The British Downhill Series have banned tear-off goggle lenses for next years racing.
Yep, tear off lenses are not allowed at the 2016 British Downhill Series.
Tear off lenses fit over the front of your goggles and can be whipped off in a hurry during a run when they get too muddy. They’re a light-weight, cheap and easy to use way of guaranteeing clean vision for your entire run. In a funny little way tear offs are as much a part of downhill racing in the UK as spiked tyres or mud-guards – every veteran racer has their own weird way of mounting them or secret tips for not messing them up.
So why ban something so useful? They’ve been banned for a couple of years on the enduro scene on the grounds of their environmental impact and it’s a logical step to move that to DH.
The sight of discarded tear-offs on a muddy race track is pretty common place and frankly, it sucks. Left behind lenses are bad for local wildlife, they make the countryside look crap and as BDS organiser Si Paton says “due to the nature of the disposal of tear-offs we can not guarantee 100% pick up of said litter”. In fact, according to a study by Plymouth Uni – “Plastic litter currently accounts for up to 80% of all litter found in marine habitats.”