August in southern California is hot and on this day with no breeze it is stifling. The sweat stung his eyes as Hans Metzler pedaled the final uphill leg of his ride. He was content with the knowledge that it was all downhill from this point on. This was not the longest ride of the week but it was challenging, one long loop from Santa Ana through Tustin up into the Santa Ana Mountains (a coastal mountain range that rings Orange County) over some tricky single track trails then down to Irvine then a flat run on Edinger Ave back home. Home for Hans was unfortunately his mother's house.
Hans Metzler a few years shy of forty, tall at 6'1" and 198lbs. was in good shape physically but financially he wasn't, in fact if asked he would probably say "If yarn was 10 cents a yard I could not afford to knit a sweater for a ant." He was not envious of the success of others nor did he feel entitled too government handouts and it wasn't as if he didn't try. Hans had worked for many employers over the years from the U.S. Army to Delta Air lines but he found that work under the yoke of authority abrasive at best and at worst, a very real threat to his sanity. A number of small business ventures Hans started were equally frustrating "When you own your own business you work not for one boss but everyone is your boss and it sucks" that's Hans. He has not worked steady for a few years.
The GT Zazkar mountain bike crested the ridge but Hans did not pause to enjoy the view of the panorama consisting of the Tustin Market Place, I-5 freeway acting like a parking lot, or the two huge derelict WWII blimp hangers at the closed Tustin Lighter than Air Marine base. He's seen it all before. Charging downhill his concentration on the trail ahead, the speed is increasing exponentially or so it seemed, hot wind in his face quickly drying the accumulated sweat. The trail suddenly split, forking left and right Hans takes the trail leading right without slowing; scrub brush blurring in Hans's peripheral vision. The trail is steeper now and ahead is the avocado groves owned by the Irvine Company in seconds he is on a maintenance road running through the grove.
As to his emotional state, simply Hans Metzler was ready for change. One failed marriage, an 11 year old daughter that lives 2500 miles away and wants nothing to do with him. His brothers and sister have very little to do with him unless they need help and of course he lives with his mother. Hans Metzler was on the verge of a break-through or break-down.
On the maintenance road Hans felt a chill tickle down his spine from the sudden lack of sunlight under the canopy of foliage provided by avocado trees. The road he was on runs parallel with Jamboree rd. his mind on his daughter Hans did not notice the white pick-up of Irvine Company's security parked between some trees until he about past it. Then a shout "Hey..." and he was past the truck, a quick look back confirming a human shape clamoring into the cab, Hans knew what he must do. Cleanly braking and cutting right Hans slipped though the grove of trees, as he did the grind of a starter then the roar of an engine filled the silence behind him. Not bothering another look back Hans now concentrated on his new and urgent goal of fleeing the grove. His speed reduced substantially Hans had no trouble avoiding the numerous obstacles as he slalomed left and right in amongst the trees. Hans could hear the security vehicle crunching along the lane he originally turned into from the road. "A little further and I should hit the fence" thought Hans and a few moments latter there was the boundary.
Not everything is looking bad for Hans; he has some friends, owns a few guns, and has a dog. He doesn't drink or do drugs (except for pot but according to Hans that's not a drug). Though he has no drivers license Hans owns a 74 Jeep CJ-5 and a 77 military 4X4 Dodge Power Wagon. The Jeep Hans bought at the time of his divorce, his wife wanted their truck so he cashed out his 401K and bought the Jeep. The Dodge he just acquired over the internet for $530.00 in July, Hans bought it mostly for the adventure of the journey from Illinois to California than the need of the truck.
Hans slowed the GT as he approached the triple strand barbed wire fence, the grove 25 yards to the rear. The fence ran along the top of a rather steep slope that fell 100 feet to the 261 toll road. Dismounting the bike Hans hastily lifted it over the fence conscience of the security vehicle emerging from the trees behind him. He then scrambled through the upper and middle strands of wire, snagging his shirt on a few of the sharp and rusty barbs, as he straitened up and collected his bike Hans faced back toward the grove he smiled and waved to the overweight guard 10 yards away who had been huffy it on foot from the truck.
"You can't come in here you know." The guard said as he steadily decreasing the distance separating them.
Hans wasn't about to start up a conversation with this buffoon, his foot was already over the seat and as he smoothly mounted the bike, his feet instinctively finding the "egg beater" pedals locking in and Hans was off, yet again giving the rent-a-cop a friendly wave. As Hans hammered downhill now on the wide service road running parallel with the toll road his little voice telling him if the CHP see him he will really be in trouble. "I've got to get out of this place" thought Hans probably for the 20th time this morning as he sped toward the first outlet from the Toll Road.
The tall sound barrier wall was now just off of his right elbow and towering over Han's head as he prepared to cut a right turn onto the street at the walls terminus just ahead.
Unknown to Hans on the other side of the wall a large Mack cement truck was slowly pulling away from its position next to the forms of a foundation, the driver was watching his mirrors making sure not to catch any rebar or lumber with the rear end of his truck as he approached the gate and road just ahead.
Hans bled some speed from the Zaskar and started his turn, trying to get as close to the corner of the sound wall as possible, as he cleared the corner the next sight he saw was a very shiny bulldog mounted to the hood of a very large truck. The very last thought Hans had before the two foot wide front tire crushed him was "OH SH…."