Matthew Parris was right - fetch the piano wire

by pwmedcraft   September 3, 2013  

I picked up this rubbish (and a few more gel wrappers) while walking along a 400m stretch of Chapel Lane in Westhumble last week. I can understand that some things might be dropped accidentally, especially in a race or sportive (where one would hope the organisers would have a sweep organised afterwards) but some of these wrappers were high up the bank in groups and the CO2 cartridge? FFS, what is wrong with some people? At Wits End

For balance, I suppose I should point out that a motorist had left this:

26 user comments

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Agreed. Totally unnecessary put it in your pocket no matter where you are it’s not hard.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [483 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 14:37


If you can manage to carry the weight when it's full you can manage it when it's empty, road up Pen-Y-Pass last month and there were energy gel sachets everywhere, roadies At Wits End

Dr.Galactus's picture

posted by Dr.Galactus [18 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 14:45

1 Like

In near-on 300km of the Swiss Alps last weekend I saw *****2***** discarded carbo shot squeezy tubes.

And believe me, head down, 7kph, I had plenty of time to look Wink

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [674 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 15:11


Dr.Galactus wrote:
If you can manage to carry the weight when it's full you can manage it when it's empty.

Spot on.

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [483 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 15:23


Not as if you're not going to wash your jersey afterwards- a little bit of sticky residue in the pocket ain't going to matter.

posted by Al__S [724 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 15:35


I always favour bananas with natures excellent bio-degradable packaging. I still try and use a bin though if in a an urban environment.
It really depresses me on my ride to see these wrappers strewn across country lanes.

posted by sooper6 [20 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 15:50


On a sportive a couple of Sundays ago I came up to a young club rider (I'll avoid the temptation to name and shame the club for the time being) who was eating a Mars bar and threw his wrapper on the ground as I passed. Prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt I politely told him that he seemed to have dropped something and you would have thought I had taken a crap in his bidon from his reaction!

Obviously judging from the gel wrappers on up the road as the club riders had stampeded on through he is picking the idea that it "looks pro" (despite the pros getting better at not chucking their wrappers on the road) from his elder colleagues. I even saw some empty bidons on the road although whether they had fallen out of cages or been tossed aside, (again in a hat tip to the pro-peloton) I don't know.

I did however have the pleasure of dropping the young fella on the next hilly section despite my at least 12 year age and 3 stone weight disadvantage- self-righteous indignation can be a powerful stimulant when channelled!

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [137 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 16:05



I'm a fan of the faithful banana, natures greatest packaged cycling food surely!
I NEVER throw wrappers etc, but for the obvious reason I won't keep banana skins. Though I was riding along the other day, nonchalantly chucked my skin into the ditch. There was a pesky metal box man behind me and when he got the chance to tell me he did "YOU SHOULDN'T BE FUCKING LITTERING" Seems he had no basic knowledge of decomposition. He seemed perplexed at my explanation of "last time I check bananas make good compost". What a busy body, think he just wanted to have a go at a cyclist.

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 17:16

1 Like

I find it unbelievable - one of the great benefits of cycling is seeing the countryside, what moron would then harm it like this?

Also worth noting that you'd get serious abuse if you did that while out with our club- I do hope other clubs are as diligent.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3562 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 18:42


Hmmm...banana skins take two years to decompose, compared to four weeks for a paper bag and eight weeks for an apple core. So you could say that throwing banana skins IS littering. Certainly most environmental groups urge people to take their banana skins home. It is estimated that there are over 1000 banana skins strewn across Ben Nevis, iirc.

Still better than plastic gel wrappers though. No excuse for chucking those At Wits End

posted by tomisitt [43 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 19:38

1 Like

Then again you could eat the skin as well. It is loaded with anti-oxidants and higher levels of potassium amongst other health benefits. Best using a banana that's leaning more on the ripe side as the skin is less chewy. Strangely enough it is easier digested than the flesh itself. Nerd

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1088 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 19:46

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That's an interesting point, after researching a little further it seems bananas decompose after anything between 2 days to 4 weeks depending on the time of year. The conditions on Ben Nevis where they have the issues are obviously more extreme. I tend to put them in bins whenever possible, but admit to having thrown them on farmers fields in the assumption they would decompose in a few weeks.
Thinking about it putting them in bins, for them then to transported and be part of landfill is an even worse outcome.
I think I will take them home in future and compost them myself as apparently they make very good compost!

posted by sooper6 [20 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 20:41

1 Like

It is unnecessary, you can even put empty wrappers up your sleeve or bib leg, I've also seen stack loads of discarded gel wrappers on half marathon and 10k routes - it just rudeness plain and simple. Crying

posted by viveLaPants [93 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 20:53

1 Like

I always take a spare sandwich bag on rides to put rubbish in, stops anything else in pockets getting sticky.

posted by mrkeith119 [88 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 21:10


Al__S wrote:
Not as if you're not going to wash your jersey afterwards- a little bit of sticky residue in the pocket ain't going to matter.

