That's quite a hobby.
Fool Me Once
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again — well, until the Coast Guard arrests you.
As The New York Times reports, 51-year-old Reza Baluchi was arrested last week off of Florida's Eastern coast while attempting to traverse the Atlantic Ocean by way of a rigged-out, human-powered hamster wheel of sorts, which Baluchi lovingly dubs his "hydropod."
The Florida resident, who's also a former professional cyclist, was stopped about 70 miles into his planned 4,000-mile oceanic trek.
It's a somewhat of a familiar scene for Baluchi, who according to court documents has now attempted the daring mission on four separate occasions.
Years in the Making
Per the report, Baluchi first tried to wheel his way from Florida to London back in 2014. He was served an order a year later that outlined the steps he needed to take in order to ensure that his makeshift vessel was seaworthy and was also advised to notify authorities of any future missions before taking his hamster wheel to the waves.
Then in 2016, the cyclist tried for a second time, and authorities intervened once again.
Baluchi spent the next several years working on his hydropod, making his next transatlantic attempt in 2021. On this occasion, though, as the NYT reported at the time, it was Baluchi himself who aborted the journey, realizing 25 miles into his trip that he'd forgotten a backup GPS system and some charging cables.
Asked in 2021 what he would do without his beloved hydropod, Baluchi had a grim answer for the NYT.
"Now, I'm dead," Baluchi told the newspaper. "I don't have a car. I put everything in my life in it."
Unfortunately for the cyclist, the consequences of his most recent hamster-wheeled mission are markedly more severe than in previous years.
Though he has certainly put in some effort on the seaworthiness front, he had the unfortunate luck of attempting his journey ahead of Hurricane Franklin, a powerful storm that barrelled through the Atlantic coast last month.
According to the NYT, when the Coast Guard approached the hydropod on August 26 and demanded that Baluchi deboard his ship, he resisted, threatening to kill himself with a knife and even claiming that he had a bomb (he didn't, as he would later admit to authorities).
It took two days to get the cyclist off of his vessel. Once deboarded, he was charged with obstruction of boarding and violation of the Captain of the Port Order.
Baluchi has since been released on a $250,000 bond — under the agreement, according to court documents, that he "may not go to the ocean or board a vessel on to the ocean" for the foreseeable future.
More on strange ocean news: Scientists Find Strange Golden Object at Bottom of Pacific Ocean
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