Monday, February 28, 2011

Imps Reliability

It seems to fall on me again, as the Condor correspondent from the 'front' line - well not quite the front. That position was taken by better men than me for most of the ride - mainly Sean.
A strong turn out in Brighouse, which included some very handy looking guys, worryingly suggested that this could turn into another 'Batley Bash'.
The early selection took place on the climb up Sowerby New Road which was taken too fast for the first cimb and it whittled the field down at an early stage.
Despite Robin's and my attempts to take Cock Hill at a steadier pace the inevitable attacks came and by Pecket Well the road was littered with riders in varying levels of pain. Ian can testify to this as we passed him having a gentle saunter up the hill. I got back to Robin before the top, he had clung on longer, taking his body to places it didn't want to go and with the front group gone I was looking forward to a much less painful ride - that I might even enjoy! Imagine my dissapontment when, just after Oxenhope, the group had waited for us to rejoin.
The ups and downs from Connonley to Gargrave were painfully dismissed and then, much to my surprise - and relief, over half the group turned for home declaring they were doing the 'short one' !
Robin also decided to have his own ride home and just 10 or so riders headed for Airton at a more sensible tempo, although the lumpy road to Hetton is uncomfortable at any tempo.
As the wind came to our backs my only worry was surviving the considerable trademark 'stings in the tail' provided by J.Kaye with his usual relish.
The elastic started stretching on the Cow & Calf, and Baildon Moor and by Moorhead Golf Club it had well and truly snapped. Sean danced away with Carl (I think), the unknown fell runner, with Andy R (aka Eric) in pursuit leaving Dwarty and me to grind it out to the Pineberry, finishing around 13.50 and an average just over 17 mph.
In the pub I learned that Nigel had called it a day at Pecket Well - a case of 'Akbar's revenge' from an indian the night before. Surprisingly Neil had also aborted. However several Condor stalwarts had got round, Brian and Grimpy, Pete H looking unblemished after doing the short one and El Presidente was on his way back in.
Now then, anyone for a sedate club run to a nice cafe next Sunday ?!

Hey Mel, good to see the write-up, glad we had someone at the front (or nearly there) to do a report. I had to put up with some criticism for entering the 65miler rather than the 80 but after studying the route, the weather forecast, my knees and my birth certificate I convinced myself that it was the right thing to do - I was right - as I predicted I went straight out of the back going up to Sowerby. I was happy to be alone for most of the way to Gargrave rather than grovel at the back of the bunch although it didn't stop me feeling *******ed by the time I got to Gargrave - the beauty was that I had time so sit in the cafe for an hour, drink tea, eat cakes and chat to other *******ed cyclists before riding back with Everard and Damian for a very enjoyable couple of hours at the Pinebury.

Well done JK for attracting such a good field, I think John said there were almost 70 turned up for the ride and judging from the banter at the finish everyone had enjoyed it.

By the way the 'unknown fellrunner' referred to by Mel is Karl Gray, he's certainly not unknown in fellrunning circles, a winner of many running races and the current Yorkshire Fellrunning Champion - he also got under 6¼ hours in last years Fred Whitton which I suspect is the fastest ever done by a rider from Calderdale - I hope he enjoyed the ride and look forward to seeing him out on local rides again.

I hope that Melvyn still fancies a sedate run to a nice cafe by the time next Sunday comes around, looking at the route sheet for the following weeks Todmorden Loops a more restful Sunday will do everyone good. It would help Danial a lot - especially on the catering side - if you pre-enter, he's set up a web site so entries can be made at the press of a button. Whether you pre-enter or not it promises to be a great ride taking you to places you may never have been before.
Pete H

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


For the information of all her friends in the Condor, Janice was the victim of a hit & run driver on Burdock Way last Sunday. She suffered fractures to the pelvis, she is home now but as been told that it will be very painful for quite some time and she expects to be out of action for at least 3 months.
On behalf of all of us we wish you a speedy recovery.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rites of Passage

