Sunday, September 21, 2014
Shamed-By a 10 Year Old?!
One of these 4 cyclists actually WANTED to ride in the rain, like a true Belgian Hardman. The other 3 had no choice but to show up or be called a wuss. Can you guess who was who?
Visit #900, Sunday 21 September 14, 3:25-5:05PM, 3.2 miles.
Temps in the 70's, cloudy, muggy, and threatening rain.
Cycling pal Bob, far left in the photo above, was hosting his nephew Cooper for the weekend. Cooper caught the cycling bug real bad from Uncle Bob. So bad in fact, that he wanted to go for a ride on Sunday morning, IN THE RAIN.
Now I have to ask; what kind of 10 year old would rather ride a bicycle in the rain than stare at his iPad? I swear the kid's mind has been taken over by aliens.
So when Cooper proclaimed Sunday's bike ride was still on despite the weather, what could I do? It was either show up or hide in shame-FROM A 10 YEAR OLD! I could have easily stayed home nice and dry and bagged today's trail work as well, but the Cloud of Shame would have hung over me.
After enduring the scattered showers and downpours of the morning ride, I'd had enough and dreaded heading out again to Hubbard Park. Fortunately, I didn't have to test my mettle against that of a 10 year old Belgian Hardman in the afternoon as the rain abated.
I hiked a counterclockwise loop of the trails below Castle Craig. I immediately ran into something interesting.
This pin, which helps lock the gate at the end of the road leading to Castle Craig, was cut clean through. I can only imagine this was done with a battery powered die grinder. Little did I know, I would soon learn the REAL backstory.
With the pin cut there was no way to secure the gate, so the parks department resorted to a padlock and chain.
I hiked my way up to and past the Halfway House, where I ran into some hanging vines which needed clearing from the trail. A few snips with my loppers and we were good.
It was about then that I ran into local hiker Bill. We began to chat and he told me the story of the cut pins.
It seems Bill was hiking in Hubbard Park last week around 7PM, returning to the park when he encountered a man outside his car USING A HACKSAW to slice through the pin. Somehow the guy got caught on the road from Castle Craig after the gate was locked and he wasn't interested in calling the police to let him out. He was going to try and save the fines and cut his way out.
Bill told the man 2 things-1: What he was doing was illegal. 2: He was cutting through the wrong lock!
Well, we all know criminals aren't the brightest people, but this hacksaw wielding genius was cutting through the pin on the gate just south of the water treatment plant. Even if "Einstein" successfully cut through that pin, he'd have to drive his car down the Soap Box Derby track and cut through another lock. Had he driven all the way down the road toward the park, our nefarious neanderthal would only have to cut through ONE lock.
There was enough common sense in this cretin to take Bill's info internally and he abandoned cutting through the first gate and proceeded to drive down the road and cut through the other pin, which he was successful in doing.
Here's a photo of the pin he failed to sever since his cut spiraled:
To Bill's credit, he called the police who told him they already received a call about the vandal but were too busy to free up an officer to catch the man. The dispatcher never asked for a description of the individual or license plate so there's no telling whether they already had the information or if they caught him. Perhaps one of my blog readers can shed some light on the outcome?
Anyway, after getting the backstory from Bill, I completed my loop and dropped off my bag of trash for the week.
To end this week's report, from the Department of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
I arrived home from my weekly activities in Hubbard Park and proceeded to take a shower. It was then that I discovered I'd picked up a tick somewhere in my travels that afternoon. Problem is, the tick was attached somewhere where I couldn't see it even with a mirror and some strange yoga poses. With no one to examine this "very private body part" I had no choice but to seek professional help. How embarrassing. An hour and a half, and a large deductible later...
... I was tick-free and dosed with doxycycline.