Happy Fifth

I once had two tires go flat on my bike in a place where there was no shade for a mile in any direction, so I had to walk a good ways before I could figure out how to address the problem of having two flats and one spare tube. I once rode in a race so hard that I couldn’t walk for an almost disconcerting length of time after it, because, that time, my feet had gone flat in aging shoes. Once, of course, I crashed my bike and had surgery collarbone surgery, several months of hazy memories, two additional surgical consults, a neck exam (to make sure, months later, I hadn’t broken* it) and multiple rounds of physical therapy before I managed to get the pain of it all under control. Another time I got caught out in a sudden thunderstorm that produced hail, which fell hard enough to break my skin. Oh! And there was the time when my ride went too long and after an agonizing 45 minutes of realizing this wasn’t going to work out it got so dark I couldn’t see anything and I found myself pointing the front wheel in a general area where I expected the road to be and, you know, hoped**.

Saturday’s ride, a 47-mile effort where nothing went right, wasn’t as bad as any of those. But it’d go on a longer version of such a list.

At least I saw this cool barn!

And the old grain bin next to it was pretty nice, too.

The city canceled their fireworks this year. But the neighborhood provided quality entertainment once more. As an added bonus, we didn’t even have to leave the yard.

I decided to experiment with a Twitter live stream.

And I learned that for some dark and mystical reason of video compression, the audio doesn’t sound quite right, which is amusing.

The fireworks show they put on last year was incredibly impressive, but they scaled it back this year. Even still …

And if you didn’t get enough colorful things in the sky around you last night, here are some videos I shot of the neighbors last year. They really did go all out. This one is deliberately blurry, evocative of how fireworks hang in our memories.

No kidding, they had four false finales last year. Here’s the third one.

This was, I believe, the big finish.

*This was about why things were still hurting well, well beyond when I should have been healed up. That second specialist, saw me because my mother-in-law worked with him. He saw me over the holidays, listened to all my complaints and said, “Six months? Yeah, that’s not right” and “Let’s look at your neck.” So they went off to fetch the right technicians to do scans to rule out neck trauma and I remember sitting alone in his examination room, incomprehensibly mad, muttering to myself I do NOT have a broken neck. (And I was right! I did not have a broken neck.) What I did have — according to the third surgeon I consulted later the next year — was a good procedure from the first surgeon, who gave me inscrutably bad recovery advice and a lousy therapeutic regimen. So that’s how that particular bike ride went.

**I have a good light for just such an occasion now. And I don’t typically ride that late in a day anymore, anyway.

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