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Police warn Forest of Dean cyclists to be vigilant after rider hurt by booby trap

Large branches are being placed across trail at Staple Edge, say officers

Cyclists in the Forest of Dean have been told to beware of booby traps after a rider was hurt when he crashed into branches deliberately put on a mountain bike trail.

The rider sustained “significant cuts and grazes” in the incident on a trail at Staple Edge on Monday 22 August, say Gloucestershire Police.

Officers said that people perpetrating “what they may think is a harmless prank” – some may disagree that an action likely to cause to others should be referred to in such terms – should “stop their behaviour before somebody is seriously hurt.”

Police add that large branches have been placed on the trail for several weeks now, and have urged anyone who has seen “anti-social behaviour” in the area to call them on 101, or on 999 if the see a crime in progress.

Alternatively, incidents can be reported online, or to the charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Booby traps are regularly found on trails used by cyclists. In March, we reported how a mountain biker had found barbed wire stretched at neck height on a route near Maidstone in Kent.

The cyclist, Daniel Webster, said at the time: “I normally come the other way down the hill but I had decided to do it in reverse. I would have been going at 20 mph and I would never have seen it. I would never have stood a chance."

Last year, police in Sussex warned cyclists riding in Coldean Woods, Brighton, to take be vigilant after wires were discovered stretched across paths used by riders there.

Routes used by commuters and other riders have also been targeted in the past, including the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, where in 2011 a cyclist was knocked unconscious and his bike stolen when he crashed into a clothes line strung across the path.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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7 comments

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DaveE128 | 992 posts | 7 years ago
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I wonder if placing dangerous obstacles on motorways would be described by police as "anti-social behaviour"? cool

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thereverent | 513 posts | 7 years ago
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What is wrong with some people!

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Mungecrundle | 3022 posts | 7 years ago
2 likes

It might be reasonable to suggest that, even if positioned by humans, a branch across the trail in the woods might be something that you should be aware of as a possibility and ride accordingly. Wires stretched at head height requires a whole extra level of premeditated intent to cause harm and whilst the branches can be considered more of a nuisance, wires must be treated as being a far more serious offence by the authorities.

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psling replied to Mungecrundle | 292 posts | 7 years ago
1 like

Mungecrundle wrote:

It might be reasonable to suggest that, even if positioned by humans, a branch across the trail in the woods might be something that you should be aware of as a possibility and ride accordingly.

 

So, when it comes to cycling, victim blaming extends beyond the highway eh..?

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surly_by_name replied to Mungecrundle | 564 posts | 7 years ago
0 likes

Mungecrundle wrote:

It might be reasonable to suggest that, even if positioned by humans, a branch across the trail in the woods might be something that you should be aware of as a possibility and ride accordingly. Wires stretched at head height requires a whole extra level of premeditated intent to cause harm and whilst the branches can be considered more of a nuisance, wires must be treated as being a far more serious offence by the authorities.

This is perhaps the most stupid thing I've ever read on Road.cc.

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japes replied to surly_by_name | 89 posts | 7 years ago
4 likes

surly_by_name wrote:

This is perhaps the most stupid thing I've ever read on Road.cc.

 

you must be new here 

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Mungecrundle replied to surly_by_name | 3022 posts | 7 years ago
0 likes
surly_by_name wrote:

Mungecrundle wrote:

It might be reasonable to suggest that, even if positioned by humans, a branch across the trail in the woods might be something that you should be aware of as a possibility and ride accordingly. Wires stretched at head height requires a whole extra level of premeditated intent to cause harm and whilst the branches can be considered more of a nuisance, wires must be treated as being a far more serious offence by the authorities.

This is perhaps the most stupid thing I've ever read on Road.cc.

I can only assume that you either consider tree branches falling in the woods to be an unforeseeable event, or that you consider stringing wires across bike paths at head height not to be a pre-meditated attempt to injure someone and not something that needs acting on by the authorities.

Or are you simply being obtuse?

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