If we are honest with each other, sometimes motivation is difficult to muster - never more so than when daylight hours and temperatures are at their lowest.
The obvious alternative - indoor training - may address the need to exercise but it can't be truly classified as cycling. Confined to sheds, garages or spare rooms, the solo cyclist rides to nowhere as their mind and body screams that what they're doing is artificial and wrong. Granted, it's better than not riding at all and it does help maintain your fitness.
Then comes the phone call or email: 'I've signed up for this event. Do you fancy riding it with me?' No sooner have these words registered in your mind than the ever-competitive beast within, the one that has lain dormant through the winter months, suddenly awakes.
Early season goals switch on that generator, the one that enables us to find the willpower to mobilise and ready ourselves for the challenge ahead. For some it's no more than an opportunity to indulge in new kit and bike upgrades, for others it provides the focus they've lacked - the catalyst that ignites the fire.
With this in mind, we've signed up for two early season events, very different from each other but reflective of the scope of rides now available. The first is Windmolen Achtervolgen - a curious concept ride where the objective is to visit (and photograph) as many windmills in Sussex as possible in a day. Described as a 'fundax' it's a cocktail of logistics, navigation and coffee stops and offers the perfect excuse to get out and ride. Details can be found at http://www.rule5bikes.co.uk/shop/ but numbers are limited.
Our second targeted event consists of a very different type of event, a 25 mile TT for single speed (MG72") only. Run by the Diss & District CC on the flat roads of Norfolk, it's going to be an... interesting experience. Why not give yourself an early season target and enter at http://ctt.org.uk/event/20810?