Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Comment from Sean Smith re CCA rides

Sean Smith left a comment:

Pete, we tried to put some structure together for the early season training rides last year by publishing a list of meeting points. So thought I'd do the same thing this time. (Details on the CCA website).

I've included the traditional Kettlewell run as you've suggested but left the others open. Anyone have any further suggestions for routes - happy to put a few more up?

You'll also notice I've made Denholme gate the regular meeting point. Attendance fell off dramatically whenever me met elsewhere last year!

Raring to get stuck in, Sean

3:12 PM

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year

New Years Day - The good news is that I've checked and the cafe in Holmfirth will be open at 1100hrs; the plan is to meet at Brighouse at 1000hrs, have a cafe stop at Holmfirth and if the weather in not too bad go over Isle of Skye, through Dob Cross, Delph & Denshaw, over Windy Hill stopping at Sowerby Bridge for a swift pint.

Sunday the 3rd January 2010 - As is the custom we will be meeting at Denholmgate 0900hrs for a less than leisurely ride to Madam Zarina's at Kettlewell
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Monday, December 07, 2009

The next few weeks

The grimpeur's section met yesterday at Elland Bridge for a South Pennine circuit in rather better weather conditions than the previous week. Brian, Damian and myself were joined by Dave Woodhead and Dan Annison.
Highlights were..................
Good tailwind from Greenfield over Isle of Skye
Bacon & egg sandwich at the Wrinkled Stockings, 5 out of 5
Dave in agony with cramp on the climb from Slaithwaite to Pole Moor
Lowlights were...................
Headwind from West Vale to Buckstones
Setting off again after an hour in the cafe
Dan making everyone's legs hurt

Next Sunday, the 13th I suggest we meet 0900hrs Denholmgate and perhaps go Skipton, Hetton, Winterburn for cafe stop at Aireton, stopping off at the pub in Carleton on the way back to have a pint with our old mates from the Bradford Elite.

The following Sunday, the 20th, will of course be Rileys Treat, I assume as usual at the Robin Hood, Pecket Well. Looks like a Denholmgate meet again, 0900hrs for an en-route potter round Herders & Widdop and a look in at this cafe Iv'e heard a lot about at Heptonstall.
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Friday, December 04, 2009

Sunday 6th December

I'm a bit reluctant to to suggest a meeting place/time/route for this Sunday - no one else turned up last week - I had to content myself with the company of Team Sky over Buckstones (not one of them had mudguards fitted).

However I did enjoy the bleak South Pennine scenery and so I'll suggest the same meeting place, the bus shelter at Elland Bridge at 0930hrs.

I'm happy to go for an alternative should that not be a popular choice.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sunday 29th November

In the absence of other idea's and looking for a bit of a change I suggest that we meet at Elland Bridge 0900hrs for Buckstones, Greenfield & Isle of Skye with refreshments at Holmfirth.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sunday 22nd Nov

I seem to remember in the pub at Oxenhope last Sunday that we agreed to meet at Keighley roundabout at 0900hrs next Sunday with the aim of taking refreshments at Elaines Tea Room, Feizor. Unless something else has been arranged we will stick to that.

In 2010 Chris Crossland and his team are organising several Audax's from Calderdale. I'm listing them below so that you know when to keep your diaries free.

18th April, Spring into the Dales
22nd May, The Old 240 and the Spurn Head 400k
13th June, The Red Rose Ride 200k
26th June, The 3 Coasts 600 & the Spurn Head 400
27th June, The Good Companions 200k
21st August, The Old 240 & the Spurn Head 400k
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Friday, November 13, 2009

15 Nov - Whalley Abbey

The suggestion this week is to ride out to Whalley Abbey for an "ecumenical buttie" and then back over Pendle perhaps. There was even mention of stopping for a pint on the way back, but I'm sure that was just idle chatter because you'd never see the keen athletes of the Condor resting in some hostelry on a Sunday afternoon. Oh dear me no ...
Meet 09:00 in HEBDEN BRIDGE.
ps The Bay Horse Inn at Oxenhope has a fine pint of beer from local brewers Cullingworth Old Spot - very refreshing.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sunday 8 Nov - Buns in Burnsall?

I'd quite like to follow Pete on some long Audax ride but a shorter ride would be better for me this week. How about we set the default to meet at 0900 in Keighley at the main roundabout. I'm tempted to head over Addingham/Cringles to Bolton Bridge, make our way up to Burnsall for some good coffee and then back over Embsay maybe. I know that would work for Robin - anyone else fancy joining us? Cheers Ian

Youths - U8/U10s - U12s

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results for the cross - Seniors

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Grimpys Cross & Sunday 1st November

Grimpy's Cyclo-Cross took place today at Bradley Woods and was once again a success with over 70 riders taking part in the main event of the day, the seniors and vets combined race. The weather was spot-on for this ideal location which had also attracted large fields for the schoolkids races.

Tomorrow we are meeting 0900hrs at Keighley roundabout for a road run up to Buckden, round the triangle and down to either Kettlewell or Burnsall cafe.

