Litter thrown by cyclists on sportifs.....grrrr!

bprice
bprice Posts: 61
I did the Dragon ride today, and overall I was pleased with how the day went. This is one of the first sportiifs Ive ridden other than the Tour of the Black Mountains so Im unsure whether this is commonplace in other similar events. Im referring to the amount of litter ie energy gel/bar wrappers dropped by cyclists. I can only assume that they've been watching too much Eurosport!

Is it too much to ask a rider to, once he/she have consumed the contents, stuff the wrapper in their jersey pocket and dispose of it at the next feed station??

I despair when I see roads in the Brecon Beacons, an area where I was brought up, which, incidently, is a national park covered in litter thrown by cyclists who on the face of it should know better. :x
Does anyone agree with me on this?
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Comments

  • jrduquemin
    jrduquemin Posts: 791
    I agree with you...

    Cyclists have enough pockets in their jerseys to put their used gel sachets and wrappers in without having to chuck them on the road.
    2010 Lynskey R230
    2013 Yeti SB66
  • juggler
    juggler Posts: 262
    Yes agree.

    But then the organisers should expect that immature 'pro cycling wanabees' will dump their gel sachets etc...... hopefully there is a broom wagon to pick these up.

    For me, i had a rear jersey pocket of glooby mess... from the used Gel sachets at the end of the ride.

    So agree... but on the subject of it being a National Park, we are talking about something being dropped on a stretch of tarmac......not that i would discount that a foil wrapper from a gel sachet on a prestine piece of tarmac might offend someone's aesthetic sensibilites...
  • hugo15
    hugo15 Posts: 1,101
    Was the same on the Northern Rock Cyclone yesterday. The worst bit was the Powerade bottles chucked on the side of the the road about 30 metres after the third feed station. Could the culprit have not put them in the bin before they set off. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
  • bprice
    bprice Posts: 61
    juggler wrote:
    Yes agree.

    But then the organisers should expect that immature 'pro cycling wanabees' will dump their gel sachets etc...... hopefully there is a broom wagon to pick these up.

    For me, i had a rear jersey pocket of glooby mess... from the used Gel sachets at the end of the ride.

    So agree... but on the subject of it being a National Park, we are talking about something being dropped on a stretch of tarmac......not that i would discount that a foil wrapper from a gel sachet on a prestine piece of tarmac might offend someone's aesthetic sensibilites...
    Stretch of tarmac it may be, but once the wind blows it onto the surrounding countryside then the broom wagon, if they do come behind to pick up litter which I very much doubt, has an almost near impossible job.
  • hazychris
    hazychris Posts: 202
    +1

    I felt ashamed to be a cyclist every now and again on the Cyclone yesterday... those purporting to "enjoy the countryside at its best" didn't do much keep it at its best.

    Ho hum - it takes all sorts!

    Cheers,
    Chris
  • juggler
    juggler Posts: 262
    bprice wrote:
    juggler wrote:
    Yes agree.

    But then the organisers should expect that immature 'pro cycling wanabees' will dump their gel sachets etc...... hopefully there is a broom wagon to pick these up.

    For me, i had a rear jersey pocket of glooby mess... from the used Gel sachets at the end of the ride.

    So agree... but on the subject of it being a National Park, we are talking about something being dropped on a stretch of tarmac......not that i would discount that a foil wrapper from a gel sachet on a prestine piece of tarmac might offend someone's aesthetic sensibilites...
    Stretch of tarmac it may be, but once the wind blows it onto the surrounding countryside then the broom wagon, if they do come behind to pick up litter which I very much doubt, has an almost near impossible job.

    OK.. we should all pick our mess, annoys me when i see riders dumping gel sachets.. i stuff the empty sachets into my pocket.

    Just wondering about the lasting effect.... actually if a rodent got a swig of an energy gel it might work well :D ...
  • Gel wrappers are sticky.......

    HOWEVER THIS IS NO EXCUSE

    I tend to fold them up and tuck them under my shorts to avoid my other belongings adhering to the rest of my kit.
  • bprice
    bprice Posts: 61
    juggler wrote:
    bprice wrote:
    juggler wrote:
    Yes agree.

    But then the organisers should expect that immature 'pro cycling wanabees' will dump their gel sachets etc...... hopefully there is a broom wagon to pick these up.

    For me, i had a rear jersey pocket of glooby mess... from the used Gel sachets at the end of the ride.

    So agree... but on the subject of it being a National Park, we are talking about something being dropped on a stretch of tarmac......not that i would discount that a foil wrapper from a gel sachet on a prestine piece of tarmac might offend someone's aesthetic sensibilites...
    Stretch of tarmac it may be, but once the wind blows it onto the surrounding countryside then the broom wagon, if they do come behind to pick up litter which I very much doubt, has an almost near impossible job.

