Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to look like a complete a-hole

I haven't slept well in days. Last night was no exception. My alarm (cell phone) went off at 0600. I remember sitting up and muting the harsh klaxon. The next thing I knew, I was confused, laying down and it was 6:18. I have to roll out no later than 6:35 or risk missing the last bus that can still get me to the office on time. One of my panniers needed to be packed. Both needed to be fitted to the bike and I still needed a shower. Let's just say it wasn't the best morning. I got out at 6:37.

Hammering up the Quivira viaduct against a gentle but obvious head wind, I'm completely spent - I wasn't even going that fast - my weak, flabby appendages somehow able to move the pedals and steer, my brain still barely awake. Cresting the viaduct, I happened across a cyclist -- apparently commuting with a backpack and walking alongside a decent Trek road bike. I'm guessing an '05/'06 2300.

I'm used to stopping to help cyclists that need a hand but this morning, I didn't think I had time. I still had an en passant conversation with him. It went something like this:

Me: "Everything alright?"
Him: "I flatted, have to change out the tube."
Me: (still pedalling) "Okay..."

Panting, still in a haze, and now squeezing half a bottle of water down my parched gullet as I coast down the back side of the viaduct, it hit me: That was just plain mean.

Need a hand? Oh, sucks to be you, because I am running late! Have a nice day!

I obviously don't know the guy's situation -- nor did he know mine. I don't know if he's new, or if he's been doing this for years and is always a few minutes ahead of me going the other direction. I don't know if he had the equipment to fix the flat, or if he planned on walking all the way to his final destination.

The bus ended up being a few minutes late as well. I had about five minutes to stand around, kicking myself for not at least stopping to figure out if it was something I could help him fix in a minute or two, as is often the case for simple flats when I use Park Tool Glueless Patches and a CO2 inflater.

Random Tunage 1990's Edition:
Madonna - The Power Of Goodbye
Lisa Loeb - I Do


Cafn8 said...

Everybody does something every once in a while that seems a little callous in retrospect. The fact that you eventually felt bad about it is worth something, though. At least he didn't end up on your bus, sitting next to you- a broken mini-pump in his hand, or worse, you didn't see him running to catch the bus as it pulled away from the curb. That would be awkward.

Joshua Kriegshauser said...

I yelled at some jack-hole non-cyclist who was standing in the bike lane the other day.

But I agree with Cafn8. I flatted once with another cyclist not too far behind me and she passed me basically saying "That sucks!" and rode off. :D I didn't think too much of it though.

Anonymous said...

You'll make it up next time man. You've done plenty of good stuff for lots of cyclists. Don't be too hard on yourself. Good on you for pedaling while exhausted, I completely sympathize. Most of my fair weather commuter mates take the car on those days.

dvicci said...

As Baboon said, you've got plenty of Karmic deposits behind you. You can afford the occasional withdrawal. I would have assumed that he had it under control from his reply as well, rush or no.

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