Next Sunday 8th Nov I've entered the Eureka 200k Audax, a pleasent meander through the lanes of Cheshire and the Wirrel. Mick Collins and a few of his mates from Brighouse are also entered. Note that it is pre-entry only however you can enter on-line, or try 'phoning the organiser.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday 25th October

If anyone fancy's a 60 mile or so road ride tomorrow I'm meeting Brian at 0930hrs (GMT), Shelf roundabout for Otley and perhaps Norwood Edge, Bland Hill, Greenhow and home - route subject to weather conditions.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Club Meeting - 21 Oct 09 in caty

John and Peter

Yes you are both right. In the July newsletter we said that there is a club meeting on THIS WEDNESDAY 21 OCTOBER 2009 - 9pm at the caty in Wainstalls.
I expect to be there for the cross to help out and will put the word round.



Hi Everyone,
CONDOR  CROSS  Saturday 31st October venue as before at  Bradley Woods Scout Camp, Brighouse HG6 3TU
Events and times are:
Youth 11:00 £4.00 (£4.00)  duration approx 30mins
Under 12 11:45 £1.00 (£1.00) duration approx. 15 mins ( maybe 2 off depends on number) 
S/J/V/W 13:00 £10.00 (£10.00) duration approx, 50 mins
We need your help to make it a success again, all assistance kindly appreaciated
I will be on site from 8.30 am complete with tape and marker posts parked hopefully (as normal) in the area just before the
gate entry to the course which is just before the site bungalows.   
We need 2 groups to prepare the course, one for the top section and another for the bottom section.
Plus marshalls, judges, signing on officials etc.
Trevor to my knowledge is ok for the signing on steward with maybe help from Peter?
Ian to help Gordan & Father judging please, i am hoping Norra & Phil will also assist. 
Please bring a knife, hammer & work gloves.
I will be getting some new poles and tape. 
Please kindly Email me a full set of individual Email addresses so i can also send individual reminders.
Kindly inform me when the next meeting is please
Thanks - look forward to seeing everyone available to help
John Ginley

Condor off-road club?

Last weekend was another trip out on the mtbs - this time around Stoodley Pike and out into the badlands of Lancashire. This was mostly a new route for me, which seemed to be mostly uphill and mostly into a light headwind. If there were any downhill section then they passed in a blur of rocks and dropoffs. some sections were fantastic, and the views were splendid any time I lifted my head away from the front wheel.
The lads seemed intent on giving me a hard time and succeeded throughout. Steve seems to be recovering his legs after a few weeks away from the bike. I think the only time we stayed together was on the canal towpath back from Littleborough to the climb up London Road - and that was only because I wouldn't let either of them past.
The bacon & egg report rated only a fairly poor 4 out of 10 at the cafe in Hollingworth Lake - the egg was alright I suppose but the bacon was below par and the service never made it at all. Not a patch on the Towngate Tearooms run by Mrs Barker in Heptonstall which gets an 11 every time (but then I might be biased).
There have been mumblings about having a night ride one Wednesday - but I'll let Robin organise that if it is going to happen. There have even been mutinous remarks about *not* going to the Caty afterwards and going to the Robin Hood in Pecket Well or the Hare & Hounds at Lane Ends. Well, go on then if there is beer ...
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Whats happened? the blogs gone very quiet, has everyone retired for the year. I seem to recall that Club Meeting is due to take place in October, the Caty' was mentioned as a venue, is this still on, if so can the date be confirmed.

Please keep your diaries free for Grimpy's Cyclo-Cross at Bradley Woods SATURDAY 31st October. If your'e not riding please make every effort to be available to help on the day.

Good to hear from Johnny, sounds like he is in training for Rileys Treat.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cycling in Manchester...

It's been a while so I thought I'd give a bit of a status update!
I've joined the university cycling club here, UMCC, a nice sociable bunch of about 25 roadies, and far too many mountain bikers. We've got three rides a week, two lengthy days out and a fast interval training session on a Saturday, and of course a "social" evening on Tuesday with copious amounts of beer to complete ruin any training you did during the previous 7 days.

Had a few good sessions on the track over the last few weeks. Thanks for the loan of the (yet another) bike Ian! All the accreditation sessions for October were booked up so it looks like I'll have to wait till November to get stuck into any kind of racing!

As for commuting and riding round the city, it's pretty interesting. The roads are a lot worse than Halifax and littered with glass, potholes, students, recumbant cycles etc...

Hoping to return to blustery heights of up Wainstalls soon for a good meal and a Sunday ride!

All the best,

Johnny (not yet Johnny "50" here in Manchester...)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

'Season of Mists'

Surprisingly few Condors turned out for this local favourite, just myself, Brian, Mel & Clive Williamson taking the longer option with the Pauls Gower & Priestley opting for the shorter version. Chris Crossland had once again organised good weather for the event which had a good entry with many familiar faces in the peloton.

Not surprisingly the peloton split a hundred metres or so after the start, that ride up to Heptonstall doesn't get any easier. Unfortunately for me last weeks Munro bagging hadn't done my cycling legs much good and I waved goodbye to Melvyn and Brian before the cobbles; even more unfortunately for me I found that Brian had stopped to wait for me at the top of the village whilst Mel had pottered on with Daniel from Pedalsport. I think Brian had intended that we do bit and bit into the headwind, he explained to me how much easier it would be if we caught Melvyns group and then sat in. So Brian took the 1st turn on the front and stayed there till we caught Mel at the cafe at Waddington, in my defence I can say that my navigation was spot on, although Brian's done the event a few times previously he couldn't recall it going up Nick o' Pendle so its a good job I was there.

