This time last year there was an overwhelming sense of a need for change. This wasn’t the superficial, ephemeral tokenism of New Year resolutions but driven by a dissatisfaction with the course life was taking.
The early manifestations of change were functional and pragmatic. I emptied the contents of my loft onto eBay and reinvested the resultant funds into experiences or tools that would facilitate these experiences – namely bikes(!)
Lightened both spiritually and materially after clearing this consumer flotsam, I managed to sell my house and thus remove a set of irons that had shackled me to a financial commitment disproportionate to any benefits home ownership delivered. That’s not to say I don’t wish to buy another home – I do – but not one that becomes such an inflexible burden.
Moving house is a stressful business of course. However, in common with many, 2014 presented other challenges and these are yet to fully play out. The latter half of the year has been particularly difficult, accounting for the sporadic activity on these pages focusing on the simple escape of riding and building bikes or (not) hitting the hills.
In all honesty, the hills haven’t provided solace during these difficult times and I have found comfort elsewhere on the windswept roads near home, where the physical effort of cycling has allowed me to fully disengage. Turning the pedals has become the tonic to turning over problems in my head. Walking and wild camping, by contrast, just seemed to feed an unhelpful introspection.
Conceding this saddens me. The hills have always provided an effective counterpoint to the day to day and it has been odd to find them so lacking in the lustre which has, in the past, been so nourishing. I hope to reclaim this feeling soon; like the best of friends, they will always be there.
Reflecting on the last 12 months I have the sense of a job half done. The dilapidated rental cottage on the edge of the Peak District we now call home will serve us in the interim, but that overwhelming sense of change felt so strongly a year ago continues to be a major motivation and one that I can draw strength from in dealing with the other challenges currently faced.
For now then, may I wish you and yours the very best for 2015.