- Tales of random kindness from strangers?
In these times of (it appears) increasing hate and division let’s hear your stories where a random stranger has been kind to you.Posted 4 days ago
Obvs as a cycling forum there’ll be loads of cycling related tales but any stories are welcome.
Years ago I was on a dance music chat board and there was an artist appearing in Leeds that weekend, think it was the Orbit in Morley. I posted that I’d love to go but had nowhere to stay and no friends to go with. Got messaged by a random stranger who invited me to go with his mates and stay over at his. Ended up having a fantastic evening. 👌😃
… And a time gap/inexplicably sore bottom next morning… 😊Posted 4 days ago
I once changed a car tyre for a young lady in the car park of a supermarket. I went in to do my shopping and when I came back out there was a thank you card under my windscreen wiper. Which was nice.Posted 4 days ago
Once left my jacket on the beach with wallet and phone in the pocket. Got a call from a man with two kids who had found it. When I went to pick it up he would not let me give the kids some of the cash that was in the wallet.Posted 4 days ago
Went to supermarket with obviously pregnant girlfriend many years ago, we’d both come out without any money but another shopper insisted on paying for us at the checkout. We both assumed our other half must know them but nope was just a random stranger 🙂Posted 4 days ago
When I came back out there was a thank you card
Admit it, you were hoping for more than just a card!Posted 4 days ago
It’s usually me being nice to other people (to make up for my hideous disfigurement and Northern brogue).Posted 4 days ago
Just before Christmas I was stocking up with food/booze at Tesco. Fella 2 people in front of me spent about £150 and when asked for his Clubcard, turned to the girl behind him in the queue and asked if she had one. Put the points on her card, wished everyone a happy christmas and walked off. Thought that was decent of him.Posted 4 days ago
Left my tablet and phone when changing trains in Holland.
Didn’t realise until my next train had left.
2 days later I got a call at home from a Dutch gent, who had simply called “home” on my phone. (I don’t bother locking my phones as I always know where they are…). He posted them to our Dutch office and I donated 20 euro to his chosen charity.Posted 4 days ago
Years ago at Bristol Temple Meads Station the old duffer in front of me had forgotten/lost his wallet and was getting increasingly upset/disorientated as the jobsworth tw#t in the booth told him it wasn’t his problem and to move along. I ended up buying the guy a ticket and giving my address. A few weeks later I got a PO in the post along with a lovely card from his daughter. I’d completely forgotten.
Few weeks ago I found myself getting upset/disorientated in Aldi as I’d forgotten my card. Lady behind me in the queue insisted on paying for my shopping (about a tenner). What goes around, comes around!Posted 4 days ago
Years ago we purchased a customised, framed print. It went missing in transit. A lady vicar noticed it in a ditch when she was out walking her dog. The packaging was all damaged, she took it home, cleaned it all up and repackaged it. She couldn’t find sender details but she could see our address so she jumped in the car and drove 40 miles to drop it off at our house. It was three days before Christmas and filthy weather. All she wanted in return was to see us happy and to use our loo before jumping back in her car and driving home.Posted 4 days ago
Many moons back (late 90s) as a poor impoverished youth working a good-but-low-paid job with the Youth Hostels up in the Dales, I spent some of my hard-earned cash monies getting the train down to Brighton to go see one of my best mates from back home. Due to a combination of feckups and rail replacement buses, I missed the last train out of Euston at 8-9pm on a Sunday night. Wasn’t in the best of states/moods, there weren’t any more trains back down to Brighton that evening either, and I definitely wasn’t going to be back for work in the morning, so went reluctantly to a cash machine to get some of my minimal shekels out to use a payphone (pre-mobile era) to a) try and get hold of my boss and b) try and get hold of a friend who lived in London to see if I could kip at theirs for the night.
Things didn’t improve when the cash machine then swallowed my one and only card.
