Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Elterwater 2nd January

Nige and any others out there

Might be interested in this run but I don't have any 'phone numbers and I don't want to make a trip up to the frozen north only to find you guys have hit the snooze button and are still in bed.

Could someone give me a call to confirm that the trip's still on.


01484 602288

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Burn off some christmas calories with a lake district mountain bike ride on Friday 2nd Jan. Steve Barker has come up with a low level route,meeting in Elterwater at 09-30 and taking in the trails of Grizedale forest.Steve assures me it wont turn into an MTB marathon!
Happy New Year! Nigel.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

long causeway - Tuesday 23 Dec 08

I'm reliably informed by Steve Barker that we are meeting on road bikes at 9:30 in Hebden Bridge on Tuesday 23 Dec 08 for a ride over log causeway to Whalley and that sort of place out west. I hope to see you there, Ian.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Interesting report from the Guardian that suggests, despite years of marginalisation, we were right all along!

Win gives cyclists momentum to move into the mainstream

The spotlight afforded cycling by the Sports Personality Of The Year could propel the sport firmly into the public consciousness

Members of the Great Britain Cycling Men's Pursuit Team train at Newport Velodrome. Sunday night was the first time this year Chris Hoy has not started a race as favourite, but it made no difference. Hoy thoroughly deserved his win in what he termed "the big one", for his attributes as an all-round human being as well as for being a great champion.

Watching Britain's Olympic track team at work day after day in the Beijing velodrome, it was obvious that he had assumed the role of moral leadership. Occupying the same seats at every session, he and Victoria Pendleton shared jokes and, when necessary, silences with the rest of their colleagues as they prepared to go out and conquer the world.

But Rebecca Romero would have deserved it too, for her astonishing and sometimes almost spine-chilling focus on the ambition of going one better than the silver she had earned as a rower in Athens. So would Nicole Cooke, whose Olympic gold was followed by victory in the world championship road race a few weeks later, a double that no cyclist, man or woman, had ever achieved. It was she, after all, who struck the first blow in a campaign that made this a year of unprecedented success for the sport in Britain.

When the entire squad won the team award, and their performance director, Dave Brailsford, was named coach of the year, no one could be left in any doubt of the scale of their achievement. But will cycling, which has always struggled for mass acceptance in Britain, reap the rewards of the publicity, or will it go the way of curling, which won the hearts of the nation for about five minutes when a quintet of Scotswomen performed amazing feats during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City? Six years later, you don't see kids racing out of the house on a Saturday morning for training at the local rink.

For cycling, there ought to be some encouragement in the identity of the man who finished runner-up. Lewis Hamilton trailed Hoy by a sizeable margin - 283,630 votes for the cyclist against 163,864 for the new grand prix world champion - and even allowing for the fact that this was an Olympic year, that the Olympics are covered by the BBC, that the formula one season was broadcast by the rival terrestrial network, and that the audience perhaps acted on the understanding that Hamilton will have further chances, it was easy to conclude that a message was being sent.

At the end of last week British Cycling, the biggest of the sport's governing bodies in the UK, announced that its membership has reached 25,000 for the first time, and that 13,000 cyclists now possess racing licences - increases over the past five years from 15,000 and 8,500 respectively. All sorts of events now encourage people to take part, from races for folding bikes around the grounds of Beaulieu to the large British participation in the annual Etape du Tour, when amateurs take on a mountain stage of the Tour de France. On the roads of British cities, more and more cycling commuters are challenging the assumption that cars and lorries rule, with pathetically little support from central or local government.

And for the internal combustion engine, the current global financial crisis looks like a death sentence. A US government bailout for Detroit's big three automobile makers, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote last week, is the equivalent of putting money into an improved typewriter on the eve of the invention of the personal computer, in CD manufacturing just as the iPod was being dreamed up, or in the mail-order catalogue business at the time of the birth of eBay. What they ought to be doing, he suggested, is investing in the inventor of a new electric car network, whose vision might just represent the future.

This doesn't devalue Hamilton's success in the slightest. In 10 years' time, he might be winning world titles at the wheel of an electric car. In the meantime, with luck, more and more people will be following the example of a group of self-propelled sportsmen and women who looked pretty good in Sunday's spotlight.


Monday, December 08, 2008

7 Dec - The white stuff on Top Withens

After a cracking mtb ride last week it was back to the muddy bikes again this weekend with Robin & Steve. We met in Hebden and climbed through Hardcastle Craggs up to "poo farm". Lower down the surface was frosty but gave good grip. Higher up and we began to slip and slide a little on patches of compacted ice, higher still and we had to work hard through some deep snow. By the time we descended "the field" to walshaw it was more like cross-country skiing!
The tyres made a great buzzing noise crunching through the thick snow. There weren't any tracks to follow but our own - so it was a choice between forging a new route off-piste or trying to follow EXACTLY in wheel of the bike in front (and steering, leaning, turning at the same time they did). Synchronised bikeing didn't work and I quickly went for the off-piste option.
We then headed up over the hill to Top Withens ("Bleak House") for more great snow-fields of fun. Then it got deep. Really deep.
In some places the snow had a hard icy crust and was like riding on tarmac. Then about ten feet later there'd be a footprint or weak spot that wanted to swallow my front wheel. So a mixture of riding and falling off ...
Which brings us to the photo here of Robin standing on a drift. This bit was like the cresta run - hard crust over deep snow lining the sunken track. One of the best sections of the ride. I was (almost) dissapointed to get back to the black stuff.

Friday, November 21, 2008

16 Nov - Cracoe

This was a grand day to be out in the Dales. A rare day of brilliant sunshine and light winds. I made the most of riding alone to take in the pleasant sights all around on a trip from Keighley - Skipton - Eastby Brow (lovely climb, if taken slowly; great descent too, if taken quickly) - Barden Tower - Appletreewick - through Thorpe - back to Cracoe for a grand buttie - then finish through Gargrave & the back road home.

Every now and then I met up with some fellow Condors - Melv, Robin, Steve & Johnny. One of them would kindly drop back the 100 yards to wait for me so we could group up and then they could drop me again on the next rise. Still, I'm learning the quiet pleasures of the solitary cyclist and look forward to the next trip ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Condor Cross - thanks!

Comment: Pictures of all Condor riders on the British Cycling web site. I'm not sure if you can use them gratis or not. If you do post any of them please, pretty please, don't use the one where I look as if I've slipped through a space time continuum, to find myself confused, on foot, in lycra, on a muddy hill with a muddy bike.You may recall that Pete posted a variant of that one a few weeks ago following the Three Peaks!Vanity, I’m afraid, is a vice that doesn’t diminish with age! Richard (the Vicar) Burnham

The condor cross was this Sunday just gone. All the usual crew helped out, so a big thanks to all involved. Gordon's trailer for the finish-line and timekeeping station this time came complete with a great rain cover so we had somewhere to huddle out of the rain showers. It was much admired and then duly appreciated.
In horse-racing terms the going was "soft" - tending to "quagmire" in places. Did anyone manage to get any pictures of our riders in action? Although I spent most of the day looking down at the lap-scoring sheets and just noting down a frantic stream of numbers I did glimpse at least Andy Marshall, Steve Cavell, Robin Holt, Johnny Perry, Richard Burnham and of course Grimpy all go past (at various speeds and in varying states of pain). The official results will be on the website shortly here.
We had a massive turnout for the kids races thanks to Chris Young dragging them in from all the local schools. So many that we ran U8s, U10s and U12s in separate races. Fantastic news for the sport. I hope they all enjoyed the day.
And he must have promised free beer or something because there were 70 entries for the Vets race. Pete Horne and Trevor Lever had their hands full at the signing-on table.

