‘Instantaneous outpouring of kindness’ for West Seattle bicyclist

After a spill at 35th/Barton (map), a West Seattle bicyclist found himself deluged with offers of help from multiple Good Samaritans, so he wanted to publicly thank them – read ahead for the story Ryan e-mailed last night:

I was enjoying a sunny lunch time bike ride when I had the misfortune of crashing my bike while heading north on 35th just before Barton. I had been watching for a break in traffic to turn left onto Barton while moving into the left turn lane and signaling my turn with my left arm, unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention to the yellow “traffic Turtles” and (I think) hit one straight on at about 25 mph which sent me over the bars into a headfirst slide towards the cross walk.

It happened so fast that I am bit fuzzy on the details, but I recall the sudden jolt that I was no longer holding the handle bars, catapulting forward, realizing “this is not good”; hitting the pavement, I think, with my left shoulder/upper arm, then belly surfing the pavement. I am sure I let out a shout, possibly an expletive, and I may have shrieked like a 2nd grade girl – not really sure.

What I do recall is that literally before I could catch my breath, and thinking dully that being in the middle of a 4 lane road on the ground was not optimum, I was suddenly surrounded by people, asking if I was ok, rounding up stray bike parts that had “yard saled” in my crash and generally keeping cars from running me over.

I had people offer to call an ambulance (no thanks), give me a ride home (I will call my wife), do you need anything? They were all so intent on helping me that no one noticed my weak attempt at humor when I told them, “I’m OK; I think the ground broke my fall.”

A very nice young lady, who told me she was a nursing student, politely but sternly urged me to sit down as it would be easy for me to go into shock. The 7-Eleven guy came out and handed me the phone, saying he had the Police on the line as he thought a car had hit me; after I explained that I didn’t need Police or emergency services, and that I had actually crashed all by myself, the kind Sikh gentleman asked me if I needed any water or a ride or any help.. The man from the produce market at that intersection walked across the street while I was waiting for my ride to make sure I was OK and inquire if I had been hit by a car.

Back home, as I was wincing while cleaning up my various scrapes, I paused to think wow; I didn’t break any bones, i was wearing my helmet and no one was right behind me in a car, but mostly I was in awe of the instantaneous outpouring of kindness, caring and support from total strangers. Thank you all.

Ryan Surface
West Seattle

11 Replies to "'Instantaneous outpouring of kindness' for West Seattle bicyclist"

  • AJP May 25, 2011 (8:23 am)

    What a great story about nice people! Sorry you spilled, but glad so many were there to help!

  • DP May 25, 2011 (8:35 am)

    Something good came from something bad. Extra karma points all around, West Seattle.

  • Genesee Hill May 25, 2011 (9:41 am)

    I am so pleased about this situation (other than the mishap, itself) and particularly that you were not seriously injured! Thank you for sharing!

  • Bonnie May 25, 2011 (11:28 am)

    That is such a nice story and I’m so glad that you were okay! West Seattle is such a great place with great people.

  • moji May 25, 2011 (12:40 pm)

    Ryan, I’m glad you’re ok. And I’d like to say thanks for pointing out publicly the very reasons I decided to move here 10 years ago, and why I still feel safe and at home here. People here are so kind! Way to go West Seattle :)

  • clementine May 25, 2011 (3:03 pm)

    What great story. So often we only hear about the bad things that happen and not the good things. Thank you for posting this story WSB.

  • eyeonnw May 25, 2011 (10:55 pm)

    How about creating a “kindness” column or adding a section to the WSB about the everyday acts of kindness that West Seattle-ites engage in? It’s a fantastic place to live, true. Thank you, WSB, for your excellent coverage.

  • SBRE May 26, 2011 (5:08 am)

    That’s west Seattle for you!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Carolyn May 26, 2011 (4:08 pm)

    Ryan, you would have done the same. Glad to hear you are ok and that you were well cared for.

  • Meg May 26, 2011 (5:45 pm)


    I am so glad you’re ok! What kindness from strangers! I have been seriously debating moving from South Lake Union to West Seattle and those caring neighbors are making my case even stronger.

  • doggydodo May 26, 2011 (6:19 pm)

    So glad you made it out of that one in one piece! I know you would have done the same to help out a hurting neighbor.

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