Smack in the middle of my beautiful sunny ride this morning, I saw a woman walking her bike on the side of the road. I pulled over when I noticed she had a flat, and asked if I could help. Wow, I thought to myself, here is my chance to do something nice for a complete stranger! We so rarely get the chance to do a true good deed.
She didn't really know how to change a flat, and she'd given her spare tube away to a friend on a previous ride, so was pretty stuck. She was trying to get ahold of her husband to come and get her. I do know how to change a flat, and I was carrying a tube (even though I ride road tubeless and almost never flat - still want to be prepared in case I do...), and better still had a CO2 cartridge tucked in my seatbag from the sprint tri two weeks ago. I was pretty excited about that, because I rarely use a CO2 cartridge and have these panicky thoughts at times that when I really need to, in the middle of a race, I won't know how (even though yes, I have practiced), and my tire change will take longer than my bike split.
So I helped change the tire and inflated it using the CO2, and helped her put her wheel back on and get everything dialed in again. She was heading the same direction as me, so we rode to town together. So now my good deed made me feel warm and fuzzy about helping someone, gave me a chance to practice changing a tire, and gave me a riding partner for a bit. Win-win-win!
We had a really nice chat all the way back to town, about tonnes of stuff we had in common. Turns out she was also a high school biology teacher, from up-island, heading to my town for her daughter's swim meet. She's getting into triathlon, and is doing some of the sprint races I did last year. And to top it all off, we had a skookum tailwind pushing us back into town - obviously my reward for stopping to lend a hand.
She graciously offered to stop at the local shop, buy a tube, and deliver it to my house. Instead, I asked her to stop for someone who needs help someday and pay it forward. I like thinking of all of us, in this global village, looking out for each other and taking care of those who need help. What a nice world it is, when the sun is shining, we are all smiling, and giving from the heart.