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Lost and found
One of the best things about riding a bike to work regularly is all the great stuff you find.I don't mean the hokey stuff - fitness, yourself, a love of nature, purpose, yadayadayada.I mean the stuff people lose, drop, misplace, throw out of windows and forget on the hoods of their cars. It all ends up on the road or close to it, waiting for some two-wheeled scavenger to come along and claim it.I reckon not being isolated by glass and steel makes it easier to find stuff, but my dad is quite the auto scrounger. He could spot a dime on the freeway at 70 mph. OK, he never goes 70, but he could spot a dime on some deserted highway at 45 mph.Among the goodies I've found:Money, and lots of it. Sure, most of it jingles, but it adds up. I started a fund of found money and have cashed it in a couple of times - about 20 bucks each time - over the past couple of years. I found a tenner once, and a couple of $5 bills. But I do have my standards. I won't stop in the middle of Sixth Street at rush hour for a penny, but I'll turn around and go all Frogger for a fivespot.Tools galore. Sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, hex keys ... you name it. I'm going to start a tool kit for my son of found tools. First in is a nifty multitool I found the other day.Cell phones. I always pick 'em up and try to find the owners whenever possible. I've probably returned a half dozen to mostly grateful owners. One woman actually insisted I drive to her workplace to return hers to her; I declined. One man offered a reward, which I refused. Two weeks later, he showed up at my house with pizza for the whole family.Credit cards. Most I figure were stolen and tossed, but every now and then I find one, call the number on the back to report it and hear from a thankful owner that he/she used it to pay at the pump, set it on the car and drove off.And that's just the stuff I bring home.Part of the fun of bike commuting is spying all the unusual roadside debris and trying to figure how and why it got there.For instance: What's with all the silverware on our roadways? Spoons, forks, knives ... there are probably a dozen or so just on my five-mile ride to work. Who chucks a spoon out the window?Or here's a good one. Coming home from racquetball this week, I saw on the side of the Clinton Parkway multiuse trail several empty bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade, set up similarly several yards apart. OK, somebody was partying on the trail. A few yards farther, I rode past a condom. Then another. And another. So, the liquid courage kicked in and our partiers started feeling a little randy. Then, just before I turned off, I happened upon a pair of latex gloves. Uh ... that's when my imagination failed me. Thank goodness.