Homeowners don’t like anyone trespassing on their property, and it’s no different for Dave Palazzolo of Salt Lake City, Utah. To keep his household safe, he purchased a smart security camera that will alert him of any intruders on his driveway. It didn’t take long for the device to capture a “trespasser” who was veering onto his property every night. “You get the alert and you kind of have an immediate sense of anxiety – ‘oh, someone’s going to do harm to me,’” Dave told CBS News!
However, it turned out that the individual wasn’t much of a threat – it was just a small 4-year-old boy learning to ride his bike. Every time someone approaches his driveway, the security camera sends him an alarm, and Dave admits that he was upset at first. “‘Ping,’ says the ping. ‘Person at the driveway,’ says the ping. ‘Argh!’ you exclaim. He exclaimed, “You’re disturbing my Netflix!” Rather than instructing the child to remain off his driveway, the 47-year-old devised a better strategy. Dave went out to his driveway one night with a piece of chalk and drew a twisting racetrack for the young rider to enjoy!
The next day, the boy’s mom noticed the track outline on the driveway and showed it to her son. After a while, the kid launched his bike and started speeding along the racetrack. “You can almost see the look on his face when he gets it, and then he just charges into it,” Dave recalled of the scene. Dave isn’t a stranger to the world of biking. In fact, he’s a motorcycle enthusiast and a founder of CanyonChasers Motorcycle Adventure, Sport & Touring. So he definitely understands how excited the boy must feel tackling the racecourse, even if it’s only made of chalk.
“I’m a little embarrassed to admit how excited I was to see how he reacted – the video is just so cute I think he did five laps that first night,” he told Daily Mail. As the days rolled by, Dave became more serious about improving his driveway racetrack. He even built a contraption to keep the lines straight and researched popular racecourses so he could draw an authentic track. He made use of the vast space on the concrete to design longer tracks with more twists. Assuming the boy could read, he also added road signs and encouraging messages to inspire him to keep going.
When the racetrack was washed away by rain, Dave would replace it with a new one. With its twists and turns, the track becomes more difficult each time. It didn’t take long for the driveway racetrack to be spotted by the rest of the neighborhood. Several children, adults on bicycles, and even adults driving strollers all had a good time and excitedly put their talents to the test. It’s safe to say that Dave’s great idea was a hit with everyone!
He first sketched the improvised racetrack in June, and the small boy, Quinn, still uses it to this day, and he’s gotten a lot better! Dave had never met him or his family before the security camera recorded him on the driveway. But he’s been helping the kid develop his bicycling abilities in his own unique way all summer.
Josh, Quinn’s dad, thinks it’s an incredible gesture. “It’s been amazing,” he said. “Just that we can be a part of something like that – that we can see the good side of humanity. It feels good.” On the other hand, Dave just wanted to bring some happiness into the world during these trying times. “A little bit of joy goes a long way – we’re all quarantined, we’re all frustrated and tired, wouldn’t we all be just a little bit better off if we just went for a bike ride and remembered what it was like to be a kid, even if just for a few minutes?” he said.
Watch Dave’s interview with CBS News in the video below to learn more about this story.