I despaired quietly on a bench, possibly gibbering a bit, trying desperately to work out where the hell I was going to spend the night and how I was going to get home the following day. A Hassidic Jewish gentleman in full garb sat down just along from me, and after a few minutes of silence asked me if I was okay. I admitted that, no, I wasn’t really, and explained the situation. He listened, then pulled out a wallet and to my utter surprise handed me a tenner note and another couple of quid in change for the payphone. A bit taken aback, I asked for an address so I could reimburse him when I got sorted out and got my card replaced, he shook his head, smiled and walked off.Posted 4 days ago
When on tour in the USA I spoke to a few Harley riders at a gas station in the midwest. Back on the road they returned 5 or 10 minutes later to warn me there was an unsigned bridge closure on my route.
Posted 4 days ago
My heavily pregnant wife was trying to change the wheel on her car in a pub car park. Bloke walking past stopped and did it for her and would not take the £5.00 she had in her parking change pot. She said his hands were filthy and she felt really bad for him, but he was just pleased to help….
One day I will pay it on and am always on the lookout for people struggling to change a wheel, but in the meantime I have to be happy with the two wallets and two phones I have managed to return to the owners – Both times I have been offered a reward and both times I have suggested they pop some money into a charity box instead 🙂Posted 4 days ago
On Sunday, me and my boy went for our weekly bike ride and I dropped my Garmin. We were trawling the trail trying to find it and there was a fella coming the other way – told us he’d found it and tucked it off to the side of the trail next to a post. Found it easily.Posted 4 days ago
It’s an Edge 1000, so not a cheap item and he could’ve nicked it, but nope, kind enough to help us out. Nice one, walker bloke. (Was the only person we saw on that trail too!)
My heavily pregnant wife was trying to change the wheel on her car in a pub car park.
You should have finished up your pint, went outside and offered her some helpful advice.
It’s what I would have donePosted 4 days ago
When i was in my early twenties, I moved to the US in order to study at University of California, Santa Barbara. Seeing as I had used all my money for accommodation, I had to take the cheapest route from Aalborg to California. It went like this: Aalborg – Billund – Brussels – New York – Los Angeles. Due to a delay in Brussels, I arrived in New York just 15 minutes before my plane to LAX was about to leave. The immigrations clerk processed my student visa lightning fast, grabbed my bag, and sprinted with me through JFK, clearing a path for me with his employee ID. I arrived at the gate just at the plane started taxiing away… The clerk then offered me a ride and a bed at his house for the night, and he even arranged for a seat on a transfer flight the next day. So I spent some very enjoyable hours in a big, African American household, and made it safely to LA the next day.
Great start to a great period of my life!Posted 4 days ago
Ex and I were in a cafe in Church Stretton, I went to pay for our lunch but was told it was cash only, I only had my cards with me so I excused myself and ran to the nearest cash point. In the meantime a lovely lady had paid for our lunch, when I got back to the cafe she wouldn’t take my money and asked me to pay it forward. She obviously had cancer, I really hoped she wasn’t doing nice things before she died and that she’s still with us.Posted 4 days ago
Many moons ago, as a dumb 20 something back packing around Thailand, I managed to misplace my passport and all of my money whilst losing myself at a full moon party. My main luggage was even on a different island, so I was left in just a pair of shorts and t-shirt with no idea what to do.
Through a combination of local charity, I was given a bungalow for the night, some rice and a few baht to get me on the boat back to my luggage.
Then another charitable stranger lent me money to get back to Bangkok to the embassy to organise a new passport. This guy was reimbursed directly by the embassy (I’m guessing I wasn’t the first) but the hotel workers and hut owner on Ko Pha-nGan fully went above and beyond.
I learnt a lot through that episode!
On a lighter note, talking bikes with an old school MTB’er a while ago, I mentioned I had an Ibis and a fondness for the brand. Next time I saw him, he gave me an Ibis handjob and footjam (bottle opener and pump holder) Treasured possessions to this dayPosted 4 days ago
Years ago I was travelling from Dover, where I lived at the time, to home in Dundee on Christmas eve. Somewhere in the borders I stopped for petrol and found a chap sobbing in the car park. He was on his way home to see his wife and kids after working away for a month and had turned the wrong way on the M6 and driven about 140 miles before nearly running out of fuel. At this point he didn’t realise he had turned North instead of South and couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t seen the signs for home yet and got very upset when I told him.
He had been unemployed and had taken the job away from home to pay the mortgage and buy his kids some christmas presents so he only had a few pounds left until he got paid again the following week.
