When I was a kid, growing up in the small provincial heartland, I used to buy NME every week (it was like $2 then), and religiouly hunt down the hottest albums through the Musicman - the local cd store.
By accident one day I ended up with an issue of Volume - one of those Indie compilations that mixed some knowns with some unknowns, and came with a flash book that profiled/introduced the bands. On said Volume was a song by a band called the Hair and Skin Trading Company. I think the song was something about a birthday. I have it saved on the ibook, so I might look it up later. Not a bad song from memory.
Cut to present day, and I was having a really nice Saturday - tasty brunch and vat of coffee in town (yes, it was at a chain cafe, but one that's actually okay and NOT STARBUCKS), playing with art and deciding what a lotto win would be spent on at Tinakori, finally sussed out waht to do with a bike project, did the last of the christmas shopping at Askew, and a pleasant trawl through a few other shops, generally winding down after a somewhat busy year.
Then went for a ride out at Makara peak - the sun had come out, it was warm, windless, and generally lovely. So lovely it felt just a little bit special. Not unlike a birthday...
I was on teh singlespeed, and did the usual loop, a little slower than normal (one gear can be quite hard work the day after the work christmas party), and mae it to the top, and started down ridgeline. Ridgeline's one of those tricky tracks that you need speed to ride cleanly, so when it opens out about half way down, I was going pretty quick. Until my front brake seems to have locked up, throwing me over the bars onto my knees then elbow, then shoulder, then face, then feet, then back (you'll get the idea).
So I paused for a while, took in the view, picked some stones out of my knees, ate soem cashew nuts, avoided going into shock, and dressed the wounds a little using the first aid stuff I've taken to carrying (be prepared kids). The rode home, feeling a little shaky but hard. Like Corian.
There. Full circle. Birthdayish Ride. Hair and Skin Trading Company.
It does raise the question at what age does one get a little old to be renmoving the skin off the knees. My fear is that when you answer that you also unwittingly discover the age at which heart attacks become a bigger risk than the reward of taking a singlespeed up makara peak, so we'll put that question aside for a bit eh?