Busy weekend coming up with the North West Passage Audax on Saturday and the 3RT Reliability Ride on Sunday.
I'm giving the NWP a miss this year but I understand that Mel is bringing a crack team over from Wharfedale to fly the colours at the sharp end and Simon (says) he's going for a more measured approach. Details as per Audax web site, entries on the day accepted.
All being well I will be riding the 3RT Reliability Ride which starts from outside the Ritz in Brighouse at 9am on Sunday. According to the Strava route its 62.6 miles with 6954 ft of climbing, finishing at a hostelry at the top of Rastrick . £4 to enter on the day. The route and GPX (or TCX if you prefer) can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7314947 Be warned, Brian and Grimpy are threatening to join me.
God knows where Ian Wellock is but it doesn't look like Huddersfield
Batley Bash this Sunday, Thorpe Lane, Tingley, 9am. The Condor PACT will be in operation once again. I'm meeting Simon in Brighouse (Sainsbury's Roundabout) for a steady ride out to Tingley, all welcome. Brighouse meet time 8 o'clock.
This Sunday the 5th of February its the Drighlington Bicycle Club's Reliability Ride. The start & finish is at the Drighlington Cricket Club (turn right on Station Road just before the cross roads in the centre of Drig and you can't miss it). Tom Brabbin from the Imps has kindly created a GPX route for your GPS which can be found here - https://www.strava.com/routes/7380908
Its a 9am start and costs £4 to enter. We are going to have a PACT again, Obviously its not compulsory for Condors to be in this pact but please make it clear if you are - if you are we stick together.
This Sunday its the 1st of the five Ride to the Sun Reliability Rides. It kicks off from the Pear Tree pub at Mirfield at 9am, entry is £4 on the day and the GPX file is here https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1503444686 its about 56 miles and finishes at the Pear Tree.
There had been some concern that the day would descend into an unofficial race (just like a normal Condor club run) but this is not going to happen because the Condor will be forming a PACT. If you join the pact the other members will wait (and offer free advice) should you puncture or slip off the back but you are not allowed to go off the front, no matter how good you're feeling. If you do leave the pact behind a penalty must be paid - you will have to buy all other pact members a pint at the finish. You must make it clear before the start whether you have joined this pact.
The Pear Tree is on the right after Cooper Bridge, before you get to Mirfield proper.
I'd entered the Mere 200 Audax this coming Sunday along with Gary, John Lumb 2 and possibly Chris and Steve but I'm just not up to it at the moment so I'm intending having a potter up Wharfedale and the Buckden Triangle. I've arranged to meet Simon at 8.30 at Denholme Gate and we'll be going through Keighley roundabout at 9am. All welcome to join us but if you're wanting a good training ride you may be disappointed.
We are lucky this year, with the birth of the 'Ride to the Sun' series of reliability rides, to have the opportunity network with other local club riders on 5 successive weeks, all the rides cost a mere £4 to enter (on the day so get their early enough to pay before the 9am start). Proceeds go to Kirklees Cycling Acadamy and all finish at a pub where snacks will be available :-
Sunday 29th January HDR Reliability Ride, 9am from The Pear Tree, Mirfield, 58 miles out east in the flatlands.
Sunday 5th February Drighlington BC Reliability Ride, 9am from Drighlington, Again out east and a similar mileage.
Sunday 12th February Batley Bash, 9am Thorpe Lane, Tingley. Pan flat and again 60 miles or so out east.
Sunday 19th February 3RT Reliability Ride. 9am Ritz, Brighouse. 70 or so miles, getting a bit hillier than the previous rides but that doesn't matter 'cos we'll all be really fit by then.
Sunday 26th February Halifax Imps Reliability Ride, 9am Ritz, Brighouse. The blue ribbon event, JK's annual painfest. Same route as last year so non-swimmers should take their water-wings.
Looks like an exciting series of rides, a big thanks to Mick Collins for his work in putting the series together, I'm already looking forward to getting to the pub. There's .GPX files knocking about on the internet for all the rides, I'll track them down and put a link on the blog in the week prior to the ride.
