Monday, February 15, 2010

One More Kid On A Bike

Saturday, a woman and a boy of about seven years old came into Bike Works. Our shop sells used bikes and the young fellow was looking for a bike. "Preferably something with multiple gears and hand brakes," the woman said. Our supply of refurbished kids bikes is unfortunately a bit low at this time but I did have one simple, used, blue BMX bike with a coaster brake that I showed to the woman and the boy. I explained stopping with a coaster brake to the boy and he nodded.

"He's just in town visiting for a few days and he wants to go riding," she explained. "His bike at home has hand brakes and multiple gears. You don't rent bikes, do you?"

"Sorry," I explained, "We don't and I don't know anyone in town who rents kid's bikes."

"That's what I've found as well," she said, glancing at the $25 price tag on the bike.

"We don't rent bikes," I said, "but he's only in town for a couple of days. I'll loan you this bike." I adjusted the seat to the right height for the kid and loaned him one of our helmets so he could test ride it. He understood the coaster brake right away and came back with a big grin on his face.

"We'll bring the bike back on Tuesday," the woman said.

"Perfect," I said.

"I need to buy him a helmet," said the woman. I helped the boy try on helmets and he picked out a blue one. He also found a light that he liked and the woman said she'd buy it for him. As I was ringing up the sale the woman said, "We'll bring the bike back on Tuesday, but I'd like to make a donation as well." (Bike Works is a non-profit and our main mission is getting kids on bikes and teaching them how to fix them up). "Add another forty dollars to our total."


Bob said...

Thanks for the "Chicken Soup", Kent.

That which makes sense morally doesn't always make sense economically; I wish that lesson could be passed on to our elected representatives.


Knox Gardner said...

Now, if that's not a Valentine's story, I don't know what is.

Surly Dave said...

How wonderful. What lovely people.

Bruce said...

That's how one should treat and be treated.

Pity more folks can't operate that way.

Johann Rissik said...

Great story Kent, now get to practising! Your fans around the world are hollering for you.

Anonymous said...

+1 to all the comments. You have made us proud, Kent.

Gene in Tacoma

Andrew said...


I'm of a mind that moral sense usually makes long term economic sense. Surely, there are exceptions, but in general, it's a false dilemma.

Andrew said...

...which is not to say I don't find Kent's actions admirable -- I surely find them inspiring. Thanks, Kent.

Bob said...

Hi Andrew,

I was referring to the woman's action of donating $40 rather than purchasing the bike for $25. Not an economically good decision for her personally but an admirable one for the community.


Dan O said...

Great story. Nice to hear - awesome.

Lisa said...

I work at the library and run into people like this. It always makes me glad to interact with people every day.

Thanks for the blogpost!