Runners and joggers in Sweden started a social media campaign in 2016 aimed at doing something that benefits everyone while exercising outdoors. “Plogging is a combination of the word “jogging” and the Swedish phrase “plocka upp” which means ‘pick up’.” The principle of the campaign is clear and concise: runners collect trash while getting exercise, resulting in cleaner pathways in their cities and do-good endorphins for participants.

Stockholm resident, Erik Ahlström, is credited with starting the exercise-based rubbish removal, and now travels around the world with his non-profit, Plogga, helping communities organize their own plogging events. Plogga’s rapidly growing popularity put it on the list of 38 new words added to the Swedish dictionary in 2017.

Depending on where you ride there is likely some amount of trash alongside the track, or in the parking lot. For a variety of complex reasons, we all have a different understanding of nature and our effect on it, which influences our personal views on litter. Rather than complaining about the trash, let’s clean it up!

Mountain bikers who collect trash will have the chance to show other trail users that we are good stewards of the public spaces we share, and that litter doesn’t belong in the forest. It’s a win, win, win, and then some. This good deed may even inspire other trail users to do the same, and perhaps inspire them to support expanded MTB access to more areas.

Singletracks social media plogging contest

Now, it’s time to see who can pick up the most trash!

Singletracks is challenging readers to collect litter at the trailhead and on the trail, and tag @singletracks #bikeplog on Instagram. You likely don’t want to carry car tires and giant bags while riding, but collecting a bit here and there on each ride will help. Here are the details for our social media challenge.

  • Tag @singletracks with a photo of your rubbish haul at the end of each ride, and include #bikeplog in the post. Also include #plogging to connect your effort to the wider movement.
  • If you’re not on Instagram, you can share your photos on Singletracks. Just be sure to include bikeplog in the tags field on the photo upload form.

The BLVD Merino Tee is available in men’s and women’s versions, and is part of Pearl Izumi’s 2019 spring line.

Posts will be reviewed on April 30, and the three riders with the best #bikeplog posts will receive a BLVD Merino Tee from Pearl Izumi.

That’s it. Let’s see who can find the most things that don’t belong. Happy plogging!

For more info on the plogging party, check out the Plogga non-profit page here.

# Comments

  • Madpirate

    While this is good reminder and the posting a good way to involve a younger sector of the MTB population, this is not a new phenomenon or conduct. The groups I ride with have always done this. So I find it funny that now there’s a word for it…wish I could tour the world on somebody else’s dime because I thought up “plogging” or bikeplog…and it’s gonna become a craze. Thanks to all who choose to participate.

  • Hap Proctor

    Like Madpirate I remove items trash from the trail almost ever single ride. Just a continuation of picking up litter while walking the beach or hiking. Funny how heavy plastic water bottles become after someone has emptied it.

  • mongwolf

    I like to run and ride trails, and do both on many of the same trails. I like to ride more than run — far more of course. So on my runs I frequently pick up trash, trim back shrubs, repair ruts riders have made, etc.. That way I do not interrupt my rides as much. It’s never a bad thing to take a break on a run. =)

  • charding

    I usually pick up stuff like energy bar wrappers and water bottles when I see them. But since I do pick so many of them up, I’m also going to say I don’t get why so many people still buy water in disposable single-use bottles. Unless one’s area has serious water purity issues, it’s just selfish and short-sighted. To then just drop it wherever you are when it empties is beyond ignorant.

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