Mountain bikers are being warned to take care if they ride in Paradise Woods near Eastbourne in Sussex after a cyclist spotted fishing line strung between two trees across a trail at neck height.
The mountain biker in question removed the obstacle and reported the incident to the Sussex Police, but had he not spotted it in time could have been seriously injured. The police have stated they believe this trap was laid deliberately to cause injury to mountain bikers, and have warned riders to take care and be vigilant when riding in the area.
Chief Inspector Steve Biglands of the Sussex Police stated “This incident is being treated seriously as such reckless behaviour has the potential to cause significant injury. Officers have visited the scene and evidence has been taken for forensic examination.
These trails are used by cyclists of all ages from the young to the more mature and we should be encouraging the shared use of woods for all users in a safe and responsible way.”
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, as other traps have been laid in Friston Forest. These are also being investigated, and in both instances the police are calling for any witnesses to come forward.
Mountain bike trail sabotage usually takes the form of destroying or disrupting tracks so as to make them unrideable. Thankfully this type of sabotage is generally very rare, as it could have some serious consequences.
In 2012 a mountain biker riding in Hamsterley was knocked from his bike after being caught in a low level rope strung between two trees. He caught the incident on his helmet camera.
You can read the full Police statement on the Sussex Police website.