A couple of weekends ago, a friend and I went on a 45-mile bike ride on the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.
We rode from Mayer, MN to the north shore of Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata, MN. It was the perfect day for a ride.
About 90 minutes into our ride I noted how frustrating it was that nobody was responding to our friendly wave or “good morning” as they went by us on the trail. I was confused and, in all honesty, a little irritated and here’s why. As a runner, I’ve always appreciated the friendliness of the running community. Fellow runners are always there with a smile, a gentle wave and words of encouragement if you look like you need it.
I assumed I would find the same in the cycling community. That morning, on the trail, I wasn’t so sure. I was relieved when we arrived at the Caribou Coffee in Wayzata – the place was filled with friendly cyclists and I could feel the sense of community. Just like running, it was clear that it didn’t matter what kind of bike you rode, what kind of clothes you wore or your level of experience. What mattered was that you were out there!
This feeling was affirmed once again yesterday when I got a flat tire. For long time riders, a flat tire might be a normal occurrence but that wasn’t the case for me – this was my first flat tire.
For a brief moment I felt helpless. Yes, I did have the tools and a replacement tube with me but no idea (or experience) on how to really go about replacing the tube efficiently. It took a while but I figured it out. As I was putting the wheel back on the frame a fellow cyclist stopped to make sure I was okay. He was all decked out in cycling gear and was riding a bike that was, at minimum, a thousand dollars more expensive than mine.
That didn’t seem to matter. He asked if there was anything he could do to help. He was kind enough to look at my bike and confirm that I had everything put back the right way. He even waited until I was back on the road before going on with his ride.
What a relief it was to know that the same sense of community I feel when I’m out running exists within the cycling community. I know that the next time something like this happens someone will stop and make sure I’m okay.
And to you my fellow cyclist/biker, you can count on me to stop if you find yourself on the side of the road. I might not know all of the ins and outs of bicycle repair but I’ll sure be ready to help.
Be well, make it a great day and see you out there as we live #lifeontwowheels.