Been training a lot this month. A lot more than I ever have been able to compared with previous Decembers. I don’t suppose not being in school, 70 degree temperatures, and a training partner who has the same schedule as I has anything to do with it. Basically, its been a really stellar month so far. I’m even having dreams about racing again: always a good sign.
More training and riding translates into more possibilities for problems like flats, broken equipment, and run ins with drivers. Had plenty of the latter but that is a discussion for later. For some reason, my saddle bags full of tubes and CO2 always disappear. It seems that removing them five minutes before a race in a desperate bid to look like someone who knows where they are and aren’t confusing Saturday Morning Worlds with a local P12 race is a recipe for forgetting where your saddle bag has been tossed.
Last week, I got a flat on the mountain bike and while I had a tube and CO2 cartridge, there was not enough CO2 to inflate the 29er tire. Easy way to ruin a ride. Some urging from Adam Myerson and Ben Zawacki on twitter, prompted me, the following day, to begin my ride by stopping at a bike shop so I could buy a frame pump. And a new saddle bag complete with tube and levers. Unfortunately, there were no frame pumps so I’m still in the market but I did come away with this little beauty.
However, any number of pumps, saddle bags, CO2s, and tire levers cannot protect you from the dreaded broken chain. Which is exactly what happened this past Thursday.
It didn’t happen to me. It was Tyler Karnes, my friend, teammate, and old roommate at Marian, who was the victim. The incident occured on New Town Rd and Crane. Aka a good 20 to 30 minutes from any bike shop. Not in the country but close. So Blair, Matt Moosa, Tyler, and myself pulled over to debate our next move. We had settled on pushing Tyler into Waxhaw (a roller coaster of a route) and the bike shop there, when a white SUV with bike racks pulled up and a lady asked if we needed any help. Blair quickly replied we needed a ride to Waxhaw and without any hesitation, she pulled over to help.
We found out her name is Heather. Quick profiling says she rides mountain bikes and likes doing triathlons. She didn’t seem to be a fan of ‘those roadie types’ being in her car but I assured her we ‘hit the trails’ when we can. And before I knew it, Tyler’s bike was on the car headed for Waxhaw and the rest of us were following behind. By the time we arrived, Tyler’s bike was in the bike stand and Heather had left. I never got to thank her properly.
I was struck by Heather’s kindness. She took time out of her day to help us simply because we both share a fondness of two wheeled, human powered, machines. That is something I love about the cycling community. Its special. Riding and racing is more than just exercise; its a bond we share. Its culture, friends, a way of life. So Heather, if you are reading this, I want to send you a BMC-Hincapie jersey as a small way of saying thank you for your generosity and kindness.
-We can do no great things, only small things with great love. -Mother Teresa.