Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rich Love forced out at Castlewood?

Rumors pretty much have a way of getting out there nowadays. That with all the electronic media and communication device stuff. I hate it when I hear a rumor that I can't confirm or bust. Mark at Ballwin Cycles got hold of a rumor that was heard from a source that heard a bunch of rumors. This went out on a message board and Thrasher called me with a couple rumors that he had heard and then at breakfast my wife asked me whatever came out of that Rich Love thing that I had pooped her way the night before last.

I told her it was done. It was confirmed that Rich Love was moving to Babler State Park and that Mr. Randy Becknall (sp?) is the new Superintendent of Castlewood State park (already effective). Mr. Becknall comes from Cuivre River State Park. We were able to get this confirmed but there were still was some confusion as to why.

I called Rich Love the other day but didn't get a call back. My guess is that he didn't return my call because he does not want to draw attention to that which others have surmised as a conspiracy to remove him from by his supervisors. His post as Superintendent at Castlwood State Park. I wouldn't have returned the call either. In fact, the whole thing would make me nervous considering the fact that somebody else had started the rumor mill.

I got to thinking about this, now that it is a done deal and all. Rich's children go to school in the Parkway School District. Rumors were confirmed that he is moving to Babler State Park in Wildwood, Rockwood, a different school district. Now that is a shame. I remember Rich stopping what he was doing to get his kids off the school bus several years back. He held their hands and walked up the driveway to the small home back along the ridge of the Lone Wolf Trail. I have seen the bus come and go for the last ten years. It was something one expected to see while charting the days ride. Rich's kids yard is Castlewood Park and have grown up in what some would consider unconventionally conventional surroundings. Now his family will be forced to move, the kids needing to get used to another school. We the mountain bikers, a special kind of kin will remain. Perhaps.

I have worked with Rich on a bunch of things, the success of Short Track races, one of the most popular mountain bike race events in the city. Rich was responsible for that. Hell, the emergence of mountain biking in the city of St. Louis is a direct result of Rich embracing the culture that surrounds him. There must be thousands of people who come to the park each year to ride bikes. I know I am there three to four times a week shaping my fitness, helping others learn the sport, helping maintain the trails, making sure people stay safe. We have learned to help Rich in his efforts to handle the volume cultivated by his efforts. I have volunteered many times to help those injured or work an occasional work day on behalf of the park. I am a registered volunteer there.

It is sad. We know he doesn't want to go, that appears to be fact. Rumor has that it is political, a favor returned by a local politico. We also heard rumor that the agenda was to lose the mountain biking in the Park--that the new guy wants to limit it. Heh, that would be a most wonderful exercises in public relations for the new superintendent, the backlash for the state. I really can't see that happening. But I can tell you this. I will certainly stand against anyone taking away what took years for Rich to build at a park where so many active living memories have been forged. That is fact.


TeamSeagal said...

It is a big shame to see him get transfered, because it is obvious how much pride he takes in the park. Hell, he lives there! I can only hope that both Babler and Rich gain from his new post, and that Castlewood continues to support all user groups.


Jeff B said...

Do we know when the deal is done? I would like to stop by and offer my thanks and wishes of good luck.

Dan said...

I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition to keep Rich at Castlewood:

"Keep Rich at Castlewood"

I really think this is an important cause, and I'd like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It's free and takes less than a minute of your time.