Every year in the neighborhood in which I live, there is a nice fireworks display over Lake Montclair on the 4th of July. We’ve been here since 2002 and the location is exactly 1.6 miles from my house. The fact that we have always driven our car to this event says a great deal about the role of the automobile in American culture. To be fair, we planned on riding our bikes last year but decided on not attending as thunderstorms were forecasted.
So this year had a bit of excitement to it as I fitted headlights to the family’s bikes and my wife (who has taken the moniker, “Diesel” due to that engine’s ability to keep chugging along) loaded some blankets and bug spray into a backpack. We pulled up to the local golf course where we usually view the show and parked our bikes on the edge of an area reserved for members of the country club. Of the hundreds of people present, we could see only about ten bicycles. The only excitement occurred when some children accidentally ran into the bikes, sending my son’s and Diesel’s onto their sides. Both bikes survived the incident.
After a nice fireworks display, we turned on our lights and headed home. The usual crowd of pedestrians trying to get to their cars and cars trying to drive through the pedestrians occurred. We zipped through the congestion and arrived home much sooner (and sweatier as it was quite warm) than we normally would have.
My wife discovered the challenges of riding at night with a underpowered headlight (she used my backup light, good for being seen but not very good at illuminating the road). If she is to do something like this again, I think it will be necessary to spend the money for a quality light.
I leave you with this self-portrait, taken during this morning’s jaunt around the Manassas Airport. I can’t say very much caught my eye so I’m afraid this is the only picture I took. I shall try to do better in the future.