He was properly upset about his mistake and the prospect of missing seeing his kids on christmas day. This was in the days before mobile phones were very popular so couldn’t even phone to let his wife know he was OK.
It was quite heart breaking so I bought him dinner, food for the trip and filled his car with fuel before sending him off in the right direction.
About a week later I got a lovely thank you card from him with a picture of his family having a great time on christmas day.
I often wonder how many people had passed him by before I spoke to him but I am really glad I did as seeing how happy they were in the photo was worth every penny.Posted 4 days ago
I have been on both sides of this one -pay it back folks
Probably the best example where I was the recipient: Many moons ago when totally impoverished me and t’missus decided to hitchhike to the med in November. We detoured via Switzerland. No money for accommodation we intended to sleep in the railway station in Bern. At midnight we were kicked out of the station. So there we are standing in the station concourse putting on as many clothes as we had so as not to freeze to death sleeping on the streets of Bern. A chap came up to us, asked us what we were doing and when we explained insisted on putting us up in his house overnight.
thats one of many times folk showed us kindness on that trip – including staying at the workers camp for a nuclear power station and the hippies who went out of their way to take us to Calais
Paying it back: Perhaps the funniest was returning on our motorbikes from a holiday and we got chatting to an Austrian biker couple in a cafe in the borders. Where are you going” ” Edinburgh” “where are you staying?” ” Nothing booked – we will find a cheap hotel.” Only issue this was at the end of August – peak festival time! There would not be any hotel rooms anywhere near the city let alone cheap ones so we put them up in out flat for the nightPosted 4 days ago
I have very thankfully received a fair few random acts of kindness – a couple on here too! Do my best to pay it forward turn.
I can be a bit of a bellend sometimes – but hopefully sometimes a kind bellend.Posted 4 days ago
Helped numerous stranded cyclists with punctures. Once gave a lift to a lovely old guy and his lovely retro bike which had wrecked it’s crank somehow, he was parked up not far off my route so I gave him a lift back to save him a 7 mile walk.
As a kid I handed a wallet in at the Police station and got a fiver reward from the owner.
Also benefited from strangers – when Jnr was 8 or 9 I’d taken him riding at the local country park, ordered food at the cafe and suddenly discovered that the tenner I know I’d picked up wasn’t in my bag. Woman behind me paid for us as a favour, in the hope that if she ever needed it, someone would do the same for her.Posted 4 days ago
I try to help where I can. Bloody hopeless at accepting help and favours in return though (thanks again Tracey :O)
I was home alone one weekend and it was honing down with rain. I decided to go and do some chores so I could veg on the sofa in the afternoon with a beer and a curry. On the way home I came onto a dual carriagway to see someone changing a tyre on the hard shoulder with their arse hanging out into the inside lane. I saw two cans swerve to avoid so decided I better stop and help. I only had to stand in the rain for 5 mins looking obvious to oncoming traffic whilst the chap finished changing the tyre but still almost got taken out by several other drivers not paying attention. It turned out the driver had been cut up on the previous roundabout and got driven into the curb by a white van driver. He was worried about what his wife was going to say as the alloy was totalled so I politely pointed out he was still alive and it was only a wheel.
Coming back from seeing friends in Manchester we got stuck in a bit of traffic. A guy in front on a bike went to pull away and his crank fell off. He didn’t appear to be a regular rider from his set up but it happened that I had my tool kit in the car as we’d been holidaying with out bikes. I pulled in, jumped out the car, grab the tool box and had the crank back on in no time. Think formula 1 pit stop speed. He stood there fairly speachless as I wished him well with the rest of the ride, jumped back in the car and headed south.
On the flip side I did a mate a turn the other day transporting some bike racks out of a warehouse to another location for him. Whilst in the warehouse I noticed some old bike workshop kit and tools walls. Well, I now have some workshop kit and some tool walls :O)
Treat people how you want to be treated and I think we’d all be in a better place.Posted 4 days ago
I had a lovely opportunity to pay it on when I saw a road rider round the corner from my house struggling to change his snapped gear cable. I took him back to mine and his face lit up when I took him into a garage full of bikes, work stands and tools. He told me that his mate had recently died and he was doing a sponsored ride in his memory from Cardiff to Lands End in a day. I felt it was the least I could do to give him the hot pastie I’d bought for lunch and later opened my front door to find a four pack he’d left on his return drive.Posted 4 days ago
I found a very nice GPS device couple of years ago in North Wales.
