REFLECTIONS OF INDIA - SEBASTIEN
February 3, 2007 - from Jhansi to Gwalior
MEETING SEBASTIEN. Our 100-kilometer / 62-mile ride north from Jhansi to Gwalior on this day last year was smooth, but not uneventful. Riding through a small town, a young man on a bike rode up beside me. Not unusual. It was unusual, however, that he was on a mountain bike and he was white. As he rode along beside me, I discovered that his name was Sabastien and he was from Lausanne, Switzerland. I invited him to ride with us and join us for lunch. We learned that he had ridden alone from Katmandu, Nepal and was touring India via bicycle, eventually intending to ride to Kolkata on the eastern border of India.
GREAT SAVE. After lunch, Sabastien left us, riding on ahead. But we came across him in about an hour. His bicycle had broken down, apparently irrepairably. We hoisted his bike on the trailer and took him on in to Gwalior. Bob Yardy spent the next three hours taking apart and repairing his back wheel hub and gear assembly. With Bob's know-how and parts cobbled together from local shops, the bike was nearly as good as new and Sebastien was able to continue his trek. I think our encounter with Sebastien at the time he would need the particular help our team was uniquely equipped to offer was a "God thing."