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.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

yet more pave photos

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A few more Pave pics.

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Pave' ride cont.

I'm having loads of problems trying to upload a report - looks like all the narrative from my previous attempt has disappeared leaving just the photos - so here goes I'll try again -
Although reservations had been expressed about the severity of the route over 20 souls turned up outside the Rooster at mid-day last Saturday to take part in the Etape' du 'Alifax Pave' . Mounts ranged from MTB's ridden by Andy Brown and Fabian Purdy to the lightest carbon road bikes shod with the latest trick wheels.
After a photo call at the bottom of Brighouse Wood Lane the flag went down and it was every man for himself (which was'nt really the intention). The peloton split after about 50 yards with the usual suspects, Dom, Mel, Mick etc plus a new face to me , Andy (who having heard that the ride was about 35 miles had said he would be home for 3pm).
We regrouped at Hipperholme before making our way to Stump Cross and up The Hough to Northowram, then down past the Shibden Mill Inn and up Shibden Wall. As we rode up I suggested to the current British Veterans 100 mile champion and record holder that we should take it easy saving something for the later climbs. "I don't need to," replied Brian, "I won't be there."
Showers of rain in the morning had worried me, more for the cobbled descents than the climbs, but the sun was now shining and the pave was dry(ish). Down Churn Milk Lane, through Ovenden and over to Long Can where we met Ian and Nigel. Gibb Lane up to Mount Tabot was the next major climb - it does'nt get any easier but the fat tyres on my Croix de Fer rode the gaps between the cobbles well. Unfortunately I can't report on activity at the front up these climbs - I was'nt there. Down Halifax Lane to Luddenden village and up the 'Hors Categorie' Old Lane towards Midgley. I stopped at the bottom to count riders through. Two were missing, the Lion of Flanders and Andy Brown, I retraced through the village to no avail so I attacked the climb and was pleased to make it to the top, last week whilst on a recce' I had been unable to keep traction on the mossy cobbles and ended up walking. Steve arrived from a different direction a short time later but uncharacteristically Andy had given up and gone home.
Through Midgley and along Heights Road in the sunshine as far as the Hare & Hounds then down for a cafe stop at Hebden Bridge. The 'Ladies that Lunch' section (Ian, Mel, Dom & Fabian) went into town searching for skinny latties and paninni's whilst us normal folk went to Books Brews and Biscuits next to the cycle re-cycle workshop on the canal bank.
After an hour or so we went on the main road to Luddenden Foot at about 40mph turning right and slowing down a bit for Blackwood Hall Road (another cobbled climb I was unable to ride up last week but sailed up today - last week I had to pull myself up using the hand rail).
Sadly, after re-grouping at the top of this climb our raison d'etre for the ride, Team sw2f, quietly retired, I hope this was not due to the eagerness to make progress being shown by the front riders but fear that may have been the cause. If so I apologise on their behalf and if you ever wish to make another attempt I will be happy to ride round with you.

However there was a route to be completed so it was on through Hubberton, past the Alma at Cottonstones and turn left at the Beehive down to Ripponden. Over the cobbled bridge and up Old Ripponden Bank, up Gallows Pole Hill and left at the Moorcock. Brian and Lumby retired here the nearby pull of home being too great.
Round Sowerby Bridge and towards Copley where left up Birdcage (Dom had had enough by this time and headed back to the Rooster taking with him Dan the Italian Stallion who was worried that perspiration may drip on to his immaculate outfit should he attempt
Trooper Lane). Over Manor Heath and down Shaw Lane and the Hebble Trail to Salterhebble. Up Exley Bank then, just for fun, up Pheobe Lane and down Whitegate before the coup de grace, Trooper Lane.
This is what the big guns had been waiting for. The first attack went as early as Swan Bank where 'The Angel of Birstall', this week riding for La Vie Claire, on a stripped down titanium speed machine was first to attack but was matched by 'Already over an hour late home' Andy, and 'The Condor' himself, Mel. From what I was able to see from a rapidly increasing distance Mel had eventually to give way to younger legs. Whilst 'The Angel' made it to the summit first, sadly, he had been disqualified for persistent pavement cycling up earlier climbs (yes we know thats what they do in Belgium in the Spring Classics, they also put mayonnaise on their chips in Belgium but we dont do either in Halifax).
So, subject to the results of a dope test, Late Home Andy is the 2010 'King of the 'Alifax Pave'.

