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The thin length of wire was found yesterday on the course, at "about the level of a six or seven-year-old's neck"...

A wire has been strung across a mountain bike course in Belfairs Wood, near Southend, in a prank that "could have easily killed someone", locals say.

The thin length of wire was discovered yesterday (10 August) by Hadleigh Mountain Biking Club member, David Murray, stretched across a path some mountain bike riders approach at speed.

The Club’s chairman Chris Hyde, from Leigh, is reported by the Echo as saying: “It goes without saying it’s utterly disgusting behaviour and dangerous to anyone who uses the woods".

“The height of it looks to be about the level of a six or seven-year-old’s neck while riding a bike, but this would have been dangerous to anyone cycling down there, or even the horse riders that use the woods.

“It’s beyond unthinkable that anyone could do that.”

Richard Toomey of the Comfy Saddle, a cycle hub at Southend Railway Station, told the paper he had cycled in the woods yesterday afternoon.

He said: “You would hope that you’d see something like that but who’s to say with a piece of wire?

“I can only hope that this was the work of some children who will change course when they realise what they’ve done.

“Thankfully the cycling community is very strong in Southend and I think people will keep an eye out, as will dog walkers and others, to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Local councillor, Stephen Aylen, has promised to speak to the council's parks department about the incident.

He said: “I know there are some people who are fed up the paths being used by motorbikes, quadbikes and some mountain bikers who come down there at speed, but this is not the way to deal with it.

“I’m very worried that this has happened because it could easily kill someone and you have children cycling down there.”

10 comments

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don simon [1768 posts] 2 years ago
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What have the Police said?

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StuInNorway [150 posts] 2 years ago
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Given in a similar incident where a guy was placing logs across a run at angles after high speed turns on a approved MTB trail, exactly where they would throw cyclists into trees, the police when given the persons name, vehicle reg, address, and video footage did precisely nothing. . . . I would not hold my breath for much.

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balmybaldwin [205 posts] 2 years ago
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I wouldn't hold out hope the dog walkers are on "our" side...

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BigglesMeister [65 posts] 2 years ago
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StuInNorway wrote:

Given in a similar incident where a guy was placing logs across a run at angles after high speed turns on a approved MTB trail, exactly where they would throw cyclists into trees, the police when given the persons name, vehicle reg, address, and video footage did precisely nothing. . . . I would not hold my breath for much.

Complain to the IPCC ..

https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/complaints

Good luck.

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Housecathst [628 posts] 2 years ago
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I wonder if "locals" would consider dropping breeze blocks off motorway bridges a prank

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brooksby [2919 posts] 2 years ago
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Saying something is "at the level of a six or seven year old's head" just started me thinking about the lift capacity of an African Swallow, for some reason.

I'd like to think that the local police will treat this seriously and do something about it, but I doubt it (unlike if someone was dropping bricks off a motorway bridge, as aforementioned)

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crikey [1251 posts] 2 years ago
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'A six or seven year old's neck' would seem to be a rather peculiar measure of distance from the ground. Why not just tell us how high it was in some kind of more traditional unit?

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Milkfloat [61 posts] 2 years ago
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If road.cc decide to call this a "prank", what hope is there that other organisations like the police will take this incident seriously?

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vonhelmet [848 posts] 2 years ago
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The word prank has been subject to inflation. YouTube is all the evidence you need of this.

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Beatnik69 [402 posts] 2 years ago
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crikey wrote:

'A six or seven year old's neck' would seem to be a rather peculiar measure of distance from the ground. Why not just tell us how high it was in some kind of more traditional unit?

To bring a human element into it. Telling people that a child could be injured or killed by these actions will gain more sympathy than telling them about a string 1.2m from the ground that could hurt some cyclists.