How would you handle this?

catherinet(5 IN)June 15, 2007

Hi all,

We have about 33 acres. The back of our woods meets up with someone else's woods. The owner of those woods inherited a big piece of farmland when his grandmother died, and he moved from the city and built 3 big homes on the property. Unfortunately, one of the people (child?) runs a very loud dirtbike all through the woods. He's done it every evening this week, when we're trying to enjoy our backyard. We live sort of in a little valley that goes down to a creek, and sounds are really amplified here too. Besides it ruining our peace and quiet, I fear it has probably scared off the family of barred owls who used to live there.

How would you handle this? Would you just try to ignore it? Would you talk to the parents? Would you call the DNR officer and let him handle it?

I have talked to the DNR officer about it in the past and he said that, unfortunately, they are probably within their rights to do this. There are certain muffler requirements on off-road vehicles, but he said that dirt bikes are different and they make them to be LOUD.

I am so bummed out over this. Its really hard for me to ignore these sounds, although the rest of my family doesn't seem bothered by it.

I know we all have different ways of enjoying ourselves, but my birdwatching, nature walks, and enjoying my ponds doesn't blast any of my it ticks me off that they are doing that to me, and I apparently have no rights.

I'm usually a "be direct and honest" type of person, but sometimes that can backfire when you're dealing with people who are doing very loud things....even if you try to be nice about it.

How would you handle this?

If I ruled the world, those things would be illegal!

Thanks for your perspective!

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Well, unfortunately, I'd probably raise a ruckus about it, but only to my poor family, Catherine. DH hears me pitching fits enough, and he sometimes says something to the offenders just to shut me up. LOL

We're quiet people who stick to ourselves, and I just don't get how some people have made it through life being so rude.

I've tried the "turnabout is fair play" option - neighbors thumping their bass stereos (do they really think we ALL want to hear that crap?), so I put a speaker in the window facing their house and crank up Johnny Cash; or when there's loud partying going on at night, enough to irritate and keep awake (no sound laws here), DH makes sure to honk his horn (a few times) and yell how much he loves me out the truck window while leaving for work at 4am the next morning when they're trying to sleep. :D

But it doesn't sound like you could return the "favor" with the muffler sound. I wish I had a surefire way to deal with your problem. If we ever come up with anything, let's share notes. :)


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:08AM
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grandmapoo(z8 S.Texas)

I'm the type of person also that will wait things out before starting a potential fight for fear of making things worse, yet I know when I've had enough. You will too. When you get to that point, just politely let them know your home is just thru the woods (do they even know your home is there?) and hopefully they are considerate enough to change their route. Sometimes these disturbances run their course (like a barking dog or new stereo system). I've put up with so much from my neighbors to one side of me thru many, many years. When one thing resolves itself, it seems another takes it place. Talking to them does no good WHATSOEVER! I hope you have better results.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:26AM
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I would go over in person, face to face, bring a pie and introduce yourself as neighbors, chat about a few things first asking them about them (people love to talk about themselves), make sure you feel good about being friendly with each other, and then tell them the dirt bike is disturbing your animals and the owls and ask if it would be possible to work out a plan that minimizes time on the dirt bike to an hour a day.

We have kids that ride those damn scooters back and forth in front of everyone's house but their own so I know how annoying it can be. I laugh when they fall off them.

Worse comes to shove- put on your all black clothes, smudge your face dark and pull the distributor;-)


    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 1:17PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

LOL you guys! You're giving me lots of good ideas. ~evil grin~
Comettose......I really wish I was that kind of person, but alas, I'm not. Its VERY hard for me to just be nice to people. ;)
Brenda......I have been thinking about getting a loudspeaker and playing back the exact same sounds that their dirtbike and 4 wheelers are making. Or.....get some of those canned airhorns and have a go at it.
I get sooooooooooo p****d off at people who have absolutely no sensitivity to what their activity is doing to people around them. We've lived in peace and quiet here for 25 years......and then they move here and start this crap up.
When these people moved in and I started hearing 4wheelers back there, I composed a "howdy neighbor" letter and put one in each of their mailboxes. I said how lucky we all were to have a part of a big woods, considering how much development is going on around here, and had they heard the barred owls in there? And I told them there was better birding here than anywhere else I'd been and let's try real hard to preserve this wonderful place.
I thought that was a nice way of hinting.........instead of saying what I REALLY wanted to say!!
I have a strange reaction to sounds I hear that I don't want to be there. I sort of fly into a rage. But as my therapist has said "how's that workin' for ya?" hahahaha He's doesn't hurt anyone but me. So I need to either figure out a way to tune it out, or confront them. Sometimes just letting them know they are ticking me off helps relieve my anger.
I couldn't believe this. The people who live in the woods across the road from us had a dirtbike and 4wheelers, and moved away last fall. We were so happy! But I think they sold all their bikes to the new neighbors behind us.'re right about something else replacing something that finally goes away!

