Hello, it’s been a while since we had a chat. Like old friends that used to talk regularly, I miss you guys.  It’s funny how you take things for granted until their gone; and, then, you wonder “what happened?” The cycling season is like that. It brings us together for several months in like pursuit of a common interest; then, it’s over  – cold turkey, like a lover’s petty quarrel leaves no room for goodbyes. And there remains a void until the rhythm of life takes us inevitably onward and beyond. I’m not quite there yet, meaning I’m not quite past it.  And, so, I write now as the year is coming to an end to say hello and wish you Merry X-mas, Seasons Greetings, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, the Best of the Season, etc. You choose the expression.

It’s been a great year. By that, I speak about cycling only. I cannot account for the pain and sorrow in life, as loved ones pass-on or struggle; or, of the hurt felt in many households, each with its own difficulties. No family is without its suffering and troubles. So, I recognise that saying it’s been a great year is rather glib.

Still, it’s important to celebrate the small and the inconsequential, such as cycling. We had many firsts this year in mileage ridden; we had good turnouts and many, many good rides, with distance and at pace. We had our share of laughs. We were fortunate to suffer no major mishaps, although a vehicle struck one of us on holiday. Fortunately, all is well. All this to say, let’s not take our safety for granted or our time together or our fellowship and camaraderie – all essentials to a good life. One year is never like another and one never knows when we’ve climbed our last hill.

You know, a person may have few close friends, if any at all; yet, may have a wide and varied group of acquaintances. This is important, I think. And, while we don’t share much in each other’s lives beyond cycling, we do share sweat and pain and the joy of the road. That’s something – that’s much, I think. So, I say “thank you” for all the good times of the past year. I expect to ride-on in 2018. Will you join me. Don’t give up; we’ve come too far to do that.