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After being knocked around for a couple of years, life decided to take off the gloves in 2012.  What violence! What misery! What an intolerable piece of work!

If the looming storm clouds on the metaphorical and literal horizons are any indication, 2013 is going to be even more horrendous than its older brother.  So what can we do? My goal is to bike straight in to the eye of the storm, for yea, o readers, I am the newest thing on two wheels.

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Retrogrouch has several fancy bicycles, and if I had my druthers, I’d have a Dutch-style old commuter bike.  But I’m rather smitten with this new one.  It’s as basic as can be as a one-speed, but I’m enjoying it.  I need to buy a basket so I can ride off to the market.  I’m trying really hard to resist the urge to buy streamers and a neon orange flag with a pirate skull-n-crossbones drawn on it, as I had on my former bike two ack, three! decades ago.

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All this bike action means, I might add, that my knee injury is doing pretty well after being laid up for two months, then another four months of learning to move again with physical therapy.  As you might imagine, there is considerable trepidation to ride in traffic, but I do think this fear is worth conquering, especially when it makes one hesitate to interact with the world.  I have most of my range of motion back and a good deal of strength, and although it still hurts pretty much all the time and has affected other parts of my legs and feet, my limp is only really noticeable on stairs.  A pox on the careless driver who hit me: I won’t wish you injury or death, but instead a thousand thoughtless acts to nestle up with you in bed, like a chef dropping your chicken on the floor and putting it back on your plate, or your keys falling into a clogged toilet, or an airplane screw left unturned causing you several hours on the tarmac. May you forget your wallet on your date; be served ruined holiday meals; run out of gas on a deserted highway; be abandoned by clients, friends, and family on important occasions.  I hope these things will make you learn why life is not best lived on autopilot.

Sound bitter?  Perhaps.  It’s been a rough year.  But these fragments I have shored against my ruins…and turned them into a shank.  So bring it on, 2013!

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