In a little over a month, I’ll be heading out on the open road with my daughter Kait for a 2,600-mile cycling adventure. The only way to prepare for such an undertaking is to get out and bike, bike, bike–the best preparation for cycling is cycling. But it’s not just about getting the legs ready to do copious miles per day. It’s also getting ready to go out there and meet good people. Take this weekend, for example:
- A couple days ago, I had a flat. I took out my repair kit, only to discover that I was missing the CO2 adapter for the cartridge, which meant I had no way to fix the flat. Google Maps told me that the nearest bike shop was miles away. I started to walk the bike to the shop, when a woman named Sue pulled over and said “Hey, I’m a cyclist too. Let me give you a ride to where you gotta go.” Which she did. On the way to the bike shop, we had a great conversation about how wonderful it is to accept the generosity of strangers.
- At the bike shop, the two service technicians helped me find a new tube, a new tire (which was on sale), and a new CO2 adapter (majorly on sale). Five minutes later, I was back on the bike and heading toward home.
- I was biking down the Interurban Trail, and a guy I was passing asked “Is your name Dave?” I stopped to say “Yep!”, and we then had a great conversation–his name is Jamie, and he recognized me from the photo on the back of my book The Descent into Happiness. He told me that he read the book and it inspired him to find a cool touring bike on Craigslist.
So, do you only meet good people riding bikes on a big tour across the country? No. You also meet good people riding your bike around town. Maybe the trick is to simply be open to the good people that are out on the bike path, or in the bike shop, or driving by and offering to give you a hand.