On my birthday

As previously mentioned, Sunday was my birthday.

I don’t know in which camp you fall, if you dread getting older or if you embrace and celebrate it. I belong to the latter. I think every day is a gift, getting older is a privilege, and we should make the best of each and single day we’re given.

I started off my 43rd birthday with a 4.3 mile run in the morning. I’ve taken up the habit of going for a run on my birthday, the mileage appropriately “reflecting” my age (I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I have to come up with a different scenario eventually, but for now, it works.)

In recent years, I’ve subscribed to the belief: if  you wake up on your birthday and you’re feeling good and don’t have any aches and pains, count yourself lucky and head out and get some exercise and fresh air!

Especially if, after quite a bit of rain lately, the sun is peaking out behind some fluffy clouds and I can see blue skies! What better way to start the day than heading out for a run?

And yes, this will inevitabely put a big smile on your face for the rest of the day (and who wouldn’t want that?).

My pace wasn’t too shabby either. Little birthday present for myself, eh?

After a FaceTime session with my twin sister and family back home, I was ready for a hot shower, coffee and birthday (marble) cake.

The highlight of my birthday happened in the afternoon. J said that had a surprise for me. Well, I honestly knew beforehand what the surprise was, but it didn’t diminish it in any way.

J took me bike shopping! 

I didn’t have a bike for years. In fact, I hadn’t owned a bike since we lived in Davis (“the bicycle capital of the world”, or maybe the US, at least), which was back in 2005, but you must know that I had wanted a bike for a long, long time.  Back when I lived in Germany, I did everything with my bike. It’s practically mandatory to own a bike in Germany (just kidding).

Anyway, this had been a long time coming.

We had talked about getting me a bike as soon as we started thinking about selling our house and moving to a neighborhood closer to my work. It would be safer for me to ride a bike there, also easier because of the shorter commute, and J could have the car available more often. Basically, a win-win situation. 

I assumed we would just go to a couple of bike shops and look around. I hadn’t really made up my mind what kind of bike I wanted. Maybe a cruiser, like I had in Davis, but cruisers, more often than not, don’t have gears and have to be upgraded with fenders, lights, reflectors, etc.. 

Since I wanted to commute with the bike, I needed it to be “street ready”. I thought we would look around what was available and then think about what makes the most sense, but J was more determined. He wanted me to go home with a bike. 

Well, and what do you do when you walk into the bike shop and there it is: YOUR bike. A “City Bike” in black with teal accents, equipped with 8 gears, dynamo-powered lights, fenders, front and rear racks, a bell and a frame lock.

It basically had my name written all over it.

I took the bike for a quick spin around the parking lot and when I came back and saw J’s big smile on his face, I knew “this is the ONE!”. Isn’t she pretty?

I am so, so excited to finally own a bike again! It’s going to be a great summer, riding my bike to work, along the river, and to the Farmers Market. (Now, if I can convince J to get a bike, too, everything would be perfect.)

For dinner, we went out to “Ernesto’s Mexican Restaurant” because I had a craving for nachos. It was a huge plate with asada  bites and lots of cheese and jalapeños and it was delicious!

And just like that, my birthday was just about over again, but I had a really, really fantastic day!

Do you own a bike? What’s one of the most exciting birthday presents you’ve gotten in the past?

  1. What a fun and exciting birthday gift! I am sure you will get a lot of use out of it. It looks perfect for commuting and bopping around the city!

    I do have a bike. I bought it on a whim about 4 years ago, I think? I knew I wanted to do a triathlon so I got a hybrid. I debated getting a racing style bike with the curved handles but I figured I would get more use out of the hybrid. I didn’t use it last summer and barely used it the summer I was pregnant since i wasn’t feeling well thanks to all my RA flares. But hopefully I will get some use out of it this summer. I would like to get a burley to put behind it so I can pull Paul for rides. That’s going to make it an extra good workout! I wish Phil had a bike but he doesn’t want to spend the money on one. Hopefully when Paul is older and started biking, Phil will be open to getting a bike so we can go on family bike rides. Minneapolis always competes with Portland as the most bike-friendly city. We have lots of dedicated bike paths so it’s a great city for family bike riding!

    I pretty much don’t get birthday presents anymore. My parents give me cash most years as they know I am hard to shop for and don’t really “want” anything. This year I used the cash towards a haircut and massage so that was a good use of the money! We are such a boring family when it comes to gifts. Phil doesn’t want anything either so I haven’t bought him a birthday gift in years. The last time I bought him a birthday gift, I got him a range finder for golfing and had his friend help me pick it out since I knew nothing about what to look for. He really enjoyed that gift! Usually we try to go on trips instead of buying each other gifts but we haven’t traveled since our babymoon in October 2017 so now we don’t really do anything, aside from going out for dinner or ordering take out!

