By Carson Gerber
CNHI News Service
DENVER, Ind. — More than 30 bicyclists, including young children, participating in a community bike ride in this Indiana town ended up with flat tires after officials say someone sabotaged the bicycle path with nails and tacks.
Sheriff's deputies in Miami County, about 80 miles north of Indianapolis, are investing the incident that occurred during the Le Tour de Denver last weekend.
Shannon See, co-owner of Breakaway Bike and Fitness Shop, which sponsored the event, said they discovered the trail had been sabotaged when rider after rider began showing up with flat tires at a water stop along the trail.
Event and trail officials eventually located hundreds of the tacks and nails in a concentrated area along the trial, just south of Macy, Ind.
"When I saw it, I was like, 'You’ve got to be kidding,'" See said. "It was shocking."
Zach See, co-owner of the bike shop, said the nails had been coated in motor oil so they blended in with the asphalt. He said the oil would also make it easier for the tacks to penetrate bike tires.
He said he believed it was a planned attack on the bike ride, and not just a casual prank.
"This wasn't kids doing mailbox baseball," he said.
Zach See said one of the victims was a young girl who had two flat tires after riding over the tacks. Out of the 105 bike riders participating in the event, more than 30 had flat tires, he said.
"I was mad," he said. "This was a bike ride that was just supposed to be fun."
Shannon See said after the nails were discovered, bike riders banded together to help out, donating tire tubes and patch kits they brought with them and fixing every flat tire on the trail.
Breakaway Bike shop also shipped up tubes and repair kits to get everyone back on the road.
"Everyone helped everyone," she said. "No one was left behind. It was fantastic support by the riders and the community."
Zach See said most bikers ended up finishing the ride despite the sabotaged trail.
And if deputies discover the person responsible for what he calls the "tack attack," Zach See said he would say this to them: "Why? What did you think you’d accomplish? What you intended to hurt us only brought us together and made us stronger."
Carson Gerber is a reporter for the Kokomo Tribune in Kokomo, Ind.