I always envy the challenge hosts who have a great many images from which to choose. Unfortunately that was not the case in this challenge, which made the selection process too brief, less entertaining and less educational. That said, here are my picks, first the Honorable mentions in no particular order.
I liked the way the curving road brings the viewer out of the dense woods into the clear foreground, thus sharing the pleasure of the rider's adventure. A small flash would have made the subject really pop out.
Other than scenic beauty, the Irish traffic jam highlights the type of "adventures" one encounters on the road. It is these occurrences, when traveling speed drops from 75mph to a temporary halt or slow crawl that one gets the feeling of "being there".
Speaking of adventures on the road, what's more interesting than a straight road suddenly making a 90 degree turn just before running over a cliff and plunging a driver into the ocean while distracted by a roadside garage sale?
One can almost feel the middle age man straining to keep up with the buggy going uphill. The little boy's face blurred by camera motion adds a touch of mystery as to whether his eyes are on the bike rider or the photographer: it's better this way. A good through-the-windshield grab of a fleeting opportunity.
The composition and the subject colors combine to make a good on-the-road image. The red shirt of the center rider echoes the foreground color of the poppy field , unifying nature and people. Also adding to the "feel' of the image is that the riders, rather than preening for the photographer, appear to be happy to take a rest in the middle of an arduous workout by slouching over their handlebars.
Although some purists scoff at post processed images because they depict altered reality, I'm fully in favor of doing whatever it takes to make an image say what the photographer wants it to say. This image already had excellent balance and composition to tell a story, but it took tedious, time consuming effort to turn it into the winning image it is. I for one appreciate the efforts, and pass the baton to Gregory for naming the next challenge.