INDEX 2

YOUR FUTURE NOW
Tired of horoscopes so general as to be meaningless?

Capricorn
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.

Aquarius
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.

Pisces
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.

Aries
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.

Taurus
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.

Gemini
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.

Cancer
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.

Leo
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.

Virgo
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 again, naturally.

Libra
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.

Scorpio
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 consideration.

Sagittarius
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.

Cycling Plus, January 2002