The big six-oh (no)

Pikes Peak as seen from the Yucca Flats dog-walking ghetto at Palmer Park.

Pikes Peak as seen from the Yucca Flats dog-walking ghetto at Palmer Park.

I awakened with a start this morning to someone singing “Happy Birthday” and a giant furry creature sitting on my chest.

“Well, that’s that,” I thought. “The devil has finally come to collect. At least things will be warm from now on.”

But no, it was just Herself (singing) and Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (sitting). The former was off to work and the latter was interested primarily in my bedside glass of water. Miss Mia Sopaipilla and Mister Boo, being junior staff, were on perimeter duty.

I got up, grabbed a cup of joe (first things first) and checked the mirror. I didn’t look any younger, but I didn’t look any older, either. We must take these little gifts as they are offered.

This being March in Colorado, I jumped the gun and rode my age-to-be yesterday, in kilometers, when it was shorts-and-short-sleeves weather. Today looks a little iffier, with a high in the mid-50s, a chance of rain and plenty of wind.

It was the sort of ride I’ve come to relish in my declining years — a blend of city streets, gravel paths and single-track, taken on a weirdomobile, the Voodoo Nakisi with its triple crankset and 700×43 tires. It’s spring break, but I managed to avoid breaking anything, despite a ragged parade of homeless zombies on the southern end of the Pikes Peak Greenway and rush-hour traffic on the trails in Palmer Park.

Afterward I cycled over to Ranch Foods Direct and picked up a steak to grill for birthday dinner, which included mashed Yukon Golds, steamed asparagus and a big bowl of ice cream. We watched Stewart and Colbert, walked the Boo in a light rain and that was that. A fine time was had by all.

I’m still waiting for wisdom to arrive, but I haven’t seen the UPS truck yet. Let’s hope it beats the devil here.

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40 Responses to “The big six-oh (no)”

  1. Hurben Says:

    Happy Birthday from the end of the Earth. In 15 months I’ll be nailing that one too.

    The old Body’s shape belies the fact that it’s Odometer is showing a mere 58.7.

    Damn digits seem to be spinning a lot faster these days.

  2. khal spencer Says:

  3. JimI Says:

    Welcome to the adult world and HAPPY BIRTHDAY

  4. bromasi Says:

    just another day, but have a happy another day.

  5. Jon Paulos Says:

    Happy Birthday! Have you decided yet what to be when you grow up?

  6. Libby Says:

    Happy Birthday!

  7. Steve O Says:

    Congrats on yet another successful 365.256363 day, 583825190 mile, 66610 mph lap around the big ball of fire.

    That’s 35,029,511,400 miles, before you even start counting any where pedaling was involved.

  8. Larry T. Says:

    Buoncompleanno P’OG! I’m a 1955 vintage a-hole myself, so I’ll be at the six-oh soon enough. My birthday’s in August when we often have the 90-90 days in Iowa, as in heat and humidity. Yesterday was 60-60 but it was temp and wind speed! And people wonder why I want to get the hell out of here?

  9. Ryan Says:

    Happy Birthday Sir, this year I will hit the big 5-oh. Hoping I can finally start using words like “whipper-snapper” and “tarnation”, perhaps my daughter will start calling me a “coot”.

  10. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Happy Birthday Patrick! In two more years you can get a geezer pass for free entry and half price camping in the National Parks and Monuments. Sixty is a ride in the (Palmer) park. 65 on the other hand……….

  11. Sandy O'Brien Says:

    Happy Birthday Patrick!

  12. Sharon Says:

    Happy, happy and more happy Patrick. Hope you have a wonderful birthday week filled with plenty of desserts!

  13. Debby in Longtucky Says:

    Happy Birthday! Mine was last week but I still have a few years to go before I hit 6-0.

    Be happy you can still ride. Disc degeneration in my neck has put an end to my bicycling. I might be able to keep riding o a recumbent (ugh).

    • Larry T. Says:

      Every time I see one of those two-wheeled lawn chairs I start to giggle. I think if I had to ride one for medical reasons I would have a sign on the back “Medical reasons prevent me from riding a real bicycle”. Better than nothing, right?

    • Sandy O'Brien Says:

      I rode a recumbent for awhile. They don’t climb very well, but like Larry said, better than not riding at all. I tried 3 of them, a Bike E CT, Bike E NX, and a Easy Racers Tour Easy which was the best of the bunch. The Bike E had compact wheelbases and 20 inch front wheels which were a bit twitchy, especially above 20 mph. I would go back to a recumbent rather than giving up cycling.

