Speed and Untamed Competitiveness

As far as I can tell, this month’s challenge is to photograph something you’ve never photographed before. Suzanne proposed it a couple days ago, Old Grumbleface seconded it, Lednar Zeppelin thirded it, and Gregblood fourthed it. And there were no objections. (There may be some objections to “thirded” and “fourthed” coming soon though.) So, as far as I’m concerned, Suzanne’s motion passes unanimously.

When I set out on today’s bike ride I had no preconceived ideas for the challenge. I just wanted to get out into the finest weather so far this year. However, it only took about five minutes before my competitive streak kicked in–and I’m not talking about my ridiculous desire to always be the first person to meet the Cycle365 Challenge every month.

I was about 50 yards from the T-intersection where Pine Street meets Highway 46 when I saw another cyclist heading west out of town. Competitive ME took over and said, “I’m gonna catch that guy, shout “on your left,” and pass him up like a dirty shirt.”

I’m embarrassed to say I couldn’t catch up to him, and it’s not due to lack of effort. At times I pedaled like crazy and thought I was getting a little closer, but he must have had a rear view mirror because every time I gained on him, he seemed to speed up. I guess he’s just as competitive as I am.

After about 10 miles of maximum effort and gaining no ground, I just backed off. Had he been within hearing distance I would have shouted, “I’ll get you next time, you son-of-a-b—-!”

There he is up ahead. You might have to enlarge your screen to see him.

I zoomed in to make you think I had almost caught up to him, but that would have been a lie.

It’s true, I’ve always been pretty competitive. I’ve played sports most of my life. But I’m really not one of those jack-ass, sore loser types. I’m more like those soccer kids in the featured picture up there at the top. I like to win, but I can accept defeat. I just like to have fun. That might be the reason a lot of people see me as a laid-back kind of dude. I guess I project a dual image: Cool Guy/Tough Guy.

I’m just glad that I was able to relate all this to the monthly challenge. Indeed, I have never before photographed my competitiveness. Nor have I ever photographed my SPEED. Here are a few examples of my blazing speed.

I am going so fast that the pavement below is a blur.
I’m going so fast that if you blink you’ll miss me.

I have taken a photo here before. It seems like I can never pedal faster than 21 – 24 miles per hour while taking a picture with my phone — unless I’m going down a big hill.

But I passed this classic VW Beetle as if it was standing still. (Which it was.)

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.

10 response to "Speed and Untamed Competitiveness"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: May 1, 2021

    23 MPH on flat ground sounds pretty good to me. i also consider myself kind of competitive, but have long since given up on keeping up with any of the young roadies I see out on my rides. Now, I’m also not so good at taking pictures while on the move, but perhaps if I try, I can actually get better at that. Maybe that will be my personal variation on the ‘never photographed before’ challenge this month.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: May 1, 2021

      On a group ride of 81 riders, Dave and I were passed by 79 of them.
      We didn’t consider ourselves as being last, rather, we were riding sweep. 😉

    • By: Scooter Posted: May 2, 2021

      Oh, great idea Bob. Let’s have a challenge to see who can bike fastest while taking a photo. Best would be in traffic or around a curve. Next month we can have a challenge to see who can take the best photo from a hospital bed.

      • By: BobinVT Posted: May 2, 2021

        Perhaps an indication that I should never be put in charge of challenges! Of course, I can blame Greg for giving me the idea in the first place.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: May 1, 2021

    I blinked 🙁
    I strongly suspect one of those TdF electric motors in the seat tube/bottom bracket.

    • By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: May 2, 2021

      My thoughts exactly (don’t want to damage Greg’s fragile ego), any bike that overtakes me is electric for sure.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: May 2, 2021

    Thinking outside the box again! Great idea to make pictures of abstract concepts!

  4. By: Rocky Posted: May 2, 2021

    Nothing like another bicycle rider to motivate you to go faster!

  5. By: gregblood Posted: May 2, 2021

    I thank everybody for their comments, but in view of the exchange between Scott and Bob, I have retained the services of a team of high powered lawyers. I don’t need any lawsuits from Cycle365-ers lying in hospital beds. I disavow all blame and/or responsibility for anybody’s attempt to take reckless cycling pictures.

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