Friday, December 23, 2011


Well done to Grimpy, seen above collecting his award for 2nd overall in the season long LVRC Percy Stallard Road Race Series. Brian took 3rd overall (despite the inadequacies of his diary secretary).
John was due to have the stitches removed from his leg this week and is looking forward to the day when he can turbo train using both legs.

For some reason no one seems able to make it for this Sundays club run so wer'e having a short ride on Saturday (tomorrow). If you fancy joining us I'm meeting Brian at Denholmegate at 9am bound for Gargrave Cafe.
On Wednesday 28th its 10am Shelf Roundabout, destination decided on the day. On New Years Day it the traditional Hangover Cure ride, 10am Brighouse for Holmfirth, Isle of Skye and The Works at Sowerby Bridge.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A last MTB ride - 18 Dec 2011

weather too good to take to t'road found us up on tops for a bit of banter with the moor ... steve, nigel and myself found ourselves drinking tea at ian's in leisurely sips, giving time for steve to gooey over the new small shivering sack of bewilderment and cuteness that was the robinson's new puppy called basil ... 9.30, for such was the lateness of the start - came and went, and then we clambered up onto old road and along top path where nigel took two headers in the space of a few hundred yards, the first in private, the second very public ... it seems the ice was not sufficient to hold his new found bulk, or was it that skinny tyre he had on the front wheel (nigel proffered the later cause, we demured) ... so he kept cracking through where the rest of us skated nimbly on ... he held it like a real man though, unaffeared of the inevitable (twice more) ... poo farm found me with a shoe full of shit and steve claiming fatigue, which meant an altered route up and down over walshaw then a new path that had all the hallmarks of a 'barker' route, sure enough we were 'barkered', pushing through a stream, having to bump our way down ice clad steps etc etc until the road and a quick bray onto heptonstall and the inevitable sausage, bacon and egg .. ian tried to resist the sausage but his will power was pitiful ... then down past blue pig, before a huge collective sweaty push up behind the toilets with helmets off, a real treat, though we found ourselves having come to early (for riley that is) ... so i went on, and the others went off to pre-riley meeting at lane ends

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Riley's Treat - 18 Dec 2011

Is anyone else venturing to The Robin Hood at Pecket Well tomorrow?
My plan is to ride MTB with Nigel leaving mine at 9am and heading for breakfast at Towngate Tearooms (which is my favourite cafe). You'd be welcome to join us.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Social 'Do' of the Year

The social function of the year, The Wednesday Ride Christmas Dinner, was held yesterday at Towngate Tearooms, Heptonstall. Unfortunatly for me my cold had taken a turn for the worse and I had to join Grimpy in the list of DNS's (doubly annoying for me as I'd organised it).

22 did make the start line for what has been reported as an excellent Christmas dinner.

Most had met at the usual time and place, 100hrs Shelf Roundabout, and made their windy way to Heptonstall via Cock Hill.

Others had walked from Hebden Bridge to the Blue Pig then up the Calderdale Way to have a quick pint in The Cross before the meal.

It was good to see Mike Darke looking so fit and healthy after last years health problems.

Thanks to Phil Tempest for the photo's

And thanks to PG for taking over the financial management in my abscence.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bad Day at Peel Park

Being off the bike myself for a few days nursing a cold I decided to go along to Peel Park to cheer on Grimpy and Paul Daly, seen above looking relaxed and confident before the start of Sundays round of the National Series Cyclo-Cross. Once the starting pistol had fired I found a good spot to watch the riders struggling up an impossible to ride very muddy steep banking. The leaders passed by and I expected to see John and Paul not far behind but they were both towards the back of the field. Unknown to me at that time was the fact that they had both struck disaster - I'll let John describe what happened to his race ambitions -

'You may recall me saying that my major hiccup on Sunday was caused by my pedal catching my shin as I performed a cartwheel. It felt painful but I kept going steadily only noticing the blood when I finished.
When I took my tights off I found a massive hole adjacent to my right shin 60mm long X 15 wide X 20 deep, nearly gone straight through caused by my outer chainring. I tried to clean all the crap out in the shower but to no avail. Noel Clough went to get 1st aid for me but no one came so Mark Gill took me to the event ambulance who covered it up and sent me off to A&E.

6 hours later it was confirmed there is no break and eventually a plastic surgeon ( a mate of Chris Hoy) put me together again and I'm hoping that theres no infection but it will be at least a week before I can walk again and 2 weeks for stitches to be removed so I may be back on the bike early January I hope.

Bad luck for John (especially as he's just paid for his flights and hotel for the World Masters X Champs in Louisville, Kentucky in mid Jan).

Paul's problem should be fixed a bit quicker, he fell on the 1st lap damaging the rear changer on his new Ridley carbon 'cross bike and had to carry the bike round the course to the pits changing to his reserve mount before getting down to the job of catching up the rest of the field. He appeared to be doing so but then again went AWOL - yes he'd done the same again to his old 'cross bike - it may have survived six 3 Peaks races but but couldn't cope with the Peel Park mud and now he is in need of 2 new rear changers (good job he has a rich sponsor). Having no more bikes to change to he had to run a full lap carrying the bike but even in the face of such adversity remained philosophical to the end.

However it wasn't a bad day for everyone connected with The Condor, Simon Fortune's sons, Adam and Nathan both won their category's in the schoolboys races, well done lads!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Grimpy takes North of England Champs

In what national seniors champion, Paul Oldham described as wet, cold and muddy conditions on a course near Barnard Castle yesterday, Grimpy (seen above in a summer league event) won the over 60's title in the North of England Cyclo-Cross Championships. This was an important step in his preparation for the British National Champs next month giving him important points towards the gridding system and made up for his disappointment at being beaten into the silver medal position by former 'Cross Pro Vic Barnett at the recent LVRC National Championships.