I managed to capture one of Bernard's photos - we think it was the A1, or possibly the A64. Either way riding two abreast on a main artery was fine with traffic like this. Even as a bystander rather than a participant it was interesting to see the slideshow and it made for a good afternoon.
The friendly chat, tasty lunch and brown beer may have helped too.
ps - Peter I hope that you are back riding soon. We didn't know where to go without you there to captain the ride. Brian says he is still having nightmares about going over Herders and Widdop in one ride.
Our annual ride-out lunch and presentation took place at te Robin Hood, Cragg Vale last Sunday. Founder member (67 years ago) Gordon Turner was there to make the awards.
!st trophy was for the greatest distance covered in the year in organised rides such as Audax, Sportive and Reliability rides. Pete Horne took this award with a total of 2051 miles, with Steve Thewlis in 2nd place at 1543 miles (including a double Coast to Coast) with Mel Hartley 3rd at 617 miles.
Best All Rounder Fastest average speed over 10. 25, 50 & 100 mile time trials. Chris Smith took this award for the 2nd year running with PB's at all distances. Had CRC a hill climb trophy Chris would have also won that, representing Condor with distinction in many local climbs in addition to the National Championship at Matlock.
25 mile Time Trial Champion Once again awarded to Brian Sunter, but simply to call Brian the 25 champion would hardly do justice to another outstanding season. He knocked over a minute off John Woodburn's 10 mile age group record when he recorded 20min 44secs. at 25 miles he recorded another British age record with 54min 36secs. The British record also fell at 50 miles when he recorded 1hr 56min 45secs. Brian's main targets for the year were the VTTA National Championship events at 10, 25, 30 & 50 mile distances. Travelling the country to achieve his ambitions he made the podium at all 4 distances winning gold at 25 miles, the blue ribbon event of the vets calender.
Road Race & Off-Road Trophy's Whilst Melvin dabbled his toes into the cut and thrust of veterans road racing in 2016 with a 2nd in the Condor event, 3rd in the Clifton CC, 5th in the Imps race and 5th in the Tour of Cambridgeshire UCI Gran Fondo the trophy was retained by John Ginley with a 1st place overall in the LVRC o'65's Road Race Series and 2nd place overall in the season long Percy Stallard Competition.
As we all know John is an outstanding cyclo-x rider but he'd been fighting injury for much of the early part of 2016 and was doubtful that he would ever be able to resume his 'cross career. However, after a season road racing he started testing his legs off-road, was not unhappy with the result and sent his entry in the the UCI World Masters 'Cross Championship in Moll, Belgium. The rest is history, a 2nd World Cyclo X gold medal.
I missed to 'Do' myself due to being struck down with man-flu so I would like to thank Phil Haigh for volunteering, at the last moment, to take over my duties at the function and also Phil (Sandy) Sanderson for organising it and collecting the money. I'm gutted about missing it, especially Bernard's slide show.
The 'social season' is a magical time for cycling in England. While summer has its long days and sunshine, there is something special about the winter. Frequently cold, windy, wet and dark, but still special.
I started cycling with a club when I was 14 or 15, in the early 1980s when our heroes were the 'hard men', Sean Kelly and Bernard Hinault. We were in no doubt that they would be clocking up the winter miles. Asked if the weather was ever too bad to go out training, Kelly replied "I go out and then when I get back I decide if it was too bad or not."
There was no club in my home town of Hebden Bridge, so it was almost always a solo 10 miles to start and finish the day, either along the Calder Valley or up over the lonely moors above Oxenhope. This is the story of a typical day.
In the silent early morning light I pedal down the valley to the rendezvous, along deserted roads with only the occasional bloke out to buy the morning paper or walk the dog. Although its light, the day has the kind of flat, grey lack of contrast when the sun has woken up but chosen to stay under a thick cloudy duvet.
A 9:00 start inevitably stretches until at least 15 minutes past. Arrangements and promises made after several pints the night before are sketchily remembered. 'I'm sure he said he was coming, but then he got talking to a lass.'...... A straggler turns up, out of breath. Ribald comments about his whereabouts the night before. I notice that his jersey is steaming on his back, like a racehorse in the winter chill.