Mel and Dan left us again over Newton Fell but we teamed up again at Slaidburn only to be left again going over to Grindleton (Brian again waiting for me at the top of the climb). We met up with them again at Coldwell leaving the tearooms together but losing contact over the Widdop climb.

Mel, Dan and a 3rd guy were first back to the rice pudding with myself and Brian 4 or 5 mins later.

Thanks once again to Chris and his team.

I'm riding the Hebden Bridge Star audax next Sunday, Mick Collins and his Ritz boys are coming over for what is possibly going to be more of a social event (booze-up) as a hard ride.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

three peaks

from robin

Climbing up the age range of the MV40 class for the three peaks cyclo cross entry is effortless, climbing up the bloody three peaks is not ... indeed climbing is too strong and manly a word for it, as though there were some planned route involved, an engagement with the hillside, a test of ascending dexterity, when the actual experience is a kind of semi-vertical trudge up a wall of bog-grass peppered with sheep shit ... at least the first most of the first peak is, the second is more a kind of set of rock steps at irregular heights, and the third is evidently more track-esque, more rideable, but that is rideable by someone who gives a toss by that stage of the race. So with trudging and not giving a toss firmly in mind, I set off with Ian and Steve in the Condor team van ... a yellow LDV of dubious provenance and a heater that actually worked so well you could not turn it off ... to do the race. me that is. Ian and Steve were intent on having a bacon sandwich on arrival, gesturing toward trying to find 'the condor' who'd arranged to meet us at the start, and then having not really found him watch me set off to put begin to put some serious distance between myself and anything resembling a comfortable life ... they went on a fell side amble on 5 inches of plush travel, and I went on a hell side scramble ... after the top the memory of going up Ingleborough was instantly repressed, its gone into my id or some such, never to come out save under trauma hypnosis or some such ... going down i still remember because it was a laugh, until i gagged trying to eat some jelly beans ... water only from then on in. The big 'w' was a long long staircase of flags and steps built after an alchemical ratio of irregular proportions, so just as you got into a good step rhythm, it was upset, without fail, all the way to the top. The descent was similar, though the irregular steps were no match for a bike that could not do anything other than go at a good lick because its brakes stopped working at a certain pitch. The trick is to bunny hop the bigger steps without the saddle kicking you up the arse. The last climb, after the second of what were very pleasant road sections, began well enough because it wasn't really a climb, and then when it becomes one you climb off. Or I did. I became a little irked here. First sign of exhaustion. Some guy riding/walking next kept urging his fellow riders on with a 'gooo-on son' horse-like grunt, companions on the grasses of the fellside one and all. I wanted off. The knackers yard. Anywhere. They kill horses don't they? Good film. I got cramp for the first time ever. Now I know it hurts, but all that yawing and oooing is a bit much. Its nothing more than we deserve, for being ill prepared or some such. I was a bit rubbish going down this last hill. Trying to pretend I could ignore the cramp. It went after a few skirmishes with the rock. The end came and went soon enough. 54th, 2 minutes down on last year, a few places down, the slow ebb of middle age. But then an MV40 won it, so that's no excuse.

Friday, September 25, 2009

3 Peaks weekend - muddy bikes

We have planned a ride from Settle - 9am at the Naked Man - to support our lads doing the 3 Peaks cross race. I haven't done this route but I'm looking forward to it. Steve and Melv have signed up so far - all others welcome. Cheers, Ian

Friday, September 18, 2009

Health Warning

Health Warning ! The Saturday morning cafe run can damage your health (especially when you pass the time waiting for your team mates outside the Flappit by attempting to do track stands). This is what happened to Trudders last Saturday.
Bravo to Robin for his Northern Dales report.
This Sunday the 20th I've entered the Autumn in the Peak audax, a 118 km tour of the White Peak, starting from Bamford (just the other side of Ladybower) at 9am. Looks like a good route initially taking a westerly route through Sheldon & Monyash, round the back of the Roaches and back over Elton & Youlgrave. Some breakfast is available before the start and refreshments at the finish. Brian is down as a probable for the ride (as long as he has recovered from the YRC 50 on Sat afternoon). I hope to see some more Condors there - its a decent weather forcast and it will be good training for the Season of Mists.


