of horoscopes so general as to be meaningless?
Normally prudent and practical, you will exhibit neither of these traits
when you win a lottery prize of an undisclosed amount and go on a mad
spending spree, buying a new bicycle for every day of the week and hoarding
so many titanium components it causes a mild fluctuation in world markets.
This will alienate friends, co-workers and relatives until they gradually
tire of your company, leaving you bewildered and alone. You will attempt
a belated generosity; this will win back some of your friends, but most
will see it as the desperate ploy it is and continue to shun you, particularly
as it becomes clear you are keeping all the titanium bits to yourself
and painting your gifts a dull silvery grey to fool them. You will end
the year sadder but wiser.
This will be the second dawning of the age of Aquarius. You will find
yourself loved and admired for no particular reason other than that
it's finally your turn. Strangers will go out of their way to compliment
your taste in clothing, bicycles and sexual partners, of which you will
have your pick. You will always be given the best seat in restaurants,
theatres, the opera, and impromptu picnics in the park. It will all
be very bewildering. When it ends, as surely it must, the hand of fate
will downshift you gently into your normal mode of living. Eventually
it will seem a very distant and pleasant dream.
You'll make many false starts in your lifelong quest to cycle around
the world, never getting further than Basingstoke, where you will begin
a new life as a shopkeeper, undercutting the competition, dreaming up
imaginative promotions, even, it will be whispered, making shady deals
with the major players, until you find yourself sitting on a retail
empire, able to manufacture trends rather than just follow them. You
will then have what you feel is a brilliant insight, a defining moment,
putting all of your hard-earned capital into singing bicycle bells.
This masterstroke will succeed beyond even your inflated projections,
but you will give it all up for the love of a puppy in a pet store window.
A chance remark by a train conductor will completely change your life,
but an anonymous shop clerk will later say something which changes it
back again. Your attempts to find love while commuting will come to
fruition and domestic bliss will be yours for the taking if you can
buckle down and learn to mend a puncture, rather than just changing
the tube; if not, your searching will be in vain. You will forget to
set your clocks forward in the spring but this should not impact your
life greatly. This is inevitable even though you've been repeatedly
reminded about daylight savings time.
You may experience something which can only be described as an epiphany
one fine day while eating an Eccles cake which leads you to completely
re-arrange the furniture, causing you to trip over the coffee table
later that evening. This will frighten the cat into racing out of the
house through the doorflap and into the garage, where it knocks over
your bike. You won't notice this the next morning, and will run over
it while backing the car out of the garage. The end result is that you'll
be able to justify the purchase of a brand new bicycle, which is even
better than having an epiphany.
Your evil twin, the existence of whom has been kept secret by your fearful
but loving parents, introduces himself to you during a social function
and gradually charms his way into your life without revealing his true
identity. He gives you sensible advice, loans you money, and in all
other respects proves himself a true friend. You're even able to ride
a tandem together; something you've never been able to accomplish with
anybody else. But soon odd things start happening. Personal items of
little monetary but great emotional value go missing. You feel terribly
drained every morning. You hear unexplained clicks on your phone line,
and occasionally, distant laughter. You can't quite put your finger
on it. As the year draws to a close, you still won't know what -- if
indeed anything -- is going on.
Cosmic forces will affect the accuracy of your cycling computer as you
find yourself going slower and slower. Buying a new computer won't change
this. Your love life will travel the same gentle slope south. Time itself
will begin to crawl, or seem to; the voices of those around you will
deepen and stretch interminably. Doctors won't be so much baffled as
alarmed. Even your osteopath will be stumped. Only Teletext will save
the day, providing you with vital information which calms and reassures,
setting you on the road to recovery.
After a decisive commuter challenge in which you emerge victorious you
will become convinced that the Tour de France is within your grasp.
You'll shave your legs, hire a personal trainer, and sleep with a yellowing
jersey under your pillow for subliminal nocturnal osmotic inspiration.
Your training will go well until you lose a commuter challenge to some
guy in jeans carrying a pizza, which effectively destroys your confidence,
at least for the mountainous sections of the Tour. Family dynamics resemble
a peleton; check for drugs often.
You will ride a bicycle for the first time after many years abstinence.
Having bought Cycling Plus to reacquaint yourself with long-forgotten
pleasures, you will decide to purchase one of the very models reviewed
in these pages. The relationship will be consummated on a crisp spring
day, after a small amount of pain. The honeymoon will last the entire
glorious summer and spill into autumn. But as the days grow shorter
and the roads icy, the bittersweet stolen moments you spend together
will be fewer and fewer. The year will end as it began, with you alone
As the planets line up in conjunction everything will begin to weigh
more, especially your bike. This provides ample justification for your
poor performance in the weekly club run, though you will tend to state
the case too forcefully for some. It is likely that Campag will eclipse
Shimano in your affections. There will be many obstacles in your path
to happiness. Bicycle bells are a possibility; wedding bells, less so.
Arguments about carbon fibre will lead to tears and recriminations.
Remember that Time-trials add stability to relationships.
Your personal life will be a living hell, but your public life a source
of deep satisfaction. In 2003 this will reverse, and in 2004 it will
switch back again. Your attempt to keep paranoia to a minimum by eschewing
the use of a handlebar mirror will teach you a hard lesson. On the bright
side, there will be many opportunities for off-road pleasures. Mountain
biking in bed is not safe sex, but polite requests should be given due
Too much freewheeling leads to dissipation. Your finances head down
a 1-in-3 after your boss informs you in writing that you are the weakest
link. You will be broke but reasonably happy for most of the year; eventually
you'll just be broke. A spell as a bike messenger may put a fleeting
smile on your bank manager's face. Your tolerance to gluten will also
plunge, then return to normal. A beautiful stranger will remind you
that love comes in many forms, including short wheelbase recumbents,
which you take as a hopeful sign for the future.
Plus, January 2002