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  • Writer's pictureAlana

63. Fordsville to Falls of Rough, KY

Updated: Jun 29

June 15, 2024

Today was meant to be a long, hot day of climbing toward Sonora before Howard veered north to catch his flight out of Louisville.

Instead, our day was cut short by a catastrophic tire failure. Howard's super-swish Renee Herse tire bead somehow tore away from its wall—a problem that can't be fixed.

Luckily, we were stopped at a gas station when the tire self-destructed. Deploying my best Girl Scout Cookie sales skills, I started asking customers with trucks if they could give us a lift to the bike shop in Elizabethtown, KY, some 50 miles away.

One brave and generous soul answered my cry for help: Nick Nicholas. Nick was in town from Indiana for his family's 50th annual fishing trip. Despite this clear and compelling reason to ignore us outright, Nick decided to devote two hours of his day to schlepping us out to Etown and then returning to Falls of Rough.

I deeply regret not photographing this man, just to prove that he exists and this happened.

You learn a lot about a person riding in his car for an hour. Nick has five daughters, a son, and 12 grandchildren, including one who died young. He is a high-ranking sales manager for Caterpillar. A Marine (hoo-rah!). Divorced before he married the mother of his children. Loves lobster hunting in Hawaii. Doesn't love San Francisco, but begrudgingly liked my favorite joke:

There are two kinds of people: those who need closure

Nick, if and when you read this, please know that your act of kindness affected Howard and me profoundly. You not only got us out of a bad situation, but also gifted us greater faith in people and hope for this world. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


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