Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Day ride

Just a reminder - 10am Brighouse for Holmfirth and Isle of Skye - should be at The Works, Sowerby Bridge half one to 2.30pm.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Training season.

That time of year again chaps! For anyone interested I've taken the liberty of posting meeting times up on the CCA site, 9am at denholme gate during January. Won't be there this week, we're away in Scotland at the moment. Have a good one.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Neil's Pie & Peas - 27 December

Neil Dyson very kindly has a regular "open house" bash each year, and the Condors are all invited. Call round for pie & peas, and help him go through a barrel of beer.
Monday 27th from 1pm. Highcliffe Drive, Highroad Well. Ring me if you need directions.
Also a ride beforehand from Post Office on Commercial St in Halifax at 10am.
Cheers! Ian

Monday, December 20, 2010

Neil says he was rather cold on Sunday but he's probably just been spending too long at home sat in front of the fire. Judging from the above photo taken by Irish John on his i-phone of Chris & Neil on the Long Causeway it was a glorious day. Shame most of us missed the joys of riding round the East Lancashire mill towns on black ice and elected to go via easier routes to the Robin Hood at Pecket Well for the long established 'Rileys Treat'.
After a 10 out of 10 breakfast at Steve's wife's establishment, Towngate Tearooms, in Heptonstall we sprinted up to Pecket Well. Buses, trains and walking boots had been the preferred choice of transport for the majority of revellers with Kev Shand being the only Rochdale lad seen to have arrived on a bike.
Quite a lot of Paul's had walked up from Luddenden Foot and having stopped for, as one of the Paul's put it, 'a gargle', at the Lane Ends en-route they were soon dancing on the tables and forgetting their lines (no names mentioned - see above pic.).
It was good to see Ian Wellock so far away from the Red Rooster - surprisingly he left early - probably to go to the Rooster.

Remember the serious stuff starts with the Kettlewell run, Sunday the 9th of January, 9am Denholmgate, 9.30 Keighley roundabout.
There's a very much less serious run on New Years Day from Brighouse, 10am outside the old VS shop for breakfast at Holmfirth and on to The Works at Sowerby Bridge via Isle of Skye and Windy Hill. If you're feeling too fragile we should be at the Works 1.30 to 2pm. There's a good chance there will be a not too serious ride on Sunday 2nd of Jan - if anyone has suggestions why not post a blog.
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Oh dear oh dear oh dear .... I start by casting back to last week, when we were actually cycling, and Nigel remembered briefly what it was like to be in front (see above), albeit being in front means people might better see the toadstool atop one's head, which is fine provided you concentrate on its being value for money. Even Ian was giving it some welly, and though Steve had not even bothered to Barker himself before calling in on an at home party at Mr Pain's, he stuck with us through the hilly stuff at the end. The call had been made to meet at Hebden Bridge. We duly met, to find John and Chris joining an unlikely gathering of four Condor's. The flock flew low along the valley road at sedate pace, then up and over along the edge of Burnley, Padiham and into the well appointed and well-icy environs of Whalley where another Condor, in fact The Condor, menacing in his lonely perambulations of northern fells, joined up to make for five and so a full set of riding members. The Abbey coffee shop had witnessed mass industrial action, and though the picket lines had been cleared by avenging angels, the staffing remained as solitary as The Condor in his riding. There appeared to be a total of two eggs and some bacon, and some bread at the bottom of the breadbin, and nothing much else, so we divied it up in good Famous Fashion style (save Chris, who somehow managed to get his own order in first). The heating had also gone on strike, so we took back to the bikes to warm up, and ne'r did stop until passing the Silent Inn below Stanbury John and Melvin appeared to have a bi-lateral caesure causing a muscular arrest (too much pointless jousting in December) and an involuntary vocal spasm which sounded enough like 'We're stopping for a pint' for us all to join in, and have three; the fire was warm, the conversation was good, if a little frayed toward the end, when Chris began a panegyric on making the cyclops cry.

