Lee Quarry Riders Robbed By Masked Attackers With Crowbars

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On the evening of Wednesday 4th September, two riders had driven up the access road to Lee Quarry, in Lancashire to go for an evening ride. They parked in the ‘top’ car park before the quarry gate and while they were getting ready to ride, two cars drove up the access track and blocked off their car. Seven masked robbers then stole their bikes after threatening them with crowbars…

The two riders robbed, both in their 20s were out for an evening ride at about 7pm, both on new bikes they’d both only owned since July, a Trek Roscoe and a Cube Reaction hardtail when they were hemmed in by the robbers’ cars and threatened with crowbars.

cube reaction of the riders robbed
Have you seen this Cube Reaction?
Or this Trek Roscoe?

We spoke to one of the riders robbed, who gave us this account: “There were four in a red mini and three in a Mitsubishi 4×4. We pulled up at the half way point [up the lane] and were reversing the car in when we saw the two cars coming up the road/dirt path, the 4×4 was leading. They passed off as cars driving past, but the mini reversed back down and pulled up beside us. We thought they were going to be asking for directions or something then the 4×4 reverses back, blocks us in [and] the passengers of the 4×4 exit the vehicle with balaclavas and crowbars and then stole the bikes and made off.”

Obviously, this is terrible for the riders involved, losing brand new bikes and being threatened by masked attackers, but it also has wider implications for the local mountain bike scene. Lee Quarry was set up by Lancashire Council over a decade ago and has been used regularly for events like the PMBA Enduro, evening mountain bike races, demo days and even our own Singletrack Classic Weekender. However, in the fallout from council austerity cuts four or five years ago, the local council stepped back from the day to day managing of the trail.

Fortunately, because it is almost entirely rock, the quarry trails have borne up well over the last five years of neglect, but there have been increasing numbers of motocross riders using it as a playground and stories of suspicious characters and cars in and around the quarry. With stories like this week’s robbery only serving to dissuade riders from visiting the area, it seems that the money and effort that the council had put in is in danger of being wasted. Hopefully some renewed interest in maintaining the area will come from the council – and a few police drive-bys wouldn’t hurt…

On a good day, Lee Quarry is a great place for a ride, and being rock, it’s weatherproof too.

Some details: The cars used were a red Mini and a blue/grey Mitsubishi 4×4, both fairly new cars. The Mitsubishi was really badly damaged on the passenger side as well as the rear bumper. The people were wearing balaclavas and tracksuits and waterproofs. If anyone has any info, either call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Rossendale Police.

And needless to say, be vigilant when using the car parks around Lee Quarry.


Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (7)

    Grim. Hope they string the bastards up.

    string the twats up i hope the riders are ok.

    People should use the council car park which has CCTV or ride in from an alternative location. It’s not just the quarry that is being targeted with local Facebook reports of local riders getting followed home and bikes stolen. Stacksteads appears to be suffering a mini crime wave on the cycle routes off the main road so be careful there as well

    Armed robbery for a couple of mid-range hardtails.
    Hope the victims aren’t too shaken-up, but what a bizarre crime.

    Missing point chaki

    Any bike is a good bike to individuals such as these lot

    It is deffo not bout what bikes they were on that is concerning – that’s if you actually read the article!

    Jeez, TDog. There’s always one, but you can chose not to be it.

    Chakaping isn’t “missing the point” at all, you’re just not getting it – too much of a rush to get your supercilious patronising out onto the page, I imagine.

    The sense of Chaka’s post is this: if they’re prepared to use armed robbery to grab a couple of midrange bikes, imagine where they might be prepared to for top-dollar bikes..!

    SImple enough?

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