Woodside resident Walter Cook is leading a drive to raise $10,000 to be awarded for information leading to the identification of the person or persons who scatted carpet tacks recently on Kings Mountain Road.
The tacks can easily give bicyclists flat tires as they ride the steep winding route between Woodside Road and Skyline Boulevard.
On Saturday, Sept. 12, about half of a group of 15 cyclists discovered tacks in their tires when they reached Skyline Boulevard, Woodside resident Bruce Matheson said.
If a tack punctures a tube on a curve going downhill, it can send a rider tumbling, Portola Valley resident and bicycle commuter Nate McKitterick said.
Mr. Cook, who is leading the fundraising drive, said he is pleased by the outpouring of support and expects to reach the $10,000 goal.
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.
Tacks on the road are not new. Cyclists interviewed for this story said they have been encountering them for years.
Help is available from passing cyclists, though. They have a habit of asking if assistance or parts are needed, Mr. Cook said. "It's a great sport that way because it's very cohesive among bike riders," he said.
One factor fueling this misbehavior may be the ongoing feud between cyclists and drivers over who has rights to the roads. The tension is as high as it's ever been, Mr. Cook said.
"It just takes a couple of bad apples to ruin it for everybody," he said. "We all need to share the road, and we all need to rally together to find out who's doing this."
Vandalizing public infrastructure is an act of cowardice, said Andrew Hsu, president of the Peninsula Velo cycling club, in an email. "If there are genuine concerns with cyclists that ride on KMR, this act will do nothing to solve any issues," he said.
"Cycling and cyclists riding in the Woodside area continues to be hotly debated within the community," he said. "Our club represents only a small fraction of cyclists that ride in and around Woodside. Our club members agree to abide by a set of road etiquette rules."
"Among our members, we are doctors, lawyers, teachers, small business owners, leaders in high tech," Mr. Hsu added. "Many of us are parents, some grandparents. We contribute to our local community with the local businesses that we support and the taxes that we pay."
Mr. Hsu said he is a competitive cyclist and a bicycle commuter and rides about 200 miles a week. "I've ridden King's more times than I can remember, and it is certainly one of my favorite routes," he said. "With so many other problems that the world is facing, I sincerely hope that we as a community can come together and end this reckless and senseless endangerment of people's lives on Kings Mountain Road."
Around 30 people have made pledges to contribute to a reward so far, Mr. Cook said, adding that he is investigating a way to get a third party to administer the campaign.
To contribute, write to [email protected]
Earlier story: Tacks scattered on Woodside roads are hazard to cyclists.