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Gear Prudence: I was riding up by Harpers Ferry along the C&O when I saw a really nice (and really expensive) bike jacket by the side of the trail. I looked around and didn’t see anyone nearby. I picked up the jacket and waited a minute, but no one came back for it. It fits great and I really like it. Do finders-keepers rules apply? Or do I need to try to get this jacket back to its original owner? —Former Owner Unapparent, Needs Discovery
Dear FOUND: Yes and yes. Finders keepers rules the day, but you also should, for karmic purposes, make at least a cursory attempt to reunite this piece of gear with its previous possessor. There is no Johnny Rapha-seed who dots countryside trails with bike jackets, hoping that cycling culture blooms in his wake. Either it fell out of a bag or someone took it off and took off again without it, but its loss was definitely accidental, and accordingly, you have some obligation to attempt to rectify this. Use the Internet. Tweet about it or post on some appropriate Facebook page. Then when no one responds (because what are the odds?), it’s yours. Oh, also check the inside for a name. Maybe some cyclist’s parent was really conscientious. —GP
Gear Prudence: I’m an avid bicyclist and a new parent. Most of my (childless) friends are really into biking too, and while my time on the bike has been seriously curtailed, I’ve been able to keep track of their doings by following their rides on Instagram. At first, it was great to live vicariously through them. But now, every time I see a new picture, I feel pangs of envy and maybe even a little resentment that I don’t have the time to go riding with them anymore. Any advice? —Bravely Admitting Bicycling Yearning
Dear BABY: You’ve had a majorly upheaving life event (congratulations!), so it seems more than reasonable that it will take some time to adjust to this new arrangement. GP isn’t a parent, but he does understand FOMO, especially the kind that arises from carefully curated and filtered-as-all-get-out depictions of glorious bicycle rides. Bicycling is great, but these pictures are fake. Or if not fake, highly stylized versions of reality that leave out all the bad stuff. You don’t have to stop following them, though if it’s truly making you miserable you might want to, at least for a little.
Perspective is important. And if you’re an avid bicyclist, certainly you’ll incorporate cycling into your child’s life and maybe even quite soon. Then you can win Instagram with pictures of a your cute kid on an awesome bike ride, simultaneously demonstrating your parental prowess and biking bonafides. —GP
Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who tweets at @sharrowsDC. Got a questions about bicycling? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.