Well it was my birthday yesterday.
The years fly by like poles out a train window and I leave a trail of wheels behind me as they fall off day after day.
As the last week crept by I had visions of a lovely offshore day with perfect waves 'somewhere', but as the weekend approached it became all too clear it would be crap. That Sue, I knew, would be working, and the kids dashing about with school play rehearsals and skating meant that I was all on my lonesome and surf-less to boot.
Not wanting to sit and contemplate my navel, or fluff mine as my dear old dad used to call his, I decided, after making a spaghetti bolognaise for the week and starting the dinner for that night (well trained aren't I?) to hit the road on the bike and head up to some mountain bike trails about 45 minutes ride from home. Got up there, beautiful afternoon with bellbirds calling by the riverside, and I spied a serious looking lycra clad lad exiting a little gate up ahead.
You beauty I think as I sidle up, g'day mate as I pass and keyhole my way through the gate that is clearly meant to discourage fainthearted biking types.
So I start riding along this trail and it is suddenly very narrow, rocky and traversing a fifty odd degree slope meaning if I go off the side I really do go off the side.
Then the stairs cut into the rock appear and to make matters worse it seems as though the guy I'd passed earlier actually rode down the things.
Hmmm. So I walk up, get back on the bike and whizz along for a bit, around a few corners , doing well, shit I'm hot I think, the old fart hasn't lost too much, dodge a tree, hit a root, wheel goes over the edge and I go over the handlebars.
Survey the damage,.. Torn shorts, grazed elbow, grazed knee. Gravel rash on hand, bruised pride.
A guy on the other side of the river waves at me and gives me the thumbs up.
I suppress the urge to give him a digit unrelated to a thumb, wave and get back on.
A few turns later I repeated the performance, and fifty metres after that I did it again.
Righto, up this track the road. I'll call it a day.
That night, my mate Mo came 'round with his kids for my and Tommy's birthday.. which was the day before, and we had some fun.
Todays pics, none of the birthday... but a couple of shots from my Banyaks trip last year, me coming back from a session and you can bet what kind of birthday present those waves would have been.