On this occasion we're making a short run to the south and east of Yorkshire. It's not the picture postcard Dales, its pits and power stations, but it's flatter, easier cycling. Two of our number are miners. One, an ex-miner now, has a roly-poly stomach and the tell-tale 'wheeze' of a life underground, and is nicknamed 'Puffing Billy'. The other, still (just about) clinging onto his profession and earning decent money is a small wiry bloke. He always claims his job in the pit is to 'Lig abaht' (lie around) on a shelf cut in the rock at a junction on the underground line to make sure the coal trucks don't get derailed. I never did find out if this was true!
We climb out of the Calder Valley and through the historic parklands of Nostell Priory. First stop is a transport cafe, somewhere south east of Wakefield. There's a different type of Yorkshire accent in south Yorkshire, harder and broader than in West Yorkshire. The woman behind the counter has 'SHAFT' tattooed on her knuckles - more ribald comments, some of which I (an innocent 15 year old) don't understand! However, she is a scary-tough looking woman with short bleached hair, so the banter is subdued! Once again I'm amazed by how much food a bunch of skinny cyclists can put away. It's all bacon butties and beans washed down with gallons of tea - no scientific diets and designer coffee for us!
We saddle up for the second-half of the morning. I'm still a newbie so I never know quite where we are going, but every week follows the same pattern. The pace starts to pick up at about 12:00 and that signals that we're about half an hour from the pub. There's some final jostling for position and an ad-hoc sprint for the village sign, and then lunch. Which is often 'liquid'. While the 'grown ups' down as many pints as they can before Sunday closing at 2:00, we younger ones drift back outside after we've eaten. Someone has a tennis ball. We play wall-ball and then football, and then have a quick 'circuit race' around the village, or we hang about talking about the things that 15 year-olds talk about.
On that subject, we are an exclusively male bunch. The only female cyclists I ever see in our part of the world are World Champion Mandy Jones, Julie Earnshaw - a Tour Feminin rider, and Lisa Brambani - a good looking youngster already on the national squad. There's also the legendary Beryl Burton, but I only ever see her at time trials - and she's off with the favoured riders while I start very early in the morning with the no-hopers. The next summer I meet a French cycle tourist and spend a day in the Dales with her, making a total of five women I have seen cycling!
Our leaders emerge from the pub. Everyone is a bit merry. We set off back, across the flat-lands passing cloud-belching cooling towers and whirring pit heads. A kestrel is hunting along the edges of one of the slag heaps, and winter starlings are lined up along the telephone wires. There's no wind and we bowl along effortlessly. Someone rides alongside, flapping his 'wings' like a Condor - the name of our club, its motif stamped on our chests. Soon we're all at it, swooping along the road, arms outstretched. It's not long until nature calls and there's an unscheduled stop. We're barely off again when someone has a mechanical. It's just a chain off so we ride on slowly for him to catch up, but then somebody decides we'll hide. We slip through a gate and hide behind the hedge, while he rides past, looking for us on the road ahead. Then we quietly remount and slowly catch him up - but he's going faster and faster, still thinking we're ahead. By now we're just a few yards behind him. Somebody sniggers and the game is up. 'You bloody daft buggers!' he shouts. Angry at being made to look a fool.
There's another stop, but this time we pass through some gates, which are padlocked by a chain just wide enough to get a person and bike through. We're on a big tarmac drive through a country house estate. Somebody tells me the history of the place. A wealthy noble family was stupid enough to mine underneath their own home which is now abandoned, cracking and crumbling with subsidence. A herd of deer is grazing in the distance. It is completely still and quiet, just the swish of our tyres as we scurry on through.
Its already starting to get dark on this short winter day, and our lights are switched on. My winter bike is kitted out with a dynamo. I have put a bigger bulb in the back light, because the standard dynamo bulbs always 'pop' when going down the steep hills of Yorkshire. Now, the faster I go downhill, the brighter the light. The whirr of the dynamo wheel is a comfort in the dark, but also puts a bit extra drag onto tired legs. Every so often, a friendly hand rests on my back and gives me a push to keep me in the bunch.
