Tonight I left work, unlocked the bike pod and thought my ebike felt even heavier than usual to wheel out. The reason was a completely flat rear tyre. My second in a fortnight.
As I don’t carry a puncture kit or tools, my only option was to walk home with the bike, a not too inconvenient 3.5 mile, 50-ish minute journey.
Because we live fairly out in the sticks, a significant part is along a fairly busy main road with 60mph speed limit. Not my favourite part of the journey by bike, and more intimidating still on foot with most vehicles hurtling by at the speed limit or beyond.
But I plodded away, and as I passed the entrance to a small industrial estate, a car had pulled in and man was approaching me.
“Is it just flat or a puncture?” he enquired. “I’ve got a pump if it’s any help?”
I replied that it was a puncture but that I was very grateful for the offer and appreciated him stopping. I was genuinely surprised by his compassion and that he’d gone to the trouble.
Closer to home, and actually in our road with home in sight, another car passed, then slowed and pulled over.
The driver lowered his window and said “Has the battery given out? I’ve got an ebike and it’s happened to me – nightmare!”
I replied that no, it was not the electrics, just a puncture. He kindly asked if I needed a lift, but I declined, given I was about 20m from my house, and thanked him for his offer.
Both of these people had no need to stop. But both did.
I was touched not once, but twice in a matter of about a mile and a half, by the kindest of strangers.
Also, it added further fuel to my growing theory that although many car drivers don’t have bikes, they seem to want to encourage those who do cycle, maybe wishing they were a little braver in trying a bike for commuting too.
Or maybe I’m just getting carried away.
Do you have any tales about the kindness of strangers whilst cycling?
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