A BALLOCH mountain biker has told of his anger after crashing into logs and branches intentionally placed across a local bike trail.

Cyclist Gary Ellis came across the traps after turning a blind corner on a trail in the Stoneymollan Woods above the town.

Gary said the logs and branches were left in eight piles along the length of the trail at blind corners and dips, leaving little time for cyclists to react after spotting the obstacles in their way.

The popular trail is used by adults and children alike.

Gary told the Reporter: “I felt shocked and angry. This was something I had seen from other places in the world and never thought it would happen on my local trails as Scotland is very open for all outdoor activities.

“Everyone I have encountered has always been friendly.

“Young children also use those trails pretty regularly, and so do solo riders.

“I understand the risks involved with mountain biking, and the fact I could get hurt on a trail, but you accept that as part of the sport.

“In most cases we can fall in a way to lessen any injuries but when someone has intentionally set traps to catch riders out you don’t have time to react.

“After seeing how it has escalated in other areas, from logs and branches to barbed wire trip lines across trails, it’s made me extremely worried.”

Gary is now calling for more freedom for mountain bikers to maintain the trails by themselves, a situation that has recently been allowed in the hills near Helensburgh after a group of mountain bikers in the town struck a deal with local landowners to create and tend to the trails in the area.

He continued: “I also know that pretty much all people that enjoy mountain biking would also be very happy to build and maintain trails if they had the permission to do so.

“It would be something the area would benefit greatly from.”

A Cycling Scotland spokesperson added: “It’s really disappointing to hear that branches and bits of wood have deliberately been placed at blind turns on mountain bike trails.

“It’s dangerous and could cause serious injury to people cycling.

“It’s important for everyone’s physical and mental health to get outside cycling and walking - and even more so during the pandemic.

"We’d encourage everyone to be safe, smart and kind.”