Sunday, April 14, 2013

Random encounters

I was heading up Bank Street south of Billings Bridge this afternoon on my way home from a meeting. Up ahead of me, on the sidewalk, there was a slightly sketchy-looking guy riding on the sidewalk, on a mountain bike with big fatty tires - more than 2 inches, I'd say. As I stopped at a red light, he stopped at the intersection as well and got off his bike, I assume to walk it across the road, or maybe he was just getting tired of the climb.

Then he called out to me. "You need air in your tire."

I looked up. "I know," I said, and I did; before leaving the house I'd noticed the tires were flabby but was running too late for my meeting to dig out the pump. But after a second I thought that sounded a bit too brusque - the guy was just being helpful. So I added with a laugh, "I can definitely tell when I'm on a hill," and then the light changed and I rolled along on my way.

But it also occurred to me that it's kind of amazing that he'd seen, and noticed, that my tire was a little deflated. From that distance. As I was cranking along on the road. I stopped later to take a picture of my tire, with my weight on the seat. This picture up and to the left is it.

This guy saw that my tire was low on air from a good twenty-five feet away. Now that's a guy with an eye for bikes.


  1. It's not hard to see, on a bike or a car. I use it as an indicator: people who don't keep their tires (car or bike) inflated probably don't pay much attention to road rules and other road users. Generally when I spot a cyclist with a low tire, very shortly after they hop onto a sidewalk, run a light, or do something else stupid.

  2. Keep Peolpe On Bikes AliveMay 4, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Making use of a sidewalk while biking is not stupid. I have no issues with cyclists using sidewalks. Why, because often it's the only safe way to travel along a road. For example, Baseline Road or as I call it the Baseline Freeway. I have to travel along it at times and have NEVER biked on the roadway as it is life threatening. Care and common sense must be used when coming upon people walking but for the most part sidewalks are VASTLY UNDERUTILIZED except of course in the downtown core. I value other cyclist lives and my own. Don't speak down to those who choose to use the sidewalk at times in order to be safe. Cyclists respect pedestrians far more than people in cars respect people on bikes.