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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-05-12, 11:32 AM   #1
alan s 
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Roadside Swag

Had an interesting ride earlier this week. First, I came across a nylon bag, and when I stopped to see what it was, it turned out to be a nice little folding REI camp stool. This was on a route used by many tourers, so it must have fallen off someone's bike. It's in perfect condition, and just what I have been looking to buy.

Later on the same ride, I found a cell phone in the grass, pressed the speed dial, and reuinted it with the lucky owner within 5 minutes.

Weird to find these items on the same ride. I usually just find the occasional single glove or tire iron or the like.

What's the best swag you have found while riding?

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Old 07-05-12, 11:38 AM   #2
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Came across a nice Smith and Wessen knife that was half buried in some dirt.
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Old 07-05-12, 11:49 AM   #3
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A Camelbak insulated water bottle, with a fabric carry handle (like runners use) had an electronic car key in the handle's pocket. I called a dealer hoping they could identify the vehicle it belonged to, but they said there was no way of tracing it to the owner.

Pair of Pedro's tire levers.

Utility knife and huge box of spare blades.

BTW, If anyone finds a Canon Powershot G11 near the Cowtown wakeboard park, it's mine.
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Old 07-05-12, 11:56 AM   #4
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The only thing I have seen on my commute is a broken up bike - and that was gone by the time I rode back. No interesting swag, ever .. even after three months of daily commuting. The people around here are boring!
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Old 07-05-12, 11:59 AM   #5
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Thule roof rack, brand new, put out on trash day. 2 square bars and old style feet to fit gutters for my 10 yr old corolla, nice. Had a yakima $ 150.00 bike carrier to fit roof rack in the garage. Won it in a contest, now had a place for it
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Old 07-05-12, 12:42 PM   #6
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Thule roof rack, brand new, put out on trash day. 2 square bars and old style feet to fit gutters for my 10 yr old corolla, nice. Had a yakima $ 150.00 bike carrier to fit roof rack in the garage. Won it in a contest, now had a place for it
I'm new to this country (not counting my couple of years at the Uni. a looong time ago). How does anyone figure out that something has been left out to throw away, and not just left out temporarily? What's the convention?
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Old 07-05-12, 01:19 PM   #7
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I'm new to this country (not counting my couple of years at the Uni. a looong time ago). How does anyone figure out that something has been left out to throw away, and not just left out temporarily? What's the convention?

If something is setting on the curb (by the mailbox, typically) or behind the property in an alley, those are normally "garbage" areas. Also, if there are bags of garbage by it, that's a good indicator.
Conversely, if there is a person holding on to an item saying, "hey, that's not garbage" then I wouldn't take it, probably.
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Old 07-05-12, 03:35 PM   #8
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Found a pair of bolt cutters in the bike lane. Hmmmm, I wonder if it was from a bike thief.

5 Gallon Rubbermaid water jug with water in it.
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Old 07-05-12, 05:59 PM   #9
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Lots of tools, purses, wallets, money. I always try to reunite the purses and wallets with the owners if they have ID in them. I found a designer purse ($275 purse) behind the building where I work that was obviously discarded after a purse snatching. There were no identifying marks or contents, so, I gave it to my mom. This was 3 or 4 years ago and my mom is still afraid to use because she thinks someone will see her with it and have her arrested.

Not long after that I left work and was going to stop at McDonald's to use the internet. Along the way I found another purse sitting in the road. It was raining so I didn't look in it, but noticed that it was heavy. I pedaled to McDonald's and took it inside where I would have some light. I set it on a table, opened it up, and lo-and-behold it was full of............................................horse crap. It promptly went into the trash.
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Old 07-05-12, 06:42 PM   #10
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I'm new to this country (not counting my couple of years at the Uni. a looong time ago). How does anyone figure out that something has been left out to throw away, and not just left out temporarily? What's the convention?
If something is placed in a trash container, it is legally considered discarded and up for grabs. This includes shopping center and apartment dumpsters and bulk item areas. If the dumpster is fenced and locked, you are not legally allowed to go in after it. If it is something left on the curb next to the trash can, legally, it's not up for grabs unless labeled as trash. Usually, no one is going to care since 99% of the time, if it is trash day, they intend for it to be trash.

If something is found, a certain amount of effort must be made to find the original owner before you can make a rightful salvage claim to it. If the effort is not made, should someone be able to prove that they are the rightful owner in the future, the item must be surrendered to them as they are the rightful owner.
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Old 07-05-12, 07:38 PM   #11
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Lots of tools, purses, wallets, money. I always try to reunite the purses and wallets with the owners if they have ID in them. I found a designer purse ($275 purse) behind the building where I work that was obviously discarded after a purse snatching. There were no identifying marks or contents, so, I gave it to my mom. This was 3 or 4 years ago and my mom is still afraid to use because she thinks someone will see her with it and have her arrested.

Not long after that I left work and was going to stop at McDonald's to use the internet. Along the way I found another purse sitting in the road. It was raining so I didn't look in it, but noticed that it was heavy. I pedaled to McDonald's and took it inside where I would have some light. I set it on a table, opened it up, and lo-and-behold it was full of............................................horse crap. It promptly went into the trash.

