Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Before 2014

In these last days of the year, there's been, as usual, a great deal of talk about New Year's resolutions. And after hearing some friends say their resolution was to cycle more in 2014, I finally suggested - why not now? Because I can't help but feel that the very point of a resolution is to delay this activity you are supposedly resolved to do, to find an excuse for not doing it already. As a result, this thing you put off until January becomes infused with dread and seems all the less appealing. And how sad it is that cycling should be put into such a category!

And so on this fine December 31st, upon my gentle prodding, we set off on a short photo expedition up the side of the mountain. It was a windy, but sunny and cheerful day. The ride turned out hillier than planned, but we did not complain, as fabulous vistas spread out under a perfectly clear sky as far as the eye could see. We even encountered an old acquaintance, who was happy to join us for a spell. It was one of those unexpectedly, spontaneously perfect days made all the better by being out on bikes.

Now I have done New Year's Day rides before, but never an Old Year's Day Ride. And I have to say I highly recommend it. As we cycled on this last day of 2013, we felt - on a delightfully visceral level - that we were pedaling away from 2013 and toward the blank slate of 2014.

So my message to you dear readers is… If you have time for a ride in these last hours of 2013, why not say "good bye to all that" on two wheels? Happy New Year to all and thank you for reading! I will see you again in 2014.

20 comments:

  1. Happy New Year. I look forward to enjoying your posts from NI in 2014.

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  2. A Happy New Year to you. Enjoy your blog. Hope for many more.

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  3. Be well and happy in the new year, Velouria. Thank you so much for your lively writing, lovely pictures, and generous spirit that lifts us all! Jim Duncan

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  4. I was going to resolve to give up my fair weather only riding habits and sure enough we got the coldest of rain on New Years Eve giving me an opportunity to give it a whirl a day early. I threw on an ancient trench coat I knew I was saving for something and rode down to Jackson Square to watch the fireworks. I have been keeping an eye on the weather in Northern Europe just for kicks to imagine myself biking in Copenhagen, Helsinki or even Northern Ireland and for the past few weeks our New Orleans Winter weather has been remarkably similar. This doesn't seem possible, but this rare development does give me a tiny window into what cycling elsewhere must be like. After accidentally not procrastinating and enacting my New Years resolution prematurely, I have to say I think you may be on to something. The fireworks were even more glorious in the rain and a couple of miles cycling in a trench coat that is older than I am and still perfectly functional impressed me enough to want to become a more regular rider in the rain.

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  5. Hello dear Miss V. and fellow readers,

    I wish you a Happy New Year. May this new year bring plenty cute bicycles, inspiring photos and, maybe one of the best V.'s skill, sensitive clever prose.
    L.

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  6. I followed your advice and squeezed in one last ride in 2013. It was a bad year for me, but as you say… Good bye to all that and happy New Year!

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  7. Happy New Year, Velouria. I celebrated 2013 cycling by taking out my old '84 cromo Schwinn Le tour mixte variant yesterday and flying around Lake Ella, feeling the wind in my face. It was glorious, though the sky was bleak and the weather nippy. I also started making changes to my "herd" of bikes by selling two and buying two show/errand bikes - a turquoise 2014 Bianchi Milano women's bike and a deep red cro-mo 2014 Giant Via 2W women's bike. It was a good month.

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    Replies
    1. Haha, I went on my traditional New Year's morning "torture" run with my running group, followed by my traditional New Year's ride... also on a Schwinn Le Tour, though the vintage is a decade older than yours. Stunningly good bikes.
      The reason I'm replying to you, though, is I feel compelled, as a decades-long Bianchi fan/owner, to explain that the"turquoise" color is famously/correctly known as "Celeste". Not to be boorish, but I'm not sure I could've slept tonight without mentioning that :)

      Happy rides!

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  8. I did cycle 2013 away on Dec. 31. Looking forward to Lovely Bicycle Blog in 2014! Best to you in 2014.

