Another flat tire but my faith is restored in the kindness of strangers

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by DHinrichs, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. DHinrichs

    DHinrichs New Member

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    Yesterday I got another flat tire. This was unusual because I was riding my mountain bike on paved trails. Because I was riding my mountain bike I didn't have a patch kit or even a tire pump--flats just generally don't happen under these conditions. I had only gone about 3 1/2 miles from my house so I was still very much in a populated area. I walked to a store and called my wife so she could come to rescue. The real story though is that while I was waiting on the edge of the parking lot and taking advantage of the wait to look for the hole in inner tube, a woman came out of the store walked accross the parking lot to me and asked me if I needed a ride home! Just a week and a half ago I had to ask three different sets of people for assistance when I rode the rear tire off my bike on a very long ride. The one who gave me a ride was VERY reluctant and it took me about 5 minutes of conversation to convince her that I was safe. Now there were some differences that may play a major role. The first time it was getting dark to basically completely dark by the time I finally convinced the person to haul me to where I needed to go. This time it was full daylight and my bike was very obviously out of commission since I had the wheel off and the inner tube pulled out.

    So when has someone been nice to you?
     
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  2. madbikebloke

    madbikebloke New Member

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    Hi,

    I have found many people stop and offer help . I cycle to and from work on a canal towpath and have found that many other cyclist are very helpfull.

    A few years ago I discovered that green slime stuff that stops punctures. Since then my punctures are very few and far between. Only last night, about 5 miles from home ,I had a big puncture which the slime managed to seal . True , my tyre pressure dropped from 80 psi to about 20 , but it was enough to get me back home.
     
  3. Telegram Sam

    Telegram Sam New Member

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    I find folks always stop to help if I get a flat- I live in a cycle heavy area. I would suggest to D that a cell phone would be a good idea - that way the only person you have to convince to give you a ride is your wife:)
     
  4. bretth

    bretth New Member

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    Hi,
    I took a heavy fall about two weeks ago, and while standing on the side of the road surveying the damage to my bike and to myself, about six or seven cyclists rode past me without a second look.
    I managed to fix the bike myself using brute force and a handy rock, LOL,so all's well that ends well.

    I would like to know what cycling etiquette demands in this situation.

    I have recently rejoined the sport, and am loving being back on the bike, but in the distant past when I rode big miles daily, I ALWAYS stopped to help.

    I know I live in South Africa, but come on!!!! Help a brother or sister in trouble!!!

    Great forum.

    Thaks,
    Brett
     
  5. Telegram Sam

    Telegram Sam New Member

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    It sounds like cyclists in South Africa are assholes- here, every cyclist stops or at least asks-in fact, I have had cars offer help as well...but ussually I am just fixing a flat.

    Funny story- My wife and I ride the same 25 every Sunday- we call it the Cloverdale Tour de Farce because it is definately a stop and sniff the roses (and have a glass of wine at our favorite winery) ride, but we live for it. One day we ended up in acrowd of Triatheletes (VineMan Triathalon) and she still had her girls frame hybrid...which she was puttering through the crowd at a very slow speed- seems all those people made her pretty nervous. Well, I lost her in the pack and I pulled over at one point about 2 miles ahead of her at one of the Tri stops. Now, if triathelets had beer guts- I'd pass for one, but as it stands I certainly stood out. The people handing out bananas and gatorade offered me refreshments and asked if I was OK (I must look pretty bad-they were going for the cell phones- could be the pack of vultures that follows me waiting for my heart to give out). I declined but was thrilled to see that several of the atheletes also asked if I was ok, and many slowed if they weren't in the pack-willing to lend a hand.
    It was the best ride I remember (wifey hated it- oh well) and I don't think one of the 600 contestants went past without saying good morning-they seemed to know they were interrupting my ride and not the other way around, and they were fantastic- I suggest you come to Norhtern Sonoma County, California- where we have etiquette, beautiful rides in the country,and all the wine you can handle (and still bike home)- I promise you will not have another experience like the one you have described
    Cheers
     
  6. DHinrichs

    DHinrichs New Member

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    You know, I (almost) always stop if it looks like another cyclist is in distress especially if it looks like they are under-prepared for the event and I have the tools that could help. That's one of the reasons why I was surprised that one of the two or three times I was really in need of some assistance and it took a long time (and a lot of carefull talking) to get it. For instance, a few weeks before I did the long ride where I rode the the rear tire off my bike, I came across a cyclist sitting on the side of the road next to his very nice bike. I stopped and he admitted to cramps from having ridden up a big hill too fast. We were going very much in the same direction so I pulled him for the next 10 miles. It's just the right thing to do.

