The Opposite of Kodachrome

For several days I had been anxiously waiting to see what the subject of Cycle365’s March Challenge would be. In fact, to say I was “anxious” would be too much of an understatement. You could say I was “chomping at the bit.” You could say I “really had the juices flowing.” You could say I was ready to “jump in with both feet.” You could say I wanted to be “the first horse out of the starting gate.” You could go so far as to say that I was ready to “jump the gun.” Oh yes, there are many cliches that would apply to the excitement I was feeling about tackling a new challenge. You could even say I “was busting out at the seams” in anticipation.

Then, on the very last day of February, when the anticipation reached an almost unbearable apex, Scott came through with the Kodachrome Challenge. A sense of enormous relief overcame me.

The bow bends; the wood complains. At the moment of supreme tension, there will leap into flight an unswerving arrow, a shaft that is inflexible and free.” -Albert Camus

I know exactly what the French existentialist meant. Yesterday, I was the complaining bow. This morning, I was the arrow and I was prepared to unswervingly hit my Kodachrome target. I was FREE!

(Come to think of it, that sense of freedom was pretty much the exact same feeling I had when I clicked the “DELETE” button on my Crazyguyonabike account. “Are you sure,” it asked?” “Yes I am,” I replied.”)

Unfortunately, the spring-like weather of last week, which started to reveal exciting new colors, has reverted back to winter-like weather. An inch of snow last night turned everything back to WHITE.

Luckily I’m the kind of guy who “turns lemons into lemonade,” so I came up with the idea of an anti-kodachrome post. Yup, just black and white and a little gray.

Black and white and a gray bike.

Black fence, white landscape.

White snow, black crow. (The crow was CAWING like crazy, which was pretty cool.)

A white road with patches of black.

Black and white.

Black brake hood, white snow, gray shadow.

Even my clothing fits the color scheme.

Sorry, a little red snuck into this picture.

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 "The Opposite of Kodachrome"

  1. By: Scooter Posted: March 1, 2021

    Brilliant! Sort of like making lemons from lemonade, to throw in yet another cliche. And here I thought you were just a poet, albeit a fine one. I especially like the quote from Camus, which I don’t remember seeing before. I read most of his major works a bazillion years ago (without really understanding any of them, I don’t doubt), but not The Rebel. Sounds like my kind of work though. I’ll have to check it out.

    • By: gregblood Posted: March 1, 2021

      I didn’t always understand Camus either. He was the same as some of my other favorite classical writers–Nietzsche, Joyce, Melville, Eliot, even Bob Dylan. You just can’t comprehend half the stuff, but it you keep reading, some amazing nuggets of wisdom just jump out at you. The unswerving arrow quote is one of my all-time favorites.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: March 1, 2021

    Brilliant Greg. As much as black, white and gray can be ‘brilliant’.

    I LOVE that you made such delightful lemonade from those lemons ;’-).

    • By: gregblood Posted: March 2, 2021

      I was lucky to have the bright sunshine. Had it been a cloudy day, there would have been much less black & white & gray brilliance–I can assure you of that.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: March 1, 2021

    Monochromatic photography matters.

    • By: gregblood Posted: March 2, 2021

      Monochromatic photography matters.

      Amen to that! Thanks, Rich.

  4. By: Scooter Posted: March 1, 2021

    And, btw, nice job proving Paul Simon wrong in one detail. Not everything looks worse in black and white.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: March 2, 2021

    I think you’ve hit on the true basis of colour – you need that white backdrop to see colour and contrast and that black to remind you of what no colour is like. You’ve hit on the fundamentals. I remember like The Stranger as an angsty teen but have not revisited Camus as an adult. Some day… man, I’m going to be busy when I get old with all the things on my “to-do list when you have more time”.

    • By: gregblood Posted: March 2, 2021

      In my younger days, I used to have thoughts of reading all the great works of literature “when I had more time.” Now I have lots of time and pretty much all I read is the newspaper and Cycle365. Okay, well, it’s not quite that bad, but I’d say I haven’t finished more than a half-dozen books in the last two years. Heck, I think I’ve WRITTEN more words than I’ve read in that time.

  6. By: Suzanne Posted: March 2, 2021

    Really no color out your way! And I though our brown countryside was pretty monochromatic.

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