What else have you missed? well a good mtb run from gargrave to malham and back last week. up past bell busk, otterburn, dacre lane, langber lane on a climb that went on forever eventually to the top of scalebar falls above settle - then turn right on stockdale lane to the top of malham cove and down to the boot cafe for bse (bacon sausage & egg) sandwiches. I was still full at 3pm - no need for lunch when I got home. anyone up for a muddy run this weekend (16th)?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Condor Cross - Sun 9 Nov 08 - HELP NEEDED!!

The Condor cross will be held on November 9th.
I need as much support as possible to continue with its success.
On Saturday 8th I will be on site (Bradley Woods) from around 10.00 to see what circuit can be used and to mark out any new sections as we are always effected by what space/ tracks are available.
Main requirements on Sunday 9th are:
Marking out the course from 9.00 a.m.-- need hammer, scissors, gloves,. boots , wellingtons etc + food & flask ( to my knowledge there is only a small tuck shop on site)
Marshalling & Judging the events.
Someone else to help Trevor in the signing on area
On arrival certainly up to 9.30 I will be close to the start area with the gear being in my red Audi estate.
The events so far this season have been well attended particularily vets, youths & U12’s, with usually British Cycling people around (you can get a taste by looking at the British cycling web site) .
Vets have had 80+ in the last two events and U12’s around 50 (these had to be split into U12’s & U8’s).
We also need more Condor riders so anyone interested themselves or their children can enter on the line.(we have had Myself , Richard & Steve performing so far this season, come on Robin, Melvyn etc. – its great fun and fast only lasts 45 Mins.?)
Kindly confirm who can make it, you can Email me at work or home
Or telephone home 01274 601567 mobile 07973 328 995.
We have organized a new set of numbers and Gordon is getting some more tape this week, other things to sort include plastic stakes?
If anyone remembers any problems or concerns from last years event please contact me.
Many Thanks
John Ginley

Official details:
09 Nov 2008 Condor Cross (Yorkshire Points 6)
VENUE Bradley Woods Scout Camp, Brighouse, HD6 3TU
Start Times + entry fees for BC licence holders:
Youth 11:00 £4.00
U12 12:00
V/W 12:45 £10.00
S/J 14:00 £10.00

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cyclocross Appeal

Although I survived the Three Peaks the other week it would seem that my cyclo cross frame didn't. I've just identified a crack on the down tube (the sort of damage you get when you run your Raleigh Chopper in to the back of a bus - only titanium, I now find, doesn't bend quite like steel).

This blows a bit of a hole in my cyclocross season, I'm looking at a few new frames at the moment but this is going to take some time and it crossed my mind that one of you guys might be looking to off load an unwanted frame or bike, (for an agreed number of beer tokens of course), and that this might be a quicker way of getting back in the saddle.

Most of you will be able to guess my approximate frame size (52 -54 cm). Let me know if you've got anything suitable gathering dust in the back of the shed.

01484 602288 (evening) 01937 547807 (day)

Richard (The Vicar)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Well done Richard ( both for the ride and the blog), and Robin, Grimpy & Ian, you done good!

Monday, October 06, 2008

From Harrow to Helwith Bridge

When, on a whim, I bought my first road bike in order to commute from Harrow to Tottenham Court Road I never thought it would lead, 25 years later, to me gunning down Pen Y Ghent in hot pursuit of my long time nemesis and and long time team mate, Ian Wellock. That I caught him on the road to Helwith Bridge and that he then out sprinted me to the line ranks as a minor frustration when set against the exhilaration of a spill free, puncture free, fifth Three Peaks.

Whilst my time at 4 hours 46 mins was the slowest of the four Condors riding it was only two minutes slower than my fastest time set a decade earlier. That, this year, I had to queue for 12 minutes whilst the bulk of the field clambered, one by one, over a stile on Simon's Fell ranks as a rather more significant frustration, as a clear run might have put me close to my ambitious target of sub 4 hours 30 mins

Notwithstanding Grimpy's earlier post he seems to have had a pretty good ride although amazingly his time of 4 hours 23 mins was only good enough to win him third place in his age group. Was is beyond doubt, is that Robin's ride, finishing his first Peaks 43rd out of a field of 450 riders, was impressive and suggests that with a bit of cyclo cross specific training he could be pitching at a top twenty finish. We'll have to see if he's got the Three Peaks bug; if he has he'll know by now as already he'll be mulling over strategies for shaving seconds and minutes from his time. Revealingly, on last Wednesday's training run, he did offer up the view that he could "probably improve his time by 20 minutes with the correct training" - maybe we'll see him back next year!

The bug seems to have got me again. I've already carried out a forensic examination of the split times, (for the first time an electronic timing system was used) and this reveals that I improved my position by from the top of Whernside to the finish by 15 places. So, the stamina seems OK - all I need to do now is work on a quick start and getting to that bloody stile before the traffic jam.
Richard (The Vicar)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

3 Peaks results

News from Grimpy:
"I was 3rd in my age group 185th in the event, poor ride had a heavy cold ( still have) anyway that’s my excuse- you can see all the results on the 3 peaks website.
"Ian & Richard finished nearly together. Quite an experience with 500 starting together on the open road."
"Robin won a prize at the 3 peaks, he did a great ride I think he was 40th out of 400+ anyway he was 11th in the over 40’s "
43rd Robin Holt MV40 - 3:40:46
185th John GinleyMV60 - 4:23:45
267th Ian Wellock MV40 - 4:46:24
269th Richard Burnham MV50 - 4:46:42
DNS - Peter Horne

Monday, September 22, 2008

28 September - 3 Peaks

Nigel has mooted a mountiain bike ride "like we did in the old days", starting at Settle and finishing at Horton in Ribblesdale in time for the end of the 3 Peaks.
Sadly I'm away but the rest of you can get together and sort something out I'm sure!
Meanwhile good luck to our five brave competitors - Ian W, Vicar, Robin, Pete H and Grimpy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunday 31st August

Having just returned from two cycle free weeks abroad I find myself hankering after some quality riding time on the lanes and byways of God's own county.

Anyone up for a ride, perhaps up to Nidderdale with a Bacon and Egg sandwich at How Stean Gorge? Other venues and cafes willingly considered

Let me know either by phone 01484 602288 (mobile caput) or through the blog


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunter success

Now it is no surprise that Brian has won an event, but I am a tad surprised that it seems to have been reported first in the Liverpool Daily Post. What's more, I can't find anything posted yet on the VTTA website for this championship event:

Sunter takes title
Aug 27 2008 Liverpool Daily Post
CYCLING: Brian Sunter, 65, of Condor RC is this year’s winner of the VTTA National 50-mile championship.
He gained a plus of 48 minutes and 10 seconds after producing an actual 1 hour 56 minutes 53 seconds for the J4/16 course at Goostrey. Stockport Clarion CC’s Derek Hodgins (74) just snatched second place with an actual 2.09.09 to give him a plus of 47.21. Third place went to 73-year-old Frank Kerry of Lancashire Road Club after recording 2.08.29 to gain a plus of 47.20.

For the original article click here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Happy Holidays ...

