“Got Everything You Need?”

It was on of those true cycling moments.

Got lights for the town bike, riding home from work after dark for the first time, cutting through the industrial neighborhood near my work, got a flat. Hisshisshisshiss as the tire spins in the dark. I popped out a CO2 cartridge, tried to nurse the tire (it had slime in it) but no go. So I’m sitting in the wind in a parking lot along a busy street, wheel popped off changing the tube, and a bike guy rides up.

“Got everything you need?”

I’ve asked the question a hundred times myself, and whenever I’m stopped changing a flat on the bike trail someone else riding by will slow and ask me. “Got everything you need?” And they always have everything they need, and I always have everything I need, but there’s still something powerful about the gesture, like we’re all in this together.

It was especially comforting sitting in a parking lot in the wind after dark at the side of a very busy street.