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Good Samaritans you've met while on tour (Stories)

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Good Samaritans you've met while on tour (Stories)

Old 12-22-16, 01:37 AM
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Ty0604
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Good Samaritans you've met while on tour (Stories)

Who has a good samaritan story they'd like to share?

Looking through all of my touring photos this evening had me reminiscing about everyone who's helped me at some point along the way. And with the holidays coming up, we could all use some good in our lives. Could write a book alone about them all. Hard to pick just one.

But....

Deputy Yenulonis of the Fall River (South Dakota) Sheriff's Office stands out the most when I think back. I was riding up US-18 between Edgemont and Hot Springs after riding ~90 miles from Lusk (Wyoming). I had been dealing with tendonitis in my left achilles tendon and it was bothering me especially bad this day. The Meloxicam wasn't working and I was fighting a steep grade to my campground on the North side of Hot Springs. Exhausted and tired I stopped on the shoulder to take a break. 100's of cars passed and no one stopped. Then Deputy Yenulonis went by and pulled a u-turn 1/4 mile ahead of me and slowed down as he approached from the opposite direction. Rolling his window down he asked if I was okay. I explained where I was coming from and why. He explained that the hill into Hot Springs was far from over and offered me a ride to the campground. Defeated I took him up on the offer and loaded my bike into the rear of his patrol vehicle and chatted him up while we rode to the campground. Still talk to him today.

My tendonitis was so bad at this point I'm not sure I could have continued the trip without his assistance that day. It allowed me a few extra hours to rest and recover. The next few days were short, relatively flat and included a rest day. It never bothered me the rest of my trip.

I never planned to take a jump but did so a total of 12 miles on this trip (another 6 I was forced to when a road crew in Montana refused to let me ride through the construction zone). My decision to accept his jump probably saved my entire trip.

Hope to hear some other stories from y'all! Feel free to tell as many as you'd like. No pressure to pick just one.

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Old 12-22-16, 03:07 AM
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I'm pretty independent and self supporting with my riding.

Years ago I did break my then steel bike rack at a small town somewhere near the base of the Apennines in Italy. For some reason, finding spare parts like a bike rack was difficult. So, I had someone in a small home shop weld it back together.

It only lasted me another day or so before the weld broke again, but that was just enough that I was able to get just about back to my home-base, with a few miles of riding with one broken strut on my rack.

Oh... more recently. I was riding around Crater Lake. Half the roads were closed to cars. So, the Lost Creek campground was inaccessible to cars for most of the day. But... as I was finishing up my ride, and heading to the campground, they opened the roads. On my final descent half a dozen cars passed me.

I think there were still a few campsites open, but two different groups of campers offered me a place to camp. All I really needed was about a 4'x6' piece of dirt. So, I went ahead and accepted the offer from two older guys who were returning from the Cycle Oregon ride. I suppose it didn't make a big difference either way, but it was a small campground, and sharing the site allowed one more vehicle to camp there.
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Old 12-22-16, 03:11 AM
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Old 12-22-16, 04:16 AM
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That's a great story @Ty0604!

I haven't gotten to ride much yet, but during one of the few I've had locally, while I stopped to take a short rest, another cyclist heading in the other direction stopped to check on me and make sure that I was alright. That right there really just added to the great joy of that great day! While this world is filled with a lot of selfish, unloving, uncaring people, it's those wonderful, beautiful human beings that cross your path every so often, that really put a smile on your face, and make the struggles and challenges of life feel at least a little bit lighter along the way. I really love and appreciate these wonderful people!
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Old 12-22-16, 06:18 AM
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I've had a few and am grateful for kindness of strangers. However, the one I will relate goes back quite a few years to a tour I had organized for friends when in college:

We had ridden from Boston down to Cape Cod and then taken a ferry to Nantucket. We were on a rest day on the island making a day ride. It was a beautiful day. I was riding in back of the group through the countryside and my friend Elaine was riding ahead. Without warning, she accidentally rode into a car parked along side of the road. It was an accident, she had let her mind wander with the views and just hadn't noticed.

Elaine banged her knees, but fortunately was otherwise OK. Less fortunate, her steel rims had transferred impact to the bike frame and it had buckled the head tube. The bird watchers with the car were kind enough to take Elaine and her bike back to Nantucket town. Our general idea was to lock the bike up in town, walk back to the youth hostel and then next morning perhaps scrounge the town dump in slim hopes there might be a bike frame there we could transfer the components. However, we also realized most likely, Elaine's trip was over and next day she would take the ferry to Hyannis Port and then bus back to Boston. I stayed with Elaine to walk back to the hostel, while others cycled ahead.

When we got to the hostel, our friends introduced a gentleman and told us, "the guy wants to donate Elaine his bicycle". Incredulous as they related the story. They had gotten back to the hostel and struck up a conversation. "How way your ride today?" "Excellent except our friend crashed and destroyed her bike." The guy was on vacation on the Cape for a week and had a not very expensive basic used bicycle he had gotten for the trip. He was taken enough with the description of the accident that he really did want to help. He refused compensation. We were all pretty surprised but also grateful.

