The Chainlink

I was hanging out on the chainlink tonight and casually chatting with my dogs and thinking and I remembered this incident that happened last Fall.

I was walking my dogs before work. My dogs, though friendly, are very excitable and one of them has a little leash aggression. We were walking down Washtenaw when across the street someone else's dog started barking. I grabbed hard onto the aggressive dog's leash, and inexplicably, my relatively calm dog darted off, whipping his leash out of my slack, surprised hand. Out of the corner of my eye I see a full size van coming and before I could scream or even move, I hear someone yell "Stop!!" in a huge voice! The van screeches to a halt, and a cyclist appears from beside it. My dog takes off around the corner. My other dog and I start running after him and the cyclist starts pedaling. He (obviously) rounds the corner before I do and he caught my dog maybe 50 ft down the street sniffing a tree. When I thanked him, he said that all he could think of was making sure a dog didn't get hurt.

I've never seen this Awesome Cyclist before or since and though I thanked him, I don't think I thanked him profusely enough. What an awesome, stand up guy.

So I was wondering, does anyone else have stories of Awesome Cyclists? That you know or don't but admire just the same?

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Did you get his phone # ?

I wanted to start something like this on here too! Thanks Meghan for beating me to it. I love when I am stopped on the side of the road and fellow cyclist ask if I am ok.
I didn't get his # or his name but I remember he was riding a pretty sweet fixie.
I was riding my chopper in mass this summer. The chainguard was particularly crappy and started coming off. I may not have made it home the way it was going. I needed a screwdriver to take the plate off, but didnt have one. My ghetto butt tried to pull and twist the thing off. Wasn't working.

A very nice cyclist stopped and took out his tool arsenal and helped me. Whoever you were....thank you.
Pete said:
I seriously need to take a bike maintenance class. I can't believe that to this day I still don't know how to change out a flat tire on my bike. I used to know when I was a kid, but now...oh my.

I really should learn since I'm on the trail very early and I don't ride by anyone. It's nice to have that open path with no one there. On the other hand, it's troublesome to know that if something goes wrong, I gotta walk my bike to help.

Pete, check out the Park Tool website in the repair help section. There's also instructions on repairing anything else on your bike. Although the guides refer to specific park products, you can use a generic tool instead. Overall, it's a pretty nice guide on fixing your bike.

Oh, I totally get what you're saying BK, about dogs and dog owners. My dogs are totally freaked out by bikes and if I see a cyclist anywhere in eyesight while walking them, I totally have to reign them in! In fact, my biggest pet peeve in the world (and I've kept quiet about it given the ice and snow covered city streets) are cyclists on the sidewalk. Because a cyclist coming up behind me on the sidewalk, while my dogs are sniffing out in front, might be relatively silent and then they are too close, and the reactions from my dogs are dramatic. This happened this winter and some guy nearly got bit, even though I was frantically trying to get the dogs to the street and asking the guy to stop at the same time. Being on both sides of the issue, I'm super aware of the implications.

BK said:
That's a cool story. I am always impressed by the number of bicyclists that will ask if I am okay when I just stop for a quick break or adjustment on the North Branch Trail. In turn, I do the same for anyone I see on the side of the path. I've also seen bikers to stop and help a fellow biker after a wipeout on the Lakefront.

Meghan, this has nothing to do with you personally but your story reminded me of something. I've had trouble with dog owners not being responsible while walking their dogs. A dog will naturally chase a moving object like a bike and I'm always bemused by people who are totally surprised by this when they are walking their dogs. Usually when I get chased, the dog will give up eventually but I get very mad at the owner who either didn't have a leash or wasn't prepared for the unexpected.
One cyclist stops to push other people's stuck cars out of the snow. *patting my own back* You never get stuck on a bike. I suppose I can't really call myself a Good Samaritan if I'm feeling smug. But you can.
When I was out on St. Mary's road I stopped to help a young female rider who had a flat tire. The nearest bike shop is Alberto's cyclery in Highland Park. This is about 14 miles out from were she was. She had no tube, pump, or patch kit. She did not even know how to change a flat. Luck for me I was on the road bike since I carry at least three tubes when out riding. Had her tube changed and wheel mounted in 25 minutes. She offered me money, but I refused. Only thing I did asked for was her phone number. She gave it to me. By the way cell phone users: Charge your battery up before you go out riding and carry a spare if unsure. Her phone was dead when I asked her if she called anyone. She did call me when she got home. Her father thanked me since he was worried when she did not come home on time. She was 4 hours over due since no one wanted to stop and help. She was luckly nothing bad happened since I found her at 4:00 a.m. Do a good turn for someone so they can help you out sometime.
Thought this "nice" thread could use a bump! - NTLBM (No Thread Left Behind Mondays). Oh and I like to know I'm not the only one who talks to animals:))
4 years ago I was riding across the cortland bridge ( a route i used to take daily) they had recently replaced some of the grating but had left a 2 inch gap. I came flying a cross at night and my wheel caught the gap and I flipped. A nice cyclist behind me stopped traffic so I wouldnt get hit and stayed with me untill I was able to flag a cab down. Thank you random female cyclist!
It's absolutely true that you can learn a lot at open shop at WTB!

However, if you (like me) are not the best autodidact, the classes at West Town Bikes will help you build skills fast. The tune up class at WTB has been a tremendous help to me.

You can start with one evening basic maintenance class. They suggest a donation, but you have the option of paying what you can.


h3 said:
Pete said:
I seriously need to take a bike maintenance class. I can't believe that to this day I still don't know how to change out a flat tire on my bike. I used to know when I was a kid, but now...oh my.
I really should learn since I'm on the trail very early and I don't ride by anyone. It's nice to have that open path with no one there. On the other hand, it's troublesome to know that if something goes wrong, I gotta walk my bike to help.

Pete-- don't even worry about a class-- get thee to Westtown Bikes on any "open shop" day or night, and a knowledgeable person will gladly take the time to walk you through tire fixin' basics one on one.
great discussion idea. i love story time.

one of my cyclist savior moments occurred during my first month of full-time bicycle commuting last year. i was on the metra coming to my stop, unstrapping my bike and noticed there was a flat. of course, my new mini-pump wasn't part of my emergency kit yet, and i needed to ride 1.5 miles to work. i hastily looked over to a fellow biker i had briefly talked with before and asked if he had a pump i could use. without hesitation and with the speed of robin hood pulling arrows out of his quiver, this guy (james freund i later learned), handed me his pump from his backpack. i pumped my tire up as fast as i could and thanked the guy. it was a slow leak, and i got to work. (i was also able to pump it up at work where we have air hoses for cleaning machines and get to a bike shop on my way home in the city.)

a few months later i ran into james freund (learning his name means "friend" in german) and thanked him again for his help. it was his last day of class in the burbs and his thus his last day of riding the metra. he works at steffenwolf. awesome guy.

because of james "friend" i never hesitate to help a fellow cyclist (or anyone for that matter) whenever i can (especially by carrying my mini-pump at all times). i know that being on a bike allows more active participation in life and other people’s lives. just like the guy in megan's story, it's so much easier to stop and help while on a bike instead of in a car. i can't wait to sell my car. it's worse than smoking...but that's another story for another story time discussion :)

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