by Andru McCracken

The manager of VARDA, a key player in the Valemount Bike Park, is fuming mad with trail poachers. Bike riders have been riding trails that are still soft and moist and recently repaired. The poachers caused considerable and costly damage to trails, which Valemount Area and Recreation Development Association Manager Pawliuk detailed in a series of photos.

Riders went down the Stumptown trail despite it being marked as closed, causing damage to the trail / COURTESY CURTIS

Pawliuk, whose other job is managing snowmobile areas, is furious.

“Coming from the motorized world and seeing the abuse that community gets and then seeing this, really makes you wonder,” writes Pawliuk.

Pawliuk said the trails were clearly marked with closure ribbons across the breadth of trail.

The riders hit the trails after the maintenance crew worked on them but before they had a chance to harden up.

The result is deep ruts that pose a hazard for others, ruts that will take a significant amount of work to fix and if unfixed will lead to the rapid deterioration of those sections of trail.

The post received a ton of support, many called for a public shaming.

Brad Peavoy, a bike park supporter from Fox Creek, Alberta had harsh words.

“Ugh”¦#$$#%#$# people…..Stumptown is my favourite trail! #respecttrails.”

Bike park supporter, rider and former resident Justin Hooke called for a public stoning.

Pawliuk received sympathy from a trail maintainer named Andrew Turnock.

“[I am] struggling with the same thing in Clearwater. Had a big session to put in more drainage. Less than a day later – through ‘closed trail’ signs, ribbon and logs across the trail – people still rode through it.”

Pawliuk asked that riders behave before he takes the situation to the next level.

“Please don’t make us start posting the trail cam pics”¦,” he pleaded.

With the potential for a shaming, stoning and all manner of medieval torture threatened, it might make the difference.