As we get nearer to Calderdale, people peel off towards their homes. I can smell Sunday dinners and coal fires. The smells and warm glow from the houses seems to emphasise the cold and dark outside. I tick off the valley landmarks and mill towns: Ravensthorpe, Cooper Bridge, Brighouse, Elland, Sowerby Bridge and then a steep kick up towards the main road, and finally back to Hebden Bridge. Its been a great day but its always nice to be back home out of the elements.
Just a reminder that its the Condor ride-out lunch and prize presentation this coming Sunday at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale, meal booked for 1pm (roast beef & yorkshires + sweet, £15).A chance to celebrate our World and British Champions. Theres also a slide show by Bernard Boylan of the pictures he took during the 70's & 80's. Those who are riding there are meeting at Denholme Gate at 9.30am. Please let me know if you want to book a place, All welcome not just Condor members.
Grimpy and I have been collecting stats for the awards, please e-mail me your seasons results so we can make sure no mistakes are made. In particular the total distances achieved during 2016 for Audax/Sportive/Reliability Trophy - send them to email@example.com
Now that the Wednesday Vets Christmas lunch is fading into the mists of time its time to book your place at the annual lunch and presentation - 1pm Sunday 8th January at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale.
In addition to having a British Vets time trial champion and a World Masters Cyclo-X champion to celebrate we have Bernard Boylan's slide show of 70's & 80's Condor Road Club action.
As posted some weeks ago we're having roast beef & yorkshire pudd followed by apple crumble & custard, £15.00. Book your place with me, £5 deposit.
Missed from he below list of Christmas activities is the Cragg Vale Spiral which takes place tomorrow, Sat 17th, 9.30am, starting outside the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale. Well worth riding, 3, 2, or 1 lap finishing at the Robin Hood for refreshments. All welcome. Unfortunately, in ignorance of the ride I'de already made other plans and Chris has horses to shoe so there'll be 2 less Condors than usual.
Sunday 18th December Meet 9.30 Crossroads (top of Ingrow junct. with Haworth Rd) for Riley's Treat, Pecket Well, via Herders & Widdop - cafe stop en route.
Wednesday 21st December Meet Shelf Roundabout 10am for Wednesday Vets Christmas Dinner at Robin Hood, Cragg Vale (meal booked for 1pm).
Christmas Eve Meet Denholme Gate 9am or Keighley 9.30 for Wharfedale, lunch at Burnsall. Home mid afternoon.
Boxing Day Meet Hebden Bridge 9.30am for Clarion House, Newchurch-in-Pendle (bring you own turkey butties and mince pies). Home mid afternoon.
Wednesday 28th December Shelf Roundabout 10am for usual vets ride to wherever's decided on the day.
New Years Day Meet 10am Brighouse for Holmfirth, Isle of Skye and Sowerby Bridge.
I have been justifiably reprimanded for being one of the small minority failing to wear our registered Condor Road Club clothing on last Sundays club run. It would be good to see everyone wearing our distinctive club kit. I'm putting together an order for some new kit from Force GB so if you need 'owt new just let me know and I'll order it.
World Masters – A Weekend in Belgium 30 Nov to 3 Dec
1st John Ginley 36.11
2nd Wilfred Senck (GER) 38.57
3rd Herman Martins (BEL) 40.03
Peters blog comments it’s a pleasure to give further details.
from Hull on the P & Q Euro port overnight ferry Wednesday night to arrive
at my digs in Lommel mid- day Thursday. Lommel is an affluent small Belgium
town I estimate about 40 km east of Antwerp and 12 km from the Race Venue Zilvermeer
is what can best be described as a Center Park. With Lakes, pine forest and
lots of sand. One small water lake as a semi circle of beach sand with it the
normal water fun features. I arrived at Zilvermeer early afternoon to souse out
the new circuit. I’ve previously ridden Zilvermeer as I recall 5 times between
2005 and 2010. During that period the circuit only had minor changes. It
comprised 3 deep sand section interspersed with fast hard packed ground, tarmac
sections, with small climbs and 2 sets of steps. I estimated the circuit
required maybe 200m running the rest was rideable although some sectors were
narrow. Since then
UCI rules require a circuit must be at least 3m wide to ease passing and reduce
rider blockages. Also a number of new buildings had been erected resulting in a
complete revamp of the circuit.
