predator – cycling

Once when I was riding my bicycle I saw a little girl stuck on the sidewalk trying to ride a small bike with training wheels. She had spun the handlebars around and around wrapping the front brake cable so tightly it pulled the brake taunt. She looked over at me as I rode by on the street in my bright yellow jersey and cycling kit and asked, “Can you fix this?” There was no one around to help so I said sure and stopped my bike, gently set it on the ground ( those fancy road bikes don’t have kickstands ) and began to unwind her wheel. All of a sudden I saw a young woman sprinting up the sidewalk toward me, death in her eyes. I cringed inwardly thinking, “Oh boy….” When she arrived I had just finished unwinding things and told the little girl to try it. ( Thank God it worked ).

As they left, I got a smile and a wave from the girl, and a glare from the woman, reminding me that I was that most dangerous of predators, a greying older man.

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35 Comments on “predator – cycling”

  1. emjayzed says:

    sigh… it is sad to think that such a kind gesture can be easily misconstrued. A shame.

  2. ericmvogt says:

    It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

  3. kevinmayne says:

    I think I would have stopped. But I’m not quite sure because I have certainly also seen fear in the face of a young person when I stopped to help, the indoctrination runs very deep.

    Sad but true. Thanks for provoking our thoughts

    • billgncs says:

      can’t violate the prime directive ( smile ) cyclists help cyclists. Although I admit I have even stopped to check on a woman who was having problems controlling her horse.

      I have stopped in the park about a dozen times to help a dad or mom get the chain back on their son’s or daughter’s bike, and afterwards I always look at the kids solemnly like they are adults and smile and say “cyclists always stop for cyclists” and then it is on the way

  4. An excellent piece of writing, with an important observation. Fear is easy. Gratitude is harder. I hope for that woman to choose to smile and say “Thank you very much!” if she happens upon such a situation again. Let us not lose our gratitude for good Samaritans, like you!

    • billgncs says:

      thanks for your kind comments. I can say that the lady who’s son thought I was Santa was certainly smiling. But I agree, in a way it is a sad time that people are ruled by fear.

  5. Shannon says:

    Except for that kid who thought you were Santa 🙂

  6. Sadly, this is what our world has come to. You are not a predator, but a sweet man who filled a need. Keep up your kindness!!

  7. mindfuldiary says:

    Funny, kindness and fear all in this short story. So very kind of you Bill. I hope that crazyness of this world never beats kindness to occur. But sadly I can also relate to that mother. I bet she thanked you later in her heart, when she had calmed down.I am also sureshe focused on teaching her child not to talk to strangers for a next week or two.

  8. brudberg says:

    Definitely very sad, the predators so rare, but still we exercise all that caution. And yes, bicyclist help each other out, same here.

  9. TheOthers1 says:

    Life has trained us to believe that everyone is a threat. I have enough experience to know its true. Hard to believe otherwise.

  10. you are a good hearted man – and I would have done the same.

  11. Awww, that’s so sad when you think about it…I hate that we are so scared 😦

  12. boomiebol says:

    Ha ha funny yet sadly true! Thankfully you were just a good man


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