Bay Area mountain bike trails booby-trapped with spike strips

An investigation by local authorities into a spike strip found on a popular Bay Area biking and hiking trail has turned up no suspects and has local mountain bikers fearing for their safety.

Last week, two mountain bikers riding in the White’s Hill Open Space Preserve in Marin County found the homemade spike strip, which was described as a 27-inch long tube with 34 two-inch screws jutting out of it, anchored spikes-up on a biking trail.

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At the time of the discovery, biking advocates in Marin County decried the spike strip as an attack on mountain bikers in the area, part of an ongoing battle in the area between hikers and mountain bikers over how Marin’s trails are used.

Marin COunty spike strip boobytrap
The spike strip boobytrap. Photo: Courtesy of Marin County Sheriff’s Department

“I think people can have a reasonable difference of opinion as to the usage of trails, but once that crosses the line of what’s essentially an act of deadly force, it really just changes the game,” one local cyclist told the San Jose Mercury News when the strip was found. “It’s really getting scary out there.”

After a week of investigating into the alleged booby trap, authorities with the Marin County Sheriff’s Department have yet to disclose any suspects but say that they will be increasing patrols on the trails to look for any additional acts of vigilantism.

Despite the added police presence, mountain bikers in the area told the San Francisco Chronicle they still feel threatened by the gesture.

“I think that it’s fair to say that this has all the appearances of being targeted at people on bikes,” Jim Elias of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition told the newspaper Tuesday. “It was a gesture that I would describe as violent: It clearly was intended to frighten or intimidate people, and the consequences could have been very serious.”

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