A tired (and disappointed?) Helen Wyman (GBR/Kona) post-race

Elite Women's race
Koppenbergcross 2015
  • ceedee

    Whoever dropping those tacks, they are highly motivated.

    • Jake(Aus)

      Maybe I’m overly optimistic but would it be THAT hard to have an officer hide out one night to catch the person in action? It’s ridiculous it’s been going on this long…maybe a member of the public could hide out with a night vision cam and film them in the act (and get licence plate)? I don’t know, surely something since the fixed camera suggestion seems to be not getting any traction…

      • velocite

        The KB is over 6 kms in length so one person with a camera would have to be incredibly lucky to catch anything. It will take a properly resourced project to catch this saboteur or group of saboteurs. Night vision cameras at each end might help, at least would give a candidate list of number plates. Although who’s to say the tacks don’t drop out of a pannier on a mountain bike?

        • I’m sure someone has looked at this, but are there any location patterns “more likely” on Kew boulevard, for the tack dropping? Idea of times – when pictures first occur ?
          Must be a “pattern” in there somewhere

          • jules

            my observation is that most of the ‘action’ has been around the middle section of the Boullie, which is near to where a few of the residential streets intersect with it. the repair station that was located in that section has been removed now, due to persistent vandalism. other repair stations further away remain.

            it’s likely that the perpetrator lives around the area where Yarra, Yarravale and Molesworth Sts intersect the Boullie. the problem is that there are a lot of people using the Boullie – walking, running, driving, riding, cruising – what do you do when you see someone? you’d need to catch them in the act which is difficult due to the discreet nature of dropping tacks.

            • ceedee

              I wouldn’t be surprised if the person in question doesn’t have a discreet device to drop the tacks.

              PS Protest rides doesn’t seem to helping the situation.

              • jules

                putting them in your pocket and quietly dropping them while walking or throwing them while driving is discreet – doesn’t need to be a device as such.

                take your point on the protest ride. the individual in question reminds of a more moderate version of the villain in Dirty Harry – getting his rocks off watching the public work themselves into a lather over his handiwork. these people are typically misfits in society who have found a way to be finally ‘taken seriously’.

                • Jonty

                  You’re right Jules. This person(s) is clearly far more ‘committed’ to his/her cause than anyone else is to preventing this problem. How long has this been going on for now?!

                  • jules

                    they don’t need much commitment. they buy tacks, put them in their pocket and drop them on the road at night on the road close to where they live. doesn’t cost them much in terms of time or money.

                    the real ‘commitment’ will be to adjusting to life in prison if they are caught. can’t imagine them not getting jail time given how long it’s been going on.

                    • qas

                      ITS JULES THE TACKER!!!!

                    • steve

                      nah, he just posts tacky comments on the cycling tips website!

                    • Robert

                      That brings up a point. If, and it is a big IF, the perpetrator was caught what would they get? Community service, a judicial slap on the wrist? Until the police actually state what crime the person is committing (eg. Endangering life rather than littering) it could all be a waste of time trying to catch him or her.

                    • Stopping the tack drops is the point. I really don’t care what they ‘get’.

                    • Robert

                      Yes, I’d agree with that 100%. I was more looking at it from the point of view of what disincentive is there if it was clear this was a serious crime, not just a “lark”. But maybe it’s irrelevant if the person dropping the tacks is unbalanced and unable to reason.

                    • Cynic

                      Really?

                      I’ve had a tyre ruined and new tube, that was $70 say.

                      Assume 500 punctures, that’s a joint civil action.

                      When he’s caught, there will be many people happy to pay (or her) him a visit around the time of night he dropped the tacks. Just to check he’s tucked up in bed of course.

                  • Feb 2014 on Yarra St the tacks appeared in big numbers. Possibly drops a few weeks earlier in late Jan 2014. Huge amount of drops around Yarra St area, and the community pump near Yarra St was the only one to be continually sabotaged. Now I won’t make wild assumptions, but…

                    The part that shits me is that there is no dialogue with the tacker. We still have no idea what the real issue is. We’re not going to stop riding there. The ‘protest’ ride brought riders out in huge numbers to enjoy the boulie. It has brought the cycling community together more. Way to go tacker! :)

                    Unless we know what the issue is the tacker has with cyclists, nothing will change. The tacker will continue to tack, we’ll continue to ride.

