MORNING cyclists and runners have been the target of a malicious and dangerous trap around Lake Wendouree.
Crude spike strips crafted from wood and nails were laid out in the path of riders alongside Wendouree Parade, puncturing bicycle tyres and endangering the path users.
Ballarat Police confirmed it had confiscated the items from one of the most popular recreational areas in Ballarat.
Rider Matt Kirwan-Hamilton said he narrowly missed the spike strips but two of his friends who were also cyclists were not as lucky.
“Two of my friends got punctures. We rode past a couple of riders who were with police who also had punctured tyres,” he said.
“They are significant spikes and they were painted black. You have high-pressure tyres and, if you were to hit those spikes it could cause a blow-out. If the air expels rapidly, they explode.
“There are runners on the path as well, and the spikes could cause a nasty injury and potentially cause tetanus or all sorts of other problems.”
The spikes were laid out on the north side of the lake near the Haddon Street roundabout.
Another cyclist, David Marriott, said the spikes were almost invisible in the early hours of the morning.
He said it was fortunate nobody was hurt.
“This morning it was very foggy. We run some fairly powerful lights and we usually pick up any bumps,” Mr Marriott said.
“But whoever did this painted the spikes matt black so they wouldn’t reflect. We felt it as we ran over them and we immediately had flat tyres.
“I’ve raced and ridden in Ballarat for 15 to 20 years and have never seen anything like that. After getting over the shock of it happening, there was the anger of knowing someone would do that.
“An elderly cyclist had hit them and had fallen off. He had some abrasions and was the one who called the police.”
Sergeant Joanne Graham said the spikes were collected and the matter is under investigation.
“We have been contacted by people who are concerned, and we are concerned too,” Sgt Graham said. “We are interested in hearing from anyone with any information.”
Mr Kirwan-Hamilton said riders were outraged about the incident. “It incenses me someone can do that.”
Anybody with information can contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.