After a wonderful evening with new friends (from www.warmshowers.com) who had taken me in very last minute, we shared stories had some adult beverages and watched their dogs and Thina play!
I left first thing in the morning and headed on my way to Durham North Carolina, I got about 8 miles down the road and hit a really beat up road with lots of cracks and bumps, I spent 2 miles bouncing around on this road and it finally ended, when it did I heard the worst sound, thud thud, thud thud. I know what that sound means… flat tire. I stop and see that it’s not just a flat tube, the tire also has a hole.
I spent about an hour changing out the tube, and trying to Gorilla Tape the tire enough to get me to a bike store or walmart to get a new tire (of course most of the stores were about 12 miles in the wrong direction, and the ones in the right direction were 50 miles away!) Once I put all the Gorilla Tape that I had on my tire with the new tube in it, I tried to pump up the tire and the pump wasn’t working, I spent about 10 minutes unsuccessfully trying to pump it up, then a truck pulls over, and a nice man named Josh steps out. He took my wheel went back to his house pumped up my tire and came back with my pumped up tire and a patch for me to use on the tire (something a little better than tape). Josh and I talked a little bit about my journey (he was very curious when seeing my intense bike set up), I explained to him that life is short so get out there live!!! I thanked him and went on my way in hopes that my tire would hold out long enough to get to bike store (50 miles away).
As I was riding the bike I noticed the tire already started bulging out, but it was still going so I kept going, I got about 10-12 more miles down the road and saw a tire shop. I pulled in thinking they may have a patch I could use or help in some way. Donald the owner felt really awful that he didn’t have anything at the store that could help me, as I said thank you and was about to head out the door Donald said “do you have a drivers license” I said “yes”, he said “I’ll give you my car and you can drive over to the next town hit walmart or the bike store there.” I looked at him kind of shocked and said “that would be amazing”!!
The next thing you know Thina and I are driving to Walmart and picking up all the things that we need (and extra tires and tubes!!) When we got back one of Donald’s employees comes out and takes my wheels from me and the new tubes and the new tires and in about 5 minutes had my new tires ready for me to get back on the road!!! I offered to pay for letting me borrow the car and their time, and of course they said no and just kept telling me to be safe! We talked for a little bit took some pictures and shared some hugs.
As I headed on my way my eyes filled up with tears as to what had just happened! I thought I was going to be having a very different day, one filled with frustration and set backs! Instead I met amazing people who treated me with such kindness and I was able to get to my planned destination for the evening!!!!