I’ll keep this one mercifully short. I went out into the country again today with no intention of posting anything. That changed when I snuck up on a big horse and managed to trick him into posing for a picture.

Is it posing . . . or ignoring . . . or just grazing. My bike also posed, ignored and grazed.

I’ve heard horse owners speak of the height of their horses in terms of “hands.” One hand on top of the other until you reach the top of the horse — that’s how tall it is. I’d just use a tape measure, but I guess that probably wasn’t an option back when that tradition began.

I’m not sure how many hands tall my bike is, but I’d estimate the horse is at least five hands taller. I’m not too sure of myself when measuring in “hands,” just as I’m not too sure of anybody who measures out two or three “fingers” of tequila.

But really, the things that really caught my eye today were the clouds–big, marshmallowy puffballs of clouds with exotic shapes. They were just sitting there in the sky, barely moving, rarely shifting.

It’s a polar bear, arms outstretched, sliding backwards off the ice into the Arctic Sea.

I searched my brain for a song about being out in the country that hasn’t already been featured here. Aha, “Out In the Country” by Three Dog Night. Oh wait, that’s been done. So has Neil Young and my hippy favorite “Goin’ Up the Country.” All I could come up with was this anti-country song from city boy David Byrne and his Talking Heads friends.

Did you know David Byrne was a bicycle rider. He even wrote a book called “Bicycle Diaries” in which he wrote about cycling in various cities all over the world.

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.


  1. By: MrGrumby Posted: April 25, 2020

    Posing horse, clouds and Surly. That’s a successful day. I hadn’t heard the Talking Heads song until your post. Good choice.
    Also, you might be thinking of Going Up The Country by Canned Heat.

    • By: Bill Stone Posted: April 25, 2020

      Mr Grumby, I might be guilty of a little vanity, but I think Greg is at least in part pulling my leg about the two songs I used yesterday (Neil Young and Canned Heat), because I pulled his leg when I previously reposted the song that he had already reposted (by 3DogNight). It’s all very confusing, but chuckles have been elicited.

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 25, 2020

      Yes, Bill is correct that I was referring to his post, but you are also correct in that I didn’t word that paragraph very well. I do know that “Goin’ up the Country” is a Canned Heat song, not a Neil Young song. Also, I was correct in that it is one of my favorite hippy songs and quite possibly the hippiest of hippy songs of all time. I love it.

  2. By: Bill Stone Posted: April 25, 2020

    Greg, first time I heard that lovely tune I burst out laughing at the end when the city boy finally gives it away with “I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.”

    DB always says he is not a recreational cyclist. He just uses bicycles to get around conveniently in big cities. I think he was especially fond of his folding bike, because he could take it along when he had to fly to distant cities.

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 25, 2020

      I know. That is a great punch line to the previous couple minutes of his set up.

  3. By: The Navigator Posted: April 25, 2020

    Grass is starting to look green. Good signs. I can actually see your polar bear, too šŸ™‚

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 26, 2020

      Thank you, Emily. I’m glad I wasn’t hallucinating about the polar bear. And thanks for not correcting me about calling the Arctic Ocean the “Arctic Sea.”

  4. By: Hopkins Escapades Posted: April 27, 2020

    Cool polar bear! I see it too.

    Coming from a long life of horseback riding (45+ years), I’d say that grazing steed you parked your steel steed next to is approximately 16 or 17 hands at the withers. Your bike seat is in the ballpark of a tallish pony at 13 hands, give or take. Giddy-up! Overall, it was a great day for riding ponies, horses or bicycles out your way. Cheers & happy pedaling or yeehawwwwing!

    • By: gregblood Posted: April 27, 2020

      Thank you for your estimate on the hand-height of my bike and the horse. I appreciate your expertise. Now I just have to look up what a withers is.

      • By: Hopkins Escapades Posted: April 28, 2020

        HINT: The withers are the protruding part on a horse most men curse if they are riding a horse bareback & it stops fast.

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: April 28, 2020

    Lots of high floating cotton wool in Minnesota or might be a Cumulus.

  6. By: gregblood Posted: April 28, 2020

    No, I prefer to think of the clouds as polar bears or snowmen or sheep over something scientific like cumulus.

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