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Ashland Mountain Bike Trails Sabotaged

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By Steven Sandberg

ASHLAND, Ore. — Mountain bikers say someone has been sabotaging trails in Ashland and threatening the safety of riders.

Imaging coming down a hill in Ashland on a mountain bike, turning a blind corner, and seeing a rope stretching chest high across the trail. Mountain bikers have seen that, and other obstacles recently and now they want it to stop.

Over the past few months, mountain bike riders have found large logs placed along the way, and even ropes that were tied across about chest height. And both of them have proven to be dangerous for people going downhill. That’s what happened to Bill Roussel of Ashland mountain adventures. Sunday, he ran into a log on the trail, literally.

“I hit it with my front tire and went over the handlebars, breaking a few of the old branches that were still attached to that tree, and crashing on to the ground,” Roussel describes. “[I had a] slight sprain on [one] wrist and scratched up my knee a bit.”

He says the amount of obstacles he’s found in such a small area is no coincidence, and the ropes show a clear intention. Some riders going around bends and blind corners have hit the logs and ropes; others veered off and ran into trees. No one was hurt seriously, but they say the chances of injury are high.

Several mountain bike organizations are concerned someone is trying to hurt them, so they are trying to keep a good relationship with people who share the mountain. They don’t want something like a disagreement on the hill turn into serious injury.

We have had reports that there has been arrest made in this case. NewsWatch12 contacted representatives from the Forest Service Ranger District, who did not immediately return our calls.