Sadly there is yet another report of trail terrorism targeting mountain bikers, this time at the Bethunes Gully trails in New Zealand. Nic Sullivan reports finding tree limbs deliberately placed on the trail to slow down or perhaps even injure riders on the popular mountain bike trails. Initially Nic and his riding partner thought the branches had fallen onto the trail but quickly decided they were placed deliberately after finding logs in the landing zone of a jump and at the apex of a sharp turn, among other locations.
Adding to their suspicions, Nic says there were freshly placed obstacles on sections of trails he and his friend had ridden earlier in the ride. The only other people they encountered on the trail that day was a group of dog walkers.
This case just goes to show how easy it is for anywone to find and place dangerous objects–like sticks and rocks–on a trail that could pose a serious threat to mountain bikers. Not only that, these objects can be placed quickly and discretely.
Bottom line: always ride in control and be prepared for unexpected obstacles in the trail. And be sure to report any suspicious or dangerous conditions to your local land manager. In this case, the authorities are taking the situation very seriously, despite the use of low-fi trail booby traps.
Have you ever discovered suspicious or downright dangerous conditions that were a result of deliberate action?