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Where I recap 4th of July happenings
I’m still torn on my thoughts about the 4th of July falling on a Wednesday. It gives you this “weekend in the middle of the week” thing that is just really, really difficult to wrap my brain around. I swear, last night, I started going through the dreaded routine that I go through on Sunday nights, which is “freak out about the fact that tomorrow is trash day, and then leave the collection of trash for the next day as I have another beer.”
Only, I realized that last night was Wednesday night, and the next day was Thursday, which is an entirely different day than Monday, so that I didn’t have to worry about trash day, or waking at 4am for a meeting. Oddly, I then went about collecting trash, because the panic was no longer with me.
The holiday, itself, needed a post here, if only to follow up from the ill-fated trip for ice cream. Somewhere, I had a mad idea to wake up at 5am and go for a very long bike ride (I really want to cycle a 120 mile ride, monthly, but 120 miles means that I’m out for 6 hours, and that’s a lot of time to not be home). Somehow, though, waking at 5am on my day off just didn’t jive . . . I found myself, with my family and a cup of coffee, around 8 when the concept of a bike ride was brought up. “Let’s go on a family ride,” we said to ourselves and we started things going.
The moment of reckoning was putting Leila’s helmet on . . . and we did it, without incident. And then we put her in the bike trailer, and there were no hissyfits. Then, she took the helmet off. She didn’t tantrum, though, as we explained that she had to keep her helmet on if she wanted to go for a ride — and she did want to go for a ride. And she kept her helmet on throughout the entire ride, which was a little shade of awesome.
We rode around the Army Heritage Museum, which is cool just because there are weapons & military craft & military buildings all over the place. You’ll find barracks, and then a foxhole, then a bunker, then a tank, followed by a gunship, followed by an anti-tank gun, followed by a fort. As we passed each tank, I heard a emphatic “boom” from the trailer, CJ letting his imagination run rampant.
We returned home about an hour later, and Leila was still wearing her helmet. CJ, of course, was asking for ice cream — because, well, most every time I’ve taken him in the trailer, he’s gotten ice cream during the trip. Fearing a “if there is no ice cream, I’m not wearing my helmet again” decision from my daughter, I ran inside to get them both icee-pops, and all was good.
Then, I went out for a little ride by myself . . . well, “little ride” in this case being that I wouldn’t be going on a 120 mile ride. No, I was going to take some back roads, heading out & about before getting to King’s Gap, where I’d climb the mountain and then head back home — all total, it would be about a 50 mile ride. Only, I got to King’s Gap and it was hot. And there’s a nice little general store at the base of the mountain, and I got myself a Coke — it’s easy for me to say how wonderful a cold beer tastes on a hot day that I’ve been extraordinarily active — but, seriously, a Coke (and by Coke, I mean a real Coke, not its diet brethren that I usually partake of) is truly heavenly. Anyway, I got myself a Coke, and some Gatorade, and started the climb . . . and then “psssssssssssssssssss” – I blew a tube.
I started to berate myself for heading out on a long ride without a spare tube, but then I saw the state of my tire — I hadn’t just blown the tube, I had blown straight through the tire. Considering I’ve logged nearly 7,000 miles on this bike, and that the front tire is still the original tire, I’m actually pretty impressed . . . but, a spare tube would have bought me two, maybe three miles. I called my wife & limped myself back to the General Store. Instead of the 50 miles I was hoping, I logged 50k (30 miles), and then mowed the lawn. And then sliced my thumb and acted like a big baby making coleslaw. Then, I grilled corn on the cob, and summer squash & zucchini, and burgers, and hot dogs. And I ate too much while having a couple of beers. All the while thinking it was a Sunday.
Now, I’m super excited about the next family bike ride, because I’m pretty sure it will end with the four of us getting ice cream, a little girl having worn her helmet for the whole three mile trip (the trick, I think, will be to make sure that she’s wearing an outfit that a pink bicycle helmet will accentuate, and not clash with)