I had this one ride last spring where I came across three different people peeing on the trail. It was amusing watching the women getting pissed at their men for providing insufficient warning of my passing but I was less entertained by the old hippy who couldn't be bothered to piss away from the center of the trail.I thought it might be other tails you see on the trails
Sometimes I just say "You're probably gonna need a helmet for that section". On a few occasions it actually helped a noob to remember their helmet that they'd left in their car.This situation brings up a trail etiquette scenario that I'm not sure how to answer. If you see a mountain biker riding without a helmet, do you advise them to wear one or say nothing at all?
Oh, I'd think it easy. Those were my stomping grounds for a few years and encountered people ALL THE TIME who were lost in that Aynes/Green Valley area. And the number of people I'd see out there with no water was astounding. Water availability really isn't great out there. There are taps near the campground (closest to the Limekiln trailhead is at the playground across the road, but there are several others once you get into the campground proper). The pool house sortof has water...but really only if it's open. If you're riding outside of peak pool season, there's no water there. The only spot along all the spots the trail empties onto the road with water is by the little cabin at the Walnut/Limekiln intersection.For those who've ridden Brown County, its a great park. You'd never think of losing someone or children being abandoned like this. These kids were extremely fortunate.
Neglecting children. I just can't abide that.Fathers Day weekend 2018. Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN. My wife and I were camping with another couple at the park. Our only planned activities were riding and BS'ing fire side. It was (as it typically is) very hot and very humid. Heat indexes were 90F+, so with the humidity staying hydrated and your ride time were concerns. In general, we wanted to be cooling down and back at camp by 2pm. We set off at 10am from camp, taking Limekiln to Walnut to Hesitation Point, then down..it was HOT. Hesitation Point is a photo op for everyone: hikers, bikers, horseback riders, heck...people drive there just for the view. Regardless, all 4 of us had already gone through 1/3 of our hydration reserves in 40mins of riding. The plan at that point was to ride down to the general store at the pool (within the park) and buy a couple bags of ice to refill our packs with.
We head down from HP--great trail---which dumps into the bottoms, then head to ride the Green Valley Loop then head to the general store. On the way to the Green Valley loop we encounter a 9yr girl on a huffy (no water, no helmet, wearing flip flops/crocs). All 4 of us stop to talk to her (keep in mind its my wife, my buddy and his wife--so there are females in the group). The kid won't say much to us. Then we see her older brother (maybe 12?) about 30' down the trail and off the trail, trying to drag his heavy Walmart bike up out of the creek. We give him a hand and ask if they are riding with their parents. The boy says they are riding with someone. OK....the boy has no water and looks worse-for-wear than his sister. One final volley of questions to the kids and we head out...within 5 minutes on Green Valley we encounter a solo rider coming in the opposite direction (so he's heading toward where we last saw the kids) and the rider is asking if we've seen 2 kids. We tell him they are right down the trail, he's in a kit, helmet, hydration pack. We all shake our heads and think "what an irresponsible parent, to leave the kids out here solo, unprepared, no water". Suffice to say our opinion of this rider was very low.
Fast forward to an hour plus later...we've ridden Green Valley, refilled with ice at the pool, are heading to ride back up to Hesitation Point and are riding through the low area trails and low-and-behold its the kids and the father. They've moved less than a mile since we encountered them over an hour earlier. Its now mid-afternoon. Heat index is near 100F. We've already drained our water to the 1/2 way level. The boy's bike has severe chain suck and mangled derailler.
My wife and I were part of the IMBA's National Mtb Patrol. We have first aid training and rudimentary mechanical skills; and we can see the kids are manic and probably a touch of heat stroke. The adult rider: "Can I use your phone? I'm from out of town and have been attempting to get these kids to safety for the last hour"...holy SH*T. The rider turned out to be a complete stranger visiting from Boulder, CO (I think). His cell was dead. He was out of water. And was attempting to hike out with the 2 kids while carrying THREE bikes--the kids bikes were too heavy for the kids to push EVEN IF they were mechanically sound.
We immediately fixed the boys bike to the point where it would roll. Then proceeded to hike out via the steeper and more direct side of Aynes Trail up to the Aynes House / Private residence. Once we got elevation, we were able to connect with the REAL (EFFING DOUCHE-NOZZLE) parents. 1 hr later, we emerged and handed the kids off to the parents at Aynes House. We were now all exhausted having carried the kids bikes out, all of us were out of water (we had shared our water with the kids and other rider), the rider/samaritan from CO was bonked, and the kids dad...imagine the worse possible McDonalds or Walmart customer and then multiply by 100. From what I can tell, the parents had come to party at a picnic site, told the kids to do whatever, and 6 hours later they're still drinking and strangers have just returned/rescued their kids.
For those who've ridden Brown County, its a great park. You'd never think of losing someone or children being abandoned like this. These kids were extremely fortunate.