Commentary: Atomic City Spider Pig Cleanup

sturgeonRichard Sturgeon/Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Jemez Riders Motorcycle Association

Last October, I wrote a column for the Los Alamos Reporter asking one simple question, “What’s wrong with us?”  I was trying to figure out how the fine folks of Los Alamos County could be such dirty, disgusting, earth hating little spider pigs.  Before I sent it to Maire, I asked my wife to take a look at it and she suggested I tone it down because the majority of people do not litter and they are not…all that other stuff I said.  So I took out the fun stuff and discussed instead the types of trash we were finding and how celebrities were hypocritical aholes when it comes to actually doing something to help with pollution.  Which is a generalization and I apologize.  But actually it’s true so I retract my apology. 

In 2019, The Jemez Riders Motorcycle Association adopted the NM-4/NM-502 interchange leading into and out of Los Alamos and White Rock.  We also adopted most of the Main Hill Rd (NM-502) heading up to the Anderson Overlook.  More than 115 bags of trash were collected in June and October during our cleanup events.  We’ve also been doing maintenance cleanups in those areas (and a few stretches around them) and to date, we’ve picked up close to 250 bags of trash.

There’s a true sense of pride when your sections of highway are clean.  The kind of pride someone feels when you come in first place at a pie eating contest or when you smack a fly out of midair with a swatter or grow a big ‘ol pumpkin when you meant to grow a potato.  But then the high wears off because some dirty, disgusting, earth hating little spider pig trashes it up again.  What the hell people?  Or maybe it was a whole crew of little piggies.  Do you know the official name of a bunch of little piggies?  A LITTER!  How fitting is that?

During this time of COVID isolation, the Governor has said New Mexicans should get out of the house and breathe in some fresh air, as long as you also stay 6 feet back from any dirty cootie carriers.  You know what would be a great thing to do while you’re out of the house breathing in the fresh air…pick up at least one piece of trash.  It doesn’t matter if it is right outside your front door or down the block, pick it up and throw it into a garbage can.  Look at you…saving the earth, getting in some cardio, seeing if the weight you’ve put on allows you to bend over that far, it’s all good!  We all know about these weight gain issues over the last couple of months.  My wife’s been humming the theme song to that Fat Albert cartoon whenever I waddle towards the kitchen…that’s mean, right!?

The Jemez Riders are planning our next Cleanup Event for Saturday, June 6.  We’ll be parked at the Anderson Overlook and the Y Parking Area from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.  We will supply volunteers with everything you need including Jemez Riders safety vests, garbage bags, gloves, and trash grabbers.  Please bring your own mask if you’d like.  The first 10 volunteers will receive a one of a kind Jemez Riders Atomic City t-shirt!

For more information please visit; or Jemez Riders Motorcycle Association on Facebook; or contact Richard Sturgeon at