You can often identify with people of similar interests but a certain camaraderie seems to exist with cyclists especially when one is in trouble at the roadside with a mechanical or puncture. On several occasions when I have been victim to the puncture fairy others have stopped to offer help so I was a bit surprised to read on a forum of one person who had stopped and helped, supplying a tube to a fellow in distress, he went on to say the guy never thanked him or paid for the tube so as a result he would never stop to help anybody again. I felt a certain sadness that he expected reimbursement for his action and it got me thinking. Having supplied tubes to fellows in distress I have never asked for them back or expected payment, if they should return the tube I would be grateful but I would not ask them to. A thank you is appreciated but it would not prevent me from offering help again
On club rides if the word “puncture” is shouted the peloton comes to a halt and two or three people act as a formula one pit crew, eager to help with, repair and get the unfortunate rider rolling again as soon as possible. Similarly in the professional world of the Tour if the leader punctures the peloton neutralises the race until they are all back on an equal footing, nobody wants to be seen taking advantage of a fellows misfortune, probably unique in sport.
It is refreshing to hear of the number of people who stop and offer assistance and whether you believe in Karma I for one am happy that cycling adopts this ethos. My wife is also a keen cyclist and while she would struggle to mend a puncture she carries tubes, puncture outfit and pump and while her first line of defence would be to call the mechanic and team car I am confident if she was stuck at the roadside another cyclist would stop to offer help.
On a recent CTC ride the group came across a middle-aged couple on MTBs with a puncture, they had nothing to repair the tube or any idea how to do it but without question or judgement one guy stepped forward to repair the puncture, taking the time to explain and show them how to do it.
I recall last summer on a sweltering hot day (yes we did have a few) I came across a guy and girl with bike upside down and wheel removed. The girl was busy mending a puncture and the guy was sitting in the shade of a tree with a can of fizzy drink. I stopped and asked the girl if she had everything she needed and was OK mending the puncture. Before she had chance to speak the guy said we have everything and she has nearly finished and we can be on our way again. Glad to see chivalry is not dead !!
I have read countless reports and stories all echoing the virtues and camaraderie of cyclists and recently while walking with the bike through a flood a van pulled alongside and wound down the window saying he was also a cyclist and would I like a lift.
Its warming to be a member of a brotherhood that offers help so freely, long may it continue.