from robin ... not ian

Seeing as no-one has yet admitted to our completing yet another audax and so becoming dangerously familiar with said events, I am taking it upon myself to go declare publicly that Sunday 6th September witnessed a number of Condor riders, not even in disguise, and aided by Mick Collins and friends, gathering for one such event somewhere starting with Arn ... could be side, and not cliff, which even I know is in the Dales (isn't it?) and heading east for ages under the lee of Ingleborough, beyond Ribblehead and out beyond places with which I was only vaguely familiar and where lo it seems the Dales actually do stop and a kind of tourist arable-ism takes over. Luckily we turned about and headed to cafe for a big fry up at a cafe in a village that 'the condor' likes because its got a right good hotel fronted by a traditional green which, for our visit, was bedecked by a kind of vicious monochrome bunting of motorbikes heaving to and fro, slowly, under the immense weight of their leisure-fattened riders. Onto Tan Hill where in Condor style we split up. Surprised it took so long really. By the top Mick and mates been left to fend for themselves as we all pottered on under the able direction of the master of pottering on, who on this and, I gather, on all recent rides was ably assisted by a computer on his handlebars which looked like a mini shoe box and probably had a function for calculating the power-weight ratios of a size 7 on the end of an inside leg of 34 inches or some such ... anyhow it told us all the way admirably and meant the irksome map reading/navigational element of the audax was dispensed with, leaving 'the condor' to bray on uninterrupted. We ended having to cope with a head wind which called for a reluctant and limited co-operation from the remaining six of us, though when Pete mentioned we had 25 left, Brian instinctually hit a long turn at the front meaning the rest of us could begin quiet conversation, it was almost sociable. A worrying trend toward friendly riding confirmed when rather than leaving the finish with only a brief pause to get our time, we hung about long enough to have a coffee and for Pete to steal some strudel from an unsuspecting youth hostel cook ... you can take the man out of the force, but the force always lingers in the man heh?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sunday 13 September - mtb ride?

For some reason I'm keen to get out on my mountain bike this week. Nige is on for it and so far, no surprise, we plan on meeting at 9am at my house in Wainstalls. But give me a ring if you fancy coming along and/or want to suggest a different start point. Cheers, Ian.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

GRIMPYS Ride Report

RIDE LE TOUR Sports tour organised via Baxter's
GRIMPYS Ride Report - as specially requested by Peter Horne
Published with a bit of help from Ian for the photos - enjoy!

At the top of Ventoux

The ride covered the route of the 3rd week of TDF, from MARTIGNY in Switzerland to PARIS

The aim was to ride each stage of the third week of the TDF, 2 days in front of the pros

  • Stage 16 MATIGNY to BOURG saint MAURICE 165Km (2 major climbs)
  • Stage 17 BOURG st. MAURICE to Le GRAND BORNARD 169Km (5 climbs)
  • Stage 18 ANNECY Time trial 40Km
  • Stage 19 BOIRGOIN JALLIEU to AUBENAS 195Km (3 minor climbs)
  • Stage 20 MONTELIMAR to MONT VENTOUX 167 Km ( 4 minor climbs + Ventoux)
  • Stage 21 Montereau-Faul-Yonne to PARIS 164Km flat

There were 5 in the party:


Kevin White from Matlock CC in mid 30's

Steve Strange also from Matlock CC similar age

David Robinson (London banker? again in 30's) rides Iron Man events

Kevin Banbury ( from Swansea age 42 had ridden end to end in 5 days prior to this ride and was riding all 3 weeks of the tour)


With the exception of Kevin Banbury we were all collected by Mark (Sports tours rep. later found out in his younger days he raced in Belgium for a season although is favourite sport was running, came from Yorkshire but was living in the midlands) from GENEVA airport

Then driven in the team van to our overnight accommodation in CHAMONIX

Staying at the Hotel Best Western les Aiglons.

First job on arrival was to build bikes which were put in a separate meeting room

Quite plush for bikes – still we were in France?

Had a nice room with the balcony overlooking MONT BLANC ice field.

The weather as all week was hot and clear with awesome scenery

View of ice field

At the evening meal we were introduced to Kevin who had spent all day sleeping and given a book with maps and detailed itinerary for each stage.


Instruction Breakfast at 7.00 a.m.

Breakfast bad sign I was 5 mins. late and these guys were keen and committed, nobody was going to wait for me? Breakfast seemed to be eat everything available.

We loaded the bikes and set off to MARTINY a very pleasant drive.

On arrival bikes were unloaded and before I had fill

ed my water bottles and got gelled up Swansea Kevin was away.

The rest of us set of in a select group (4)

The stage had a profile like a pair of tits, from the start you climbed 40Km to the top

of Col Du Grand St Bernard (2473m) descended to AOSTE at 73 KM, then had a very gradual climb to MORGEX at 100Km, then upwards to Col du Petit St Bernard (2184m) 128 Km and then a decent to the finish in Bourg st. Maurice.

We set of at a reasonable pace with an incline to start having a similar gradient to Cragg Vale.

Going through I think 4 tunnels which had mainly very poor surfaces, eventually we left the main road to attack the summit, mostly at around 10% incline.

Our iron man Dave was dropped and I was attacked by the Matlock twins arriving a few minutes behind them at the first summit thankful to see our rep Mark with refreshments, Dave awarded me the white jersey (or should I say the grey one)

Picture at the top of Grand St Bernard me climbing, the group shot above shows Matlock guys, Dave & me ready to descend note the snow –suspect temp about 5 to 10C was 30C at the start of the climb? Guess which is the banker?

The decent went on forever switch back after switch back, I set off first but I was passed by everyone

Rejoined near the bottom for a flat section of maybe 20Km.

Then I got in front and got lost kept checking but seemed to be heading in the right direction.

