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September 8, 2020

A friend sent me this card for my 83rd birthday, which happens to be today, and caused me to think of other birthdays over the years, not all of them involving bicycles. The first birthday I can remember was in 1943, somehow or other the family had managed to get to Aberystwyth for a war time vacation, and it coincided with my birthday, the present I received that year was pretty epic for a six y ear old., It was a cardboard box with a series of nursery rhyme things you could cut out, the see saw of Marjorie Daw fame actually tilted! The other feature of that day was warm doughnut, a delicious rarity at the time. My first bicycle birthday was my tenth, when I received a cas h contribution to the three speed bike I was pining for, and actually got at Christmas.

My next memorable birthday was my fourteenth; I was about to start boarding school, and my only present was a travel rug, I was again unimpressed, but in retrospect I realised that with my school fees that was all my parents could afford to give me.

I turned 21 in Venice seven years later years later with my about to be official fiancee. Our engagement was in the Times that day and we took a gondola ride by moonlight. Unfortunately I had a splitting head ache.

My world circled around running as a form of exercise, and it wasn’t until 2000, when my knees stopped me running that I went back to biking. The link to birthdays waited a little longer. In 2011 I joined a group of cycling seniors, the “Folks on Spokes”, in 2012, to celebrate my 75th birthday, a group rode with me to Kings Landing and back, 75 kilometres. four years later my oldest daughter suggested that I come to Ottawa to ride 79 kilometres for my 79th birthday. I did not want to take my bike on the car that far, so I asked her to hire one. When I arrived in Ottawa I found a brand new bicycle had been bought for me, and I then rode it the requisite 79 kilometres with a daughter and son in law.

In 2017 I was “invited” to ride 80 kilometres on my 80th birthday with a daughter, a grandson and a son in law. I willingly(?) complied.

I have leaned my lesson, On my 83rd birthday I rode 30 kilometres.

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  1. Such nice memories, Tim. You’re sure lucky to have such a nice friend to send you inspiration! A reminder that most people 10 years younger consider 30 kms a very worthy bike ride. (I hope you have your Terry Fox Run ride mapped out.) 😊🚴🏼‍♂️

  2. Duncan MacDonald permalink

    Happy birthday Tim

    Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

  3. Robin Andrew permalink

    Happy Birthday dad!!!!

  4. Marti-Lou permalink

    Such memorable Birthday stories! 💙 You are an absolute legend 🎈Happy Day(s) to you.xo

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