Corn is the Star of This Edition

Minnesota has a lot of corn. Maybe not as much as Illinois or Iowa, or even California, but it does have a lot. Today, along with my corn-themed Before & After pictures, I’m going to show and tell all kinds of great things about corn. I’m kind of an amateur corn scientist in that I can easily identify it when I ride past it. Plus, I can shuck it, cook it in a variety of ways, and eat it like an expert. Get ready to be amazed.

August 5, 2016: Four years ago I rode my bike to a high school class reunion in Iowa. Aside from the smirk, can you see the sense of relief on my face. That’s because when one rides through corn country in the summertime there is ALWAYS a restroom available three or four rows in. No waiting line either!

June 25, 2020: In June the corn isn’t as high as it is in August so one’s head sticks up above the cornstalks while peeing. (Unless one is a female.) Chances are, none of the cars going by know what one is doing in there either way. They probably think we’re conducting some important corn research.

Corn is a most impressive crop. Vast, sturdy, hardy, provider of syrup for the best tasting processed foods in the world, etc. It thrives on heat and humidity. I’ve seen a million cornstalks flattened by incredible storm driven winds and rain and hail, only to rise up again a few days later. Have you ever seen the inside of a cornfield and how the stalks can grow a mere 6-8 inches apart. Let’s see those mighty view-blockers in Sequoia National Park do that.

Luckily, corn is exempt from social distancing rules.

How many plants can crack open a road shoulder and thrive? I suppose there are a few, but I have yet to see a view-blocking sugar maple or quaking aspen blocking my way on a public road.

I was riding along, enjoying the corn country, when I saw that smoke rising beyond a few hundred thousand beautiful cornstalks. At first I worried that it might get out of control and burn up a big field of corn. But then I remembered that corn is the Chuck Norris of crops and, as such, the corn would kick the fire’s ass.

The only other thing I have to add about corn is that popcorn is a different species of corn than sweet corn or field corn. Popcorn is a great snack and it helps keep you regular.

When I was almost back to MY Town, I saw one of those flashing speed signs. I’ve never carried a bike computer or even a speedometer on my bike, but once in a while I like to see how fast I’m going. I let all the cars behind me go by and then picked up the pace. I truly believe that if I had another 30 yards, I could have done better than this:

Straight on. No tailwind. No downhill. Phone in hand and worried about dropping it. Those are all the excuses I can think of.

That’s all for today. I’m on the home stretch now and I think I’m going to make it to the end of June.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

3 response to "BEFORE AND AFTER: June 25"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: June 25, 2020

    Nice job getting to 25 while holding a phone! Like many mid-western teens, I detassled corn one summer. I enjoyed being outside, but now I wonder about all that chemical exposure. Corn rash was not nice either! My big tours always saw me passing through the corn states when the corn was only a couple inches tall – so I ducked down in roadside ditches to pee when I could find them!

  2. By: Scooter Posted: June 25, 2020

    Interesting metric for measuring corn height – whether you can see above it while relieving yourself. And congrats on biking 25 while shooting a photo – impressive, if perhaps ill-advised.

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