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.