We celebrate birthdays on two wheels. In the mountains. In the quiet and the sunshine. With sweat and sunblock stinging the eyes. We celebrate them overlooking deep sweeping valleys, and on switchbacks that twist in and out of shadows. We rally through sketchy rock gardens and down along dancing berms. With our own shadows always two paces before or behind.
This one was my 28th and we were out near Mt. Hood in Oregon, where the air is dry and clear and the summer bugs are big and black. Just the two of us and the whole of the views and the free-flow of the trail as my gift.
I know we spend most weekends like this. But when it’s your day, when the mountains are there to celebrate with you, you feel big and grand and small and insignificant all at the same time. And me, I’m OK with that as long as I can escape the city and birthday-party proper.