Illawarra mountain bike riders have reacted with alarm to the discovery of a length of wire, hung at neck height, at a downhill escarpment track.
A passer-by found the wire on Robertsons Track on Mount Keira earlier this week.
It was reported to authorities and has since been removed.
Illawarra Mountain Bike Alliance member David Wood believes the wire could have been a booby trap meant to deter riders from the track.
“The mountain bike community is just shocked by this,” he said.
“I’m concerned if it was aimed at mountain bikers, especially people coming down that track at speed.
“The wire was quite thick, so it was definitely going to do some damage.
“Maybe a walker has come across a mountain biker on the track and not liked that.
“If somebody’s not happy there’s a way to go about solving issues and this type of extremism isn’t one of them.”
Deliberately hung wire has been responsible for some gruesome injuries among cyclists and motorbike riders.
In October, 2013 motorcyclist Greg Burkett required 23 stitches to close a gaping neck wound caused by a length of telephone wire strung up on a semi-rural road at Narara on the Central Coast
Mitchell Stockdale, 16, struck wire while riding a motorbike near his Aberdare home, near Cessnock, in January 2013. The teen was thrown to the ground and credited his helmet with saving his life.
The discovery at Mount Keira comes as the Alliance presses ahead with a campaign to have mountain bike tracks in the escarpment legalised.
Negotiations with Wollongong City Council and National Parks and Wildlife Service are ongoing.
“There are tracks that are multi-use, but ideally oyou would have tracks just for mountain bikers,” Mr Wood said.
“The [wire discovery] highlights the need for legalised tracks so we don’t have issues like that.”
Area riders have taken to social media to condemn the apparent act of malice.
The matter has been reported to police and parks authorities.
Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.