A Random Act of Kindness

To the Argo Tea girl handing out free smoothie samples on the street corner: thank you so much for bringing a sample to me while I was waiting at the stop light and hanging around to take back my empty cup when the light turned green. I did not ask you to do that, but you must have seen how longingly I looked at the smoothie in the 90 degree heat. You, my dear, are an angel.

What is the nicest random act of kindness you’ve encountered while riding your bike?

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24 thoughts on “A Random Act of Kindness

  1. Sara says:

    The old man security guard who ran after my hat when it blew off a few days ago as I was riding my bike. He could have just stood there stoically (as security guards often do) but he went springing down the street after it.

    Oh, and the TWO business men who helped me a few weeks ago. I had my baby niece on the front baby basket and was baking out of the bike parking when I dominoed the bikes next to me. One held my bike as I started to lose control, and the other had the other bikes up before I had a chance to even get to them.

    Nice people make the day and the world, don’t they?

  2. Deb says:

    My rear rim exploded a couple months ago, and I was stuck 12 miles from home with a bike I couldn’t even roll, let alone ride. I called a taxi and after two canceled I was waiting (and waiting and waiting) for the third, wondering after an hour if I was ever going to get a taxi to pick me up when a guy driving a truck pulled over.

    “I see you riding every day. I’m just out running errands trying to kill some time. Can I give you a ride somewhere?”

    I didn’t get the creepy vibe from him, so I trusted my instincts and trusted him. He drove me all the way to my condo (and then had to battle the rush hour traffic all the way back). Really nice guy, teacher at a school I ride by. When I see him in the mornings now he gives me a huge wave and a friendly honk!

  3. Jennifer says:

    The security guys at my office took delivery of my Workcycles Oma when it was shipped from Amsterdam to Edinburgh, de-boxed it, wheeled it down to the underground parking and then searched for the right size spanner to adjust my saddle for me. All I had to do was ride it home at the end of the day with a big smile on my face.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      I’m also in the UK and am lusting over getting a Workcycles Oma. Did you plunge right in and order your Oma without testriding her or did you have a fun trip over to Amsterdam to see her in person? I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to just order one without testriding before hand but I want to make sure it’s the right decision. How are you getting on with her? And yes, I’ve assumed your bike is a girl….

  4. neighbourtease says:

    Yesterday I was stopped at a light and a guy said to me “Hey mami, you bike look like a Cuban motorcycle, you want a cigar?” and held out a cigar. I declined, but only because I am breastfeeding.

    Frankly, I file this under “random,” “acts,” and “kindness.”

  5. Melissa S. says:

    I love random acts of kindness. They’re best when you’re the one doing them.
    Check out this site. http://www.operationnice.com/

  6. Maria says:

    In my neighborhood, white landrover rude guy aside, nine times out of ten cars yeild to bikes even when they have the right of way. Also at the major intersections/lights, drivers regularly roll down their windows to check in with bikes and confirm who’s going where so everyone has a safe take off.

    • dukiebiddle says:

      I hate that stuff! :)

      • ridon says:

        i was going to say that as my random act of kindness! some guy yesterday made eye contact to see if it was okay to make a right on red (it was a right turn only lane). i let him go first and made the turn after him so it worked out for the both of us.

  7. Val says:

    Bike touring is a wonderful way to find out just how kind people can be. If I started listing all the folks who have helped me out while on tour, it would be a major thread in itself. I think that the most appreciated act of kindness I have encountered while commuting was the gentleman who took me to the hospital and even kept track of my bike when I launched myself on the way to a final exam and wound up sitting by the side of the road looking at the surface of my kneecap. Not a good day, but I was grateful.

