BIKE users say it is a miracle no-one was seriously injured or killed after a chain was tied across a popular riding path near Invermay at the weekend.
The chain was strung up between two trees about 2km into the 4km path which is frequented by both dirt and mountain bike riders near White Swan Reservoir.
It is believed the chain had initially been placed at head height, but had slipped to about 60cm off the ground when it was discovered by a passing rider.
The rider, who asked not to be named, said it took him more than an hour to remove it.
“It was in one of the fastest parts of the track, you could easily see bikes going through there at 80km/h,” he said.
“You could see it had initially been placed about head height because of the marks in the trees, but it had slipped down.
“If a rider was going through there, it would have easily taken their head off.”
It comes just days before the start of construction for 100km of new trails around Creswick which is set to make it one of the biggest mountain biking destinations in the country. Construction on the first stage of the project is due to begin in April with the first part of the trail at Hammon Park expected to be completed by June.
Ballarat and Sebastopol Cycling Club member Andrew Veal said the general feeling around the community was strongly in support of the new tracks.
Mr Veal said he used the tracks around the region at least three times a week, and up to 1000 riders could be on the various tracks around the Goldfields region each weekend.
“We have had issues over the years were people have deliberately placed logs on the tracks, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a chain being used,” Mr Veal said. “It’s pretty frightening that someone out there would do that.
If a rider was going through there, it would have easily taken their head off.The track user who found the chain
“There’s generally been positive feedback about the new paths because it is an opportunity for the forest to be valued rather than used for mischief, for want of a better word.
“The economic modelling is showing that this could potentially bring in 100,000 visitors each year to the area because we will have such great public transport options at each end.
Creswick police said they would not comment until a complaint was lodged. Anyone who saw people acting suspicious is urged to ring Creswick police on 5345 2220.