Owner had marked home location – lovely small village in middle of nowhere – but difficult to narrow down to which house in a little street of cottages.
Saw it was near a local church so phoned them up and said “anyone in that road keen outdoors kinda person who’s been to Wales and lost something” – priest said yes they thought who it could be and inquired and yes they had lost GPS so I posted out and got a nice Cotswold voucher in return 🙂Posted 4 days ago
Managed to leave my wallet in a taxi many years ago. I wasn’t even drunk or anything! Anyhow got a phone call from a stranger who told me he had my wallet. Went and picked it up and offered him a tenner for his honesty/kindness but he wouldn’t have it.
Lot’s of MTB related items where I’ve given a random person a tube or left them borrow my pump etc.
Also changed a fair set of car wheels in my time. People really seem to struggle with it for some reason, not sure why. When it was a bloke was a bit reluctant to offer help but he was making a fist of it.Posted 4 days ago
A few years ago I was on my hols visiting family in California.
They have great biking out there and I was in the car along a dirt road to start a ride, fairly early in the day but bloody hot.
Came round a corner and found 4 uni-age girls, trying to get a wheel off their bright pink Jeep.
I hosestly thought I was being set up on a candid camera type thing – they were great-looking, all in ded skimpy gear and broken down on a road you can get a normal hire car along.
Anyway, they had no idea about the wheel – hadn’t even worked out the jack yet. I replaced it for them and we all went merrily on our way.
… and the only way “blown-off” or “shagged” get into the story is in relation to the tyre 🙁Posted 3 days ago
*from a long, long time ago, one of dads mates was a lorry driver and he didn’t usually do hitchers but it was a bad, bad Scottish wet day and he took pity on a bedraggled bloke walking along, anyway off they went, the bloke said thanks but didn’t speak much, as they went along a charming policeman stopped him and was a complete and utter ********, a rear light Was out so that was a charge and on it went, checking paperwork, and generally being an officious jobsworth ( they hadn’t provoked him), the policeman took all the details in his notebook and sent them on their way, again pretty much in silence, at the blokes village they stopped, the bloke said thanks, then as he got out, He said don’t worry about the policeman, nothing will happen, and he handed the lorry driver the policeman’s notebook, smiled and said I’m a pickpocket.Posted 3 days ago
Last year, out with the dog, a young lad rode past me as I was walking up a hill.
A few minutes later, I heard a call behind me and turned round to see the same lad, red faced, out of breath, holding my dog’s lead, which he had found at the bottom of the hill.Posted 3 days ago
The hundreds of people who’ve given me a lift when hitch hiking, some going beyond just giving a lift. I pick people up but they are rarely going far these days, cheap flights have made hitch-hiking across continents more expensive than flying.Posted 3 days ago
Love this thread. Great stories. I have a few – this is my favourite.
I was in my late teens and got the bus into town one day to buy a frame for a poster (Frank Zappa IIRC) to give to my friend for Christmas. I bought a 70 x 100 cm aluminium frame which, along with being mahoosive, weighed a ton – I really didn’t think it through! I got to the bus stop to head home, when I realised it would be extremely impractical to try to wrestle it onto the bus and fit it into a seat with me without causing chaos for the other passengers, so I opted for the train home … momentarily forgetting the mile plus, somewhat uphill, walk at the other end. By the time I got off the train it was pouring down, and the wind was a howling fury – this proved problematic as the frame was more than half my height and double my width … I couldn’t carry it in front of me due it’s less than ideal aerodynamic properties, and it was too big to fit under my arm. I had to walk half sideways, holding it out to my side, stopping every dozen paces or so to rest my poor arms which were being stretched to orangutang proportions. I battled on, cursing my congenital lack of common sense, when a driver, sporting a vaguely visible halo, pulled up beside me and offered me a lift. I’m not in the habit of getting into cars with strangers (unlike Edukator ^ 😉), but it turned out he was the father of a boy I had known at school (who, incidentally, had been the subject of a moderately severe crush in my hormonal years – although I didn’t mention that to his father in the car that day 😊). I still say a quiet thanks for the man’s kindness whenever I happen to walk past his house.Posted 3 days ago
Left my front wheel by the roadside and a bloke who just happened to pull out at the same time I did, saw it, stopped, got out picked it up, then followed me for a couple of miles while I tried to ignore the crazy flashing car behind me… Until stopped at traffic lights I noticed a wheel in his car that looked just like mine! Thanks mate! Apologized for not realizing sooner what was going on.Posted 3 days ago
I did the flashing to try and get attention of a woman who had some kind of car issue, (can’t remember what, maybe all rear lights out) who also didn’t stop. She pulled in to a little trading estate so I followed her and told her what was up, she was also grateful but obviously had been reluctant to stop for a random bloke in the middle of nowhere, (A66 across Cumbria).
