Playing With Kodachrome

What a week it’s been for yours truly! And, of course, I’m going to tell you about it, whether I think you’ll be interested or not.

The first event came on Monday when my dad called to say he just got his second Covid shot. He was feeling good and also pretty cocky about feeling no side effects.

The next day we called to check in on him and he was feeling miserable. He said every joint in his body was aching. I was already thinking about having to make a trip down to Iowa. Then on Wednesday we checked in again and he was feeling fine and all the pain was gone except, for some reason, his thumb hurt a little.

With great relief that my dad was doing OK, I went out for a ride. There was a little bit of fresh snow sticking to the ground and the tree branches, but it was melting quickly. As I rode along, I pulled my phone out of my pocket to take a picture of the pretty snow. The bad thing is that, while holding the phone with one hand, I squeezed my rear brake lever with the other hand and I didn’t slow down at all. I put the phone back in my pocket and squeezed the other brake and got only a very little resistance.

Upon inspection, I could not believe the rear brake pads were worn down to almost nothing and the front pads weren’t much better. Usually brake pad wear becomes evident to me well before they completely fail. I was lucky I wasn’t approaching a stop light while speeding down a hill when I discovered this.

Obviously, that event put an end to my bike ride and I had to drive 15 miles to the nearest bike shop.

I’m not done yet, though. With my brake pads replaced, I went riding again yesterday. I had a great idea for the Cycle-365 Kodachrome Challenge. I’ve been noticing that the absolute BEST colors in MY Town right now are on the playground equipment at the city parks.

By carefully planning a good route, I figured I could hit all 37 city parks in about a 25 mile bike ride. I could photograph all the colorful playgrounds and be home by 1:00 to start posting my amazing finds.

Well, as the famous saying goes, “all great plans by bikes and men get screwed up big time.”

I did fine for a while but, while setting up my phone for a timed-picture at about the sixth playground, the phone fell off a bench onto the concrete slab underneath. I’ve dropped my phone many times over the last five years. The screen has been full of cracks for over a year, but everything keeps working good enough. Not this time. Every function on my Samsung Galaxy S-8 froze up. Nothing worked. Nothing.

I panicked and rode straight to the T-Mobile store to get a new phone. Never in my youthful 62 years did I ever think I’d be so addicted to a phone that suddenly it would become the ONLY thing I could focus on at the time. I almost felt like the broken phone was a worse disaster than having no brakes on my bike.

So I got the new S-21 and it’s pretty cool. I resumed my city park playground expedition this morning. Between yesterday and today I got to all of them. Only about half of the 37 parks have playground equipment, and some of the equipment is so faded out that I didn’t even bother to take pictures. (You can be thankful for that.) Following are some of the most colorful ones and maybe you’ll be able to find the so-called adult playing on a few of them. After this hectic week, can you blame me for wanting to get out and PLAY?

Pioneer Park. Tan and green are most prominent, but I also see some nice maroon accents.

Roadside Park. Yellow and blue predominate here.

Wilson Park. With blue, aqua, black and gray, I think this is my favorite color scheme of all MY Town’s parks.

Depot Park. A black, yellow and red train theme.

Lion’s Club Park. Maroon and beige, with hints of green. I dig it!

Crestview Park. Ya gotta love the yellow and magenta, right?

Wallin Park. Many colors here, but the tan, bubblegum, and green stand out to me.

Pleasant Park. A nice simple white and blue theme with a bit of red for contrast.

Tierney Park. Orange and gray. I do like to hang around that color scheme.

Westwood Park. A clear red and blue thing going on here.

Cannon Park. Blue and red beauty. Nice lines of green as well.

Conzemius Park. Blue, Tan, and magenta. Well-balanced colors to help me with my balancing act.

That’s all I’ve got. Hope you enjoyed the Kodachrome.

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.

12 response to "Playing With Kodachrome"

  1. By: Bill Stone Posted: March 19, 2021

    Mommy, mommy! That big kid is doing weird stuff and hogging all the playground toys!

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: March 19, 2021

      Yeah, that lady bug photo is particularly distressing.

  2. By: Scooter Posted: March 19, 2021

    I think you need to talk to Mr Bing Bong about basic safety considerations. Leaning against the bottom of a playground slides a TERRIBLE idea.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: March 19, 2021

    We, CEO and I, had a similar outcome with our 2nd Covid shot.
    Those wear items can and do sneak up on us — Adventure Cycling suggests ABC every morning — check, air, brakes, and chain — but who does that?
    37 playgrounds! Is there any room for the rest of YOUR town??

  4. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: March 19, 2021

    You looked like you were having the time of your life on those playgrounds. Stay young at heart. The brake story is a good reminder, never heard of both brakes being worn down to metal at the same time. I was on a cycle tour and lost my front brakes down a steep hill, shoes can make excellent emergency brakes I’ve found.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: March 20, 2021

    Glad to hear your dad is fully vaccinated and the reaction didn’t last too long. My parents are both fully vaccinated now and that is a big relief. Your park has a lot of really good playground options that look quite fun. They say playing as an adult is very good for your health. I always give playgrounds a go when I come across them… except the tube slides, I do have a fear of getting stuck in a curve in one of those. It is good to see that your headstand ability has not atrophied over winter, too. But the cowboy ladybug shot is hilarious and made me laugh. My crew was jealous of all the playgrounds and not getting to partake.

  6. By: Rocky Posted: March 20, 2021

    Sorry about your phone! It looks like the new phone takes great photos, though.

  7. By: Rocky Posted: March 21, 2021

    I’m thinking about getting a new phone soon and your new phone has an optical zoom. How good is it?

    • By: gregblood Posted: March 21, 2021

      Hi Rocky. The zoom seems to be pretty good, but nowhere near as good as the zoom on Scott’s camera. I just got the regular S21 though. I’ve read that the S21 Ultra has enhanced zoom capabilities, but $1200.00 is a bit too much for me.

  8. By: NancyG Posted: March 24, 2021

    I was first impressed that YOUR town has 37 parks with half of them having playgrounds, and that they are all wishing biking distance. Then came the bright Kodachrome! Whoo Hoo. There is the evidence and even a big kid cannot resist the play ;’-).

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