Whenever we post something about trail sabotage, we always get comments along the lines of: “is it me or is this getting more common?”
Here at Dirt, we were wondering the same. Are we just more aware of it because of social media, or is the backlash against mountain bikers growing? Well, a Cycling UK survey may have some answers.
11,482 people responded to the survey and 30 per cent of us have experienced some form of trail sabotage in the past two years. With 4 per cent describing it as “serious” (i.e more than a few logs strewn across the trail).
That’s crazy! It means that nearly one in three mountain bikers have faced serious injury from a trail being blocked or modified. It makes it really scary when you go out on a ride to think that around the next corner could be a potential death trap. Is it getting to the point where we have to walk every trail before setting off down it?
The survey also looked into the kinds of trails mountain bikers use. It revealed that 40 per cent of us ride undesignated trails with a further 36 per cent of us riding trails whose status we didn’t know more than once a week.
We’re just going to put this out there, maybe if we didn’t have to put up with woefully inadequate rights of way networks then this sort of conflict wouldn’t take place.
Stace King of OpenMTB said: “I know there have been a few high-profile incidents of trail sabotage recently, but personally I was surprised that only 30 percent of riders had experienced minor trail sabotage. I thought everyone had a local stick man or log lady.
“The fact that only four percent of riders have seen serious trail sabotage was quite encouraging, we thought.
“We’re pleased that the survey seems to indicate that there isn’t a huge amount of friction between mountain bikers and others.”
Stay safe out there and if you do spot any sabotage spread the word to your local community and inform the relevant authorities.
If you want a full breakdown of the results then read the Cyclink UK blog here.