A recent Police Blotter item in The Durango Herald reported that on Halloween afternoon at 3:52 p.m., “50 to 60 people were intoxicated and throwing bikes in the 900 block of Leyden Street at the Leyden trailhead.” What was really going on at the Test Track? A new Halloween game? Bike-toss? Can you get to the bottom of this? – Marilyn and Rich
The Lycra-clad clan is a close-knit community, so to speak, and attending their secret rituals requires undercover reporting.
But it’s impossible Action Line to be incognito while wearing stretch fabrics.
Sorry for that visual.
In any case, other investigative techniques had to be deployed, such as rounding up and grilling the usual suspects.
Topping the list is our good friend Cmdr. Ray Shupe of the Durango Police Department.
Ray’s a busy guy, but he took the time to track down the Test Track incident of Oct. 31.
What’s up with ne’er-do-wells with, well, ne’er much to do except to host a hullabaloo, howling in a hollow on Halloween?
Turns out the gratuitous alliteration above contains more details than the police record.
“I looked that up for you and there’s not really much information,” Ray said. “We didn’t do a report on it.”
However, the commander did see a note in the incident file saying the “throwing event” was allegedly called “The Derby.”
With that lead, Action Line started working through his well-entrenched network of snitches, moles, malcontents, turncoats, informants and conspiracy theorists.
At an unnamed local bike shop, a confidential source was “familiar” with something called “The Derby.”
“This is all on the QT, right?” the source asked before spilling the beans.
“All I can say is that there may or not be an ‘event’ in which bikes are tossed,” the source confirmed. “But a bike-toss is just a small part of the ‘event,’ if indeed there were such a thing.”
Action Line pressed for details.
“So if an ‘event’ were to be held, who would be behind it, if one were to occur? Theoretically, speaking of course.”
“Oh, let’s just say it’s a mountain bike ‘group.’ That’s pretty much all I can reveal at this time,” the source whispered into the phone.
“That, and the fact that beer may or may not have been consumed prior to or during the toss.”
For the uninitiated, bike-hurling is better known as a “huffy-toss.”
It’s an amusing event at bike races or festivals in which contestants “toss” (more like hurl in a circular motion like a shot put) a heavy, junk bike, typically a Huffy brand or similar “pig” or “heap.”
The farthest throw “wins,” with the top prize typically being the abused Huffy itself.
A “toss” is also what some competitive bike racer to when they suffer a mechanic problem.
They huck their broken ride to the side of the road in disgust or anger.
But that’s not what happened on Halloween at Overend Mountain Park.
“It was pretty much the mountain bike version of the ‘zombie march,’” the source said with a chuckle.
Talk about naughty knobby hobnobbing hobgoblins!
At least these various nefarious scofflaws were only tossing bikes instead of smashing pumpkins.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can ask for anonymity if you think judges should throw the book at those who toss bikes.