Next morning we continued our ride back to the ferry and then after another hostel stay near Truro, we cycled into Provincetown and then ferry back to Boston. Elaine rode that bicycle for several more years after that.
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Old 12-22-16, 07:45 AM
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Someone gave me a wallet and a pair of sunglasses but I don't think it was intentional. Are they still considered a good samaritan?
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Old 12-22-16, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Someone gave me a wallet and a pair of sunglasses but I don't think it was intentional. Are they still considered a good samaritan?
Reminds me of the old saying that goes something like "The Lord helps those who help themselves."
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Old 12-22-16, 08:49 AM
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Old 12-22-16, 11:49 AM
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My Campsite in SE Bavaria flooded overnight, , upon asking for help in the nearest village , I got dried out and hosted for a few days

by the Bürgermeister, and his family , then given a ride , bike in the trunk, to the Main train station , in nearby city,

where I got on the train to get to a place west of the storm ..
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Old 12-22-16, 12:16 PM
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I'll nominate all the Warmshowers hosts I've stayed with....some let me stay in their homes even though they weren't there. Also I've had numerous small acts of kindness like free "meat soup" in Iceland and free chocolate pie at a bakery just outside Eureka. I stopped for a mid morning coffee and snack, took my sunglasses off and got my wallet out, but the owner refused payment because the pie was a day old. It still tasted good.

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Old 12-22-16, 01:44 PM
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I saw those two threads but decided they were too old to revive. Last post in both was 2009. I enjoyed reading the stories there though!

Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
That's a great story @Ty0604!
Thanks Adv! My favorite part of touring is the people you meet along the way

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
My Campsite in SE Bavaria flooded overnight, , upon asking for help in the nearest village , I got dried out and hosted for a few days by the Bürgermeister, and his family , then given a ride , bike in the trunk, to the Main train station , in nearby city, where I got on the train to get to a place west of the storm ..
I've seen this mentioned else where! Very cool story.

Originally Posted by nun View Post
I'll nominate all the Warmshowers hosts I've stayed with....some let me stay in their homes even though they weren't there. Also I've had numerous small acts of kindness like free "meat soup" in Iceland and free chocolate pie at a bakery just outside Eureka. I stopped for a mid morning coffee and snack, took my sunglasses off and got my wallet out, but the owner refused payment because the pie was a day old. It still tasted good.
Likewise! I've had a few WarmShowers host leave me a key while they were away. I've always kind of felt awkward about it because I'm not sure I'd be able to do it myself.

Free food from random strangers is always nice.

Thanks for the stories everyone else
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Old 12-23-16, 10:20 AM
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We have given out dozens of theses since we started using them.
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Old 12-23-16, 04:08 PM
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that's nice Doug.
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Old 12-23-16, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
We have given out dozens of theses since we started using them.
+1 - Those are nice!

I've always wanted to bike down to Sweet Home for the Oregon Jamboree in August but haven't ever liked the artist enough to drop that kind of money for the weekend.
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Old 12-24-16, 10:44 PM
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On my winter trip this year I was on the homeward part, in atrocious weather north of Wellington when my front tire went flat. I walked 3-4km to the next town, as the weather and location precluded working on it there and then. I attempted repair with the spare tube at the train station in the next town, but missed the piece of glass still embedded in the tire, so, of course, I never got much further before it went flat again, still in poor weather. I pulled into a historical park which featured old trams and trolley buses and started my second attempt on the tire, when an older gentleman called out and offered the use of their workshop to get out of the rain.
The place turned out to be staffed by retired men, it was what they call a 'mens shed' in these parts, a place for older men to get out of the house and keep themselves busy and enjoy the company of others. Inside they had a wide range of 50+ year old trams in various stages of restoration. They showed me a clear spot, it was great to get out of the rain and cold for long enough to repair the tubes and remove the glass. They all came over for a yarn while I worked. Halfway through they stopped me and insisted I join them for a barbecue lunch in an adjacent building. Thoroughly good people!
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Old 12-25-16, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tspoon View Post
On my winter trip this year I was on the homeward part, in atrocious weather north of Wellington when my front tire went flat. I walked 3-4km to the next town, as the weather and location precluded working on it there and then. I attempted repair with the spare tube at the train station in the next town, but missed the piece of glass still embedded in the tire, so, of course, I never got much further before it went flat again, still in poor weather. I pulled into a historical park which featured old trams and trolley buses and started my second attempt on the tire, when an older gentleman called out and offered the use of their workshop to get out of the rain.
The place turned out to be staffed by retired men, it was what they call a 'mens shed' in these parts, a place for older men to get out of the house and keep themselves busy and enjoy the company of others. Inside they had a wide range of 50+ year old trams in various stages of restoration. They showed me a clear spot, it was great to get out of the rain and cold for long enough to repair the tubes and remove the glass. They all came over for a yarn while I worked. Halfway through they stopped me and insisted I join them for a barbecue lunch in an adjacent building. Thoroughly good people!
Wow! That's awesome, and very interesting about the community spirit in that place. There's also a great lesson from what you shared; I will try and remember to do a thorough check of my tire before any repair is performed.
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Old 12-26-16, 02:21 AM
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One time I was just shy of the North Carolina / Virginia border.

