Bicyclists Riding in a Rural Community
On May 19, 2010 around 6:30pm three bicyclists stampeded 12 heifers and a bull. The animals charged through the fence surrounding their pasture into a newly planted corn field. Mr. Tavelli witnessed this as he was standing by the road side on Old 76 Road in the Town of Caroline. The bicyclists passed Mr. Tavelli, laughing. Mr. Tavelli took the opportunity to shout out to the three a message conveying they had made a poor choice as to how they spend their leisure time.
What the bicyclists don’t know is that Mr. Tavelli’s son Tony and Tony’s nephew were faced with the dangerous task of getting the heifers and bull back to pasture. It takes time to deal with large scared displaced animals and the bull poses special risks to himself and the human handlers.
There was fence damage that had to be mended. There was also crop loss in the corn field since it took the two men 5 or 6 runs around the corn field to get the animals back to pasture. The bull was especially dangerous; fortunately after a couple close encounters the bull and men ended up in one piece.
Old 76 Road is a visually beautiful loop to bicycle. Much of that typical rural landscape is brought to all of us by the hard working farm families which tend their acreage and animals to keep it looking the way it does.
The perceived welcome folks feel traveling through the area has been diminished by this incident. Bicyclists please emphasize to one another the length to which common sense respectful actions will help heal this wrong. Stay to the road way & trails, don’t pester the animals and do not trespass. If you were to see loose livestock (especially cows and horses) stop by one of the houses or barns and tell someone. It only takes a very few bad actors to sour a community badly on a given group’s activity.
Town of Caroline Councilwoman