In the 3rd chapter of Genesis we read that because of sin (disobedient rebellion against God) the earth was cursed. God did not originally create the earth with all the bad elements man deals with.  Thorns were unheard of prior to this curse. Where I live we don’t have goat heads so I have never had to deal with them. I sure have heard and read others talk about them. They definitely are a real menace. Here is a picture of the plant that these rascals are found on.

We have other kinds of thorns where I live but rarely are they found on a bike trail.

Those who walk where these thorns exist also deal with them.

Unfortunately there are a lot of cyclists who do have to deal with these thorns.

Without proper and adaquate protection the result is lots of flats. That is never a welcome thing. So what is a person to do? It would be nice if this threat were simply removed but I am sure that is not practical. That means that the cyclist must do whatever it takes to prevent getting flats. There are options available. There are tires which are flat resistant. There are tire liners. And there are sealants that can be used. Some claim that flat resistant tires alone suffice for them while others say they still get flats with them and need something more. Since I have never had to deal with goat head thorns I am not in a position to advise anyone.

From what I have seen and heard these goat head thorns not only are a threat to the bottom of a tire but they also are found sticking into the sidewalls. Sidewalls of tires don’t offer hardly any protection in comparison to the bottoms. In the picture above the longest most threatening part of the thorn  is not what is sticking into the tire’s sidewall. Some sidewalls are more vulnerable than others. Some are quite soft and thin making them easy to penetrate.

In all the years and hundreds of posts on this blog I have never done one about goat head thorns. I know I have mentioned them in past articles but that is all. Probably because I don’t have to deal with them I have never written much about them.  It is sort of “out of sight, out of mind”. Here in the United States they are found mostly in the southwest as I understand. I am in northeastern Indiana so I am far away from anyplace they are found … for which I am thankful.

From what I have read this plant was not native to the U.S. but was “unintentionally introduced here”. I am not sure what that means. I wonder how one would unintentionally turn loose this menace.

Reading about this plant is rather interesting. Man has used it for various purposes.

Here is a video illustraing how to get rid of these plants.

There are lots of videos on YouTube about goat head thorns and cycling.

The next time I hear someone call me a goat head I won’t take it as a compliment.



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Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (@gmail.com)

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