NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. - A 64-year-old woman accused of sabotaging mountain bike trails on Vancouver's North Shore mountains is under investigation by the RCMP.
Mounties said the woman was caught numerous times by hidden cameras appearing to intentionally lay logs, branches and rocks on the Quarry and Lower Skull trails, popular biking routes that end at the top of residential subdivisions.
Cam McRae, the founder of the online magazine North Shore Mountain Biking, said Wednesday that he and other mountain bikers have noticed the hazards over the last few years.
McRae said the two mountain bikers who recorded the activity noticed a pattern and decided to take matters into their own hands.
"In this area, they are particularly dangerous because (the trails) are so steep that all your weight is on the front wheel," he explained about running into any hazards.
"If you encounter an obstacle that's unexpected in that situation, it's very likely that you're going to go over the handle bars."
McRae said he had been appointed to speak for the two cyclists who set up the wildlife cameras to capture the woman because they wanted to remain anonymous.
RCMP said the mountain bikers took it upon themselves to purchase, install and monitor security cameras in the hope of capturing images of who might be setting up the traps.
McRae said they presented what they had to the police.
"They established a pattern of behaviour and that allowed the police to be on the trail at the right time. I believe they caught this person in the act."
RCMP said they arrested the woman at the head of the Quarry Trail on Jan. 4.
Police said they are requesting criminal charges against the unnamed woman of setting a trap and mischief to property.
"These are serious charges, these are public trails and one should not interfere with the lawful enjoyment of the trails and set up traps or obstacles to potentially endanger the lives of people using them," said Cpl. Richard De Jong, a spokesman for the North Vancouver RCMP.
Police said it's fortunate no one was hurt or injured.
McRae said he could only guess at what was motivating the person.
"It may be that she has a personal dislike for mountain bikers," he added.
He said the North Shore mountain biking community has worked hard over the years to clean up any perceptions about its community.
"The North Shore Mountain Bike Association had done a really good job of working with the district, maintaining trails and discouraging illegal building and encouraging proper conduct."
Vancouver's North Shore Mountains — just a few kilometres from Vancouver centre — are iconic in the world of mountain biking and there's even a riding style know as "The Shore."
— By Terri Theodore in Vancouver