You too! I found one of those useless womans mini backpacks on the side of the road and upon inspection I quickly learned it was full of fecal matter. Enough said.
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Old 07-05-12, 07:43 PM   #12
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Best thing I ever found was several hundred dollar bills blowing down the street. I stopped and started grabbing them and envisioning a fantastic trip by the LBS on my way home and wouldn't you know it I found a open wallet in the bike lane loaded with more bills. Money ended up back in the wallet and I returned the wallet to the local YMCA where the owner was a member ( saw his ID card in the wallet ). Got a call later that day and he wanted to take me to lunch but I politely declined. I would want someone to do the same for me .
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Old 07-05-12, 08:03 PM   #13
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A stuffed lion.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:12 PM   #14
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Oh, I thought you meant this roadside swag.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:29 PM   #15
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If something is placed in a trash container, it is legally considered discarded and up for grabs..
Depends on where you are. Most places, the garbage belongs to the people who haul it away. Some places even actually arrest people who steal from the trash. (Mostly, they care about people stealing the valuable parts of the recyclables.)
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Old 07-05-12, 09:08 PM   #16
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Depends on where you are. Most places, the garbage belongs to the people who haul it away. Some places even actually arrest people who steal from the trash. (Mostly, they care about people stealing the valuable parts of the recyclables.)
Yeah, we had a guy (random guy, not an employee) get arrested and prosecuted for dumpster diving at my work a few years ago. Seems crazy, if its in the trash headed to the land fill and someone else might actually want to use an item that was tossed why not!
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Old 07-06-12, 02:50 AM   #17
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dremel kit
2 folding knives
vise
9 mm Saturday-night special with serial numbers filed off
cellphone (reunited with owner)
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Old 07-06-12, 03:34 AM   #18
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if its in the trash headed to the land fill and someone else might actually want to use an item that was tossed why not!
It's to reduce the culpability of the disposal company ... technically by "dumpster diving" they'd be trespassing, which would reduce the liability of the garbage collection company.
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Old 07-06-12, 05:06 AM   #19
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I don't think I have ever found anything. Maybe since I am not looking for stuff, I do not know. Sounds like some good finds.
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Old 07-06-12, 07:17 AM   #20
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5 Gallon Rubbermaid water jug with water in it.

In my running club, we generally set coolers full of ice water along the path for our long-run days. I know that bike clubs do that as well. We often try to run a cable lock through the handles onto a sign-post or tree or something.
Hopefully, you have not taken some club's water jug.
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Old 07-06-12, 07:23 AM   #21
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In my running club, we generally set coolers full of ice water along the path for our long-run days. I know that bike clubs do that as well. We often try to run a cable lock through the handles onto a sign-post or tree or something.
Hopefully, you have not taken some club's water jug.

I had this issue while trail running. I left my dog's lead, water and a towel off to the side of the trail, only to find them gone on my way back. I've left those things before without problem...
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Old 07-06-12, 10:01 AM   #22
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Found a nice IPOD in a leather case about a week ago sitting in the middle of a rural intersection. My guess is that it fell out of the pocket of someone on a motorcycle.
The set up screen has only the name "Seth" and the tunes loaded in it indicate "Seth" to be in his mid to late 20's.
Have no clue how to find this guy so I may just wipe the drive and re use it.
Too bad I'm 52 years old and not into "Hootie and the Blowfish."
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Old 07-06-12, 10:36 AM   #23
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I found a roofing hammer. But, better than that was $200 in $20’s blowing across the road. I thought someone just threw trash on the street, but looked closer and saw Andrew Jackson. I used the money to refurb my mtb fork shock and get a new pair of cycling shoes.
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Old 07-06-12, 10:39 AM   #24
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@Ira B: Actually, Apple may be able to trace it from the iTunes id.

Last edited by treadtread; 07-06-12 at 10:40 AM. Reason: making the post more specific
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Old 07-06-12, 11:00 AM   #25
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Depends on where you are. Most places, the garbage belongs to the people who haul it away. Some places even actually arrest people who steal from the trash. (Mostly, they care about people stealing the valuable parts of the recyclables.)
That would be the case if it was a container marked and provided by the garbage company. That's why usually, the trash company provides the recycle bin. If the neighborhood is responsible for buying their own trash cans and it is on public property, it is up for anyone's grabs. It can become really confusing because some roads in HOA neighborhoods will be owned by the HOA, so it becomes a matter of trespassing unless you are part of the HOA.

The right to trash usually comes down to a matter of trespassing. Is the trash on public property or have you been "welcomed" onto the property? While properties like a shopping center or an apartment complex are privately owned, a retail shopping center is considered open to the public during operating hours unless you have been specifically told that you are not welcome there anymore, if you are a tenant or a guest of a tenant at the apartment, you are not trespassing. If someone through some action has demonstrated that they have abandoned an item (such as putting it into their trash can), and you did not have to trespass to salvage the item (you were welcomed or it's public property and there were no physical barriers preventing access such as a locked gate or door) then salvage law comes into play. The only way garbage immediately belongs to the garbage company is if it is in a garbage company container.
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