Nailed! Who is throwing down tacks to take out cyclists' tires?

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Nailed! Who is throwing down tacks to take out cyclists' tires?

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jun 17, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson prides itself on being a bike friendly city, but some bicyclists are getting nailed--right through their tires.
Someone's been planting sharp stuff on popular bike routes--sharp enough to take out a tire and bring on a crash.

Mike Ingram enjoys riding along Gates Pass road, but lately he's been worried about someone sprinkling tacks in the road. 
He says if he loses air in his tires, he could crash.

"...and depending on the speed you can go down, 30, 35 miles an hour, maybe 40, people are going fairly quick on some of these downhills and yeah, that could be a very dangerous thing.  Basically that's assault."

Whoever is doing this is not using big nails.  They're using small, office style thumb tacks.  Not big enough to cause a catastrophic blow out but big enough to cause a slow leak that'll send that biker to the side of the road."
But Mike McKisson, of Tucson Velo says any sort of leak could cause a dangerous crash.
His website was already buzzing about tacks on Mount Lemmon Highway when tacks appeared at Gates Pass.
At Sabino Cycles, Lorna Mac Quarrie has seen lots of flats.  Her luck held, until one day on Mount Lemmon.

"…and I saw the flick, flick, flick, the little brightness in the center of the tube, so I just pulled over.  The second you pull that tack out instantly go flat."  

The Pima County Sheriff's Department has been looking into the tack incidents. 
In one case, the county sent a street sweeper all the way up Mount Lemmon highway to try to clear any tacks.

Some riders complain about drivers and some drivers complain about bikes.

Jerry Collins sees bike riders who fail to keep right, or ride the wrong way down the street.

"..and it's annoying but it's terrible that they would just destroy their tires or leave them stranded out there."
Drivers and riders usually live up to their talk about sharing the road peacefully but the tacks are a sharp exception.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press