And as the City of Encinitas is now spending millions a year on employee pensions and can't afford basic services like road maintenance or bike path maintenance, citizens are taking it into their own hands.
"They are brutal, the thorn is long enough to go through ... a thin part of flip-flops," said Russell Levan, a Coast Highway recycling company owner who has watched many a cyclist derailed by the plant and has experienced the frustration himself. "You can literally get six, seven, eight thorns in a tire."
Levan, who lost two tires at once during last year's Bike-to-Work Day, is rapidly becoming known as the weed-hating guy of Leucadia because of his campaign to rid his community of the "horrible invasive plant."
When he first started speaking out some 18 months ago, no one really took him seriously, he said Thursday.
But momentum began to build in recent weeks and now he's got the backing of the North County Transit District and the city of Encinitas public works department for a special community weed-bashing day.
The first-ever, open-to-the-public, whack-the-weed party is set for Saturday, and it will start at Coast Highway's intersection with A Street.
It'll be a zero-waste event; participants are encouraged to show up with their own re-usable mugs for free coffee and a fork for the goodies. People also need to bring closed-toed shoes, gloves and shovel or a rake. To participate, e-mail Levan at firstname.lastname@example.org
He shall be Levan
He shall be a good man