The road split and instructions were team van would be at Morgex

Sure enough Mark was there on his own stating rest are in a group which set of 5 mins. ago.

Seem to have heard that on Condor runs before (5mins means anything up to 30)

Anyway off again climbing shallow gradient again similar to Cragg Vale easy?

Then went through a beautiful small town La Thuile, its amazing I found all the old Ski resorts had such character then bang climbing gradient increases (only about 20Km to summit) with lots of great switchbacks all numbered with amazing views (Gower & Lumby will remember similar numbered bends in Italy at worlds?)

Suddenly the bends stop and the scenery changes to open moor land this is where you will remember the Schlecks attacked leaving Armstrong in the group behind he later countered the move to join up with them & Wiggins.

Although this climb is slightly less length than the first of the day, I am getting tired but determined not to use the bottom gear ( 34 x 25) upwards to the top of Petit St Barnend, Marks waiting for final feed.

Its all downhill (30KM) to Bourg St Maurice, I can see the lake at the bottom but it never seems to get any nearer, fatigue is setting in and braking at each switch back is giving my upper back a pounding.

Suddenly the lake looks nearer and I arrive at the finish to find the van parked outside a café. Seems the Matlock guys completed in 6hrs XX mins, I took over 7 hours whilst the pros did the 160Km in just over 4hrs.

Only Mark & Kevin are there the others are in another bar watching the tour.

After a beer everyone else is on soft drinks we collect the rest and head to our overnight stay down the road in La Plagne staying at the family run hotel Tourmaline.

Not as plush this time bikes are in our rooms, but food OK and I managed 2 beers much to the disgust of the real cyclists.

We are all apprehensive about the next day which everyone thinks is/was the hardest of the tour 5 climbs (four 1st cat.).

Early to bed with breakfast at 7.30 can't get 7.00 Ok by me.

Stage 17 Bourg St Maurice to L Grand Bornand

Breakfast I'm sure I was on time but rest had been eating for sometime.

This stage resembled a saw blade all up and down with the last 2 climbs advised to be steep.

At least none of the climbs are as long as yesterday.

Starting at Le Grand Bornand we were immediately into the Col De Roselend (1968m) 20Km long, incidently this climb was featured in last months Pro Cycling magazine.

Again Kevin had pissed off; the climb had signs for each km complete with average km gradient. I seem ok and left the rest catching Kevin near the top.

We regrouped and had a beautiful descent scenery fab even had its own turquoise lake or was it a reservoir.

Then through a great old town Beaufort, swung right up the next climb Col des Saisies.

Similar gradient climb to first mostly less than 10%, the main ski resort was at the summit guess it must be sheltered from prevailing winds? But with all the new buildings to my eyes it was a bit depressing no character.

Anyway collected more refreshment and we had a long descent to San Sallanches (90 Km). I got dropped and lost again rejoined up the cote de Araches (only a 2nd cat?)

More severe than previous climbs but only around 8Km long.

Down to Cluses out of the town then immediately onto the Col De Romme, this was steep (like going up lower edge) within 1Km you could look down through the crash barriers on the town which seems miles away. I felt ok and dropped the rest but had finally to get into my lowest gear.

The climb was relentless very little change in gradients with motor home owners parked on each side sometimes giving encouragement mainly Germans who were getting the best pitches early.

Eventually I stopped to relieve myself to be caught by the Matlock pair who got to the summit about 500m ahead of me.

By this time I was getting exhausted and said to Mark I am not sure I could make the col. de Columbia (final climb) when you pass me up the climb check I can make it?

We didn't wait for Dave but descended about 5km to start the col. de Columbia to my relief having been dropped the climb started at a reasonable gradient guess less than 10% and I was managing OK for the first few Km's.

The support van just went straight passed so I had to make it eventually with around 4Km to go the summit building could be seen and the gradient increased significantly it seemed as bad as the col. de Romme? The road just clung to the mountain with no

space for motor homes. I stopped for a rest to be caught by the matlocks who I assumed were way ahead, seemed they had stopped for a pee. Kept telling them they were taking on too much water?

This was the climb Contador went off causing Kloden to be dropped and where Armstrong blew Wiggo away after Wiggo had led Armstrong all the way up the climb.

Eventually I hit the top and descended into Le Grand Bornand. Arriving with the Matlock duo at a bar for a large beer. Well I did it and in better shape than I thought possible after the previous stage, I thought they were trying to make stages less arduous how do those pros do it being nearly twice as fast as us?

I think today's stage took us around 7 hours compared with pros time around 4.5 hrs

After Dave's arrival we loaded our bikes for the drive to Annecy staying at the Hotel Novotel right in the centre of Town. Nice spot again had a meeting room for our bikes.


Effectively a rest day but we still had breakfast at 7.30 they had some plausible reason

Like traffic had to start at 9.00 so we could set off at 12.00 for the journey to Bourgoin Jallieu.

Not much to report we went around the lake course having a deviation on one side taking the lake cycle track instead of main road to avoid the traffic. Surprised by the hill otherwise a pleasant ride.

Steve had a bike problem with his cassette which they sorted at a local bike shop then it was load up for the drive to Bourgoin Jallieu

Stage 19 Bourgoin –Jallieu to AUBENUS

We stayed overnight at the Hotel de Commanderie de Chamary a local family run hotel with a great restaurant.

