Sixty? Am I sixty? Holy cow. Well, if I have to be sixty, I’m going kicking and screaming. My actual birthday was spent with my family skiing at Palisades Tahoe during a crazy holiday week of rain, snow, rain, snow, and a family-wide bout of COVID. But I scored a new backcountry ski setup for a birthday present! I think my wife is trying to make sure I get off my butt regularly in retirement.
The real 60th birthday challenge was a couple of months earlier, though, when I joined a few friends for a cycling trip in Italy, riding around Bergamo, Bormio, and Lake Como. The highlight was definitely the climb up Passo Stelvio, an iconic ride in the Italian Alps that is considered one of the toughest of the regular Grand Tour stops. Almost 15 miles long, 6,000 feet of climbing to the 9100 ft elevation pass, and 48 switchbacks to navigate, set among the snow-capped Alpine peaks, it was one of those bucket-list items tailor-made for big birthday challenges.