Do you think Horner, Talansky and Van Garderen rode their bikes in 4th of July parades when they were kids? Here perhaps is The Next Next Generation of USA TdF racers rolling down Main Street in Templeton CA on the 4th a few days ago.
Before the parade began I wandered through a parking lot full of Corvettes, vintage 1957 to nearly new, but none of the newest Batcave Studio models. I stopped to talk with the owner of the lovely Aztec Gold ’57 model, he claimed it used to belong to William Randolph Hearst, who had a little vacation retreat nearby. His claim is backed up by the original California license plate on the vehicle – “WRH 057”. In those days there were no vanity plates, but if you were WR Hearst my guess is that you could influence someone to provide such a plate. But who knows, perhaps it is a mere coincidence.
More of of the Corvettes
People and their horses
Old vehicles in the parade
More 4th of July thoughts – in a recent AARP Bulletin there was a brief “What I Really Know” contribution from a member named Michael Manning, of Hocksett, New Hampshire. He wrote about how over the course of his life, having come of age during the Vietnam war era, and having witnessed all of the political, economic and foreign policy shenanigans since then, he had gotten cynical about being a citizen of the U.S., which was his right merely by virtue of his birth here. But on the 4th, while he was at a local minor league baseball game, before the game there was an new citizen induction ceremony for 30 people, all ages and races, who had worked their ways from foreign shores, deliberately choosing to become citizens of this country because of the consequent freedoms and opportunities. The moment was very poignant for Mr. Manning, who regained his appreciation for Independence Day.
It’s a nice thought, and it reminded me of how I am coming to appreciate more and more my ability to keep bicycling. I think back to that day 10 years ago speeding down the Col du Cucheron in the French Alps, ignoring the “chausseur deforme'” signs and suddenly going into a tight, blind right-hander with gravel all over the pavement. I was lucky to get away with merely a grade 3 A/C separation and a bit of road rash.
So what I really know is that there is no way I would take that kind of risk nowadays. I still like a fast twisty descent, but I’m only going to push it if I already know the road. Simply being able to go at any speed, and enjoy the ride, not to mention staying healthy, are all far too important to risk through recklessness.