I turn 43 today. It is one of those in-the-middle kind of birthdays. 40 is a milestone. 41 is kind of a birthday to look back on the 40th year. 42 is a nice even number. Then there is 43.

Maybe it is because it falls so close to 44 — which always brings to my mind a nasty tasting cold medicine. It just seems the next year of any note is 45. That is when I can move up to the Master 45+ field. Not that it would make that much of a difference because most of the heavy hitters right now will just move up with me.

The year really hasn’t gotten off to a great start. I had contemplated taking this day off of work to go out and start the tradition of riding my age — maybe even double it up this time. Unfortunately, this sickness that hit me last week made be take that day a little earlier — taking medicine that tasted as bad as the Vicks Formula 44 stuff. It also caused me to miss out on my first race of the season during my birthday weekend.

It was a good weekend to race if you had a birthday. Ask Trevor Bayne who won the Daytona 500 the day after his birthday. Of course, he wasn’t turning 43. He won the elite race the day after he turned 20.

Still, I have to be pretty psyched about where I am. At 43 I can mix it up with a lot of those young whippersnappers and I’m not using a 600+ horse power engine to do it. I have to use my legs. Even though I didn’t get to race this weekend, I did get to see the finishing list. I’ve beat most everyone in the top ten of the Cat. 3 finish.

Photo EddieHeltonPhotography.com

However, what I am most excited about being 43 and racing is the opportunity to race with one of the top Masters teams in the southeast. I would have gladly rolled across the line in the top 20 if I could have had the chance to do my part to get Jae, Thomas, and Rodney across the finish line. POA Cycling Team is stacked… and better yet, it is a team that really likes to race together. I haven’t felt this all-for-one-and-one-for-all spirit since I was a young one in high school.

Funny, how at 43, I’m suddenly feeling young again.