“Old dude with lots of free time” has a heartwarming request.

Commuting by bicycle can be a healthy and fun way to start your day, but the pedal-powered trip didn’t go so smoothly for Japanese Twitter user Yauimo (@ppt_ppt_ppt_ppt) last Wednesday. Part-way to school, one of his tires sprung a leak, and he was too far from campus to make it the rest of way on foot before class started.

Luckily, he was still close enough to home that he could just barely make it back in time to log in to his PC and attend class remotely, but this presented another problem. Walking may be slower than riding a bike, but what’s even slower is walking while lugging a bike with a flat tire with you.

With no other options, Yauimo decided to leave his bike parked at a nearby park while he walked home and attended class, then come back after he was done with school for the day, pick up his bike, and carry it home. However, wen he returned to the park that evening, he discovered that someone had left a letter in his bike’s basket.

The letter reads:

“I’m just some old dude with a lot of free time. I saw you were in a jam this morning, so I patched up your flat tire and refilled the air.

The seal isn’t perfect, though, so you’ll probably want to refill it again soon.

If you feel obligated to thank me, please just do something nice for your family or someone, anyone at all.

From: The Old Balloon Dude with a Lot of Free Time”

The “Balloon” part is sort of a headscratcher (presumably it’s in reference to him putting air in the tire), but what’s clear is that someone saw that Yauimo had a problem, and decided to do an act of kindness with no expectation, or even desire, to receive one in return. “No way!?!” tweeted the grateful Yauimo, and a number of other Twitter users were equally impressed, leaving comments such as:

“Wait, people this kindhearted actually exist?”
“It’s like a real-life version of the Elves and the Shoemaker fairy tale.”
“Patching up a tire can be a real pain too.”
“He even went to the trouble of typing the letter and printing it out.”

The letter being machine-printed is doubly impressive, because it implies that the man went home (or at least somewhere where he had access to the printer) and then came back to the park again before Yauimo did. That, in turn, suggests that he didn’t have tire-patching tools and an air pump on him when he noticed Yauimo dropping off his flat-tired bike, and made a special trip to retrieve them.

The mystery man’s actions haven’t drawn entirely universal praise, however. Perhaps due to Japanese society’s tendency to not get involved in other people’s business, some commenters have reacted by asking Yauimo if he’s scared that a stranger fixed his bike without asking for permission. “I’m filled with a frightening amount of gratitude,” the cyclist responded, and it’s a safe bet that he’ll happily abide by the stranger’s request to keep the cycle of kindness going by doing something nice for someone else.

Source: Twitter/@ppt_ppt_ppt_ppt via Jin
Images: Twitter/@ppt_ppt_ppt_ppt
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