Only when I got back in my car, having stopped the engine, I realised that the alternator had failed on my journey and it wouldn’t start again. 🤣 Karma not in my favour that day!Posted 3 days ago
Racing the Highland Trail in 2015 I gave my spare gps to a French guy at the start as his would not work. He returned it with a fantastic bottle of red.
Last year in the Tour Divide I again gave my spare to an American chap who had lost his. He contacted me to return it. I told him to keep it as I’d had to buy another. No wine from him.
So if you need a new gps just line up at any bikepacking race I am in.Posted 3 days ago
I found a wallet in Heathrow airport one morning – it was stuffed with cash. I handed it in and left my details. Months later several crates of beer arrived on my doorstep and a nice note. Wallet got reunited with its owned, who worked for a brewery and was very grateful to get his wallet back 🙂Posted 3 days ago
Some good tales, here’s one I like to tell when the daily fail readers start going on about teens today, inner city sink estates etc.Posted 2 days ago
I used to have a regular weekly commute into Nottingham city centre. On my way out of town one day I stopped at a shop in one such estate, then continued home. Got home and found I hadn’t zipped up my saddle bag and my phone, wallet etc had fallen out. My wallet had about fifty quid in it. Within 30 minutes of my discovery I had a phone call (landline) from a woman whose son, with his 3 mates, had found my phone and wallet. He had failed to spend the cash and empty my bank account, instead handing them to his mum who found my home phone number in the wallet. An hour later I collected my valuables and tried to give the lad a reward, which he wouldn’t accept.
Never got my multitool back though
On the subject of lost tools, I stopped to help a dad with his two daughters in the local country park – his chain had snapped on his BSO and he had a couple of miles to push it home.
I brushed off his protests and fixed the chain, suggesting politely that he might want to put a drop of lube on it now and then, and set off on my way after about 10 mins (it had been a bit of an awkward job).
When I got back I realised my tool pocket on my backpack was open and my chain tool had bounced out.
I could have felt bad about this, but I prefer to think I did two good deeds – got the dad on his way and donated my chain tool to a stranger as well.
And I got to buy a new Park one which was nicer.Posted 2 days ago
Which thread do I need to link to? There’s so many I can’t choose. I think I have had more kindness from ‘strangers’ than most over the past few years and I’m still more grateful than ever. I’ve linked an earlier blog post of mine where I highlighted this. I really need to make an updated blog post as so much as happened since then. I’ve not been posting as much as I should lately, been a tough few months. Thankyou again for all you have done.
gnusmas – good to hear from you – lovely blog post.
Glad to see this thread resurface. I was reminded of another kind stranger yesterday, when I had to phone a well-known company to sort out a household issue …
… Some years ago now my partner died suddenly and, in the aftermath, I had to phone a lot of companies to change all the household bills into my name – not an easy task at the best of times, but in those circumstances it was pretty horrendous – having to explain over and over what had happened, and then jump through whatever hoops each company had in place to deal with these sorts of occurrences. Most were helpful enough, but the lady I spoke to at one place listened patiently to my story, and then, instead of going straight to the detail changing, she told me she had a son the age of my partner, gave me her condolences, and chatted sympathetically for a bit before sorting out my query. Then, as she was hanging up, she said … if you need a chat any time, just give me a phone, my name’s M-, just call the number you phoned today and ask for me. It was powerful at the time and has stayed with me.Posted 2 days ago
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