Hackers took aim at North Carolina’s bicyclists over the weekend, mocking them with insults programmed into some of the highway signs along next week’s Ironman 70.3 triathlon route.
Biker Eugene Caffrey of Cary posted a video Sunday on Facebook showing an electronic highway sign near Pittsboro flashing the message: "Expect delays. A–holes on bikes."
Beci Markijohn of Raleigh spotted another sign on U.S. Highway 64 hacked to say: "Right lane closed due to idiots on bikes."
"You should be ashamed. This is NOT acceptable," Markijohn said in a tweet.
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The Ironman 70.3 is set for Sunday, June 3, through Wake and Chatham counties. Participants start with a 1.2-mile swim in Jordan Lake, then bike 56 miles through rural Chatham and Wake Counties before entering a 13.1-mile run course in downtown Raleigh, reports WRAL.
N.C. Department of Transportation officials said via Twitter they are investigating the matter. "It is apparently NOT an NCDOT sign, nor does it belong to any of our contractors," the department said in a tweet.
@NCDOT You should be ashamed. This is NOT acceptable. #howrude #notacceptable #badmentality #unprofessional @IRONMANtri @WakeGOV @ChathamCountyNC @WRAL @BikeLawNC pic.twitter.com/p9tpuGcSLf
— Beci Markijohn (@becimarkijohn) May 27, 2018
Caffrey posted on Facebook that he doesn’t think the hackers were trying to be funny. He also believes they may have put bicyclists in danger during the triathlon.
"Makes me worried that drivers out in that part of NC will be even more aggressive towards cyclist. Especially during the (Ironman) 70.3 next week," he posted on Facebook.
Hackers have hit highway signs in the Carolinas multiple times in the past, including an incident in July when three Department of Transportation digital road signs in Charlotte flashed vulgar messages to motorists on Interstate 277, reported WSOC.
Friends help injured cyclist without health insurance to race again in Ironman World Championship
Mark Hoffman, 35, got in a bike wreck this past May and suffered injuries to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. He didn’t have health insurance — despite engaging in a risky hobby — but the cycling and triathlon communities rallied around Diedra Lairddlaird@charlotteobserver.com
Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs