This weekend I spent 24 hours, that's right - EVERY DAYLIGHT HOUR, researching for my next book. Tough work, you know, scouring southern Santa Barbara County for every family-friendly nook and cranny. While it's not a job someone has to do (unlike yesterday's deed), I joyfully accept the task.
Being out and about certainly increases the chances of coming across an opportunity to help someone else.
The project: Provide roadside assistance, and eventually a much-needed ride, to Michael, a UCSB student letting off steam with a good, hard, bike ride.
5 minutes if you don't count drive time. I was headed that way (more or less) anyway.
While driving up one of our steep mountain roads, I passed several cyclists doggedly pumping away at the climb. On my way back down the mountain one of them was on the side of the road where his bike was perched upside down on handlebars and seat. I have some experience with bikes, so I offered to lend a hand.
Well, this college student's rear derailleur was toast! Somehow, he'd managed to bend the derailleur hanger, and while pumping up the hill the derailleur had turned into his wheel, the spokes of which grabbed it and torqued it into a...mess.
- Carry the bike (it wouldn't roll) 13 miles downhill back to civilization
- Torque the part with improper tools (and potentially cause further damage - if that's possible) and MAYBE be able to coast most of the way into town
- Hitch a ride
- Spend the night with the mountain lions.
It was 13 miles back to civilization. So I offered him a lift. (I know...don't pick up hitchhikers! I don't...usually. But he wasn't hitching, and this was no fake breakdown!) His concern? Getting bike grease on my stuff!
He loaded it greasy side up on top of my camping gear in the back of the truck and we enjoyed a peaceful, safe ride down the mountain.
Absolutely. A super-easy deed that saved the guy a LOT of walking time. I like to think that if I'm in need of assistance when I'm out doing my biking thing (which isn't NEARLY as often as I'd like), someone would lend a hand EVEN if it meant giving a lift to a stranger.
Day 737: Lost and found times two
2 months ago