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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kamoke's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
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    I found an envelope with $23,000 in it. I turned it over to the police. Probably drug money

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    A fancy black leather jacket. Still in a dry cleaning bag. It fit my larger foster daughter quite nicely.
    This space open

  6. #6
    Macro Geek
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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!

  7. #7
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    Several vise-grips, wire cutters, bungee cords, a 24 of beer with about half the bottles unbroken

  8. #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.

  9. #9
    Velocipedic Practitioner
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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.
    Other forms of transportation grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. - Iris Murdoch

  10. #10
    Aging Gearhead
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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.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    Maybe it was drug money. Now it is probably donut money!

  12. #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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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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.

  14. #14
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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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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  15. #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...

  16. #16
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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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)
    *Surly LHT ... Slow and Steady, *Motobecane Century Pro ... Better than Me
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    * Now that I'm 'Bent, I will probably unload all but the Fixie.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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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

  18. #18
    Master Pontificator
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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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    Dept Store MTB that I love.

  19. #19
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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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 ...
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  20. #20
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I love these anecdotes. Onbike 1939's is my favourite.

  21. #21
    Lets Ride Trekke's Avatar
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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.
    Phil

  22. #22
    Senior Member thomson's Avatar
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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.

  23. #23
    Papa Wheelie Sigurdd50's Avatar
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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

  24. #24
    Touring senior
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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.

  25. #25
    sth
    sth is offline
    Senior Member sth's Avatar
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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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