Man injured by fishing line while cycling on Confederation Trail

·2 min read
John te Raa, 81, of York, cycles along the Confederation Trail in Mount Stewart several times a week.  (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
John te Raa, 81, of York, cycles along the Confederation Trail in Mount Stewart several times a week. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

Every other day 81-year-old John te Raa of York, P.E.I., cycles about 55 kilometres along the Confederation Trail in Mount Stewart, finishing off with breakfast at a local cafe.

Wednesday, te Raa says had just passed through one of the metal gates along the trail when he felt something slowing him down.

"And I got a burning feeling on my hands, and looked down and I see this fish line running along my arm," te Raa said.

He got off his bike and gathered up the nearly-invisible fishing line — about 15 metres total — which he believes had been stretched between the two gates.

Te Raa said his injuries are minor — a few friction burns from the fishing line on his forearms.

"My concern was if it was deliberate," te Raa said. "I was kind of lucky it was just above the handlebars. If it was at face level or throat level, you can do really serious damage."

'Not a common occurence'

He contacted his daughter, who contacted P.E.I.'s Transportation Department to come remove the fishing line, since te Raa himself had been unable to.

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

In a statement emailed to CBC News, the department said its central trail supervisor did go out and examine the site. They found the line still wrapped around one gate pin, which is a pin driven into the ground and locked so people can't open the gate.

The line was about six inches from the trail surface, but the official "couldn't determine if it was placed there maliciously," the statement said.

"We have instructed our trail crews to go out and check other gates in their areas as well," it said. "This is not a common occurrence. We might see someone damage the trail or cause a safety issue once every three to four years."

John te Raa
John te Raa
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