Unlike this chap I'm leaving my laptop computer and mobile phone at work so there will be no blogging from me for a week or two...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

27 July - 9am Hebden Bridge

Apologies for the very late post - I've been outside enjoying the sunshine.
It is just as well I didn't tell you about plan A because we've had a change of mind and gone with plan B instead = 9am at the lights in Hebden Bridge.
Meanwhile good luck to Johnny Perry who is racing tomorrow. Also Vicar & Grimpy will be winding up their summer series cyclo cross with the final race this Wednesday at Huddersfield New College - if you fancy cheering them through!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

20 July - bikes and bbq

So far the plan for Sunday 20 July is another mtb ride starting 9am from Wainstalls.
And, if you bring a fleece and a wooly hat, you'd be welcome along at a bbq at Ian's from around 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Give me a ring if you are coming. I've got heat, meat, wine, buns and beer. What more do you need? Well, maybe some thermal underwear ...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

World Wide Scoop

On an unbelievably hot, sunny day in Provence on his birthday (Tuesday 1st July 2008) an ex- Tour de France winner look alike, otherwise known as our President, began the ascent of the Ventoux from the Bedoin side.

There were frequent stops during the 22 kilometres of torture to chew over the immensity of the task. And to seriously consider turning back. But onward and forever upward he flew into the Condor record books, and of course cloud at the top, to be the first ever Bird of the Andes to conquer The Giant of Provence.

When I saw John at his holiday home that evening to celebrate his birthday, he looked awfully ill. But a few shots of Cote de Rhone revived him to tell us all the tale of his epic challenge ride.

Let us all raise our glasses to his achievement.

An exiled Condor,


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Melvins 'Mega' Sunday

In the absence of a report from Mel (better known in Ilkley simply as 'The Condor' - see below - I've borrowed Earthdreamers report from his blog - I'm sure he won't mind.

Mega Challenge
The day of the Dave Lloyd Mega Challenge started at the the ridiculously early time of 3.30am. With Cacophony sadly absent, El Cid drove Chills and myself down to Ruthin to arrive just after 6am with light drizzle falling - marking the end of my long run of perfect weather on events. There we met up with Knacker and Spectre, and also The Condor. The climbing started pretty much right way, the route going straight up Bwlch Pen Barras from Ruthin. This actually suited me better than a fast roll-out on the flat and I felt good on this first climb, having difficulty holding the reins, so to speak. At the summit of the pass we seemed to have lost El Cid and my guess (knowing his canny judgement of pace) was that he was just determined to take a steady start and conserve his energy for later. I felt that I should probably be opting for the same strategy but I was enjoying myself too much and felt that we had a good group together already. In the absence of El Cid at the front of the peleton, The Condor was co-opted, in an unspoken kind of way, as surrogate team leader. The only problem with that was that he's a class apart from the rest of us, but what the hell. I decided to go with the flow!Even in the intermittent drizzle the scenery was stunning. I've only visited this part of the country sporadically, and after each trip I pledge to visit more often because it is just so beautiful ... before somehow forgetting. I've now made the pledge again. Another long, more gradual climb out of Ruthin (again) and then the Horseshoe Pass towards Llangollen. I was feeling comfortable on the start of this climb but as my group picked up another group the pace seemed to increase just a notch and I decided to be conservative and hold back. I was thinking of El Cid, with his masterplan, ready to come steaming over the Bwlch-y-Groes with the rest of us twiddling away on dead legs. I felt like buying into that plan!It was good to have some space and be able to look around at the incredible landscape rather than the back of someone's wheel. It was just so pretty. A small part of me wanted to stop and take it all in, but I already had sight of the road descending on the other side of the valley and a much bigger part of me was driven on by the prospect of those long sweeping bends. So, a very rapid and exhilarating descent into the Vale of Llangollen before taking the road out to World's End. This section was really lovely, a little back lane of a road, snaking its way up a hidden valley underneath the ancient Offa's Dyke. It somehow seemed out of time and World's End a remarkably appropriate name. I had been steadily overtaking small groups of riders and once the climb kicked in I felt myself going well, again having difficulty holding in the reins. Up on the top there was a great high moorland section with a following wind before a steep descent to the first feed station, where I met up with my group again.Knowing the next section was a little intricate and without any big climbs, I got in and out quickly and rejoined the gang. This part of the course is a bit of blur in retrospect, pretty enough but without any significant landmarks. All I do remember is that it started raining at the top of the climb out of Rhosemor and that it was definitely rain rather than drizzle, and whereas before there were breaks in the cloud to suggest a shower, now the sky was uniformly grey. There was a sense that this might now be the order of the day. And, space-head that I am, I had forgotten my waterproof! Once again, I backed off the pace a bit and took the Moel Arthur climb on my own before soon rejoining the group at the second feed station. Although it was raining and everyone was wet, spirits were very high, possibly down to the wonderful fare on offer here. The pasta was a revelation, so combined with several cheese sandwiches and a slice of malt loaf, I had quite a feast. This kind of 'normal' food is just so much better than energy bars. And somehow I think the body knows what it needs.Just before we left, El Cid arrived, claiming that he wasn't just taking it steadily, but that he couldn't keep up with us. I still wasn't sure. He was only 5 mins adrift after 60 miles and we'd had the advantage of riding together a lot of the way! Anyway, off into the rain, with a lot of water now on the road and loads of spray. Not that I actually found it particularly unpleasant, except perhaps for my hands going numb. It was a shame that the landscape was now hidden in mist, but I was still thoroughly enjoying this amazing sense of journey, joining together places, some that I've driven through on odd occasions, others, like Denbigh, that have only previously existed as names on a map. We were soon on the infamously billed "Road to Hell", over the moors to Cerrigydrudion, in the rain and into the wind. It should have been hell really, but it actually passed without too much pain. A lot of that might well be due to the good company I was keeping, The Condor, Chills and Spectre all doing more than their fair share at the front, along with a few other strong lads who had joined us. Feeling guilty, I did try to get to the front on one occasion, but I didn't last long before I got swept up. As the elder statesman of the party, perhaps it is my privilege to get towed around! But the pace must have been quite good because I think we dropped Knacker at this point, and he had been riding strongly up to here.The section from Cerrigydrudion to Bala passed very quickly and in better weather. The clouds were breaking and the stunning landscape re-emerged from hiding, offering us a glimpse of the big mountains of Snowdonia to the west. We were soon at the third feedstation, the 90 mile point, and the time seemed to have passed very quickly. If this was a regular event we would be close to finishing, and I have to say that the legs felt better than they usually do at that stage. And it certainly didn't feel like I'd been conserving much energy. Just after leaving we met El Cid just coming in, so he was still just a matter of a few cheese sandwiches behind us on the road. Was he still being canny? Would we soon see him come flying past on one of the big descents?To be continued ...
Posted by Earthdreamer at 29.6.08

Sunday, June 22, 2008

White Rose

From the photos online here, here and here (oh, and here) it looks like our chaps had a good day for the White Rose. Timings are listed as Melvyn 6.49, Doug Burnside 7.33, Damien 8.22. Can any of you post the full story?
Even closer to home I see that some Condors were there at the Pain in the Pennines - including Doug (7.08), and Mr Gower (9.18). That's for the long 'un. Well done Paul, you are putting the rest of us to shame. And El Presedente was there too doing the 60 miles in 5.35.
Next, a mystery for you. There will be a prize for the best answer. Who is the elusive 'Graham Norton'? He rode the Etape this year and the White Rose amongst others as a "Condor". I've even seen him in a club jersey once upon a time at the North West Passage. But have you ever spoken to this most shy of riders? (More importantly, asks Gower, has he ever paid his club subs ...).
Thusday 26th is the Otley crit. Let me know if you want a lift over and we'll sort out who is going.
And next Sunday is the Dave Lloyd mega-challenge - 140 miles of pain as explained here. Now it is no surprise that Melv has entered - and Steve has too but is wishing he hadn't. So there might be a place going if you want it ...