reaction more deep sand, lots of man-made obstacles. Circuit length approx. 3
Km with some tarmac sections, nice twisting loops through pine trees, plank
soil steps followed by sharp soil descent and climb to eventually reach the
beach. Close to 200m running to the water edged where you could jump back onto
the bike, riding the hard packed sand around to the next deep sand section. Run
through the sand to a small retaining wall over and back through some rideable
sand to a loop the loop section. There were 3 man made loops great for TV basically
climb up ride part or all loop back down and up again. After the last climb you
turned into a sharp tricky fast descent (see pic). On first practice lap I ran
down but I road it next time the trick was to try and hit the bottom diagonally
to avoid a 360 roll. Ridding meant you had some momentum into a steep deep sand
section with the bike on my back and it was up the stairway to heaven. Sharp
right running down the sand to the bottom jump onto a fast rideable section to
turn sharp right onto the beach. Run again to waters edge to ride maybe 100m
off again to run through the pit section sharp left to leave the sand back on
until you hit the auditorium steps. After the steps all rideable back to the
road start. My concerns, too much running maybe 800m in deep sand very tiring.
Decided 2 laps were enough, save my energy for tomorrow.
2nd ‘D’ day Race Start 13.00
Zilvermeer 11.00 checked bikes out, set up turbo, started warm up at 12.15 and
completed by 12.45 off to pits to drop off spare bike to arrive at grid start
We are all
announced and then told around 40 would start first combining 3 age groups +
65, +70 and +75. We are advised that we are at the back of the grid Mick Ives
was there but my eyes were on Martin Herman’s the Belgium who had previously
always finished in front of me and normally won, usually by more than one
minute. I exchanged words asking him not to start too fast, checked is tyre’s, he had sand tyre’s, those with a fine diamond profile sort you would use on a grass
track. I also noted his pressure was my guess around 1.5 bar I was 2 bar? But
when I had them lower I was all over the road on tarmac and didn’t see much benefit
in the sand, I was on what might best be described as intermediate tyres? Too
late I was staying with my set up. My plan, keep him in site and bring him back
without going into the red? Easy but could I execute it? Called up to grid commissaries
checks tyre width ok, I’m off 'stop!'
out comes laptop and his mate scans my down tube and bottom bracket for an electric
motor? Better not joke like at my age I need one etc.?
Gun goes, we're off down throgh finish I manage to move up switch right then up steps, Herman
passes me and manages to avoid 2 fallers comes out of rise around 20m in front,
some ground on fast section up to the beach.
beach jogging to the shoreline no change, remount, Senck (GER) passes me. Don’t
panic get by off to jump retaining wall and onto the loops. I stay on down the
descent and I’m up the sand bank down and back into the beach sector. I decide
it’s easier to push the bike through the deep sand with just a slight weight
deflection through the saddle rather than carry.
We exit the sand, I’m catching
Herman and at the top of the auditorium steps, I give it a go pass him heading
for the end of the first lap. I don’t look back I just keep it a nice steady
pace and I’m in the zone on the section to the beach. On the beach and jogging
through the beach sector you pass the pits both going out and returning
receiving lots of noise from the pit crews. Whilst most cheers are for other
competitors this helps me as I can tell the gaps increasing when only minor
noise as I pass.
