Back to my timeline... So I chased this guy around the trails but to no avail. I rode home crestfallen and exhausted from a much longer ride than planned.
When I got home I told my sob story to Kat and she called my phone and the guy answered. Yay Kat. Turns out he lives down the hill from us so we both went immediately. I grabbed a bottle of homemade wine and a $20 bill to give as a reward choice. When we got there he was happy to give it back and said "thanks but I don't need a reward for doing the right thing"
Faith in humanity restored.
Thanks Jason the mountain biker guy. You are my hero.