The September Challenge

I suppose you thought I forgot about my duties as Czar of the Cycle365 Challenge just because I’m out of town and I’m preparing for a bike tour. Perish the thought!

In a way, the idea for this month’s challenge originated back in July. Remember when there was some discussion about seeing faces almost everywhere once we started looking for them? And remember how those faces became something like a visual version of an ear worm? And remember how Emily suggested ear worms might be a good theme for a future Cycle365 Challenge?

I agreed it would be a good idea and I put it on the back burner. But it got moved to the front burner while The Feeshko and I were driving from Minnesota to Washington. Here’s the story:

We were cruising along on I-90 at Montana’s legal speed limit of 80 MILES PER HOUR!!, listening to Montana Public Radio. For a couple hundred miles there had been some interesting news and human interest stories from NPR. Then, after the local affiliate out of Missoula took over and broadcast the local news, a children’s story hour came on. A woman with a very kind voice read a story about a heron and a frog who were good neighbors and good friends.

As I said, it was a children’s story but I enjoyed the heck out of it. After the story, the host played a couple of children’s songs. The first one was OK, but the second one was easily the best kid’s song I’ve ever heard. The Feeshko agreed.

When we got to our motel near the Montana-Idaho border, The Feeshko wanted me to find the song on Youtube so we could hear it again.

The next morning we wanted to listen to the song again and, of course, it became an ear worm for us the rest of the way to Spokane. That’s what got me to thinking about the ear worm challenge again. I wasn’t sure though, because we just had a music-related challenge a few months ago. So it went back to the back burner.

The next day, I rode my bike all over Spokane and came across a street sign that put the ear worm challenge right back on the front burner.

Was it destiny?

A few blocks later, there was this street sign. In case you didn’t know, Alice is the real name of The Feeshko. And The Feeshko got the same ear worm as I did. How could I NOT go with the ear worm idea after all those signs from the gods of destiny.

Well, I’m not a big believer in destiny. Therefore, the ear worm challenge has been moved to the middle burner. Let me explain.

For the first time ever, there will be two challenges going on at the same time. There will be the earworm challenge AND the challenge that had been on my front burner for several weeks. That would be my “Things That Make You Happy And Things That Make You Sad” Challenge. I’ll provide a few examples.

My dog, Diggity, always makes me happy.

This Asian fire truck on a residential street in Spokane made me happy.

These wooden shoes were very uncomfortable and they made me sad. Having to pose in them while The Feeshko took this picture made me even sadder.

So there’s your challenge. Write about your earworms and the things that make you happy or sad. And unlike my pictures above, try to include your bike. Thank you.

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.

9 response to "The September Challenge"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: August 30, 2021

    So I have to say that it must be a challenge to ‘sing’ the text of a whole book. But of course Bob McGrath would be up to it – he’s a legend. He’s been on Sesame Street since the very beginning in 1969. Nora is a catchy song.

    So my mom was a kindergarten and first grade teacher for most of her career. I can tell you that I cannot stand RAFFI – those earworm songs from him drove me nuts as a kid when she had all those albums for her class. (Google him since the youtube links act weird in the comments). I’m going to use one tomorrow for this challenge though.

    Here is my funny The Feeshko story. No, I couldn’t exactly remember her proper given name. But I could remember it was one of the female cast members from The Brady Bunch. So I knew she was either Alice, Carol, Cindy, Marsha or Jan… just couldn’t remember which! I am so glad she’s got a big block of time with family right now though!

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 31, 2021

      I knew you’d be familiar with Bob McGrath. And good Feeshko story. Here’s another one: The Feeshko has a sister with another Brady Bunch name–Carol. And get this: she also has a sister named Emily.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: August 31, 2021

      Oh, Raffi! Just hearing that name put earworms into my head, I’ve occasionally joked that I missed the entire music scene from the 1980’s, since all I ever heard were Raffi or Sesame Street songs when travelling with the kids.

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: August 31, 2021

    Lots of things to shoot that make me happy. Generally I just shoot things I like or make me happy. Good challenge. All pics are good for it. As for sad, there are more things I see when I cycle around that make me angry, like buildings that don’t belong, bad traffic planning, impolite drivers, dog poo… the list is long. But sad I keep to myself. Your Dutch clogs don’t make me sad, either. They make me laugh.

    • By: gregblood Posted: August 31, 2021

      Angry. Sad. Same thing as far as I’m concerned. We can call it the “Things that Make You Happy and the Things That Make You Angry” challenge. And you’re right, almost anything you want to photograph could fit into one of those categories.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: August 31, 2021

    They looked like pretty happy clogs to me. Cycling though fields of sunflowers listening to a great song with puppies and kittens would do it for me.

  4. By: Scooter Posted: September 2, 2021

    I knew you wouldn’t fail us. Right off the bat, one thing that makes me happy is to not have to think up a challenge this month. Thanks!!

    • By: gregblood Posted: September 3, 2021

      You’re welcome. However, as soon as I run out of ideas, I’m sending the challenge right back to you.

      • By: gregblood Posted: September 3, 2021

        And that could be sooner than you think.

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