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Cyclist urges caution after he says he hit barbed wire strung across Toronto bike trail

Mountain biker injured by suspected trail trap in Don Valley
WATCH ABOVE: An avid mountain biker is warning others about a frightening experience along a popular Toronto trail. As Caryn Lieberman reports, he said he believes a trap was deliberately set to send a message.

A Toronto cyclist is encouraging people in the Don Valley area to use caution after he says he was hit with a piece of barbed wire strung over a bike trail.

John Lobraico told Global News on Tuesday he was checking out a section of trail on his bike near the Pottery Road trailhead on Monday in advance of a demonstration day he is involved with when he said he came across what at first appeared to be a branch that was knocked down.

“As I got up closer, it kind of brushed up on me and bit into my arms and as I kind of looked down, there was a piece of barbed wire wrapped into a tree branch,” Lobraico said, adding the wire was at elbow and chest height.

“I actually had to pick parts of it out of my skin on the one side.”

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Lobraico said he has been riding trails in the Toronto area for more than 10 years. He praised the quality of Toronto’s trails and said this is the first time he has encountered anything like this. Lobraico encouraged trail users to be cautious.

“This was something that was sort of wedged in a tree on one side and tied to a branch on another,” Lobraico said.

“This for me kind of goes beyond someone trying to mess with you. This is someone trying to hurt someone else, unfortunately.”

WATCH: Cyclist describes being hit by barbed wire while riding on Toronto bike trail

Cyclist describes being hit by barbed wire while riding on Toronto bike trail
Cyclist describes being hit by barbed wire while riding on Toronto bike trail

READ MORE: Toronto police launch cycling safety, bike lane enforcement initiatives

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The City of Toronto said in a statement that staff are aware of the incident and that Toronto police have been notified.

A spokesperson said forestry staff attend trails on a regular basis. They said hazards should be reported to the city’s 311 office or police if it’s believed the activity might be criminal in nature.

Tom Juzyszyn is another cyclist who uses the trail and said he has encountered an act of sabotage in the past. He said he is upset after hearing about Monday’s incident.

“I got a flat tire a couple of times, yes over the span of 24 years, but not just any flat tire — a flat tire because of a spike,” he said.

READ MORE: Ontario doubles funding to improve cycling infrastructure, add more bike lanes

“It angers me because people are playing with other people’s health, and lives essentially.”

Meanwhile, for Lobraico, he said the cycling incident shook him.

“Cycling for sure is my sanctuary. It’s my time away from work, personal issues, whatever it is. It’s a time to go out and enjoy yourself,” Lobraico said.

“Definitely yesterday for the whole rest of my day, it made me second guess how fast I want to go … not that it’s about speed, but just in terms of my safety while riding this trail.”

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