Monday, June 02, 2008

June events

4 June - The packed programme this month begins this week with the Imps run to Skipton & back on THIS WEDNESDAY June 4th. Start prompt at 7pm at Denholme (by the joinery works as usual - get there early to sign in). Turn second roundabout going into Skipton. Both ways via Crosshills to avoid level crossings. Finish at the farm shop above Thornton Road crossroads. Food afterwards at the Brown Horse in Coley. Hicko will book food by mobile subject to starters.

8 June – Red Rose 200k Audax sse Chris Crossland's website

10 June is the Brighouse Criterium from 7pm. See or phone Chris Volkes at VS Cycles on 01484 715230, Marshalls needed& volunteer helpers welcome – or at least come along for the free spectator sport.

11 June – a reminder to everyone on entering & helping that Brian’s time trial is on Wednesday June 11th. I suspect you can still can get an entry if Brian gets a phone call (or even an official entry form!) by Wednesday 4th as he's on hols till then. Meet at Greetland Sport & Social for 6.30 to get organised.

15 June – Pain in the Pennines – see the Imps website

Saturday, May 31, 2008

1 June - 0900 in Keighley

I'm told by a reliable source that the Hartley twins are meeting by Keighley roundabout at 0900 tomorrow 1 June, and we are all welcome to join in. I'll be there and peddaling slowly.
The route is uncertain but may well involve Bowland Knotts and the cafe at Slaidburn.
As it happens the Imps run (i.e. the "real" Condor run from the runs sheets) is meeting 0830 at Denholme for Settle with a stop at Gargrave.
Cheers, Ian

Monday, May 26, 2008

Windy Day

It seems that most riders are elsewhere this weekend, what with it being a bank holiday and the start of half term. Still, three of us got out today on mountain bikes for a great ride with wind mostly on our backs. We went from Wainstalls, over Brown Knoll and Limer's Gate, Crimsworth Dean, Walshaw, Lower Gorple, Wragley Woods and then snuck back from Hebden Bridge along the Sustrans route without ever having to battle a headwind.
As a club, the Condors didn't really get into the CCA ride organised by the Imps this Sunday. My fault for not putting the word round in time - sorry. Still, there are more joint rides coming up soon like the Skipton runs, etc.
Meanwhile, following on from Pete's post below, many of you will have seen and admired Melv's new yellow rain jacket and maybe even ridden along behind its ample proportions. However, I think we may have made one too many adverse comments about that jacket and Melv has seen the need to pass it on to another good home. In fact it is now being put to good use by members of the Scammonden sailing club ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Below is an extract from Earthdreamers blog on the Cyclosport website. Who could the MH be?


It was the Harrier's Monday night cycle run tonight and it was again amazing not too feel any real tiredness in the legs. Not a single niggle or ache or tightness. What a completely different story to the Three Peaks, after which I could barely climb the stairs for two days. Just a small group out tonight, but running out towards Askwith we were joined by MH (whom we'll call The Condor) who had finished the EduD in a classy 6.37, including a puncture. We were only joking at the end that we never seem to see each other out on the road locally. Indeed I can't ever remember seeing The Condor out before (we only seem to meet on events, having first got introduced on a trip to do the Etape du Tour 3 years ago), and, here, the very next day, he was! He joined us up Askwith Hill and round the loop to Low Snowden before carrying on to Otley and it was good to catch up properly and for me to be able to seek a bit of advice from someone with so much experience and pedigree! He had knocked big lumps off his best FW and EduD times, so it seems that everybody out there is getting fitter ... or perhaps just more confident of their ability?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

news just in ... Etape du Dales

Remember the tickertape reports on Grandstand on a Saturday teatime?
Well here is the latest from our chaps at "thee tap" as I hear it called round here.
Robin Holt 6:17:12
Melvin Hartley 6:37:43
Steven Barker 7:09:00
Richard 'Vicar' Burnham 7:33:24
Damien Hill 7:33:54
Detailed timings are up on the website here, but I'm looking forward to hearing the full hill-by-hill and blow-by-blow account in the Cat I'th' Well on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Message from Grimpy

I am getting some company jerseys placing an order shortly I attach the proof.
It’s with a company called Kalas.
Before ordering I wondered if anyone in the club was interested in purchasing?
A change from condor on occasions?
The sample they sent looks OK ?
I went for a fairly dark arrangement to suit old men like me??
I am afraid I have never done blog stuff and wonder if you can put this item on the blog for me?
Price wise you are looking at approx £35 per item ( shorts or short sleeve jersey)
You can find size guide on
I also have two size samples shorts & jerseys in small & large at PENNINE
Anyway more important how did you do in the Fred Whitton on Sunday.
Brian did a 52 40 (40 something not sure on exact seconds) on Saturday in was it the nunbrook wheelers 25 I think?
I said what position did you finish – not sure there was a few 51’s

John sent me the above e-mail asking me to put it on the blog - he also sent me an attachment with the artwork for his Pennine kit but try as I may I cannot upload it onto the blog so if you would like to have a look e-mail John at

Well done to Melvin who knocked about half an hour off his previous best time for the Fred Whitton lowering the Condor record for the route to 6.42.35 giving him 54th overall out of 823 finishers. Dougie recorded 8.19.19 and Martin Croft from the Imps 8.29.06, these times were over an hour slower than my time last year so I suspect there must be a story of misfortune yet to be heard.

Monday, May 12, 2008

News Update

This superb picture shows Brian on his way to recording a 52 minute time in last Saturdays Drighlington 25 mile time trial. An incredible time for an athlete of any age but even more so when you consider that he's 65 this month.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday 11th May, MTB Run

Nigel and Ian climbing towards Scammonden
A great day out, a fantastic route (courtesy of Nigel) and brilliant weather (my sunburnt arms are testamony to that).

Fortunately some kind soul picked up the contents of my saddle bag in Norland and handed them in to the police station in Halifax. I won't make the same mistake again!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sun 11 May - MTB run

Just out of interest I put "condor" and "mtb" into Google - but I didn't expect to find a picture of a chap on a bike doing an impression of a Condor :)
With various members off enjoying the Fred Whitton ride in the Lakes, this seemed a good weekend to have a change of scene and get the mountain bikes out. Nigel recently treated himself to a new steed so I think he is keen to get his money's worth. Meet 9am at Nige's in Wainstalls or ring me if you've a better plan.
If you'd prefer a road ride then the Imps runs sheets says they will be meeting at Shelf roundabout (by the VW garage) at 0830 for a trip to Wetherby via Bilton.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Summer Series round 1

Richard, John & Steve after Round 1 of the YCCA Summer Series at Oakbank School, Keighley on Wednesday evening 7/05/08
Steve concentrating hard on one of the many tight corners
Grimpy leading the Condor team and en-route to another V60 victory (also 1st V50)
Richard caught putting his foot down on one of the steep bankings

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sunday 4th May

Half eight at Denholme - nine at Keighley for tomorrow's run.

