Accused trail saboteurs had been ‘trying to destroy’ mountain bikers’ structures

SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- Tension between mountain bikers and Upper Lynn Valley homeowners Tineke and Ronald Kraal dates back at least a decade, the website has revealed.

In a posting Wednesday, editor Cam McRae writes that Tineke’s husband Ronald Kraal said he was at “war with mountain bikers” in North Vancouver in correspondence that dates back to 2005.

Tenike, 64, was formally charged Tuesday with three criminal offences. She was arrested on Jan 4 at 5 a.m. at the entrance to the Quarry Court trail and is to appear in North Vancouver provincial court on Feb 4.

RCMP allege the Lower Skull and Quarry Court trails were booby-trapped to intentionally injure mountain bikers.

RCMP had launched an investigation into incidents where logs and rocks were put in dangerous locations on the two trails in the lower Mt. Fromme area.

Tineke’s husband told the Province on Tuesday that his wife was only trying to slow mountain bikers down by putting down some brush.

“They’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” Ronald Kraal said of the charges.

Tineke Kraal has been charged with setting or placing a trap with intent, mischief to obstruct the enjoyment of property and a count of mischief in endangering a life.

McRae, in an interview with the Province on Thursday said the biker-hiker issue is being followed closely by the international mountain biking community. The headline on his story was “The Saboteur’s Husband.”

“It is an issue in many other places,” McRae said of the problems that arise with multi-use trails.

In the case of the trail tampering on the lower Fromme trails, McRae said he crashed recently on a booby-trapped trail in that location and feels fortunate not to have been hurt.

In his posting McRae notes: “Today however, I find my sympathy strained. A document has come to my attention, written by Mr. Kraal, where he betrays an attitude that is at odds with the one he presented in the newspaper.

“The document, from 2005, confirms that this behaviour has been going on for years (as many riders know) and that these actions were specifically targeted at mountain bikers.

“His contention that, ‘They’re making a mountain out of a molehill,’ has no credibility in light of this new information.”

In the email, dated Thursday January 27, 2005, and written to the District of North Vancouver Mayor and Council, Krall discusses the problem. “I have been a resident of (address removed) for over 14 years and have been at war with mountain bikers ever since some council members didn’t have the foresight to realize that initiating a parking ban on Coleman and McNair would only move them to Dempsey, which everyone here predicted but no one on council figured that one out.”

McRae does point out parking in the Mt. Fromme area has been a sticky issue for years.

“Parking has been an issue for residents near the trails on Fromme for some time, and the parking ban was a solution that wasn’t supported by mountain bikers … as a community we are working to encourage riders to be sensitive and aware of residents, and again I’m sure we can do better.

“Despite Mr. Kraal admitting to being ‘at war’ with mountain bikers, that isn’t the most disturbing part of the letter. He goes on to say ‘every morning we walk on the once beautiful trails and try to destroy the structures raised by people who have a total disregard and disrespect for nature.”

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