I was alone, 10 miles out on a bicycle ride zooming down a two lane road about to take a left onto another two lane road when I noticed a grumpy looking gray beard walking along the ditch carrying a half full, faded, red plastic gas can. In the back of my mind came the thought “Sucker! If he’d been on a bike like me he wouldn’t need gas and wouldn’t be stranded. I’m so much better than him. Smarter, younger, fitter…”
PFFFT!!! Went my front tire, spraying bright green tube slime on the road, my bike and me as a sudden puncture burst onto the scene. I stopped, got off the bike and was looking at the tiny hole as grumpy gray beard caught up.
I said “Looks like we’re in the same boat!” smiling. He grunted, said “Flat tire” and walked on.
I carry a phone and my rescue crew was at home on the sofa, ready if not willing to come get me in the van. But I also carry a patch kit and a pump and decided to attempt the repair. It took just 15 minutes to remove the wheel and inner tube, find the puncture, apply patch, stuff the tube back in the tire, pump it up, and put the wheel back on the bike. I never caught up with gas can man, but maybe I should have waved and smiled at him before the flat.