Practicing Hospitality

We were our way to the chile festival the other week. (Angie talked about it here.) We knew parking would be a hassle but managed to find a space in the Chamber of Commerce lot. Since the Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Chile Festival, we figured we could safely park there. As we drove around the lot, we spied a touring cyclist straddling her loaded bike, looking at her phone. The bike shop (across the street from the parking lot we were in) was already closed for the weekend, so we felt we should check in with her, and make sure she had everything she needed.

The woman (her name is Robin) told us that she was riding east to west on a portion of the TransAmerica Bike Trail and had had an awful day after trying to find a more scenic route into Pueblo and possibly veering onto some private property where she was, to say the least, not welcomed with open arms.

In addition, she had, in the course of the day, suffered three flat tires and was out of tubes. Her front tire was flat when we met her. Robin did already have a place to stay in town, at a Warmshowers location in the neighborhood known as the Blocks, which is on the south side of the Arkansas River. However, we wanted to be sure she felt welcomed and able to get where she was going. She wanted to get something to eat but didn’t want to pay $3 to try to find something inside the Chile Festival, so we walked with her to Bingo Burger, since that’s a place to get a relatively cheap and very tasty meal (if you like burgers of various kinds). We introduced her to the assistant manager, who is often there when we ride in on Thursday nights and left her to her own devices while we went off to the chile fest.

Since we know both bike shops in town are closed on Sunday, we offered to get some of our 26” tubes to her so she could continue on her way.

After a chat on Sunday morning, we picked Robin up at the home of her Warmshowers host in the afternoon, and took her to the grocery store. As I’ve recently discovered, it’s not an easy route to ride, though I’m sure that as a seasoned bike trekker, Robin would have had no problem with it, but we wanted to help her out a little. Plus, we were going there ourselves. After we had all finished our shopping, we dropped her back at her host’s place, leaving her with some inner tubes, as we had promised.

The next day, Robin was still in town (it turned out she was staying longer than just the weekend, since she had to fly to New York for a family event) so we pinged her and invited her to dinner. We were just having left-overs but she was happy to join us. She rode over to our house on the northside and had a bite with us. We had a nice, mellow evening with her and hopefully she had a good time.

It was nice to meet a fellow traveler and learn about her experiences as well as practicing hospitality for the touring cyclists who come through town. Robin blogs at freewheelingfem.blogspot.com.

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