February, what a mixed bag in so many ways. We went from forecasts of holy crap I can’t feel my face to the belief that Spring really is on its way. So I say to Spring, stand up to winter and give it a hefty kick in the snowballs! This constant teasing of warmer promises is getting tedious.

We do however, need to accept that it is still February and it should be cold. I for one would rather have a few extra weeks of cold and a great summer, rather than it getting warmer early and never quite getting to the summer warmth.

As the rain came I lost my enthusiasm for weekend rides and the thought of having to strip the bike down after every ride, just to avoid destroying everything on it. I hate that sound when you pull the brakes on and you hear that lovely gritty scraping sound. I like to call it the sound of money. Let’s face it, your brake blocks are disappearing at an alarming rate and your wheel rims are slowly getting thinner. Your chain is constantly crunching around every revolution, your pulley wheels are getting thinner and your rear cassette looks nothing like the clean silver set that you took out the box only two weeks ago!

The winter bikes gets better treatment than the summer bike, but then it has to, it gets you through some god awful weather. Whilst I did avoid a few wet weekends, I commuted in pretty much everything from cold, wind and rain and on some days, all three combined!

So the mileage this year is a little shy of last year, but then my targets are different, I am not interested in constantly improving my mileage each year, where does that end!? I am however looking forward to a much more varied year of events and rides, not just ones that involve a lot of climbing.

Yet again I got the annual disappointment of not getting into RideLondon via the ballot. I got in the first year in 2013 and have not managed to get back in since. I didn’t bother trying last year, but really wanted another go in 2017. So once the postman had delivered my disappointment yet again, I got straight on-line and signed up for a charity space. I have chosen what I believe to be a fantastic charity that helps seriously ill children to have a dream come true, Make-A-Wish UK. I encourage you to follow my Just Giving link and from there you can link to their website and read about the great stuff these people do, it is very heart warming. After that, if you feel you would like to support the charity, or the thought of me suffering on the day as I push hard to achieve my target, then please do donate. As a certain supermarket chain says “Every Little Helps”.

On the club front, we had our second feature ride of the year, “Beaulieu Brass Monkey’s”. When I created the ride title, I envisaged us all wrapped up, freezing cold with the risk of ice on the road in the morning. I couldn’t have been more wrong, we had a lovely warm ride, I even reverted to fingerless gloves after the café stop! Such madness in February. The ride was great for many reason, the company, the laughs and the club being out and about together. But most of all it was really great to see how far some people have come since joining the club. Many riders were setting PB’s left right and centre, pushing themselves to get a bit faster and hang on in. I can really see these guys flying along in the summer. I then love to hear them explaining what they have achieved and how much they look forward to the next ride. It’s what the Tornado RCC was created for and now into our fourth year, we are continuing to grow our events and the club bond. This is going to be a great year.

It will be interesting to see what March brings in the form of weather. I have my first sportive of the year in the form of the Wiltshire Wildcat on 4th March, so hoping at least for dry roads and reasonable temperatures. Last year we started in the fog! Let’s not have a repeat.

I’ll end with a photo I took on my morning commute to work. As I cycled onto Tuckton Bridge, I saw a beautiful image and just had to stop and take a photograph.