So you're headed to a concert (in my case it would be Yo Yo Ma or Andre Bocelli), when you come upon a cyclist on the side of the road. With a mechanical. If you are like most cyclists, you would pull over and offer whatever assistance you could - a spare tube (yes, we have them in our glove compartments), a pump or a CO2 cartridge, a spare water bottle, or a ride to wherever.
And that's just what this couple did:
So you see, some people thumbing a ride are just trying to get to their next job - even the famous!
My Dad used to thumb a ride from Oklahoma State University to his hometown of Deer Creek, Oklahoma on the weekends.
I once backpacked through Europe, and had a few occasions in which to stick a thumb out for a ride. Would I do it nowdays? Good question. And I have no answer. (I probably would?)