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Blown bike tires linked to tacks on roadway

Posted at 5:07 PM, Sep 24, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS – Cyclists on the east side of the city are concerned after a rash of flat tires happened in one specific stretch, and they’re worried the cause was purposeful.

Over a dozen of flat tires have been reported in the last week along Michigan Street near Rural Street.

“If I find a flat tire after work, you know, I have to pretty much walk it home, or if I have the tools, take the time to fix a flat,” cyclist Jeffrey Whitehurst said.

Whitehurst has a 30-minute trip every day from the east side to downtown.

The first time his tire popped, he thought it was just bad luck.

The second time?

“That made me thing it was not necessarily an isolated incident,” Whitehurst said.

He started to wonder if the incidents were linked after visiting Bicycle Garage Indy (BGI), where they’ve fixed at least 15 flat tires over the past week. All the punctures were linked to small tacks left on the road.

“I’ve been in the business probably about 12 years now,” Mechanic Loran Bohall said. “I think this is maybe the second time I’ve seen anything quite like this.”

Bohall says the big question is: Did the tacks simply spilled onto the road, or were they put there on purpose?

Bohall told us yes, it might have been an accident. But he said it seems funny that the type of tacks they found on the road were the best kind possible to puncture bike tires.

Repair costs come in at less than $20 for a punctured tire, but cyclists say it’s a big hassle.

While Whitehurst isn’t sure how the tacks wound up on the road, he is concerned it’s possibly the result of someone who isn’t a fan of bicyclists.

“There (are) lots of good motorists who give you enough room,” he said. “But you know, it only takes one person to drop a lot of tacks.”

We’ve reached out to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) about the cyclists’ concerns. They say it’s unclear whether the tacks were left there intentionally. IMPD says if it sees a pattern, it will start an investigation.


Follow Mike Pelton on Twitter: @MikePeltonrtv6