(half an hour earlier than usual - looks like we might be in for a long day!)


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sun 27th April - Wet in Whalley

We did meet and we did ride out first to Whalley - where Vicar was glad of the ecumenical bacon & egg barm at the Abbey cafe. After that we roamed the lovely little lanes of lancashire before finally heading for home over the herders. Thanks again for waiting for me chaps. Ian.

The plan is to meet at Hebden Bridge at 9.00am, I guess for a ride out to the west but after that I'm not sure!
Might be worth checking with Ian (who's in contact with more of the Sunday stalwarts than me) before you set of to confirm the ride's still on,

I'll be there Richard (with a jacket on i suspect), sounds like Nigel & Melv will be out and Steve too. Any body else who reads this is welcome to come along.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring into the Dales - first reports

Not feeling particularly strong after a serious lack of miles so far this season I took the short-cut from home straight over Top Withens to Oxenhope to miss out Hebden Bridge and the first long climb of Keighley Road/Cock Hill. My lone start meant an easy ride at my own pace over the Herders to Laneshaw Bridge - although turning into the headwind up to Black Lane Ends made me (almost) wish for a wheel to follow. I'd expected to be caught in Earby and loitered there for a good few minutes chatting before getting a bit cold and riding on to Gargrave on my tod just to keep warm. Still, I was far better dressed than the triathletes at West Marton - it was no whether for sleeveless tops, especially if you'd just jumped out of a warm swimming pool somewhere.

I was just about to set off at Gargrave after a few words with the Kershaw family marshalling the control point there when the first of the 'proper' riders turned up - some looking more weary and haggard than others. The look on Melv's face told everything about their ride up to that point but he soon revived and we rode together to Cracoe. However, it wasn't ever going to last for me at that pace and I gratefully let the bunch go to dive into the cafe. The tale is that they then had a lovely time and rode together at a brisk pace all the way to the finish - sorry, that was just a fairy tale.

Riding on through Thorpe and back down to Burnsall I passed many riders and then spotted a couple of decent looking wheels a little way ahead. It turned out to be Irish John (Dogerty) of VS Cycles with his mate "very Irish" Justin on a visit here for a few days from Ireland. Now this meant good company all the way back over Addingham Moorside and on through Keighley. Since Justin's legs had blown somewhere back near Gargrave it also meant that I could stay with them without going too far into the red myself and finished the ride back over the same short cut feeling fine and looking forward to the next outing.

Meanwhile, Robin and other vets were pinning on their race numbers for 12 circuits of Norland Moor in the LVRC event. A small group including Sean Smith went away on the second lap and stayed out of reach. Sean finished third I think. Robin did his bit to lead out the sprint for the main bunch - and then found out why they were all so keen for someone else to go first into the headwind as his legs faded within sight of the line...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

20 Apr 08 - Spring into the Dales

I said SPRING dammit. Rode home tonight into a chill north wind and a sprinkling of rain just for an extra fun topping. Still wearing gloves and full tights!

After last year's fantastic weather I can pretty much guarantee that this Sunday's "S-i-t-D" will be colder and/or wetter. Still, anyone want to join me in a steady-ish potter round? I fear that I may have to let the fast lads go pretty early on and save myself for Cock Hill on the way back.

Here (almost) is a picture of the fast-moving Condor bunch on this ride in 2005. I'm at the back - just hanging on!

Mind you I could just ride by myself like Vicar did last year poor chap ...


Sunday 13th April

Pretty poor showing for the Hebden Bridge and all points West run. I was determined to ride because next weekend is a write off for me (daughter's 21st) and I was encouraged by a text from Ian on Saturday evening that suggestetd that he'd be out in the morning.

It would seem however, that the snow dusting the tops changed Ian's mind - and for that matter Robin's and Steve's - as I was the only rider sheltering in the cinema entrance when Nige rolled up en route to Lancaster to meet his wife and son.

As Nige so sagely said as we pressed on into the drizzel, you don't regret the times you ride but you do regret the times you don't (well something like that) and he was right, the further west we got the dryer it got and the dryer it got the happier we were - to the extent that by the time we entered the red rose county we were able to shed a layer and start to enjoy the day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

13 april - hebden bridge @ 9am

It all seems a bit quiet recently. Is it just that everyone is STILL waiting for spring? I've dusted down my best bike and looked lovingly at all the carbon, but not had a chance to ride it yet. Good weather must be coming soon ...

This week we're meeting at the traffic lights in the centre of Hebden Bridge for a run out west - wherever the fancy takes us. All welcome.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

distant friends ...

A quick "hi" from Philip just to show how the other half live ...

[If that is TWO bottles of wine on the table then it must have been some lunch - Ian]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

30 March - what is going on?

Here is a snap from the BC website of our heroines in action on the way to a gold in the women's pursuit. It has been great to see the track cycling on ordinary BBC2 television. It is even on at a sensible hour. How good is that!
Again I have to give the club run a miss this week. For those of you who are out, how about meeting 9am at Denholme for a run up the dales. Don't forget to put your clocks forward by the hour!

Monday, March 17, 2008

April Events for your diary

First let me congratulate Andy Marshall who followed up his 3rd place in last weeks Featherstone Hilly with his first (I think) open time trial win yesterday in the Yorkshire Road Club hilly 10 which was run on a circuit from Addingham.
Brian was also in the thick of the action with 17th place overall and 3rd on age standard from 78 finishers in the North Mids 18k time trial in Nottinghamshire on Saturday, an event won by current British Best Allrounder Kevin Dawson.

I hope the mountain bikers had a good day on Sunday, the weather being better than forecast. I managed to break my Racelight frame on the Gargrave run on Saturday so had ride my cross bike on Sunday. I've shod it with 35mm Schwalbe touring tyres which make a comfortable but heavy ride. I was only going out for the morning to do a circuit round Skipton, Embsey, Bolton Abbey, Ilkley, Otley & home for lunch. I did get involved in some bib & bit with a couple of whippersnappers on the back road from Beamsley to Otley. We were joined briefly by Grimpey who'd been going the other way. He showed us how hills should be climbed but after taking the Askwith prime turned round again and went on his way alone, serching the lanes for a club to go out training with.

I then came across Neil, the two Paul's and JK coming out of the cafe in Otley. Neil was asking what has happened to the famed Condor Sunday training runs, in fact I'd seen Damien in Gargrave Cafe on Saturday and he was asking the same. All I can say is that at the begining of Feb I did suggest having some brisk Sunday group runs, unfortunatly the group element seems ending too soon in the day, I know the runs have always wound up and split up towards the end but it seems that we're not getting much further than Keighley these days before the hammer goes down. I've been thinking that for a while but presuming its probably just me thats getting old and knackered so I've just chosen to go on a brisk solo ride. Seeing Ian's blog last week makes me think perhaps it is'nt just me, in fact it reminded me of a paragraph from one of Matt Seatons excellent columns in the Guardian a few weeks ago in which he wrote -

'Cycling, done rightly, is a collaborative, social exercise: when you're in a group, you take your "pull" on the front and feel the wind on your face, while the rest sit in your slipstream, recover and chat. Then you peel off, and the next rolls through. In this participatory democracy, everyone gets to be a leader, everyone a follower. Riding on the front is a burden you take up willingly, a chance to show your mettle, but in a controlled, disciplined way. You just want to set a nice tempo: it's not about showing off, but about style and form and an instinctive awareness of what's right for the group.'

Ahhh! those halcion days.