    I also stop because of the other time I really needed help and no one stopped. I was riding my bicycle home after having dropped my car off to have it serviced. I was riding through the city (Minneapolis) during rush hour and hit a pot hole that jarred my hands off the handlebars and I went down HARD. My bike was damaged (broken bits, metal ground off the pedals) and I had blood running down my leg from having ground my knee into hamburger along with the somewhat milder road burn that ran for a good 8 inches down my leg below it. Lots of cars going by, I was obviously hurt and the bike was in not great condition, NO ONE stopped. After a bit I eventually had to ride the remaining mile and half back to my house with one leg, one brake (although with only one leg power I couldn't go real fast) and a lot of pain. Luckily it was only a mile and a half.

    Anyway, I have at least a passing belief in some sort of karmic evening out of things so I try and stop to help others as much as I can.

    --David
     
  7. Binge

    Binge New Member

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    I haven't yet come across a biker in need of aid, but if I did, I'd stop and try to help. I always feel kinda bad when I see someone in need of help, say in a car, and I don't stop... :confused:
     
  8. p38lightning

    p38lightning New Member

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    I had a guy stop and offer a ride in the back of his pickup on a rainy day without my ever asking. Most of the time I just walk it in and content myself with having gotten complete exercise in another form.

    As to the woman that you had to convince, Dude this is 2004 and anything and everything is possible in an encounter with a strange person. If she'd been my wife I'd have seriously questioned her good judgement. Remember,
    mass murderer Ted Bundy would set up his victims buy putting a cast on his arm and asking for help in moving something into his car!

    It's not that I have no faith in mankind but at 6'1" and 255Lbs I recognize that my situation in these circumstances is different than many others, especially the great majority of women!
     
  9. Rider.Norco

    Rider.Norco New Member

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    ya some ppl are really nice like the other week some how i managed to blow both of my tires on a smashed bottle on the trail i was on and as i was walking back to camp 3 guys offered to help me with my tires i said ok not really knowing what they could do but they gave me a new tube and patched my other one and blow me up
     
  10. Telegram Sam

    Telegram Sam New Member

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    UGH! where do you people learn the English language? They probably helped you because they felt sorry for you once you started talking!
    Sorry, I'm being an a-hole...but this is ridiculous
     
  11. shimmy

    shimmy New Member

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    Hi,
    I was out last week in Macclesfield Forest, i got a flat and had only around 1 mile to go to my car so didnt bother fixing my wheel. But i felt really good when someone drove past, stopped turned round, came back and offered me a lift in his car, he had a bike on the back, so was obvoiusly a cyclist as well. It restored my faith in human nature - well at least in us cyclists anyway.......................... :)
     
  12. JTEK

    JTEK New Member

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    Man, I've had no help with the people on my path. I was riding a few days ago and fell and bent my pedal and couldn't ride. I pulled out my cell phone and called for a ride. About 10 cyclists passed me but not a single one asked if I needed anything. I was just sittin there on the side of the path watchin them go by...:(
     
  13. RobotDeathSquad

    RobotDeathSquad New Member

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    When I had my close call to getting hit on friday and my tire totally popped, this kid that was the neighbor of hte girl that almost hit me came right over to see if I was ok and then offered to help me fix the bike. He goes "Can we fix it? I got tools!!!!". He was almost excited to try to fix it. Unfortunately I don't carry a spare tire (tube, yes, tire no) so we could do nothing but wait for the ride. He waited the whole time with me chatting about the weather and such. It was nice.
     
