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Old 04-11-06, 09:29 PM   #1
Monoborracho
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The Detritus of Touring..Your Finds?

DETRITUS
1. Loose fragments or grains that have been worn away from rock.
2. a. Disintegrated or eroded matter: the detritus of past civilizations.
b. Accumulated material; debris:

I was just wondering what all you guys have found or picked up on the road.

On my next to last tour I picked up (see pic) a new pigtail harness for trailer lights, a ratchet/socket extension, a good folding knife, and a garden hose coupler still in the wrapper. The latter is missing from the picture. Also on this trip I found a big bolt biter missing the cutting edges but didn't figure to carry another 20 pounds just to have a bolt biter. I also found a hardhat and a new set of overalls and gloves laying on the side of the road. I didn't touch them for fear there was a dead oilfield roughneck under the helmet. Also, I saw a dozen tortillas scattered next to a small pile of oyster shells, and I'm 300 miles inland. Go figure.

Last week on a lunchtime ride I zoomed past a 24" crescent wrench (tha'ts XXL size) on the other side of the road that I think was good. Before I could turn around and get back to it a car saw it, stopped, and got it. I'm not sure how I could have carried it on my bicycle, but I would have tried.

My wife discourages me from bringing all this "stuff" home, so I limit myself to just the really good, usable stuff. Last week on my Saturday ride I found a ratchet to go with my earlier extension. Again, see the pic. I told her that in another ten trips I'll have a full set of sockets, provided I start to find some sockets.

So, what is the most unique find you have acquired?

Last edited by Monoborracho; 08-21-07 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 04-12-06, 09:58 AM   #2
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This is exactly the thread I needed to tell about the best find ever, though I didn't even think about picking it up, and it really wasn't the best find. I was in Saskatchewan and I found a ***** on the side of the road. Pretty bizzare.
I think the most interesting thing about finding things on the side of the road is the possible story behind then getting there, or thinking of the person that might have owned the item. At some point they must have cared enough to buy the item, but for some things (like the many cellphones I've seen) there must have been some reason for them to be thrown out the window.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:02 AM   #3
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drugs. money. jewelry. weapons. I usually never stop for anything else. I did see an unopened pack of sugarfree gum on a century ride yesterday, but moving too fast to stop anyways.

most of the crapppola on the side of the road is all beat and run over- it isn't work picking it up if you can buy one for ten bucks someplace.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:23 AM   #4
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I found an envelope with $23,000 in it. I turned it over to the police. Probably drug money
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Old 04-12-06, 10:37 AM   #5
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A fancy black leather jacket. Still in a dry cleaning bag. It fit my larger foster daughter quite nicely.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babysaph
I found an envelope with $23,000 in it. I turned it over to the police. Probably drug money
Maybe it was drug money. Now it is probably donut money!
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Old 04-12-06, 10:45 AM   #7
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Several vise-grips, wire cutters, bungee cords, a 24 of beer with about half the bottles unbroken
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Old 04-12-06, 10:47 AM   #8
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I found a bike pump, which came in handy for my friend, who had had his stolen the day before.
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Old 04-12-06, 11:00 AM   #9
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A nice pair of Bushnell binoculars. I keep them in my office to look outside my window at the chicks on the sidewalk a few floors down.
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Old 04-12-06, 02:00 PM   #10
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Mostly, I find tools and really bad music CDs: "Best of Southern Rock", "80's Smash Hits", etc. On a short off-road tour several years ago in the Apalachicola National Forest, my companions and I found a partially-decomposed (read: rotting) 5 foot alligator. "Tim", the strongest rider in the group whom we would often draft off of, wrapped the 'gator's head in plastic bags and strapped it onto the top of his panniers. Oddly, we made it home in record time after that but "Tim" never led.
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Old 04-12-06, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acantor
Maybe it was drug money. Now it is probably donut money!
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Old 04-12-06, 02:58 PM   #12
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I didn't pick it up and it was not on a tour but just a commute to school, but I found a single beer in the dead middle of the road. The odd thing was that it was an unopened and un-busted bottle. No others around, just the one. I don't drink so I did not pick it up, but I sure wondered how it got there.
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Old 04-12-06, 03:26 PM   #13
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A brand new tourer, complete with loaded panniers and map case and it was just laying there propped up at the side of the road. I had to be quick or the guy that came running out of the bushes would have got there first.
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Old 04-12-06, 04:28 PM   #14
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Not on a tour, but just a bike ride, I found an expensive digital camera ($350). It was toast, been run over, but the battery pack and the two cards in it were good.
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Old 04-12-06, 04:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamoke
I was in Saskatchewan and I found a ***** on the side of the road. Pretty bizzare.
As for myself, I found a box of pornographic magazines on a Quebec highway. Probably pre-used by a trucker who had to make them disapear before going back home. I bet they are still there if anyone is interested: road 105 between Grand Remou and Mont Laurier right on top of a hill on the south side of the road... enjoy!