                    One person with an issue and 10,000s of cyclists who’ll continue riding there regardless. We’ll outlast and outlive the tacker. They’re just a passing fad.

                    • jules

                      I doubt they’re trying to achieve anything measurable. their conduct to me strongly suggests the existence of a significant behavioural disorder and the tack scattering as a symptom of that. I’m sure they have a justification in their mind but I doubt it would conform with what we’d assess as conventional logic.

                    • velocite

                      The American ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is now up to its 5th edition I think (DSM-V), as it continues to have new disorders defined. Maybe an irrational hatred of cyclists could be a candidate for inclusion in a future edition.

                      Last night someone told me about a colleague, a middle aged woman, whose oft stated position is that cyclists are scum, and refers with approval to the notion of running them off the road.

                      And then there’s the chap who runs a coffee shop in the Dandenongs whom we think of as ‘Mr Grumpy’. Only been there once, but memorable because when I got to the checkout he volunteered ‘I don’t like cyclists’ and proceeded to enlarge upon the theme. Very strange, because I was in my kit but he didn’t seem to think he was saying anything extraordinary. I don’t know, but he might think that dropping tacks in the path of cyclists was akin to using weed killer in the garden.

            • Dylan

              Reinstall the repair station, place a mini camera in a near by tree, wait for vandalism, give an image of the person to the police.

              • jules

                it’s done late at night. they are most likely wearing a hoodie and stuff. it could be worth a try, but it’s no certainty – easily evaded.

                • Dylan

                  At least the repair station is a constant, that’s a good start for some sort of surveillance.

                  • jules

                    I agree they’ve got to try something new, at least to keep the cretin on his toes.. OTOH, for all we know the cops have already done that. they won’t publicise it..

              • Nitro

                I was kind of wondering the same… Tacks can get dropped anywhere, but if a repair station is consistently targeted, how hard can that be to keep under surveillance?

                If David Attenborough can put motion controlled remote cameras in the depths of the Arctic to record the comings and goings of rare animals, surely the technology exists to do the same in suburban Melbourne…

            • Cynic

              They are sneaky, so the opinion I have is that they wouldn’t drop them near their own home. They might just drop them there because it’s the ‘safest’ location for them (to do so and get away with it).

              The scenarios are endless, ie. Could drop them from a car window. Reckon the way to catch this nutter is some form of surveillance and or trap. How about a reward? Big signs posting some massive reward might work.

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      • Jonty

        A private investigations firm with surveillance expertise could be engaged to conduct such an operation. Would only take a small team, two or three at most. If the reported $150k cost to council for road sweeping as reported on Channel 7 last night is accurate the cost to run such an operation would be a drop in the bucket by comparison and would finally resolve the problem.

  • Flash

    Has anyone from the protest ride, gone and talked to the residents closest to the area/s concerned.
    They may have seen someone, or they might be interested in assisting finding the culprit/s.
    Would some of the residents allow some sort of camera/recording device to be setup on their property ?

    • jules

      I’ve spoken to one resident I know who is outraged by the tacks. the residents have been victims of this too – pets, car tyres.. a lot of residents aren’t keen on cyclists using the road, what’s new there, but they aren’t terrorists. well, with one possible exception.

      • Cynic

        If you were sneaky enough to do this for 2 years without one sighting, and not raise one iota of suspicion, would you tell a cyclist anything different?

  • Gabriel Constantin

    Cyclocross is awesome, to watch :)

  • Cynic

    Some kid drops a rock from a freeway bridge and it’s front page news. Cops, news, outrage. Caught same day..

    Some weirdo does something similar for 2 years, but because it’s cyclists then it’s up to the victims to drive the search for the culprit. Nothing.

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