I've seen bike people do some amazing things. No, I'm not talking about sweet wheelies, I'm talking about helping each other out. Last year, a bunch of friends were injured; people just up and gave money. "You're in a hard place, your bike is wrecked, here's a few bucks." Add it up from a few dozen friends and it gets to be a sum that's helpful in a rough spot. Maybe it won't buy a new bike, but it will help - if only in making the small day-to-day stuff easier. With some extra cash you can order food instead of trying to shop for yourself while injured. Later in the summer, one local rider was almost crushed by a truck, severely injured, and in the course of about a week, enough parts were donated to build her a bike. Let me rephrase that: everyone chipped in and gave her a bike. A shop offered an extra frame, and everybody else chimed in, offering an extra this or that, lying unused in the parts bin, and in a few days she went from having a beautiful but crushed bike to having a new one, from friends.
We're doing it again. In times of trouble, when folks are in need, it's the community's responsibility to help shoulder the burden. When many shoulder it, it's hardly a weight at all.
Hell, we can even do it with a party.
Gabe - an all-around great guy, regular out at the Kissena Velodrome - has been laid up in the trauma ward in a San Francisco hospital since a run-in with a car on Thursday.
Friday night at the Wreck Room, from 7 to 11 PM, there will be bands, DJs, dancing, beer, auctions, raffles, dates, and other sweet things. Money collected from this will be sent to Gabe's parents and to his girlfriend, to help defray some of the expenses of keeping their vigil at his bedside. Housing, food, some ancillary medical expenses.
Those of you readers who are inclined to donate a few dollars to help out a stranger can do so by clicking here. Yes, it says "Gabe's Vegan Cupcake Fund." Don't be confused.
Maybe we can raise a thousand bucks. Maybe more. It's just money. But sometimes money can also be dozens or hundreds of people, from three thousand miles away, saying, "We're thinking about you and we came together because of you."
We're all pulling for you, Gabe.