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Disgusted by my fellow cyclists

Old 03-26-07, 05:01 PM
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Disgusted by my fellow cyclists

i posted this over in the road forum for the masses, but it has the most relevance to here. this a pic of what i picked up along westchester parkway today. my wife and i were doing some laps and she asked if noticed all the gel wrappers. i hadn't really been paying attention to the road debris, but i decided to do another lap and see what i could collect.
4.2 mile total= 61 gel wrappers (!!!!!!!)
7 water bottles
1 energy max bottle (?)
i know lots of cyclists ride this loop, but i'd bet money it's 90% from the sunday club training rides that l.a. wheelmen (and at least one other club i think-but i honestly don't really know) do. i had heard they were fast race pace rides, and this looked like the aftermath of a crit. i picked up all of this just in the gutter or off the sidewalk. i never got off my bike to pick any of it up and didn't even look in the iceplant on the other side of most of the sidewalk.
it took me almost 45 minutes to loop the 4.2 miles and pick all this up. it's really pathetic and apalling and there's no excuse for it. even if the clubs don't want to accept responsibilty for it, they SHOULD do something about it. lots of people (non cyclists) enjoy walking their dogs and kids along this stretch of road, and it was actually disgusting with all the gel packets leaking all over making a sticky mess and attracting tons of ants. i'm really surprised local residents haven't made a complaint to the city.
i'm not sure what i can do about this, but i'd love to hear suggestions. by the 30th or 40th one i was straight up pissed off. what do you think?
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Old 03-26-07, 05:14 PM
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Unfortunately there are just a ton of ******bags out there. I can't figure out why someone wouldn't just put the gel wrapper in their pocket...but I can't figure out why people think it's OK to flick their cigarette butts all over the place either. It makes me angry too but I'm not sure what to do about it.

I will say that when I see people doing this stuff I always make a comment to them...only one time has the person gone back and picked up thier litter.
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Old 03-26-07, 05:21 PM
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Was this over by LAX? I saw they were having a race in that area yesterday, so that could be the aftermath of the road race if that is the case. Would think organizers would do something to ensure the area was at least cleaned to the standards it was found, but guess not...
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Old 03-26-07, 05:24 PM
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interesting for sure. i'd love to hear more about who put on the race and was responsible for cleaning up. i can forgive people racing i suppose, but someone needs to clean it up!
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Old 03-26-07, 05:47 PM
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Old 03-26-07, 05:56 PM
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the same reason MTB'ers will ride the trail but not groom it. The same reason some people just drive. Laziness. Be better than them, thats all you can do!
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Old 03-26-07, 06:48 PM
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Actually, Surferbruce, you did the best thing by posting this thread and the pic on here and in the road forum. If there is any rider on here who tosses his/her trash while riding, he/she may think twice next time.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:00 PM
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Hello Bruce,

Preface: There were many races on that section of road yesterday. See this link: https://www.scnca.org/2007RaceFlyers/lax.pdf

First, you did the right thing by picking up the trash.

Second, someone associated with the race organization should have done what you did.

Third, things would have been better if the racers didn't toss the items in the first place.

Personally, I put used gels into my back pocket because I grew up in the Lady Bird Johnson (President Lyndon Baines Johnson's wife) era of "Keep America beautiful -- don't litter." Those simple words are lost on most people today. On the rare occasion when I throw my bottle for the psychological performance edge I go back to where I threw it and pick it up (and hope that it's still usable).

I apologize for all of the knucklehead bike racers out there but I make no excuses for them.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:04 PM
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Yikes. I almost always ride with a backpack, and I just chuck the wrappers into another compartment in the pack once I've eaten the snacks, disposing them completely into the next trash can I find along my cycling route.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:16 PM
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it is definitely from the races....no excuse though, it should have been cleaned up.
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Old 03-26-07, 07:18 PM
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i think it mostly comes down to the fact that some people just aren't taught that it isn't cool to just drop your trash any old place. i have friends like this, and any time i say f-off and pick up your trash, they like to make the case that there are people who are paid to pick up other people's trash.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:20 PM
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Hey that's totally cool of you to be picking up the trash. From John Q. Public: thanks!
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Old 03-26-07, 08:28 PM
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Smacktards one and all...kudos to you and yours for the clean-up for sure.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:40 PM
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As much as I hate it when cyclists throw litter on the ground, in this instance I believe the promoter is at fault for the condition of the area more then the riders. Yes, riders need to keep it to themselves and not throw anything on the ground, but in the heat of a race, sometimes it just happens.

But a promoter who puts on an event, no matter what kind, is responsible for leaving the site in the same or better condition that they found it in. Trash is going to occur at races. It's just a fact of the dynamic when large groups of people get together. This happens at any public event you can think of, and it's incumbunt on the promoters to make sure they clean up after themselves.

