Weekend Reading: 6 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday on Your Bicycle


Yesterday was my 54th birthday, and I will be the first to acknowledge that I’m a very fortunate man. I have a wonderful family, a thriving business I’m passionate about, and I’m still enjoying cycling and endurance sports without any significant restrictions. One of the best parts of celebrating my birthday this year was going for a nice road ride with my beautiful wife on a warm fall afternoon in the mountains. (She took the photo above, and the guys in the office added the message and posted it for me.) Riding my bike has almost always factored into my birthday celebrations, and here are six ways you can celebrate your birthday on your bicycle:

Ride your age in miles or kilometers
This is a classic birthday challenge for cyclists. Go out and ride your age in miles, or if you want to make it shorter you can ride your age in kilometers! Either way, these rides are a great excuse to get a bunch of friends together for a spirited group ride. This obviously becomes more of a challenge as you get older. I’ll have to ask CTS Athlete Fred Schmid if he rode 81 miles on his most recent birthday!

Ride with your kids or better half
Cycling on your birthday doesn’t need to be about training or setting a new benchmark. It can also be about spending valuable time with loved ones doing something you (and hopefully they) really enjoy. This year I rode with my wife. In years past I’ve ridden mountain bikes with my son, townies with his older sister, and I’m looking forward to going on birthday rides with my youngest daughter in the years to come.

Sign up for adventure
I first raced La Rute de los Conquistadores to celebrate my 50th birthday, and there’s almost always someone at every CTS Bucket List event who is there celebrating his or her birthday with a major endurance challenge. Have a birthday coming up? Go to Chile in January to race the Trans Andes Challenge. Or come with me to Belgium in April to ride the Tour of Flanders Sportive and Paris-Roubaix Challenge as part of the Belgium Classics Experience!

Multiply your age time 100 and climb that many feet
For the climbers out there, here’s a slightly different challenge. Multiply your age by 100 and go climb that number of feet during a single ride. In my case that would mean climbing 5400 feet during a single ride. Doable, but definitely challenging!

Birthday lunch/beer ride
When you don’t have time to go out and ride your age in miles or vertical gain, gather your cycling buddies for a quick lunch ride or post-work beer ride. Ride for an hour or however long you want to, and either stop for a nice lunch on the ride or when you finish. Around the office this has been extended to bachelor parties as well; a great ride with friends instead of a night at the club.

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Workout: The Birthday Time Trial
For the time-crunched cyclists who like to push themselves on their birthday, here’s a workout for you. Warm up, and then ride a time trial for your age in minutes. For me that would be a 54-minute time trial. As you get older your goal should be to cover at least the same distance as the year before. You have one more minute to cover the same distance as last year, but have you stayed fit over the past 12 months?

Have a great weekend!
Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach of CTS

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Comments 21

  1. What’s an idea that I could do since I’m only turning fifteen and therefore these challenges would be easy? I’m a mountain biker and my best idea is fifteen miles with the most climbing I can get in (on my local trails that’s about 4,000 feet). Anyone have a better idea?

  2. For my birthday, the weather was awful, so I got my local spinning instructor to teach a class for me and my friends that day. I made up a playlist which included songs from every decade that I’ve been around. It was great fun and also introduced a few of my friends to cycling indoors and biking again. Of course the party afterward packed a few calories back on!

  3. Happy Birthday, Chris. These athletes are doing some amazing things. I turn 54 in January. I’ll have Lindsay put a 54 minute bike ride, 54 minute swim, and 54 minute run on my schedule. (Maybe Dave can join me.)

  4. In the 2 month period surrounding my 70th birthday (3 years ago), I did the
    Death Ride (all 5 passes), the Shasta Super Century 139 mi 16500 climb (on the birthday), and Levi’s Gran Fondo. Did Shasta Century this year on 73rd b/day.
    Love celebrating birthday like this!

  5. Happy B Day Chris. Always great insight, motivation, and training tips from your columns. Based upon my first hand experience with you and your team expect many more BDay rides ahead for you…


  6. Birthdays are almost like New Years resolutions…. lets make a commitment. Three years ago last week I was hit by a car, broke my back, L2 totally exploded, 7 hrs on the op table, nice piece of titanium and fused with 8 screws. Almost 18 months off the bike outside but last March 24th as I turned 72 I did manage my birthday miles…….. it became a HUGE goal for me. I appreciate your weekend pieces.

  7. Happy Birthday Chris! Many years following your journey starting with team 7-11 and then theough Lance’s great years. You are a good solid constant in all of life’s variables. Thank you!

  8. Happy B-Day Chris!! I have fond memories of trying to stick to your wheel during the August Copper Triangle ride. Your speech the night before inspired all. Not bad for 53. Onward to more in 54!!!

  9. Happy Birthday Chris!

    I’ve been riding my age (at least) in miles on my birthday for the past fifteen years or so. It’s a great challenge. Most years it’s just on the roads around home, but last year we (my wife and I) participated in an organized winery tour ride in Oregon’s wine country. THAT was fun!


  10. Happy Birthday Chris! Thanks for the great article. Thought I would let you know that your CTS Climbing Strength workout was one of the workouts that I used to get ready for the MS150 ride this past August, which had a 9 mile climb waiting for me to finish off day 1, after already riding for 75 miles.

  11. Hi Chris, This was my 60th birthday challenge to myself. 60, centuries in the year start january ending in december. longest ride that year 192 miles. Lots of days on the bike here in Colorado and Italy. This year i’m lost for a challenge. I turn 62 in couple weeks. Still in good shape. my real goal is setting a 65th challenge that can be fun and a big goal. This is the first year i missed my goal 30 centuries in July, ended up sick and in the hospital, not related to active.
    thanks can’t stop riding.

  12. Happy birthday Chris, I will turn 57 on Wed and have four riding friends that all have birthdays with-in a week. We ride a century to celebrate. Living in Steamboat, not always easy. We have traveled as far as Solvang to make it happen, but usually the front range, Grand Junction or Moab, if we can not ride in Steamboat. If we mountain bike, 4-5 hours. We will be thinking of you.
    Thank you for all the great information over the years.
    Robert Ames

  13. Congrats Chris i did the same rode 50 on my 50th. At the time I had been riding for 3 months and haven’t stopped. Now 50 miles are just a normal ride

  14. Happy Birthday Chris!
    Thanks for sharing it with us and thank you for the great articles! I always learn a new nugget of information.

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