Riding off with the keys - CycleBlaze

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Riding off with the keys

Scott Anderson

Some years back Rachael and I were climbing La Hourquette d’Ancizan, a minor pass in the French Pyrenees that parallels the better known Col d’Aspin but at a higher elevation.  It’s a delightful route - very quiet, except for the cows and donkeys ranging freely in the road.

After spending the previous night at an inn in Arreau, we were about eight miles into the climb when we were passed by a car that soon pulled off the road ahead of us.  The driver got out and waited for us to approach and then flagged us down.  We were surprised to see that it was the manager of the inn we’d left an hour earlier.  At first I thought he was just out for a ride, recognized us, and stopped to chat or offer encouragement; but of course not.  He was just hoping we still had the keys to our room in our possession.

I’ve pulled the room key stunt more than once, but this instance amuses me the most when I think back on it.  I was reminded of it again by Buddy Hall’s entertaining encounter a few days ago, when he and the Doc were chatting with a pair of cyclists going the other direction, discovered that they were bound for the same motel the others had just left, and offered to return the keys they’d failed to leave behind when they checked out.

Anyone else have a similar story worth sharing?  

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2 weeks ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo Scott Anderson

Something similar. In 1999, we were about to start cycling the Carretera Austral South. At a hostel, a cyclist who had just cycled up gave us a map that had been given to him from cyclists going South. The map showed where to buy bread or eggs...for example in this town second street 5 houses down on the right. When we were almost at the end, we met couple cycling North. We gave them the map. 

We've always wonder how many times that map might have gone up and down the Carretera.

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2 weeks ago
Lyle McLeodTo Scott Anderson

Kirsten always handles our accomodation and other important stuff, and she's far too organized to ever take off with a key.  If it was me however ....

We've got lots of stories on the flip side of this though. We host a lot of Warm Showers guests (about 40 per year in the short June  to August touring season here) and it's pretty common to find things left behind. Most of the time it's usually charging cables and the like. We do our best to try to get 'left things' back to their owners but we do end up with a collection of 'stuff' at the end of each season. 

One successful 'stuff reunion' did happen with the Sakamoto family though. In June 2017, Tatsu, Yoishi, Kentaro (6) and Kojiro (4)  spent 4 days with us as they prepared for a Canmore to Anchorage ride. Yes, they were riding to Anchorage with a Ko (4) on a tag-a-long and Ken (6) on his own bike!

They flew from Osaka to Calgary and then caught the airport bus straight to Canmore. To say the least they were all pretty jet lagged on arrival. The four days were fun and borderline chaos as Tatsu (with 'help' from his boys) reconstructed their fleet and Yoishi (again with 'help') cooked us some great traditional Japanese meals. On day 5 they had their bikes and gear sorted, jet lag was fading into the past and they hit the road towards Lake Louise!

To no surprise, over the next day we discovered several toys (important stuff!) and a few electronic gadgets that had been left behind. No problem though, as we had a  'decadent overnighter' at the Post Hotel in Lake Louise with friends planned for the next day. We were pretty sure that we'd catch up the the Sakamoto's en route. We set off the next morning on our tandem, along with Ken & Kathy on their carbon road bikes, to Lake Louise 85 km's to the NW. Sure enough, at Castle Junction 50 km's out, we met up with the Sakamoto entourage. They were thrilled to get their toys and electronics back, and even more thrilled with how their trip was unfolding. 

We had a great dinner at the Post, an equally good breakfast the next morning  and then headed back home. Once again we met the family about 15 km past Castle junction. They made Lake Louise the following day! We continued to stay in contact with them as they made their way to Anchorage, and they did make it, with a few buses and ferries thrown into the mix. We had tremendous admiration for their trip, done at the pace of a six year old! At least they had all their toys.

Tatsu in the 'fleet rebuild' stage
Ready to head off on a cool June morning
North to Alaska!
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2 weeks ago