12 hours with Phil Gash

Written by: Mike Powers

June 8th was quite a day. The group was summiting Carson’s Pass. Karen and I needed to get our bikes looked at in South Lake Tahoe and did not have a way to get there. Another rider, Phil Gash, had volunteered the night before to drive our two bikes and me early in the morning in the hope that the bike shop could work on our bikes before we had to leave the following morning for Fernley, NV.

We were on the road at 6:30 a.m.; I think that Phil was actually ready to go at 5 a.m. It took us about three hours to get to South Lake Tahoe – three hours of us getting to know each other. One of the many things I learned about Phil is that he is a retired physicist who did his graduate work at the University of Connecticut and taught at Cal State Chico. We arrived in Tahoe and immediately found a Starbucks and a bank. After scoping out where the local bike shops were we decided on South Shore Bikes. After a little haggling, the bike shop agreed that it could have our bikes completed by close of business the next day.

Phil and I were then back in the car to take the two-hour trek back to our biking group. We seemingly spent four hours trying to find where any riders were. It was a very difficult day for riding, and the original plan was scrapped long before Phil and I arrived on the scene. The two of us spent hours coming up with every different scenario possible as to why we could not find a single rider. It was time to fill the gas tank, and accompanied with it more coffee and wonderful stories from Phil about his numerous bicycle adventures.

Eventually, all riders were safe and sound at St. Theresa’s Church in Tahoe. Phil and I apparently did not want our day together to end, so we asked Karen to join us for dinner. Phil recommended State Line Brewery, and it was an excellent choice. Phil was undecided about what beer to order, so he asked the waiter to bring him a sample of one. That beer wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, so Karen and I let him sample our beers as well. He thought those were good, but decided to order something else. I will remember that technique in the future: he sampled three beers for free before ordering his own. Genius!

Phil drove me to the bike shop the next day to pick up our bikes after spending the whole day driving others around who also needed assistance. Karen and I greatly appreciate the amount of time Phil took to help us with our bike situation. He is very caring and giving of his time.  Thank you, Phil! After reading this, please give Phil a coffee or a tomato juice if you see him.  He deserves it!

Posted in 2017 San Francisco to Savannah and tagged , , , .