I hear shouts for Barrie Mitchell (Mick Ives team in younger
age group) who I passed earlier but nothing for Herman. Confidence increases and
I push on and manage to stay in front. Eventually the bell rings for the last
lap and I dig in this time the beach sector brings more pain so I jump on near
the end and manage to stay upright through some deep sand and realize the power
required to make headway is perhaps beyond my fragile frame. I begin to observe
that exiting my cleats is becoming more difficult due to sand ingress so to
avoid crashing into the steps I decide to release early. Sound decision as I’m
just out in time. I give my self a talking to (push with caution and stay
upright to the finish) through to the finish line. I’m chuffed but commentator
doesn’t verify my position. So I clamber up the steps to the finish booth to
check position and am advised yes I’m first.
for all the days men’s and woman’s age groups are at 16.00. I arrive at 15.45
and eventually find the collection tent. It’s been a good day for the Brits
with Dave McMullen, Vic Barnett and Tracey Fletcher also winning their age
groups. Eventually we are called to the podium but we have a dispute. The commissaries
results shows Van De Sluijs (NED) is 2nd Wilfred Senck doesn’t agree, eventually
its clarified and we are on the podium to collect our medals flowers and
Unfortunately by the time we
arrive its dark and my iPhone pics are crap. But Peter says he can edit them so
I’m sending pics and report to Peter who I hope will place it on our blog. (tried my best John but you are correct when you say they're crap, Peter)
Massive congratulations to John (Grimpy) Ginley who earlier today won the rainbow jersey of World Masters Cyclo-Cross Champion in Moll, Belgium. 2nd was Wilfred Senck of Germany and 3rd was the favorite and 10 times previous World Masters Champ, Herman Martens of Belgium. I'm looking forward to John's full report and pics.
SUNDAY 4th DEC
Meet Hebden Bridge 9am (Park Gates) for The Green Jersey, Clitheroe via Pexwood Road
Last Saturday whilst we were enjoying freezing fog in the valleys and icy roads the New Zealand section of the Condor Road Club was competing, together with another 3000 cyclists. in a hundred mile race round Lake Taupo in somewhat warmer conditions. Paul has sent the below report.
I have forwarded the event photo's resplendent in Condor colours, you will see me crossing the "finish" a bloody huge kite! Further up the road you turned off the road into the field where the timing mat was 20-30yds further away. I was that relieved and knackered I got off the bike and leant against saftey railings, 4-5yds short of the bloody mat. Nobody beckoned me forward and another rider I know did the same as me!
Once through the medal distribution area I found a spare piece of grass on which to collapse suffering big style with leg cramps and exhaustion, the last 30kms was tough but I knew I was on a great time with my group (2nd off) having caught group 1 55kms into the race taking 4mins out of them.
I was working hard but okay until 30kms out and could'nt hold the wheel (not like me), a couple of other groups eventually passed me and again no holding them. The group I had been in for ages finished in 4hrs 10mins so I lost a fair bit of time but somehow kept going. Robbie McEwan finished in 4hrs 12mins!!
No prizes for category winners but the lost 3 minutes cost me first place from 350 over 60's competitors and that's the most annoying thing. The lad who runs our group Pyskil is very pissed off apparently another rider has complained about the timing mat debacle' and Matt is following it up. I am chuffed with my time and average speed over the distance I knew I had fairly good legs, I am a bit annoyed with not being able to hang on but we know what it's like when the man with the hammer comes knocking!!
The photo's definitely show a pained expression my race no. 1506 but simply open the email link below.
Unfortunately the pics Paul sent me were too well protected for me to copy them but you can get get a glance below.
Photos from the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge are now online.
Grimpy travels to Merseyside this weekend to put to final preparations into place before catching the overnight ferry to the continent on Wednesday. On Friday he will be racing in the World Masters Cyclo Cross Championships in Belgium. Good luck John from all your team mates for a trouble free ride, we will be there in spirit.
For a more relaxed Sunday join us on the club run to Langsett via Clifton, Kirk Heaton & Emley Moor. Home via Dunford Bridge and Holme Valley. Meet Brighouse (Sainsbury's Roundabout) 9am.
Whilst most of us have slipped seamlessly into the social season Grimpy continues to feed his competitive nature preparing for the Masters World Champs. Looks like it was a piece of cake judging from the smiles on his face - everyone else was complaining about he mud.
Whilst Grimpy was enjoying a walk in the park Chris and the Wednesday night Mytholmroyd gang enjoyed a walk up Helvellyn. Chris and Dan Annison choosing to have a good warm-up on the way to the Lakes.
