Editorial: It Happened At The Plaza

I’ve been using Spokane Transit’s bike carriers a lot more lately to extend the reach of my cycling around town. It used to be that in order to use these bus bike carriers you needed to watch a training video and get a special card. Not anymore. Anyone can do it. Just remember to load the position farthest from the front of the bus if only one bike is on the carrier and place the wheel holder towards the top of the front wheel.

Trouble is now that you don’t need a training session or a card there’s more and more times when two bikes fill up the carriers.

The other day my son and I went to the Transit Plaza to catch the #43 up the South Hill to visit some friends. When we got to the plaza there was already a young man on a BMX bike waiting at our bay.

“What bus are you waiting for?”

“The 43.”

Uh oh. I did some calculations. If I could convince my ten-year-old son to get on the bus himself I could sprint up the hill and see if I could make it to our destination and meet him before the bus got there. I’d have to really hammer. I’d have to take some time to convince my son to get on the bus by himself. Should I give him my cell phone? It was Saturday. The next bus might not come for an hour. We would miss our rendezvous time with our friends. Should we skip the bus? Could I convince him to ride up the hill with me?

I started the painful fatherly exercise of explaining our options to my son. It wasn’t going well. Dude on the BMX noticed our discussion.

“No worries. You guys can take my slot.” I was stunned by this generous offer. “But you’ve got a single speed bike and we’ve got gears, you shouldn’t have to ride up the hill.”

“Not a problem. I got these,” he said and gave his thighs a hearty slap. Of course if the bus carriers had room for three bikes, we wouldn’t have this problem, but for the moment I was just thrilled by the kindness of strangers on BMX bikes at the Transit Plaza. I guess chivalry among cyclists isn’t dead.

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