Tomorrow is the end of 2012. The last day of the year and the eve of new year’s resolutions. Many people scratch their heads thinking of new things that they can resolve to do. For most of us mere mortals the resolutions usually involve eating less, exercising more, increasing the personal congeniality rating or becoming a little more productive. In an idle moment I wondered what the Queen resolves to achieve coming into a brand new year? Does she come up with normal things, such as walking the corgis more often, laying off the pink gin a bit or delivering harder backhanders to Prince Philip every time he farts during Hollyoaks. Or maybe they’re a bit more fitting of her position, coercing David Cameron to invade China, declaring herself head of the Jewish religion or removing the phrase “people’s princess” from the Oxford English dictionary.
But whatever they are, I bet the Queen is making some. As are the vast majority of her subjects. The cyclists will be staring at their post Christmas wobbly bits and resolving to spend January on the bike. Resolutions such as these will be made from a warm living room as they watch their Bradley Wiggins 2012 DVD from the comfort of the sofa. They’ll clearly forget that in the UK cycling in January is simply not feasible. slithering around all over the place on knackered roads, dodging snow, ice, water, potholes, slurry and hungover motorists is just about possible. But proper cycling is out of the question.
Some will retreat to the turbo trainer but let’s face it, the turbo trainer is basically damage limitation. Anyone who can suffer more than an hour of going nowhere whilst listening to the sound of a slightly fucked up Magimix deserves mention in the new year’s honours list. It’s basically riding on the flat with your brakes rubbing. My turbo trainer simply serves its purpose of reducing the volume of air that I have to heat in the house. One year I tried a different approach and signed up for spinning classes. This was essentially the same as turbo training but with the added novelty of being shouted at over techno music whilst smelling the farts of the bloke on the bike next to you.
As you can see, I hold a deep cynicism for new year’s resolutions. I’ve made plenty in my time and broken every single one of them. Since the age of 14 there’s not been a year in my life without a cigarette, yet I gave up nearly twenty years ago. Alcohol has featured in a consistent monthly volume and I still look like Lofty from Eastenders despite pull-up bars and various press up regimes. My cycling performance has been consistently “the same” since about 2002 despite numerous years where I’ve resolved to race or time trial or get stronger/faster/better.
Maybe I should work harder to stick to these resolutions. I could conjure up a new one along the lines of resolving to work harder on my resolutions. But then I’d need one to resolve to work harder on resolving to work harder on my resolutions and enter an infinite loop. So this year I’ve prepared a new proposal that I am going to take to the new year’s resolution committee. It’s based upon a full analysis of my personal performance in all areas throughout 2012. I have outlined strengths, weakness, opportunities for improvement and threats to new target achievement. A myriad of key performance indicators have been assessed along with a set of monitoring protocols to back them up. All of the evidence gathered and personal analysis carried out has led to a simple resolution that I stand a chance of ticking the box for in 2013.
I’ve decided that next year I’m going to be a little bit less shit at everything that I do.
Now there’s a lot to live up to in that previous sentence as my catalogue of shitness in 2012 is thicker than a teenager’s well thumbed Littlewoods catalogue underwear section. This may seem harsh however, looking back over 2012 things have not quite gone to plan.
The early part of the year started well and I actually managed to publish a book. Unfortunately, a little bit of shitness crept into it, or maybe that should be rephrased as “shit loads of typos and a mound of poor grammar to add some extra spice”. I resolved to sort all of these out and republish it ready for Christmas. Neither of these were achieved. Therefore I’m still actively selling something that is everso slightly shonky, which reminds me of the seven years I spent running my previous business.
Speaking of businesses, I was meant to be creating one of those as well. Helen reminds me of this fact daily by shaking an empty piggy bank next to my ear and pointing to the savings account statement. Andy and I created a grand proposition, business plan and investor pitch in a huge surge of momentum. Then quietly binned it to do something else much more sensible. This will definitely turn out to be the right decision. It’s just a bit shit that we happened to launch it in the middle of office party season. I can’t tell whether or not we are on the right track as most of the feedback we’re getting is typed with one finger and a hangover.
Cycling has not escaped the shitness. In fact it has been the main symptom. I’ve not really done anything at all this year apart from pedal round the same old loops and nick some Strava KOM’s from pensioners. Every single bike in the fleet is battle damaged and there’s one that’s not even built. This is surely a cycling crime? To prioritise “other stuff” above and beyond the construction of a new stead. I’ve not really explored anything, I’ve gone about the same speed as I always do. The only real achievement has been to end the year under ten stone in weight.
Then there’s the book I was actually meant to publish. The book I spent a whole year researching, or dallying around the UK on my bike as my friends like to call it. When asked in November last year I confidently replied that it would be out before the Olympics. This then became Christmas 2012 and now it’s looking like March 2013. Fortunately Vertebrate are driving the whole project forwards but it is taking longer than expected, mainly down to my shitness and the amount of stuff that needs checking. To offer myself some form of personal consolation it’s worth stating that the weather chucked in its own little bit of shitness and stymied my plans for taking photographs.
So the year hasn’t exactly gone to plan, but let’s be frank these are the sort of problems that many would like to have. The less shit 2013 has a lot going for it. My first proper book will be released, properly proofread and properly laid out. The only downside being that the odd photo of me has slipped into it (thankfully not the cover).
Then there’s the new business, I’ve got a whole host of meetings to go to and a whole lot of funky new technology to show people. We’re being much more less shit on direction and strategy which should hopefully result in a much more less shit bank account balance.
Finally, we have the less shit cycling. I’ve entered the Fausto Coppi again after too many years away. So I’ll have to be less shit at cycling in 2013 by quite a lot, otherwise I will expire upon the steep slopes of the Fauniera. My bike is destined to become a lot less shit as well. In a moment of utter madness during October I bought a second hand Campagnolo Record groupset. It has sat in it’s box for months but in 2013 it shall emerge and make my decent bike just a little less shit than it is currently.
So there you have it, my simple New Year’s resolution. I have been a bit shit in publishing this post as we’re already a few days into 2013. But that’s a little less shit than not writing one at all.
3rd January 2013