Today is a personal independence day of sorts for me as tomorrow I start a new job as Director of Communications for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. Look for Over the Bars to continue, but evolve into something with a bit more of a statewide focus. For my last purely independent post, I give you my trip to the fireworks at the lakefront yesterday evening.
Liz and I rode down with our friends Jerry and Mike. Mike did not have a bike, but he is my size, so I loaned him my Dutchified Schwinn. Jerry has the super sweet Vanmoof that the ever-up-for-a-challenge wrenches at Ben’s Cycles customized by adding a 7-speed internal rear wheel. Liz was on her Sunday-Go-to-Meeting ride that I built for her in my basement. It is sort like a custom Waterford Godiva with hand carved lugs. It also has a Shimano Nexus 7 speed internal, but with roller cam instead of coaster brakes. I built the bike around 26 inch wheels to keep the frame smaller. It is a much faster ride than Oma due to the skinnier tires and more aggressive geometry.
We planned to meet some of Mike’s friends who had staked out a spot in Juneau Park early in the day. That served as base camp and offered access to a grill, food and beverages. Some people bring their entire living rooms down, including couches, lamps and tables. It seems a bit unfair to stake out a huge area (people with the volley ball net) but we actually managed to find an open spot big enough for a blanket and some folding chairs.
The fireworks were quite good, but seemed to last about 20 minutes longer than I needed. We stayed until the end, and out bikes allowed us to make a quick exit through the throngs of people walking and the big traffic jam. I can’t imagine what it was like to drive a car out of downtown. I just don’t have the patience to be a motorist I guess.