Investigative bike blogging is a tough job, even when you change out of your pajamas — but somebody’s gotta do it. When the San Diego Union-Tribune ran a brief item stating that an 18-year-old had been arrested for attempting to smuggle 2.5 pounds of marijuana into the country in his bike tire tubes, we were on the case.
That sounded like an awful lot of work. Why not just go with tubeless tires, we wondered?
The Department of Homeland Security, undoubtedly one of Bike Intelligencer’s most rabid followers, has released a photo indicating that, indeed, the mj was not stuffed into inner tubes. Although it’s tricky to determine from the photo, (which may be deliberately fuzzy for security reasons so as not to give bike terrorists any bright ideas), it looks like the weed was in plastic packets that were taped together, then simply inserted inside the tires. If tubes were used at all it was as a housing of sorts, rather than the mj sitting loose inside the tubes.
It’s impossible to determine whether the tires are indeed UST certified tubeless. We’re guessing not. We’re also guessing the culprit did not use Stan’s. I mean, what if it leaked onto the pot?
We would hope with all the stimulus dollars floating around that some funding could be supplied to purchase a better camera for Homeland Security. Either that or a photographer who knows how to focus. Or to hold the camera steady in low light. Or use a tripod.
Still, there is one indication that our investigative journalism had an effect. The followup LA Times report states that the marijuana was “hidden in tires” — not, in actual fact, in tire tubes.
Technically the U-T should run a clarification of the initial item. Although it probably was not the newspaper’s fault. The police write-up undoubtedly got it wrong. There are, inevitably, unanswered questions still. We would pursue the matter further but feel justice has been done, and there is always a ton more to do on an investigative bike blogger’s docket.
Now it’s back to work defending truth, justice and bloggers’ reputations everywhere.