... and so we move directly on to this week, we arrive at the Robin Hood and Riley's Treat or Bent Head Do, to find the same characters ensconced, bearing witness to what may well have been a week long uninterrupted speech from Chris on the many ways of spilling seed. Ian, Nigel and son of Nigel has walked oe'r moor, Steve had walked down hill, and only John, Chris and Neil had done the big ride. El Presidento was in his kit, so could have done a turn, and id spotted Pete Horne leaving early so he could just potter on, meaning Condor was not completely unwheeled, but nevertheless we showed poorly. As the early evening drew on people were starting to loose reason. Ian came back with a pie and peas covered in coagulated pan scrapings that actually drew lingering admiration from those having to make do with turkey stock, as though they had missed out in some way. Ian seemed to agree that his plate was positively the best plate of food anyone might wish for, which seen through the fug of so many Landlord's it might possibly have been. Chris seemed to find it easier to get out of his tights by ripping them rather than unzipping (the 'Why get out of them in the first place?' didnt seem a pertinent question). John and Neil seemed intent on promising one another 'a dry one' in the lay by at the end of next years Skipton and back, so bring your cameras for that one. I was trying to justify the use of increasingly long words on the grounds it made me look sophisticated when everyone knows I was just compensating for being witless. Nigel showed a picture of son of Nigel's girlfriend to Chris which was a big mistake. Steve was being very calm actually, counting whiskey. And so it went. Until we left, those walking took to the moor, those cycling unlocked the bikes, de-iced them (see above) and took to Heights Road, and the inevitable crash just outside Midgley when Chris decided he would try and run John into the side of a house, forgetting he was neither as big nor as sober, so came off, snapped the derailleur, scarred his cheek like a war mark and grated all his kit. He was doing about 20 at the time, so bounced quite a way, he seemed to walk OK though, and judging buy the above picture Neil and John seemed quite happy with the performance. Neil and I left with Chris still sitting on the ice doing a chain fix with a paper clip under the capable supervision of John who seemed to be squeezing him with water. I hope they got back alright.

Friday, December 17, 2010

19 Dec 10 - Riley's Treat

I'd really like to take on a full breakfast in the Cafe in Heptonstall this Sunday, just to get things off to a flying start. Steve is keen and will phone through our order for us.

Lets meet at Denholme at 09:00 and make a route from there. On road bikes, hopefully.

We'll get to the Robin Hood in Pecket Well for lunchtime-ish in good time for the afternoon's entertainment.

If it really is foul and snowy, give me a ring first: 07966 713 158.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 Dec 2010 - road ride [update!]

The western section did as predicted and met in Hebden, including a welcome visit of two friends from the "far east". That's John & Chris of VS hailing from far distant Brighouse.
The slightly slippery lanes from Padiham brought out the comment from Nigel that "they must have run out of salt round here". And Lo!, at that very moment another Condor rode into view and said EXACTLY the same thing, this being Melvyn of course.
The poor chap in the cafe at Whalley Abbey was there by himself with no staff and, worse, no stock (no beans, and just two eggs). A bacon butty really does need an egg on top to fill a hungry cyclist. Still, it was better than nothing. Partially fortified we sallied forth to the Herders and there found ourselves stationary outside the Old Silent Inn while we regrouped. Well it was, at that point, the only thing to do to pop in for a pint ...
On offer was "Barm Top" from Gooseye Brewery in Keighley, as a very pleasant light ale. The VS lads stuck to familiar pleasures - Guiness & larger, respectively - but it seems to be going down well. Sadly Robin's "Old Peculiar" doesn't seem to have brought out a smile, but he could just be camera-shy?
Now after missing out on my egg earlier, the beer was just the thing to fill my legs. So with a "beer boost" I could go fine on the hill up from Stabury reservoir, and again on the old road back to Wainstalls, to finish feeling good. Its just as well we won't be found loitering in pubs again any time soon ...

Meet Hebden Bridge 09:00 for gentle ride to cafe at Whalley Abbey. So far its the western section - me, Steve Barker, Nigel and probably Robin. Others welcome!
Thanks to Pete for the recent posts - good to see so many out. And Grimpy is a hero with deep section carbon rims in the snow. A true racer.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday ride Christmas Lunch

It was the Wednesday ride Christmas lunch yesterday. After a chilly ride round Bradford, Bingley, Keighley and Cock Hill we had a mediocre lunch in a cold pub - never mind a sprint up Jowler on the way home got the circulation going again.
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Found a photo of John at last Sundays race - almost makes you wish you were doing it yourself (in fact it may have been easier than the Hollingworth Lake Buckstones run I had with The Vicar, Pete Smith and Brian).
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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Grimpy Rides to Glory

Although John claims he is'nt going well after a season hindered by a knee problem he was still the outstanding rider in the over 60's category at the North of England Championships held in bright sunshine on a snow covered course on the banks of Lake Windermere last Sunday. There is a full report and some great photos of the race on the BC web site, unfortunatly I was unable to copy any of the photos so if you're wondering where the snow is on the above pic - its a photo from last year.
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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sunday 5/12/10

