Starting out


So this is the first day back on the daily commute since the Christmas break and after a physically and spiritually nurturing few weeks it truly feels good to be back.

I’m pleased to report that the new bike, christened Bella, is now a new old friend and sits pretty in the train carriage opposite as I type.

The joy of riding singlespeed is something that people drone on about at some length so I’ll confine myself to saying that they’re right. Sheldon Brown said that single speed frees up a big chunk of your mind that is either changing gear or worrying about changing gear. He’s right. I feel like a kid again. Cycling is, or should be, a simple experience and this simple, beautiful steel bicycle has plugged me right back in.

2012 has been a big year for me. My dad died in October after a long illness, an event which has changed my life and my outlook forever. He had cancer for over 18 years and finally passed on 31st October, peacefully in a Marie Curie hospice. (Donate to them, they’re angels)

I’ve suffered two months of intense grief and I’m not sure if things are getting better yet or just changing. Life seems that much more precious and fragile and I’m pulling my family close, regretting not doing more sooner.

Riding my bicycle helps. Seizing the day is easier on two wheels.

I’m looking ahead to 2013 with optimism though. My mum has enrolled on a university course at age 76 which is damned impressive and I’m resolved to approach each day of work as an opportunity and a privilege, which I’ve all too often forgotten.

Experiences like this turn everyone into a philosopher so I won’t harp on too much. Just appreciate the people around you. Friends, family, colleagues. Appreciate those everyday privileges and the micro adventures that each day presents.

I hope that this reaches my readers in good health. Happy new year all.


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