The park giveth, and the park taketh away

Originally posted on November 4, 2010 at 0:10 am

Bouncing around on a mountain bike tends to cause things to be flung away from one’s person; sometimes the loser is you, sometimes it’s another unfortunate rider. In the course of 15 years of riding my local park, certain objects have been lost to me, and certain others have appeared in my path. There’s a lot of the usual stuff like water bottles and reflectors (especially in the first few yards of a technical section), but there’s also more valuable items, and some that are downright strange.

When I lamented the loss of a favorite pair of sunglasses once, my partner reminded me of the transient nature of physical objects, especially ones carried via mountain bike, thusly: “Well, the park giveth, and the park taketh away.” The following is a documentation of some of the objects I’ve lost and found.
The pile of found objects, and some remnants of lost objects.


  • A couple of front LED lights and a couple of red blinkies.
  • A Topeak Alien tool, a Winchester-branded folding pliers tool, and one multi-tool just this shy of being too rusty to use.
  • Part of a front grille of a car from the ‘50s or possibly ‘40s (not sure what make or model).
  • Lots of old glass bottles. My partner and I started picking up broken glass on a couple of disused trails to try to make them rideable again. We progressed to picking up glass while hiking with our dogs after a nasty paw-cut. Occasionally, we found whole bottles, some of them pretty old; the oldest so far has “1919” stamped on the bottom. Now we have a collection that includes four sizes of milk jugs from two different long-defunct local dairies. (The “Bottoms Up” one in the photo is one of only a couple we’ve found with a painted-on label – cleverly, it’s upside-down.)

Taketh Away

  • Oakley Full Metal Eye Jacket sunglasses. Did the classic move of putting them on top of a hat, then taking the hat off and forgetting the glasses. I realized later they had fallen off, but they fell into six inches of fresh snow, so they were gone. First thing I ever bought on a shop employee deal, back in 1996.
  • Ryders polarized sunglasses. Hadn’t had these very long before I made the same hat mistake. Had sentimental value, as they were one of the prizes won at the 2006 Month of Mud race series.
  • Several cycle computers. These things never seemed to survive a crash.
  • NiteRider light head, NiteRider light battery. Two separate pieces, lost from two separate lights, in two separate nighttime crashes. It’s tough to look for lost parts when you no longer have a light. Of course the two leftover bits were incompatible.
  • Business half of a red blinky light. That’s what I get for cutting through the park with 28mm tires pumped to 80psi.


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