BOISE — The community came together Wednesday morning to battle a common enemy that has been annoying bicyclists for years -- goatheads.
Goatheads are vine-like plants that shed sharp, spiked seeds that are known to pop bicycle tires on trails and roads across the City of Trees.
A volunteer group featuring Boise Mayor Dave Bieter met up at Jefferson Elementary School in Boise and headed around the neighborhood to dig up pesky goatheads, so they won't pop any more tires.
All of this is part of a community campaign leading up to the first Boise Goathead Festival, an event set to replace the Tour de Fat.
During the month of July, people have been collecting bags of goatheads all over town and bringing them to the Boise Bicycle Project and other locations to exchange for drink tokens for the festival.
Jimmy Hallyburton, executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project, says volunteers have made great progress cleaning up areas around Boise.
"Let’s focus on some of these areas and see if we can wipe them clean this year so that kids don't get flat tires or anybody riding their bike this year. Next year we will see how many grow back and work to eliminate them from this area," said Hallyburton.
Hallyburton says he knows eliminating all goatheads is an incredibly difficult task, but simply trying is already making a big difference.
"A lot of people are like, 'there's no way you are going to eliminate goat heads in the first year,'" Hallyburton said. "It's like, of course, we won't eliminate them this year. But, how many flat tires can we eliminate? How many kids can we enable to still connect to opportunities in the community? And then how can we measure that so going forward we can have an even larger impact?"
The campaign reports that already, over a thousand pounds of goatheads have been turned in.
The first Boise Goathead Fest is coming up on August 3 and 4. The main event, a bicycle parade around downtown will kick off August 4 at 11 a.m. at the Statehouse.
Proceeds from the event will benefit local bike charities.