In the final weeks of 2012 my thoughts were full of everything that's happened over the past year and my dominant emotion was depletion. Two days ago I finally finished making a bicycle frame, and the experience took its toll: Getting so completely absorbed in something at which I am so completely mediocre led me to question my sanity. This train of thought then spread from framebuilding to cycling itself. My progress on the bike has not been impressive by any standard, making it both funny and ridiculous that I am so utterly into it. I also could not help but question what would happen if and when I finally move beyond the constant struggle to both understand the bicycle and master riding it. Will it no longer be absorbing? Will the excitement and wonder eventually fade?
In the midst of all this brooding, it began to snow. It snowed and snowed all through the night, and the next morning I ventured outside. On a Sunday the plowing had been minimal. Side streets crunched with hard-packed snow. Grassy lots offered vast, undisturbed snowscapes. Modest city parks turned into enchanted forests. I wandered around by bike through the preternaturally white landscape. As my face began to tingle from the frost, my head cleared. Slip-sliding my way through the at once familiar and unfamiliar streets, everything began to make sense. I abandoned my attempts to take stock and draw conclusions. I stopped thinking about the past year and started looking forward to the year ahead. This is my fourth winter cycling, and yet everything feels utterly new, utterly exciting.
Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you, as always, for reading.
In keeping with the New Year's Eve cocktail tradition, I offer you:
The First Snow Ride
St Germain liqueur
Lindt white chocolate
In a cocktail shaker, mix 2 parts gin and 1 part St. Germaine over ice. Pour (hold the ice) into a cold cocktail glass. Whip 1 eggwhite until super-frothy. Finely shred white chocolate and sprinkle the flakes into the froth. Add mixture to the drink's surface. Serve and enjoy the ride!