|From Leica 1956.|
At least cycling has been a constant in most years. One of the exceptions came three years ago, when I was recuperating from surgery. But, in most winters, whatever cycling I'm able to do makes the weeks and months of barren, wizened trees and old people in old, sometimes frayed coats that have survived other seasons seem like people and things encountered on a journey rather than signals of death.
And although I did no Grand Tours or any other monumental rides, I am happy and thankful for the cycling I have done. For reasons I haven't discussed, and won't discuss, on this blog (After all, they''re not reasons why you come to this blog!), the past year has been difficult for me. Some might say that I was coming down, finally, from the euphoria I experienced after making a change I'd wanted for as long as I can remember. Maybe they're right. But cycling has not merely masked the pain or discontent I've felt; it has always helped me to see that conditions such as those are (or, at least, need) not be permanent.
So has keeping this blog. That makes sense when you realize that writing has been, along with cycling, one of the enduring passions of my life. The fact that I continue to do both shows me the necessity of living in the moment as well as the foolishness of living for it, or of believing that every moment will be an extension of the present, or even the past. So, while I know that I have been in better physical condition--and that I have written things that some people would say are better than anything I've written on this blog, or during the past year, as long as I keep on pedaling and writing, I know that there can be change. I take that back: There will always be change. What riding and writing show me is that One kind of change or another (save, perhaps, for getting older) is not inevitable; while I may not ever regain the form I had in my youth, I can always improve my conditioning and, perhaps, do different kinds of riding from what I did in those days. I may not conquer mountains again because I may not need to. But there will always be a journey, and all I can do is to keep on pedaling and writing, and do whatever goes along with them.
N.B.: Check out Leica 1956, where I found the photo I've included in this post.