What goes around, comes around.

There is an unwritten code amongst roadies that you should always stop when you see another cyclist in distress. The distress could be mechanical or personal, but your offer of assistance could be the only hand-up that comes their way. It happened to me over two years ago when I came off my bike on black ice and broke my femur. A passing cyclist (who happened to be driving to a meet-up point with a fellow cyclist) stopped, called an ambulance and stayed with me till the paramedics arrived. I was eternally grateful to him and to a local resident who stayed with me until I was whisked off to hospital.

But we have to bear in mind the reciprocal nature of giving and receiving. Just the other day, I passed a young cyclist walking by the roadside, pushing his bike up a hill. I stopped and asked if everything was OK. There was a long pause while he stopped, unplugged his iPod earphones, and eventually said: “Wha’s tha’ yuh said?“. I repeated my concern and asked if I could help him. “Ah, naw mate….. it’s just this bugger of a hill….I’m completely f…..ed!”. So with a clear conscience, I climbed back on my bike and enjoyed my descent down that very same hill.

The very next day, 20 miles into my journey to meet up with some cycling friends, I punctured. It was a complete blow-out. I was riding on the rims before I could stop the bike. So I inserted the new spare tube I was carrying. The tyre proved impossible to get back on without a tyre lever, but I knew using a tyre lever ran the risk of pinching the tube…….which, of course, I duly did. So my only spare tube was also punctured. Then, by chance, a passing motorist stopped and offered assistance, declaring he was a cyclist himself, and would I care to drop by his house in the next village where he could give me access to his workshop. Ten minutes later, he was offering me a brand new tube and a track pump to inflate the tyre. He would accept no payment for the tube, but simply asked me to say “Hi” to some of his friends he used to ride with in his racing days.

Jamie Carpenter is a Home Improvements Craftsman by trade. If I were to contract someone to work on my house, he would be the kind of guy I would trust.  If you live near him and need such services, look him up. He lives in Cranford, Northants  Tel:01536 330617 Mob:07870 442018  Email: email@carpecraft.co.uk


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on December 9, 2011, in Miscellany and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I totally believe in cycling Karma! One early morning I went out to fit in a quick ride before work when I flatted. Because I was rushed, I hadn’t bothered to grab an extra tube. My flatted tube was so completely blown out that my patches proved futile. A cyclist, not once, but twice, rode past me without even the slightest concern as I struggled to find a fix in the pre dawn night. Eventually a cyclist stopped and gave me a new tube (no charge) and got me back on my wheels in time to make it to my early morning meeting.

    The next week, I came across the cyclist who had passed me twice. He had flatted and his hand pump was not working. With a smirk, I stopped and helped.

  2. One good turn deserves another – loved this story of the Good Samaritan and karma too!

  3. I liked your blog because I live in dread of not coping when I have a puncture. For a long time I would only have solid tyres because that made me feel much safer but they are hard to come by: bike shops certainly are not going to get you them. Any suggestions?

  4. Ah, the quest for the ‘puncture-less’ tyre………..Solid state tyres may protect you from punctures, but they are a hard, hard, hard ride! Wouldn’t recommend them at all. But you can get puncture ‘resistant’ tyres (ie no guarantee implied). One of the best would be Schwalbe Marathon plus, recommended by several round-the-world cyclists. But they are not exactly cheap.

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