• Patrick Gabrion

Birthday biking

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Despite it being so late in the year when my birthday arrives, I always wish for the opportunity to go for a bike ride on such a special day. This year came with an added bonus, in that it also fell on Thanksgiving Day. So a pedal before or after all the accompanying food — and cake ... chocolate, by the way — does wonders physically and mentally to counter all those extra calories.


My birthday ride.

But such was not the case for 2020. Here in Maine, the big day began with freezing rain, followed by just plain rain throughout the remainder of the daylight hours. Temperatures never got "hotter" than the mid-30s. Oh well, such is life.


The bike-less occasion left me pondering over just how lucky, or unlucky, I had been in the past when it came to spinning my wheels on the 26th day of November. So I went to my faithful cycling logbook and had a look at the prior 10 years to view what took place. My guess was that I'd been fairly successful in making it onto my bicycle saddle.


Again, it wasn't the case. From 2019 back to 2010, I only managed to cruise down the road three times. Frankly, I was quite surprised. Here's what took place on the birthdays I was able to go for a ride: 2017, 14 miles and temperatures in the 30s; 2016, 40 miles with Jon and temps in the 40s, and 2015, 23 miles and again in the 40s. Three out of 10 aren't very good odds; and now it's three out of the last 11 years.


To not be completely snookered, I did jump on my vintage Schwinn stationary bike — which was given to me years ago — to allow the leg muscles a bit of a stretching out. It's my go-to machine, especially during the wintertime, when going outside just doesn't make sense — which doesn't happen too often, thank goodness. I mostly do just a hair over 30 minutes, usually flat-out.


I will get on the real thing starting today. For the next three days, the predicted weather conditions say dry and degree readings in the 40s and 50s. Anyway, my birthday was a bust as far as bike riding was concerned, but maybe next year.


Perhaps it's time for a nap. After all, I am 68 years old, now. Be safe!

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