From Bicycle To Recycle – Keeping America Green and Safe for Bicyclists, Part 2

From a practical standpoint, debris along the side of the roadway poses a direct threat to the safety of the cyclist far beyond that faced by any motorist. The car that runs over a small rock will feel almost nothing inside the passenger compartment, while the bicyclist who runs over that same rock can be thrown sideways, lose control, fall off and potentially be injured severely.
Which is why it’s so important these days to keep America ‘green and clean’ for the sake of the cycling community. Of course, we’d all like to see our nation be beautiful for the sake of beauty itself, but for the bicyclist who connects directly with the earth on every revolution of their tires, beatification translates into debris-free and, ultimately, personal safety.
Head injuries are of particular concern to bicyclists, although less so with the advent of modern safety conscious bike helmets. Of course, no helmet will stop you from snapping your neck, fracturing your clavicle, puncturing a kidney, breaking a knee cap, cracking a fibula or fibula, breaking or dislocating one or more fingers or toes, dislodging a nose or otherwise damaging various and sundry body parts!
Of course, the bicyclist could wear leather outerwear as motorcyclists do, but most bicyclists would find it stifling and restrictive indeed to have to wear heavy, durable and padded outerwear just to protect their skin and internal bones and organs from severe falls.
Really, the best line of defense for the bicyclist is a debris-free roadway so that incidents of being knocked off balance by debris and rubbish in the road are minimized to the greatest extent possible.
Another phenomenon that has sprung up across America over the past several decades, and while it might not seem to be connected to bicycling at first blush, is more connected than one might think — and that is the rise of the dumpster rental.
The prevalence of dumpsters that can be rented and brought to a specific location for various purposes has made it easier than ever for debris that might otherwise find itself onto a roadway, and end up in the direct path of a bicyclist, to find a new home — in the dumpster where it can be carted off to the local landfill and disposed of properly.
Rental dumpsters can be seen everywhere across the landscape these days. You might spot one outside of a private residence under construction, being remodeled, or receiving a new roof. Another dumpster might be spotted on the side of a busy city street where roadwork is being performed, or perhaps as a new facade is added to the exterior of a tall building.
As basic as they may be, dumpsters are a wonderful modern invention. They come in various sizes that can all be hoisted up on to the back of a specially adapted truck, rolled onto the truck’s flat bed, and driven away.
In closing, if you are a bicycle enthusiast yourself or would just like to ‘pitch in’ to help, whenever you see debris by the side of the road, stop to think of your friendly neighborhood cyclists and toss that debris into the nearest dumpster or other refuse container.
From ‘bicycle to recycle,’ it’s all about improving the environment for all of us! Let’s keep American clean, green and bicycle friendly. Happy pedaling, everyone.
We love to hear from our readers, so if you have any comments regarding this post please leave them below.  In addition if you have any information to add we would love to write about it.

From Bicycle To Recycle – Keeping America Green and Safe for Bicyclists, Part 1

Road Safety Image
Back in the days when the bicycle was first invented, the main road rubbish to avoid was horse dung. Yes, horses and the bicycle shared the roads together in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, and bikes in those days had no splash guards covering the tires. Which means that whatever the bike ran into got sprayed all over the rider.
Just as the bicycle was in the process of becoming more mechanically sophisticated, with better brakes, better shifting and wheel cowlings, the automobile came along. And with riders came litter. In days when sanitation was not as well understood or appreciated as it is today, pretty much anything you threw out the window stayed on the road.
So now not only did the bicyclist have to steer around horse manure, he or she had to avoid ruts in the road while steering clear of debris ejected from motor vehicles as well. Not fun and not easy!
As the decades went by, America’s roadways became vastly better developed and maintained. Laws were passed giving bicycles the same rights of way as motor vehicles, while at the same time requiring bicyclists to obey those same rules themselves.
Local roads remained under the jurisdiction of the several states in which state property and other taxes along with the federal excise tax on motor fuels funded state highway maintenance departments to keep the roads clean and well maintained.
This ushered in the golden age of bicycling. Then the Arab oil embargo hit in the early 1970s and America found herself held hostage to the availability of foreign fuel imports. This increased the already existing enthusiasm for bicycles as increasing numbers of motorists, and especially urban commuters, turned to bicycles instead to contain the rising cost of operating motor vehicles.
This new lobbying group led to even more attention being placed on the proper maintenance of roadways and also saw the beginning of the bike path movement in the United States.
Today there are literally thousands of bike paths, both official and listed in various registries, and unofficial (often the privy secrets of local bike enthusiasts). Bikers take great pride in their biking trails and will go out of their way to pick up debris, as well as to organize occasional volunteer debris cleanup days to ensure as much as possible the pristine condition of their beloved biking trails.