This is why you treat your choir members nicely

I owe one of the choir members at my normal church, bigtime.

I had taken a nicely, leisurely trek on a couple of area bike trails (both the Fox River Trail and the Prairie Path), and I was on my way back home and was near downtown two towns over when I headed up a hill and had to stop at a stoplight. I decided to walk my bike over to push the button to get a Walk sign.

Then, I heard perhaps the worst sound you can hear if you’re a bicyclist:

PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHH

Oh, no. Crud. Bike’s now disabled with a flat front tire, thanks to a shard of beer bottle. That’s bad.

Bad bike!

Normally, when this happens (yes, this isn’t the first time), I just call my family. But they were gone at my sister’s graduation. That’s bad. Well, good for her, but bad for me.

But wait! I thought. There’s a bike shop around here somewhere. That’s good! I got out my smartphone, went a-Googling, and found the shop. That’s good! It’s only a block away! That’s really good!

They don’t actually fix bikes except their own, they told me, because it’s a rental place for bikes and kayaks and canoes and stuff like that, and the mechanic guy isn’t there right now. That’s bad.

So, at that point, I was left with two options: Try to figure out someone else to pick me up, or bite the bullet and risk certain sunburn during the five-mile walk downriver and home, which would make me really, really late to sister’s graduation party 15 miles from home. (Or I could call a taxi and probably have to leave the bike somewhere, which wasn’t a good idea.)

So I got out my phone again. Is there someone I can call who can bail me out of this? I looked. No friends in town today. My normal church had a wedding that involved the Spanish cantors, so they weren’t available. But wait! Here’s the number for the lady who picks the songs at English Mass. Oh, boy, I hope she’s not busy.

She missed the call but called right back.

“Um, so I have a bit of an unusual request,” I started. I explained the situation.

“Oh, no problem,” she said.

Twenty minutes later, her husband showed up with his pickup truck; fifteen minutes after that, I was home, and I was only 20 minutes late for the party, where I now had a story to tell.

And that, friends, is why you treat your choir members nicely. Because if you find yourself with a flat bike tire five miles from home and you’re due at your sister’s graduation party, one of them will send her husband to go pick you up and drive you home.

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