March 24, 2012
It never fails, no matter how iron clad your pack list is, there will always be something you realize you missed, in addition to lot of things you realize you don't really need.
For the extra items, you can always ship those back home when you reach a post office, and with the items you forgot, you can usually pick them along they way. One fun thing about touring is that when I say pick thing up along the way, I really mean along the way. Over the years, I've found a lot of odd items laying on or next to the road while riding that I have found useful.
Some useful and common items that you can find on almost any stretch of highway include bungee chords, those red mechanic grease rags, and Bic lighters. I've also noticed that a lot of bicycle tourists tend to strap objects such as antlers, stuffed animals, or plastic toys to their bikes that they happen to find while out on the road. Tools are also common on the road, and I've definitely spotted more than my fair share of adjustable wrenches out there.
Maybe the best lost and found items along the road are the ones you would never expect to see. Just the chance of finding something completely out of left field can turn a long, mundane stretch of road into a fun treasure hunt. Here are some bizarre finds I've encountered over the years:
Fifteen dollars in pennies. Apparently they were stolen from an elementary school classroom earlier that day, and discarded on a remote highway.
A bike! Working cell phones A DVD of Under Siege, starring Steven Seagal. He was just a cook!
Those are some of my good finds. I would be interested in hearing what others have found on the road.
Photo by Josh Tack.
TOURING GEAR AND TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead.