Thursday was my birthday, and for the fourth year in a row, I pulled off a bike ride (one year was on the weekend instead of the actual day). It was a nice, cool day, and I was joined by one friend in the morning and another in the afternoon. Since it was a workday others were busy (or just not into it). Dinner and dessert happened with the first rider and some other friends. And along the way I picked up some freebies. Some of them are good for a few weeks, so the celebration continues. Traditions are nice.
Miles and Smiles
I latched onto the “bike your age in miles” thing somewhere in 2015, when I turned 50. I know, I don’t look it, right? But since I’d done a charity ride that spring for the same distance of half a century, and another for 57 that September, it seemed a shame to let that riding go to waste. As you age fewer people care about your birthday, so without much else better to do than bike (is there ever?), I needed to occupy myself on my special day.
I did get a very late start, because, zombies. See, I’ve been watching Season 8 of The Walking Dead, and that keeps me up (and that kinda makes me a walker myself). You can see the elapsed time below is really long. That’s because I left my Garmin vivoactive hr on pause during all the stops even dinner and dessert, in order to capture the full mileage all at once. My battery was almost out, so I went home and did yoga while it charged. But the moving time was a comfortable 10.7 mph with a max of 33.3.
The tradition of getting free stuff dates back to an article in the paper from years ago. Things like a toy, chocolate, ice cream, lunch, video rental and a drink were on the list. With the exception of lunch, since I had snacks and wasn’t that hungry (and also not eating bread/chips/cookies etc.), I ticked all those boxes this time, too. It’s sort of what is known as “eat to bike, and bike to eat.” With all the stops, the ride wasn’t as hard as it would have been just going for 53 miles all at once.
What I ended up getting was: Grand Slam breakfast (Denny’s), margarita (Trudy’s), ice cream (Amy’s), “magic” wand (Toy Joy), and DVD of Lady Bird (I Luv Video).
Two friends bought my dinner, one of the riders’ partner made a smoothie for me, and I received some nice cards in the mail and email or text, and hugs and the like. My insurance agent, dentist and people on Linked In sent me well wishes. I requested donations for the Mamma Jamma Ride and got one for $5, woo hoo! (You may still make one if you wish at this link until 11/30/18.)
All in all, it was a good day, if a bit longer than planned. I’ll continue to enjoy some perqs like a free show at Capital City Comedy (two item minimum, though), a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse and a few other food things. And today I got a free massage from Austin Community College student clinic (although it was donated for the Mamma Jamma, not my birthday – thanks Alex and Zane!).
But the moral of the story is that this is more than just about getting stuff. It’s an experiment in attracting abundance, having fun, being good to myself regardless of whether anyone else wants to celebrate my birthday. But most of all it’s about gratitude. Giving people the opportunity to give, and receiving it with appreciation, are pretty cool. Everyone has a birthday and deserves to feel at least a little bit special one day a year.
Riding my bike as much as I do, it’s an accomplishment to stay alive. So if you had a hand in helping out the life of A Dude Abikes this year, thank you. You know who you are. Stay classy! And here’s to more birthdays for everyone.
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