If anyone fancies coming along I'm meeting Brian 0930hrs Luddenden Foot for a shortish road ride - cafe stop at Hollingworth Lake Cafe - home early afternoon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Last Sunday on the road

The delights of MTB'ing extolled by that well known proselyte (????) Robin are undeniable but the virtues of road cycling should not be overlooked. Above is the view as I freewheeled down past the Ram Inn towards Denshaw last Sunday, what a beautiful day to be pottering round the local lanes; that was until I had to start pressing on the pedals harder as I was caught by Irish John, Dougie and Martin going up the Gully towards Buckstones. They had been on a warm up ride in preparation for the Imps freewheeling race. If preparation counts John should have been up with a chance of victory - in bed by 3am after a boozy do at the Imps Dinner followed by a breakfast at Hollingworth Lake cafe - oh what dedication in the pursuit of glory.
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The off road club continues apace. We had no fear of reprisals this weekend from our skinny tyred brethren, distracted as they were by the heavy physical demands of coasting along some dual carriageway. Call me a bit of a stickler for tradition, a dyed-in-the-wool adherent of orthodoxy, a proselyte for the old ways, but doesn't cycling involve turning the pedals at some point? Descending from Ainley Top in the company of your own weight and the odd pull from the back end of a receding lorry until you simply stop, cease to move, grind to a halt, unwilling to work, might be a good metaphor for the Daily Mail wanting yet another florid way of explaining to its credulous 'readers' how our country is becoming bedeviled by a me too, hand-out culture where everyone wants to get everywhere without expending any effort, but is it a way to treat a bicycle? No. So we sticklers for real cycling went off road, that way avoiding any guilt by association. We pedaled UP and over old road, ALONG the water course, UP and over the top o'stairs and ALONG and OVER to Gorple, ACROSS to Heptonstall, down and UP from the Blue Pig, down and UP from Lumb Falls... oh you get the point by now. Snow, ice, sunlight and moor made a heady and occasionally upsetting mix (viz, Nigel's new hobby of 'static stacking', there are many different ways, evidently, of falling off your bike whilst simply standing astride it, or against it, he is beginning to go through them with a classificatory zeal). The food in Heptonstall cafe was as welcome and uplifting as it always is; sticking to long established ways serves as well for catering as it does for cycling.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Condor Dinner - 5 Feb 2011 - Works, Sowerby Bridge




Meet at 6.30 for 7.00pm



Roasted pepper & tomato soup

Prawn & crayfish tail cocktail with a chilli & mayo dressing

Herby stuffed mushrooms

Farmhouse pate & toast


Roasted duck breast with a cherry sauce

Loin of lamb with a minted gravy

Roasted loin of pork with a rich mustard gravy

Poached salmon with a creamy dill sauce


Fresh fruit salad and cream


Lemon cheesecake with a raspberry coulis

Cheese & biscuits

COST : £ 22.00 per person

(complimentary wine included)

Please contact either Paul or Trevor with numbers and choices by 25th January 2011 Thank you

Paul Gower : 01422 201533

Trevor Lever : 01274 874789

Dates for next year:

Comment from Pete Horne

Early dates I know about for next year are -
Sat 19th Feb NW Passage
Sun 11th Mch Todmorden Loops (promoted by Danial Webb on behalf of CRC)
Sun 20th Mch Red Rose 200
Sun 17th April Spring into Dales

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Autumn Tour

Every year I go on a cycling tour with other patent/legal types. This year we met in Wetherby and rode to Ravenscar on the coast, stayed over in a pleasant old hotel on the cliffs and then rode back the next day. It was roughly 80 miles there (including three cafe stops - we know how to live the good life) and 70 miles back or thereabouts.
We started in our first cafe and then took in some very pleasant flat miles through Ouseburns Little and Greater, over Aldwark Toll Bridge (free for cyclists), and on to Easingwold (excellent coffe and buns). Then continued through the fog in the Vale of York to the Howardian hills, via Brandsby and Hovingham, for stop #3 at Thornton Le Dale (late lunch, in what turned out to be a bit of a transport cafe really).
Then came a real treat. Which, at least for now, is listed in my book as the best road in England. Just imagine. Freshly-laid smooth tarmac for miles. Easy gradients. Great scenery. Cars are actually charged money for using this road, which meant that we saw about three in two hours or so. A bit of north shore to play on every now and then (but I was on a loaded touring bike so only risked a quick go) . There was even a stall outside a farm near the end in Staindale selling jam and scones. So where is this nirvana? It is the Dalby Forest Drive. From Thornton Dale to Hackness and beyond. And I'll be going back there. Soon.