Hadn't slept well, and started out around 4am because I couldn't fall back to sleep.

Once morning rolled around it was super foggy. Talkin "Should I get off the road?" levels of fog, it felt dangerous to be out where cars might not see me in time.

So when I passed a nice looking pavilion behind a church, I took advantage of it. Plugged my phone in to charge and layed down on a bench for a quick nap, hoping the fog would clear up while I slept.

Woke up a woman trying to rouse me. She had brought me a few sandwiches and coffee from the nearby mcdonalds.

I'm pretty sure she thought I was homeless, but I felt it was incredibly nice of her either way. I thanked her and we chatted for a bit, then we each went our separate ways.
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Old 12-26-16, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sexy cyclist View Post
One time I was just shy of the North Carolina / Virginia border.

Hadn't slept well, and started out around 4am because I couldn't fall back to sleep.

Once morning rolled around it was super foggy. Talkin "Should I get off the road?" levels of fog, it felt dangerous to be out where cars might not see me in time.

So when I passed a nice looking pavilion behind a church, I took advantage of it. Plugged my phone in to charge and layed down on a bench for a quick nap, hoping the fog would clear up while I slept.

Woke up a woman trying to rouse me. She had brought me a few sandwiches and coffee from the nearby mcdonalds.

I'm pretty sure she thought I was homeless, but I felt it was incredibly nice of her either way. I thanked her and we chatted for a bit, then we each went our separate ways.
haha Nice! If I had a penny for every time someone thought I was homeless while on tour I'd be rich
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Old 12-26-16, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Someone gave me a wallet and a pair of sunglasses but I don't think it was intentional. Are they still considered a good samaritan?
Yah you would've been the good samaritan, had you turned in the wallet and sunglasses to the local police dept. or town authorities.
I once left my wallet in Markoshein France only to have someone turn in the the Mayor's office. They held it for a week or so and when I did not come looking for it they mailed it to my home in Louisiana. Driver's license, all credit cards and cash (USD & Euros) still there (minus ~$2.00) they kept for the postage.

Tailwinds,
Charlie
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Old 12-27-16, 08:02 AM
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Sorry, that was a BF inside joke.
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Old 12-27-16, 03:08 PM
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First incident of kindness was when my buddy and I were 14 and riding up the Fraser Canyon
in British Columbia. We had limited funds, didn't know anything about touring, and hadn't
extra foods or drink. It was cold, so we stopped at a construction site brush fire for lunch.
As it was very unusual for kids to be riding bikes so far from civilization, the foreman came
over and asked us what we were up to. After hearing our story about our touring plans he
invited us into the mess hall and had the cook stuff us full of all manner of sandwiches and
pie as well as giving us both a big bag of the same for the road.
Last incident was while riding down the Alaskan Highway. I stopped at a roadside lodge and
Outfitter's place just east of Laird Hot Springs in northern BC to ask about accommodation as
I had been warned of bear problems in the area. It was too early in the season for them to be
open but they kindly opened up a cabin for me, hooked up a temporary shower, fed me a huge
moose steak supper, gave me a big breakfast and packed me a lunch. When I asked them for
my bill they only were going to charge me $20. After a lot of bartering they finally agreed to
take twice that for all those services that should have been at least $100-$150. They didn't
even have to accommodate me at all...some very nice people in this world for sure!
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Old 12-28-16, 05:24 AM
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There are many stories I could share here, but here are some that stand out...

In Spain I snapped a derailleur on Monserrat (near Barcelona), and some locals not only gave me a ride out, but then took me from village to village until we found a bike shop that might fix it. This guy stayed late at his shop to fix it, then it went again. One of the locals helped me carry a fully loaded bike back to the shop (then offered to buy me a beer when I should been the one buying), where the same mechanic stayed back and fixed it. By then it was quite late, and I found that the only accommodation in said village had closed down. Even more locals offered me a ride to another village for accommodation. That one might have been karma, because I helped a Barcelona cyclist fix a flat tyre earlier in the day, but I'm still counting it!

Later that same tour in the French Pyrenees, the same derailleur went again. A local from the village of Castillion gave me a ride to a bike shop in St Girons, then let me stay at his place for the night free of charge. This guy was a bit of a Zen Buddhist, and the artwork on the inside of his house was incredible.

Another time at St-Jean-Pied de Port in France, I met a German couple who invited me to stay at the home near Frankfurt (where I was finishing my tour two months later). When I arrived they invited me to take a shower, and I came out to find one of them cleaning my bike with a toothbrush to get it ready for Australian customs. They also made sure I didn't need to go chasing a bike box for the flight.

Then there was that lovely Taiwanese lady who bought me lunch one day, then gave me her business card and told me to call if I had any problems anywhere in the country. Later the same day I was going to go and ask for directions at a police station, when someone followed me in off the street and offered to interpret for me (just as well, because I speak about two words of Mandarin). Oh, and someone else bought me lunch the next day.

I'm sure I'll think of others later.
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