Cyclists in South Yorkshire and the Peak District are being targeted by people setting a variety of booby traps on trails including branches placed at head height and rocks being placed on a path to create an obstacle, as well as tacks scattered across a road.
The news coincides with the editor of a Sheffield lifestyle magazine defending aa column in which he joked about using razor wire to decapitate pavement cyclists.
The Sheffield Star reports that images have been posted on online forums showing a number of attempts at sabotaging cycle routes in Sheffield, Doncaster and the Peak District.
A number of pictures have also been circulating on internet forums showing how riders have been forced to pick up dozens of pins from roads in the Peaks. In addition, there has been reports of similar sabotage incidents in west Sheffield, Doncaster and along the Trans Pennine Trail.
Chris Maloney, who runs the Keeper of the Peak blog, said of the perpetrators: “These are just idiots with a vendetta. The traps are designed to stop people cycling and enjoying the outdoors.
“If someone sees these obstacles late and comes off their bike then this could cause very serious injuries or even put people's lives at risk. It needs to stop.”
Cycle Sheffield’s Dexter Johnstone added: "The people doing it are complete idiots. It is incredibly dangerous and there have been stories in the national media about people being seriously injured as a result.
“It is illegal and the people doing so should be arrested and prosecuted."
South Yorkshire Police commented: “Our officers are aware of reports of alleged trail sabotaging and take all reports of this nature very seriously.
“Trail sabotaging has the potential to cause serious injury, and we would encourage anyone who comes across evidence of this, or any suggestion of this taking place, to report it to the police via 101.”
As we reported last week, Ian MacGill, the editor of Sheffield lifestyle magazine Grapevine was unrepentant over an editorial in which razor wire was suggested as a way of dealing with pavement cyclists.
Keeper of the Peak’s Maloney had told the Sheffield Star: “This kind of comment – joking or otherwise – legitimises the anti-cyclist hatred and rhetoric that groups like Ride Sheffield, Peak District MTB and me – as well as others such as CycleSheffield have worked hard – successfully I might add – to combat.
“And more than that, as well as legitimising the bile, Macgill has gone one step further and suggested ways in which an easily led idiot could cause serious bodily harm.”
In response, Macgill told the newspaper: “Here’s what to do – reproduce my July editor’s article and ask for your readers’ comments regarding cyclists using Sheffield pavements as racetracks.
“Then send out a snapper to see how many of these idiots can be photographed in a couple of hours.
"Name and shame them, especially those with a camera on the helmet. In (the) olden days, cyclists dismounted when passing through pedestrian areas.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.