At least a half-dozen bicyclists on The Legacy Trail had their rides ruined by someone who dumped more than 1,000 carpet tacks on the trail last week.
Not noticing the tacks, the bike riders cruised over them and ended up with flat tires.
“We were having a great day, nice conversation, and all of a sudden … ” said Rusty Chinnins, who was riding with a friend.
On. Feb. 12, Chinnis had just ridden past Oscar Scherer State Park and had to walk his bike back about a mile. His friend, who initially avoided a flat, started to ride back to their car to pick up Chinnis, but then he also got a flat tire.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that about 1,000 tacks were spread around the East Bay Street entrance to the trail in Osprey. A woman and some other riders who fell victim to the tacks cleaned the tacks off the trail.
“I saw five other people with flats,” said Chinnis. “There had to be more.”
Mike Gippert, president of the Friends of The Legacy Trail, said he was also out on the trail that day.
“I was at Oscar Scherer and saw some poor people coming in with flats,” he said. “Some good citizen went out there with a lawn blower and cleaned off the trail.”
Several bikers also reported tacks on the trail near the State Road 681 overpass in Nokomis.
Chinnis said he heard a rumor that a homeowner near the trail who didn’t like bicyclists was to blame for the tacks, but the Sheriff’s Office had no evidence that was the case.
Gippert said the fact that it happened in two separate locations made it more likely that it was kids responsible for the vandalism.
Volunteers with Friends of The Legacy Trail routinely patrol the linear park, keeping an eye out for trouble. Gippert said those patrols will continue.
“We will be looking out for this again,” he said.
Contact Robin Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org