The Iowa Wrap-Up

What started out to be a an impromptu three-day, two-night trip to see my dad after his auto accident, turned out to be a week-long visit. Luckily I decided at the last minute to bring my bike. Even more luckily, I am a bike tourist so I have no problem wearing the same clothes day after day. The Feeshko, who is not a bike tourist, brought more clothing than anybody would need for only three days. That wasn’t luck; that’s her modus operandi.

I guess we only planned a short visit because we heard early on that my dad was okay and so were the two people in the other vehicle. My dad was lucid when the highway patrol arrived and the first thing he told the officer was “it was all my fault.” (It was, of course, but I’m sure his insurance company wasn’t too pleased with his admission.) He was transported to the nearest hospital where he was treated and released. My brother picked him up and he was feeling fine. They ate at Burger King and my dad paid no attention to the doctor’s advice to take it easy.

That sounded like my dad who, like me, is a Tough Guy. But it was all adrenaline.

The next day he wasn’t feeling so tough. He could hardly get out of bed with serious pain in his chest and right hip. He eventually got to walking around, but very gingerly. Luckily he did get a prescription of hydrocodone for pain before leaving the hospital.

So we nursed my dad for a week. And we had to give him the painful news that his driving days were coming to an end.

Here is my 85-year-old dad standing next to his car four days after the accident. We went to the junkyard to retrieve his personal possessions. Check out the anguish on his face over losing his precious car. He’s an actor. See where I get my goofiness?

Anyway, between caring for my dad and writing up the Northeast Iowa tourism brochure, I’ve fallen way behind on grading all of your Cycle365 Face Challenge pictures. Perhaps if this Czar of the Challenge position was a paying gig I would have put forth a little extra effort. But it’s not, and I didn’t. I’ll try to be more diligent in the future. One thing I CAN say for sure is that you have all earned nothing but “A’s.” And I’ll be sure to note your excellent attendance and participation records on your next report cards.

For now, here are a few face pareidolias from today’s ride in MY Town:

Alien face

Bike trail face with no emotion.

Pothole face with a wink and a wry smile on 14th Street (MY Street)

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.

9 response to "The Iowa Wrap-Up"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 9, 2021

    Very good of you to stay and help out with your dad — not being able to drive complicates things considerably, but becomes necessary at some point. 🙁
    Change clothes? Really? Who thought that up? Wasn’t there something in a song about putting on my cleanest dirty shirt?
    You did well on the faces oh Czar of Challenges

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 11, 2021

      “Cleanest dirty shirt” is a good one. Unless I see actual dirt, grime or food stains on my clothes I don’t consider them dirty. It’s probably a good thing that I almost never notice any odors on my clothing or myself. (Is that because they don’t exist?)

  2. By: Laura Posted: July 9, 2021

    We all get to the stage it is wise to stop doing some activities, but it’s not easy…I know it wasn’t for Jim. At least your dad was out on an adventure when it happened. Leaving home would be an adventure for me right now. I’m glad he’s doing OK. I got tangled in my covers a few days ago and slipped when I was getting out of bed. I landed on my bum and it is still sore enough that Ibuprofen isn’t reducing the discomfort. I’ll be glad when it is all behind me…actually that is where it is right now. My grandpa didn’t drive until after I had my license. He had to quit just a few years after that when he ran into the rear of a school bus and said it was because he didn’t see it.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 11, 2021

      Yes, my dad “didn’t see” that big pick-up truck he pulled out in front of either — even though his eyesight is pretty good for a dude his age. His judgement was more the problem than his eyesight. I think a little more walking will be good for my dad.

  3. By: The Navigator Posted: July 10, 2021

    Well, your dad certainly did a bang up job. Those are certainly difficult conversations to have – I do not look forward to it and know it’s not all that far away. I like the bollard face – it’s like an octopus, I’d expect to see some arms out of shot! Glad you’ve made it home saafe.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 11, 2021

      Oh yes, it was a bang up job. I remember that you’ve written about your belief that people of a certain age should have to be tested on their driving ability every year or so. At the time I agreed philosophically, but I kept my agreement to myself. I now state for the record, that my dad was probably driving for a few years beyond his ability. I don’t know for sure, because I don’t live there and I don’t drive with him. It’s especially scary to think about how, until that accident, he’s been volunteering to drive his elderly friends to doctor’s appointments. Thank goodness nothing bad has happened to him or anybody else.

  4. By: Suzanne Posted: July 10, 2021

    Your selfie with alien face is wonderful. Great pareidolia finds.
    Glad your dad is ok. I’m sure it is hard on him not to drive any more. Our 92 year old neighbor just recently had to give up his driver’s license due to a minor accident on the road, no persons harmed. Before that though he had rammed about every available surface in the driveway, rain drain, outdoor lighting, support for the bicycle shelter, whatever. I was sure to never park my bike anywhere near. He’s out on foot more now, but I am sure he misses driving places. I have already stopped driving, traffic makes me nervous.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 11, 2021

      I hope, when the time comes, I have the same sense of traffic nervousness as you did. I think I’ll be fine with giving up the car, but when I start feeling nervous on a bike I fear my handlebars might have to be (as a famous gun nut said) “pried from my cold dead hands.”

  5. By: NancyG Posted: July 13, 2021

    Like everyone, I’m glad your dad is ok. And I so agree with your last reply (to Suzanne) I wish the same about giving up driving (maybe soon I will do that) and the bike being pried out of my cold dead hands.

    All your faces are good faces — even yours. Or maybe — especially yours ;’-).

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