As soon as the snow melts ATV riders, horseback riders and dirt bikers take to a series of trails near the Heffley Creek Eco-Depot. It’s an area for them to enjoy the outdoors and has been shared by users for many years.
But on April 22 Tyler Steiman and some friends took off on their dirt bikes for a day of riding. They headed down one of the trails, turned a corner and had to quickly hit the brakes to avoid a piece of wire strung across the trail. Steiman’s bike collided with the wire, placed about three feet off the ground, but he avoided any injury.
Similar incidents around Western Canada in the past have resulted in death or serious injury when bikers collide with wires that are nearly impossible to see.
“I’ve been riding there ten years and never came across something like that,” Steiman said. “It’s not a new dirt bike area, it’s established trails.”
After his close call he and his friends split up to search the area and found another wire strung across the top of a fence crossing. Neither was marked and he hadn’t seen them when riding in the area in the past.
In a separate incident near Whitecroft, resident Lindsey McLean was walking with her family when they came across large boulders in the middle of two popular bike and hike trails — one on a trail that has a jump and another nearby.
She said she believes that they had to be deliberately placed there. Posts on social media also detailed smooth wire strung across another nearby bike trail.
McLean said she was surprised someone would attempt to injure another in this way.
“A lot of my friends use the local trail,” she said. “I can’t believe people would think of doing that.”
Sgt. Doug Aird from the Kamloops Rural RCMP said the incidents were odd and not something he has seen often.
In a statement released April 28, Aird said an investigation has been launched and called the incident very dangerous, especially with the number of people using the area.
“Incidents such as this could cause serious injury to an off-road operator.”
Aird encouraged anyone with information to make a report to the RCMP or contact Crime Stoppers at 250-828-3000.
“With the amount of publicity I hope it brings light,” Steiman said, still shaken after his near miss. “I hope whoever is sabotaging the trail knows they are being watched carefully.”