Bike to Work Wednesday: Monte Mead finds satisfaction -- and strange stuff -- on the road

Categories: Photos
Photo by Jamie Swinnerton
More photos below.
Today is the year's first Bike to Work Wednesday, a series launched by Bike Denver, which means more bikers on the streets. And every day, bikers face obstacles: cars, construction, other bikers, kids, the weather and roadside debris that could cause a flat tire. For this reason, along with a few others, Monte Mead stops to pick up the things he sees on the road during his seven-mile commute to and from work.

And he's found some very strange, very random things over the years.

Mead has been a bike rider since he was a kid growing up in Fort Collins. Seven years ago, he started commuting from his home in Wheat Ridge to the 27th and Larimer streets, where he works at the advertising agency Cultivator. After running over a nail that caused a slow leak, Mead began picking up nails he spotted.

"It had always started with the nails," Mead explains. "Just because I hate getting flats. You get to a point where you're like, 'If I'm not picking them up, no one is.' And hopefully there's someone in front of you picking up the nail." But soon he started picking up other things he saw along the way.

Mead has now been collecting items along his commute for four years. At first he put them on a shelf in the office, where fellow Cultivator bike commuters began adding to the unique collection. When the items became too numerous for the shelf, they were transferred to a box. When that box filled, Mead started another one.

Tools, phones and license plates are some common finds -- but lighters are the most prolific roadside item. "We found so many of them. Just the juxtaposition of the word, that they're a disposable lighter. They aren't really, and they tend to end up on the ground and all over the place," Mead says.

Continue for more of Monte Mead's finds.

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