Video | What can a MTBer do to help our planet?

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What can a mountain biker do to help our planet? It’s a difficult question with uncomfortable answers, but an easy one is #DitchDisposables

Rémy Métailler has produced a video asking ‘What can a mountain biker do to help our planet?’. It’s a bit of a sponsor heavy logo close-up affair, but the message is no less valid: he’s asking us to ‘ditch disposables’.

The video is supported by Camelbak, who – as a maker of portable reusable cups – certainly has skin in the game when it comes to inviting people to buy a nice reusable receptacle to carry around with them. But again, someone has to make them, and they’re better than the styrofoam throwaway options. Hey, even we sell a Singletrack bamboo cup (hint, hint).

Continuing the cynicism, a few cups aren’t going to change the planet, but as Rémy notes, we should all do what we can, and all the little actions add up.

He freely admits that he has a great time travelling the world, but that that comes at a cost to the planet. Should he stop doing what he loves, and what earns his living? Indeed, I have a partner that lives in the USA – should I ditch him on the grounds of environmental impact? We can all ask ourselves a few uncomfortable questions, and come back with a few uncomfortable answers.

Being here was amazing, but what was the cost?

What Rémy is saying, is that we should do what we can to help our planet. Ask those questions, make better choices. Some choices are easy – there’s practically no effort in buying a cup. There’s no discomfort in using a reusable fork, or bag. Other choices, like getting out the car and riding to work, take a little more effort and often a little more discomfort. But the easier those choices are to see, the easier it is to make them. That’s why I was so pleased to see one of Rémy’s other sponsors, Cube, introducing a cargo bike for next year. Seeing that in your local bike shop makes it a whole lot easier to choose.

Mountain biking isn’t especially environmentally friendly, but it does give us an appreciation for our surroundings. there are many things that a mountain biker can do to help our planet – most of them are things that every human can do. The question is, what choices will you make?

Want to choose a cup? You can, here:

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Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (10)

    And there concludes the message from his sponsor.

    I must say that my first generation camelback bottles are still going very strong after many years and many, many uses. Far more uses than any other manufactures. And if the lid breaks I can replace it.
    My Elite Deboyo stainless steel flask fits well in the bottle cage and using the non-sports top keeps my tea hot for hours.

    What you can do?
    Asks bloke in big-massive pickup truck with 15MPG or so ratio…

    Sound to me genuine as heck :/


    We are told by scientists who probably know what they are talking about that there is a climate emergency and that radical action has to be taken. What I need to do for the sake of my grandchildren is consume less. Be content with the bike(s) I have; be content to ride from home rather than drive to a bike park; use tyres until they are worn out rather than upgrading to the latest design; ride in the Quantocks, not the Alps. And apply the same principles to the rest of my life.

    All sounds a bit dull and at odds with the mtb vibe but continuing to live a three-planet lifestyle on the only habitable planet is a bit daft, isn’t it?

    not watched the video yet (at work) however will do tonight, but comments suggest its just virtue signalling? any actual change happening?
    I havent flown in 18 months, and plan not to fly for another 2 – 3 years if i can persuade the misses!

    my personal mileage has dropped from 7,000 a year to about 2,000 through cycling and better planning for when i cannot cycle. (business mileage is a different problem)

    I used to go to S Wales/BPW all the time, travelling 300 miles to ‘hit some lines’ A bit of time spent exploring locally and i have found some truly amazing stuff that i can ride all the time, from my house (or with a short drive 20 miles drive if feeling lazy – which i should stop).

    next step for me is to make my own energy bars/food rather than the easily brought but disposable stuff. Anyone know any decent recipes?

    i have taken the lead in our house to reduce single use plastic, and it is slowly rubbing off on the family. for 1st time ever, our non recyclable bin was only 3/4 full an improvement if not ideal

    tBananas are just good, protected with bananaguards.

    This is my favourite brownie recipe, (though I do have the G+B Ultimate book)
    can be made in 20×20 tin, so slightly smaller by multiplying everything by 2/3 (use 185-200g of egg)

    For something slightly more virtuous I make a version of the green and blacks flapjack recipe

    100g unsalted butter
    50g light brown muscovado sugar
    2 Tablespoons honey (60-65g)

    Heat in a medium size pan until just starting to boil, remove from heat and add

    135g rolled oats (I like 100g of normal+35g of jumbo, but that’s me)
    30g mixed seeds
    120g dried fruit, chopped (Mango great, but pricey, cranberries good and cheap, not too wet)

    Stir, cool, stir, needs to be cold before adding

    65g good (G+B cooking for me) Milk chocolate, cut into chunks

    Pour into a buttered 20×20 tin, into a preheated 160 deg C oven 20-35 mins, dark on edges and a bit bubbling. Cool, remove and cut.

    I guess ride locally as much as you can is the obvious answer. Running tubeless has got to help a tad. Carbon items have been flagged as not too good for the environment when comes time for retirement. The smallest thing but the one that annoys the f*ck out of me the most is don’t throw your bloody gel wrappers on the trail! I don’t care if you’re in an XC race either, just don’t.

    This is just fluff / greenwash.

    Reducing disposables, whether plastic or other materials, isn’t going to make a significant difference to anything (except perhaps litter which, despite the photos of turtles & beaches, is more aesthetic than a cause of global meltdown).

    Tough choices are required all round, the most pressing ones by governments around the world. While each of us should (and IMHO must) do our bit, we need to pressure our leaders into making tough but crucial decisions.

    This is fundamentally it
    “While each of us should (and IMHO must) do our bit, we need to pressure our leaders into making tough but crucial decisions.”

    well i see two major Flaws in the ‘what MTBers can do to help the planet’
    First all of the wolrd’s governement are based on an economical groth economics where you have to produce and sell more each year.
    Second we need to stop breeding now, and get the number of humans on the planet down to 4 billions and then only then we could start taking action. but I can’t see any government taking actions toward that any time soon.

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