Up early again still last I am beginning to think I will have to go down for breakfast before I sleep to beat these guys?

Loaded up with calories and off to the start only two 4th cats and a final 2nd cat climb

nearly flat?

It was up and down all day into the warm mistral headwind no easy day mainly through hill side villages eventually skirting Valence (I think this is close to where Phil lived?) by the time we arrived at PRIVAS I was feeling the mileage but for some reason felt strong enough to push ahead up the col. de l'Escrinet. But I blew and was passed by everyone except Dave.

The climb wasn't severe but fatigue had set in so I just slowed down. It was this climb that Cavendish surprised everyone by staying on to eventually take the stage off the Columbia train.

More water

Stage 20 Momtelimar To Mount Ventoux 167Km

Another family hotel, small room but for the first time our bikes were put in the garage.

Exhausted I had more Beer, persuaded Mark & Welsh Kevin to have one but no more.

Meal ok but others wanted more pasta the owner took the piss and brought in a massive bowl which they were unable to empty.

I went round the town for another beer and to worry about the day ahead.

Up at 7.00 for breakfast others nearly finished dragons drawn.

About 8.15 we are off to complete the same stage as the Etape hoping I had recovered from yesterdays hammering?

Immediately we are into the mistral headwind not on my request list can see Ventoux ahead. We have 3 off 3rd cats, a 4th cat to finish with the HC Ventoux and it's hot.

I am suffering we go through some beautiful province country side, vines (cotes de Rhone) and lavender dim whit initially thought this was heather.

Anyway manage the early climbs ok passed Nyons a great town, market in full swing.

Now a third & a 4th cat climb as a grimpy guide a 3rd cat is a similar gradient to Blackstone edge but at least twice the length the headwind and heat are taking there toll ( a 4th same as 3rd I could never tell the difference)

After Sault we have a 3rd cat climb Col de Notre Dame des ---- , even Dave is in front of me and I'm getting exhausted. Dam climb as 2 false tops and the decent is doggy cross winds making the bike go in different directions.

I arrive at Mormoiron see the van and go into a welcome air con café to find Kevin and mark getting sustiness Dave doesn't stop and goes straight on to Bedoin (start of the Ventoux climb).

It's around 14.00 only about 30Km to the top of Ventoux, I start with coke fed up of water & SIS drinks, cake then coffee do I have to leave?

I'm the last to leave and thankfully the winds behind me to Bedoin.

I arrive at Bedoin and start the climb and the first few Km are easy thank god or whoever.

Was thinking about a prayer mat earlier?

I hit the tree line and we go into 9, 10, 11, 12 % every Km (12 was max I saw) signs give gradient and it seems to get hotter and I go slower with frequent stops. The route is covered on either side with motor homes or tents. There are some riding with mountain bike gears but I can walk as fast. I meet a couple in a tent from the UK who have no coffee but give me some orange juice.

Some entrepreneurs are selling drinks every few Km I stop at each till my small amount of taken euros runs out. It's still hot and my throat is still dry. I'm shot but the stops have given some minor recharge. Suddenly the tree's disappears and immediately the temp cools down, I can see the weather station at the top in the lunar landscape. A switch is turned on and my pace increases I no longer need the bottom gear at this stage the gradient is around 10%

I pass the Tom Simpson memorial with 2Km to go, look at the cans and rubbish but don't climb the stairway to heaven.

Push on and arrive at the top, pass the van and are advised I have to turn right and pass the weather station to complete the stage, they are taking the piss but I do it anyway.

I arrive at about 5.30 pm, I left the café at around 2.45, and it's taken me 2hrs 45 mins. To do 30km, 20 Ventoux, 10 flattish.

I thought they would all be ready to go (turns out Dave and Kevin have only been at the top for 15mins) as we have to drive 4hrs to our nights hotel at Macon. But no they are spread around the top some in the bar anyway after another drink we are on our way.

Stage 21 Montereau-Faul-Yonne to PARIS 164Km flat

We stay overnight at the Hotel Novetel in an industrial estate near Macon, we arrive at 10.15 and manage to get some food.

Breakfast normal but I'm not last its Mark.

We set off about 8.00 to drive passed the start at Montereau--- , the Matlock duo get cocky and think they are in a team time trial, I get to the front with Kevin and we slow it to a sensible pace. We arrive in the suburbs of Paris with a tunnel and horrendous traffic to negotiate, Steve's rear pro 3 tyre punctures new inner tube and immediately punctures again he's worn it through to the canvass?

We ring Mark who explains he's stuck in traffic we wait for the team van and decide it's a stupid exercise to make the Champs Elysees and go straight to our hotel

The hotels in Porte de Versailles, we arrive and pack our bikes in the cases for the flights back tomorrow.

We decide to eat on Baxter at a local taverne had a good meal with some wine


I thought in January when I booked that it was a challenge and something different to do for a week?

The support and accommodation was fine but I suppose for me just riding up those climbs with the views and scenery blew me away.

The toughest day was the 2nd day stage 17 due to the number and severity of the climbs; the ventoux stage was also difficult both from climbing ventoux and the fatigue from the previous stage.

