Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

I would like to begin by stating that I am not a Monty Python fan. But no matter how hard I try to think of an alternative, this phrase describes most accurately my experiences over the past year, including the abrupt pause in this blog's publication.

Is a more thorough explanation than that required? After giving this question some genuine consideration, I do not think so. We are all adults here. We know that 'things' - private things - happen in life. And we also know that the worst things, the things that shake to the core and immobilise, have that effect precisely because they happen suddenly, without warning. We do not anticipate them; we have no planned response or coping strategy. We do not know how we will react.

The inability to write, or even look at, the cycling weblog that had been a part of my life for years prior, was part of my reaction.

What changed today, I do not know. But today I was able to open the browser, log in, clear the cobwebs, and write this. Whether there will be more, I honestly cannot say at this stage. I can only say what I would like to happen. And I would like to keep writing.

I would also like to share a very brief summary of my life over these past months:
I am happily married and, for the most part, healthy.
I have found work in the fibre and textile industry.
I have moved away from digital photography and gone back to film.
And I cycle pretty much every day.

All of these things bring me joy and have wondrous healing powers. And, if I do continue this blog, I hope that the new infusion of energy I feel from them will translate into my writing.

In the past I have often been asked, and have certainly wondered myself: To what extent was my cycling influenced by Lovely Bicycle? would I ride a bike as much, or at all for that matter, if I did not feel obliged to write about it, to take photos, to review products? I would have liked to think that of course I would still ride a bicycle even if there was no blog. But in truth, I did not know for certain, because from the very start the two were intertwined.

Despite having stopped writing about and photographing bicycles, my enthusiasm for cycling itself has not waned over the past 8 months. The bicycle remains my main means of transport. And I cycle for sport whenever weather and health permit. No matter what else goes on in my life, the bicycle is something I need every day. For better or worse, blog or no blog, we are enmeshed.

What I have lost, I realise, is any curiosity in products, equipment and cycling tech/spec talk. I am fairly certain now that this aspect of things was largely blog-driven. And I am not sure that I see a place for any of it, in any future version of this publication.

Since I last wrote in this space, I have gone through a life change and it is inevitable that things will be different. To any part of my former audience that is still here, and wishes to see where things will go - you are most welcome to keep me company.

And to all who see this: I genuinely thank you for reading Lovely Bicycle in all its various phases, over its 8 1/2 year lifespan. And I wish you a Happy 2018.