Good luck next Sunday John, in the 5th round of National Trophy Series at Peel Park, Bradford (1030hrs for the vets races)

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Thursday, December 01, 2011

2012 club clothing

If you havn't already done so could you let me know what new kit you want me to order - take a look at custom clothing on and you may see something you haven't tried before, for example arm warmers or a pro road jersey rather than the standard jersey. Last year we ordered the Pro Bibshorts which were said to be made of a superior material called Fieldsensor - at the last minute they informed me that the Pro bibshorts were only available in black for the main body area - several members would have preferred blue so if you have a preference let me know 'cos I'm thinking of going back to the cheaper bibshorts in blue - if you would prefer the better quality pads in a blue bibshort that can be arranged but you will be paying the pro bibshort price. I will be ordering some stock items in addition to what people specifically request...........
I'm also including in the order a limited edition retro kit similar to to one being modelled (in 1959) below by Grimpy. It will be black with three white chest bands (perhaps a bit narrower than the original) and somewhere in discreet olde worlde writing will be the club name. There will also be an all black bibshort with vertical writing at the lower leg to go with the retro jerseys. I won't be keeping stock of the retro kit so if you want some please let me know.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Autumn Tour to the Lake District

Brian’s De-training Tour, Hawkshead, 26rd to 30th September 2011
Report by Paul Gower
Day 1
-90miles 0900hrs pronto, Trevor Lever, Brian Sunter, Everard Rhodes, Peter Sutcliffe, Martin Gargett, Dave Saleem, Richard Hird, John Kaye, Neil Dyson, John Ginley.
This assorted bunch left Denholmegate at 9am prompt on a bright sunny morning with a howling tail wind. PG waved them off in his limo. Full of saddlebags, holdalls, sunscreen, shaving tackle & deodorant. Alas PG would not take ND's tool box containing 14lb sledge hammer, anvil, small furnace etc, saying limo would not get up the hills with that weight.
Morning coffee was taken at Hellifield Station Café after which they got lost in the back lanes whilst being led by BS.
Time was lost when DS broke a spoke (rear wheel, drive side of course). Brian redeemed himself for his previous detour mistake, the assembled bunch watched in amazement as he managed to get the wheel to rotate without catching the frame.
Half an hour from the lunch spot at Kirby Lonsdale the bunch received a wireless telephone call from PS saying that we had deposited the luggage in Hawkeshead digs and were riding into a howling headwind towards the lunch-spot at K Lonsdale.
After various bevies and panini's (recommended by Grimpy) we set off to Hawkeshead on a lumpy back road via Old Hutton, Oxenholme & Kendal. In Kendal DS decided his rear wheel needed more attention and was directed to a cycle shop by a lady cyclist. Dave took his back wheel into the shop whilst on the outside PG received another bollocking for not bringing the anvil and furnice etc. and the whole bunch were photographed by a passer by as they loitered on the pavement outside the shop for half an hour. On coming out of the shop DS was delighted, block off, tyre & tube off, new spoke fitted, wheel trued and all put together again, all for the princely sum of £4.00. (good job Dave didn't break a spoke back in Calderdale or else he'd have had to get new wheel, block, chain, tyre/tube all costing him £5 less than a new bike).
From Kendal, backroad through Crook to Bowness and ferry to Sawrey and Hawkeshead.
On arriving at digs a familiar bike is found in pub gateway and Hoppy welcomed us into the pub. Our bikes were given their own superior accommodation in a fully furnished holiday cottage.

Day 2
Easy? Shorts & short sleeves weather. Hawkeshead - Sawrey then south in lanes, Bowland Bridge, through woods via Witherslack Hall then backroad to Lindale for pub lunch.
After lunch on through Grange-over-Sands, Flookburgh then lanes and woods to Haverthwaite. The lanes now had grass in the middle through Bouth, Colton (further refreshments), now very steep climbs to Low Nibthwaite then the east side of Coniston Water and over Hawkshead Hill and back to digs.
Day 3
Hawkshead, Sawrey, across on the ferry to Bowness and up through Troutbeck for morning coffee and chocolate at the Kirkstone Inn. Then down the Kirkstone Pass to Patterdale and left on Ullswater up to Matterdale End then down towards the A66 but turning left on a back road just before the main road. On to Threlkeld and left down St Johns in the Vale for sarnies and beverage at Stybeck.
After dinner we took the lane on the western side of Thirlmere re-joining the main road to go over Dunmail Raise and down to Grasmere for an afternoon liquid stop. On leaving the hostelry one of our elderly bunch of cyclists noticed a pint was being left only a quarter drunk so he took it outside asking who’s drink it was. ’Its mine’ says Neil (as quick as a flash) and then he supped it off just as a man came out of the pub demanding to know who’d stolen his beer. Fistycuffs were feared but only peels of merryment were heard as Neil dipped into the kitty to buy him another pint.
Further cycling/walking over Red Bank (to cheers from hikers) and down to Skelwith Bridge and back to Hawkshead. Lovely ride/scenery/weather.

Day 4
Hawkshead, Clappersgate, Langdale and over Wrynose Pass - who rode all the way???? Most walked last 50 yards. Left at Cockley Beck and down the Duddon Valley for coffee at Seathwaite. Out of pub towards Ulpha but made mistake of turning 1st left to go over Stickle Pike. Seemed like a good idea at the time; young bucks rode with grace all the way to the top but the old bucks had to hoof it, admiring the scenery and identifying different types of sheep. Forward over the top and down to Broughton Mills and Broughton in Furness. Much to the amusement of the locals we did 3 laps of B in F looking for a pub with decent beer and sandwiches - we had to settle for decent beer at the pub and food in a café (which was very good).
Leaving Broughton turned left near Grizbeck, over the Giants Grave, Crake, Birks, Kendall Ground to Lowick Bridge. While on the tops a mobile phone incorporating camera, computer, record player and GPS had to be employed as we were totally lost in a maze of grassy gated lanes .
From Lowick Bridge straight up east side of Coniston, over Hawshead Hill to Hawkshead.
Dinner at another pub in the village where a lady from ‘why-eye’ land charmed the socks off th over 60’s

Day 5
All the troops set off early for the 90 mile journey home, PG & Pete S rode as far as Crook then returned via Sawrey to load up the car . Meanwhile the gang journeyed via Kendal, Kirby Lonsdale, lunch in Low Bentham hostelry (barmaid had to go to shop for sandwiches). Then a quick blast home via a Denholme watering hole, apart from Ev’s who took a short cut home via Gisburn.