I always wash my kit after every use to remove sticky residue. Wink

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1540 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 21:53

1 Like

On a Lincoln sportive I saw riders throwing uneaten bananas away before the final climb. It made me wonder if getting rid of the weight was more beneficial than eating the damn thing and having a bit more energy. And oh yeah, it's not a race godammit. Rolling Eyes


Wardy74's picture

posted by Wardy74 [26 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 21:54


Littering is one of those things that really bring out the inner middle aged grumpy git in me.
It's so, so fucking pointless. And I see it every fucking day in London, from everyone. It's fucking disgusting, thoughtless and irritating.

I even saw a Southwark council van chucking something out of its window the other day. Southwark council, who have to pick up the street litter.

posted by bashthebox [687 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 21:57


You really shouldn't drop banana skins. Have you never played SuperMarioKart?

Although one time on a sportive I got stranded alone, and was thankful of the empty gel packets strewn everywhere, like a trail of breadcrumbs...

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [496 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 23:07

1 Like

Some fucked up logic there.

posted by northstar [1113 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 23:31

1 Like

+1 for bananas. I rarely take anything else with me, except on longer rides. Trying out gels at the moment, would never litter with them.

But does anyone else do what i do? Namely, when discarding a banana skin (not in the city, obviously), I look for a deep thick hedge or load of nettles, and throw it in, so it disappears?

I ask because you do sometimes see them hanging high in the hedge - poor aim.

Also, does anyone else try to throw it when there are no /fewer cars around?

I do, because even though I know it's a banana skin, they might see me and think "grr cyclist littering". To which I'd say - it's not litter, it's pollution. Kind of like what's coming out your exhaust pipe.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
4th September 2013 - 7:46


PJ - I aim for bottoms of hedges, grass etc where it would be hidden. Would look un-sightly dangling in a hedgerow!

Well I may now re-consider throwing away my 'nana skins. I didn't even realise. Feel bad now!

Littering bugs the crap out of me. The other day I was at some traffic lights and a woman dropped a crisp wrapper out of her car, I picked it up and said she must have dropped it, she put it on the seat. Angry Devil

It always just strikes me as so pointless, why not just keep it in your car, pocket, bag or what ever else and dispose when you get home! Was the crisp packet going to do her harm if she'd have kept it in the car. Some people don't care about the environment, or even where they live it seems. My next door has a skip and litter strewn all over the front lawn. Not even having building work done now (was finished around 2 years ago) there drive and house looks so un-sightly because evidently can not be bothered to go outside with a bin liner and sweeping brush.

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
4th September 2013 - 12:11

1 Like

The same happens at the beach near me, esp in summer. People leave litter, beer cans, disp BBQ etc. No thought at all, but will happily complain that there are gulls around or when they aren't allowed and the council ban having disposable BBQs anymore on the beach then they will complain.

posted by Cycle_Jim [282 posts]
4th September 2013 - 12:14

1 Like

"...disgusting, thoughtless and irritating." (bashthebox)

As is the language. Please...

One of my favourite cycling moments ever: Waiting at traffic lights, bloke in car lobs his greasy, mayo covered wrapper out of the car window into the gutter in front of me. What to do, but pick it up and lob it back in again, accompanied by a polite "please put your litter in a bin"

I hate to think what it did to his fancy Friday night threads. The look on his face was priceless.

posted by flobble [57 posts]
4th September 2013 - 12:22


Yes, on the occasions where I throw banana skins away, I always do it when there's no-one to see and where the skin won't be easily seen - thick growth of bushes or similar. Banana skins decompose in no time - 3 weeks time you won't know it was there. Not as quick as an apple core admittedly but no-where near the couple of years that was mentioned above (unless it's discarded on a rocky hilltop maybe).

It's a scientifically proven fact that gels contain enough energy for you to carry the wrapper out again.

posted by crazy-legs [600 posts]
4th September 2013 - 12:28

1 Like

Just stick the wrapper back in your pocket. Job done.

I tend to wash my kit after a ride so any residue magically disappears via the medium of biological washing powder.

posted by SlowSPDRider [22 posts]
5th September 2013 - 12:17

1 Like

SIMPLES... Before ride empty gels into squeezy bottle (see picture) put bottle in pocket use as and when rinse out when home.


posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [618 posts]
6th September 2013 - 17:25