Goathead Puncturevine

I don’t ride a bicycle anymore, but these thorns, from an article in the Sacrament Bee yesterday, sounds like a real disaster for those who do, whether on the Sacramento River trails or the Parkway.

A thorn in the ride: Weed sticks it to bicyclists’ tires
By Blair Anthony Robertson — Bee Staff Writer

Published 2:15 am PDT Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A weed known as the goathead puncturevine has put down roots in Sacramento. It’s giving cyclists fits – and flats. Dogs and barefoot people may be its next victims.

The low-growing, nondescript – and nonnative – weed, with its scores of thorny burrs, seems perfectly designed by nature to let the air out of any bike ride.

A milelong stretch of new bike trail along the Sacramento River near Old Sacramento is so overwhelmed by puncturevine lining the otherwise pristine pavement that it’s a safe bet you’ll get a flat tire.

The goathead phenomenon is a new source of frustration for Ed Cox, the city’s bike and pedestrian coordinator.

“This is the first year I’ve ever had this called to my attention,” Cox said. “People are calling me and saying, ‘Is there something you can do about all the thorns on the bike trail?’ “

Plenty can be done, but experts say the city must adopt a long-term weed eradication strategy. Sacramento’s reputation as a bike-friendly town could be overshadowed by sidelined cyclists fuming and fumbling with their pumps and patch kits.

Worse, city maintenance crews recently tried to cut back the weeds with string trimmers only to realize they were spreading the thorns on the trail by the thousands.

For the rest of the story: http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/13493757p-14334438c.html

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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