Barb Wire Sabotage on West Bragg Creek, Calgary Trails

Jul 7, 2017 at 20:05
by Lee Lau  
On July 7, 2017, a rider was injured when riding into barbed wire strung at neck height on a trail in West Bragg Creek (the area is south of Calgary). The rider was injured. His bike was left at the scene as his friends evacuated him for medical attention and subsequently stolen. No precise trail location has yet been disclosed pending further investigation. Riders are advised to be cautious.

The rider's mountain bike was left at the accident scene and was stolen. A revisit of Pinkbike's coverage of the use of game-cams to collect evidence about trail sabotage occurring in North Vancouver would be appropriate at this time.


File photo of storm clouds over Three Sisters near Canmore

An update from the Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance follows

July 7, 2017 incident report. Note that GBCTA is the Greater Bragg Creek Trails Association

"Hi folks, we just got word from someone associated with the GBCTA:

Incident at West Bragg Creek

The GBCTA has received a report that several mountain bikers were injured on the west Bragg Creek trails after being clotheslined by wire strung across the trail between trees. Cochrane RCMP has not received an incident report, but encourages trail users to use caution on the trails. We are attempting to obtain further information as to the location and date where the incidents occurred. Anyone with information on these incidents, or further encounters are encouraged to contact Cochrane RCMP immediately, or call 911.

Note that the name of the trail the incident occurred on was not provided. If you do come across something like this, get some pics/video, note the precise location and try to make it safe so that nobody else gets hurt."

July 8, 2017—update. Note that WBC is West Bragg Creek.

"Update: WBC incident!

In light of this incident, the Province has asked us to do a few of things to make sure the trails are safe:

1. Tell everyone to be careful! Take it slow for now.
2. To report back to them on the the safety condition of trails. If you can confirm that a trail in the Bow Valley, Calgary, or Kananaskis regions is safe, please let us know in the comments below.
3. If you do see a hazard on the trails get GPS coordinates using your phone, take photos, and do your best to make it safe for other trail users. Report it to us at

Also, in the confusion of this senseless event, the victim had to leave his bike on the trail, and it is no longer there. If you have seen it please let us know, or consider contributing to get him a new one on his Go Fund Me page. That, and a description of the bike are in the link below.
Help us prove to the perpetrator of this crime that they have accomplished nothing!"

Other information from CTV news is here

The rider's account is here from CBC


  • + 20
 Why no rcmp file? Why did no other users on a really busy trail network see this? Why did only he leave his bike when his friend must have ridden his bike out? Why did he not take any pictures of the wire?
  • + 19
 Very fishy. I talked to people who rode Merlin that day before 8pm, and two of my good buddies came down Merlin at 9pm. They did not see anything suspicious, nor did they run into anyone walking, or anyone in distress. Nothing crazy was happening in the parking lot either.

A lot of things here do not add up, especially the $8k campaign for replacing a $800 bike,
  • + 1
 There is a RCMP file #. Am waiting for a call back from Cochrane RCMP for that
  • + 3
 @elesdee: you should get your buddies that were riding out there to give a statement to rcmp.
I have same thoughts as you.
  • + 4
 There seems to be a lot of strange circumstances revolving around this incident and it's aftermath...
  • + 10
 I am hearing stories that indicate the injury is real, the story is not. Please do not contribute to his go fund me page.
  • + 1
 @snafflehound: His injury could be a result of an encounter with a branch. Saw my friend get skewered through a shoulder once by a rogue branch.
  • + 2
 @elesdee: must want a new pivot
  • - 5
flag jayacheess (Jul 10, 2017 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 Dude, he wasn't f*cking lying. Look at the picture at the top of this story:

It nearly took his damn head off.
  • + 4
 @jayacheess: took his head off? Doesn't look like to big of an injury, I can garuntee if it was barb wire he would have a hundred stitches holding him together.
  • - 2
 @d-man: please report back after running in to wire strung across a trail.
  • + 3
 @jayacheess: I have witnessed first hand a friend who did just that on a snowmobile and believe me it was horrific compared to this guy's scratches.
  • + 1
 @d-man: The speed at which they hit wire can make a massive difference in the damage sustained. Given the bike that guy was riding, I'm betting he wasn't the most avid mountain biker and likely wasn't cooking it. I think my only question about this thing is how much he thinks his bike is worth; but then I've definitely seen guys who aren't really in tune with current mountain bike gear, and who bought an expensive bike back in the day, still thinking their bike is worth a ton of money.
  • + 3
 Really tho why leave just one bike behind? so the injured guy walked out while his buddy rode? or the injured guy rode while the other walked? seems really odd. also who stole his bike a hiker? or did some one take the time to walk two bikes down the mountain just to get a shitty specialized? lol
  • + 3
 @nismo325: I'm not going to pile on to conspiracy theory but when I read that they took the wire down...well, if you're able-bodied enough to do that can't you walk your bike? And why didn't you stash it further off the trail or whatever?

