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August 18, 2013

Community bike ride sabotaged by 'tack attack'

Over 30 bicyclists on Nickel Plate Trail suffered flat tires.

DENVER — Over 30 bicyclists, including young children, participating in a community bike ride ended up with flat tires the morning of Aug. 10 after officials say someone sabotaged the bicycle path with nails and tacks.

Miami County deputies are investing the incident that occurred during the Le Tour de Denver — a bike ride along the Nickel Plate Trail held during the annual Denver Days festival in northern Miami County.

Shannon See, co-owner of Breakaway Bike and Fitness Shop in Peru, 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 where the trail intersects 1200 North, just south of Macy.

“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.

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