Last week Rangers at Homestead Metro Park received a call on the duty cell phone from some cyclists at the end of the Heritage Trail. They were concerned after finding a recumbent tandem bicycle with rear end damage and looking like it was “thrown” into the tree line. Rangers were first on scene but quickly followed by what seemed to be a small army of first responders. At least 2 deputies, as well as township medics, squads, and engines. We gathered witness statements, which gave amazing detail and time line. Cyclists remembered seeing the bike parked at the other end of the trail at a restaurant in Hilliard at 3:00 p.m. Someone else remembered seeing them about 2 miles from Cemetery Pike, heading toward Cemetery Pike, at about 3:45 p.m. They were able to give a detailed description of what the two riders looked like and what they were wearing. The area around the parking lot was searched. The ditches both sides of the road for a quarter mile in each direction were searched. The fire department even used their thermal imager to peer into the deep underbrush of areas along the roadway and parking lot. Deputies contacted the local hospitals to see if anyone had come into the emergency room from a bike accident. Nothing was found. We were all trying to figure out what the next step was, when a Ranger noticed a couple matching the description of the two riders walking up the roadway from their truck parked behind the line of emergency vehicles.
Sure enough, they were owners of the bicycle. Turns out, when they loaded their bike into the bed of the pick up truck, the pedals stick out past tailgate. This parking area is a bit narrow, and while backing up, the truck came very close to the treeline on the other side of the lot. A pedal became hooked on a small tree and when the owners drove forward out of the lot, the bike was pulled from the back of the truck. The bike fell on, and damaged, its rear end. The owners ran several errands on their way home before realizing the bike was no longer in the back of the truck.
The owners were a little embarrassed at all the commotion the incident had caused. All of us first responders couldn’t have been happier with the out come. We also think that it was an incredible show of how tight knit the bicycle community can be, looking out for one another, after just passing them on the trail. None of the witnesses knew the two owners of the tandem bicycle, they just knew it looked like someone needed help. Remember, if you see something unusual, say something. If you are enjoying one of our parks and have a safety concern, or if you or someone else needs help, please contact our dispatch at 614-620-1865.