Riding to work – 11th and Grand. I hop up on the sidewalk to avoid the bus convoy bearing down upon me. Ride through the bus stop and a dude calls to me:
“Hey, you gotta tube?”
I stop. Dismount. “Yes I do. You good to change it?”
“Oh yeah. I don’t know how it got flat.”
I look at the tire. “Oh man, these tires are worn well thin.”
“I ride the shit out of it.”
It’s a decent bike and I say so.
“Man, they got this real nice Schwinn down at the pawn shop for $99.”
“You gonna buy it?”
“I’d like to.”
I’m looking at his tire again.
“We can’t change this. You don’t have quick release wheels and I don’t have any tools except for this tire tool.”
“Helps you get the tire off the wheel.”
“Maybe 5 bucks…”
“I’m gonna get me one of those.”
“Get a wrench too so you can change out these tubes when you catch a flat.” Another set of buses roll up. “There’s a bike shop down in the River Market. They should have tools.”
“I gotta catch this bus to Prospect.”
I hand him the tube. “Take this. Save you some cash.”
“God bless you, man. What’s your name?”
“Jason.” We shake hands.
“God bless you, man.”
Never underestimate the friendly power of a spare inner tube.