Wednesday, March 23, 2011

pay it forward

I sat at the window of a coffee shop on Broadway, one hand wrapped around a warming cup of brew and the other flipping through the copy of Momentum magazine that I'd picked up* minutes earlier at The Bike Doctor a few doors down.

Suddenly I heard a rapping on the window in front of me. I looked up.

Is that yours? motioned the woman on the other side of the glass, silently pointing at my bicycle locked just a few feet away. I nodded to the affirmative. She responded with the international symbol for "hold on a moment" and went around to the front door.

She'd been in a nearby shop asking for a comfortable bike that wouldn't hurt her back and had been told that she needed a mountain bike. She knew enough to tell him no, that's not what she needed, but not much more. We chatted for a few minutes about my bike, upright bikes, the difference between cruisers and city bikes, and what nearby shops had staff that would be more helpful than mountain-bike-guy. She thanked me and we parted ways.

A few minutes later, my coffee cup empty and magazine thoroughly flipped, I headed outside, noticing that she'd gotten a coffee and was sitting at one of the outside tables. So I did the first thing that came to mind.

I gave her the copy of Momentum.

Conveniently, it had articles this month on "lifestyle" cycling and tips on how to buy a bicycle. Perfect timing. Pay it forward.

Do you subscribe to Momentum (North Americans) or any other cycling magazines? Have you ever passed on your copies to others?

(* Yes, I do have a subscription. But it hadn't arrived, I was worried it had expired, and I was getting impatient. It all worked out in the end.)


  1. I subscribe to three cycling magazines and they all do the rounds once I have read them.....


  2. Sounds like your new bike is doing its bit to help spread the word that good cycling in Vancouver is definitely possible! Its great that the woman was not satisfied with the information she received and kept pursuing her ideal. So many just follow along with what is told to them and then get disappointed, but it sounds as if she has good instincts.