Find Your Road by Riding


Life in the Bike Lane

Tom Frady


I don’t really care for New Year’s resolutions. Although I recognize the holiday season from, oh, about Easter to the New Year, provides ample opportunities to over-indulge, if you need to lose weight, start in October. You’re going to fail in three weeks, anyway.


And year-end counts-down are usually the just subjective opinion of someone you don’t know or whose judgement you wouldn’t trust even if you knew them, like “The Top 10 Numbers from One and Ten” (I rank them 7, 4, 6, 1, 10 3, 5, 2, 8 and 9, by the way).


This year, even with riding days missed because of bad air from wild fires and excessive heat, not doing extra training miles for major events and reducing the length of many rides due to COVID, my overall mileage was, somehow, about the same as my usual annual amount. Getting out on my bike has given my wife some space, probably maintained a certain level of my mental health and contributed to some normalcy. (Suggesting I might be normal, may be exaggerating a little.)


So here’s what I’m looking forward to for 2021, sung, ironically, to “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. For your convenience, and recognizing my word limit for this column, it’s just the last verse. Sing it out loud for maximum irritation to your spouse or pet.


The Twelve Months of ‘21

(for Bike Riders)

In the twelve months of ’21, Eddie Merkx will give to me:

12 riders riding

11 gears a-shifting

10 miles of down hill

9 roadkill raccoons

8 newly paved roads

7 climbs up Baxter

6 epic journeys

5 Cruuuumb do-nuts

4 blinkie lights

3 jer-seys

2 water bottles

and a subscription to Bicycling magazine


Outside exercise has been one of the few activities continuously allowed during the pandemic. In fact, outdoor activity, in general, has increased in 2020. Your bike has been there during good times and sad times. What better way to beckon a new beginning. 2020 is hindsight.


In conclusion, have a mobile and interesting New Year. If you encounter a bike rider while driving, be nice, Santa knows . . . . View the coming months as a time of opportunity, not misfortune. Do something to ease your hurried mind. Clean out some drawers. Write The Great American Novel. Find your road by riding.


There is no resolve. Only do.


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