Calls for calm as trail trap injures bike rider

Daryna ZadvirnaAlbany Advertiser
Albany MBC president Nick Walls.
Camera IconAlbany MBC president Nick Walls. Credit: Shannon Smith

Police are investigating a new case of booby-trapping at an Albany bush trail, after a 17-year-old mountain biker was injured riding into a trap.

The incident happened about 7.30am last Wednesday, when the boy was riding his bike on the Stonemasons track on Mt Melville — a dual-use mountain bike and walking trail managed by the City of Albany.

The victim rode into a pile of big rocks and a boulder as he was turning a corner, causing him to fall from his bike and sustain a cut and bruising to his leg.

It is understood someone had placed the rocks on the path to obstruct it.

Two similar incidents were reported in late 2017, when two men were injured after riding into traps on Mt Clarence.

Albany Mountain Bike Club president Nick Walls said he was disappointed the acts of sabotage kept happening.

“It’s been happening for a while now, there seems to be some animosity towards mountain bikers using these trails,” he said.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of people that don’t believe that we should be on their hill — it’s a ‘not-in-my-backyard’ syndrome.

“But setting traps is certainly not the way to go about it.”

Mr Walls said the recent escalation was likely because more people were using the trails.

“The current supply of trails does not meet the demand of the users, plus the trails that already exist don’t cater for the use that’s evolving,” he said.

“We’re in the process of trying to push through the development of trails so users are separated and mountain bikers can ride on their own trails, but there seems to be some backlash against that, too.

“It’s a Catch-22 because people don’t want us to ride on the walking trails but they also don’t necessarily want to support the development of new mountain bike trails.”

City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said it was “extremely frustrating and worrying” that people in the community would try to harm riders. Mr Wellington said he was glad the victim was not seriously injured.

“It’s a criminal act and we’ll support the police investigation in any way we can,” he said.

“We’re taking measures to try and catch those placing rocks or other obstacles on trails and we ask the community to assist by keeping their eyes and ears open and reporting anything that could help identify them.

“Our trails are a community asset for all to enjoy, so please share and use them with respect for the environment and other users, and take care when walking or riding.”

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