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Beer Cans and Ladies' Underwear: Cyclists Gettin' Trashy!(9 posts)

Beer Cans and Ladies' Underwear: Cyclists Gettin' Trashy!Gregory Taylor
Oct 29, 2003 9:56 AM
It looks like the following (or something close to it) will be appearing in the upcoming Dirt Rag...

Why Yes, I Do Own The Road.

By Greg Taylor

Want to do a good deed for the community and the environment? How about a little grass-roots activism to promote cycling? And while we're at it, throw in the opportunity to let folks know just who really does own the road? And all with official governmental blessing?

If this sounds good to you, and if you live in the state of Virginia, then corral your riding buddies and officially "adopt" a highway as part of the Virginia Department of Transportation's "Adopt-A-Highway" program.

Virginia's "Adopt-a-Highway" program allows citizens to pitch in and help keep the Old Dominion's roads clean. All it takes is a commitment to clean up your particular stretch of roadway four times a year for two years. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) provides trash bags, vests, and, best of all, they put up a permanent sign along the roadside recognizing your group.

Let me repeat that last bit - volunteer for the program, and VDOT will put up a road sign recognizing your group.

It doesn't take a genius to see possibilities here. Sure, you can sign up for the program just because cleaning up the roadside is good for the environment. This is the noble route to take and, yes, it probably represents the primary motivation for the thousands of groups who already participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program. But what about those less altruistic motives that – c'mon, admit it -- might motivate a bunch of cyclists to stake a claim to a stretch of road.

For example, do you have an old girlfriend/boyfriend that you know uses a certain stretch of road every day? How cool would it be to have VDOT erect a sign with your name on it - or, better yet, a sign recognizing you and your new and fabulously desirable significant other - that your ex would have to drive by on his or her way to work every single stinkin' day for two years? Brutal, no? Play this one right and you and your former flame could wind up on Springer or Geraldo next to the nun-beaters and leather freaks. But hey, all's fair in love and war, my friend. And let's remember not to wander too far off of the message here: you did it to help the environment. Honest.

Or do you just want the opportunity to annoy fat yahoos driving around in their SUV's with a bit of roadside pro-bike propaganda? If that's the case, then a sign announcing that a bunch of bicyclists are taking care of the road might be just the thing to cause those resource-wasting, Big-Gulp guzzling, sedentary pant-loads to see the error of their ways. Or maybe not. Those pizza-flavored Slim-Jims are pretty dang tasty with a big ol' Dr. Pepper when you're rolling down the road in your big-ass Chevy Suburban. On second thought, it'll probably take something more than an "Adopt-a-Highway" sign to turn our fast food and fast-drivin' culture around. Something like $4 a gallon gasoline. Or colon cancer.

Revenge or social responsibility, it's your choice. Just come up with a cool name for your group, sign up for the program, and you are in business.

For my riding buddies, the Team Lardbutt Bicycle Club, we signed up for the simple reason that we wanted to see whether we could convince an arm of the state government to print the word "Lardbutt" on a highway sign. Mission accomplished. Oh, we also wanted to clean up a beautiful stretch of road that we train on each weekend. Call us a bunch of softies, but a roadside clean up is a good way to give a little back to the community.

The "Adopt-a-Highway" program isn't unique to Virginia. Today, 48 states and Puerto Rico, along with the countries of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain have instituted similar efforts that have put over one million volunteers to work improving the environment. Virginia's program can boast
MORE Beer Cans and Ladies' UnderwearGregory Taylor
Oct 29, 2003 9:59 AM
The "Adopt-a-Highway" program isn't unique to Virginia. Today, 48 states and Puerto Rico, along with the countries of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Spain have instituted similar efforts that have put over one million volunteers to work improving the environment. Virginia's program can boast that it has more than 6,800 volunteer groups that have adopted over 13,000 miles of highway. This represents roughly $2 million annually in litter-control services provided by volunteers.

We've done two cleanups so far and, truth be told, it's been pretty cool. Get enough guys together, feed them coffee and doughnuts, and things pretty much take care of themselves. Oh, and you will find some weird stuff by the roadside. Guaranteed. People throw the most amazing crap from their cars: golf balls, cell phones, strange photographs, and clothing. Especially women's clothing. During our last clean up, the guys turned in a remarkable pair of women's underwear that had been dumped by the roadside. Silky, sultry, shimmery red and black underwear with a super-sexy flame motif. Size XXXL.

Somewhere out there a whole lotta woman is missing her best pair of drawers.

For more information about the Virginia "Adopt-A-Highway" program, check out VDOT's website (www.virginiadot.org) or call 1-800-PRIDEVA.
size XXXL ???PaulCL
Oct 29, 2003 10:19 AM
Ew..yuck. Silky, sultry, shimmery red and black underwear should not be made in sizes greater than "L". Oughta be a law.

As for the article, good idea. My commonwealth, KY, has the same program. The local cycle club (of which I am a member) sponsors several miles of a well traveled bike route. I've never volunteered to clean it, never been asked, don't know when they do it - but I'll check and I'll help out.

Good post. Thanks. Paul
I hope you used rubber gloves. And a mask. Eeeww! nmKG 361
Oct 29, 2003 10:35 AM
The Sign -- Gunston Road, Lorton VirginiaGregory Taylor
Oct 29, 2003 10:46 AM
Yes, Virginia, there is a Team Lardbutt...
The Sign -- Gunston Road, Lorton Virginianovagator
Oct 29, 2003 10:50 AM
Awesome..I'll have to look for that sign :-) , although I do most of my riding in Loudoun County
Great Sign -- This needs more publicity (nm)Chainstay
Oct 29, 2003 5:02 PM
A Modest ProposalGregory Taylor
Oct 30, 2003 7:49 AM
Feel free to cut and paste this bit of errant nonsense to other cycling forums or club newsletters. If you monkey with it (I fuly understand that some might find the attempts at humor off-putting or *gasp* just not funny) then remove my name. The important thing is to spread the idea that the Adopt-A-Highway program (or similar programs) are a great idea for bike clubs or groups looking to do some community service.

I'll also post the time and date of the next scheduled Team Lardbutt Clean Up And Doughnut Extravaganza so that Washington D.C. area RBR'ers can make an appearance!
That's awesome...Frith
Oct 29, 2003 11:41 AM
Congrats on the publishing, but more importantly congrats on taking responsibility. Congrats more still on encouraging others to do the same.
Great article, Great post.
thanks