It was one of those days.
A Monday in the most pejorative sense, from the time I got up this morning. One of those days when the best laid plans work out no better for mice, or at least, we can assume, than they do men — i.e., me.
I spent the morning gazing wistfully out the window as my planned riding time came and went, along with one of the most spectacular mornings we’ve seen in ages.
I finally managed to wrap up my obligations and get out on the road about the same time most of L.A. was making its way back from lunch. Fortunately, the day still had a lot to offer, even as I mentally sliced one leg after another off of my planned route to get back home in time to resume working and make dinner.
Then again, I tend to believe things happen for a reason. And as I rode through a parking lot along the beach, that reason soon became apparent.
A couple of women cyclists were stopped in the middle of the parking lot, their bikes on the ground, with one wheel in a state of disassemble. So I pulled up next to them and asked if they needed anything; once they assured me everything was under control, I continued on my way.
As I looped around the lot and came back around the other side, though, they flagged me down to see if I had an extra air cartridge. Being the old school type I am, I offered them my pump, instead.
When the tire lever they were using snapped, I loaned them mine. Then when tube they had put on wouldn’t hold air, I reached into my bike bag and pulled out my spare. And when the woman fixing the flat had trouble getting the tire back on the rim, I offered my assistance.
Unfortunately, her problems went far beyond a bad tube; her tire was shot, a section of the rim separated from the bead. So I patched it up as best I could, and we gave her directions to the nearest bike shop.
Meanwhile, I got to enjoy a conversation with a couple of very pleasant riders. There are certainly worse ways to spend a day.
And I was impressed that a couple of other riders stopped to make sure everything was okay. Although the fact that I was in the company of two attractive female cyclists may have had something to do with it.
The one with the flat offered to replace my tube for me. Instead, I suggested that she pass it on to someone else when the opportunity presents itself.
Then we all went our separate ways. Three strangers, one who needed help and two who’d stopped to offer it.
And I rode back home in a far better mood than I had left in.
LACBC urges everyone to attend tomorrow’s Transportation Committee meeting to fight for a share of Measure R funds for bikes and pedestrians. The woman who successfully transformed New York’s bike system will be the Keynote speaker for next year’s bike summit. The County Sherrif’s Department will hold this year’s Tour of Altadena Bike Ride on December 5th. With so much talk about the new bike plan, C.I.C.L.E. offers a workshop on biking infrastructure and creating great places to ride. Damien Newton calls for a bike network to support the new Gold Line extension. Travelin’ Local looks at bike sharing at UC Irvine. Santa Maria considers their own bike master plan. Minneapolis studies the causes of bike/car collisions; failure to yield — for both — tops the list. South Dakota considers a three foot passing law. Coming soon to a theater near you: a bike messenger action thriller. A U.S. group ships thousands of unwanted bikes to developing countries, while the Los Angeles St. Louis Rams donate 275 bikes to local children — including 22 therapeutic bikes for special needs kids. Philadelphia tells rogue cyclists to stop. Even dolls are getting into the Cycle Chic movement. Brits are up in arms over a new guide for bike cops, which among other things, tells them to not to tackle a suspect while still “engaged with the bike.” Also in the UK, complaints about dangerous cyclists on the sidewalks. Finally, U.S. bike thieves are using Craigslist to sell your bike one part at a time, while in Denmark, insurance companies are part of the problem.
And as an aside to our Kiwi correspondent, congratulation on your local footballers qualifying for the World Cup. See you in South Africa (metaphorically speaking, of course, since I’ll be watching on TV).