As pleasant as Robins sun-moted boughs may appear there was one heck of a wind blowing at Mount Skip and other exposed parts. Also his part in the ride ended at Heptonstall, along with new recruit Graham, who was yards from his front door, and Ian Wellock who felt a calling from the Blue Pig.
Lumby joined Pete, Single Simon, Dave Saleem and myself for some of the return leg via Blackwood Hall from Ludd Foot, Mill Bank, Old Ripponden Bank and Woodhouse Lane.
Pete then had to be persuaded that the ups and downs around Exley weren't really necessary and that we would like to be home for Christmas and so we finished off with the legendary leg-breaker that is Trooper Lane.
A quite demanding day with a difference but don't ask about the stats, rarely do so few miles take so much time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

yes, amid the sun -moted boughs we witness a sad string of condors PUSHING up some cobbles, for today was the pave ride, the epic cobbled classic in which all that Calderdale's finest smoothbacked gritstone ascents could throw at us we would throw right back, through gritted teeth, refusing the slope any hint of weakness .... but some had not read the script, and were only too ready to cave in at the merest hint of an incline, so here we have the first capitulation, leaving Luddenden ....

.... oh and look, here is another one, leaving Hebden Bridge this time, and the sun still shines, warming the backs of those (non)riding without shame ...... well I must admit they do a few climbs earlier in the day, after a few shorter cobbled warm ups over Brighouse way (which means I have no real idea where they actually were), we came to a couple of twisting ascents that were actually quite involving,

the first long n'steep one up to a scabby dry ski run saw Damien go back home to ogle his Zipp wheels rather than continue to submit to the ignominy of riding a bloody mountain bike any further,

the second up to Mt Tabor found Graham starting to bonk (legacy issues from a surfeit of fell running),

the third instituted the earlier mentioned walking routine ... which lasted until Heptonstall's Towngate Tearooms from whence, replete with bellyfuls of mushroom, bacon, egg and tomato 'on white', I cannot imagine the cobble-climbing became any more accomplished ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last Sunday & Next Sunday

Four Condors turned up in the autumn mist at Denholmgate – Damian, Simon, Phil and myself, we were joined by Mel, Robin & Steve at Keighley. We were soon away from the main roads turning left up through Utley to Keighley Tarn and left again over Sutton Moor. As we passed the Snowden Memorial the mists were rolling off the moors revealing brief glimpses of low sunlight - the views almost made the effort of the initial climb worthwhile. Left on the main road at Cowling and right at Reedshaw Moss to take the back lanes over to Earby. Steve had left us at Bleara Moor explaining that he had work to do on his new house extension, the confusing thing was that he went in a diametrically opposite direction to his home; I'm looking forward to hearing if he got back before lighting up time.
From Earby we took the usual route up through West Marton and were at Hellifield Station before 11o'clock. S,b& e butties for the carnivores and a double! egg sandwich for Robin – a bit worrying he doesn't usually eat that much – must be intending to put the hammer down later.
Back through Paythorne, Horton and Barnoldswick from where we took the ridge route past Fanny Grey's, through the ford by Foulridge Reservoir and on to Laneshaw Bridge. It was then over the Herders and on to Stanbury where a refreshment break was called for at the Old Silent. The beer (Ilkley Brewery) was spot on and after a couple of pints we decided we were definitely doing the Calderdale Cobbles ride next Sunday. Once refreshed we sped off over the Penistone Hill and Dog & Gun climbs (well the others sped off with me following at some distance).
75 miles with 7100 feet of climbing – definitely harder than the previous Sunday's 133 miles.

So its the Condor Calderdale Cobbles Ride next Sunday – 0930 outside the Red Rooster at Brookfoot, similar route to last year but with the inclusion of The Buttress out of Hebden Bridge and a tea stop at Towngate Tearooms, Heptonstall. All welcome to join us - its not going to be a race (I hope). Remember that the cobbles will probably be wet and leafy and some of the descents are more treacherous than the climbs so 20mm tyres with 140psi may not be the best choice – as a guide Mel and Robin are riding mountain bikes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday 20th November

Can I suggest 8.30 Denholmgate/9 Keighley. Unless someone has a better idea I have a touring route in mind to Hellifield Station Cafe and back via The Old Silent.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

John Berry

As many of you will know our long standing club mate John Berry has himself been in failing health since his wife died earlier this year. Paul Gower recently visited him at a residential home in Lightcliffe spending an hour or two reminiscing about old cycling days.
Since then John has transferred to sheltered housing at 6 Willow Court, Victoria Road, Elland, HX5 9PL, tel.01422 375476 and would love to see his old companions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eureka !

It was a beautiful weather on the western west side of the Pennines for last Sundays Eureka Audax event. Although the Condor's were a little late away from the start in Cheadle we were soon setting the pace at the head of the 70 odd field. A tail wind for the first 70 k's out to the Eureka cafe on the Wirrel ensured that a high pace was maintained, the main bunch splitting on the first climb of any note, leaving 9 or 10 in the breakaway. As ever the Eureka was packed with Scouse cyclists so as soon as our cards were stamped we were away, joined by Harrogate's Bob Johnson of VC167 and one other. It was mainly cross head winds for the rest of the day as we made our way through an intricate puzzle of back lanes. Although we had several enforced stops on the rest of the journey (Simon 2 punctures, Bob 1 puncture, Phil a loose crank and a broken spoke for me) over the Dee into Wales then back up through Cheshire only 2 other Audaxers were seen before the finish. Stats. 133 miles, ave speed 17½ mph.
Next event - Winter Solstice 200, 18th December - enter early.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday 13 Nov

Unless you fancy joining Pete Horne for a 210km audax, we're thinking of another potter in the Dales and you'd be welcome along. Nigel, Neil, and anyone else we've not seen for a while, this is an ideal day for some steady miles.

