The inquest into the death of Gary Meadows has recorded a verdict of accidental death, but he may have been killed by a deliberate trap.
Gary was riding in the “Canyon” area of Delamere forest, Cheshire with his two teenage sons when the ‘accident’ occurred. One of his sons was riding in front, when Gary’s front wheel dropped through a covering of sticks and leaves into a hidden hole. He was thrown over the bars. Landing awkwardly, he broke his neck. Riders on the scene tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.
The area has been a source of conflict over digging of jumps, as well as assorted vandalism, and that other traditional English pastime; the of torching stolen cars. However a Forresty Commission steering group set up to consult with riders had agreed on specific riding areas.
Although the pit digging and camouflaging is highly suspicious, the coroner said it was not possible to say for certain that the hole was intended as a booby trap.
Our sympathies and condolences go out to Mr Meadow’s family and friends, and we urge other riders to use this as a warning. Not everyone thinks mountain biking is harmless fun, and a few lunatics might, it seems, be prepared to risk killing people by stringing up wires or digging concealed pits to try and stop us. Areas prone to vandalism are also hot spots for mindless traps like these, so watch out.