It was only the third day of our journey. We’d left Vancouver on Sunday and, so far, travelled the grand total of 116 miles.Not really a big deal. Apart from the fact that we weren’t in a car but riding a tandem loaded with four panniers and a bar bag. Plus we were towing a big green plastic box on a bike trailer containing camping gear and other equipment.
Still not really a big deal. Except that for us this was just the warm up. We’d flown from the UK with our tandem and the end point for this leg of the journey was Tampa, Florida.
I reckoned we had about 4,500 miles of cycling ahead of us and until just before Christmas to get to Tampa. All on our tandem. Now that was scary.
At this very early stage, we knew it was going to be an adventure but most of what lay ahead was a complete mystery.
However, getting to the end of day three was significant. We were camping at a small town called Hope. To get here, we’d ridden roughly east through fairly gentle terrain. Tomorrow, we turned north into the Fraser Canyon and some much tougher riding.
We’d spent over a year planning this journey and tried to think of everything. But feeling pretty weary on getting to Hope, we didn’t think things through when we went shopping for our evening meal.
We were back at the campsite about to start cooking when we suddenly realised we’d bought tins without ring pull tops – and we didn’t have a tin-opener!
Not a major deal. I wandered around the campsite until we found some other campers who could lend us one.
After dinner, we turned in early, knowing we had a long day ahead of us. The next morning, we were the first up on the campsite and I started getting the bike ready for that day’s ride – which is when I found a brand-new tin-opener, still in its packaging sitting on top of our trailer!
Now buying a pair of strangers a tin-opener might seem a pretty minor act of generosity to some but it made our day. We never got a chance to thank the people who’d given it to us – we wanted to get on the road and thought they might not appreciate being woken at the crack of dawn just so we could say thanks.
But we still remember that act of kindness regularly. This journey took place in 2010 – the first part of a year-long bike ride that also took us through New Zealand, Australia and a chunk of northern Europe – and it was the first of many such acts that we experienced, all of them helping to reaffirm our belief in human nature.
There are many good people out there, doing kind things that go generally unreported.The world needs such people. We should treasure them.