Airless in KC

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.”
“What’s that?”
“Helps you get the tire off the wheel.”
“How much?”
“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.
“I’m Mark.”
“Good luck.”
“God bless you, man.”

Never underestimate the friendly power of a spare inner tube.

Airless in KC

4 thoughts on “Airless in KC

  1. There was a guy doing a walk of shame with a really old beater mongoose with a basket on the Blvd in WyCo a few months back, actually, during Bike 2 Work Week. I asked him if I could give him a hand, and he said he was afraid to ride it because his rear brake wouldn’t engage. He’d just pulled the lever hard enough to pull the cable through the brake retainer. I got his brakes all fixed up and sent him on his way. He was really thankful.

    I ran into him again on Monday, oddly enough right after getting my second flat of the day. He couldn’t help me, but he stopped to chat for a while, and wished me well. His brakes were holding up fine and he’d added a bunch of American flags to his bike in celebration of Independence Day.

    I agree. It really pays to be kind to people.

  2. 11th and Grand… Was it the guy on the white Trek 820? I’ve been thinking of just buying a pair of 26″ tires and inner tubes and leaving them on his bike. I see him riding almost daily and he locks up at the Central Library a few blocks from where you were.

  3. B. says:

    It’s nice when people are appreciative…what pisses me off is when I go out of my way to be nice and the people are dicks. But hey…guess that’s not the point of this blog eh?