Someone has been sabotaging mountain bike trails with spiked boards and spike-embedded bricks that are intended to destroy tires and even hurt Eagle County riders prompting an investigation by local and federal law enforcement.
Riders are rightly outraged and looking to point fingers. Some are suggesting hunters, speculating that their activity chases off game. Others blame joggers or nature walkers who they say don’t like sharing nature.
The evidence is not all in, but we can’t help but notice that the modus operandi of spiking is eerily similar to that of monkeywrentching environmentalists, who like to spike trees and create mantraps that kill or severely injure timber workers.
But check out these usual suspects, from the Denver Post:
These instances bubble up every so often. A biker in June 2014 discovered spiked boards buried in the Prince Creek trails outside Carbondale. A 64-year-old woman was convicted of criminal mischief in January after wildlife cameras caught her dragging tree limbs across popular trails in North Vancouver, British Columbia. A 57-year-old psychiatrist was sentenced to jail in 2013 for stringing ropes across popular bike trails. In 2011, a vocal critic of mountain bikers renowned for vitriolic diatribes was sentenced to jail for attacking cyclists near his Oakland home. Mike Vandeman, who continues to rail against mountain bikes in the woods, in an e-mail to The Denver Post last spring following articles on the Little Scraggy sabotage, asked: “Why are nails a safety hazard, but speeding mountain bikers are not a hazard?” and “What is good about trail building?”
We don’t know if Earth First! is behind the sabotaging of the bike trails and we doubt hunters would be using trails that are regularly populated.
Some commenters on the Eagle County Cyclists and Friends Facebook page are suggesting that hidden cameras be used to capture the culprit, one suggested staking out the area and beating the crap out of whoever is behind it. We’re going to endorse hidden cameras.
We don’t know any hunters who carry a wooden ruler with them to hunt, but it would certainly make for an interesting walking stick for a whacko lone wolf to casually carry it up the mountain without notice. The sooner this person is caught, the safer all will be.