By this time if you have waded through all my scribble you must be as exhausted as me. Have a BEER



Thursday, August 27, 2009

Imps Dinner - all Condors welcome

I've had an email invite from Janice of the Imps, who is organising their club dinner this year.
It is on 28 November - not that far away. I'm half tempted if we can get a gang of Condors together to go along. Interested? I have a menu if that makes a difference to you!
"I was wondering if you, any club mates and partners would be interested in coming to our club dinner this year.
You may think it's far too early to be thinking about but its just 12 weeks away and I have to be really organised with it all this year.
John and Linda have reserved their places already.
Anyway just to tell you a bit about it'
It's been held at Bradley Hall Golf Club, Stainland Road, Holywell Green, 7pm for 7.30 sit down.
It's our 85th year as a club not the 85th dinner
We have the 3 course dinner, coffee, prize presentation (you can get your certificate for Skipton and Back, even though u didn't come back the right way Ian!!!!!!!!!!!) , raffle and then we have a disco till 12.30 and it's £20".
Let me know what you think - ian

Sunday 30th ?

This is what happens when you ride down a track whilst the farmer is cutting the hedge everyone punctured except Brian. A snap from last Sundays MTB ride around the tracks south of Huddersfield.

Whats happening this Sunday? Does anyone fancy a potter round the lanes north of York for a change of scenery? If so we'll meet 0830hrs Shelf roundabout.

Don't forget the Northern Dales Audax from Arnside YH on the 6th of Sept

Monday, August 17, 2009

On Road Mountain Biking

On Sunday Brian, Damian, Pete and myself assembled at Brighouse to find that Pete was test driving his new "Hill-Man Hunter"; a handle bar mounted "sat nav" able, it would seem, to search out a route between any two fixed points with a guaranteed "altitude attained" not less than the height of Ben Nevis.

Our two fixed points happened to be Brighouse and Holmfirth returning via South Yorkshire to Brighouse. I can truly say we were pioneers, boldly going up hills no cyclists have gone up before (well not on a trip from Brighouse to Holmfirth).

After climbing the cols of Upper Heaton, Emley, and Thurstonland, with numerous shorter leg breakers thrown in along the way, we finally arrived at Holmfirth. Resisting the blandishments of the Wrinkled Stocking we pressed on over the hors category climb of Hade Edge to the bacon and egg feed station at Langsett.

We returned via Silkstone and High Hoyland, then climbed Emley once again, but this time from its southern flank, before retracing our steps back to Brighouse.

All good stuff – quality training for the Three Peaks!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

16 August - muddy bikes

Cheers to Pete for proposing a road trip. Meanwhile the western section are going out on the muddy bikes - apologies for the late post. Meet 9am in Wainstalls (my house) for 3-4 hour trip that will likely include MaryAnn's cafe in Heptonstall. So far it is Nige, Steve & Ian.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Forthcoming Events

Sunday 23rd August MTB ride 9am Ritz, Brighouse with Mick Collins & friends
Saturday 29th August W Y Cycleway start/finish Mytholmroyd
Sunday 6th Sept Northern Dales 200k Audax from Arnside YH
Sunday 20th Sept Autumn in the Peak 120k Audax in the White Peak, quiet roads
plenty of hills.

Anything organised for this Sunday? I fancy a trip around Summer Wine country, cafe stop at Langsett or Silkstone, I'll be outside the bike shop in Brighouse 8.30am if anyone fancy's coming. Back home early afternoon.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Sunday 9th August 2009 Burnsall

There was general agreement in the Caty on Wednesday night that we'd meet 8.30 at Denholme Gate (Whittaker's) for a ride out ot Burnsall.

So far Nige, Ian and myself have signed up, all welcome

The Vicar
perhaps the following link will show all you stiff backs that mountain bikes are not the most dangerous of machines from which to fall

good ride wednesday night by the way, especially the cross dressing options in the cat in t'well

[cheers Robin - at least I assume this is from you! - the real Ian]

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Stage 1 - Hebden to Slaidburn - with Gary Imlach