That reminds me, the reason I logged on was to remind people of some forthcoming events to put into the diary.

Sunday 20th April 'Spring into the Dales' 8am from Hebden Bridge, good weather guaranteed entries to Chris Crossland, details on Audax UK website.

Sunday 27th April Kirklees Sportive An interesting 80 mile route starting and finishing from the YMCA at Salendine Nook starts by going over Buckstones, then back over the Floating Light to Marsden, right to Meltham, up to Wessenden Head, down to Holmfirth, over Holme Moss, Dunford Bridge, Jackson Bridge, Denby Dale & Colne Bridge. £15 entry on-line includes 2 feed stations. I understand that 120 have already entered including many of our local riders. I think its a local ride that will be worth supporting.

In search of some new lanes I've also entered a 200k Audax on April 6th, the Ironbridge 200, HQ at Holmes Chapel in Cheshire. If anyone fancies joining me let me know and we'll share transport.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

16 march - road to nowhere

Robin has a full-day pass to play out on his bike and nothing has been arranged. I've had an enquiry from young Johnny too. What are we going to do?

STOP PRESS: a flurry of phone calls has come up with a plan. 9am at Nigel's on mountain bikes. All welcome to join in!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

9 March - Silverdale conquered at last

The storms and snow that were threatened didn't arrive and a big bunch of well over a dozen riders set off from "base camp" through Keighley. However, like all epic tales, there were casualties and detours along the way. By the time the final assault began on the summit of the Silverdale climb only three riders remained ...

A left turn in Crosshills onto the back road to Gargrave was my plan - it is just that very few wanted to follow and that left four riders going one way and the rest heading out on the main Skipton road. The gang of four who put in the extra hill had to dig deep in the hope of catching the bunch by Carleton ... only to find that Steve and Robin had already blown the group apart chasing non-existent ghosts up the road. I doubt that they ever caught us, cos we weren't ever ahead of them. Nigel, Damien, Dougie and one or two more had waited for us and for a short while we were back into a group. Nigel then announced that he had an urgent appointment back at home with some cardboard boxes, Dougie went straight on in Gargrave - presumably straight to Cracoe because he was never seen again. The rest vanished into thin air.

On through Bank Newton, Paythorne and Rathmell we were making good progress into Settle with a tailwind, plus the odd hail shower to keep us on our toes. Damien was the next unfortunate to be taken by the gods of the road. He was with us going into Settle, but didn't come out the other side and there were no wheel marks to show where he might have gone. Was he taken by the Naked Man?

Having started out with so many riders, sheer bloody-mindedness at this point meant that we just had to complete the stated aim and go over Silverdale. The final three of Ian, Melv and Richard were left to enjoy a great wind-assisted climb over the 'dale and take in the fabulous views of Pen-Y-Ghent before dropping down to Halton Gill. A run down Littondale (on the left-hand side, of course, Peter) took us on past Kilnsley to the cafe at Cracoe and some award-winning butties. Fuelled up we then had a short final leg back home.

Now, if only we can find a way of riding together for more than five minutes we might be able to start some sort of cycling club :)

Friday, February 29, 2008

HCA: the very short one

It doesn't sound like Peter had a great ride, but he battled round the long route anyway and gets respect for that.

I was still standing around chatting at the start when I noticed a couple of Condor jerseys sneaking off up the road. This was the signal for all and sundry to jump on their bikes in a very disorganised start. Realising that the long hard ride was beyond my ability , I hung back and waited for John Lumb to catch me up. Meanwhile, Sean Smith passed me going the other way after a puncture had delayed his ride out, then not very long after he passed me again - this time going full gas to catch the lead bunch! el Presidente & I led a good group of Star Wheelers along to Elland, only to see those same wheels go away from us up Salterhebble. The lights by the hospital changed against us and that was the last we saw of anyone. This opening section of this route is just too hard to have a hope of staying together. Come on Mr Kay - give us something better next year!

After climbing steadily back up to Wainstalls it was time to cape up for the old road over Top Withens and down to Oxenhope, then a steady ride on to the deserted Dalseman cafe in Gargrave for butties and tea. John is teaching me all he knows about taking it steady and we abandoned the short route at this point and made our own very short route straight back to Keighley, up Ingrow and on to the Pineberry to see how everyone else had got on. JK was there to welcome us and hopefully he'll get the idea that this ride is just too much - it makes the 140 miles of the long North West Passage seem like a walk in the park.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

HCA ride


This is about the last I saw of them untill the Pineberry some 6 hours later. Grimpy and I tried to sneak off from the start outside the Ritz quietly, but unfortunatly by Brookfoot were towing a heafty weight of riders behind us. We stayed at the front till the top of Salterhebble then moved over. Melvin & Damien went through upping the pace by 2mph, they opened a small gap, the followers upped the pace to close the gap and I went off the back. I watched them dissappear in to the distance through Norton Tower & Mount Tabor, they were out of sight by Wainstalls. It began to rain, by Withens it was pouring down. I stopped to cape up and then teamed up with John Lancaster from Hudds Star over Fly Flatts, through Oxenhope, Keighley & Steeton where we caught Peter from the Imps.
Riding along the Aire Valley several riders, riders with reputations such as Dicko and Birdy had been beaten by the weather conditions and were spotted forlornly limping back towards Keighley.
At Crosshills we passed Grimpy, he'd been discarded by the bunch and left by himself at the roadside in the pouring rain with a puncture, it was a sad sight to see the British Champion & Worlds bronze medalist looking so frail and dejected, but I suppose thats what happens in the HCA ride.
We rode together through Gargrave and Hetton to Cracoe where Lanc & Peter happily announced that they had entered the 70 mile route, turned right and left me to plough my lonely furrow towards Kettlewell.
Just after the short climb beyond the Skirfare bridge I saw the lead group heading south at the other side of the dale, they were single file, obviously still giving it big licks and about 15 minutes ahead of me. I had hoped that they may take a comfort stop at Kettlewell (perhaps they had), anyway there was no catching them now.
Through Kettlewell and down to Grassington, Burnsall and Bolton Bridge. By Addingham I was feeling the effects of bonk. I had to engage the granny ring for Cringles, what a relief it was to freewheel down to Silsden. 2pm, Silsden, 5.5 hour time limit = half an hour to get over Robin Hood, Micklethwaite, Cottingley, Sandy Lane and Egypt................more like 3 and a half hours in the state I was in I packed.............limped to the Pineberry where I was too weak to get to the bar, Ian took pity on me and supplied a pint of liquid recovery drink.
I was surprised how fresh Ian and Lumby looked, I'm sure they can't have done all the 85 mile route.
I don't know just how the ride unravelled at the front, I gather from the chat in the pub that Damien sneaked away when Martin punctured near Prune Park but he was chased down by Melvin who took maximum year I hope to be around to see.
Neil and John Doherty finished at about the same time as me, Neil sporting an ear to ear smile having entered the 85 in 6 1/2 but qualifying for the 5 1/2 hour certificate.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

HCA Ride - 23 Feb 08

This Sunday is the regular HCA Reliability Trial organised by John Kay of the Imps and starting 9am PROMPT from The Ritz, Bradford Road, Brighouse. There is a small entry fee of about a pound so bring some small change.