  8. Nova says:

    My tourmates and I got rolled into our stop for the night later than expected, and the general store had already closed. We were hungry and exhausted, it was a hard day, and we didn’t have much food left as we’d been picking up food along the way so as to minimize weight (this was a month-long trek). A couple at the campground not only fed us dinner (abalone steaks, salad, awesomeness!), they even made us a pancake breakfast in the morning. It was amazing. They also offered us a place to stay if we decided to extend our trip past San Francisco to Monterey. We sent them thank you postcards!

  9. David says:

    About 5 years or so ago, I was riding outside of Ann Arbor, MI when I flatted. I had, for some reason, not brought my pump and flat repair bits with me (this is the episode that cured me of that.) I had a long walk back to my car (at least 5-6 miles), so I started walking. A mom-and-dad-ish couple who had seen me on my way out stopped and offered me a ride back to the car, and fed me cider and donuts since they had just been to the cider mill. yay!

  10. Curly Suze says:

    Our engineer at work, who, since we haven’t got any kind of bike rack, lets me park my Batavus in his indoor shop, which is secure.

  11. Molly says:

    A book fell off my rear rack in the middle of a midtown NYC street during the evening rush. A black-car driver (a hard-to-translate NYism, I think. ‘Limo’ is technically correct but gives the wrong idea) stopped protectively next to the book while I retrieved it so that no cars could whiz by me or run over me!

    • welshcyclist says:

      Sadly, nothing as tasty as that, but I was treated to an act of consideration, from a motorist, something I’m not used to at all. I was cycling on my route to work, a couple of weeks ago, I must have been on my way to my nightshift. I was barely three miles into the 20 mile trip, and I was already soaking, from a massive downpour. The roads couldn’t cope with deluge, and so the roads were awash with standing water about an inch deep, passing traffic continued by me at normal pace, causing spray to fly up and soak me even more. After one such pass the car pulled over to the opposite side of the road, and an elderly lady got out, and shouted an apology for causing the spray to hit me, I shouted back that because she had had the good grace to actually slow down in my vicinity, I had not been affected when she passed, and, of course, thanked her for her consideration. I have to admit I was really touched by her concern. Predictably, it was back to reality yesterday, when some guy stuck the fingers up to me, when he passed too close to me, very brave when they’re speeding off!

  12. maureen says:

    I love to read/hear about rak. I know it helps me be in a better mood, when I am on the giving end of them. I guess for me, people on their bikes stopping and willing to pose for me. I think that takes grace and courage.

  13. CommuterGirl says:

    Supportive Smiles and Waves and cars patiently waiting behind me at a light are best R.A.of K. I’ve received so far.
    Love your blog – inspirational!

  14. Sean says:

    I can think of a few. Once I got stuck in a downpour, and at an intersection a kind and very resourceful middle-aged woman, a pedestrian, pulled an extra umbrella from her bag and gave it to me.

    There was the time I was hit by a motorist and a tourist quickly pulled a giant pile of tissues from her handbag and handed them to me so I could put pressure on my bleeding chin.

    And, lastly the director at my current company who said “Don’t even ask! Just bring your bike in the office and park it. If anybody has a problem, send them to me!”

  15. Cherilyn says:

    Wonderful post! For all the frustrations we can encounter, it’s so refreshing to hear all the stories of human kindness.

  16. Martinez says:

    On most weekends I ride my fast bicycle down a very heavily-bicyle-traversed roadway. Lots of spandex, lots of carbon fiber. Anytime anyone on two wheels is stopped I slow down and ask if they’re okay. If they appear to be doing repairs, I always ask if they have everything they need. Over the last 15ish years I’ve “donated” a half-dozen tubes and a happy amount of elbow grease.
    My hope is that everyone I’ve met does the same to others that they meet.

  17. jerry'sdaughter says:

    I’ve been lucky to experience many random acts of kindness. A pedestrian who helped me retrieve dropped items; a bike mechanic who secured a wobbly kickstand midway through a weeklong tour, an RV-towing couple who pulled over to see if we needed help while repairing a flat. You realize on your bike how much you need help at times! It’s nice discovering that people are willing to provide it.

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