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Cyclist injured by homemade nail trap, warns local riders of hidden danger on popular trail after suffering puncture wound

"I'm still somewhat in shock that someone actually welded this thing together and put it on a trail"...

A mountain biker in Scotland has raised the alarm about homemade nail traps deliberately hidden on a popular trail, after he was left with a puncture wound from a trap which also slashed both his tyres.

It is the latest report of cyclists seemingly being targeted with traps maliciously laid on off-road trails or paths, this website reporting on numerous similar incidents across the UK in recent years, sometimes involving wire strung across routes or homemade traps such as this one.

Tich Kent shared a photo of the nail trap online, warning riders that it had been "buried at the bottom of one of the steep chutes" on the Philipstoun Bing trails in West Lothian. While riding the trails last weekend, both his tyres were slashed and his "rear wheel flung it up with so much force it went through three layers of clothes" and caused a puncture wound.

> "Why would someone do this?": Police investigate as boy's neck cut after cycling into wire hung across path next to school

"I'm still somewhat in shock that someone actually welded this thing together and put it on a trail, [it] could have caused genuine serious injury," he said. "Such a shame, I like the short and steep trails up there for a quick blast but will be unlikely to go back now. Police have been notified but suspect there's little they can do other than note the incident."

Another local rider, Craig Spence, also found another similar nail trap hidden on the trail and said it "looks like the work of the same person". Mr Spence said in his case it was "lucky nobody got hurt, but a friend destroyed a tyre". "Someone is determined to hurt people," he said.

Nail trap (Craig Spence/Facebook)

Mr Kent agreed it looked "like the same culprit" and that it is concerning that they do not know "how many other devices are up there".

Commenting on Mr Spence's photo of the trap buried under gravel, he added: "That explains why I didn't see anything prior to hitting it at speed, suspect the one I hit was similarly dug in and hidden. First thing I knew was something hitting be from behind and instant pain from the nail going in, and feeling confused as to what just happened. Glad your friend is OK and I feel their pain regarding tyres. Might need to start carrying two spare inner tubes instead of just one..."

Nail trap (Craig Spence/Facebook)

The traps have been reported to the police, speculation from some who live nearby suggesting they may, in fact, have been laid to target motocross riders which, Mr Kent said, are "an ongoing annoyance up there for the locals".

Nail trap (Craig Spence/Facebook)

There has been a concerning increase in such incidents in recent years, numerous cases across England, Scotland and Wales being reported since the Covid pandemic.

In December 2021, a cyclist in Wales was left needing 17 stitches in his neck after he rode into a barbed wire trap on a trail in the Rhondda Valley. 

Neck Injury via toe_cutter_71 on Instagram

 Earlier in the same year police in Northumbria investigated a horrific "medieval" trap using sharpened stakes that was placed on a mountain biking trail near Newcastle.

More recently, a cyclist in North Wales was seriously injured, suffering a concussion, a broken collarbone and three fractured ribs, after being brought down by a wire trap stretched across a bike path.

In September, a Berkshire cyclist shared photos of trail "sabotage" on a popular bridleway in the county, a rope and bramble trap laid on the route.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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12 comments

Avatar
Bike Shasta | 4 months ago
1 like

hard to fathom who the perpetrator is targeting since could take out any trail user from a walker to a runner or cyclist to someones dog.  There is a special place for people who do this.  

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Teapot-Dave | 4 months ago
2 likes

The police won't do anything except give you a crime number. They are far too busy arresting people for using hurty-words online, or for using the wrong gender pronouns.

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Benthic replied to Teapot-Dave | 4 months ago
0 likes

Teapot-Dave would say that, wouldn't she?

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sheridan | 4 months ago
3 likes

The legacy of Matthew Parris lives on.

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don simon fbpe | 4 months ago
5 likes

Cowardly twats!

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nordog | 4 months ago
2 likes

I found glass as I checked the local trails in the past and barbed wire placed between trees, and a young male rider was hit by fishing line across Route 4 near Bristol about ten years ago, he was handing out A5 prints warning other riders.

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hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
14 likes

These kinds of anti-personnel devices need to be investigated with the full resources of the anti-terrorist police

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Clem Fandango replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
12 likes

Just tell them it was climate protestors, watch them swing into action

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john_smith replied to hawkinspeter | 4 months ago
1 like

My immediate though was: Could Russia be behind this? Is it merely the work of a nutter with a grudge against people who ride bikes, or is at another part of Putin's pathetic multifrontal hybrid attempts to divide and destabilise societies in "the west"?

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chrisonabike replied to john_smith | 4 months ago
4 likes

You could be on to something there.  Although I think he'd favour horse lanes as well as tank lanes - so probably wouldn't favour the use of such caltrops.

Unless you think this is a false-nag operation to paint the UK as anti-horsist and merely running-hounds of the American imperialists?

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dubwise | 4 months ago
4 likes

Police Scotland will do nothing no doubt.

As they will no longer investigate all crimes, this one will be ignored as they are institutionally anti-cyclist.

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aitorbk replied to dubwise | 4 months ago
0 likes

They didn't investigate all crimes long before they recognised they weren't doing it. I have footage of gang crime, not interested either..

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