Saturday, December 31, 2011

Things Change and Stay the Same

Ride Me SLIDEWAYS
image from the tentacles of the magnificent octopus

With 2012 upon us, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe, exciting and all around fulfilling New Year, full of cycling and all the other things you enjoy. 

I've been trying to think of "resolutions" for next year pertaining to this blog, and in the process I am realising that I don't have any. This may not sound very exciting, but more than anything I would like for things to remain as they are: to ride bikes, learn more about bicycle design, overthink everything as usual, make mistakes in the process, and write about it all without getting overly self-conscious about how silly I might sound. This year I was upset and surprised when two of my favourite bicycle blogs were discontinued. But I also understand why it happened, and I can easily see how the same could happen here. For that reason I feel that it is especially important to keep things low key and not overextend myself. This is something I will try to bear in mind throughout 2012. 

Other than this, I am quite happy to keep it open-ended. I have been cycling for transportation more or less daily since the start of this blog, and over time I've become increasingly interested in roadcycling. Within these two realms there are so many possibilities for exploration, that I feel as if I've barely scratched the surface. My interest in bicycle design continues, and it's been fascinating to learn about materials and methods of construction other than the lugged steel I love. There's just... so much to it all! As new people get swept up into this obsession every day, there are also those who've been at it for decades - no less enthusiastic now than they were in the beginning. I hope that will be me in future.

I've had some requests for a New Year's cocktail like last year, and so I offer you the following:

The Slideways:
. real pomegranate juice
. dry champagne or white sparkling wine
. gin (of course)
. small lime
. sprig of mint 
. ice

In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, 1 shot of pomegranate juice, 1 shot of gin, 2 shots of champagne, and a generous squeeze of lime. Keep a tall champagne glass in the freezer to give it that frosted look. Strap the cocktail shaker to a rear rack of a fixed gear bicycle, then pedal forward and backward, rapidly changing direction. Unstrap the shaker. Remove champagne glass from freezer and pour in the contents immediately. Garnish with mint. Recline on your bicycle, side-saddle, while drinking and listening to this. Repeat as necessary.

A hat tip to Andy Arthur for his adorable illustration of my clumsy bike handling skills, and my sincere thanks to everyone I've crossed paths with via this blog in 2011 - be it virtually or in person. A Happy New Year to all!

38 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to you as well and to all that read the blog.

    No resolutions for me more goals to get in my first century this summer

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wishing you and yours a happy and safe New Years,Veloria,and a prosperous 2012 :)

    The Disabled Cyclist

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm guessing that one of your two failed fave blogs was EcoVelo. Would you mind naming the other blog. If it doesn't seem too catty, could you be more specific about why they shut down?

    ReplyDelete
  4. If posting every day and responding to scores of comments is "low key" it would be interesting to see what happens when you get over-excited about something. seriously this blog has been a tremendous effort that has payed off and that all of your regular readers are grateful for. May everything else that you do be as successful. Happy New Year

    ReplyDelete
  5. Freie Fahrt - I did not mean to make it a mystery. The blogs are ecovelo and Yehuda Moon. My understanding is that in both cases it was simply a matter of the blog taking up too much of the author's time while not compensating sufficiently in terms of income. People have to live, eat, etc. There is always the argument of "well you could post less frequently instead of shutting it down altogether" but those who write these blogs know that this doesn't work. Writing daily gets you into a rhythm, and once you disrupt that the result is often to stop writing entirely.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That cocktails sounds rather appealing, I may actually try it, without the bicycle in tow; my bicycle handling skills are nowhere near competent "to recline on bicycle" while drinking.

    I've begun reading through archives of your blog, and I can sincerely comment that they have gone from strength to strength. Yours is a unique mixture of astounding attention to technical detail, with a disarming fresh candour towards all things new, old, curious and challenging. Not to mention the ability to articulate and infect us all with your passion and flair. Fantastic that you've brought so many disparate riders to one forum.


    Hope you and all the bicycle community have a very happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Don - I find writing the blog daily, moderating the comments, taking pictures, etc., fairly manageable (thanks to my sponsors) and for that I am very thankful. Less manageable has been attempting to reply to emails, interacting with reporters, and getting involved in collaborative projects. So those are the areas where I feel that I need to watch it if I want to keep this blog viable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy New Year, Velouria. This blog is a wonderful journey for you and your readers!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hope the New Year brings you every good thing and all the best. Your blog has been and continues to be so rewarding. You are so generous to let us ride along with you as you discover the depth and breadth of biking and so effectively and pleasingly communicate its unique experiences. My biking is ever so much better since you started this blog and I must credit you for some wonderful discoveries like the Seven Cycles bike and thoughtful accessories. You have redefined biking for me. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Velouria,

    I cannot begin to express how your writing and your readers enrich my life on a daily basis. I'm the quiet type in the background, but read your blogs and nearly every comment (sometimes the tech comments are over my head).

    Cheers to another bikey year!
    Gina

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for work you do here. I look forward to your posts and I'm always surprised at the frequency. Your pictures and writing get better and better. I miss Alan at Ecovelo as I followed him from The Recumbent Blog to Ecovelo and enjoyed his work. It is hard to imagine doing this each day like you do and amazing the way you attain a sort of celebrity status among us your readers. One day I saw you come into Harris Cyclery when I was there and surprisingly I recognized you from your blog. You occurred to me like a person of fame! I didn't want to bother you. So here is my chance to thank you again and wish you all the best. Keep up the great work as long as it works for you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Happy New Year! You are truly inspirational, I can't wait to get on my bike! Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  13. Greetings from the Bluegrass

    Happy New Year to you as well! I cannot imagine 2012 with almost daily visits to your blog. Keep up the splendid work.

