JUNE CHALLENGE II: Wanna See An Even Older Picture Of Me Than The One In My Last Post?

The older picture of me referred to in the title doesn’t have a bike in it. Therefore, if you want to get all nit-picky about it, you could say it should not have been posted here. I wouldn’t even argue with you because, using the most strict interpretation of Cycle365 bylaws, you’d be right. However, I’m going to take advantage of the flexibility and goodwill of our little community to display it anyway.

Plus, don’t forget that the instructions for the challenge DO provide for telling a story in lieu of a picture, and I DO have a story, and I DO have pictures too, and eventually I will use them to make a connection to cycling, specious though it may be.

Let’s start with the before and after picture:

ME, at age 16

ME, at age 61

Now the story:

Once upon a time, I was a pretty good high school wrestler and then a not-so-good college wrestler. The only thing that made me an EXCEPTIONAL wrestler at all levels is that I rode my bike to wrestling practice. I know none of my teammates could make that claim and I’m willing to bet that very few of my opponents could either–even the elite ones.

But that’s not all. Another connection I can make between my wrestling and cycling careers is that my bike got stolen outside of Northern Michigan University’s athletic facility while I was at wrestling practice. I loved that 10-speed bike and I desperately wanted to find the thief and strangle him.

In the last couple days I’ve seen at least a couple of Cycle365-ers have an appreciation for comedic films of the 1980s and 1990’s. Just now, I recalled a scene from Fast Times At Ridgemont High that kind of relates to the stolen bike predicament. Unlike Forest Whitaker (Jefferson), who turned his rage over the loss of his car into improved performance as a linebacker, I failed to turn my rage over the loss of my bike into becoming a better wrestler.

I should have pictured every future opponent as the dude who stole my bike and tore him apart on the wrestling mat. Instead, I quit wrestling after my freshman year and decided to focus on academics. I never gave up biking though. Somehow, I managed to funnel some of my college loan money and work-study earnings into the purchase of a new Motobecane road bike.

Here comes another wrestling/biking picture:

ME, at age 17, different opponent
ME, at age 61, different bike.

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.

5 response to "JUNE CHALLENGE II: Wanna See An Even Older Picture Of Me Than The One In My Last Post?"

  1. By: Bill Stone Posted: June 4, 2020

    Hey! In the first photo, why are letting that guy twist your arm and press your face into the mat?

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: June 5, 2020

    Thanks for the “dark match” shots. You sure are giving your bike a going over!

  3. By: The Navigator Posted: June 5, 2020

    If someone had said: What sport did Gregblood play in high school? I don’t think I would have guessed wrestler. I think I would have guessed baseball. I’m glad that cycling has been with you all along. Now leave poor Mr Bing Bong alone!

  4. By: Scooter Posted: June 6, 2020

    You had a Motobecane? I knew we had something in common besides having a whole idea every day. When was that and do you still have a photo of it? I got mine in Indiana in 1974.

    • By: gregblood Posted: June 7, 2020

      I got mine in 1977 in Marquette, Michigan. I have no pictures and no recollection of the model name. I just remember it was gold and it served me well for at least a dozen years.

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