And late with posting about it. But the festivities were pretty good.
It was an early start so that Emily could go swimming with her club and I could sneak in a ride. As I pulled into the Look Out car-park, it was remarkably quiet but it was also 7.30am. I hadn't ridden off-road in about a week and every time that happens, I revert a bit to being an indoors person. The air felt cold and I wanted to start out wearing a jacket. In fact, part of me didn't want to start at all. But as soon as I turned those cranks, a massive weight left my shoulders and a massive grin slapped me in the face. Oh, yeah - bikes are awesome! Everything felt good: the bike felt lively underneath me, the trails were in good shape, and I was loving it. No time to ponder age, there was singletrack to go for!
There's a trail we know as "the rooty trail of death", and it has claimed victims. I came into it having pedalled and pumped and ragged my way from the car-park. My iPod was thumping and images from last night's Earthed DVD danced around in my brain. You know the rest. All speed and no plan, my front tyre went diagonally along a root, bounced off a mound of earth, and back into a tree. I tipped over the bars in semi slow motion, seeing the tree stump that I was going to land on. There was only time to go loose before I hit the ground.
At first, I couldn't move at all. Then I could get up, but the pain was all-consuming. Slowly it faded to the point where I could think. I'd kinda spoiled a good ride and set myself up for a painful birthday. Damnit. The dead leg meant that I couldn't ride back up the other side of the hollow I'd flapped into. The graze on my hip was sore under my jersey. I kept up the ride, though, knowing that these things fade.
My style was cramped now, and never as free as the first 1/2 hour. Still, it was a ride and you can't knock it. One patch of crash damage below...
The next part of the day was present-from-Emily time. Heelys! Ever since they came out, I've been jealous of todays kids growing up in a world with wheely trainers. It turns out that they come in adult sizes, so now I have my own. We went down to Hyde Park to give them a spin. With my battered legs, it was hard to balance on the wheels but I got there in the end. Emily's roller-blades were much quicker, but the Heelys got the attention (possibly in amusement/sympathy, but they were fun).
And in-between, there was time for Anish Kapoor's very playful works at The Royal Academy of Art. From sort of woven concrete in forms that echo industrial manufacturing, caves, and primitive art to huge mirrors that put the whole building into a snow-globe, to a giant block of wax that travelled through the gallery, it was fun. And then there was Homer's giant belly-button.
So, older and still none-the-wiser.