A large group of platonic male acquaintances' Sunday bike ride was derailed yesterday after someone placed tacks along the route of the Tour de France's 14th stage.
Around 30 competitors suffered flats as a result of the tacks. One rider had to drop out of the race after crashing and breaking his collarbone.
Obviously, putting tacks in the middle of a cyclist's path is not something you should ever do unless you are a cartoon villain. How would you like it if someone came and put tacks where you work? If you happened to need tacks right at that moment, it would be great – the stuff of dreams, even. But what if you didn't?
Oddly, in an interview conducted after the at-tack, lead cyclist Bradley Wiggins (Britain) said all he could to make tack-based sabotage seem even more alluring to prospective hooligans.
"There's nothing stopping more of that stuff from happening."
"I think people take that for granted sometimes, just how close they can get to us."
"We're just the riders at the end of the day and we're there to be shot at, literally.''
What's more, every write-up of the incident stresses that the culprits will never be apprehended, because France's best police are on the case.
Cops line the course route "by the hundreds" to help with crowd control, but apparently no one saw the person or persons responsible for throwing down tacks.
In any case, after Wiggins realized that 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans (Australia) had succumbed to the tacks, he urged the other riders to slow down and wait for him to catch up, in accordance with racing etiquette.
Only one rider, Pierre Rolland (France), purposely pulled ahead as the group slowed down. He later said he was unaware of what had happened, while surreptitiously flinging a large burlap sack labled "TACKS" in big block letters into the bushes.