Mike's Bikes

An anecdote for your entertainment. I recently was on holiday in St Davids in Wales. While in St Davids, the gear cable on my bike broke. I popped into a local shop and asked if there was a bike shop in town (city officially as it has a Cathedral - St Davids is the smallest city in Britain). I was told that there wasn't and that the nearest was "Mike's Bikes" in Haverfordwest (quite a ways away)

So, that's that I thought. I made do with a broken gear cable and planned to just cycle in one gear.

So, anyway, next day or two days later, I am on a bike ride by myself with my other bike (I brought both my bikes so my son would be able to ride as well). While on this ride, I pass a bit of rubbish by the side of the road and, out of the corner of my eye, I spy "Mike's Bikes". I stop and go back to the rubbish and, sure enough, it is a slip of paper that says "Mike's Bikes". It looks like a repair shop ticket or something like that. So, anyway, that's an interesting coincidence and I carry on.

Later on the bike ride, I am on a rough path that turns up and joins a main road. As I cycle up to the road, I see a van parked there. What does the van say on the side? Mike's Bikes. Turns out he was in St Davids because there was a triathlon on. He had been driving along and saw a triathlete crash into the hedge and so he stopped, turned around and drove back to see if the triathlete was OK. When I arrived the triathlete rode away (he was fine). I say what a coincidence to the driver and ask if I can buy a gear cable. He has the gear cable and I buy it.

What are the odds?

For example, I could have run into Mike's Bikes at the triathlon water station I passed later (he could have been parked there). That would have been "very lucky".

Odd running into him when he is stopped at random? Very, very, very low odds.

Odds seeing the rubbish, noting it and thinking it was an interesting coincidence and THEN running into Mike's Bikes on the side of the road stopped for random reason AND he has the gear cable. The mind boggles.

I know there is the law of large numbers (http://www.skepdic.com/lawofnumbers.html) but, I am sorry, I don't believe that. This feels like some kind of "tap on the shoulder"...