I realized with mild amusement, while at the grocery store watching many people fill shopping carts with soda, meat, and small explosive devices, that the 4th of July is really the ultimate American holiday. It is a microcosm of our culture as a whole. We eat grilled meats and we blow stuff up.
It’s one of my favorite days of the year.
This year I had planned on a big mountain ride for the early hours of the day. But an invitation for a big road ride from the Holley’s, and a little persuasive encouragement from Keith resulted in a change of plans. So at 5AM I was suited up and off for a local epic: The Nebo Loop. The ride is one of my favorites, big climbs, big views, tight switchbacks, and leg breaking grades all combine to make this a classic skinny tire route. After the climbing, a 30 mile flat, straight frontage road awaits. Which means fast pulls and headwinds. Everytime I do that ride the final 30 miles hurt worse than the first 50….
After the riding, it was off to Park City to play tourist. We waited in lines for the Alpine slide, the Alpine coaster, the merry-go-round and snow cones. As I rode the chair lift up the mountain I looked longingly below me at some of the great singletrack. My aching legs reminded me of the mornings adventure, and suddenly the urge to ride the tempting one-track subsided.
On the slide my 4 year old son made every sort of car, spaceship, and motorcycle noise he could think of, that is, between the whoops and weee’s. It was much more fun riding it through his eyes, than mine. After all, the before mentioned singletrack would put the speed, turns and thrills of the slide to shame. But not for a 4 year old.
Later in the evening we made short work of our driveway approved explosives, again, something more enjoyable through the eyes of the kids. Although there is always some satisfaction in an empty box of fireworks. Around us the sky was filled with evidence of contra-banned red white and blue bursts. The cops drove around, threateningly, but I doubt they bothered to crash any parties.
Eventually the kids faded, and so did I. I hit the sack among distant, and not so distant booms, crackles, whistles and whoops. The air was thick with a floating blue haze.
It’s all fun and games. Except where it’s not.
I was grateful that I could get up early, and go do something as trivial as a bike ride. Knowing that not all people have that ability or freedom. It’s a good land we live in. It has its flaws and its idiotic decision makers, but on the whole, it gets the job done. It’s the people that make it great. The next door neighbors, and friends, the cousins and uncles and bike race competitors. The bloggers and baseball fans, the BBQ’s and singletrack.
Mostly things people on Capitol Hill don’t know much about.