Meet 8:30 Denholme, 09:00 Keighley.


Simon's Seat Post

No, that title sounds wrong. Nothing to do with a seatpost at all. I meant a post showing a picture of Simon's Seat

... actually that doesn't sound any better does it.

See the picture instead!

and this one...

Friday, November 11, 2011

It was good to see Steve Barker and Stuart Harper both making a rare appearance on last Sundays club run, both, having ridden over Cock Hill, joining us; thats Ian, Richard and myself, at Keighley, as did Mel who of course had ridden over from Menston.
Steve, rather inappropriately I thought, for the time of year, was looking menacing on his best bike. My fears were soon realised as we hit the contours on the back road out of Silsden over Silsden Moor and Draughton Moor as he challenged Mel for KoM points. It was a beautiful, clear sunny morning with just a hint of winters chill keeping it at a good cycling temperature. We rode down through Draughton and on to Embsay before attacking Ians favourite climb, Eastby Brow the summit of which we stopped to re-group and have a photo call (come on Ian, don't be shy, let the world see if you know how to download those pics from your i-phone).
Then down the sweeping descent with its magnificent views towards Simons Seat and The Valley of Desolation to Barden and the back road to Burnsall through Appletreewick and b&e butties at the Wharfe View cafe.
After the cafe stop, Bradford Wheelers Dave Holdsworth teamed up with us as we headed for home via Thorpe-in-the Hollow, Cracoe, and Gargrave. From Gargrave we took the Broughton, Carleton route with Dave, who had been telling us all how out of form he is, full of cold and not been on his bike all week, attacked Cononley Bank like a man who'd never been up Cononley Bank in his life before. Mel and Steve upheld the honour of the Condor although I thought I detected a sign of weakness in Steve whom I'd been hoping, due to a lack of base miles, would blow up before Ingrow (unfortunately this did'nt happen).
Dave left us at Keighley roundabout and Stu, who had been looking surprisingly strong for a man who rarely gets the miles in, finally surcummed to the distance and begged to be left to plough a lonely furrow. Richard and I were tailed off on foothills of Ingrow as Ian, who'd obviously been keeping his powder dry all day, wound up the pace at the front.
The plan, due to it being the 'social season', was to stop at the Flappit to see if the Gooseye Bitter was still on form but to our amazement and disappointment the pub was closed. Never mind said Ian, 'They've got Old Spot on at the New Inn'. So off we went only to find that this pub was also closed. Richard bowed his head over his handlebars in tears and Mel said that was enough, he was going home, the rest of us deciding to do likewise.

No club run for me this Sunday, together with Single Simon and Big Phil we are starting the endurance phase of our preparation for the North West Passage by riding the 210km Eureka! audax.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Early bid for Sunday 6th

Lucky escape there Pete, and thanks for your recent posts.

Here is a suggestion from Mr Barker for this Sunday 6th November - 8:30 Denholme and 9am Keighley. Route to be discussed but possibly over Embsay (my favourite climb) to Burnsall (one of my favourite cafes).

The western section have been absent recently but that's because we don't know where Elland bus stop is (there must be more than one?) and Brighouse simply counts as "foreign parts". But we have still been riding bikes, with last week a potter over the moors of Upper Gorple & "Burnley Bumps". Desolate wilderness we can cope with. Houses & streets are frightening.

Mind you that's better than one of our number who has a litany of excuses *not* to ride a bike including "I've lent it someone", "I've got it back but the bar tape is loose and there's only one bar plug", "Have you seen the weather forecast" and "I think I've a cold coming on". Ah well, he'll enjoy it when the love of riding returns.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wednesday ride

This is what happens when you don't check for fatigue.

It happened to me this morning whilst riding up through Headingley en-route to Wetherby with the Wednesday group, fortunately we were going up hill at a steady pace so I didn't do re-arrange my face again.
If you're tempted to try it yourself make sure you are with a group of ageing but enthusiastic former engineers and rescue experts who in next to no time will have used natural locally grown products to effect a repair. It worked a treat.
Thanks to all for getting me going again - now how much does that CTC Cycle Rescue service cost?
Note: Its the 1st time I've ever experienced a snapped handlebar but interestingly a couple of months age the same thing happened to Everard; who was also using BBB bars.

Sorry about the presentation - don't know whats gone wrong with the uploading

Monday, October 31, 2011

National HC Champs

Richard may think that I'm a man of leisure but it didn't feel like that when I got home yesterday - only 85miles for the day's ride but I was kn****red - I know we've always referred to the Peak District as 'Punishment Park' but why were the hills twice as hard on the return journey? Once the 8 of us had got through the mist on Holme Moss we were treated to a bright sunshine and clear views for the rest of the day, the western Peak and Goyt Valley looking magnificent. As planned we had a re-fuelling stop at Glossop then took back roads over to Whaley Bridge before pottering up the 4½ mile hill climb course to cheer on the 150 competitors, ages ranging from 12 to 72. Tea and cakes were taken at race HQ prior to re-tracing our route home - all that is except for Mick Collins who was dragged into an ale house by Pinkie and Dan Italia (who'd driven there) and not seen again despite phone calls and texts being made in the hope on leading him back onto the not so straight and narrow road.
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National Hill Climb Champs Whalley Bridge 30 October 2011

Good ride out to Whalley Bridge yesterday but you really have to be one of the cognoscenti to appreciate the racing

This u tube film at nine long minutes long really says it all.

