Turning 30 on a Bike
Turning 30 is scary.
You’re leaving behind the decade in which you “studied” abroad in Europe, had fun dating, and ate burritos at midnight and trading it in for a decade in which you’ll work 50-hour weeks, pine for a permanent mate, and notice the beginnings of a spare tire.
Or at least, that’s what it feels like.
In an effort to retain those feelings of freedom and youthfulness, I decided to turn 30 on my bike. In fact, I made my birthday weekend into a sort of multi-day party ride around northwest Indiana. Lucky for me, the early-October weekend was composed of relatively warm and rain-free days.
On Friday afternoon, I pushed off from my mom’s house in LaPorte
and rode to my dad’s house in Chesterton—about a 25-mile ride. My birthday and my dad’s are right next to each other on the calendar, so that night we went out to dinner in celebration of both.
The next morning, I continued on to Long Beach (nearly synonymous with Michigan City, Ind.) for further celebrations with my friend Liz. My route—about 15 miles long—took me along the shore of Lake Michigan. The day was clear enough for me to see the Chicago skyline across the water, and—for a reason, which I can only presume must have had something to do with it having been my birthday weekend—the water was a more striking shade of aqua than I’ve ever seen it before. I snapped photos like crazy.
Once I reached Long Beach, Liz and I went to a local brew pub to have lunch and watch the season’s penultimate Cubs game. Later, we did some tasting at a local winery, took a bottle home, and gabbed all evening. The next morning, on my birthday proper, Liz surprised me with a birthday breakfast of monkey bread.
(If you’ve never had the stuff, I suggest you get on it, pronto.)
Then, I completed the final leg of my Tour de Birthday by riding back to LaPorte—about 15 miles. Once there, I sunk into the couch to take in the year’s final installment of Theriot, Ramirez, and the boys. Later that evening, there was cake and ice cream with cousins.
At the end of it all, I felt fulfilled: I’d traveled to three different cities using a vehicle powered solely by me. I felt healthy: I’d burned about 55 bike-miles-worth of calories. I felt happy: What with the biking and the Cubbies and the monkey bread, I’d gone and had myself a ton of fun.
The moral of the story: If you have to turn 30, do it on a bike.