After cycling more than eight miles through North Hall in the dark, early hours of Tuesday morning, Glenn Bryant got a flat tire.
Bryant does the same 17-mile ride every morning. He wakes up around 4:45 a.m. and heads out on Thompson Bridge Road, toward Mount Vernon Elementary School, around North Hall High School and then back to his home in Gainesville.
But his ride Tuesday was different.
“I was smack-dab in the middle of my bike ride and I recognized that my tire was going flat,” he said. “Instead of trying to keep on going, which really ruins the tire and the rim, I got off, felt it and said, ‘Shoot. Can you believe this?’”
Bryant was about eight miles from home and decided to walk his bike toward North Hall High School, about three miles away.
He was walking his bike, with the rear safety light blinking red, when Jerry Couch drove by.
“I hear this truck in the background just starting up and I say to myself, ‘Maybe, maybe, this guy could help me out,” Bryant said.
Couch, 63, was heading to work as manager of Candler Concrete Products in Cleveland.
“It was dark, it was like 6 in the morning,” Couch said. “I saw his flashing lights and he motioned me over. He just needed a ride and I helped him out.”
Couch drove Bryant back to his home more than 10 minutes away. Bryant said he couldn’t believe Couch’s kindness and willingness to help a stranger.
“He was heading the opposite direction of where he needed to go,” Bryant said. “He took me all the way home and I offered him some money for it, but he was just a really nice guy.”
“I was happy to,” Couch said.
Bryant added the experience taught him a few lessons, including to bring his cell phone and a tire pump with him on his long rides.
But it also taught him about the kindness of neighbors.
“When the tire went flat, I felt very unfortunate,” Bryant said. “But the next minute I felt … very fortunate that he came along, because there’s usually nobody on those roads at that time.”
Bryant said he was planning on visiting Couch or sending him a note of thank you. He also wanted to share the story, which he said is “so different” from many other news stories today.
“There’s so much fear in this world today,” he said. “We don’t take the time to really stop and talk to people anymore. We’re so busy, going 100 miles an hour, and if we really would stop and give people a chance, we’d see we’re all so much more alike than we are disalike.
“...There’s all this fear on the news all the time, but for Jerry to stop and do what he did I think is remarkable, and I greatly appreciate what he did.”