Paid it forward today


OK. I thought of another one - not trying to pat myself on the back, but a few more stories from the mountains:

Leadville 100 mountain bike race a few years back. I wasn't racing, but helping support my two buddies that were doing the race. I was on the side of the trail with food/water/tools for them as they approached the base of the big climb. Some racer in the early groups (just behind Lance. Yes.... THAT Lance...) comes around the corner yelling "does anyone have an eggbeater?????"

I think "what whacko is going to make scrambled eggs right now", then I realize he's talking about the clipless pedals that are referred to as "eggbeaters".

I had my bike in the truck about 50 yards away and yelled back "I have some". His pedal blew the bearings, and I ran down, spumn one of mine off, put it on his bike, and he tried to quickly get my name/number, I said "I'm E.N. Meyer staying at the Columbine Inn, but don't worry - just GO". Somehow, he tracked down my contact info from the hotel, and sent me FIVE pairs of those pedals and a nice thank you note. He worked in marketing for Cannondale bikes. Cool dude.

Same race, another guy (straggler towards the end of the race) comes running around that corner of the trail with a crunched front wheel. I ask if he needs a loaner wheel, and I give him mine, and once again, the hotel. I really did want that expensive wheel back. Figured I might never see it. Came out of the hotel the next morning with the wheel in the back of the truck, and a nice note saying thank you on the windshield.

Same race (this is getting crazy), different aid area - near the end of this brutal race. Near Turquoise lake. It's raining and at 10,000' altitude, it's cold. Nasty. Muddy. This woman comes waking her bike down the trail and is shivering. I ask if she's ok and she says "I'm done - can't ride anymore". She's covered in mud and can't stop shivering. I throw her bike in my truck turn on the engine and put the heat on high and she sits in it while I go back to the race to see if my buddies are still in the race and need anything. I come back to the truck, it's like 100 degrees in there and she's still shivering! Her husband drives up and takes her back to town. We end up seeing her at dinner, and she's all bubbly and laughing and obviously, back to normal. They offer to buy my whole group dinner, but we (of course) decline and wish them well.

I do think there's something about helping people in these situations that's a lot different than picking up a random hitchhiker, right?

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