I’m Trying To Do The Best I Can In My Own Challenge

I’ve been happy to see a few July “Face” Challenge posts already. I must say, the pictures have all been worthy of the fine grades I’ve given them. It makes me feel like I succeeded in making the challenge not too impossible, but it also makes me feel like my students are smarter than ME.

In high school I was mostly a “B” and “C” student (except in debate, composition, and literature classes where I got mostly “A” grades.) Whenever my mom and dad saw my report cards, or after they came home from parent teacher conferences, they would grill me on why I was getting very mediocre grades in math and science and social studies. My go-to reply was, “I don’t know, I’m trying to do the best I can.”

Of course, that was a total lie. I can’t remember ever studying for a test in high school. I only did the bare minimum of homework. I was saved only by my essays and research papers where I utilized the spelling and grammar skills I learned in grade school and Jr. High. I have no idea how I didn’t fail 9th grade algebra, where spelling and grammar serve no function whatsoever.

Well, I’m trying to do the best I can with my own challenge too, but this time I’m not lying. Here’s what I came up with today.


Hold on just a minute. Let’s just back up to last night for a minute. I turned an ankle and wiped out on the stairs, falling hard on my forearm. I retreated to the Greg Room and whimpered for ten minutes while my dog, Diggity licked my face. When the pain subsided, I couldn’t believe there was no bruise or swelling.

The next morning I woke up with some pain on my forearm, but still no physical signs of injury. I went down to the Greg Room and opened my computer to grade my students’ Cycle365 Challenge entries. After a few minutes of that, I looked at my arm again.

What the hell is that? And where did it come from? And why wasn’t it visible 20 minutes ago?

It LOOKS pretty freaky, but I’m OK.

A tennis ball-sized welt on my arm wasn’t going to stop me from going on a bike ride. In fact, I thought of it as an extra muscle I developed from the 110 arm curls I did a few days ago.

[Good news: As I write this, the welt has shrunk to only half that size.]


I headed out of town this morning via the Highway 61 bridge. Last night there was an infestation of mayflies — those bugs that sit dormant in the river for a year and then rise up by the millions for a couple nights, mate, and die the next day. They really seem to like dying on bridges.

The wind seems to sweep the mayflies into constantly shifting random patches.

Like this mayfly face.

Sometimes you can find a cross-eyed face on a power generator too.

Does anybody besides me see a face on this block wall?

I’m afraid I’m going to have to give myself a “B-minus” for today’s face pictures — the lowest grade yet.

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.

11 response to "I’m Trying To Do The Best I Can In My Own Challenge"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: July 2, 2021

    Sorry about your forearm, but I have to say this is really an inspired idea for a challenge. I’ll have to start looking around.

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 2, 2021

      Yes, please do. I’d like to see some Ohio faces and New York faces, and especially some Vermont faces.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 2, 2021

    Dang! That is/was some fairly serious edema! You are turning into the Incredible Hunk, or just ate a can of spinach. 🙂
    Going up or down the stairs? I’ve heard you can’t fall up-stairs, but I disagree.

    Interesting mayfly photo — we encountered them in full force at Davenport, IA — not only are they a nuisance when alive, they stink when they pile up dead.

    Photos look fine to me, and even Helen sees the face in the blocks — raise your grade!

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 2, 2021

      It did indeed happen while running UP the stairs. And I fell sideways onto the railing.
      And, yes, I forgot to mention the terrible stench of millions of rotting mayflies. It’s worse than a pig farm.

  3. By: NancyG Posted: July 2, 2021

    I too see a face in that stone wall — on the middle long stone. Yes, raise your grade, how many of us will find a May fly face on the ground!

    Sorry about your tumble and that big edema (Rich always seems to have the correct word).

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 2, 2021

      I have heard the term “edema” but I generally call it a “lump” cuz that’s what my mom always called it. Like the time when I was about 7 years old and I fell off a swing set and I got “lump” on my forehead and two black eyes.

      • By: NancyG Posted: July 2, 2021

        That is exactly the word I was searching for —— lump.

  4. By: Suzanne Posted: July 3, 2021

    I also see the face on the brick wall, and I even see a second face, in semi-profile sort of from the nose down.
    Ugly lump! Be glad it wasn’t on your face. I fell and crashed on my cheekbone a couple of years ago. The giant lump came immediately, but most interesting were the colors for at least two weeks afterwards. Very freaky.

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 3, 2021

    I think I might have prosopagnosia. There is a separate compartment of the brain that recognises faces and I didn’t see anything I could post today on my ride. I’ll give you a B+ for todays effort.

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: July 4, 2021

    That is definitely a freaky looking lump! I hope there is no hairline fracture under there. I definitely see your faces, so I concur, bump up your grade. As stinky as the mayflies may be, that lifecycle is just an amazing thing and more than my little mind can fathom. I’m currently doing an online course all about insects that was put together by the U. of Alberta since I don’t have to use all my brain power for work. The adaptations and evolution of insect physiology is so fascinating! (Well, maybe not for a B/C science student, lol, but to the nerdy among us, anyway!)

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