Perhaps that man of leisure Pete can post a blow by blow account of the day - unfortunately I've got some work to do


Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunday 30th October

In the absence of other ideas may I suggest meeting at 8.30am outside Websters at the bottom of Huddersfield Road in Brighouse for a gentle potter down to the National Hill Climb Champs just outside Whaley Bridge (40 miles). The route will take us over Holme Moss to Glossop where we can partake of a full English breakfast and still be there in time to see stars such as former world track champ Rob Hales chasing his minute man; the multi national time trial champ & record holder Michael Hutchinson and listen to Eurosports David Harmon commentating.
If you get there for 8.30 and wonder where the others are it may be because you have forgotten to turn your clock back an hour.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to recover after PBP

If I'd been asked what the best approach was to recovering after this years Paris-Brest-Paris I doubt if I would have suggested riding a 600 in Wales - Here's Danial's report.

After a solid, comfortable Paris Brest Paris, and a couple of hilly rides out since then, I didn't think twice about signing up for a 600km ride with friends. The weather forecast was superb, my bike looked OK, everything was good. And as it happened, everything was good. The weather was glorious all weekend, and I got round in time to get my train home. But I'm writing this two days after getting home, and I'm still unable to walk properly. If I'd bothered to look at the route first, I'd have realised just how tough it would be.I met up with two audax chums outside Morrisons in Redditch at 6am, and we took empty A roads down to Chipping Norton to meet up with two others. We then spent a great days passing over the Chilterns, the Cotswolds, the Cambrian mountains and Brecon Beacons to Monmouth. It was sunny and warm all day, but the temperature dropped rapidly once it got dark. We got to a Travelodge outside Monmouth at half one in the morning, for four hours kip. Three of us wanted to get back in good time on Sunday, so we set off at half five to reach the Black Mountains for dawn. The others would take the Gospel Pass later, but we went for the faster (but still pretty lumpy) lanes to the east. As we were pushed for time, this would the first of just three15-minute garage raids, to stock up on supplies. We had to cover 240km by 6pm, and one of us, who was on his first 'unsupported' 600km audax, was starting to suffer with the heat and the pace. The hills to Stow on the Wold were a struggle, but after that it was easy riding through pretty lanes back to Redditch. In the end I got back to Redditch with 17 minutes to spare before my train.We covered 625 kilometres in 35.5 hours, with 7,500 metres of climb. It was tough going; lots of hills, hot weather and few facilities on the route. It was worth it though. I had thought I wouldn't do much after Paris Brest Paris, so this was an unexpected treat."CheersDanial

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Condor 'Cross

The hero of the day, Richard. Not only was he there to help prepare the course and to dismantle the course and tidy up after the races but he also found time to be the only Condor to do the race - truly a man of iron!

Grimpy's 'Cross Report -

Notes: No major incidents, just minor tumbles,(although awaiting St johns Ambulance report) some moans about climb but most riders preferred it over the scout camp and spectators had more viewing points to see the action, just watching Chris Young climb the whole hill was worth a visit?
Thanks to Trevor for the excellent tent & for sorting signing on/ entry fees with Peters support. JD, Brian, Peeps, Pete Smith, PG, Richard, Hoppy, Steve and Simon for assisting with course build & dismantling, Gordan who was ill on the day but still managed to drop off some equipment (trust I haven’t left anyone out?)
Plus the kind assistance from YCCA members, Phil Thackary, Nora , Fred Rothwell & The lady handling the Tap Timing .

Finally I propose we use some of the profit to provide free clubmembership to all those who assist in the promotion of this and any other club events in 2011/12 – please put on the agenda for the next meeting.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Condor Cyclo Cross, Sunday 23rd October

Will you kindly put the attached cross PR sent to the Halifax Courier on the Condor Blog and kindly remind everyone their kind assistance is required from 8.00 am on Sunday at the overflow car park at Welholme Park..................................................................

A cyclo cross event his being run by the local Condor Road Club this Sunday (23rd October) under British Cycling regulations & rules.
Cyclo Cross events are off road cycle events run over varied terrain (grassland/tracks), mainly rideable but with some dismounts over circuits of 2 to 4Km in length ( shorter for U12’s), duration 15 to 60mins + 1 lap.They require fitness and bike handling skills. Unlike track and now road UK riders are not among the world elite as the sport is dominated by Belgium super stars such as Sven Nys (said to get £10K per race appearance), but this may change if as rumoured the sport becomes an Winter Olympic event. The circuits are marked out with poles and plastic tape, riders are timed with seperate events for U14’s, Youths, Vets/Woman & Seniors/Juniors. Yorkshire events this season have seen increased fields of over 100 riders particular in the veteran races attracting riders from all over the north England.
The Wellholme Park circuit is a Yorkshire Series event andthe course users the rear field beyond the stream, the wood hillside and the old railway embankment. Two steep climbs are involved and watch out for ex national champion and leader of the veteran series Chris Young ride them at speed.
Event start times and approx. race durations are:
11.00 Youths duration 30mins
11.45 under 12s, U10 & U8’s duration 15mins
12.30 Veterans/Woman duration 40 mins
13.45 Senior/Junior duration 60 mins.
Event entry is on the day, children under 12 can come along and ride on any type of bike, signing on is in the overflow car park. Why not watch the events FOC to see the skill and speed of top uk riders, food is available at the park café.
We request dogs are keep on leads, any more information can be obtained by contacting the organisor John Ginley on 01274 601567 Email

Monday, October 17, 2011

Last Sunday

The choice of Elland Bridge as a meeting point for last Sundays Club Run turned out to be quite popular with 8 eager athletes present by 0830hrs - a 9th, Pete Smith also turned up but on seeing the motley bunch that had assembled he rode off alone.
It being the Social Season a quiet scenic route was chosen - just over 50 miles with 2000+ metres of climbing - from Elland we rode up to Stainland via Holywell Brook. Then down Stainland Dene and past Wheelwrights Mill (or where it was) and up to Pole Moor. Round Bradshaw and past the Rose & Crown down to Marsden and up Old Mount Road to join Standedge Cutting by The Carriage House. From the top of Standedge we avoided the busy roads, going through Diggle and Pobgreen eventually coming out on the Isle of Skye road by Tunstead. At this point the peloton became excited to see a familiar road and left me to battle the incline alone, over the Isle and down to Holmfirth via Flush House and Hogley Green, beautiful back roads usually missed on training rides.

