Growth5 Blog

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't Give Up So Easy...

It was every bicyclist's nightmare: you're riding blissfully along out in the country and...the crank that holds your pedal snaps. Bad luck.

It's especially bad luck if you're in the middle of West Virginia mountains and there isn't even cellphone service. It's even worse if you're just 50 miles into a 250-mile bike ride. That was my story last weekend.

My riding partners shook their heads and made jokes about a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest. I figured I was done, but I one-pedaled along for a couple miles until I got to the only house on the road.

Then, suddenly, my luck changed.

The homeowner, Dorman Parker, smiled and said, "I think we can get you back on the road."

He ushered me into his garage, where he drilled a new hole in the crank below where it had broken. He tapped threads into the hole. And, because my fancy racing pedal wouldn't screw into them, he took an old pedal off his son's bike and -- presto! -- I was back on the road.

Of course, I had two different pedals and the cranks were different lengths, so I couldn't stand and pedal. But thanks to Dorman's kindness to a perfect stranger, I finished the last 200 miles (including 100 in the dark).

Dorman taught me a lesson that day: a little generosity, ingenuity and perseverance can make all the difference. Don't give up too easily!

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