Stan’s ain’t gonna seal that puncture.
The San Dieguito River Park in North San Diego is one of the most heavily trafficked multi-use trails in the county. On weekends, hundreds of people hike, bike and ride horses along different sections of the nearly 20+ mile long trail. Since user traffic has increased three-fold over the past five years, I make it a point to not ride those trails on a weekend. It’s simply too busy, and I hate being interrupted every five minutes by a gaggle of hikers. But one Saturday I ended up riding with a few guys I know, and what I saw gave me a clue into why someone would set up a spike strip or a barbed trip-wire.
How would you like it if you and your wife were casually strolling through nature with your two dogs when suddenly you hear someone yell “coming through”, and before you can even figure out where the yelling is coming from, a mountain biker rips past you at 20 mph, almost running over your Border Collie in the process. Naturally you’d be pissed. Some might even be pissed enough to want to inflict pain via crude spike strips.
Since I was the third person in line passing the couple with their dogs, they gave me stink eye something fierce. They were clearly startled, scared and pissed off all at the same time. I cruised by very casually and apologized for the actions of my riding partners. I was embarrassed, and when I rolled back up to my buddies, I told them they need to slow down. One of the guys just looked at me and said, “I yelled that we were coming through. The stupid guy wouldn’t move out of the way! Besides, do you really have to take up the entire fire road?”
Perfect sticks for making shish-ka-bikers.
It’s this type of behavior that creates user conflict, and if you piss off the wrong person at the wrong time, it can lead to a situation that involves sharp, blunt force objects designed to maim. I’m not saying that it’s our fault we’re seeing these booby traps on trails, but it’s very likely that the desperate measures of these mentally sick people have come about as a result of an altercation with a mountain biker.
So the next time you’re about to go slay a Strava segment or get rad with your buddies, use some good judgment. If it’s a Saturday, don’t ride the heavily trafficked trails. If it’s an illegal trail open only to hikers, stay off it. And if you do encounter other trail users, slow down, give them plenty of forewarning and say please and thank you. And for all you Ashland, Oregon, residents, if you see Jackson Dempsey walking around town, stick him in the gut with a rusty shank for me, will ya?