We regrouped at the cafe and planned the route to Salendine Nook where Andy Whitworth was promoting the 2nd round of the Rapha Supercross Series in the afternoon; the promise of a Belgium beer tent creating much anticipation and excitement. Not wanting to spoil the days hilly backroads theme we headed up to Upperthong and Wolfstones Height before dropping down through Meltham and over to Slaithwaite via Blackmoorfoot. The 'coup de grace' of the days endeavours must surely have been the next climb, Meal Hill Lane up to Moorside Edge, it almost proved too much for one our number who got off to walk - only the sight of a camera spurred him back onto his bike - I'm not going to say if this rider/walker was Dom or not and I've told his dad not to mention it to him.

I was only intending to make it a quick visit to the 'Cross. Grimpy, Vicar and Steve were in full flow flying the Condor colours in the Vets race when we arrived, Simon's two sons had both made the podium & the sun was shining and it seemed like half the audience were old riding buddies, and the beer was pure nectar. This glorious combination led to it being well past 4pm when we jumped back on our bikes and raced back towards Brighouse. A great day out.

Don't forget, its Grimpy's 'Cross at Welholme Park next Sunday - contact him (01274 601567) and let him know if you are able to help.

Don't miss Peeps' message below.
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Retro Ride, Friday 21st October

Condor/Imps Retro Run 21st October

Due to popular demand? I am organising a run for old/ancient members of the Condor /Imps, the retro bit refers to riders not bikes.
We intend to meet in the car park of Victoria Park Oakenshaw, just below Allied Colloids, at 11.00am. The proposed route being on the cycle paths and quite lanes round Mirfield and Brighouse, with a stop for lunch at the Colliers Arms, Elland. Please note this will be a steady run with no burn ups or sprints.
A few golden oldies have said they will be there i.e., John (Lou) Hesp, James (Jimmy) Cotton, John ( our kid) Priestley, Gerald (Gez) Revell, Tony Parish, David (Cutter) Carrington, Clive Williamson, Derek ( Local Star) Needham, Stuart (Slim) Sullivan, Derek (Hovis) Browne, Derek (HRC) Browne, Barry (Ace) Chandler, Gordon Turner, Eric Walker
If you cannot now get your leg over, a saddle that is, try and get to the pub for a few gargles.
The Landlord has promised to provide a coal fire in case Eric gets the urged to do his fire walking trick
A questions give me a ring on 01274 284600 Mobile 07531 297131
Be there or be square

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sunday 16th October

Bye! it were grim last Sunday, the howling gails and heavy rain I can cope with but trying to keep up to Mel and Irish John was just too much (although Big Phil and Simon appeared to manage okay). As planned we lunched at Stump Cross Caverns Cafe - the weather was really miserable up there so we decided to miss out Keighley Gate taking the easier option of Addingham Moorside for the route home, Mel saying goodbye at Addingham and Simon leaving us at Keighley.
It may not appeal to everyone but this Sunday a few of us are meeting at the bus shelter at Elland Bridge at 8.30am for a potter round the Pennine hills and valleys. After lunch its intended go to Salendine Nook for about 2.30pm to watch the Rapha Supercross.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

learn to ride in a bunch:

and then relax in front of a cavendish/millar interview:

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Late Three Peaks Report

Pete asked where my race report was for the Three Peaks so I suppose I'd better post one.

There were only two Condors this year, re-recruit Adrian and myself. The forecast was for fine weather in the morning and rain in the afternoon which would have been ok; as it was we had rain in the morning and it was fine in the afternoon and therefore it wasn’t.

We set off wet and this set the tone for the day. Simon Fell was a bugger - as always - I took my place in the line of the traumatised hauling myself up the legendary wire field fence and it was at this point that I lost sight of Adrian who I didn’t see again all day until the finish at Helwith Bridge

In an attempt to avoid pinch punctures on the rocky descents I was using Schwalbe Land Cruisers at 60psi however the high pressure and a relatively unaggressive tread pattern meant that they were badly suited to the wet boggy conditions and previously rideable sections of moorland fell were now impassable other than on foot. The descent from Ingleborough to Cold Cotes, normally a blast was, equally difficult and it soon became clear that I wouldn’t be winning any prizes or breaking any pb’s this year.

My ascent of Wherenside went ok; a lot of carrying but I was able to keep it together and it seemed that a training regime that had involved multiple climbs with my bike over my shoulder, in the dark, up a local hill was paying off. It all went a bit wrong however at the start of the descent when I fell on rocky ground winding myself badly and in the process hurting my carrying arm and ribs, however by the time I reached Blea Moor it became clear that I hadn’t broken anything, that I wasn’t going to die and that I might as well carry on. The last hill Pen-y-Ghent went much to plan – slow but steady - I was even gaining places and starting to enjoy myself as I headed down Pen-y Ghent Lane to the smooth tarmac and the run in to Helwith Bridge.

At the finish I caught up with Adrian who had finished about ten minutes in front of me. His ride had been pretty uneventful, I think, but his partner (I think that’s right) Neris had not been so lucky, she’d fallen broken her ankle and had had to be winched from the top of Wherenside. She’s incapacitated with her leg in a pot at the moment but otherwise ok.

