ENCINITAS — For more than 27 years, Leucadia Cyclery’s owner Fredric Breidenthal has felt the heavy concentration of thorns along North Vulcan Avenue and Coast Highway 101, between Encinitas and Leucadia Boulevard. This summer is no exception.
On July 22, at least 30 customers came in with flats due to Tribulus terrestris stickers, according to Breidenthal. “With so many people getting flat tires, it doesn’t become profitable,” Breidenthal said.
The cost to fix a flat ranges from $10 to $25 at Leucadia Cyclery, depending on the bike. Reactions to the price include, “It’s going to cost me what?” Breidenthal’s son and employee, William said.
“Customers are mad at the city, mad at us,” Breidenthal said.
Breidenthal shares his customers’ frustration toward the city of Encinitas. “It’s a nonperfect world,” he said. “The cleaning crew doesn’t sweep up after (foliage removal), and there is an increase in flats the day after. The city has covered, scraped and poisoned them, but the thorns always come back.”
From the city’s perspective, there isn’t the money to constantly clean up. “We clean the main thoroughfares four times a year,” Howard Whitlock, assistant superintendent of public works, said. “We can’t afford five to six times, and there’s a pretty good level of service.”
Also at issue is that the property under discussion is shared by different entities, Whitlock said. Each side is turf protective, and little seems to get done.
Breidenthal too understands the struggle. “The railroad and the city don’t get along,” he said.
In Whitlock’s experience, there have been maybe five calls on the matter, but no official complaints. Breidenthal advises all disgruntled customers to continue calling and to stay on the main road for now, where the thorn concentration is less.