  14. gixser11

    gixser11 New Member

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    When I crashed hard a couple years ago, (came around a corner on a paved trail and hit a 3 foot high pole in the middle of the path that was concealed by high weeds along the path at about 20 mph), I was very fortunate. As I was sprawled out on the ground with a grade 3 separated shoulder a very nice biker came upon me. She happened to be a nurse and also carried a first aid kit and a cell phone. She called 911 on her cell phone and began to clean up my road rash until the ambulance got there.
    I was very lucky. I will definitely help a biker if I come upon them in need.
     
  15. JTEK

    JTEK New Member

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    Dang man, a nurse cyclist! Thinkin about that almost makes me want to get hurt... :p
     
  16. domaindomain

    domaindomain New Member

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    Well OP, I disagree with you about when punctures happen - for me its any time that I go anywhere without a pump / tube / etc...

    For a while now, I've kept a small saddle pack with tubes, levers, mini tool and, in winter, a spare folding tyre on every bike.

    Hopefully they will be needed only very infrequently but I just know that the day I didn't have it would be the day I flatted...
     
  17. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I consider myself very lucky to live where I do. On the American River Bicycle trail in Sacramento I have stopped to help a number of people with flat tires over the years. I figure what goes around comes around. Even if I am just resting at the side of the road someone will ask if I am ok while they go past. I am the guy that has the spare tube, patch kit, tire pump and levers that I carry with me. I've fixed my own flats most of the time. I've been fortunate so far to not need assistance from anyone else.

    I was with a friend riding one day and he flatted. A passing cyclist gave him a tire patch since he managed to poke a hole in the tube I gave him to fix the one that originally was punctured. Before he put the tube back in his tire I inspected the tire and found the small piece of metal that was causing the flats in the first place. Living in an urban area and having a trail along the river is wonderful. On many places on the trail only when you stop to listen can you tell you are in a city. The greenway is wide enough to hide most of the city the river runs through.
     
  18. gpriatko

    gpriatko New Member

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    San Francisco is definitely a bike friendly city. Mostly we head out across the Golden Gate Bridge and ride loops through the headlands. If we're off the bikes digging through a pack or fiddling with something, most riders that go by will ask if we need any thing.

    We always carry at least one spare tube, levers, a pump, water, and extra food. In the summer, there are lots of visitors and casual riders. Most of these riders have no spares, water, or food. Part of the fun of living in a tourist town is meeting people from other places. We've had plenty of opportunities to help with simple roadside repairs. Plus the occasional cell phone that gets left on the roof of a car, and then slides off into the middle of the road. Ring, ring; hello, yes, I did find your cell phone, would you like to stop by and pick it up?

    Last Saturday we met a guy trying (valiantly) to patch a flap puncture with a patch kit and surgical tape. That was working about as well as you might expect it would. Just as we got him back on the road (he had 1 hour to make it back to the city for an appointment), two visitors on rental bikes stoped and asked for directions. They also wanted to know where they could find some food. A lot of people assume that being so close to the city, you don't need to carry supplies. One Cliff bar and one Fruit bar lighter, we headed up into the hills joking about providing Neutral Support.

    The next day was the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. The cycling course runs through our neighborhood. So we turned out to cheer the riders as they ground their way up El Camino Del Mar to the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The circuit takes the riders out to the beach, up thought Golden Gate Park, and then back the way they came. On the decent down El Camino Del Mar there's a bad bump in the pavement that didn't get fixed before the race. We know about it so we always slow down but most of the riders clearly didn't know about it. Aside from picking up water bottles that had been ejected as they riders bounced over the bump, there didn't seem to be much that we could do. At least until one of the riders (a big guy) flatted coming over the bump. He had a spare tube but he didn't know what to do with it, so he was going to abandon. We fixed him up, he jumped back on his bike, and off he went. Maybe next year we should do this on a motor with half a dozen wheels over our shoulders.
     
  19. DHinrichs

    DHinrichs New Member

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    . Maybe next year we should do this on a motor with half a dozen wheels over our shoulders.[/QUOTE]
    I think that could really be fun... Otherwise just stake out a pot hole or bump and pick up all the unfortunates again that didn't know about it... Better yet, maybe even MORE fun. Make a bump that morning so no one knows about just so you can help LOTS of people. Actually, I really do think playing neutral support for a day would be fun.
     
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