Saturday, April 12, 2014

Profile of a Roadside Litterbug

This morning, I joined Curt and Sita to clean up the New River Valley Bicycle Association's stretch of "adopted" road on Den Hill Road. It was a beautiful spring morning and I was glad for a chance to do something useful for a section of road that I cycle often. When you walk a road you observe things you don't notice with the speed of a bike.

With a number of organized bike rides and the "3.2 for 32" run on campus, we were few in number, but no matter! Curt had it very well organized. I got the "Marshal" vest, so I took that to mean I was the one to boss people around. I asked where was my shotgun and prisoner van? I tried not to let so much power go to my head.

I think we ended up with 9 bags of trash across maybe a mile and a half or so.

Trash pickup became a fascinating anthropological study of the Roadside Litterbug. Here are some of the characteristics of this subgroup of the species that I noted:
  • They drink cheap beer - Busch, Miller, and Bud are among the most popular. They favor "light" beer. Guess they are concerned about maintaining racing weight and lean muscle mass.
  • They smoke Marlboros and empty their ashtrays around corners. That's probably because they like to keep a clean, tidy car!
  • Those who do not smoke, chew.
  • They buy lottery tickets but neglect to recycle the paper.
  • They like energy drinks! Must be hard workers!
  • They eat Happy Meals but don't save the toy...what's with that?
  • They enjoy fresh breath, as evidenced by a Duck Dynasty breath mint wrapper Curt discovered (ewww)
  • They drink quite a bit of coffee....and liquor. Perhaps they alternate between the two, like a super set, or interval training!
I really don't understand the littering mentality. It's very self-centered and short-sighted. How hard is it to find a garbage can, which are at every gas station and store!!

Things noticeably absent:
  • Gel packages or cyclist detritis
  • Craft beers
  • Organic snack wrappers
It was great to get out and do something different but I was pretty tired afterward. This is how it goes these days - do something, rest, do something, rest.

Final images that I found Googling about -- clever and fun!!!