Monday, June 29, 2009

Trespassing (and thrusters and ball slams)

Today's WOD:

7 rounds for time of:
7 hang squat clean thruster 55-65#
12 ball slams 13#

My time: 14:51. That was really bad. Did my first two rounds at 65# then went down to 55#. Unfortunately it didn't speed me up much to go lighter. Had a puking false alarm, now I have a Fran cough.

So I don't have much time to write today. I'll be swamped all week at work trying to finish up a huge proposal resubmission. But I can't help it, I need to share a little story from the weekend.

The scene of the crime is across the street.

A popular 4x4/mountain biking trail goes through my property, and summer weekends there is a lot of traffic that goes by on this trail. I've gotten used to a steady stream of Jeeps, bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs. People often stop to rest or meet up right in front of my house, leaning against my fence, talking loudly. It's annoying, but I deal with it. Well, Sunday morning I looked out my bedroom windows to see about 20 mountain bikers all congregating, leaning against my fence, talking. It was pretty loud, sounded like a party, because there were so many of them. As usual, I was annoyed, but there's not much I can do. But what did I see next? Several people walked across the street, into my neighbors' yard, and took a leak.

Now something in me snapped. I just couldn't stand for this. I ran out of the house, across the yard, and marched up to the two closest bikers. I said,

Excuse me. Now, I'm willing to OVERLOOK the fact that y'all are sitting on my fence.

Yes, I said y'all. I become southern when I'm angry, apparently. I know this is odd.

One of the two guys, who was actually sitting on the fence, got a terrified look on his face and leaped off. I told them that I had just seen several people walk into my neighbors' yard and use it as a restroom. I pointed out that simply walking a few minutes up the trail would afford them a place to relieve themselves on PUBLIC land. I ranted for a while about how this is private property, and how they need to have more respect for other people's property, and for god's sake, my neighbors have lived here more than 20 years and they deserve better than to be treated like this. The two poor guys that I had managed to corner (neither of whom pissed in my neighbors' yard, for the record) apologized and stammered and kept looking scared until I stormed off. I felt bad that I yelled at people who weren't actually the culprits, but as mad as I was, I was still too scared to barge into the middle of a group of 20 men and start yelling at them. Just didn't feel safe or smart. So I scapegoated two of them, hoping that they would pass on my diatribe to their cohort. My biggest regrets about my rant are that 1) I didn't swear (should have thrown a few f-bombs in there to let them know that I was serious) and 2) I didn't point out that trespassing is ILLEGAL and that I would have been within my rights to call the sheriff on them.

Now I need to ask, why would people not GET that you can't just wander onto private property? None of these spandex-clad jackasses would have walked onto someone's manicured suburban lawn and taken a leak. Is it because it looks rural and so they assume it's public land? I mean, this wasn't the boonies, they were pissing a stone's throw from my neighbor's house! Where I grew up, there were signs on rural private property saying that "trespassers will be shot". I have a healthy respect for private property and am well aware of trespassing laws. I would never even lean on someone's fence. It blows my mind that people don't understand this, that they have so little respect and awareness. What the hell?

For the record, I don't hate all cyclists. I consider several to be good friends and they are lovely, polite people who just happen to like those two-wheeled contraptions - they're not spandex-clad jackasses at all. But as usual, a couple of jerks can give everyone a bad name. The mountain biking community should be aware of what these jerks are up to and try to get the word out about respecting private property.


TRuVa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bluescaptain Joe said...

Firing a shotgun into the air and yelling "Git offa mah laaaawn" might have accomplished the same thing without having to actually confront anyone.

Margaret said...

I actually totally agree that people should be more conscious of the fact that they are on private land, right outside your living room window. The West and the East have such very different patterns of land ownership. In the west more land is owned by government entities, in the east more is private. I think many westerners have this assumption that if they're out in the wilderness that it must be forest service, BLM national, or state park land. They're just unconscious.

rosanne said...

That was hilarious! I know you were mad Doc, but I think I'm with the Capt'n on this one. You and your shot gun, probably would have got the message to each and every one of those cyclists, even the pissers!