Slowest time of all my attempts; partly down to the weather I’m sure but I also suspect that holding back the years will become more difficult year on year.

PS I’m writing this on the 9th October three full weeks after the race and my ribs still hurt, maybe I did more damage than I thought on Wherenside

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sunday 9th October - Autumn Colours

Autumn Colours in the Washburn Valley - meet Odsal Roundabout, 8.30am, Mel will be joining us at Shipley, then Esholt/Chevin/Farnley/Lindley/Fewston/Blubberhouses/West End/Stump Cross Caverns cafe/Bolton Abbey/Ilkley/Keighley Gate/Fishermans.
There are some mucky back roads so 4 seasons tyres recommended.

Friday, October 07, 2011

yes ... a belated report from the vanguard ...

once we'd sorted the Pete's from the chavs up heptonstall hill (ie pottered on leaving the rest), and been cheered on by my dog and its hung over owner, we took it in turns to make sure binman did not get back on the back, especially the young VS turk Alex, who was especially anxious that the supervisor did his supervising from way back, without in fact having sight over anything (a bit like the bin job itself I suppose) ...

we spilled off the long causeway, through the back streets of Burnley and before we really thought about where we were there came the nick of pendle, and we had to then chase down a couple of riders who knew not that the Sage ... the condor himself ... had decreed that if you want to ride strong you stay together ... we finally caught them in town, a bit lost they were ....

the cold cafe at Waddington was not cold enough to stop, so on we tilted over Newton Fell - John was enjoying this part especially, something to get stuck into finally, not like those easy races where it's all hiding in one another bum stream before popping out at the last minute and heaving all over one's top tube like a bull over a heifer in order to say how close you had been, if only ....

on the back roads beyond Newton I punctured, and whilst some did yet another Pete and left to get to the cafe in Slaidburn, others stayed loyal to the collective ethic (not the condor himself though, he must have moved onto a different maxim by then) and helped me out with pump and chat .. Slaidburn found three rather keen to go on, and the VS- Condor contingent happy to linger, with an admixture of tea, jelly beans and bacon rolls for company, and some rain .... back on the bikes ready for the spin back and LO Alex had done slightly over fifty miles and o blew, well exploded is a better term really ... Andy-cum-Eric and John had n'er seen the like and we had to explain (we had gone through the same with young Johnny a few years back in Condor) that it seems some young'uns can go real well up to fifty, then it gets past the cycling watershed, and they should be tucked up at home, otherwise home becomes this very distant thing that only vaguely makes sense, a bit like Dorothy in Oz, home is somewhere else ... so that was that, and like proper team mates Andy-cum-Eric (because it sounds better) and John nursed him steadily back by showing him gels, much like you might encourage a reluctant sheep up a hillside with handfuls of hay. The condor, myself and Graeme (soon to be a Condor, though perhaps too fit, not sure yet) stayed with them as long as was socially respectable, and long enough to witness the steady gaze of a behemoth of a lady resting on a wall, licking an ice cream and lusting after John - I am sure it was John she wanted, he seemed the most suitable as a prospective beau (one can only imagine what binman would have made of the sight, I really do dread to think) - then we took off from the VS trio in a compensating burst of speed that lasted well over five hundred yards before settling into a medium-fast pace training ride kind of feel, blown onwards by the hastening prospect of rice pudding ... we waited long enough at the finish to eat our way through many helpings (along with crisps), and to witness to the arrival of Alex who evidently had not said a word since leaving Slaidburn, and continued to remain mute, conserving energy taken to new heights ...

another grand day out thanks to the organization of Mr Crossland for which many thanks

Monday, October 03, 2011

Season of Mists

Good to see a few new wearers of the Condor kit. Adrian looked as if he's recovered from the previous weeks 3 Peaks, trying to hide behind Adrian in the above photo is another member from the Boylan dynasty, Bernard's son Tom who together with his mates had an excellent ride - I just hope he hasn't inherited his dad's puncture repairing ability.
I can't give much of a report of the days performances, I was riding alone for most of the route having chosen to start a few minutes after the a peloton of 130 or so riders I took the initial climb through Heptonstall at a relaxed pace hoping that Pete Smith, only very recently back on the bike again after his accident, would catch me after arriving late at registration. I'd only just passed the Fox & Goose when I saw Richard freewheeling back to Hebden Bridge shouting something obscene about his new £170 cycling shoes (what happened to a 3 Peaks report Richard?). Through Colden and Blackshaw Head I had settled to an easy pace chatting to Todmorden Harrier and frequent Audaxer Richard Leonard and then Dave Saleem was telling me about the previous weeks Autumn Tour (Neil - how about a blog report and photo's).
Dom Turner, who had had the 1st of his 3 punctures on the start line caught me at Blackshaw Head, I contemplated tagging along with him until he told me in an urgent voice that he was intending to catch Moto 1, doubting that Moto 1 - Mel, Robin, Andy Marshall & John D etc. would be riding at a gentle pace so he could catch up I decided to let him get on with it. I pottered along, steadily catching individuals and small groups through Briarfield and Fence. On the ridge towards Sabden I came across Martin and Dougie who had been sorting out a puncture so we teamed up and made our way to Waddington together. I was surprised to find that so many Condors and associates such as Tommo from VS, Mick Collins & Steve Robinson had stopped for a sit down feed so early, I know its the Social Season but bacon Butties after only 30 miles or so is a bit extreme.
Not wanting to spoil a reputation thats taken several years to build I explained that I was going to ride on steadily and would expect them to catch me up the road. Martin & Dougie came with me and behaved impeccably, not once pushing the pace beyond my comfort zone (perhaps they didn't know the route). We stopped for 10 min or so at Downham then at the start of the climb out of Downham over to Roughlee the dreaded hiss was heard, it was coming from Dougie's rear wheel; I continued alone. I then caught a guy from Goole resplendent in a 2011 PBP jersey, he insisted that he has enjoyed his French odyssey then went on to tell me about his neck muscles packing up during the ride and having to tie his head back so he could look forwards whilst cycling - enjoyment comes in stange guises.
We rode together through Barrowford and Nelson up to Coldwell Tea Rooms where I spent some time chatting to the marshalls, Andy Mann and fiancee. I had an enjoyable potter back from Coldwell to the finish with Martin and Sally Cowton who had been up at Coldwell sampling the coffee and was very surprised to be caught on the final descent by John D and his VS team who had been in the Coldwell cafe for some time administering sweet tea to recent young recruit to the squad.
I'd been eating rice pudding for some time before Ian, Pete Smith, Dom, Thommo and others arrived, I had expected them to catch up during the ride but it soon became clear why this hadn't happened - they'd managed to get lost - I won't say anything more.

