My wife and I both commute from Friendship by way of Boundary Rd and the Eliza Furnace trail. Some days she leaves before I do since she usually has to be in before I do. Today was one of those days.
It was about 10 minutes after she had left the house that she called me saying she had gotten a flat at the bottom of Boundary Rd. I have taken to keeping all my tire repair related gear in an old water bottle so I can just place it in my second water bottle holder while commuting and easily take it up to my office rather than leaving my stuff in my seat bag on the bike. The problem with this is that sometimes you forget the water bottle, as I did yesterday evening. The water bottle was still at the office downtown.
I told my wife I would quickly be on my way and we would figure something out. I decided on my way I would simply swap out our rear wheels so she could go ahead and get to work without being too late. We have identical bikes except one is “mens” and one is “womens”. Upon arriving, I swapped the wheels and told he to go on. I would pump, go and repeat, or walk if I had to. She did not like this idea. So we both walked.
I pumped up, got as far as panther hollow, pumped again and got to the trail head, pumped again and got past the Hot Metal bridge. She stayed with me, saying it was unfair to leave me. She also didn’t mind avoiding work as long as possible. On the next attempt to pump up the tire, the valve core broke out of the valve stem. Perhaps I was pumping at a funny angle and put excess stress on the valve, but cause aside, we were walking from there on.
We continued our trek to downtown. A few cyclists passed us, but the weather was nice and cool. After about 20 minutes of walking, a lady riding by asked if we needed some help. “A tube would be great if you have one”, I replied. She proceeded to stop, offer a tube and the use of her tire leavers, and company until we had replaced the bad tube. Offering to pay for the tube was met with the typical refusal to take payment that often accompanies generous people. She went on her way as we remounted the wheel.
So to the lady that works at 1 Smithfield. Thank you. Perhaps one day I will get a chance to repay the favor in kind. (although I don’t wish a flat on anyone).
A few days ago, a lady cyclist in front of me lost her shoe while riding(a reason not to ride your bike in flip flops) and I stopped traffic to recover it for her before continuing my ride home. A little bit of oddball Cinderella to my day.
During the Critical Mass ride a couple of weeks ago, as the throng biked along North Avenue near Brighton, a smallish girl (8? 9?) fell off her bike while riding on the sidewalk. It looked like a really nasty fall, face first into the gutter. Anyway, in five seconds she had so many cyclists coming to her aid she barely had time to think. Or cry. She wasn’t hurt, and I’m pretty sure her Mom was thankful so many people stopped to help. Still, it was touching to see so many people stop to help. Easily 10.