Some mountain bikers don't like the changes at Sope Creek Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, so they are damaging or destroying signs and posts.
A total of 50 signs that read "no bikes" were installed last month as trail improvements for bikers and hikers were under way. Nearly a week after the installations, vandals ripped seven of those signs out of the ground and destroyed safety posts installed to keep bikers off certain trails.
"They are just hurting themselves," David Thomas, a park ranger, said. "They own the park, it's like going into your own yard and tearing something up for no reason. You own this park, you have every right to be here, just like everyone else."
Thomas said 25 volunteers worked countless hours to paint the signs, build them and dig holes to put them into the ground. They were installed last month, and a week later Thomas said seven were dug up.
They are in the ground 2 1/2 feet," Thomas said. "Somebody seems to have a lot of time on their hands to dig these up."
Two grants were given to the park for beautification and trail improvement projects. The irony of the vandalism, Thomas said, is that the grants are actually adding more than four more miles of trails for bikers.
"We are not just closing stuff because we want to close it," Thomas said. "We are closing trails because there is a reason why we are closing them, and now the park is right where it should be. If people would leave it the way it is, there are miles of area people can use and enjoy."
Thomas said they plan to start a VIP bike club made up of volunteers to keep an extra eye on the park.
For more information on Sope Creek Park, you can log on to their website.
This section of the park gets more than 1 million visitors a year.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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