I don't have any pictures of our luxurious accomodation. But let me just say that it would have been better if there had been hot water for a decent shower. Still, a cold rinse was enough for decency, and sitting with a pint by the open fire chatting was a reward in itself.
Next day we took in the scene from the Panorama Restaurant at breakfast. We could very nearly make out the waves below through the thick mist, so it's just as well that we didn't pay extra for sea-view rooms. Fueled up we were soon out there enjoying the soft morning air and gentle rain showers. A well-signposted bike path soon lead to a farm field. It would have been better in high summer. Maybe.

Looking for variation on our return route we headed north and inland to find some frighteningly steep 1:4 descents on wet leaves and poor surfaces. Only to find positively terrifying 1:3 assents on the other side. The sadistic road makers here even managed to take the road half way up the hillside before dropping, sickeningly, back to the valley floor to start the climb again. This is, at least for now, in my book as the worst road in England. Aftertwo hours we'd managed to struggle through Littlebeck and Sleights to reach Egton, where we could plunge down again to Egton Bridge and begin our final struggle up and over the moor to Rosedale. A fine cafe revived our spirits, and we were now within reach of easy flat roads again.
But, of course, we weren't. After hearing representations from both sides, m'learned friends decided that Rosedale Chimney Bank would be a fine pudding. Well, nearly. But the 40mph descent did take us to Hutton le Hole pretty quickly. And Patrick gets to tick another entry in his "100 Best Climbs".
Now the group had to separate and all that remained was to retrace our steps, by and large, back to our respective starting points. And to look forward to another trip next year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sorry Robin I was trying to add this Fay Godwin photo to the end of your report but it refuses to go anywhere but here - I prefer your photo anyway.

Thrown underneath a hastening notation of staved clouds being pushed along by of the brisk pace of an east wind, we - that is condor off road club - took ourselves off over to Ogden - the never ending wall (for the waller) had had a little more completed, and as if in a kind of comical echo of this effort, the decaying farmstead just beyond had also born witness to some building work, though here the job - paving - might well have scored a little lower were some aspirant Saturday night tv gameshow judges to come passing by with their numerical paddles and acid hyperbole: 9 for the wall, 0 for the paving me thinks. Ogden cobbles were very wet, but not as wet as the rest of the ride, during which we spent much time talking about warm socks, overshoes, plastic bags, dry shoes, hooves, anything in fact that we could use in the stead of what we actually had. Our feet excepting, the ensuing ride was exacting in the best possible sense, one of wheel sucking technicality that had us on always on the edge, or in my case over the edge and onto my head-arse (not sure which hit first), twice. Obviously I was inhabiting the limits of possibility, warning others of the risks through a staged occupation of the possible hazards en route, thereby preventing greater harm to my companion. Others may have misread this noble act as bad riding, but such is the life of the unsung and noble. My reward is my constancy.

The last shot looking toward Heptonstall is from way above The Stairs, a bad camera phone homage to Ms Godwin, whose 'Land' series is showing currently at the National Photography and Media Museum down Bradford way.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just checking in...

Mens Kilo at the BUCS national track champs. Did 1:20, hardly competitive but considering I'm not a sprinter I was fairly pleased!

Hope everyone's well over t'other side of the pennines! Just a quick post to let you know I'm still riding!

The University club here is going pretty well this year, over a hundred riders now! Keeping busy with two club runs a week as well as lots of socials. Just settling into some long steady rides on the winter bikes now, the hardest part is convincing first years that full mudguards and a flap are essential!

Still racing every monday night at the track in the ACT league, though not many points coming my way recently. Just moved house to south Manchester so not had much time for interval training!

Hope to get out on a couple of Wednesday night outings followed by some beers in the Catty at christmas. See you soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What the retired folk have to do to keep warm

The Wednesday runs from Shelf Roundabout seem to be gaining momentum, 14 old codgers turned up this week for an 80 mile dash round a circuitous route, ably guided by TomTom (Paul Hickey), for lunch at Thorpe Arch cafe. We were lucky with the weather and with the likes of Peeps and Grimpy setting the pace (not much shelter from those two) maintained a brisk pace averaging 15.5 mph for the full journey.