This is also not considering that if you feel you're that injured why wouldn't you call for emergency services? And I didn't actually see anything about Merlin until was an unknown trail to me up until now.

Definitely some apparent gaps in the story that need filling.
  • + 12
 Pinkbike Mabey take this post down. Too much not right with some of the surrounding info on the person(s) involved. Go find me could be a scam/ cash grab. Now I do hope of the incident is real I hope a speedy recovery.
  • + 10
 This story sounds fishy from the first time I heard late on July 6th and then read about on July 7th from CBC website. The reason why I feel sceptical about this are several things:

1) No trail was named or the trail ridden on was unknown by the rider that was injured. I think initially, it was reported that he didn't know what trail he and his buddy was riding. So, was he riding somewhere where he shouldn't be - like on private land or a closed off trail?

2) The West Bragg Creek parking are and the gravel road leading (from Texas gate to the lot) was closed from July 5 to July 7th to allow the big machinery and trucks to do construction for the parking lot. So, no one could access the trails such as Braggin Rights, Merlin Views, Telephone, Long Distance and other tributary trails on that north side. You can probably get to Merlin Views via Ranger Summit or through Boundary Ridge, but again, that north side of the trail would likely be blocked off due to closure and construction from July 5th - 7th.

3) The bike that is supposedly stolen, which is shown on CBC and CTV, shows a 2008 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro or Elite Pro (it's got XT crankset and a brain rear shock). Based on the blue book value of that bike when it's brand new, it's less than $5000USD, which at the time would have been par on the Canadian dollar value. The bike is not worth $8,000 today (probably worth less than $1000 before the bike is "stolen") - this is what is reported as the worth of the bike, which kind of made me wonder if this whole story is a scam.

4) Based on #3 and the now the report of him opening up a Go Fund Me page to raise money for his new bike.

If the RCMP finds the culprit, I will apologize to injured rider and I will donate to support him for a new bike and I hope to hell that the culprit gets at least the maximum penalty for attempted murder. But if this is fake news just to raise money, I sure's the heck want equal justice.
  • + 1
 Trails were still just couldn't drive in there. Just had to park outside the gate and ride in.
  • + 8
 Update. The trail is Merlin View. If you see any other trail issues post to the CMBA facebook or use Trailforks
  • + 10
 The number for Cochrane RCMP is (403) 851-8000. Punch 0 to get the non-emergency number. If you have information about this incident or its lack thereof (ANY information) please provide information to the RCMP.

I cannot publish hearsay or other third party incidents debunking or corroborating the incident without hearing from the actual person. So if you have that information please PM or contact me DIRECTLY. I can assure anonymity
  • + 2

Well - summarized articulation of questions from various parties familiar with the Bragg Creek area
  • + 2
 Looks like the guy is getting charged with fraud and mischief. There's a warrant out for him.
  • + 1
 @CSharp: yup.

I'll get the front page updated with this and put his name in the title so his name is SEOed
  • + 1
 Stelios talked to GlobalBC and is now claiming it's a "white lie"
  • + 6
 Wow. This is just horrible. No matter how much you disagree with a particular trail user, it's a whole other level to hurt another person with intent. Frown
  • + 3
 This is not the first instance of this around Calgary. Just a month or two ago some dirt bikers near mclean creek had a serious near miss, as he jumped off his bike before hitting the wire. These too were also barbed wire lines strung at neck height. Be safe out there folks. Some people literally have no regard for other peoples lives....
  • + 7
 Was a stump jumper worth $8000 back in 2008?
  • + 2
 its probably 'custom', with 'upgrades'
  • + 3
 This hasn't been shared yet here, but had a conversation with Stelios. Holes in his story get increasingly larger.
  • + 2
 I had a conversation with Stelios. His explanations were strange but he did mention that he was on medication. I did think about summarizing the conversation but decided against it pending first hand non-hearsay refutation of his account (which I never got). I do feel that the bike community (both on Facebook and on Pinkbike/Reddit) went a long way to presenting inconsistencies in his account. I hope Stelios recovers from his injuries and applaud the community for doing their part to present alternative explanations for Stelios's account.
  • + 2
 So... I actually have been clotheslined by barbed wire before. Not on a bike but on a 4 wheeler. (My own stupid fault, not a booby trap) I have to say that the marks that I had on my neck looked nothing like the ones in this guy's photo. He doesn't have any of the marks from the barbs.
  • + 4
 Perhaps we should put out some trail cams. A few assholes getting slapped with attempted murder charges ought to stop events like this from happening again.
  • + 2
 Not confirmed, but may have occurred on Merlin, which is a very popular trail. It's too hot to ride hard, so consider an easy loop on any of the trails in West bragg, station flats or moose and check for any issues. Look out for each other and be safe!
  • + 1
 Buddy himself said on CMBA FB page it was on Merlin.
  • + 3

the picture of the bike that was stolen is the picture from this old ad. could be the same bike, itd be hard to say. but it is def the same photo
  • + 2
 Good catch.