    1. We usually don’t do big birthday gifts anymore either, we’d rather travel together or go to a show. The bike was definitely an “exception” to our gift giving this year, but I think I only got it “for my birthday” because it gave us an excuse to get it now… I was going to get it soon (for spring) anyway ;)

      I hope you can go on some bike rides with Paul. That is so much fun.

  2. Awww your bike lmsuits you! I don’t own a bike and am pretty clumsy on one (is that even possible?!), but I always admire people who commute that way to work. What a lovely way to start the morning (kind of like your morning jogs!), hope you had the bestest birthday, momma! Love seeing photos of you both and dinner looks delicious 😊

    1. Thanks so much. I am stoked about being able to commute by bike now… I know for many people that’s not even an option!

  3. Should say “your bike suits youl 🤦‍♀️ Me and my big ol thumbs lol

  4. What an awesome birthday present! I love your new bike! I bet you are are going to have a lot of fun with that!! Happy birthday again! And also side note, I had no idea you were older than me, I never would have guessed you were 43. You look awesome chica!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Beth <3

  5. Looks like you had such a lovely birthday. :)

    Love your bike girl, and love it’s pratical use for you both, really. I have a Trek bike for street biking, I don’t do trails out of fear I’ll fly over the handlebars and break my face. LOL

    You’re absolutely right, every day is a blessing and getting older is a privilege. :)

    1. Thanks Lindsay! I don’t think trail biking would be for me either… LOL, but street biking is awesome!

  6. happiest of birthdays! i would totally ride a bike more if it was safer to do so here. :/ super cute – love the teal accents.

    1. Thanks Suki!! I am so happy we live in a neighborhood now where it’s possible to use a bike!

  7. Yeah for such an amazing birthday present. How long will your commute be? I’ll basically do everything on my bike as long as the roads are not icy and the way is not too far. Or if it’s not a very important business meeting where I can’t end up sweaty as heck. I wouldn’t want to live without a bike. Unfortunately I bought a cheap one and I am hating riding it every single time. I think I need to get a new one and sell mine. It’s just that so many bikes are stolen in Berlin that I really don’t want to spent a fortune.

    And your birthday nachos look so delicious. I think I have to convince the husband to order Mexican tonight.
    Happy weekend to you

    1. My commute is relatively short, only about 3 km (one way) and I am so stoked I can finally use my bike again to get around. :) But I already experienced that riding your bike can make you sweaty LOL

      I hope you can upgrade to a nicer bike soon :)

  8. Happy happy belated birthday friend! What a wonderful way to spend your birthday! And that present ROCKS. I absolutely love my bike and need to ride it more often now that our weather is improving. I didn’t get a chance to ride it last year because we had a constant downpour of rain (which we would have very much liked to send your way to CA). We also got a little buggy for Caelum to hook up to our bikes so he can ride along with us. Again, haven’t used it due to craptastic weather we had last year (it was seriously too wet or far too hot to even go outside).

    Yay for bikes!

    1. Yay, thanks friend. I am so stoked about the bike. I love that you have a bike too… I hope you can go for bike rides with Caelum in the spring and summer :)

  9. What a great birthday present! I can’t wait to hear all about your biking adventures around town. :) I don’t own a bike, although I’d like to. But I’d have to figure out how to lug it to a bike trail (and none of those are nearby) because I don’t live in a bike-friendly city. Womp! I’m also kinda scared of getting hit by a car while riding my bike, eeps, that I’m not sure my anxiety could handle it!

    1. I didn’t have a bike for years because I didn’t feel safe biking in the city… but things have improved here in Sacramento (many more bike paths!) and I live in a safer neighborhood now and have a short commute, which made it possible to get a bike again!
      I don’t know how much I would use it if I had to lug it to a bike trail first.

  10. Du glaubst es kaum, aber ich habe immer noch mein Fahrrad von der 6. Klasse… :) Ich liebe es, aber fahre leider viel zu wenig damit. Ich bringe es immer mal wieder in den Service und dann steht es doch nur in Garage. Dachte gerade gestern wieder, ich müsste mehr damit unterwegs sein. Mal schauen, vielleicht eine kurze Fahrradtour diesen Samstag, wenn das Wetter stimmt.

    1. Wenn das Wetter schön ist, hast du keine Ausrede mehr… rauf auf den Drahtesel :)

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