I have such an ideal situation...one that works for me anyway. My "hundred acre woods" has trails all through it that I ride on as often as I can. I usually stick to riding on my own property. Last weekend, though, I decided to go ride on the trail in town. It is a great trail, several miles long, and maintained by the city. I haven't been there in a really long time, but the weather was gorgeous, and I wanted a change.
About two miles down the trail, in a particularly secluded wooded area, I was acosted by 5 or 6 teenagers, who stepped out in front of me and caused me to stop. From the way they were dressed, I assumed they were gang members...even in our little town, the gangs are getting bad. My mind was racing as I heard them saying things like "Hey, baby" and "You out here all alone?" (Mainly my mind was saying "Holy ****...what have I gotten myself into??!!") I said something stupid like "Let me by, please," and my eyes teared up.
About that time, two big ole men joggers came jogging up. They stopped and asked what was going on ...then they told the teenagers that they had no business out on the trail and told them to scram. The teens mouthed off to the men a bit but they turned and sauntered off back into the woods, a couple shouting obscenities back at us.
Needless to say, I was never so glad to see anyone in my life. I burst out crying, and the men walked me back to my car. They advised me to maybe ride with others the next time I rode the trail and suggested that I call the police. I thanked them several times, and they patted me on the back, handed me a handkerchief, waved, and went jogging off..in the OTHER direction, not in the direction from which we came!
I got into my car, calmed down and stopped crying, and called the police. They said they were sending patrolmen out, that they had had two other complaints about the teens on the trail that day. I left my name and phone number, and left it to them to take care of things.
I shudder to think about what could happen to the little college girls who jog down that trail, or the young families that ride their bikes there, or the elderly people who walk there. Hopefully they are not as naive as I was, and they jog or ride or walk in groups, not alone. I have never heard of there being any trouble with anything like that on the trail before. I hope the police can clean the trail up before anyone gets robbed or hurt. What a shame little punks like that can ruin something nice like that trail.
As for me, I will stick to my hundred acre woods when I ride, at least for the time being. And I will thank my lucky stars that someone up there was watching out for me last weekend!