I can't blog a club-run for this coming Sunday as I'll only be out in the morning (going to spectate at the Shibden 'Cross in the afternoon). Nigel's intending to sort something so keep your eye on the blog.
Meet Shelf Roundabout 9am for How Stean Gorge cafe via Norwood Edge, return over Greenhow and Addingham Moorside. It is November now so in keeping with the 'Social Season' ethos I'm hoping that the run will stay together (or at least re-group at summits). It goes without saying that winter bikes with guards will be the norm from now even if no rain/snow/hail/ice/salt is forecast.
(If the weathers not too good we'll cut the ride short by visiting the new cafe at Toft Gate, Greenhow)
The following youtube link takes you to a video of last Sundays National Hill Climb Championships at Matlock. Chris appears momentarily about half way through (rider no. 95). Take a look and be inspired to ride it in 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YfdMrRKXtc
Best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Peter Crowther who came off his bike when he hit a patch of oil on the road over in Oldham last Monday. Peter spent six hours being patched up at Oldam A&E but was not detained. He sounded more concerned about the health of his new Dolan titanium super-bike which sounds like it will require surgery. Hope to see you out again soon Peter.
Congratulations to Paul Daly who on Saturday was flying the Condor Road Club colours at the main race at the Arc Adventure K2 Road Cycling Classic in New Zealand. Its a hilly 192km course which had attracted almost 600 riders. Paul proved once again that he is the man to beat in his age category defending his 2015 title with another 1st place in the 'Vintage' category. Congratulations Paul from all your Condor team mates - now get back here and push PG up them hills (although Nigel & Ian weren't doing a bad job last week).
Whilst Paul was giving out some pain in NZ our home based star rider, Chris Smith was flying the colours nearer home, in the 2016 National Hill Climb Championship up Bank Road in Matlock (thanks to Tom Brabbin for the pic.). Chris finished the steep climb in 3.10.3, about 50 seconds down on the outstanding winner Adam Kenway. Chris tells me he was totally spent at the end and if it hadn't been for the finish line catchers he would have collapsed in a heap. Chapeau to Chris; I just hope he remembers to slow down for the social season.
Simon and I had a superb day out on Saturday riding the Peculiar Old 200 km Audax from Darlington. Above pic is at the Theakston's brewery at Masham, about 130 k into the ride. We enjoyed many new roads (to us) in Co.Durham north of Teesdale with great views and good weather.
Also racing on Sunday, making his 2016 season cyclo-cross debut was John Ginley, I must assume that he had recovered okay from his MTB crash the previous Tuesday, winning his age class and at 74 finishing 72nd out of 150 finishers in the over 45's race.
This Sunday you'd be welcome to join Nigel & myself on a potter over the Herders to the cabin cafe at Barley for a butty and a coffee (its worth the trip just to hear them saying 'Ameri-car-no' in a Lancashire accent).
Meet in OXENHOPE at the Y junction just above The Bay Horse pub (where we turn for Stanbury) at 9:30 am in new money. Based on past experience I'm not expecting anyone to come along so if you are interested then please say so - e.g. by a comment here or on Strava - and we'll then know to wait for you.
Big day for Chris this coming Sunday with the National Hill Climb Championship on Bank Road in Matlock, Derbyshire. Chris is off number 95 in a field of 240 riders, his start time being 12.47.30pm. Judging from the picture below (taken at a recent climb by Ellen Isherwood) which Chris has titled 'Empty your mind.........then empty your legs', he's in good form and we all wish him a trouble free ride.
Also racing on Sunday is Grimpy, in his 1st Cyclo X of the winter season at Thorns Park, Wakefield. This is the start of his build up to the World Championships in Moll, Belgium in December (which is unfortunate for John as, if the Worlds had been, as usual, in January he would have stepped up an age category). Best wishes go to John who's been suffering with his breathing on todays vets run following a fall whilst out mountain biking yesterday.
Simon and I are riding the Peculiar Old 200k Audax this coming Saturday (entries still open on the AUK website) so I'm relying on someone else to arrange a Sunday Club Run.