Otherwise, tons of car bits, tools and bungee cords... quite a lot of bicycle water bottle on well travelled bike routes... one lunch boxe... the usual broken cell phone...
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Old 04-12-06, 07:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939
A brand new tourer, complete with loaded panniers and map case and it was just laying there propped up at the side of the road. I had to be quick or the guy that came running out of the bushes would have got there first.


Steve W.
Who can just see that scene in the theater of his mind. (please excuse the sticky floors)
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Old 04-12-06, 09:47 PM   #17
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A few months ago I found a cell phone. It was still on and working, so I hit redial and the owner's wife answered. It was interesting explaining the details, we arranged to meet at a local gas station. She was glad to get it back for her husband. She offered me $50, but I told her no way, perhaps some day I'll lose mine. About a month later I lost mine and a guy directed me to it. Pay it forward... OHB
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Old 04-12-06, 10:09 PM   #18
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Have found many of a tool. The occasional wallet(most likey the motorized 2 wheelers). Many broken cell phones. More bungees than I can count. Still looking for that Holy Grail of all finds. Not really sure what it is but I will be when I find it.

My wife gets so irratated with me as well. If we are on a trip somewhere and I spot a tool or something I feel I can use I will stop for it. SHe just doesn't understand why or how for that matter. She is constantly asking what I am stopping for.
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Old 04-12-06, 11:24 PM   #19
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an $800 lightweight down sleeping bag ... it was on a fast downhill bit in the pouring rain, and damn a fully laden touring bike is hard to pull up in the wet!! carried that bag for the next week, dried it out and rang the number on the stuff sack to see if they wanted it back, which they did ...
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Old 04-13-06, 01:47 AM   #20
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I love these anecdotes. Onbike 1939's is my favourite.
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Old 04-13-06, 02:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acantor
Maybe it was drug money. Now it is probably donut money!
Could have been bike money.
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Old 04-13-06, 06:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onbike 1939
A brand new tourer, complete with loaded panniers and map case and it was just laying there propped up at the side of the road. I had to be quick or the guy that came running out of the bushes would have got there first.
That got me laughing out loud. Good job mate!!

My only memorable find was a 12" Craftsman adjustable wrench ("Crescent" style). It was rusted and beat up pretty bad. I took it to a Sears and exchanged it for a brand new one.

I have started to pickup bungie cords that still have both ends intact.

I also pickup bicycle tubes I see on the road. Number one, it pisses me off that bicyclists liter. Also, the tubes are generally in fine shape just needing a patch.
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Old 04-13-06, 06:43 PM   #23
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Just this weekend, found a really nice pair of Good scissors
Scissors are damn useful

When I pee on the side of the road, I always pick up bottles, litter, and those nasty power goop packets (especially while on organized rides). Ticks me off that someone needs a 'boost' and then they just pitch the plastic packet

On my commute, I passed, all in the same place:
A dollar bill
a pink thong
a dead squirrel

Money is useful, so I took the dollar.
the next day, the squirrel had been removed, but the pink thong remained.

Funny how the city works
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Old 04-13-06, 10:23 PM   #24
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There's so much unusual stuff that I began to keep track of it in my tour journal - then when it came time to send a bi-weekly e-mail to friends back home, I included a section entitled "The Great Canadian Ditch Detritus Derby". I had an incredible response to it. The winning items that first summer? At Wawa, Ontario when stopping to put on some rain pants, I found what looked like a BIC lighter (lots of those), but it had a wire sticking out of each end -- turned it over and read "dynamite blasting cap" - didn't try to take it home; also found a large box of photo albums and family pictures - was wishing I had a car to carry them and maybe track down the owners, of course, if I'd had a car, I wouldn't have seen them.
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Old 04-13-06, 11:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamoke
This is exactly the thread I needed to tell about the best find ever, though I didn't even think about picking it up, and it really wasn't the best find. I was in Saskatchewan and I found a ***** on the side of the road. Pretty bizzare.
I think the most interesting thing about finding things on the side of the road is the possible story behind then getting there, or thinking of the person that might have owned the item. At some point they must have cared enough to buy the item, but for some things (like the many cellphones I've seen) there must have been some reason for them to be thrown out the window.
Ha. Last summer I was toodling around town on the bike trolling for something to photograph. Zipping along the road in a "less than stellar" neighbourhood, I passed a little pink "sexual device" sitting upright on the sidewalk. I laughed to myself and went on a bit. Then I thought that might be worthy of some type of distorted photo (ok, sometimes I think I am an artist). So I turn around and head back. When I get to the spot there is an ambulance parked there. Well I wasnt going to get down on my belly and photograph a little bit o' kink with them there. So much for my artistic break-through.
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