Even if we give buddy the benefit of the doubt, ccouet80 sold it for $1700 to him. Definitely not $8000.
  • + 3
 I rode Merlin the day before this scary! But, it's odd that no one else saw anything given that this trail gets ridden 100s of times per day.
  • + 1
 This is really crazy and terrible and I'd love for whoever did it to spend a few years in jail - it could have been much worse. But I mean.....let's not get crazy on that bike value:

"The next day, the bicycle had disappeared from the trail.

It's a black and gold carbon 2008 Stumpjumper FSR made by the high performance bike manufacturer, Specialized, worth $8,000. Southern Alberta RCMP have released a photo of the missing bike in hopes of finding it and the person who secured the barbed wire to the trees."
  • + 3
 The bike's worth gets upgraded every time. First when I looked at the picture, it looked like a 2008 Specialized Pitch, which would've been worth $2500 in 2008. Then, I see that 's a 2008 Specialized Stumpjumper and a closeup reveals it has XT crankset, so I look at the closest thing to this and it's a pretty close match to a Specialized Stumpjumper Pro with the brain rear shock, which is worth about $4500 brand new in 2008. Now, carbon is mentioned and I look at the value again and it's $5700 in 2008. But even if the bike is upgraded with top of the line components - like the drivetrain, the bike still won't be worth much more. It looks like the shocks are stock. So is the XT crankset and saddle. There no dropper post and likely no internally routed cabling for that year (also check the external cabling for the brake and derailleur cables in the picture). Most of the stuff on that bike would be close to top end already, so why would you want to upgrade even more?

A lot of things just don't add up. Also think about the trail itself and how wide the trail is and how high the banks are cut. No way a wire can be strung across and be low enough to snare anyone even if the guy stands on his bike.

I just hope this story is true and is not a hoax to raise money. Yes, this is a reminder that some of us bomb through fast sections of the trails in WBC, but we also need to be courteous to everyone that uses these trails.
  • + 1
 @CSharp: "I just hope this story is true and is not a hoax to raise money"

Really tho? You prefer the thought that some crazed lunatic is trying to injure or kill mountain bikers rather than some guy just trying to scam money? I hope that it is in fact a scam.... and it's seeming likely that it is.
  • + 1
 Off course I don't wish there to be a lunatic running loose in WBC trying to kill mountain bikers. I just don't believe that there is a lunatic out there trying to hurt anyone. I just worded it badly.

It's really too bad this whole incident spread like wildfire on a lot of news media and caused a frenzy. It's also ironic that in a day and age where mobile devices with photographic capability are so prevalent that two guys went biking late in the day without one cell phone on them and yet the injured guy can take a selfie and posts it on a GoFundMe page to raise $881 in 4 days! GoFigure!
  • + 3
 If my buds caught someone doing this we'd beat the ever living shit out of them. This kind of thing can kill people, its not a joke.
  • + 3
 10 year old stumpy worth 8k? Interesting.
  • + 1
 Blue book value is worth less than $5000 at 2008 when it's brand new. Current value is worth less than $1000. I checked the Blue Book Value of my 2011 Stumpy and it's pretty dead on even though the prices listed are in USD. The prices at 2007 through 2009 are on par with the Canadian dollar since both currency were pretty much on par with each other.
  • + 5
 this guy also made a go fund me for himself to get his dog back from the pound, he said the wind blew the door open and he ran away, meanwhile he is showing off on his facebook his audi tts, it seems really fishy especially hearing about how he owes money to someone
  • + 4
 @brycemtb: It looked like he started a go fund me for the residents of Fort Mac when the fires happened there a few years ago:
  • + 1
 @charmingbob: hahaha what the eff?
  • + 2
 @charmingbob: link is dead. Do you have a live link? Iirc there was a widespread request of people to donate through the Red Cross rather than through random gofundme
  • + 4
 the person has 2 go fund me pages going right now, one is to get his dog back, the other is for money for a new bike after it getting taken after a crash in which he had the dog in his backpack while he was funding to get the dog back...... ????
  • + 1
 I pray that I get the catch the person red handed...and they resist arrest.
  • + 0
 I hope they catch these scumbags and charge them with attempted murder !!! .
  • + 1
 Any pics or specs of the bike that was stolen?
  • + 1
 Check the cbc story for a pic; think it is a 2008 specialized Enduro with some fairly distinctive parts.
  • + 1
 Update: stump jumper not an enduro
  • + 1
 Sickening... some people are twisted.
  • - 3
 this is why i hike my trails before i ride them, not that it happens where i live but you never know if shit went sideways since the last time you rode there
  • + 2
 If you can hike your trails you need to ride steeper stuff
  • + 4
 Nobody does that
  • + 0
well you live in murica no one does much of anything down there
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