Customers bring more than 1,000 flat bicycle tires to Darin Warnick's bike shop in Richland for repair each year.
The pesky weed called puncturevine causes 98 percent of the flats, said Warnick, owner of Greenies, a bicycle, kayak and organic products store on George Washington Way.
Franklin County has more than 1,000 acres infested with puncturevine, according to a 2011 report from the state Department of Agriculture. Only two other counties -- Grant and Yakima -- have as many infested acres.
Benton County has fewer than 100 infested acres.
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The Benton-Franklin County Tackweed Coalition, formed by the weed control boards in both counties, is calling for volunteers to pull puncturevine from trails in two area parks Saturday.
Puncturevine -- also known as tackweed or goatheads -- has sharp burrs that pester not only cyclists, but the shoes of hikers and paws of pets, said Robin Kusske, spokeswoman for the Franklin County Noxious Weed Control Board.
Keeping the weed from the trails takes constant effort, as evident in Kusske's catch-phrase: "Pull a weed a day, keep the tackweed away."
"We'll take as many people as we can get" at Saturday's event, Kusske said.
Warnick and his wife do their part. As they ride their bikes to work from west Pasco, they stop and pull the weed on a section of trail adopted by Greenies. They also will join the coalition at Saturday's weed-pull, Warnick said.
But so far few other volunteers have pledged to participate Saturday.
As of Monday, Kusske had heard from only a few volunteers.
Benton County Weed Control Board Coordinator Marc Stairet said last week he hadn't heard from many either.
"There are quite a few miles of trail we hope to cover. We'll take all the volunteers that will show," he said.
The Franklin County board organized a weed-pull in Pasco last year, but the weed-pull in Richland is new, Kusske said.
She said she hopes the event will catch on. "Spread the word, not the seeds," she said.
Warnick also is spreading the word on how to avoid puncturevine flats. At his shop he fits bike tires with a Kevlar strip and sticker-resistant tubes. He fills the tubes with a gel that -- should something puncture the tubes -- seals holes.
"If you're prepared and have your bike dialed in, the weed is not really a problem," he said.
WHEN YOU GO
w What: Benton-Franklin County Tackweed Coalition seeks volunteers to pull tackweed from trails. Volunteers should bring gloves and a hat. Water will be provided.
w When: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday
w Where: Chamna Natural Preserve, off Carrier Road on the west side of the park in Richland, and Chiawana Park, off of North Road 88 in Pasco.
w Contact: RSVPs are recommended, but not required. Robin Kusske, 545-3847 or email@example.com, for the weed-pull at Chiawana Park, or Marc Stairet, 786-6988 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for the weed-pull at Chamna Natural Preserve.