      • Debby in Longtucky Says:

        I like the idea of hanging a sign on the back! I guess I’ll have to go check them out one of these days. There’s a shop up in Ft. Collins that specializes in them.

        Back when I lived in Bibleburg there were a couple of guys in the touring club who called themselves the “recumbent brothers”. They were always eager to tell anyone who would listen to them about the many benefits of riding a ‘bent. Back then I was not very receptive to their message. Maybe now I’ll have to reconsider.

        Sorry about the thread hijack, PO’G!

    • veloben Says:

      Sold bents and trikes for awhile. The Bacchetta is a really nice 2 wheel recumbent – fast, stable, light (CF) and very comfortable over the long haul. Better climber than most bents, but all of them suffer from not being able to stand on the pedals. Trikes are just going to weigh more than a bike, but for long distance touring they can be pretty neat. Some of the steering and suspension set ups are very sophisticated.

    • khal spencer Says:

      I rented a recumbent once on a trip. It was a short wheelbase version, very fast on level ground, and a little twitchy steering. It was fun, but first time I took it on a fast downhill I was praying the rosary the whole way.

  14. bromasi Says:

    Mines coming up in April. 76yrs unbelievable. Hell I feel like 75yrs.

  15. stevecourtright Says:

    Many Happy Returns, POG.

  16. Dale Says:

    Happy Birthday PO’G! My 65th is coming up soon, so my wife’s medical plan (i am a dependent) has been sending letters for the last 120 days or so to encourage me to get enrolled in Medicare before I could possibly deplete their next quarter earnings. For my part, I plan to enroll on my exact day of birth.

    So much for them.

  17. Doug Glondeniz Says:

    Happy Birthday Pat! I think I have been following you in one form or another for about 15 years now. I still think the ‘toons in your book are funny even though they are a bit dated now.

  18. swellschultz Says:

    Happy birthday you old dog. I’ll be hitting that landmark in September. I hope.

  19. mountainhigh10200 Says:

    May the road ever rise to meet…. blah, blah blah. Glad to have you here another year. I might be a mick myself. Catholic nuns. Small ‘m”

  20. matlinp Says:

    Happy birthday, PO’G. Enjoy your looming dotage.

  21. James Says:

    Happy Birthday you ol’ guy! Ride the age you are, the age you feel, or whatever in the hell you feel like! You have earned it!

  22. Charley Says:

    Happy birthday, numbers don’t count anymore; but, the quality of life certainly does, enjoy it!

  23. David R Says:

    I remember the day I turned 60. I… oh, wait… no, I don’t… Never mind…What did you say?

  24. veloben Says:

    Happy Birthday Patrick! But, hey you’re 8 months back. Pick up the pace and get up here and pull for awhile. We’ll get to the beer quicker.

  25. Ira Says:

    Happy Birthday Patrick! Pretty soon you can tell the Guvermnt to keep their hands off your Medicare.

  26. john Says:

    Happy Birthday, Patrick! I passed that particular one a little while back. It’s only a flesh wound!

    Much to thank you for, including your own incomparable rants (I still chuckle every time I think of Hayley Barbour searching for the fire in his belly), and helping me discover BikeSnob and the great Charlie Pierce. Many happy returns!

  27. khal spencer Says:

    awfully quiet inside the DogHaus. Hey O’G, do we need to send a syringe full of B complex over your way?

  28. Andy Bohlmann Says:

    Sorry that Kathleen couldn’t send you a birthday card this year. It would have been a good one.

    I’m thinking of driving to Denver to buy an ounce one of these days.
    If I do, you’d have to come over.

    I’ll get my 4th Social Security check (actually, automatic deposit) next Thursday. You can start to get your’s in 2 years. That’s when you are “Officially” old.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Andy, I thought Medicare was the “official” gateway to geezerdom. I am signing up next month.

      • Andy Bohlmann Says:

        Pat, You can take early retirement at 62, full at 66, or wait until you’re 70 for the maximum benefit. Actually, at 62 you can take it at anytime. I think Medicare starts at 65 but I’m not 100% sure. I’m actually getting my wife’s SS Survivors Benefits and will wait until I’m 66 to take my actual Social Security.

        You can do this online or, in my case I had a phone interview and the lady was really helpful.

        When its Patrick’s turn, we’ll probably have to help him apply.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Yep, it’s 65 for medicare. I am going to take advantage of parts a and b.

  29. The next 60 | Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] to all of you for the most excellent birthday wishes. No. 60 was a quiet day around Chez Dog — since Herself was road-tripping for business purposes, […]

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