    OK.. we should all pick our mess, annoys me when i see riders dumping gel sachets.. i stuff the empty sachets into my pocket.

    Just wondering about the lasting effect.... actually if a rodent got a swig of an energy gel it might work well :D ...

    Imagine if a sheep managed to get one down....they're daft enough as it is!
  • snaffledog
    snaffledog Posts: 53
    Can make it embarrasing for the rest of us. :oops: It was the same on the Cheshire Cat back in March, I was riding along and watching members of the public shaking their heads and picking up the discarded wrappers off the road, then looking up at me with a discerning look! Talk about being tarred with the same brush.

    No matter what standard of rider you are, sportives are not (in the vast majority of cases) professional events with closed roads ( and TV cameras ) with people to mop up after you.

    Your also unlikely to be downing a gel or energy bar whilst in the red zone, so you could easily put your used wrappers into your jersey pockets after consumption?

    We all have a responsibility to give cycling a good name where we can.
  • bprice
    bprice Posts: 61
    On a positive note to those of you who did todays Dragon ride. Were you lucky enough to have been in the vicinity of the Penderyn climb to witness the red Kite soaring up from about 10 metres to the left of us. It was a truly stunning site.
  • cjms85
    cjms85 Posts: 24
    I did the Cyclone yesterday and I also thought it was quite appalling how much litter was left around the place. Admittedly at the food stations it was hard to get to the bin bags or that they were overflowing much of the time, but that's not an excuse.

    As I was cycling along I must have seen at least 4-5 water bottles, and by that I don't mean Evian bottles, but proper cycling water bottles discarded by the road. What on earth is the point? Even if the bottle has broken carrying an extra 200-300 grams of plastic is hardly going to affect your time, and if it is then develop some extra muscle or lose 300 grams of fat. Not to mention the cost of a water bottle.

    Well some people never learn I guess ...

    Chris
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 27,316
    I didn't notice it being too bad on the Dragon ride yesterday, except around the feed stations, where people were just dropping litter anywhere (and in that volume, banana skins still count as litter in my book). Someone has to clear it up.

    I almost lost my water bottle - I think that maybe that is not a deliberate act. I'd have stopped and picked it up, but I was going uphill at the time, not sure if I was on a descent I'd have fancied going back for it.
  • bahzob
    bahzob Posts: 2,195
    Gel wrappers are sticky.......

    HOWEVER THIS IS NO EXCUSE

    I tend to fold them up and tuck them under my shorts to avoid my other belongings adhering to the rest of my kit.

    Hear hear. Do the same. Dont think there is any excuse chucking wrappers away. That said also did the Dragon yesterday and the TOW/Etape Cal earlier this year and IMO with 3 years sportive experience its becoming less of a problem rather than more of one.

    Think the manufacturers have a role to play as well. Given we are shortly to commemorate the 40th anniversary of putting a man on the moon surely its not too much to design a gel wrapper that is easy to open and discharges all of its contents into the mouth?
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • bahzob
    bahzob Posts: 2,195
    bprice wrote:
    On a positive note to those of you who did todays Dragon ride. Were you lucky enough to have been in the vicinity of the Penderyn climb to witness the red Kite soaring up from about 10 metres to the left of us. It was a truly stunning site.

    Yep. Spotted it and it was beautiful. Made the climb a little easier..
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • sheffsimon
    sheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    +1 on litter, pet hate of mine! - its not the responsibility of organiser to go round after collecting litter.

    If its your litter, you dispose of it properly - it aint that difficult, and TBH having a gloopy back pocket is the least of your worries on a long ride.
  • DominicB
    DominicB Posts: 15
    Why not decant your gels into one of those small gel bottles (like you get on runner's /triathlete's belts)? It's easier to drink and put away afterwards and there are no wrappers.
    And if you cut up your energy bars into bite size chunks and wrap them in greaseproof paper (biodegradable). you can take a chunk at a time and no foil wrappers to dispose of.
    If you don't take litter, you can't drop any. Win, win.

    The kite was fantastic.
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  • stfc1
    stfc1 Posts: 505
    I don't like to use gels, but wouldn't carrying a little plastic sandwich bag in your jersey pocket give you somewhere to put the empty, sticky packets while keeping your jersey pockets gloop-free?
  • bahzob
    bahzob Posts: 2,195
    stfc1 wrote:
    I don't like to use gels, but wouldn't carrying a little plastic sandwich bag in your jersey pocket give you somewhere to put the empty, sticky packets while keeping your jersey pockets gloop-free?

    Doesnt work so well in practice I am afraid, since other stuff in pockets and rummaging around to find gels/put them back can be tricky at best and lead to disaster at worst.

    For that reason put my gels up my shorts and food into a bag like this.

    http://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=A0128

    Apart from making it easy to get to it also makes it easy to store wrappers afterwards and dump into bin at end of ride. For sportives find it surprising more people dont use them. Did the Dragon yesterday and cant remember seeing one on any other bike.

