A nearby town where my parents live has a spring cleanup once a year where residents can throw out larger items on the curb to have them picked up and taken to the dump for free. This is my first spring living back in the area in a couple years, so I figured I would cruise around and check for any bikes that may be getting tossed. I picked up a couple junky older bikes (Huffy mixte, ladies free spirit with drop bars, older mongoose switchback with tange mtb frame) but I wasn't finding much of anything nice.
A day or two before the end of the cleanup, it was pouring but I figured I'd take a drive to see if anything new was out. The rain was really coming down, too much for the drains, minor flooding in intersections etc. I passed by one pile of junk and saw a couple kids bikes, so I slowed down and saw a larger tire sticking out from under a pile of trash. I stopped, saw some drop bars and spotted an old trek logo on the downtube. I hopped out and started digging it out, getting completely soaked in the process, but came away with this little lady, a 1985 Trek 600:
It's in great shape. Let it dry a bit and wiped it down but the wheels were true and the derailleurs didn't even need any adjusting. Reynolds 531cs frame and fork with nice lugs, full stock Shimano 600 group (except for the rear derailleur, which looks like it was replaced with a Deore DX at some point), nice 700c wheelset. Haven't done much to it, popped out the stem and seatpost and they were dry but not stuck so I regreased them. Adjusted the brake levers, which were misaligned towards the center, and adjusted the handlebars.
Nice bike, but unfortunately it's too small for me (I ride a 58) and even my girlfriend (rides a 56-54), so I'm not sure what I'll end up doing with it yet. Why would someone throw this away?! I'm glad I rescued it from the dump but I wonder how many nice bikes find less fortunate fates.