by Hannah Dobson
November 1, 2016
Update: 13:45 1st November
We’ve just received this update form Twelve50 Bikes:
Thought I’d let you know that we’d had some contact with the Forestry Commission this morning and had a walk up the track in question.
This particular section of trail is not heavily used but was just off from one of the main tracks down the Old Pale. If it looks a bit underused in the picture it’s because it’s a Larch forest (deciduous) and there is a covering of needles everywhere – even tracks which were ridden this morning have a fine dusting of them so things get covered pretty quickly. There’s a slightly bermed corner about 20ft after the jump which you can’t even make out in the photo as it’s so gloomy in there.
The stakes are there from when the forest was planted and weren’t manufactured with the sole intention of being taken to the hill to inflict harm.
The offending posts have now been removed. They were originally taken from a jump which is now unsafe. This jump will be removed totally today to make it safe for everybody. Not because the forestry don’t want people to have fun but because ultimately, if somebody hurts themselves on it, it’s on their head.
Hopefully this is an isolated incident but if anyone does see anything dodgy going on then please report it.
Thanks to Twelve50 Bikes for getting in touch.
Original news article:
Twelve50 Bikes in Cheshire shared this photograph of trail sabotage in nearby Delamere Forest, on a run down the Old Pale. It’s the kind of thing you might expect to see in a medieval castle’s defences, rather than in the middle of a trail.
The Twelve50 Bikes Facebook post explains:
‘Whilst these trails are unofficial, the Forestry have been tolerant of them, so long as no more digging takes place. The FC also built a gate at the bottom to slow riders before they join a busy track and avoid conflict with other users.
The vast majority of walkers, horse riders co-exist happily and share the forest without problems. However, it seems somebody has an axe to grind and has taken matters into their own hands. Obviously the consequences of riding into this don’t really bear thinking about.’
We have to wonder whether the builder of this man trap has really thought through the consequences. What kind of trail conflict scenario would lead you to put such effort into building something so lethal? Or is it just kids really not thinking things through? People responding to the post suggest that this is not the first incidence of trail sabotage in the area, and that at least one rider has been seriously injured as a direct result of trail sabotage in the Delamere woods.
Whatever the story behind this, it’s a timely reminder at the start of the night riding season that you never know what might be on the trail ahead of you, so ride safe. And if you do meet a pedestrian, don’t be a dick – there’s no need to create more barriers to trail access for the rest of us.