Since it doesn't bother anyone else in my family.....I guess I start feeling like it shouldn't bother me. But it does!
Brenda.....I just told my husband that sometimes you bug your DH so much he finally yells at the offenders, just to shut you up. lol! I told him "Sounds like a plan to me!!" hahaha
Comettose........I have to admit, I have evil thoughts too........maybe the little jerk will hit a branch?? Maybe his bike will skid into the creek??? I guess I'm evil......but it does help to bring my blood pressure down. hahaha
I thought of another letter. My whole life I have forced myself to always confront people matter how scared I was. I'm really running out of the steam for that. Now I'm more into the anonymous thing. Maybe I could send them a piece of paper, using cut-out letters to form the message "Lose the dirtbike or else............"
I try to picture a sweet little kid on the bike, whose had a really rough life.......maybe just recovering from cancer or he has no friends. That only works for about 10 seconds, then I'm ticked again.

In this day and age, I find it strange that there aren't more noise laws.

We've asked the owner of the woods if he'd like to sell some of his woods, but he doesn't. He said "I really like the woods". Yeah right.
Well, thanks for listening to me vent. Now I have to get to work on a anonymous letter.......or a granade? Perhaps a wire placed strategically in the middle of their path??

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 3:34PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

What a shame! I shudder to think what it is doing to the native flora too. But a tough situation since it's their property. Assuming it's a kid, they seem to go through phases pretty quick. But if you take CT's approach, you might mention that they have some wonderful woodland natives in their woods - you might even stretch the truth a little and tell them that they have some unusual ones. Maybe mention the fact that your husband has been trying to restore your woods and that the honeysuckle is taking over anywhere the dirt has been disturbed. Maybe they will get the hint and limit the riding through the woods, probably not but you never know.

I hope you get it resolved in a friendly way but you get your peace back.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 3:36PM
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what a nightmare, cat. hope it works out. i am more like you, so i am lacking on suggestions!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 7:05PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

Have rifle. Will travel.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 10:46PM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

My take on it is the kid will eventually slow down and ride less. I live next to a dry lake where all weekend people shoot guns and ride dirt bikes/quads. I've learned to tune most of it out (a 45 or shotgun will still get my attention though).

I didn't like all the bikes but once you take a ride you can see why they go along making all that noise. It's a lot of fun. Unfortunately, very likely for most people enough fun to ignore complaining about it.

RE respecting the woods...Odds are they are riding on paths that are already there. The last thing you want on a dirt bike is to stop suddenly or hit say a felled's the kind of stuff that can kill you if you're going fast enough.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:17AM
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ccoombs1(7B SC)

Let me preface my remarks by saying I feel your pain. I would be just devastated if I lost the peace and quiet I now have with my own woods, and the woods behind me. But.....people move to acreage for a variety of reasons. some move to the country because they enjoy the peace and quite, love watching nature, etc. Others move to acreage because they can't participate in their favorite activities in the city.....riding ATVs and dirt bikes. The only solution you have here is to put a letter in their mailbox that nicely explains your point of view and hope that they are interested in being good neighbors. Maybe kindly suggest a muffler for the bike or limited hours. But long as they are on their own land, they are not doing anything wrong. The only way you are ever guaranteed peace and quite in the country is to purchase several hundred acres and plant your house in the middle. Be grateful that the property was developed with houses. The owners could have had it rezoned and sold it to a chemical company or a hog farm instead!!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 2:05PM
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