a month of solid riding nearly every day, and knock on wood, so far so good. If I ever do a century ride, or am going out further away from civilization, I will of course bring the full kit for safety reasons. But for 99% of my rides, this strategy has worked so far.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by softreset View Post
This evening while driving home from work on my usual route, I had the Sacramento area river ride zip past me. Or at least I think that's what it was, they were coming down W Elverta Road (just NW of the airport) but before Power Line Rd. Not a typical route if I recall.

Anyway, I saw a gentleman who was clearly making the call of shame so I safely pulled over to the side of the road about 100 feet past him and asked if he needed help. I typically keep a "go kit" of misc cycling supplies in my vehicle at all times for myself, such as a floor pump, tubes, a spare tire and other misc things. I drive to work and bring my bike for a post-work ride pretty regularly. Ironically I had taken all that stuff out yesterday because I was going to get the car detailed one last time for the year before the winter season.

I first made sure he was OK and he said "yes" followed by... "I'm calling an Uber." No spare tube/refill device.

I know the ride typically departs from the greater Garden Hwy area (figured Chevy's) and I offered to give him a ride back to his car. About 15 miles away, in the complete opposite direction of Roseville (where I live & was headed).

He was very grateful, we chatted about his predicament and some replacement tire options. He was probably still stunned what was happening and maybe even more surprised that I was also clearly an avid cyclist. All's well that end's well, I dropped him off at his truck and drove home.

Truthfully, all I could think about... "all the Bike Forums threads about waving and helping/asking cyclists on the side of the road/MUP/trail" when I drove by. I knew I had to stop, it just felt right. Because next time I can say, "as a motorist, I pull over." Plus, I wanted some good karma on my record to maybe cash out for a Raider's W tonight at home. Looking good on that front.

My wife, shockingly, wasn't mad that I picked up a random hitchhiker. As I joked with her, "the only guy going to get mugged was the dude that put the $7000 bike in my car." (not serious, don't need another bike) Anyway, figured I'd share that amusing story with ya'll. I've never stopped like that for a cyclist in need but it was (in some weird way) motivated by my love of those types of threads on BF that compelled me to do it.
This post gives me hope. Thank you!
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Old 09-10-19, 09:29 AM
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What is shameful is a grown man that can't fix a tire while out on a ride.
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Old 09-10-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
What is shameful is a grown man that can't fix a tire while out on a ride.
Maybe not shameful, but certainly preventable. Flats are part of cycling. One should be prepared.

That said, kudos to the OP for helping out a fellow cyclist.
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Old 09-10-19, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
What is shameful is a grown man that can't fix a tire while out on a ride.
So every single ride you've ever gone on in your life, you've been 100% completely prepared and never forgotten anything? And also you've never been in a hurry and taken a chance because you figured you'd risk getting a flat instead of missing the group ride? Congratulations, you're perfect! Kudos! You win the internet!
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Old 09-10-19, 10:14 AM
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I made the 'call of shame' one time when I was on a grocery run. Two minutes in I realized I had forgotten my patch kit, but thought, what the heck. What are the odds? Ten km into the ride I hit a piece of glass and flatted. Apparently the odds were pretty good that day. Called the wife for the pick up.

Edit: You're thinking, he rides 10 km to pick up grocery? It's actually 15. But yes.
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Old 09-10-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
So every single ride you've ever gone on in your life, you've been 100% completely prepared and never forgotten anything?
No. But he’s probably been ashamed.
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Old 09-10-19, 02:57 PM
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A few years ago I was sitting on my couch, relaxing my Saturday away when my wife came in and said a guy was out on the road with a broken bike. She told the guy I would be right there to help. I thought Gee, thanks honey, but I got out there and his rear derailleur hanger was busted off. So we through his bike in my car and I drove him ~20 min to his car. Turns out he was from out of town, heard about the good bike culture/riding in Austin, and borrowed someone's bike to check it out.
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Old 09-10-19, 04:57 PM
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I grew up in a small and mostly agricultural town in upstate N.Y. In fact there were still two farmers using horses to work their fields. (This was back at the close of the bronze age) Stopping to check on someone broken down by the side of the road was the way things were done. I'm glad to see that a some people still behave as if they lived in a small town.
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Old 09-10-19, 05:19 PM
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I don't Uber.
Wife out of the country.
I don't have any friends.
Daughter busy with BF.
Nobody stops for me anyway.
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Old 09-10-19, 08:03 PM
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I use to commute about 19-20 miles each way to work and one fateful morning I had not 1, not 2 but 4 flats. I had enough supplies for 3. Every since then, I've just always been over prepared to the point where I probably carry too much stuff.

That being said, one never knows when you'll get a flat or how many. So I agree that having at least supplies for a single flat is a given for most/many of us. But I've definitely gone for a 'quick' ride and thought... "I don't need all this stuff."

It was my pleasure to help the guy and I'd probably do it again if the situation presented itself. At the end of the day, I'm a big fan of promoting a fun/positive cycling culture in my community because it's a great hobby/sport.
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Old 09-11-19, 11:26 AM
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I very nearly stopped to help a motorist, on my bike ride the other day. He was driving one with a carb. and I likely knew more than he did. It was hot and humid in the extreme. Next time.
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Old 09-12-19, 10:11 AM
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Good on you. I've been helped and I've done the helping. Call it karma or whatever, being the good person is the right thing to do.
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Old 09-12-19, 10:13 AM
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I would never judge someone who relies on calling a friend/Uber/Lyft, etc. I mean look at pro riders. They have entire teams following them in cars as they race.
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Old 09-12-19, 02:38 PM
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When I saw "call of shame" I immediately thought "walk of shame". That's when the pilot has to walk the length of the plane to use a bathroom.
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Old 09-12-19, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
When I saw "call of shame" I immediately thought "walk of shame". That's when the pilot has to walk the length of the plane to use a bathroom.
Huh. The first time I heard Walk of Shame, it was in reference to the college I went to, where the fraternities and sororities were on opposite sides of the campus. Specifically, in reference to (usually during early morning hours) when you saw a sorority girl, clearly in last night's party clothes, walking back to the sororities.
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Old 09-13-19, 01:54 PM
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good man, I spent 1.5 hrs roadside waiting for a taxi this summer while lots of guys in big pickups just drove by
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