Tales of theft as bikers cruise New Zealand

Where does the time go? At times this scribe would like to chase it, grab it by the tail, and get some of it back. It is already time to pen the Old Men of the Mountain report again.

The OMOTM met at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown on March 29. Anyone in the Northeast would have thought the month was January instead of darn close to April.

Sometimes the column reports on the OFs who have motorcycles with many of them being considerable enthusiasts. One OF was enthusiastic enough to travel to New Zealand to go on a bike trip with about 10 other diehard bikers. The question was asked what New Zealand was like because (nothing about the motorcycles) the OFs were more interested in the country and the people with a firsthand report.

The traveling OF said the parts of New Zealand they saw were beautiful, and the people were really nice, but the OFs encountered thieves. The OF told how his wife had 20 dollars disappear right out of their room. Almost all of those who were on the bike ride had their wallets or their purses stolen from their hotel rooms, at night, right when they were in their rooms.

The wallets and purses were found in the bushes in the morning. The OFs said only money was taken, and the other stuff was left alone.

One OF piped up, “It’s not possible to trace money. They may be thieves, but they are not dumb.”

The OF said the thieves had to either have one tall guy push one short guy onto the balcony, or use ladders, because all those in the group were on the second floor and they kept the doors to their rooms locked.

The exception was that, in most cases, the balcony doors were unlocked. Some were even left open for the night air.

The OF did not mention if the police were even interested or not — the assumption is probably not. The OF said the New Zealander who organized the trip invited the group to come to his home at one time and showed the group how he had to maintain his stuff.

The house was completely fenced, there were locked heavy iron gates to the walk and the driveway, the garage doors were heavy-duty with large solid locks. Inside the garage there were large iron rings in the floor, and heavy chains used to chain down the motorcycles and other items inside the locked garage.

Wow! The OF said the group guessed thievery was a problem.


Rule breaker

At Tuesday morning’s breakfast, the OF who was telling about the trip to New Zealand had on his OMOTM cap with a screwy looking emoji attached. An emoji’s primary function is to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from typed conversation.

These cues may come as illustrations of happy, angry, or sad faces, plus too many others to list here. The OF said he got that particular emoji for not paying attention to the rules of the ride. The contract had on the bottom a paragraph with small print, which in part stated the bikes were to stay on the main roads, and not go off-road.

The riders were all given maps of how to arrive at each stopping point. The OF said that on one leg of the ride he saw a dirt road that was just about parallel to the main road and arrived at the same stopping point, so he took that road.

The OF did not relate what the penalties were, but it did earn him the pin so everyone knew he was a bad boy and didn’t follow the rules. We guessed it’s a whole lot easier to get older than to get wiser.


OFs prefer to conserve

The OMOTM had a discussion on waste, and how much we throw away. One OF thought we have two factions pushing one against the other.

Some of the OFs thought Madison Avenue wants us to buy, buy, buy, while the conservation group wants the OFs to conserve. The OFs for the most part fall into the conservative group in many ways.

TV is loaded with restoring or renovating houses. The fixer-uppers start with a sledge hammer.

The OFs said perfectly good cabinetry is destroyed when it could be taken down carefully and reused. The same with doors and windows.

One OF said there are people not well off who could use this stuff either as a donation, or at reduced prices. In most cases, there is nothing wrong with it.

Madison Avenue pushes ads to purchase new stoves, new refrigerators, etc. when there is nothing wrong with the ones many people have. These appliances are just out of style — not worn out.

One OF said that he has an old hot-water heater that works fine, but his son purchased a new one that lasted only 11 years. This felt like it was built to wear out because the heater must have had an expiration date. Expired, Expired. Just like old milk with its use-by date.

The Avenue also works hard on installing a desire to purchase what is not necessary and the OFs definitely do not need. If the OF purchases a new couch, the furniture store tries to sell the OF a tractor-trailer load of cushions to go with it.

One OF commented that he has so many cushions it is impossible to see the couch and, in order to sit down, it is necessary to throw all these things on the floor. Golly, the OFs guess it does put people to work making these things.

The Old Men of the Mountain who live in areas where, in most cases, it is not necessary to even lock the doors and exited these same doors to go to the Chuck Wagon Diner were: Miner Stevens, Marty Herzog, Ted Feurer, Matt Erschen, Jake Lederman, Jake Herzog, Rich LaGrange, Bill Lichliter, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, John Muller, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Joe Rack, Paul Whitbeck, Rev. Jay Francis, John Dabrvalskes, Paul Guicon, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgetts, Elwood Vanderbilt, Wayne Gaul, and me.