Dangerous and deliberate damage of popular trails and cycle paths is nothing new – but every time we hear of more cases we feel heavy in the heart. This time, it’s local welsh trails that are being sabotaged with booby traps and obstacles.
Bike trails have always been a sore point of contention in some areas. A handful of local residents tend to believe riders ruin the landscapes, and are considered to be a nuisance to the community, which appears to be the issue in the Welsh town of Caerphilly.
Nathan Manning, a member of the South Wales Mountain Biking club spoke with Wales Online about the situation, saying: “the trails have seen stones, rocks, logs and even large trees laid across with no warning to mountain bike riders.”
A number of disgruntled residents have petitioned the bike trails in the area, and while their grievances are being processed by local authorities, it appears vigilantes have taken the matter into their own hands.
Local riders have seen their beloved trails littered with obstacles in the forms of logs, rocks and overturned features to try and thwart off riders. However, these attempts to fend off riders, put them in harm’s way. Without prior warning, frequent riders descend the trails at speed only to come across an planted object which can result in an serious accident.
Although local riders and residents surrounding Caerphilly mountain have made verbal agreements in the past, it would appear some residents still chose to take matters into their own hands.
Manning explained: “We have agreed verbally with locals to stop sabotaging the trails and initially we began to clear these. But, recently the trails have seen stones, rocks, logs and even large trees laid across with no warning to mountain bike riders.”
In response to the recently discovered sabotage, Peter Cloke, deputy regional land manager from Natural Resources Wales told Wales Online: “Our forests are a great place for people to walk and ride and enjoy the outdoors. We’re aware of a dispute between some users of the forest and local residents, but the two groups have now come to an agreement which we hope will allow them to continue to enjoy their own interests in the forest.”
Sadly this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of stories where bike trails have been tampered with. Cannock Chase fell victim to these cowardly attacks last year, and many other bike areas have suffered similar fates.
It’s important to stay vigilant on the trails, and to report any trail traps to the local authorities and fellow riders.