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Fishing wire strung across popular Newcastle cycling route

Couple warn fellow riders after discovering booby-trap at weekend

A woman from Newcastle-upon-Tyne has warned fellow cyclists to be vigilant after she and her husband spotted fishing wire strung across a popular cycle route at neck height.

Denise Hewitt was on a bike ride with her husband Alan at the weekend when they spotted the hazard at Walker on National Cycle Network (NCN) route 72, also known as Hadrian’s Cycleway.

They immediately alerted cyclists approaching from the opposite direction about the wire, which was strung between two posts across the route.

“The cycle path was busy as it always is on a Sunday,” Mrs Hewitt told Chronicle Live. “Something just caught my eye, and my husband was riding in front of me towards it.

“I just shouted at him to stop, there’s something in the path, and he warned cyclists coming the other way.”

They removed the obstacle and rode to The Cycle Hub on Newcastle’s Quayside to alert other riders.

The venue has asked anyone with information to pass it on to them so they can let police know.

“This was a deliberate act to hurt someone,” Mrs Hewitt said.

“The average cyclist goes between 8-12 mph - if you hit anything at that speed or faster it could have caused damage and knocked you off your bike.

“It was a transparent wire, we were lucky to have seen it. That really could have been nasty, that was intended to do serious harm.

“Now this wire is down, it does not cause a threat,” she added. “But I want others to know in case someone puts more up.”

Katja Leyendecker, chair of local cycling campaign NewCycling, said: “This seems to happen every now and then. I think it’s a small group of people who really hate cyclists for some reason, I don’t know why.

“They have taken action and endangered human lives, it’s just sick.

“Cyclists have literally been strangled by these wires before,” she added.

She added: “The outcome could have been tragic, it could have resulted in death.”

Simon joined 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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abedfo | 6 years ago
1 like

If I was benevolent dictator of this land I would find the perpetrators , string them up with their own fishing wire and encourage cyclists to pelt them with bidons.

Joking aside what a miserable cowardly act on what is a "cycling route" if you want to go walk your dog  and not see cyclists, stop being a lazy arse and go somewhere more appropriate your dog will appreciate it. 

Dunkeldog | 6 years ago

This should be treated as attempted murder - no less.

bstock | 6 years ago

Lots of dog walkers down there who seethe at people having the temerity to cycle on a shared use path. Lot of charvas too, always glass smashed somewhere across the path. Could be either group doing this, not necessarily young 'uns, plenty of (much) older people with the malice for it.

Metaphor | 6 years ago

Sounds like a terrorist act to me...

recurs | 6 years ago

Cowards be cowardly.

janusz0 | 6 years ago

Pathetic, certainly. I doubt that this was someone with a grudge against cyclists. I'd expect it to be a bored youth doing it "for a laugh", without bothering to think about the consequences. Let's all be thankful that it was actually an elastic nylon monofilament rather than a wire. You'd almost certainly crash if you hit it, but if it was piano wire, then you'd have a deep cut as well. (Piano wire is about 30 times stronger in tension than nylon.) Of course any crash could kill you, but a severed artery and a crash would make death more likely.
Would ignorant youths be any more aware if others were caught and publicly flogged? I doubt it. This kind of ignorance is intractable and I expect that most of us have done something equally stupid when we were young. I certainly have. Most people become more sensible. I believe that I have too.

kitsunegari replied to janusz0 | 6 years ago

janusz0 wrote:

This kind of ignorance is intractable and I expect that most of us have done something equally stupid when we were young. I certainly have. Most people become more sensible. I believe that I have too.

I did several stupid things as a kid, but I never ever did anything that could endanger another persons life.

How do you not have the ability to think that what you're doing could seriously hurt someone or even potentially kill someone else? Parenting presumably.

srchar | 6 years ago

C***s. Sad, pathetic, corwardly c***s.

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