Dean Wilkes

Traps set on Maple Ridge biking trails

Dean Wilkes found five obstacles placed on Bear Ridge Trail – a path that runs between 248th and 256th streets.

Someone is deliberately dragging deadfalls and fallen logs across a trail in Maple Ridge, in a way that could be dangerous to mountain bikers, says a local cycling enthusiast.

So-called “trail traps” have also plagued North Vancouver in the past month, and now are being found in Maple Ridge.

A week ago, Dean Wilkes found five obstacles placed on Bear Ridge Trail – a path that runs between 248th and 256th streets, just north of 102nd Avenue.

“I go mountain biking with my kids on these trails. There’s big potential for someone to get hurt,” he said.

At first, he wondered whether it was intentional. The giveaway was a section where five logs were placed on the path, creating an obstacle that only a person on foot could traverse.

Wilkes said he was the person who originally cut the five logs, after he bucked a fallen tree.

He cut it into five sections, which were still so heavy that only a fit man could move them, and pushed them to the side.

Other sections had single, slim logs dragged across them.

“Somebody had purposely put trees or logs across the trail,” he said. “I’ve been building trails for over a decade. There’s no doubt in my mind they were placed there.”

He said at least one of the obstacles was set up as a potentially deadly trap, in a section where a person on a bike could not see the log and stop in time to avoid a collision.

Wilkes said, fortunately, he came upon it while biking uphill.

“If I was going down the hill, I would have run right into it.”

Seeing it made him angry – an adult might have the reflexes to stop in time, but children have slower reactions, or may panic and “freeze” when they see an obstacle.

“I just stopped and shook my head, that someone has done something so stupid here,” said Wilkes.

“They’re putting other people’s lives at risk doing this – purposely doing it.”

He removed all of the traps, and reported the matter to the police and parks and leisure services.

Then on Tuesday, he found two more obstacles, but on different trails in the system.

Wilkes says trail-use conflict has been an issue in other areas, but not Maple Ridge before.

“Hikers sometimes don’t like bikers – it’s just trail-use conflict,” he said. “But people are respectful. We tend to try to play together as best we can.”

But that hasn’t been the case in other communities.

A 64-year-old North Vancouver woman faces charges of mischief and setting traps with intent to injure after the latter were found on Mount Fromme, frequented by mountain bikers. Members of the mountain bike community installed hidden cameras on trees and caught footage of her.

Geoff Mallory, city manager of parks and open spaces in Maple Ridge, said no such conflicts have been seen prior to Wilkes’ complaints.

There are step-over obstacles placed at trail heads to keep motorcycles and ATVs off the trails. They are banned, but at Bear Ridge Trail hikers, bikers and horse riders all use the path.

“We haven’t had any reported conflicts whatsoever,” said Mallory.

He said the city has a network of 200 kilometres of trails, and they are “very well used.”

Two city staff members maintain the trails full-time.

As word of the traps spread throughout the cycling community, people are hopeful that Sunday was an isolated incident.

“I’m hoping it doesn’t escalate – let’s nip this in the bud right now,” said Wilkes. “When you put people’s lives in danger, things could go really wrong.”

 

Just Posted

Maple Ridge businesses, residents looking for relief from tent city

Both have been challenged by being near homeless camp.

UPDATE: Province putting temporary modular housing on Burnett Street

Expected to take five months, will work with city on solution to homeless camp.

Paramedics say ambulances sitting idle

Shortages in Maple Ridge, Metro Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded after swearing at student during 2017 altercation

Gregory Norman Brock was issued letter of discipline, suspended three days without pay.

RMMBA holds first training session of season in Maple Ridge

Players wore green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read