The recent enthusiasm shown for the North West Passage was well and truly dampened by Saturdays early snowfall, of which Calderdale seemed to get more than its share, resulting in me being the sole Condor in the company of a strong VS showing of Dwarty, Chris, Andy M, Andy R, Dougie and Martin Croft. Clearly Condors choose to nest at higher altitudes.
The Spring Inn was just damp and cold with no white stuff to be seen, except on the cars of trans-pennine entrants, until the usual ragged assortment of riders reached Todmorden. My enthusiasm was also tested by a wave of cold slush from a passing car at Cliviger and I feared we wouldn't see Gisburn but Blacko was clear and the scene of the usual sparring from riders who should know better.
The VS train took up the front running and we didn't hang around in Settle - keen to get warmed up again on Buckhaw Brow.
As we lined out on the routine bash to Kirby Lonsdale we failed to notice Dougie had not re-gained contact and he was left to chase us to the butty wagon, not easy as we were enjoying the only tail wind of the day and clocking 30 mph plus. I thought this was a poor show by VS and wouldn't ever expect the Condor to treat a club member in this way.
The day continued to improve as we headed west and by Blackburn the roads were almost drying out - and yes, Longridge high street hurt like normal, and that horrible bit under the motorway as you start the final climb to Owd Betts, and the legs were screaming as we go over the top too fast for comfort, and we just have to take to the pavement instead of stopping at the temporary lights or we wouldn't have finished at 3.50pm - maybe 3.55 instead !
The day looked better after a pint and pie and peas but then this event always seems better looking back.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Me? Struggling? Well it was soooooo bad that I was dropped on the Old Road and suffered the ignominy of being offered a gel to get me back home which was all downhill. It started out well enough, rain with no prospect of relief, a head-down pull through Skipton then Grassington and before you know it you are in Lyttondale and there is no going back other than over the top to Settle. The way back was wetter if that is possible, a contributing headwind, long turns on the front gradually got shorter, until I couldn't make any gesture to such by Keighley. Ingrow grew as it went on, as it can do from time to time, then the slope up to windmills not only grew but steepened. It seemed to make sense to go up it a bit like a tractor ploughing a sloping field, only there is a point to ploughing a field, and I did not have much in the way of a point in mind when i was trying to go up the hill. I have not ridden since. Even today I took one look at the snow and went back to bed. Neil the Indomitable no doubt went to the start and rode, maybe The Condor too. Nigel the Baster I know did not, maybe sympathising with my wasted reputation he too stayed back at home this morning rather than enter The Passage. Besides, he will have had some marinade to rub into something. For those that did not ride today anything doing tomorrow. I am going out in the cold fog, maybe to repeat the ploughing up Bowland Knots or some such, accompanied by the calling of a murder of crows.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sat 19th North West Passage

A late reminder to anybody up for a challenge on Saturday, the NW passage audax (210k) starts at 08.00 hrs and the mini one at 09.00 from the Spring Inn, Rochdale.
More details on the Audax uk link.
As one club member put it "its the easiest 210 kilometres you'll do all year!" Though it looks like the weather may let us down for the first time in years, hope for a good Condor turn out in both events.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A few photos from the dinner

My cheap little compact didn't cope too well with the lighting in the Works but I'll blog the photo's anyway although they are rather late due to my internet connection being down.

I ( like others) had been looking forward to seeing a report of last Sundays Silverdale ride - there's not much I can say, I couldn't see myself lasting long with the main bunch so I set off early going through Denholmgate at about twenty to nine and with the help of a tail wind averaging about 16mph to Halton Gill. Just before Halton Gill I caught Lumby and PG who had parked their cars in Keighley. We rode together into the wind and rain over Silverdale to Settle expecting to be caught by the main bunch. Having reached Settle we were happy to retire to the Naked Man for the usual tea & b&e butties. We hadn't been there long before the peloton swept down into town, wet and cold they had decided not to stop. I couldn't have passed the cafe myself but I can understand not wanting to go through the distress of having to get going again after sitting wet though for an hour - it was hard work but it did help me make my mind up that I am going to ride the 80 miler this Saturday rather than the full distance NW Passage so good luck to the hard men doing the full distance -see if you can do that without a stop as well.

ps I have heard a rumour that Robin was struggling last Sunday - is this true?

