The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done (and that’s sayin’ something)

That’s right, today I surpassed the stupidest stupidity of my stupid cycling career. Or maybe it was yesterday that I achieved the height of stupidity. I’m not exactly sure. Let me tell the story.

The Feeshko and I drove back to Iowa yesterday. My dad had a medical appointment to keep and it was in Cedar Rapids which is 60 miles away from my dad’s town. And on Tuesday he has an appointment with his eye specialist in Waterloo. Since he is not supposed to drive on highways, we are going to do whatever we can to keep him from trying to drive to those appointments by himself.

So I loaded my bike carrier onto the back of my minivan, lifted my bike onto the carrier, and locked the front wheel to the frame so it wouldn’t spin around during the entire trip, and also to discourage thieves when we stop for the inevitable bathroom and snack break.

The dumb part starts a couple years ago when I bought one of those stupid Kryptonite locks that pays to replace your stupid bike if somebody is able to cut the lock and steal your bike. It seemed like a not-so-dumb idea at the time. The dumb part continues when I lost the stupid key to the stupid lock. I spent two hours searching my car and all my bags and pockets and anyplace I could think of to find it. No luck.

In other words, I am stuck in Iowa while unable to ride my bike for five days.

Stinking Kryptonite lock!

I was so frustrated that tomorrow I am going to drive 3 1/2 hours back to MY Town, pick up my spare key, and drive 3 1/2 hours back to Iowa so I can go on some bike rides. That’s how addicted to biking I am.

In the meantime, I discovered something interesting after today’s doctor appointment. There were a bunch of little cottony things floating around at my dad’s house. But they weren’t dandelion fluffies or milkweed parachutes. No, they seemed to have a life of their own.

I tried to focus in on a few of those bugs with little success. Indeed, this one is a little blurry.

This one is a little clearer.

But this zoomed in picture is AWESOME.

This one is awesomer.

My dad had never seen them in his yard before. The Feeshko and I had never seen them ANYWHERE before. They looked like tiny angels. In fact, I was going to try to claim I discovered a new insect, which I named bugii angelicus. Entomological integrity, however, compelled me to Google “tiny white bugs” and, lo & behold, up came a bunch of pictures of the things I was seeing. They were called Wooly Aphids.

I was so excited about my discovery that I shouted out to my dad and The Feeshko, “THEY’RE WOOLY APHIDS!” I said aphids with the short “a” sound. The Feeshko quickly corrected me with the long “A” sound. “AY-phids, not a-phids.” She should have known that I was going to Google the correct pronunciation. It turns out that both pronunciations are correct.

I am writing this at a table on my dad’s deck. I have my laptop in front of me and a nice Iowa beer at my side. In front of my beer, was my best Wooly AYPHID photo opportunity yet. Check it out.

Wooly aphids seem to like beer as much as the next bug.

I couldn’t leave you without showing a face on a tree that I found.

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.

7 response to "The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done (and that’s sayin’ something)"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: July 16, 2021

    So sorry about the lock. We did that once, in Spain. We locked both bikes together and lost the key. We carried them to a garage and they cut the lock. Maybe you could try that?

    • By: gregblood Posted: July 17, 2021

      Losing the key here really sucked, but it would have sucked so much more if I was off on a bike tour. I knew there was another reason — besides the weight — why I carry a combination lock when I’m touring.

      By the way, I got up at 6:00 a.m. to begin my long trip to MY Town for the replacement key and then back to Iowa. I took my dog for a walk first, and while on that walk I decided that it was a stupid idea to spend seven or eight hours driving my car so that I could ride my bike for perhaps seven or eight hours over the next three days. It would also be a dumb idea to spend all that time PLUS $50 on gas to save a $90 lock when I could bring it somewhere to get it cut off, as you did.

      Then, for some reason, I thought I should give my car an extra thorough search. With minimal hope, I looked here and I looked there. Finally I stuck my fingers in the crevice where the back of the driver’s seat meets the seat of the driver’s seat. Guess what? I found the key. It must have slipped out of my pants pocket and worked it’s way into that crevice. My weekend is saved!

      • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: July 17, 2021

        Whew. That’s a relief that you found the key. Used to be you could use a Bic pen cap to unlock those things. I follow a guy called Lockpicking Lawyer who shows how he breaks into anything (his former vocation). He probably has a video on YouTube that shows how to break into Kryptonites.

        Good luck to your father. It’s a crappy time of life and hard for everyone, but especially him, to stop driving.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 16, 2021

    Woolly aphid jumped out of the beer 3 times to go to the bathroom, but always jumped back in!
    Cool face!
    Even cooler is you and Freeshko helping out your dad — good man, and lady!

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 17, 2021

    Does Superman steal bikes?

  4. By: BobinVT Posted: July 17, 2021

    Good news that you found the key. Now, any chance you could stop by and find the key we lost to our car about three years ago? I’m sure it’s around here somewhere. And yes, great that you’re helping your dad out. I’m sure it’s a tough time for him.

    PS. We did actually sell that car earlier this year. The dealer gave me a bit of a hard time about only having one ignition key.

  5. By: NancyG Posted: July 18, 2021

    Locks with keys are a nemesis. But I too use one — but two others are of the combo genre.

    So glad you were able to find your key, and good for you to give your dad the help he needs. You are a hero.

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