I’ve used a bike as my main way to get around for nearly twenty years now, and have hundreds of bike stories to tell….from being pulled up by the British Police an hour after arriving in the UK for cycling on the M4 to avoiding crabs on Cuban roads to getting lost in Dutch cycle paths to jumping over snakes on my bike in Australia.
At the moment, my bike is a three-year-old beautiful Avanti Blade. Which, despite being shiny and newish and flash, still, bewilderingly, gets punctures.
It took me 45 minutes to patch, re-patch, and finally give up when I realised that not only did I have a puncture, but the valve was leaking. (What is it with these crap valves? More disposable living….)
Two runners and five cyclists had stopped in this time to check I was ok and offer assistance. I was pretty sure I could sort it out, so thanked them and declined.
When cyclist six stopped, I’d decided to give up and go home. He gave me his spare inner tube and we shared puncture stories briefly before he tore off on his racing bike, his beautiful cyclist legs rippling in the sun.
Wellington cyclists rock – we stop, we help each other, we grin and commiserate when yet another motorist does something to threaten our vulnerable skin and bones with their metal ramming boxes.
Recently I had a puncture in the more rural Wairarapa – and contrary to most stereotypes we have, city slickers generosity and friendliness wins out – at least if you’re on a bike.