I’ve had bicycles on the brain this year. No, I’ve had bicycles on the brain since I stepped out of Woking station one day in May 2011 and found myself in the middle of a cycle race – but this year in particular I’ve been thinking about bicycles, writing about cyclists, photographing bicycle wheels, watching cycle races – and riding bicycles.
This one’s new – well, new to me. I bought it from my brother in July. The great thing about it is that allows me to cycle at both ends of a railway journey, rather than just the home end – which, if I’m visiting someone who lives a fair distance from a station, for example, is handy.
Anyway, there are lots of circles in it, handily depicted on the diagram on the down tube. (Is it a down tube, on a Brompton?) Also in circle news of 2016, I had a poem called ‘Circles’ included in Purple Prose: bisexuality in Britain. And I thought a lot about spirals, about labyrinths, about recurrence, about finding oneself back where one started, about the other sort of cycle. I thought about experience, about how I can compare any experience that I have now to experiences that I have had previously, and to experiences that I can imagine having in the future.
Next year I’m intending to publish A Spoke In The Wheel. I’m going to return to Santiago de Compostela, completing a cycle of a decade. Apart from that? I don’t know, which is unusual for me. By this point in the year I tend to have a good idea of what’s coming up in the next one. As things stand at the moment, I have a very strong sense of having finished a lot of things I’ve been working on, of having achieved most of the goals I identified, of having resolved many of the challenges that arose in my twenties, and not being entirely sure what comes next.
I’ll definitely do some cycling, though.