    Marianne

    ReplyDelete
  14. Backsliding is always possible, but I am pretty sure this is the year I will limit myself to two bikes. Even if it means selling a custom at a loss. the truth is, I can only ride one at a time.

    I am very pleased to have discovered your blog this year.

    You are a good writer, find interesting topics, and appear to be having a lot of fun. I hope you do some more joint design projects as well. Your previous efforts are very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy New Year, Velouria! Looking forward to another year of reading (and learning from) Lovely Bicycle! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi all. Thanks for the kind words Velouria. It was a difficult decision to stop writing Yehuda Moon in September, but since then, Brian and I have formulated a plan to keep the comic going:

    We're reopening the Kickstand Cyclery in 2012 (on January 2nd). We look forward to seeing you there -

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rick,

    You've just made a bunch of us very happy!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Rick - Oh wow, that is great news!! Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy New Year! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mt1jAlIymjc&sns=em

    ReplyDelete
  20. Happy New Years to all- Happy Cycling in 2012!
    Rick- that's fabulous news! I'll be sure to stop by and do whatever it takes to renew my subscription!

    Oh, and in terms of the original "slideways" post- I never noticed it before, but it turns out I do it all the time- not 100% of the time, but very commonly when I'm getting off the bike for good. The cocktail sounds quite nice, but as the only Champagne we have in the house is "good stuff" I'm not sure I'm allowed to mix it. Maybe tomorrow when it's a little bit flat :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. From Chester wv. I am a older rider.I ride two crank forward bikes.My morning starts with a cup of coffee and your blog. Have a Happy New Year and keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy New Year Veouria and thank you for many months of excellent reading and viewing your great photos. I have used your blog to inform how I have restored my vintage Speedwell bike as well as to think about many issues relating to riding for transport. I hope you do continue to blog and to educate and entertain us in all things cycling.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wishing you the best for the new year. I just discovered your blog some months ago, and find your research and writing voice important to me as I continue my own biking and blogging journey. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  24. We drank your "Slideways" for the NY. Now we're slideway to the floor! Thanks for your great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  25. From a chilly Scottsdale Arizona ( where we aren't all as insane as the press would have everyone believe) - A very Happy New Year

    Let's hope that 2012 brings more secure bike lanes, better educated drivers ( hope does, after all, spring eternal), and new US manufacturers of city bikes that enable more of us to buy great bikes from them that compete with the best that Europe has to offer.

    Phil Allsopp

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy New Year, V.! Your cycling enthusiasm is infectious. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, experience, and joy. Happy New Year to my fellow readers. And last but not least, thanks to Andy Arthur for the wonderful illustration.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Can't wait to read your thoughts--and see more of your pictures--in the new year. Thank you for making Lovely Bicycle! a must for so many.

    ReplyDelete
  28. From France, I read you every day. And each time, it's a surprise.
    It's the greatest blog about bicycle.
    I've learned a lot of things with you, and then I go to work every day. Wahatever the weather is. Thanks a lot and a happy new year.
    Sebastien

    ReplyDelete
  29. I started cycling again this past spring, after a long hiatus. About a year ago, I looked for some local (I'm in central Mass.) cycling blogs, and stumbled upon Lovely Bicycle -- it's been a daily read ever since. Thanks for inviting us all on your fascinating and always thought-provoking journey!

    When I built my Surly LHT, my main sources for tips and inspiration were EcoVelo, The Lazy Randonneur and Lovely Bicycle, so again, thank you and Happy New Year!

    Oh -- great news about Yehuda -- subscribed!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy New Year and please keep posting and letting us share your bike love. I haven't put together the 'formal' list, but high at the top of my resolutions are to ride even more (so my friends will think I have gone over the edge) and to finish the 160 miles 3 days environment ride in May. I'm not a "serious" cyclist (or that's what I keep telling myself) but riding brings me so much joy and improves my health so I have no intentions of stopping.

    Thanks again,

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks, Velouria, for all your great blogs. Please continue them and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy 2012 to you! May you continue your wonderful writings on a subject we all have an obvious obsession with. Keep it varied and I'll follow you to the ends of the earth!

    I too was a bit distraught that two of my favorite blogs: EcoVelo and Bicycles In Motion, discontinued recently. While I understand their reasons to stop it's important to note that cycling is still a passion in their lives, but they want to branch out and try something new. Nothing wrong with that.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy New Year to all.
    It's been a great pleasure to watch (and participate) in the evolution of this blog.

    Here's to a grand 2012!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Happy new year to all the readers of this wonderful blog and especially of course to the person who takes the time and effort to enable us fellow bike enthousiasts to read with pleasure about anything 2 wheeled. looking forward to another year of inspiring reading material!
    oh..and thanks for the music tip, great clip and probably even greater with the appropriate drink;-)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Just to reiterate what everyone else has said- happy new year to you, the co-habitant, peppy and all your readers, and thank you! I would be very sad if your blog did not continue; I love your reading about your latest thoughts and feasting my eyes on your photos. I hope 2012 is a great one for you!

    ReplyDelete
  36. FYI - Just learned that David Hembrow's blog is apparently being discontinued as well. Too bad : (

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thanks for doing this, V. Without you, I literally wouldn't have a bike blog, or have a Raleigh Sports or any of the wonderful bikey stuff that's happened to me in the last year. You rock.

    That Czech song was hysterical. My best friend is Czech. I sent her the link as a New Year's present. :)

    ReplyDelete