Day 23

What a day!

I started my day riding my bike in street clothes to The Bike Shed ( half a sleep. I was expecting the worse. I knew before I left home that if I lost a spoke it would be impossible to replace on the road because of the type of wheels I have. I did not have the money to buy touring wheels before I left home.
“How can I help you?” “I’m not sure if you can help me, I’m traveling cross-country and I lost a spoke.” Paul measured the spoke and said, “Let’s see what I can do.” “We don’t have a spoke that will fit your wheel.” And he walked into the back room. Paul comes back out with my tire mounted on a rim. “I have this used one,” he says. ” How much?” I reply. ” Don’t worry about it, it’s on me.” The words “thank you” feel insignificant in the presence of such generosity.
I return to the hotel, pack my stuff (always a long process) and return to the bike shop to pick up my old wheel and mail it home. Paul already has the wheel wrapped and boxed ready to mail. He tells me that he has to go to lunch and he will drive the box to the post office for me.
I am sometimes perplexed by such events. I can’t help but ask myself, why is it that out here people seem to just take care of things? In the city, I find myself frustrated by people who can’t or just refuse to use common sense to problem solve. I’m sorry sir, the manual says no. Do we hide our laziness behind the word liability? Or have we really reached the point that we can’t think for ourselves, that we need a rule book and a manager’s approval for everything? We come up with all kinds of reasons to not be of service.
Thank you Paul for being of service to your fellow man. Thank you for going that extra mile to help a stranger in need. I salute you. I hope to follow your example of service in my daily life. Thank you, brother.
This whole event put me way behind. I did not leave town until 1pm. After about 20 miles I was starving again, so I stopped at a little store in Shelton to eat. I sat outside eating when a friendly man named Arlen sat and talked with me a bit. I started telling him about the The Bike Shed and he says, “Did you talk to Paul?” I finish telling him the story and he says, “Welcome to middle Nebraska,that’s Paul.”
Along the way I ran into three cute college girls cycling to Kearny. They were wearing matching “Husker” jerseys. They were pulling a Bob trailer and planned on doing approx 500 miles round trip. Looking good girls!
I finished my day in Grand Island at the Best Western. It feels great to stay in a nice room and have a moment alone to absorb my journey this far.
It’s interesting to take on an adventure like this. There is no money being raised, no fanfare, just a quiet tribute to the Fire service and the 343 men that died saving lives. Some question why they would even go into those buildings. Those people are not firemen.
Choosing to take on a quest that puts you in a very unique position as opposed to having to do something without a choice. When you make the choice to do something you also accept its consequences freely. If I had to ride my bike to work and I lost a spoke I could easily become upset and feel sorry for myself. Why is this happening to me? When I lost a spoke yesterday, it did not upset me because I had accepted the possibility of losing a spoke before I ever left the house. In fact, the spoke or problem became a vessel that carried me to The Bike Shed. There I was shown one of the greatest examples of generosity that I have seen in a long time. So the problem is not a problem at all, it is a vessel. Could I apply this lesson to all my problems? Maybe there is no such thing as problems. I always focus on the wheel, but is it not the spokes that drive the wheel?
When we swear into our positions we do it freely and without reservation. We also accept the consequences freely. While I will never know what those brave men felt on that terrible day, I know they did their duty. They preformed the ultimate service. They gave there lives for others.

9 thoughts on “Day 23

  1. What amazing thoughts today. You are truly being blessed and are blessing the lives of others as you take on this quest! Paul and all of the others that have done just what Paul did for you on this trip have needed you just as much as you needed them at that moment. Serving others is something that too often people forget should take priority. I know this trip is changing their lives just as it is changing yours and it’s being done in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to happen! You are an amazing person and a GREAT inspiration! Keep pedaling…God speed brother.

  2. Amen brother. Service to others and God in our lives! Great words from you today Jason. Keep it up. Love your story.
    Ciao and Buon viaggio!

  3. I wish some of the people I work with could see this post as an example of great service and that all too elusive “common” sense. You just started my morning off great.. Thank you! Now its time for me to get on my bike and riiiiide 🙂

  4. Epic story!! It’s amazing how people think and live in other places in the country. All we see out here is self centered , me first attitudes. Keep ridding were all with you in spirit .

  5. Jason, what happened to Chris? Are you riding solo now?
    Really appreciate your daily blogs. Puts may day and the stuff I encounter into prospective, even Kimberly’s cancer and especially the project I’m just completing in Beverly Hills. Keep up the great work and enjoy the experience, it is once in a lifetime.
    John Muller

  6. Great story Jason. This is truly a life changing experience for you.

    I was thinking about you yesterday when I took a bike ride from my house to Bolsa Chica. As I refilled my water bottle at one of the restroom stops along the beach I realized we take things like water for granted. It is so easy to find when you need it, while you have had to search for water and food daily on your trip.

    Safe travels,

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