Someone should email the link to this thread to whatever bike club/promoter was putting on the race. Permits are hard enough to come by without the kind of PR static something like this could generate.

so the short answer is, jerseys have pockets, use em.
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Old 03-26-07, 08:40 PM
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I was actually counting on race detritus this evening 'cause I need new water bottles. I figured I could do my part for course cleanup of yesterday's Sunset Loop from the Redlands classic and score a few barely-used water bottles in the process. No such luck though.

Guess our local race organizers must have done a better job cleaning up. Either that or I just didn't hit the right sections of the course. I don't remember a call going out for volunteers to do course cleanup, just course marking and registration for the ucsf crits. There are a lot more organizations than just the local bike clubs providing volunteers for the classic though. Someone must've gone out there and done some cleanup...
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Old 03-26-07, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Cleave
Personally, I put used gels into my back pocket because I grew up in the Lady Bird Johnson (President Lyndon Baines Johnson's wife) era of "Keep America beautiful -- don't litter." Those simple words are lost on most people today.
Sadly, a lot of us grew up with Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute...and don't really want a bugeyed owl telling us what to do.

That, and we also grew up with Just Say No to drugs and alcohol...you know how well that worked.

(I just put my crap in my pockets, every time. So, I really do 'give a hoot'.)
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Old 03-26-07, 08:52 PM
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Kudos Bruce. I find that disgusting as well but I would have probably just kept riding. You did good.

I was talking to one of the TOC officials last year and he said the entire course was walked following the race picking up the trash. They did a class act. If we can just get the local race clubs to do the same.
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Old 03-26-07, 09:15 PM
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I was at the race yesterday. Unfortunately, for these longer races, cyclists have to snack and during the race, forget that the world mus go on after the race. It is a very hard rule to enforce regarding littering. I believe there is a USA cycling/SCNCA rule regarding penalizing cyclists for littering. Unfortunately, the course is "big" relative to a crit course, there are no helicopters or cameras to follow the race. I sort of know the promoter, might see him (big might) tomorrow and tell him to check out this thread. I think, what happens is these guys', with a small staff, biggest worry is getting the course torn down on time, getting results posted, and all before the road opens again. They forget about the smaller big things, and worry more about getting the street open before their time limit to ensure the race comes back again, forgettin the race won't come back if the place looks like a sty afterwards, the race won't come back.

The number of volunteers for this race probably very small. It is just not a big sponsored race (by a club, I mean). I think the promoter is at fault but the bike racers are the ones who are most at fault. Many are from out of area or never ride there and don't have enough morals to respect other people (really by littering, they disrespect everybody in the area). Surferbruce, did you check the parking area (there's a park maybe a half mile fom the course, then alll the adjacent streets?). I bet you'll find more trash. You are completely right to be disgusted. This is not the image cycling needs. Brightly colored riders in spandex shutting down the street is bad enough.
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Old 03-26-07, 09:24 PM
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Thanks for the thread. Going through Jack Rabbit Trail this weekend reminded me how much I hate litter.

Since we are a big enough group now, maybe we should think about a relaxed ride where we pick up trash on a favorite route?
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Old 03-26-07, 09:33 PM
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Get the address of the Race promotor and mail it to them.
What's it gonna cost??? $5??

I'll chip in the first buck.
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Old 03-26-07, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Extort
Since we are a big enough group now, maybe we should think about a relaxed ride where we pick up trash on a favorite route?
Or you could support our club's monthly highway cleanup -- beach side of PCH between Seal Beach Blvd (Seal Beach) and Anderson St (Sunset Beach). You can send a PM if you want more details.
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Old 03-26-07, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew12
Get the address of the Race promotor and mail it to them.
What's it gonna cost??? $5??

I'll chip in the first buck.
i'm totally thinkin thats what i'm gonna do. i can forgive racers in a race, but the promoters/organizers must not get away with this. it's almost worse in a way.
also- my apologies to any l.a. wheelmen, not that i layed the responsibilty at their feet, but i did think they would be more responsible, and am glad to know i was right. wheelmen-keep wheeling.
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Old 03-26-07, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Surferbruce
i'm totally thinkin thats what i'm gonna do. i can forgive racers in a race, but the promoters/organizers must not get away with this. it's almost worse in a way.
also- my apologies to any l.a. wheelmen, not that i layed the responsibilty at their feet, but i did think they would be more responsible, and am glad to know i was right. wheelmen-keep wheeling.

Ok, you want stamps or cash???
What happened to the photo, it's gone!
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Old 03-26-07, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew12
Ok, you want stamps or cash???
What happened to the photo, it's gone!
i have no problems paying the postage. if someone can verify their address that would be great.
-i still see the pic (?)
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Old 03-26-07, 10:03 PM
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it was Back on Track Productions. i've done some of their cyclocross races in the past and they seemed like decent folks. i've got their address though and will be sending their trash to them tomorrow.
thanks for the helpful responses.
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