The Golden Cycling Club continues to assess the damage after several bridges and features on its Magic Dragon trail in the Mt. Shadows trail network were destroyed sometime on Thursday night or Friday morning (June 18-19).
Six structures were completely destroyed and left in pieces beside the trail.
The bridges connected the trail through rock gardens and acted as embellishments, bonus features that made the ride more fun for cyclists.
“We’re not really aware of what exactly happened and why, but we’re definitely looking into it, meeting with people from (the Ministry of) Forestry and trying to get to the bottom of it,” said Golden Cycling Club President Jeremy Harris.
The volunteer-built trails also included materials that were donated in order to allow for the construction of the bridges.
Harris said the Cycling Club will weigh its options with regards to vandalism incidents such as these, saying that they will even consider the possibility of trail cameras to deter potential vandals in the future.
“It’s an unfortunate thing to have to think about doing, but that might be one suggestion that we’d have to look into,” he said.
While the RCMP hadn’t been notified of the incident as of Monday (the detachment was closed when Harris tried to reach them on Saturday) the Club’s president said the police would be brought in if the Ministry of Forestry recommended that they do so following discussions this week.
It’s difficult to say how long it will be before the trails are repaired. Harris believes it will be a few weeks’ worth of rebuilding time and that it will come at an extensive cost of both materials and volunteer hours.
For now, cyclists will have to get off their bikes and walk through the damaged sections, and Harris didn’t rule out the possibility that the entire trail could be closed until it is repaired.
“We just want to let people know that we don’t know who did this, it could just be random acts of vandalism and we’re definitely not pointing the finger. We’re just going to get to the bottom of it, figure out what we can do, and try and rebuild it as soon as possible,” Harris said.