Many in San Francisco love to rant and rave about the city's cycling community. Either the two-wheeled fiends go too fast or too slow. They either never stop at stop signs, or stop for too long at stop signs. However, when it comes to just plain over-the-top crazy in responding to the sight of a sweaty middle-aged man in Lycra rolling by, the town of Woodside has us beat — by a long shot. Someone in the peninsula community has been setting traps for cyclists in the form of strategically placed carpet nails along the popular Kings Mountain Road cycling route.
That running over these nails could cause a biker to lose control and fall under the wheels of a passing vehicle appears to be a feature of the plan, not a bug.
According to The Almanac, the California Highway Patrol is taking that possibility extremely seriously.
The California Highway Patrol has an officer and a sergeant assigned to the investigation, said CHP Officer Art Montiel. They have no leads, Mr Montiel said.
Depending on the person's intent in spreading the tacks, charges could range from something very minor to aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, or even attempted murder, Mr. Montiel said.
"It’s a booby trap the tacks have been laid out in cracks point side up so they are essentially a spike strip," cyclist Walter Cook told KRON 4 News.
Even more disturbing is the fact that this is not a new problem. One cyclist interviewed by The Almanac said he'd first encountered these spike traps in 2012.
"Some people don't realize they have a (tack) in their tire right away, some (tires go) flat immediately. Getting a flat tire going down KMR, with both oncoming traffic and an unforgiving road surface, is a frightening prospect," Nate McKitterick told the paper.
With no leads, and with whoever is laying the traps showing no signs of slowing down, one cyclist is taking an old-school approach (with a modern twist): he's crowdfunded a $10k reward to bring the culprit to justice.
Walter Cook, a Woodside resident and the man behind the crowdfunding campaign, took a moment to discuss the situation with KRON 4 (the part with Cook starts around 51 seconds in).
Unless the person laying the tacks miraculously realizes what he/she is doing is totally messed up, or, more realistically, they're caught by police, cyclists are going to have to keep putting themselves at risk every time they ride the frequently-spiked Kings Mountain Road.
To the person that the Woodside community has dubbed the "Kings Mountain Road Tack Vandal," the next time you think about laying out some carpet nails, may we suggest taking a few deep breaths and a nice walk around the block instead? Or hey, how about a relaxing bicycle ride?