The scene: I’m pedaling fast (for me) on the Burke-Gilman Trail with Pete and Serena, rushing to Ravenna for an impromptu barbecue with friends. I hear that familiar hiss. I stop to check, and, sure enough, my rear tire is flat. I tell my friends I’ll be okay, borrow an Orca pass and head for the nearest intersection on foot.
As I’m contemplating my next move, Robin pedals up behind me in her characteristic skirt, boots and floral helmet. “Are you okay?” she asks.
“Uh, yeah, I have an Orca pass,” I reply.
“You don’t want to fix it?” She gives me a look of reproach. I tell her that I have trouble with my tires. My hand are small and not so strong, my tires and rims a particularly tight fit. On more than one occasion, my attempts to pop the bead back into place have caused me tears of frustration.
I explain all this, but she’s a stubborn lady, and she’s not taking no for an answer. Out come those pink tire levers. She has me on the road again in minutes.
While we were hunched over my bike on the Burke-Gilman’s narrow shoulder, five or six friendly passers-by echoed Robin’s initial question: “Are you okay?”
Yes, we were. But on another day, I would have welcomed the help — even though at first, I wasn’t sure I wanted it.
And so, here’s a word of thanks to those of you who ask if you can help.
And those of you who won’t take no for an answer.