Now, as you know, Brighouse is at the centre of the turning universe as far as members of the Condor are concerned and is our spiritual home. I'd happily guide any uninitiated western riders living in, say, Hebden Bridge (Steve) or Cragg Vale (Peter) or even Booth (Robin) to the gates of these Elysian fields so that they may better experience the joy, nay exultation, that is Brighouse and its pinacle of architectural enlightenment - a.k.a. The Ritz Ballroom, just off the roundabout next to Tesco.

I'm hoping for another slow and steady ride on the short course of usually 60 miles or so whilst the racing lads can hammer each other in a repeat performance of last weekend on the long one (usually 80 miles) on whatever develish course JK has laid out for us this year.

"The short one"

Peter has just given a great account of the long NW Passage, so here is a suitably shortened account of the short version.

Paul Gower and Ian from the Condor joined forces with Paul Hickey and Neil Dyson from the Imps plus another three or four others from parts hereabouts to form a sociable peleton. Setting off at the leisurely hour of 9am and even at a correspondingly leisurely pace, Paul H soon had us on the front of a big bunch of riders drawn from the 70 or so starters. We waived goodbye to Criss Crossland and fellow CTC-ers on the outskirts of Rochdale and settled into a steady rhythm of 14 to 15 mph which was to persist all day.

Maybe a dozen or so escaped up the road the Blacko climb and we happily let them go, although the majority were content to sit in behind Neil and Hickey still doing sterling work on the front. Gisburn fell just under 40 miles from the start and was time for a spot of elevenses in the cafe at the other end of the village - leaving the main bunch to continue on their way. This proved a good move. By the time we got to the control at Waddington cafe many of these guys were still waiting in the queue to be served, whilst we quickly had our cards stamped and set off again.

Owd Betts has never been easier for me. Usually I'm on my knees by this stage but this time round conversation didn't pause all the way to the top. The descent into Rochdale and a final bit of routefinding through those delightful streets saw us safely back at the pub for around 3pm. Plenty of time for a pint and the rather small portion of pie and peas (but I can't argue since it was free - included in the bargain admission price of £4). In fact we were just starting on a second round of drinks when the fast lads rolled in looking rather tired and pale in some cases, unless your name was Andy, Martin or Brian each of whom looked as if they had just stepped out of a car rather than ridden 200K. Brian's new non-training regime seems to be paying huge dividends!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

NW Passage Etcetera

First of all congratulations to Jonny Perry who recently took the Condor strip to bronze medal place in the Over 16's Category of the English Schools Cycling Association National Cyclo-Cross Championships (watch out Grimpy that Condor Off-Road Trophy could be slipping from your grasp).

The two pictures above were taken at the Langsett Reservoir on the Snake Pass run on the 10th of Feb. As you can see the weather was spot on, I had hoped to get at least one photo of a bunch (or flock) of Condors summitting the Snake but it seems that the lead bunch didn't have time to wait for the photographer. It's a shame that the Heptonstall Hurriers section can't find their way to a Brighuse start, they missed what may be a once in a lifetime experience of a motor vehicle free sunny Sunday on the Snake (road closed due to land-slip) to top it all there was even a slight tail wind on the ascent from Ladybower, we flew up with wings on our wheels staying together for 75% of the climb untill the big guns came out with Damian forcing the pace but unable to shed Dougie and Brian. They were too far ahead for your reporter to see who took the points but I managed to catch them up in the queue at the cafe in Glossop. After refreshments; expecting the peloton want to return to Yorkshire via Holme Moss, I attempted to say my goodbyes intending to ride home at a nice steady pace, by myself, via Stalybridge, Saddleworth and Buckstones. Unfortunatly for me this wasn't allowed, it became apparant that everyone else decided that they would like to check out Stalybridge. I rode myself into the ground but couldn'd keep in contact, I gave up trying and settled down to potter along alone. My heart sank when on approaching Greenfield I saw that they'd stopped to wait for me. I yo-yo'd on and off till Denshaw when, of course, the inevetable happened. Damian attacked very early, Brian responded, I went off the back, the last I saw Dougie appeared to be hanging on up the Gully, they had a gap on Martin who had a gap on Nigel. I pottered on alone to Buckstones Moss where Damian, Dougie and Martin were waiting, obviously intending to beat me up through Outlane and Rastrick. NO THANKS! I thought and turned left down to West Vale, tail between my legs.

Above photo's were taken in the Spring Inn at the end of last Saturdays North West Passage. As you can see the Heptonstall Hurriers section of the Condor have adopted their own team kit going for the fashionable all black look, even managing to frown for the camera in order to maintain their all black doom and gloom but as hard as nails image.
Ideal weather once again for this West Pennine epic but the event was somewhat marred by Damian crashing at the roundabout just before Nelson. However he picked himself up, dusted himself down and started all over again. That true but rare gentleman Dougie waited to ride with Damian who's pride was fortunatly hurt more than his body or his bike. At the time of the crash the bunch was still over 50 strong (95 starters). Damian and myself had been on the front , I was trying to keep the pace nice and steady so as not to start the Blacko climb over to Guisburn already tired (it had taken me most of the week to recover from the Snake run). Pendle Forest riders led us through the back streets of Nelson and to the foot of the Blacko climb. I was 2 or 3 back from the front at the start of the climb but it wasn't long before a succession of riders went past including Robin, Steve, Melvin, Brian and Martin (Cleminson). I was comfortable sat with the Pendle Forest riders and with the memories of the previous week still etched in my mind I decided not to over exert myself so early in the event. Martin (Croft) came to ride with me but it was soon apparant the the Pendle lads were riding as if they were on a club run and not in an important race (I mean by that a normal club run, not a Condor club run). So Martin and I took off up the road and rode together to the first check at Settle. The rest of our lads were still there so we waited for Robin to go for a number 2 and set off. Damian and Dougie came in to Settle just as we were about to leave, Martin Croft stayed with them at the cafe and we went up the road leaving Robin sat on the throne in the ladies in the Naked Man (in my own defence I must add that I had no idea he wasn't with us). Andy Marshall had joined us at Settle having ridden up from Bradford and he, Melvin and Brian were to powerhouses behind a superfast leg up to Kirby Lonsdale where we partook in bacon butties and mugs of tea at Devils Bridge caravan. I was rather surprised that the Damian group didn't catch us up here but I later heard that they took refreshments at Settle. We were averaging 19mph at this point and continued a good pace, riding in a disciplined manner, each pair doing 15 to 20 minutes each on the front down the Lune Valley through Lancaster to Scorton where we had 15to20 minutes re-fueling. The good team work continued through Longridge, Ribchester and over Oswaldtwistle Moors, all enjoying the early spring sun as we sped past riders on their way to completing the 120k route. Inevitably our group of happy cyclists split up as we hit that much talked about and feared climb of Owd Betts. Also inevitably it was me who went off the pace first but it was good to watch Steve and then Melvin also lose contact. I don't know who was the strongest at the summit but I'd guess at it being Andy with Brian not far behind. Bob Johnson from VC167 was also in there, he's the current holder of the Audax UK halfwheeling trophy so perhaps he stuck one on, I don't know, they were too far awayfor me to see. I caught Steve just before the summit, he was glad to se me, he had'nt clue where he was going (or even where he was). Steve and I finished just a minute or two behind the main group at 4pm having averaged about 18.5 mph for the 131 miles.
Don't forget, 8.45am outside the Ritz in Brighouse next Sunday for the HCA Reliability Ride.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Last Sunday/Next Sunday

This weeks pic: Pete on the beat - keeping the backstreets of Hipperholme safe 1980 style