Hello and welcome. My name is Gary Imlach and, with the Tour but a fast-receding memory and with the French Road Sweepers' Association threatening to go on strike over the number of water bottles abandoned carelessly by passing riders who really should know better and carry their rubbish home with them, I'm here to provide a witty and well-honed opening remark to this evening's entertainment before handing over the actual show and the boring job of providing four hours of non-stop commentary on seventeen different types of regional French cheese and sweeping helicopter shots of the elegant French countryside in summer.
Sadly I also need a job for the other 49 weeks of the year when the Tour isn't on ITV4 and with the Condor Road Club as the only gig on offer this week I'm going to have to do the best I can to give you a round-up of this minor local club ride without mixing anyone up with the real stars of the road. Now, over to Ned Boulting for a colourful piece to camera in the start village …
Thanks Gary, the start this week is actually one of the largest towns in the Calder valley and according to my extensive research has the largest number of privately owned shops in the UK with ne'r a chain store in sight. The riders have already been to sign on and are massing at the start near the main traffic lights in the High Street. One of the team vehicles must have been left out in the rain overnight because the official Team Condor bus now looks more like a red mini – and is that Bjarne "the Vicar" Riis at the wheel?
The first part of this stage is a steady 4th category climb out of Hebden and down the valley to Todmorden. Turning right, the riders will face a slight headwind up the 3rd cat Col du Cliviger but we're expecting the bunch to still be together at this point without any major attacks by the big names. Phil Ligget has been called away to lend his name, if not his physical presence, to the “Phil & Mates” cyclo-sportif in the lovely Peak district. We join commentary now with Paul Sherwen and an empty chair. But first an ad break …
Unfortunately our cameras have just missed the vital moment's of today's stage while lingering on a field of cows artfully arranging themselves as a bicycle complete with a "moo"-ving chainset. Still, we can now fill a few minutes telling you about the sheltered micro-climate in Slaidburn. Sitting outside next to the main road watching the ducks mow the grass on the river bank opposite the Riverside cafe, with some of the best bacon & sandwiches within a day's ride of home, is one most delightful ways we know of passing a few minutes off the bike.
Already we have news of one surprise early retirement as Robin “Big George” Holt has had to abandon because he was “due home early for lunch” which is something you hear all too often these days even from the most talented professional riders.
The time gaps are now available and, after having to chase back to the peleton after chatting for too long at the feed station, Steve Legstrong has attacked the bunch and taken Johhny Shleck and Andreas Burnham along on his wheel.
The chasing group at 4' is being led by Team Caty with Nigel Cancellara on the front doing most of the work and Bradley “Wiggo” Robinson in support.
With the temperatures reaching highs of 14 or 15 degrees and a gentle tailwind of perhaps 10 mph it could be all the way to Long Preston before we see the catch. As we predicted, I think the breakaway have realised that the escape is futile and have sat up to wait for the bunch just before the turn onto Flat Lane as the riders now swing south on their homeward leg. The bunch have stayed together through Bank Newton and are riding a steady tempo up the 4th cat Col du Gargrave. However, it is important for all these big names to stay in the top 4 or 5 places as anything might happen to cause a split in the bunch.
In what is nearly a team time trial formation the short stretch of the A59 before Carleton rattles by at a steady 25mph. Wiggo Robinson is on the front – sitting high on his bike with that distinctive white-legged riding style and amusing hairstyle and dreaming that maybe, one day, he could really ride under the hour. Through Connonley and the efforts are now starting to tell on the riders as they attack the steep climb to Cross Hills. Johnny Shleck has been working hard on his nutrition and looks to be going well still, even though the stage today is well over 50 miles. Lance Barker tries to respond but that ageing body has given too much already and he can't match the explosive effort of the younger man. Richard Kloden keeps up well initially but then fades at the top, allowing the slow diesel engine of the big-nosed Wiggo to catch and pass just before the crest. Sadly Fabian Hartley is a demon descender but no angel delight going uphill and looses time significantly on this climb to ruin his chances of being in yellow tonight.
Now there is just one final climb – the feared Hors category Col du Ingrow. The bunch have slowed almost to a standstill on the lower slopes through the lovely alpine town of Keighley as everyone tries to avoid doing the pacemaking, until the patron du peleton and chef de gormet comes to the fore to show how it is done. Then Wiggo takes over and rides tempo up the climb as an act of self-preservation more than anything, only to find that at the Crossroads that the damage has been done and Kloden has cracked again. The front riders think about waiting here and “just potter on” for a bit – allowing Kloden to battle back up to the pack. Unfortunately, there is a tussle for control at the front as the sprinter's teams all move up – it seems like the peleton has just doubled in size as two groups merge and can't help but race each other. However, the sprint is short-lived and a blistering attack at the bottom of Col du Coq Hill sees the bunch split as two or three riders go clear to turn left on the old road and the rest battle it out towards Pecket and Hebden.
Finally, before we preview next Wednesday's exciting mountain stage over the Col du Milnrow, there is just time for our competition and your chance to win an 18 speed!! Boardman road bike...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Philip Smithies - by Paul Gower

Here are some thoughts on Philip Smithies by Paul G, who attended Philip's funeral in France on Monday 8 June 2009:

We first met Philip in early 1970 when he was riding a 12 hour time trial at Wetherby in the name of Condor Road Club. We found out straight away that a very strong and determined rider had joined our circle.
Like many cyclists born in Calderdale, Philip started riding his bike in his early teens and was soon riding long tours up and down the country. I think that if you can cope with the steep hills and hairy descents round here as a teenager, then you will be a cyclist for life - which is exactly what Philip was.
Philip joined in wholeheartedly with the social, racing and touring activities of the club, winning many races and championships. Before his illness, Philip was our general secretary for many years. He was always there to encourage younger riders to be more competitive.
Not only was Philip a good cyclist, he was also a very good swimmer, played football for Southowram for many years, and a good tennis player - in fact an all round sportsman.
Philip and Paulette had found their ideal home in Southern France to spend their retirement swimming, cycling and playing tennis in the stunning countryside. Unfortunately you can never actually predit the future and, as I said at the crematorium, its with these happy memories of Philip that we wish him well on his longest cycle ride. May the sun shine on him and a tail wiind follow him everywhere.