What Is Wrong With Us?


Jemez Riders Motorcycle Association

Let me begin by saying that I am not a tree-hugging, greenie, activist hippy.  I’m a middle aged, fat, bald guy that hates seeing trash along the sides of our highways. As a motorcyclist that rides all over northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, I can tell you that there aren’t many stretches of road more trashy than NM-502 leading into Los Alamos. Why is that?  Who are these people that throw trash out the windows of their cars? Is it you?

Last June, the Jemez Riders Motorcycle Group organized a clean-up at the White Rock interchange and the Y parking area. We filled over 50 bags with roadside trash and honestly only put a small dent in the shameful situation. We found everything. Diapers, cigarette butts, hundreds of empty alcohol miniatures, fast food bags full of half eaten burgers, beer bottles, energy drink cans, magazines, articles of clothing, chewing tobacco tins, paper sacks, plastic sacks, hacky sacks, and sadly a few hypodermic needles.  Of course we also found those things you’d expect like parts from cars and snakes.  We picked up everything and had the NMDOT folks come and get it. Except the snakes, we just left those alone.

Here’s the thing, I love the earth as much as the next guy and I do my part by organizing clean-ups of two little sections of road. I could probably do more, but this is what I do.  Some people save rain water, some turn down their thermostat, some send money to organizations that promise to wipe out your carbon footprint for $9.99/month while others listen intently to celebrities squawk about what we peasants should drive while they trek around the world in their private airplanes and yachts.  Whatever you do or don’t do about pollution is up to you. I’m not here to tell you that you have to do anything, I’m just kindly asking that you stop throwing your trash out of your vehicle window. There is a trash can less than 5 miles in any direction from the NM-4/NM-502 interchange, please do the rest of us a favor, be a decent citizen of the earth and wait to use them.

In the meantime, the Jemez Riders are planning to clean up the Main Hill Road from Anderson Overlook to the White Rock interchange Saturday morning (Oct. 19) from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Our trucks will be parked at the Anderson Overlook, please come out and join us.