Police have issued a warning to riders in the Forest of Dean area...

Trail sabotage 1

Police have appealed for an end to “dangerous" trail sabotage on mountain bike tracks around the Forest of Dean after an incident at the end of August which left one rider injured.

Large branches had been appearing on the trails in the Forest of Dean increasingly frequently throughout the summer, and after a rider was given significant cuts and grazes as a result of the booby traps, the police decided to speak out about the fall.

The Gloucestershire Police said: “This is dangerous. We would urge those members of the public who are carrying out what they may think is a harmless prank to stop their behaviour before somebody is seriously hurt.

decathlon how to buy your first mountain bike mtb 8

decathlon how to buy your first mountain bike mtb 8

“In the past few weeks, large branches have been deliberately placed across the trails, which could potentially cause serious injury to a cyclist"

It seems slightly ridiculous to suggest that those laying the traps would consider them “harmless". They’re evidently aware of the use of the trails by mountain bikers, and therefore are probably familiar with the speeds they can reach.

The branches have been left there because whoever did so is actively attempting to trip up mountain bike riders, and if not exactly, probably has a good idea about how much carnage this could cause.

Of course, this isn’t the first case of trail sabotage we’ve seen in the UK. In Northern Ireland in the past few months, fishing wire has been placed on a trail in Cavehill Country Park which was thankfully discovered by a dog walker before anyone could get hurt.

This came just weeks after a round of the First Tracks Enduro Cup Race in Rostrevor was plagued by the efforts of some who put logs and rocks on the trail. Needless to say, when you’re riding at full pelt down a trail and something like the above appears in front of you, you don’t have much of a chance.

Cavehill Mountain Bikers / Facebook

Cavehill MTB Facebook

A couple of years ago in Sussex a saboteur strung a fishing line at neck height between two trees lining a trail and in 2012 a mountain biker in Hamsterley was knocked off his bike after crashing into a low level rope also hanging between two trees. On that occasion the rider was wearing a camera and caught the following video

Anyone who sees anti-social behaviour in the area is encouraged to call police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress.

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