Carbon that ends up as ocean fill, thousands of miles driven (or flown) to ride and metre-wide trails scarring natural habitats – for a sport that cherishes the natural environment there’s a lot of embarrassment swept under the rug by the mountain bike community.
One issue that never gets overlooked though is litter and, when it comes to downhill, tear offs. Unsightly cellophane churned into the soil by tyres and boots will remain there forever and makes an easy case for any nimby naysayers with an axe to grind. This led to a certain downhill centre reportedly spending thousands of pounds a year cleaning the things up and the British Downhill Series banning them totally, citing: “increased environmental responsibility.”
Unfortunately, that means your options for clear vision are reduced to the bathroom blind style roll-off – better environmentally but not a patch on the full vision refresh of the tear off – or squinting. How do you balance a rider’s safety with their environmental impact?