The New Year

For most people, the start of a new year is either a blip on the calendar and no more or less significant than the changing of seasons, or a chance to re-set the clock with the ultimate self-improvement quest: the resolution. The failed results of most of those resolutions fill city dumps around the world.

As cyclists, though, we know something of new chapters. Aren’t we the most hopeful of resolutionists? Each new year is the dawn of yet another season of cycling. The cycle of seasons thrusts remission on us and with it, a chance to take stock and consider what the year’s cycling did and didn’t deliver.

It’s rare that we don’t make a conscious appraisal of the previous year. If we won, we resolve to continue to win, maybe win even more. If we didn’t throw the V, we hope to ascend to greater fitness and this time, claim the top step for ourselves. And there are among us those who have turned in the superhero cape. Nothing left to prove, as the march of time creeps into the second half of life, many will find treading water enough. This year’s body turning last year’s watts is a kind of victory. None of these can trump the achievement of the cyclist returning from injury though.

No one wants to make last year a forgotten dream more than the rider who was injured. No matter what the wound nor how inflicted, to the injured, the arrival of the new year is a shot at catching up. The fallow field for one rider is newly mown hay for those who heal.

The new season is a library, swollen with unanticipated treasures and terrors. Each book is the self, each ride another page revealing the unknown.

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9 comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The New Year : Red Kite Prayer -- Topsy.com

  2. Pete Ehlke

    September 16, 2009 I had a heart attack.

    Riding in 2010 was all about regaining. First, regaining the ability to ride more than 10 miles. Then 30, then 50, then 100. I finally started to feel like myself again somewhere around Thanksgiving.

    So yeah, this January is a field of new mown hay. Even the trainer feels good.

  3. Robot

    I am dealing with a lot of physical wear and tear, from riding, soccer and climbing. My 39-year-old mind wants to do a LOT more than my 39-year-old body, so I’m trying to do a lot of things differently this year.

    For starters, I’m trying to get leaner, cutting out the constant flow of crap calories, so that my eating supports my activity better.

    I’m also trying to ride more slowly, instead of burning every last match I’ve got all the time. I love to go fast, but it breaks you down. I want to be smoother on the bike this year, to log more miles and get stronger over the long haul instead of in the short burst.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Pete: You are regeneration personified. We wish you continued recovery and success!

      Robot: I don’t see how you do three sports. I can’t even remember the names of three sports, much less how to actually do them.

  4. bd

    yup, a concussion, shattered collarbone and an unbelievable hip/back contusion in september ended a stellar 2010 without any cyclocross. the good doctor gave me 8 more weeks of VT winter indoors yesterday, but with the solid optimism that 41 year old kids can heal well. here’s to 2011!

  5. Paul

    Last year was my first full year cycling regularly (at age 53). Due to my work schedule, I can usually only ride at weekends, but I managed to do over 2000 miles. My goal for this year is to break 3K. I did my first ride of the year this past weekend, thanks to some unusually warm weather for January in New Jersey. I slipped while crossing wet rail tracks and crashed badly, but I got back on the bike and rode 20 more miles. Now I’m recovering from a sprained wrist and road rash, and looking forwards to the next ride. I’m hooked on this sport :)

  6. Robot

    @Padraig – My friend Mehmet says triathlons are for people who want to suck at three sports, instead of just one. I just chose different sports. That’s all.

  7. slappy

    Man this year is feeling good. The Pugsley has been great for daily riding around telluride and the occasional long snow ride, as well as the xtracycle for hauling hockey equipment which seems to be it’s only use these days. Nordic skiing though has blown me away, teaching in particular has shown me what a well balanced sport is supposed to feel like. Then skiing on my telemark gear in the backcountry and on the area has made good use of the nordic fitness. Haven’t felt this balanced with fitness, certainly not at this time of year in who knows how long. The more sports the better, it helps of course if, for example, you’re still wearing the hockey equipment you’ve had since before high school (if i washed it i’d never score again) and you get to ski on whatever rental gear is available,(and teach classic lessons on wooden skis and leather boots from the free box) but sheesh, i can only imagine biking is gonna be better with a more balanced overall fitness. I can already feel it on the PugZ.

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