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  9. I've been off the bike for almost 2 months due to a little surgery and some assorted old man complaints and wasn't supposed to do ANYTHING strenuous for like another 2 or 3 weeks. Ugh.

    Yesterday I couldn't take it any more and called the surgeon(A National Masters TT Champion) and whined and moaned till he said it would probably be ok to do some riding but he made me promise to start gradually... So yesterday(Dec. 31) I rode my goofy retro-directe around the shop for awhile as we were tapering toward closing early after our New Years Eve lunch, and then today went for a good 3 hour ride with the club. I think that was gradual enough.

    It was good to end the year with a little messing about on 2 wheels and even better to start anew by going out and working hard again after sitting it out for so long. About the time I was starting to feel all hardcore and heroic, my friend Dennis rolled up and after a bit of patting myself on the back he mentioned he got 45 miles in yesterday to put him over 16,000 for the year. The deal with Dennis is that a few years ago, after a lifetime of running(and winning) ultra marathon races, Tri-Athlons and tons of early MTB races, he got hit by a pickup, head-on at 45mph by a kid who crested a hill on the wrong side of the road. Broke everything. It was horrible. Worse even. Ended up deaf, with less than perfect balance and lots of permanent physical challenges. A more gentle, friendly and kind approach to life too, strangely enough.

    When he got well enough to get out of the house a bunch of his friends started taking him out on a tandem and eventually he got back on the bike on his own. It isn't always pretty(he falls more than ME) but I dare you to try to stop him. I asked him once if he worries about getting hit again, his answer was chilling and inspirational at the same time, "I guess it's pretty likely but I still want to do it and F#%K EM, next time I prob'ly wont feel it anyway."
    Dude rode 16,000 miles last year.

    Spindizzy

    P.S. Your Collie friend probably isn't wasting too many of his days laying about either, another excellent role model.

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  10. Yesterday being Tuesday, I followed my usual Tuesday procedure and pedaled out to meet a friend at a coffeehouse in South Pasadena, about eighteen miles from the Miracle Mile where I live in Los Angeles. And being that it is Los Angeles, it was warm.

    On the way home I stopped by a friend's bike shop (he sells only commuting bikes, mostly Dutch-style, some of them actually Dutch), then home through Chinatown.

    Today's ride was short, a few miles round trip with the wife to our favorite coffeehouse nearby, where they also do superb inventive dinners. But a ride's a ride! And at least it was two-sweaters cold, as is proper for the season.

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  11. I must admit that 2013 was somewhat disappointing for me and my bicycles. Too many excuses and missed opportunities. I'm planning on doing more night riding to solve this problem. I have the most incredible collection of headlights. If I were to attach every one of my lights to my bike, the output would be 4000 lumens ! I am afraid that this might melt the pavement in front of my bike or possibly cause the paint to peel off of cars. Don't worry, I promise I'll be careful. BTW, 4000 lumens is approximately triple the brightness of the brights on most cars.

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  12. Happy 2014 to this blog's author and readers! I come for the blog, I linger for the comments!

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  13. I would like to have gone out for a spin to wind up this last year. No dice. Respiratory gripes have kept me almost completely off of the bike the last several weeks.The coughing has abated somewhat,
    so today I ride!

    Happy healthy prosperous New Year, V and her merry band of denizens!

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  14. Like Ted, I come to read Velouria and often linger to read the comments. Thank you all for your efforts, and I hope 2014 is your best year yet!
    Jan

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  15. Happy New Year's! I just wish I read this earlier! What an EXCELLENT way to end the old year and start the new! Darn, now I just have to pencil in this wonderful idea for Dec 31, 2014 (as well as every OTHER day in 2014)!

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  16. Since 2013 was an eventful one for you, here's wishing you a calm and quiet 2014.

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  17. It’s not quite what you meant, but I was sitting here, home alone on New Year’s Eve, just before the bells, nothing to drink, no-one to talk to, nowhere to go, so I went out on the bicycle.

    Happy New Year, Velouria, and thanks for showing me the way.

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