Saturday, June 12, 2010

13 June - Red Rose Audax

Starts 08:00 from The Oddfellows Rooms, Coleridge Street, Halifax - full details here.

Ride Report: A lovely trip out of town and on to Crossills at a steady pace like we meant to be out all day. Slowly the blue jerseys of the Condor flocked together and the yellow of the Imps did likewise.
I talked the others into stopping at the cafe in Whalley for some early refuelling. Melv was keen to press on and have a full fry up at lunchtime but I had an empty feeling and welcomed the butty & coffee. John "el presidente" Lumb took time out of his busy ceremonial duties to join us here and ride with the commoners. Mr Gower was going well, but I think he was glad of the company from John to moderate the pace.
At Bashall Eves we found the LVRC race in progress and offered our encouragement as we saw Sean Smith flash past (no time for a chat - this was serious riding). Then up through Trough of Bowland with riders from the "Roses Round" sportive.
As we left our SECOND cafe stop a few spots of rain were felt. "Never mind its only a passing shower" says Nigel. The rest of us stopped for our capes and that caused a split. We abandoned Paul & John in true Condor style, so that we could press on through the wet and try to stay warm. Melv departed for home in Padiham but Mick Collins and his mate Simon came up to offer a good pair of wheels for the journey back round Burnley and along the valley toward Halifax. By the time we got back to Mytholmroyd Nigel agreed that it might have been "rain" after all. By this point I think that the miles were starting to tell and smiles were in short supply. It was more like grim determination to get the job done, but at least we could take advantage of the fine spread laid out at the finish thanks to Dave Dodwell & his team.

6 June - mtb for the sixth week running

"The Widdop Switchbacks"
For some reason the knobbly tyres beckoned again this week. Three of us set off in shorts, short sleeves and light rain over top Withens. The charity ride from Fly Flats sailing club set off just as we got there and Robin was all for joining in. He has too much competitive spirit. Nige & I rode steadily on. Then a little-used moorland crossing from top of Stairs Lane over to Walshaw reservoirs and out on to the Widdop road to descend Big Jack on the tarmac. Nigel has been itching to go onto the new Sustrans bridleway (near the cattle grid), where we hit a long (and steep) set of freshly minted hairpin turns. We did then get a quick blast of a descent on these berms followed by another up. Maybe this route should be done the other way round soon to take advantage of all this downhill. The track brought us out onto Upper Gorple which we climbed to the top. Then right to the Gorple reservoirs and picked up the Pennine Bridleway to Heptonstall. Safe at last in our cafe of choice, though we were a bit muddy and splattered. I felt much better after the regulation butty. Slipped our way down blue pig and then an alternate climb (mostly paved) onto Sandy Lane and Old Town. That just left the nice run over Midgley Moor catching up with the tail end of the charity rides and job done.