I love New Year; although I’m not a great one for resolutions (seems to be just setting yourself up for failure), I love spending a bit of time looking forward to the months ahead, planning adventures and making a list of ‘things-I-would-love-to-do’ for the year.
But before we get into all that, how about a little look back at some of my favourite two-wheeled happenings of 2013?
1.) I got my bike nicked.
Oh hang on, that bit wasn’t so good. But it proved I have wonderful friends (and gave me something juicy to blog about), so not all bad.
2.) The Danes showing us that politicians on bikes can be fabulous, not toe-curlingly embarassing like our lot.
My television highlight of last year was undoubtedly Borgen – for those who aren’t familiar with the Danish BBC4 series, that’s the one-time Prime Minster, arriving at work on a bike, looking gorgeous (the hair, the jacket, the handbag! – ok, I’ll admit to just a little bit of a girl crush on Ms Nyborg right there…). The thing is, although this is a fictional drama series of course, you can be damn sure that Danish politicians (and teachers, electricians, secretaries, TV presenters, shopkeepers, students, bank managers, guinea pig breeders, professional fire eaters) do indeed ride around like this on bikes like it’s completely normal, because that’s just what everyone does there. No-one thinks you’re weird, or that they have to wear ball-hugging Lycra; meanwhile in this country, it’s depressingly rare to see a politician on a bike unless it’s a silly PR stunt. Still, having such a positive representation of cycling on prime time telly just made me happy.
3.) Manchester got £20 million to improve provision for cycling
We’re the city that has nurtured the best Olympic & Paralympic team in the world (Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Sarah Storey all trained at the velodrome) and yet we’ve some truly shocking cycle infrastructure for ordinary bikes-as-transport people like me. Let’s hope this money helps make things easier and safer for all of us.
4.) Clothing designers woke up.
Is it me, or was 2013 the year loads of cycle clothing manufacturers properly woke up to the fact that an awful lot of women ride bikes, and an awful lot of women don’t want to dress like men if they don’t have to?
Personally I think you can cycle in whatever you want, street clothes or technical garb is all fine with me, and if you’re comfy in blokier, sportier clothes than good for you. As an all-weather commuter I do like a bit of specialist gear to keep me warm and dry, so I’m really loving all the gorgeous new womens’ stuff out there. It perhaps is a bit shallow but fundamentally we all want to look nice, and perhaps greater clothing choice might encourage a few more women to get on their bikes. Who know, maybe this year I’ll stop drooling and actually treat myself to some new stuff!
5.) I found this video on YouTube.
Choir + bicycles + full on jazz-hands choreography. And beatboxing. What’s not to love?