“The depth of redness is an image of life’s most intense fulfillment.  The deeper the red, the closer it becomes to the earth, the more real and truthful it becomes.”  -A quote from The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera, except that I substituted the “depth of redness” B.S. for the author’s meaningful thoughts on “heavy burdens,” which, I admit, was an abominable adulteration of the original words for my own selfish purpose, that being to fraudulently make it relevant to my Cycle365 Monthly Challenge post.

Wow!  Somehow, I think my attribution for the quote was better than the quote itself.  I like that it had seven commas even though, technically, it wasn’t even a complete sentence.  (Did I spell “commas” correctly?  It looks funny.  Should there be an apostrophe?)  I suppose I could go on and on praising my comma quantity and questioning my spelling and punctuation, but I really should move on to my bike ride in search of all things RED.

At first I kind of wished the topic had been WHITE instead of RED.  I could have gone out into the countryside and photographed huge expanses of almost nothing but white.

But less than two blocks into my ride, I came to the realization that this Red Challenge wasn’t much of a challenge at all.  Reds stood out from the whiteness wherever I rode.  True, the photos of red you are about to see aren’t as artistic as Suzanne’s, or as whimsical as Nancy’s, or as small-town-charming & garage-friendly as Rich’s, or as Fraggle-rocking as Emily’s, but everyone should be impressed by the sheer numbers of reds–especially in my video.

Without further ado, here is my submission for the Monthly Challenge:




Like a red locomotive, my bike is an unstoppable force of monthly challenge success.


Regular brick on the bottom, red-painted brick on the top, cleverly-placed Red Owl cap in the foreground.


The picture above reminded me of a Pixies song–“Brick is Red.”  I’ll post it below for your musical enjoyment.  (An aside to Emily:  Now that I know you like the Pixies, one of these days I will try to find their star on First Avenue and send you a pic.)



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: Scooter Posted: December 3, 2019

    How strange, I saw the title of this post in my email stream, and immediately thought – that’s Greg.

    I loved that book! I read it soonn after I got out of the army, and it made me want to visit Prague some day. And then I saw the film with the young Juliette Binoche, and I wanted to go even more.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 4, 2019

      How strange (and appropriate) that you should use “strange” and “Greg” in the same sentence.

      I liked that book too, but I lost it before I could finish it. I think I left it on the beach or something, and I never bothered to buy another copy. The same thing happened to me with George Plimpton’s “Paper Lion.”

  2. By: NancyG Posted: December 3, 2019

    What a town YOUR town is with so much red for you to capture. You are always so full of fun Greg.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 4, 2019

      Yes, MY Town is a ton of fun, especially when I’m on my bike. I guess that’s why, as you say, I’m always so full of fun. I might be full of something else too.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 3, 2019

    Commas are much better than Comas as one educator once spelled it (and for once it wasn’t me)

    Nice selection of reds! I do remember the Red Owl groceries in MN when we would vacation near Grand Rapids.

    We see the red CP locomotives in IL now that they own what was the Illinois Central railroad.

    I like Idaho’s law that states a Stop sign may be regarded as a Yield sign by cyclists (a red stop Light is still a Stop) — it seems to be being picked up by a few other states.

    Right after cycling buddy Dave ran a stop sign, and then spotted a police car, the red and blues came on.
    Must have been a different call because they took off elsewhere — but it was an Oh S*** moment for Dave. lol

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 4, 2019

      How embarrassing. You are not the first person to call me out for running stop signs in my videos. I’m just glad you didn’t call the Hastings Police tip line on me like you did when I did that drive-by photography at the school yard. (LOL)

      • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 4, 2019

        I was quite certain you were following the Idaho law as you shot video — great to bring a little of Idaho to Minnesota as I am to Illinois. 🙂

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 4, 2019

      Thank you for the compliment, Rockin’ Girl. It’s a very rare occasion when I get such positive feedback on my words AND my picture.

  4. By: Suzanne Posted: December 4, 2019

    Well if “commas” looks funny, you could try “commata” instead. That doesn’t just look funny, it sounds funny.
    Yes, I am impressed by the sheer number of reds you captured. I think the Red Owl cap and the locomotive are my faves.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 4, 2019

      Thanks for commenting on my Red Owl cap. The nostalgia factor makes it my favorite hat. I have fond memories of when I got to go grocery shopping at the Red Owl with my grandpa as a kid. He always bought me a little box of Animal Crackers. Plus, when I wear the cap, I feel real cool in a retro kind of way.

      P.S. Commata sounds like an Italian pasta dish or something.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: December 5, 2019

    That is certainly a huge quantity of red – most definitely award-worthy! It made me realize we don’t have above ground fire hydrants here – I’d totally forgotten that you can have above ground taps until I saw your video and remembered I’m American. And thank you for the Pixies link – I’ve listened to Surfer Rosa at least 100,000 times. I got into the Pixies after I read an article where they mentioned Husker Du was one of their major influences. No need to find me the star though – I really appreciate the Bob and Du stars, though 🙂

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 5, 2019

      The Pixies, in turn, influenced a ton of later bands. They were kind of like the Velvet Underground of their time.

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