I am currently sitting at work. The guy in the next cube saw the article. When he was a kid, a friend got decapitated by a piece of wire stretched across a trail (this occurred in Georgia in the late '70's). The victim was leading the pack, as usual per my cube neighbor. The others came up on him immediately after the fact. I remember reading about this years ago, never thought someone I actually would end up knowing was involved. He quit riding right then and there, pity. So watch out for nutzoid property owners (who generally just own the property next door) and the idiot eco-warriors who don't think 3 seconds into the future while trying to "preserve" it in their minds.
My God. I may know this person. Ask if the Kid grew up in Peachtree City. Sometime around '78-'80 the accident happened while he was riding a single trail path somewhere around Line Creek by the county line I think.
I'm a long-time environmental supporter. I believe we need to protect the wild areas for posterity, and I believe that strongly.
Actively sabotaging trails and/or other off-road venues is criminal ethically as well as legally. If people are using the area legally as intended then that's it. If they are breaking laws, then the proper legal authority should be contacted.
Sabotage like this has been common for a long time. Some of it has been justified by saying the people using the area are breaking laws or ordinances. That's not good enough.
Hopefully the courts will pass a sentence that will send a message, and hopefully that gets some news play to spread the word.
My niece's fiance was recently killed by a trap like this. Seems the neighboring (absentee) property owner didn't like the lad riding on a trail where he had permission to do so. Massive lawsuit and potential criminal action in the works.
The situation sucks all the way around. The perpetrator just wanted him to stop riding there, but had no idea of the consequences of his action. Of course, it never occured to him to actually talk to anybody. In any case, he's an absentee landowner, and I have no idea why he would object to someone riding on the access road adjacent to his property, which was owned by another.
Bobby's family is, of course devastated. My brother's family is really torn up as well.
This really happened last September.
I have seen this type of activity before, but I have always been lucky. I believe another rider was nearly killed in CA a few months back by a few people stretching a rope across a trail to deliberately injure a rider.
Plus two incidences of people stretching pallet shrink-wrap across a sidestreet between poles. One by kids who supposedly were just out "pranking", and one unsolved (with serious injuries to a motorcyclist and pillion).
I'm sure there are some motorcyclists who genuinely are intruding on someone's property, and doing all kinds of things that no reasonable person should have to accept, but I think living in the country ain't what it used to be.
I grew up in the Napa valley when it wasn't a famous wine growing area, but just the boondocks. I hiked over every foot, I think, of everything within a two or three mile radius of our house. There weren't that many kids out there in the sticks in those days, and people found it easy to keep track of who's kid was who. No vandalism or suspect fires were happening, and no one worried much about being sued.
Recently, the house that I grew up in was torn down, to make room for, I would guess, a million dollar home. Feeling nostalgic, I took my camera along with me on the VFR one time and stopped at the nearby hill, where I could hike up for a couple of minutes and get a view of my home, and the fields and hills and houses in the background. I'd done it hundreds of times before.
I hardly had my helmet off when a woman maybe a quarter of a mile away saw me when she went out to get her mail. She came down and asked what I wanted. I told her the story about my house, and what a vantage point could be had from up there. She said I might get hurt and told me to get lost.
Country Joe had a line in one of his songs 'she don't know nothin bout country ways' and it is not a compliment. Living in the country now is a darker, more paranoid kind of place than it was then. It's a damn shame.
My guess is that we will see more, rather than less, of this kind of thing in the future.