I'm in the process of putting a clothing order together so can you let me know what you want to order ( ). The design will be pretty much the same, I am intending ordering the shorts in either a more practical dark blue or black rather than the current lightish blue (retaining the white side panels) and perhaps altering the snowcapped Andes from the current blue to a medium grey so they may look more like mountains. I'm also intending to include some 3quarter biblongs in the order. Please let me know in the next week or so, e-mail me or ring me on 07549 821349 if you want to discuss what to get.

Whilst on the subject we do still have some clothing in stock at the old prices (the new prices will be £6 or £7 more), we have some med & lge short & long sleeved road jerseys at £30, sml & med Training tops £35, 1 pr med bibshorts £35, 1 lge Gilet £30, sml & med thermal biblongs £35.
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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

More from 7 November - The Cracoe Cruisers

I'm grateful to Robin for the photo and post below, and look forward to the next one. Meanwhile, let me tell you about Sunday's ride. In words I can understand. A prosaic* version.

1. Having the style or diction of prose; lacking poetic beauty.
2. Commonplace; unromantic.

Seven blokes on bikes met outside a closed-down joinery shop and rode to the Dales and back.

There, what more could you want?

Keeping with the cultural theme, A Day Out was mentioned and compared with our jaunt. Alan Bennett wasn't there, but we did have the Hartley boys, Richard, Neil, Pete Smith, "the professor" and "the beard". Nigel had a plan that involved a steady potter on some quiet lanes. However, there were other plans which involved pressing on and taking in a few more hills. Despite some grumbling, these others grabbed the lead and we were off over Cringles to Draughton then took the scenic back road from Bolton Abbey to Burnsall. A couple of riders looked wistfully at the Wharfe View cafe but were dragged on through Thorpe over another steep hill to finally reach Cracoe.

While we were in the cafe Paul Gower called in for a cyclist's special - tea, eggs, beans, toast, of course - but he decided against joining the rest of the flock. Not wanting to be late home for lunch we took the direct train to Keighley, lined out behind Robin and Melv as they finally got to stretch their legs. However, reading the post below, it doesn't sound like Robin really had this in mind and would have preferred hammering a few more hills. It worked for me though, and there was even time to do some gardening after.

Its time to think about the Sunday rides in the new year. It works well if we pick a regular time and place (e.g. 09:00 at Denholme, 09:30 at Keighley) and stick to that through January and February, except for the known rides - NW Passage, Reliability ride, etc. Any comments on that idea?

Monday, November 08, 2010

once an empty byway running from the hidden dales village that shall not be named is suddenly found to be carrying hastening cyclists, dropped by the leading bunch, but still accompanied by the expectation of breakfast barms (or some such northern word) to be had in cracoe's second best sausage emporium ... on the front we have the sly bearded chap, then a clean clad neil for whom the expanding view of fells clad in low winter light is paling in comparison with a permanent close-up of his quill stem, followed by vicar, for whom the ride - that is the ride after his assault on the gathering of meat and egg that no mere barm, no matter how indigenously capacious, could ever contain - was to become a mere bagatelle, a whimsy, so easy was the post repast pace ... indeed there was no sport to be had for any of us, bedevilled as we all became with a deeply unspiritual group mentality in which the above was the only really break, a shining shaft of individual light breaking the weighty underbelly of a slow-moving cloud of common denominator togetherness and solidarity

Saturday, November 06, 2010


In the absence of any other ideas from our cycling chums, Nigel & Melvin have arranged to repeat last week's meeting times, Denholme 09.00, Keighley 09.30.
Route is up for debate, but perhaps looping west in a Pendle (Waddington) direction. All are welcome on what should be a steady ride, it is meant to be the social season after all!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Anybody playing out on sunday? How about a foray to say, Airton or Malham.
Denholme gate @ 09.00 to pick up the Condor at Keighley roundabout for 09.30

Dont forget to alter yer clocks unless you want to be an hour early!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yet even more Pave pics

For some reason these did'nt upload yesterday - perhaps I was trying to put too many photos on the blog

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Ritz Rebels

Here is a link to the comments on this ride by our friends at the Ritz Rebels:

And there is a picture. You can see that I'm having fun here on Trooper Lane.

They even have a map of the route in case anyone is daft enough to ever want to do it again.

Thanks again Pete for organizing.