Independence Day

Posted on in by Liz Lyles

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  To me July 4th means hot weather, tasty food, and fun outdoor activities with the family.  If we are lucky enough to stay awake, it means fireworks too!  I am proud to be an American, and love this country with all of my heart.  I am extremely thankful for the sacrifices made by active and veteran military personnel.  I feel blessed every day that I am able to live in such an incredible country with all of the freedoms that we enjoy.  Independence Day is in large part symbolic of everything it means to be an American.  I’m am writing this blog though to not only reflect on what I love about this holiday, but also to bring awareness to please be safe during the fourth of July holiday weekend.

There are so many fun activities to do in the summer and on a holiday weekend:

  • Boating
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Running
  • Barbequing
  • The list goes on, I’m sure you can think of a million more…

This year I will be spending a good part of the weekend training for my next race, Ironman Canada in Whistler.  My training will include swimming (relatively safe), running, and biking.  Inevitably there will be thousands of us hitting the road collectively to log hundreds and thousands of miles on our bikes.  This of course can be dangerous any day of the year, but on a holiday weekend, when people are outdoors, celebrating the holiday it can be even more dangerous.  My message is twofold.  For anyone thinking about biking, earlier in the day is probably safer than later in the day or in the evening. 4th 2 Trail rides on mountain bikes are probably safer too because they tend to be further away from major roads.  Please consider this if you plan to ride outdoors this upcoming holiday weekend.  Always wear a helmet, and be safe!

The second part of my message is to anyone who will be driving this holiday weekend. Please, please, share the road, and be on the lookout for bikers.  For anyone who plans to drink adult beverages this weekend (might have a cold one or two myself), please do yourself and everyone else a huge favor and utilize a designated driver or take a cab.  It seems like there has been an abundance of accidents already this year in our area.  I don’t know if more are being reported on, or if the numbers are just higher than normal.  I don’t want to sound like a preachy mom here, but please be safe, be smart, and always be aware of bikers, joggers, kids, dogs, or anything else that you may find along your path while driving.


Pick some fun activities, play hard, as you have worked hard to earn it.  Put on your red, white, and blue…enjoy the tasty food and fireworks, please be safe… and enjoy this holiday weekend!

Liz Lyles

Liz Lyles is a mother, a wife, and a professional Ironman Triathlete.

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