Well I’m not sure it was quite the LSD run I had in mind (more LFD, anyway, that’s how it seemed to me). It was great though to see such a good turnout, I’d heard that no one seemed interested this year but that wasn’t the case last Sunday. For those who wer’nt there, 10 turned up for my suggested steady ‘hours in the saddle’ NON-high-end-speed-training ride.
There was a strong, cold, south easterly wind blowing so instead of going up to Halton Gill and over Silverdale that astute thinker and tactician Melvin suggested turning left at the duck pond, through Hetton to Malham. I always find the undulations between Winterburn and Calton difficult and last Sunday was no exception, however we re-grouped in Airton and pottered over to Malham.
Ian an myself decided not to join in the battle for the polka dot jersey and instead enjoyed the sight of young Jonny haring up the Cove Road with the pack in panic, desperately chasing this embryo Pantani. I don’t know who took the KoM points but I saw a young man who before long will be dictating the pace at will.
Melvin had got it right of course and we enjoyed a tail wind over Tennent Gill to Darnbrook. Ian and I chose to enjoy the scenery over Nab End with its wonderful views over Cowside Beck to Yew Cougar Scar. This caused us to lose contact but we assumed that re-grouping would occur at the green in Arncliffe. However our thoughts had obviously not communicated with the sharp end and they were nowhere to be seen so we followed the time-honoured cyclists route turning left in Arncliffe to ride to Kilnsey on the back lane via Hawkswick. Lack of tyre tracks on the road soon told us that the others had chosen the faster but busier road at the other side of the dale. We re-grouped once we reached the Wharfedale road, it was hard on the front into the strong headwind but Richard and Jonny pulled us along to Cracoe Café, with Dougie making a last dash bid for glory.
After (in fact I was still chewing the last bit) one of the best bacon & egg butties in the Dales, Steve announced that he had promised to be home for about 1o’clock. As it was now 12.45 I thought he was joking but the pace he set into the wind to Skipton and then down Airedale suggested that he was running scared. I’d no computer on the bike but I’m told we were averaging evens all the way, which, to anyone who knows just how strong that wind was, is impressive to say the least. Mel again showed his tactical nous by turning off to Embsey. Dougie tried to do some work at the front which resulted in him overexerting himself and being dropped, and, as traditionally happens on Condor clubruns, left to battle the headwind alone. That dark horse Damian did a bit on the front (and off the front), we know he’s fitter than he has been for years, it was obvious that, whilst he is riding strongly, he had no intention of giving us lesser riders a free tow - he had bigger fish to fry at the other side of Keighley.
I accidentally found myself at the front when we singled out to go through Keighley. The pace must have been pretty slow but no one else was interested in the view from the front so I stayed there untill Ingrow Station. Ian and Jonny abandoned at this juncture, their work done for the day.
The tension and anticipation then exploded; we got to those potholes by the pub opposite the Chippy and Damian put the hammer down, earlier than I had expected, but his out of the saddle effort took him clear, only Steve had an effective response and even he looked to be on elastic. Nigel and Martin pulled away from me and Richard but their chance of glory had gone. I was surprised to see Richard drop back a bit, obviously the distance was getting to him. Damian and Steve disappeared into the distance, I don’t know which of them ended up asserting their superiority but I was informed by a reliable 3rd party they were still locked in battle approaching the finishing line.
So much for long steady distance, they hav’nt quite got the hang of it yet. We are going to try again next Sunday meeting at Brighouse 9am for the Snake Pass. Langsett & Strines first unless there’s a strong easterly in which case we’ll go via Holme Moss & Glossop hitting the Snake with a tail wind. We must try harder to stay together and to slow down whilst going up hills.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Next Sunday 3rd Feb


I don't know how others training is progressing so far this year but mine is'nt. However I will be riding the North West Passage in a couple of weeks time and I know Brian intends to do the same (Grimpy may if his sat-nav can find Rochdale). In order to get some time in the saddle I intend to have a potter round Silverdale next Sunday. If there's anyone out there who fancies forgoing high end speed training for some long steady distance I will be at Denholmgate at 0900hrs.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grimpy does it again

John pictured with his bronze medal at the World Masters Cyclo-Cross Championships at Mol, Belgium last Saturday. Well done!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 17, 2008

20 Jan - Waddington

Meet 0930 hours at the traffic lights in the centre of Hebden Bridge (between the park and the pedestrianised area). A trundle out to Waddington (and back) will then follow. All welcome.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

DEMAND ride - 28 June 2008

I said that I'd mention a new challenge and fundraising ride:

"Join us for the first ever DEMAND Yorkshire Dales 100km/50km Challenge

The ride - 100km or 50km over the Yorkshire Dales, starting and finishing at Skipton, in aid of DEMAND (Design and Manufacture for Disability).

Date - Saturday June 28th 2008
Start - 7.30 -8.30 for 100km,
8.30 - 9.30 for 50km
Refreshments available to buy along route and at Finish

To many of you 100km or 50km isn't much of a challenge, but the ride isn't about that - it's about raising money for those who face huge challenges every day through disability. Your sponsorship money helps DEMAND to help more disabled people so please dig deep! Enter online at

There are more than 10 million disabled people in the UK. DEMAND (Design and Manufacture for Disability) exists to design and manufacture equipment for them where no "off the shelf" solution is available. Whether DEMAND are asked to improve quality of everyday living or provide opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable, they can only do as much as your donations allow. DEMAND’s clients face tough challenges every single day of their lives. Please help DEMAND to help them by challenging yourself to take part in this new, exciting event.”

Hope that’s all ok. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this ride works out. All advice and comments gratefully appreciated!

Lesley McGinty
Community & Corporate Fundraising Manager

Wot no Sunday Runs?

There must be good interest in the Condor runs, judging by the turnout for the Kettlewell trip and the people who have contacted me again for this week. I'm sorry there was nothing arranged.

The default is that we will meet with the Imps - see for details, because they helpfully have a calendar planned out for the whole year ahead.

What can we do to make Condor runs go more smoothly?


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


After the sad demise of the Puzzle it is back to "plan A" for the AGM.

Greetland Sports and Social Club (i.e. same place as last year), 8.30 for a prompt 9pm start.


- Minutes of 2007 meeting
- Matters arising
- Election of officers
- Trophies
- Club dinner


ps. This Wednesday meanwhile we are going to The Works in Sowerby Bridge (assuming they'll have us).

Monday, January 07, 2008

Congratulations to Grimpy, National Cyclocross Champion for the 65 age category!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

6 Jan - Kettlewell

Meet 10am at Denholme to match the Imps run (which means about 10.30 at Keighley roundabout) for the first Sunday run of 2008.
This is the only photo I could find on the web of the lovely Madame Zarina (centre) in Kettlewell, where we will be headed for the bacon & egg sarnies. Hopefully we'll avoid the 2CV rally that has bugged us in the past if we go up the small roads and back on the main road.
Club Meeting
The next one is 16 Jan in the Puzzle Hall Inn, Sowerby Bridge from 9pm.
Club Dinner - 26 Jan
A reminder that the club dinner is coming soon on Saturday 26 January 2008 at Lightcliffe Golf Club (no, I don't know where that is either, so I'll have to go along to find out. Apparently it is near Brighouse somewhere). Tickets are on sale now from Paul Gower.
Club Subs
Also due now-ish. Still the same bargain price of £6. See Paul again. Maybe that's a reason not to go to the Puzzle on the 16th after all ...