The Pacific coast is cyclist destination place. People fly from all over the world to ride a bike along the Pacific coast of the USA. Back in 2016, Rob and I met Aussie Bob.
Who flew into SeaTac airport in Washington state and was cycling to San Francisco to catch a ride home.
Today I met another person doing the same thing, and I helped him on his way…
Today being Saturday, Michelle and I were running errands. We had just gotten done with the grocery shopping, and a quick run to Ace Hardware. The last thing on the list was a quick run to our local Farm Fresh Egg guy for a couple dozen excellent eggs.
As we crossed Schooner creek heading south, we saw a younger guy, wearing a bike helmet, with his thumb out, on the side of the road. I told Michelle, “When we come back, if he is still there, I will pull over and see what he needs.” She was in complete agreement.
Sure enough, 10 minutes later, he was still there. I pulled into the turnout he was hitchhiking from and walked up to him to ask what he needed.
His rear tire was flat as a pancake, and his spare tube turned up bad. He was trying to hitchhike to Newport and the closest bike shop.
Now in Seattle, there was a bike shop every 3 or 4 miles. But here not the coast, there could be 70+ miles between them. His was 25 miles away.
I told him I would head home (a mile away) and grab a tube, pump and the bike rack. If the tube was the wrong size, I was taking him to the bike shop.
I went home, dropped off Michelle, grabbed what I needed, and headed back. Sadly, my tubes were not the correct size. So I hooked up the bike rack to haul him the 25 miles to the shop.
The guy was very nice. He first offered me money for the trip. I declined. He then said, “Just get me half way there, and I can find someone else to take me the rest of the way.”
I replied, “Buddy, we cyclists take care of each other. When we are stuck and stranded, we help each other out!”
I explained that I myself had been rescued by a fellow cyclist (see We Take Care of Each Other) and there was NO WAY I was not getting him to a place that could get him back on the road! We threw his packs in the car and loaded the bike.
Turns out Dom (he told me his full name and there is NO WAY I could spell it) is a math teacher from The Netherlands. He had landed in SeaTac Airport, up near Seattle, and was heading for San Francisco. Sadly, sometime yesterday, he got a flat in Pacific City, and the spare tube he had from the rental place, turned out to be bad. He had hitched a ride to Lincoln City and camped over night, and got a ride to the place I found him, this morning.
With that story, I was even happier I stopped for him! I made point to fill him in on the route south, and let him know of the shops I knew along the coast. I also took a side route over Otter Crest Loop, so he wouldn’t miss out on the views.
He kept thanking me as we headed south. He also said, “You are the first American I have spent any time with since I have arrived here. You are being an excellent representative for your country!” (In my head I said to myself, “Aww shucks!”)
I got him to the bike shop and unloaded. I sent him in with the bike, and I carried in his gear. He thanked me again and shook my hand, and I headed back home.
Here in the states, we have something called ‘Trailmagic’ Its when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you that you just don’t expect. I have no idea if the Netherlands has a term for this, but hopefully he now knows, at least deep down, what it means.
I am also confident that someday, he will see a stranded cyclist and help her or him out, and in doing so, will tell this story. Cuz, as I have said before: We cyclists take care of each other!