Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Favorite Summer Farmers Market Bicycle Valet Story

Our last local bicycle valet for Longmont's Farmers Market is this coming Saturday. It's amazing how quickly the season has gone. After volunteering last summer to help out on occasion, this year it turned into a small group of four of us who took turns "hosting" the valet so no single person had to be completely responsible or needed to be present every single weekend (of course, some of us took full advantage of having those Saturday's off, while others - who shall remain nameless because she sometimes pops in to read here - spent almost every Saturday there, regardless of whose turn it was to host :O) ).

During my last hosting of the valet, things had definitely quieted down, despite the fact that throughout the summer we've remained fairly steady for the duration of the 5 hour market.  As the afternoon wore on (it's difficult to keep oneself amused when there aren't as many people), a father and son were retrieving their bikes from the valet. We returned their two-wheeled rides and assumed they were on their way out, but as I turned back around, I spotted the small boy attempting to fill up his tires with the floor pumps we keep available for those who need to fix a flat or just need some air. I couldn't help but giggle as he wrestled a bit, but rather than standing around watching him struggle, I went over to ask if he'd like some help.

"I need to put air in my tires!" he proclaimed adamantly. This only made me giggle more. There are few things cuter in this world than a small child who knows what s/he wants and isn't afraid to tell anyone who will listen.  I asked if he would mind if I helped him take the valve cover off, to which he expressed great interest in assistance. Subsequently, he began an attempt to attach the end of the pump to the valve. The problem? It's a two-sided nozzle (one for Presta, and one for Schrader) and he just couldn't seem to get it to cooperate.

I inquired again to see if he would like some help, at which point he handed the end of the pump to me. After attaching the end, I was checking to see what the tire pressure should be, but was interrupted by the young boy who vehemently requested that he be allowed to do the pumping.

"But, of course!" I replied, and let him go to town.
*Image from our buddy, Will - who was busy laughing
(and apparently, taking photos) of this whole fun scene*
"I do all the work!" This little guy has muscle.
He pumped away with his entire body, trying his best to get air in the tube. When he started, the gauge read somewhere around 10psi, and when he stopped briefly, it was about the same. The tires needed to be inflated to approximately 30-35psi, so I took my turn for a moment and then let him try again.  He was extremely pleased that his tires now had proper air pressure, and father and son were ready to roll down the road again.

I'm a bit sad that the end of summer has already come, but this is definitely a story that will stick with me throughout the winter months. I love seeing families starting their young children off on bikes... it just makes me smile.  Have you hosted or volunteered during a bicycle valet in your community? What sorts of stories do you have, or what was your favorite moment?

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