A section of a climb where the road is especially steep and sticky with the residue of cyclists' gum.
Example usage: I was struggling to make it up the gum wall on the climb.
Most used in: Mountainous regions of the United States and Europe.
Most used by: Mountain bikers, road cyclists, and gravel riders.
Comedy Value: 4/10
What is a Cycling Gum Wall?
A cycling gum wall is a term used to describe a section of a road or bike trail that is covered in used chewing gum. This phenomenon is most commonly seen in urban areas, where cyclists come to a stop, remove their gum from their mouth, and stick it on the wall or ground.
Gum walls are a growing problem for cyclists and pedestrians, as the unsightly mess detracts from the beauty of the area and can create a hazardous surface for bikers. In addition, the gum can also be difficult to remove from the pavement and can cause damage to the surface.
According to a survey conducted in 2019, gum walls are most common in urban areas, with the majority of them being found in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In the United States, the most common location for gum walls is Seattle, Washington, where the gum wall at Pike Place Market is a popular tourist attraction.
Gum walls are a growing problem, and some cities are taking steps to address the issue. For example, Seattle has implemented a program to remove gum from its streets and sidewalks, and some cities have passed laws banning the practice of sticking gum on public walls.
Overall, gum walls are an unsightly and potentially hazardous phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common in urban areas. While it may seem like a harmless activity, the gum can be difficult to remove and can cause damage to the pavement, making it important for cyclists and pedestrians to be aware of the problem and take steps to address it..
The Origin of the Cycling Term 'Gum Wall'
The term 'Gum Wall' originated in Seattle, Washington in the 1990s. It was originally used to describe a section of the wall at the entrance of the Market Theater at Pike Place Market, which was covered in wads of chewing gum. The wall was created by theater-goers who would stick their gum to the wall when they left the show.
The gum wall gained notoriety in 1999 when it was featured in the Seattle Weekly newspaper. The article called it 'The World Famous Gum Wall' and it quickly became a popular tourist destination. It is now listed as one of Seattle's top attractions and has been featured in various media outlets such as the New York Times and National Geographic.
The gum wall has been a popular spot for cyclists to take a break and admire the colorful wall of gum. The term 'Gum Wall' has become a popular phrase among cyclists, referring to any wall with a large accumulation of gum.