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 :)