    (Food of choice now is jelly babies which makes litter problem go away as just decant 250g into bag before start and eat a few every 10 minutes or so. That + 2-3l of sports drink/3-4 gels is enough for 6 hours hard riding.)
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • georgee
    georgee Posts: 537
    I did ask one tosser if his wrapper didn't fit in his bacl pocket as we headed across the moors, got a mumbled "uhhh I suppose so" saw others do it as well, pretty awful to be honest.

    G
  • Richard891
    Richard891 Posts: 34
    I can see why people chuck their wrappers - often you've got pockets full of stuff - mobile phone, spare tube, keys etc. and it's hard enough fishing out the bar or whatever you want without rumaging through a load of empty wrappers too.

    Chucking litter is inexcusable though these days, What I normally do is stuff the empty wrappers up underneath my jersey, Normally cycling kit is tight enough for them not to drop out again and if you're wearing an under vest you'll forget all about the "empties" until they fall on the floor at home when you're getting changed.

    Dropping wrappers from a bike can be problematic too - once I accidentally dropped a gel wrapper and it managed to get trapped in rear brake caliper and rubbed on the rear tyre until I stopped and fished it out.
  • whitakma
    whitakma Posts: 3
    On the Dragon ride yesterday I was behind a guy who did the flick with gel wrapper, seethed, but said nothing. Been feeling guilty ever since, I should have given him the hard word.

    I agree with DominicB - gel flasks are the way to go - I usually take two and that's all I need on a long ride, apart from hydration. If you go for the Agisko products, their bulk gel refills all come with a free flask. Buying in bulk is also cheaper.

    Wrappers of all sorts should be carried back home - full stop. There is no excuse.

    I also get annoyed seeing the pros tossing stuff, but at least their bottles can be recycled by a grateful fan. I still remember a cycling holiday I did in France in my younger years where I had a happy time collecting coca-cola branded bottles as I passed along some of the TDF route a few weeks later. They lasted me for years!
  • popette
    popette Posts: 2,089
    I would never knowingly drop litter and I inwardly tut whenever I see it on the road. However, I know that I have inadvertently dropped on a number of sportives. I have a tri bag with all my gels in - they get eaten and then packaging goes in the rear jersey pocket or back to the tribag and then into a bin at a feed stopt. On a couple of occasions, I have heard a kite like flapping noise and I turn around to see a wrapper flying out behind me. A chocolate bar which I felt was firmly wedged in my jersey and a torq cannister have also fallen out - only realised that when I got back and they weren't in there.
    I'm sure that there are those who litter knowingly but there must be a few like me who have dropped it without any intention of doing so.
    Still, it's crap that I dropped it, even if I didn't mean to.
    :oops:
  • cakewalk
    cakewalk Posts: 220
    I too was on this ride. Too much litter. Saw a rider lob an empty plastic boltte over a hedge.

    Amazed.
    "I thought of it while riding my bicycle."
  • cakewalk
    cakewalk Posts: 220
    "I thought of it while riding my bicycle."
  • Homer J
    Homer J Posts: 920
    maybe the organisers should say something. I know that in the road races that i do we are told anyone seen littering will be DQ'ed.
  • andy_wrx
    andy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    The organiser can only do something if they know about it.

    There's a few people above having seen someone actually do it
    - if you see someone do this, yet you keep quiet about it, what does this achieve ?

    Either have a word with them then, or if not fancying a confrontation then get their number then look in the results and get their name and post it on here.

    Name & Shame, rather than expecting 'someone' to do something about it.



    FWIW I don't think these people do see pros tossing litter and think that they can do the same : I think they're just that kind of people.

    How often do you see people just dropping litteras they walk down the street, chucking their MacDonalds or chip wrappers, dropping empy Coke tins, tossing their fag-ends out of the window of their cars, etc ?

    It seems many people are lazy, uncaring, irresponsible - and some of them ride bikes...
  • RR75
    RR75 Posts: 23
    I think that anyone throwing litter ought to be black-listed from future events. Also, we shouldn't be shy of telling others to pick stuff up - just tutting at them on the forum won't work.

    Also, for information: banana skins take a very long time to biodegrade. Much longer than apple cores, for example. So don't throw them.
  • Just take a look at the roads in Majorca in Feb / March, it is only British wrappers you'll see on the floor. Riders in road races think it makes them more pro to chuck litter in the gutter than back in a pocket or up the jersey. More DQs will change it but commisairres don't like to DQ people or rock the boat too much. I know of a rider who got punchy after being told off for littering and his team sponsor defended him!
  • zoomcp
    zoomcp Posts: 975
    I noticed a whole load of crap all over the road last time I did the Tour of the Hills Audax; never normally see any.

    are these people just pigs or what? :x

    never a problem on the continent; riders there mostly eat proper food and drink provided by the organisers