I understand that 10 finished the full 37 mile route and we averaged a speedy 10 and a half mph

Etape' du 'Alifax Pave report

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Etape' du 'alifax Pave' 16th Oct

Why not join us this coming Saturday for a potter round some of the better (and lesser) known cobbled roads in around our wonderful town. The route has been devised at the request of a group of roadies from York who just dream about getting away from those boring flat fast smooth roads they are used to.
We are starting at 12 noon from the Red Rooster. The route is as follows - Brighouse Wood Lane, Hipperholme, Stump Cross, up The Hough to Northowram and down to The Shibden Mill Inn and up Lee Lane (Shibden Wall), down Ploughcroft Lane, right into Boothtown Road and left down Howcans Lane and Churn Milk Lane. Through Ovenden and Wheatley to Ovenden Wood Road and up Gibb Lane to Mount Tabor where down towards Warley turning right into Halifax Lane and down into Luddenden, round the back of the Lord Nelson and up Old Lane, through Midgley and on Heights Road from where we drop down to Mytholmroyd or Hebden Bridge for a cafe stop.
Back on the main road to Luddenden Foot where right and up Blackwood Hall Lane and over Hubberton and Cottonstones and down to Ripponden where over the cobbled humped back bridge and up Old Ripponden Bank. On to Norland where left down Doldrum Lane, skirt round Sowerby Bridge to Copley and up Woodhouse Lane and Birdcage Lane, over Manor Heath then down Shaw Lane and Hebble Way to the Punch Ball and up Exley Bank, up to the top od Siddal and down Whitegate, on to Swan Bank and then everyones favourite, Trooper Lane and a freewheel back to the Rooster.
That makes 14 cobbled sections (though not all are up hill) in about 35 miles or so. I realise that the route may be a bit hard for the Imps and the VS lads but I shall expect to see some more Condors on the start line for this SOCIAL ride.
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Saturday, October 09, 2010

Sunday 10 Oct 2010

A road ride to the Dales has been decreed for this Sunday. Meet 09:30 at Keighley roundabout.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Autumn Rains

Nothing for ages and then two at once. See the report below from Nigel too.
A handful of Condors made the start of the Autumn Mists among the 55 riders in total who set off in a light downpour from this side of the Pennines, and which just got heavier and wetter as we crossed the border.
Robin unscrewed his bottom bracket at the "wrong" end of Long Causeway and had an early waddle towards home. He was lucky. I fought to stay with the group but, after a hard climb to Heptonstall and getting back on twice with some daredevil descending by the New Delight and flat out time triallng through Kebs to the windmills, decided that the pace was just too high to bother any further. I turned for home from Burnley and went back over the Herders.
"The Condor" himself managed a fine ride and was first back from the longer version - our man is quoted as saying "Everyone seemed to be messing about and it was a day for getting on with it". Meanwhile, the 'other Hartley' had a gentle ride round the shorter route, but still managed to beat his brother to the fine tea laid out by Chris Crossland and his team.
As you know, Condors are built for soaring through the high mountains in bright sunshine. We're not some sort of water bird like a penguin, say, though the colours are similar. Still, it looks like this penguin can walk on water, which would have been useful given the puddles in some places.

New Look

Yes, you are in the right place. I've given the blog a quick makeover. Ian


Only a few hardy Condors braved the deluge on Sunday for the CTC rides,I dont mind a bit of rain but when a mop & bucket are needed at the signing on desk it's more than drizzling.

I turned up for the 50k ride and discovered 55 stalwarts had set off on the long one including Robin, Ian, Melv and a VS contingent, perhaps not liking the look of the weather, other condors were "thinking of building an ark".

Apparently a "lets get this cracked off" pace was set by Melv up to Heptonstall which rent the group assunder. Robin, having a rare off day, had it even worse when his bottom bracket dismantled itself over the long causeway. He turned for home at this point, as did a cold and wet Ian, while Melv, oblivious to their plight pushed on with VS.

After a buttie stop at Slaidburn (taken inside the cafe, thats how bad the weather was!) the condor pressed on, leaving lesser mortals trailing in his wake and ploughing through deepening flood waters to finish at the front of the pie queue in Hebden.

The 50k route was a relatively easy carry on, only going as far as Worsthorne before looping back, the most taxing thing being locating house names and numbers for the information check points. Working on the theory that such a short ride doesn't warrant a cafe stop, I too was first back (in a massive field of 9 including hy-brids and a tandem!).

The heavy rain never gave up through the entire ride and some sections over widdop were almost impassable as water surged off the moors and across the road up to bottom bracket height. Brakes were pretty useless as they wouldn't dry out and I ended up walking down the steepest descent over widdop. I usually walk up the hills over there!

I'm afraid I didn't wait for the long ride to return to the finish, from the HQ we could see the Calder completely filling the bridge arch outside. Folks were even posing for pictures by the swollen torrent as the flood warning siren sounded! I heeded its warning and headed for higher ground, in bottom gear!