It may sound silly to some, but I think a birthday is a time to reward yourself, or “Treat Yo Self” as Rhetta and Tom from Parks and Rec say in the above video. Spend the day indulging in what you enjoy. You get to eat where you want, sleep when you want, and control the remote control. Most importantly, you should engage in your passion, your hobby.
In case you haven’t heard, I like to ride a bike. Treat Yo Self!
The last two years, I’ve enjoyed the tradition of solo riding my age mileage on my birthday. I’ve tried to make the routes relatively interesting. Two years ago I experienced Paris Mountain for the first time. Last year I rode up Hoosier Pass, CO, and rode from Breckenridge to Frisco and back.
This year was not so easy to be interesting. Given that my birthday falls on a Tuesday, and I’m saving my days off for larger adventures, I decided to keep my ride local. I skipped the local group ride for the safe and quiet confines of Fort Jackson.
I started with the back of the fort, which has most of the toughest hills, figuring I could finish up easily with flatter roads. I rode up Hartsville Guard, Wildcat, Dixie extension, and up both Walls before the first refuel. I texted my wife: “Hi. I’m 17.6 years old now.” She laughed.
After finishing up the big loop, I had 29 non-descript miles under my belt. I headed to the front of the fort for the last few. As each mile ticked by, I enjoyed the quiet reflection of what I was doing at that point of my life. At mile 33, I had finally moved to South Carolina, got married at mile 34, got fit at mile 35, started riding at mile 37, first Mitchell at mile 38, second Mitchell at 39, injury and third Mitchell at 40. At mile 41, I stopped at Hilton Field for a Happy Birthday photo op.
Another year done. Who knows where I’ll be next year? Hopefully somewhere exotic with a lot of miles under my belt.