On Wednesday, he was left with a deep scrape – similar to a rope burn – on his neck and the sense that some malicious forces were at work.
Kidd, 26, has been mountain biking for a decade, and cruises along the trails southeast of Durrance Lake about once a week, he said. He’s heard about dangerous obstacles placed on the path to deter mountain bikers and others, but not like this.
The rope was wrapped around a branch at neck height on one side and weighted with a rock on the other side of the trail, he said.
Relieved he was not more seriously injured, Kidd and a friend removed the wire and threw it off into the woods. He later brought Saanich Police to the area to investigate.
The trail is unmarked, but well-used. And while his injuries are not serious, Kidd wants others to be warned.
“There’s always been a lot of contention about those trails. Hikers, horseback riders, motorcyclists and off-roaders – everybody uses the same trails. Usually people get along. There’s a bit of animosity, and we’ve had people create obstructions before,” such as placing logs on the path, he said Thursday.
“Never anything quite this sinister. I got really lucky.”
“I think a lot of people think ‘These are my trails,’ and this is a quick and easy way to keep people off them. They don’t think about the consequences if someone gets caught (by the wire).”
Saanich Police say the incident is “concerning.”
The wire was possibly set up on purpose as a joke or “to deter others from continuing on the path,” said Sgt. Steve Eassie.
But they don’t believe there was malicious intent behind it, saying it could have been there for as long as 40 years because of its thick gauge and possible use at one time in forestry or communications.
“The wires in question would have been hanging from a nearby tree for many years. It is not known how it would have come to be across the pathway, although it is possible that it was done accidentally given its location and the length of the wire,” Eassie said.
But Kidd isn’t so sure.
“There’s really no way for the wire to move itself across the trail in such a way,” he said.
“It had obviously been introduced to that area very recently, and it was certainly wrapped around the tree very securely at neck height. There’s no way it could have fallen into position.”