Let’s admit it: 2020 didn’t go the way we had expected.
What started as a passing news from foreign land—pieces of story we quickly scrolled through without much attention—quickly spread across the globe and affected our life in a way we had never imagined. People fell ill, businesses dwindled, jobs lost—I was one among those affected financially, and was forced to slow down. It’s compelling to say 2020 was disastrous.
Yet, I realized, it had its own gift, too.
It was this year I finally put together all the parts for my Surly Midnight Special dream build, and had it assembled by trusted mechanic @edmundjeds at @bikesystem.id. It was such an impeccable timing; in less than a week after I finished the build, the government imposed partial lockdown, bike parts disappeared from national market, and workshops were overloaded with weeks-long queue. When fellow cyclists were still waiting for their bike’s arrival, I was already riding around. From short commutes to double fondos—everytime we rode together, the bike put a smile on my face. She was, indeed, a gift.
From larger perspective, the adversity that came along the year had forced me to rethink and change some aspects of my own life—the things I would just overlook, had everything gone as usual. 2020 was like that grumpy teacher we hated back at school, only for us to realize, later, that she had changed us in a way others just wouldn’t.
Naturally, everything comes to an end. The pandemic is likely staying with us for some more time, but the year that brought it to us is leaving, making way for the next to come. As strange as it might sound, I genuinely think I should leave 2020 with gratitude instead of grudge. With #RaphaFestive500 still out of reach due to family and work affairs, a half-day ride to the highest mountain pass in Bandung felt like a proper farewell.
To all of you who read this, congratulation for making it through the year. Let’s leave it, and welcome the next one, with celebration.
Thanks for reading. See you all in 2021.