Thanks once again to Chris Crossland and his wonderful team, a credit to the CTC; but Chris, next year can we have marshalls at all junctions in Nelson - just till Ian's passed by.
[Ian adds: I've now realised that passing through Nelson with my eyes closed may have seemed like the best idea in previous years when I could simply follow a wheel, but not so good this time when others were relying on me to know the route. I know where I went wrong - at the dreaded "dead end" roundabout. Apparently Nelson once had a large Tourist Board, but then they used it to block up a broken window ...]
I understand that Robin is to blog a Moto 1 report.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Simon's Paris-Brest-Paris Report

Simon & Mick looking a little aprehensive before the start

Paris-Brest-Paris 2011

Michael Collins and I went to the starting line (last minute as usual) for 16.00 on Sunday 21st August 2011 at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris to be met by 500 other riders in the vedettes group (80 hour time limit). Baking hot in 38-degree sunny weather we waited to be called forward to the first on many timing mats and the first stamp in our Brevet cards. We got away in the second wave just 20 minutes after the first group and didn’t the excitement of the event trigger an immense pace doing 40kph on the flats to keep in a group – you would have been excused to misjudge the event for a 100 mile sportive not 1230km Audax. I then settled into a well paced group and managed to ride to the first control without hitting any of the traffic furniture described as serious hazards by the organizers averaging just over 27km per hour.
As darkness fell, I found myself riding in a small group with chaps from the other Condor (Rapha) and despite the immaculately expensive kit was riding at a sensibly conservative rhythm. As the kilometers passed we picked up more and more riders and rode through the first night comfortably. The next 300km were pretty uneventful just trying to click off the controls through Fourgres, Tintiniac before crossing over a bridge for me to recognize the town of Loudeac (Mark Cavendish won here a month earlier on apparently a flattish finish in the Tour). I managed to skip ahead of Mr. Collins as he was treating himself to a restaurant dinner whilst I had a splash and dash of cake and a can of coke.
I arrived at Carhaix (@ 525km’s) hoping for the Baxter’s support coach to be waiting and only to be told by Bob Johnson that they were still travelling from Paris – being unable to change my clothes would proof to be painful later in the ride. Whilst looking for the coach Mick had got back with me and we would ride to Brest together. Knowing I was going to have a sleep in Brest at a booked hotel, I decided to press on at the front of our group and shedded two guys (1 from Oxford and 1 from Cambridge). As we dropped over “the Rock” into Brest, a certain Mr. Collins likened the pace of the decent and lines undertaken to those not seen since his pro days in France a few years ago. Tremendous fun and would love to do that again sometime!
In Brest (618 km’s) I left Mick to continue on without sleep and relaxed in my hotel for a well deserved 6-hour sleep. Rejuvenated and ready to go, I left the hotel at 2.30 in the morning feeling great and I was halfway already. The next 300km’s was quite a strange experience as I was riding through the later waves of riders who’d caught me whilst I’d been sleeping. I was riding through these riders at about 5km per hour faster and rode on my own through the next day (Tuesday). As I left Fourgres, I caught up with the minis PBP held for youngest under 16 who were riding a decent distance of 200km. 2 Spaniards decided to take-over this group and I hooked up to their back wheels. We did the next 60km’s bit and bit flat out until we overtook a Dutch chap who decided he could go even faster with our small group and we all sat on his wheel. I had to ask myself if we were riding 800 miles or just 80? It was all fun though whilst my legs were feeling good. I arrived into VILLAINES-LA-JUHEL to a rapturous applause from the cheering crowds and we were all treated like cycling stars – what a sensational party atmosphere!
As we hit the night I was starting to tire and was relieved to get to MORTAGNE-AU-PERCHE and fell asleep at a table for 10 mins or so after eating my supper. I left into the darkness thinking just 140km’s to go but sitting down was starting to take its toll. Riding out of the saddle was to become more and more frequent despite me catching a group from Switzerland. I was alittle shocked when we’d ridden through a small town for one rider at the front to put his arm in the air followed by everyone except me peel off for a call of nature! I hadn’t realized we were still at school.
On leaving the last control point in Dreux at 4.30 in the morning, I was feeling great just a couple of hours to complete the ride, at which I point I hit a cateye and punctured - the Swiss group left me in the middle of nowhere. With limited light I walked to a nearby village and wasted the best part of an hour in doing so – perhaps my mind wasn’t just in the right place at this time and being alone was best! After riding about 10km’s gently, I was caught by 2 Irish guys and a chap from Loughborough who I would ride with to the finish. I arrived back in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Paris to just a handful of spectators and the ride was done!
In a nutshell; 3 years of endurance audax preparation, 6 hours and 10 minutes sleep in 3 days, 63 hours total ride time and a sore backside, hands and feet. Would I do it again – probably yes but maybe single speed next time. The one thing us Brit’s can take from this experience was the enthusiasm and respect given to all riders by the French spectators. I don’t think I went through a village without clapping and cheering and it didn’t seem to make any difference what time of day it was

Danial looks relaxed as he is well into the kilometres, PBP 2011