Booby trapped trails are hardly a new thing, but to those of us in mountain biker-friendly Colorado, worrying about being injured by man-made traps on the trails has seemed like an issue that only those in the UK, California, and Vancouver (among others) need worry about—all places far from home.
On May 14th, 2016, local Colorado rider Tim Fishback got a flat tire during his mountain bike ride in the Buffalo Creek Trail System, but his sealant wouldn’t seal the hole. As he was looking around while fixing his tire, Fishback discovered a metal spike sticking out of the singletrack trail tread.
“We could see it poking out of the ground about an inch and a half, two inches,” said Fishback.
The metal spike was about three inches long and was embedded in roughly a 2×4” cement block.
“When we tried to bust the nail, we couldn’t bust it, so we started digging, and we found the block, buried,” said Fishback. “The second one, we were quite a ways down from where we were when we found the original one, but we saw a lot of people having flats in that particular area, so we started looking for what we saw before, the nail sticking out of the ground, and we found it, a nail sticking out of the ground.”
In addition to the two spikes discovered by Fishback, a third spike was discovered by another trail user that same day. All three of the spikes were discovered on the Little Scraggy Trail within the Buffalo Creek TrailSsystem. Little Scraggy is actually one of the newest trails at Buffalo Creek, and the entire planned route hasn’t even been completed yet.
“[It’s] really surprising being that it was built by mountain bikers, but not only open to mountain bikers, that somebody would do this,” said Fishback.
Fishback asserted that this was an intentional booby trap, set for mountain bikers: “It was not accidental. I’ve ridden there quite often, and never seen anything like it. Definitely someone put it there in the middle of the trail, specifically targeting bikers. It was effective—it was popping lots of tires. . .it was a well-thought-out device. This was premeditated.”
While perhaps the trap was aimed at mountain bikers, the spikes that were discovered could be extremely dangerous to any and all trail users. Fishback encouraged all trail users—whether biker, hiker, or equestrian—using Buffalo Creek to travel carefully.
“You could do damage to anybody with a nail like that. You really could hurt horses, dogs, and hikers, but it seems like something that was set for bike tires,” said Fishback.
Buffalo Creek is one of the most popular mountain bike trail systems in the state of Colorado. Located close to Denver and the Front Range, this system is easily-accessible by the bulk of Colorado’s population. In fact, the Buffalo Creek trail listing is one of the most popular in the entire Singletracks.com database, with 124 reviews (and climbing). The system is highly-acclaimed by our members, with a 4.33 average rating, and many 5-star reviews.
The US Forest Service could not provide official comment as of press time, due to an ongoing criminal investigation.