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photo: Nic Sullivan

photo: Nic Sullivan

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.

photo: Nic Sullivan

photo: Nic Sullivan

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.

photo: Nic Sullivan

photo: Nic Sullivan

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?

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# Comments

  • dan_3lliott

    So stupid. Why are people doing this? This needs to stop or someone will get hurt. I don’t understand why people will do this and think it’s right or OK.

  • Rex Nipper

    It’s called mental illness. That’s why. The same type of people who purposely set fire to forest land. You can’t make sense of it because it makes no sense.

  • Josh T

    Yeah I’ve seen some really bad trail terrorism. There was this very large wooden ramp that would jump over a creek and you would land on this giant wooden landing on the other side. Well someone decided to push the ramp off of the little cliff and it completely splintered. Now there is just a ton of 2x4s and wood everywhere and a giant landing. My friend and I almost wrecked really badly because the jump was gone so we had to slam on the brakes and slow down before we rode off a cliff into a rocky Creek bed. It could have been much worse.

  • Orinda8

    But on the other hand this should be read in the context of last week’s article about the park ranger who died after running into a grizzly bear at high speed. I leave the high speed riding to the ski resort bike parks. Public trails are no place for racing at high speed. Suppose that had been a child instead of a bear on the trail. This is what prompts hikers to take matters into theeir own hands

    • mongwolf

      Orinda I find this comment quite shallow and petty and not thought through well. So let me ask a few questions and be a bit petty myself in return. First, do you really think ALL trails on public lands should be ridden slowly? Do you realize how remote many public land trails are? And do you know think a rider should ride slow on all these trails and in all sections of these trails? Should line of sight have any relevance in such a discussion? Second, do you think there would have been a child on that trail in that location? Hmmm. I hope not with Grizzlies in the area. I’m guessing that the rider, Officer Treat, knew the level of use of the trail and was riding accordingly … even if that level doesn’t fit your expectations. Thirdly, do you even know what a “park ranger” is? There are no “park rangers” in the Forest Service. Officer Treat was a Forest Service employee. “Park Rangers” work in National Parks, not National Forests. Sorry to be betty, but if you are going to criticize, then do so informedly and showing some knowledge and education in the matter. There is a “Ranger” on every National Forest District, but I’ll leave it to you to educate yourself. Hint: a ranger is highly educated, very experienced in multi-resource management, must successfully engage in a very complex public arena, and also be an excellent team leader, among other things.

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