Pick Up The Pieces

One of the downfalls of cycling is getting a flat tyre. Especially with a Cargobike as it is too heavy to lift and take the wheel off to investigate the damage. It sometimes feels that on the weekend people decide to smash their glass bottles on the cycle lanes on purpose! Ever notice that on a Monday the amount of broken glass about increases? I often also notice the bike lane is hit more than the path which can be frustrating. Weekend drinking during lockdown has definitely increased the amount of outdoor drinkers. Fine, if that’s how you wish to spend your weekend but do you really have to leave your rubbish behind? Does the glass have to be smashed to pieces? I often think about the poor dog’s paws on their walks too as I attempt to weave my way through the gaps.

Earlier this week, before our Monday commute, we decided to clean up the glass ourselves. We cycle a little greenway every morning on our commutes to work. It is notoriously bad for broken glass after any weekend. We contacted Fingal County Council a few weeks ago in the hope they would send someone out to clear the path but alas, no one came so we took to the job ourselves. I was thanked by passers by numerous times which gave me the incentive to repeat in the future but not only that; I would hope to encourage others to get out and help clean our streets too. What is one hour out of your day on the weekend? The feel good factor during and after definitely makes it worthwhile. It was so nice cycling to work for the whole week with a sense of pride at how clean the mini greenway was!

I knew I would gather a fair amount of glass but I was still surprised at just how much glass there was after one collection! So, how did I go about not only gathering the glass but separating it from the foliage and tree debris?

When you’re cycling, you don’t spot these little pieces easily. With the pressure of the wheel cycling over them they get wedged and burrow into the tyre. When inspecting our tyres after a flat (I should note here that my husband Paul gets this job – thank you hunny!) it’s always the small pieces that are the culprit because they can get in to the small grooves of the wheel.

Now it was time to separate the glass from the debris in order to see just how much glass I actually collected in one hour.

I repeated this a few times until I was left with mainly glass. Here are my before and after pictures:

I think I have now started a new tradition for our family. I will be ‘picking up the pieces’ every Sunday from now on! (or until the council organise regular clean ups!)

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