Tomorrow is the 4th of July, an enormous day of celebration right here in america when almost each metropolis within the nation shoots a storm of fireworks up into the air in celebration of our nation’s independence.
To inform the reality, I’m not likely an enormous fan of July 4th celebrations, however yearly when the 4th of July rolls round it jogs my memory of considered one of my most memorable bicycle touring moments.
It is a picture of me on my 2002 bike tour. Age 18.
Someplace north of Pueblo, Colorado, USA.
It was the summer time of 2002. I used to be 18-years-old and for the previous week I had been slowly making my means by bike throughout the windy plains of Kansas and Japanese Colorado. The wind had been blowing continuous and thru the small radio that I used to be carrying with me, I had been listening to for days a couple of wave of fires burning all through the state of Colorado – within the very path that I used to be headed.
When the 4th of July lastly rolled round, I made my means out of jap Colorado’s flatlands and pulled into the primary main metropolis I had seen in a while – Pueblo, Colorado. I used to be glad to be in an enormous metropolis, however as a result of the fires all through the state have been so unhealthy and the hazard of extra fires breaking out was so excessive, officers have been saying that there can be no firework shows on this specific July 4th.
Certain that there can be no firework show to participate on this specific night, I made my strategy to a big park close to the town’s Pueblo Zoo. Within the park, police mounted on horseback knowledgeable me that I may camp there and even organized to have a park official come and meet me later that night, in order to let me sleep inside a protected gated-off space.
With preparations made to fulfill the park official at 8 PM, I spent the remainder of my day biking round downtown Pueblo. At 7 PM, I picked up a pizza at a neighborhood pizzeria after which cycled with it again to the gate the place I used to be to fulfill the park official.
Once I arrived, the park official was ready for me. He opened a big chain-link gate, let me inside and even went as far as to unlocked a big upkeep constructing that contained a restroom, fridge, microwave and extra.
“I’ll be again at 7 AM to allow you to out of right here,” the park official informed me.
He then locked the gate, jumped in his truck and drove off… leaving me on their lonesome, locked inside a sequence hyperlink fence situated excessive above the town.
By this time, it was almost darkish and I knew that if there have been going to be a firework show that night, now was the time it was going to occur. So I grabbed my pizza and made my strategy to the hillside, the place I discovered an unbelievable view overlooking the town.
After which, as I had nearly given up on any probability of seeing my conventional 4th of July fireworks, a storm of lights stuffed the sky. There WAS going to be a fireworks present in Pueblo that evening… and never solely was there going to be one present, however there have been going to be three!!!
For the subsequent a number of minutes, a wave of flaming lights shot up into the sky and exploded in entrance of me, off to my proper and much off to my-left-hand facet. In the meantime, I stood in surprise, consuming my pizza and realizing simply how fortunate I used to be to be out on this superb bicycle journey.
Since that day, I’ve realized that a lot of my most memorable bicycle touring moments have occurred off my bike. It’s moments like that 4th of July fireworks present in Pueblo, Colorado that I keep in mind most. And due to this, I now search for comparable experiences when touring with my bike… and I like to recommend you achieve this as properly!
For instance, listed below are just some actions which you can search for when touring along with your bike that happen exterior, are normally free to get pleasure from, and nearly at all times make for memorable moments when touring by bike:
Festivals & Events
Should you plan your journey out properly, or for those who merely get fortunate and stroll into city on the proper time of 12 months, you would possibly discover that the town you might be visiting is internet hosting a big social gathering or competition of some sort.
This previous February I discovered myself in Luzern, Switzerland in the course of the Fasnacht, an enormous outside competition that takes place in the course of the chilly winter months. The occasion was so unusual and so weird, it’s doubtless one thing I’ll always remember.
Try a number of the footage from that occasion right here.
Many cities conduct outside concert events in the course of the summer time months which can be open to the general public and freed from cost. The musicians are sometimes native, however you may typically occasions get fortunate and see well-known, well-known artists carry out free of charge. A pair years again I loved a free Willie Nelson live performance whereas out on the street… and final 12 months I discovered myself listening to a few of Serbia’s most well-known younger singers carry out on a stage in Montenegro.
Parades are one other nice, free and enjoyable strategy to spend a day in a brand new metropolis. Simply set your bike up on the sidewalk, sit down on the curb and benefit from the passing present. Some cities would possibly even ask you to trip within the parade with them – and media officers who’re there to cowl the parade might find yourself doing a narrative on you as properly!
Markets are implausible free enjoyable as properly. You possibly can normally stroll by the market along with your bike in hand and store for contemporary fruits, greens, and different home-made items. For the health-conscious bike traveler, there couldn’t be a greater means to buy the meals that’s wanted to energy you from one metropolis to the subsequent.
Try this video of a market I visited in Skopje, Macedonia presently final 12 months.
Outside Motion pictures
Subsequent, do what you may to go looking out any motion pictures that is likely to be taking part in on the town. However don’t pay massive bucks to go to a boring previous movie show. As an alternative, do what you may to see if there may be an outside film taking part in in your space. Giant cities will typically occasions have weekly movies taking part in within the metropolis park or different such outside venues. Such movies are normally free to attend and they’re an incredible place to fulfill individuals; deliver a picnic dinner and luxuriate in a night
beneath the celebrities.
Lastly, for those who like sports activities of any sort, preserve an eye fixed out for such occasions. Soccer, soccer, baseball/softball, volleyball, rugby, tennis, cricket and different such sports activities normally happen exterior, are free to the general public and make for memorable occasions away out of your bicycle.
So as to discover occasions similar to these whereas touring along with your bike, the perfect place to start out is the native customer middle. If there isn’t a customer middle on the town… otherwise you merely can’t discover it, soar on the Web and go to the web site of the town by which you end up. Most metropolis’s have an “Occasions Calendar” of some sort the place they checklist public occasions similar to these talked about above. And for those who can’t discover a web site to search for such a info, merely ask the locals and/or discover your quick space. A few of my most memorable moments have come from unexpectedly discovering myself in the midst of a parade, outside live performance, or big sporting occasion just because I put myself in the best place on the proper time.
So get on the market!
This month I encourage you to get exterior and trip your bike. However most significantly, step away out of your bike for some time and search for one thing enjoyable, free, and memorable to participate in.