Friday, July 18, 2014

Lost and Found

My phone buzzed with another unknown local caller. I momentarily panicked, wondering if it was election season again. It wasn't. I let the call go to voicemail. Would it be a wrong number? Or would it be some seedy phishing scam, like the guy last week who identified himself as "Luis from Sprint," and proceeded to offer me warranty insurance on phone model I don't own, from a carrier I don't use.

It turns out I was wrong. The caller identified himself simply as Joe, and he wanted to return the bidon containing a small bicycle repair kit that I had lost, and he had subsequently found, on the Keystone trail a few weeks ago. I was astonished. No political survey? No scam? Just somebody wanting to return something I had lost? I nearly dropped the phone.

It may not sound like much to lose, but that bidon contained an 80mm stem inner tube ($8), a c02 pump ($20), a 17 use multi-tool ($20), and a couple tyre [sic] levers ($2). That's $50 of booty that I had already painfully accepted as gone for good.

And now it was coming back to me.

Joe found it on the footbridge crossing the creek just north of Dodge Street near 24hr Fitness. Apparently, the bidon was on the on the edge of the bridge, dangerously close to falling into the creek below when he found it. Although he's a cyclist, he was unfamiliar with a bidon tool kit, and was hesitant to open it at first. He said that the strip of electrical tape I used to seal the lid caused him to wonder if it was some sort of bomb.

As he was telling me this, I could almost picture the hazmat firetruck detonating the bidon, along with the Keystone footbridge splintering into thousands of shards as collateral damage.

Awe man, that bidon had an $8 inner tube in it.
But a cooler head prevailed. When he uncapped it, he found a trove of goods that he could have easily claimed under the finder-keepers clause. But he also saw my name and phone number on the inside of the cap, which ultimately prompted him to call me.

As an aside, this wasn't the first time that I've unknowingly ejected a bidon from my cage, only to have a random act of kindness return it to me later. The last time this happened was this past winter, while doing some hot laps on my cyclocross bike at Tranquility. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but after the ride, I noticed that it was missing. I re-rode the course backwards until I found the bidon (white) wedged in a tree branch. It was brilliant putting the bidon in the tree; I probably would have never found it in the white snow.

Perhaps Joe is a mountain biker, too?

Anyway, I arranged to meet Joe this past Tuesday morning. At the exchange, I pulled a crisp $20 out of my wallet to thank him for returning the stuff, but he resolutely refused the reward. Instead, he settled for a handshake and some good old fashioned small talk about the local cycling and running communities.

Thanks, Joe. A simple act like this does a lot to restore some lost faith in humanity.

Thanks for reading. Happy Friday.


  1. Didn't you drop that a couple of weeks ago on WNW? That sounds like you need to revamp your bidon security practices, sir.

  2. I dunno Bryan, this whole "Blanche DuBois" thing seems to be working for him.

  3. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers

  4. I think the real problem is my bidon cage. It's too loose. Fix that and I can save the Blanche card for a smoking deal on a set of Shim's used racing wheels.

  5. So after I remembered who Blanche Dubois was, I instantly had a flash in my mind of seeing Brady meet up with this Joe fellah and starting the conversation with, "Oh, I do declay-uh," in a thick Southern accent. Thank you for that, Fred.