Words and photos by Ambassador Kyla Forsberg.

I love birthdays. As I get older, I find a lot of my friends dread turning another year older. I look at birthdays like this: I’d rather have one, then not have one. What will happen in the next 365 days? So much room to grow, so much adventure to have. This years birthday is even more exciting to me. I’m turning another decade older. Slipping out of my 30’s and sliding into my 40’s.

My thirties have been my favorite decade yet. I started biking again as an adult when I was in my thirties. I went to bike mechanic school in my 30’s. I opened (and closed) a bike shop in my thirties. I had gotten married and watched my kids grow up and enter high school and college. How is the next decade going to top all of that?

For my 40th birthday my favorite riding buddy/husband planned an 80’s punk rock ride and campout at Capital Forest in Olympia, Washington. Talk about a kick ass way to celebrate my 40th year. I showed in a ripped up G&R tee shirt and a cut off denim skirt. Yes, I rode my bike in the skirt.

We met up with friends at the Fall Creek Trail Head and loaded the bikes in two pick-ups to shuttle up to the top of Greenline. Although spring is only a couple weeks away, nobody told Mother Nature. The snow was coming down hard up at the top. I dropped in on my Kona Process 153 CR. It was rooty and rocky, the dirt was wet and slick. Not exactly prime conditions but when you live in the PNW, you get accustomed to it. My process is so snappy and responsive, it gave me confidence even in the cold wet conditions.

As I made my way down the mountain through the switchbacks, over the rocks and roots and off the drops I kept thinking about the past decade. 10 years ago I would not have been doing this. 10 years ago I would not have even been thinking about riding my bike down a mountain as fast as I could, sliding around berms, and hitting root drops. I’ve gained so much confidence and ability. I could hear the hoots and laughter from my friends around me. 10 years ago, I didn’t know them. 10 years ago, I wasn’t apart of the MTB community. I didn’t know any of the bad ass people who had gathered to celebrate my birthday.

When we got back to the trailhead, we gathered around the fire pit for burgers and beer. My ride or die girl Rachel made some cupcakes without frosting just for me, since I hate frosting. We drank beers, laughed, talked about our favorite parts of the trail, and laughed at our fails on the trail.

After our bellies were full of burgers and beer we shuttled back up to take a rip down Little Larch. When I dropped in I immediately realized…wow, I had a lot of beer. I took the easier lines which were still amazing. At the bottom of the trail I found part of an animal scull which was pretty rad.

I’ve got a long list of goals I’d like to accomplish in my next decade. I’m looking forward to more sends, more friends and new trails to explore. Cheers to 40!