My lunchtime bike ride yesterday had taken me no further than 3 miles from home when I suffered my first puncture of the year outside Barnshaw Smithy, a local farmhouse converted into a cafe.
Setting to, I delighted myself by changing the inner tube in less than 10 minutes on a sunny Cheshire afternoon.
I was feeling very self-confident as other cyclists finished their coffee at the Smithy and asked “do you need any help?” – “No thanks – I’m fine!” – I then discovered that my pump was broken – and I hadn’t checked or noticed the damage.
No pump, flat tyre, cyclists gone.
Cue Carol and her son, who emerged from The Smithy after their lunch and were climbing in to his VW Golf when she asked “do you need any help?”
After a quick explanation she:
asked her son to drive me and the bike her house (another 3 miles away in Mobberley) so that I could inflate the tyre and get on with my journey;
volunteered to stay behind at the cafe as there wasn’t enough room for the three of us.
A good Samaritan, who explained that bikes weren’t a popular subject in their household at the moment.
Her husband was rear-ended last weekend by a driver travelling at 50 mph who didn’t see him because the low, winter sun blinded her as she negotiated a double-bend in the road.
He miraculously escaped any broken bones and was discharged from hospital.
None the less, she was happy to help another rider in a pickle.
This has nothing to do with the business of dentistry (although there’s probably a lesson in there about preparation).
I’m just inspired by the reminder that there are good people out there in the world, who will offer help to others (strangers) who are in need.
Pay that forward today.