Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Meet Isaac. He's a retired LifeFlight paramedic riding from Chicago to Texas. Where in Texas? He doesn't even know. Sorry for the crappy pics, all I had on me this evening was my phone.

I came across Isaac on my way home from the hospital tonight (my wife is back in, getting some medications adjusted) and he was wrenching on his trailer and Mongoose mountain bike. I offered to true his rear wheel up. It was really, really bad. I couldn't get it perfect, but he'll have a lot better luck getting around now that his brakes aren't scraping the rim for half a wheel rotation.

He was intrigued by the reflective SMV sign hanging from my cargo rack.

In exchange for my SMV sign and the repair work, he offered in trade a perfectly new spray bottle fan. I would have let him have the sign for free, but he insisted on a barter. It's also odd that my wife just yesterday said that she really wanted to get one of these. I couldn't say no, really. It was an even trade. We both had something the other one wanted. I love the barter system. It was a big part of how I survived while I was laid off.

I hung out with Isaac for about an hour, shooting the breeze and getting his story. I gave him some pointers on route and accommodations for the next leg of his journey, then made my way home. I seem to run into one or two cheerful wanderers like Isaac every year. I have a lot of admiration for them, and try to get to know them for a brief moment when I have the chance.


commuterDude said...

You're a good man...

Noah said...

No, I am privileged and honored; and frankly not worthy! Isaac not only offered something out of his poverty from his heart, but something useful to me. He's been run over a few times in his day, though, and he's going to ride more miles this month than I'll probably ride the rest of the year. The triangle will go to much better use on the back of his trailer than it will hanging between my panniers.

Apertome said...

Very cool how you happened to run into him, and were able to help. Thanks for sharing his story. Isaac seems like a real character!

BluesCat said...

Dang it, Noah! Now you've got me all guilty feeling.

On my way in this morning, I was just spinning up --- to make it through a traffic light on the green without stopping --- and I saw an absolutely gorgeous young woman in the bike lane going the opposite direction. She was standing, straddling the top tube of her road bike, leaning over and looking like she was fiddling with the brake calipers on her front wheel.

I had time to stop, and ask her if she needed help, but instead just blew through the intersection thinking she "looked like she was doing okay."

So now, with YOUR story, not only did I miss an opportunity to do a good deed, but also passed up a chance to serve my more prurient side by chatting up a pretty girl ... at the SAME TIME.

Ray Craighead said...

Nice story, Noah. Those are the encounters that make life worth while.

Sirrus Rider said...

You definitely put in play some good Karma.

Dan Shargel said...

Very cool!

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