Stonehouse Wheelers

WHILST the seasons are changing disruption to some scheduled rides both on a Sunday and a Wednesday due to either very heavy rain or very windy gale force winds being experienced and on another ride aptly called a winter warmer it turned out to be the reverse to that, riders feeling so cold no one could have gone further than the tea stop and a warm through to continue.

Another ride was threatened due to gale force winds and gusts but all safely made it without any incident but wisely all kept their heads down.

Still according to Transport for London the mild month of February has lead to increased cycle hire and on one day alone some 30,000 were hired leading them to offer a free ride to would be hirers.

On the other hand government talk is about two concerns lately (well perhaps plenty more as well) but regarding cycling indicate that targets to increase cycling by 2025 to double today's levels will not be met and also the campaign to get more women onto cycles and riding are flagging.

Some cycling organisations are looking to promote this topic later in the year and around international women's week.

Lets hope this will help the situation and ultimately ladies can be encouraged to join a club.

Apart from the obvious advantage of guidance and help as in punctures, club cycling can be somewhat a more safer environment but recently looking back on road signing it is interesting to note that past road signs were descriptive producing a clear instruction.

The change to new signs whenever made rely on a picture which can in many cases need interpreting what they are portraying.

Are they any better? Maybe.

It really is encouraging to see the UK cyclists doing so well in competitions and with the television producers seeking out minority sports activities more than ever the "Free to Air" channels such as BBC and ITV in particular.

The indoor track events are coming to an end and the world championships produced some tantalising and interesting cycling just recently on television with the top riders in there sprint finishes touching up to 40 mph.

That is moving some and on those sloping curved velodrome sides.

The UK team just seemed a bit off top form but did have some good performances.

The major road events have now started and it was noticed that Mark Cavendish a favourite of many cyclists is, after injury's, back in his team.

The years though are unfortunately not on his side.

All change also for anyone who has a Sky team logo on their shirt.

A bit like football shirts maybe.

In spite of the problems with the arranged rides numbers meeting on several rides has been very good an increase generally being noticed which is always welcome.

One very happy point of interest to note was on a ride to Gloucester docks which is partly via the canal track is now relaid and asphalt finished.

What a difference and so hope that funds to finish the last stretch right into the docks area will be available.

Strangely though a couple of punctures were picked up by two cycles on this relaid track.

How odd.

Members were surprised on another outing when they had a look round "Darrell Country".

Interestingly the extent and influence of the Darrell family was over a quite large area finally finishing up along the canal side at Shepherds Patch.

The March programme also included a ride to the Severn river, rather routine, but a surprise walk along the ride to a local viewpoint at Barrow Hill.

A skittles game during the month provided a relaxed evening for many.

Over the next few weeks arranged rides will encompass two all day rides together with Hill and Wotton-under-Edge as favourite tea stops.

Further details about the Stonehouse Wheelers can be obtained from the website at on Twitter:@SWheelers and