Sunday 11th March 2012, Chapman's Peak, South Africa.
Having hauled my sweaty, sore and very sorry ass up to the first section of the Chapman's Peak climb (the most daunting section of the 110km Cape Argus Cycle Tour) I was relived to finally pick up some speed and feel my breathing return to normal. I even attempted a sharp sprint around the outside of a slow rider – only to hit a cat's eye and cause my tyre to flap. Typically, I ridden over my own pump about 20km back, but I did have a spare inner tube and I amazed myself by executing a pretty swift change. Now I just needed a blast of air and I could be on my way.
But no fucker would stop and let me use their pump. So I stood there on the side of the cliff in the burning sun with the minutes ticking away....until Meg appeared. She was walking her bike down the hill, so I asked if she was OK and she was fine, just a little shaken after being on the edge of a nasty crash. She offered me her only air bomb and I was thrilled to get back on the saddle. I reached for the Wearelucky invitation that I'd taped to my bike, but it must have gone the same way as the pump, so I took Meg's email address and promised to get in touch.
Questions & Answers
1. What were your first thoughts and feelings when propositioned with Wearelucky?
I was speechless, not a moments doubt or hesitation crossed my mind. I believe there are good people out there. I was cycling a 110km race around the Cape, my first ever official ride, nervous as anything, and had just survived a nasty accident, which was the reason I was pushing my bike, and there was a stranger needing some air for his tyre. The end result of that meeting is beyond my wildest dreams.
2. What have you decided to do with the money?
The hardest question. I have asked those nearest to me what they would do. That didn't help, it just gave me more options. I'm going to use the money to gain momentum and make more, through support from organisations. I am still deciding exactly where. I would like to gift something sustainable, something that in 10 years time, might still be standing, working, living. That's my hope.
3. What does good mean to you?
Good is a feeling, unexplained and brought about by all sorts of things, people, moments.
4. Has it changed the way you think about giving?
Yes. I now believe and understand the concept of selflessness. I used to think it was a notion.
5. Is it important to get something back and why?
I believe in the 'toll gate' deed. Simply paying for the car behind and driving off never to be acknowledged or thanked. Knowing you have done a tiny thing to brighten someone's day. No need to get something back.
6. Has Wearelucky inspired you and if so how?
I don't know if I will ever be in a position to do a similar thing, but I'm inspired by this project, reconfirmed my faith in the goodness that many people carry within them and the way they choose to pass it on.
7. What, if anything, have you learned from this experience and has it changed how you feel about giving?
I'm going to pay this experience forward as often as I can.