Posted by Picasa

A few more photos

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What's doin' tomorrow? Up and over some fell or 'ought. Silverdale maybe, so Keighley roundabout at 9.30? I thought I should check. Last week the prospect of trying to ride in the wind with a bunch of hung over roadies weaving themselves from nowhere to nowhere found me reaching for the real bike and taking to the hills. Met a bunch of off-cumdens from London Dynamo (a behemoth of a club renowned for clogging up Richmond Park and wearing aloofness like a pair of well polished epaulettes) who were far too quick to allow me to meander. I took them along Steve's path through the slate quarries by Ogden just so I could get a rest. They were very polite about having to ply through northern bog in the midst of a hoolie, maybe they enjoyed it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Windsday Run

This test post is to say I am now 'tooled up' for blogging and in a position to respond to any future comments from Mr. Horne (see Waddington Report).

Yesterday was an unholy battle with the wind with several riders decided to abort before Scammonden (and no Pete - I wasn't on the front!) - and respect to the brave V.S. guys who continued over the Isle of Skye.

Ian didn't mention that himself, Nige, Neil and me returned to The Works for a very civilised 'Full Works' breakfast ! We did decline the ale though.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

message to "Stu"

Hi Stu

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, that's fine, give me a call 07966713158 if you need more info. Keighley is probably best for you.

I think the blog may have mentioned, just once or twice, that we do tend to stop in a cafe mid-ride. Its the only reason I go out on my bike.



I've been reading some of your blog and the routes you go on seem interesting.
I've only just moved to Hebden Bridge and wonder if I can come out with you on Sunday please?

I'm a fairly capable cyclist but the maximum I've ever cycled is about 50 miles, so I understand if I get left behind!

If it is possible, I was wondering where is the best place to meet you as it looks like you maybe going through Denholme and Keighley.
Maybe I'd be best going straight up from Pecket Well to Keighley?

Also, do you have lunch out or do you all bring enough food for the trip?

Thanks in advance

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Late notice Sunday 6 Feb - 10am at Brighouse

Sorry for the last-minute change of plan, but the weather and the late night at the club dinner forced a re-think.

The wind definitely won today. I was beaten. Flattened. Blown over.

The 9 miles from Elland to top of Buckstones took well over an hour. And that's with the luxury of having a wheel to follow including, at least twice, a helpful push from a stronger rider to shove me back into the safety of the mother ship. We turned for home in Denshaw over windy hill. Going down under the motorway I glanced down at my computer. 51.8 mph it read, and I was now just about going the same speed as the wind ...

Friday, February 04, 2011

Condor Dinner

I've been asked to remind members attending tomorrows club dinner to bring something along for the raffle

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Be Prepared

Photo - a view taken by Danial during loop 2 of the Todmorden Loops.

Don't forget the North West Passage on Saturday 19th February, for anyone not fancying the full 130 miles don't forget there's a 'short' version which is only about 80 miles. Sounds like there is going to be a good entry from Calderdale.

The following weekend John Kaye from Halifax Imps is organising what used to be the HCA Reliability Ride starting from outside The Ritz in Brighouse at 9am Sunday 27th Feb.

TODMORDEN LOOPS Two weeks after John's event - Sunday the 13th of March - our own Danial Webb is organising the 1st ever Todmorden Loops audax. Whilst he is will accept entries on the day he has set up a website which gives full details of the route plus a simple to use facility to enter on-line. If you are a member of Audax UK, CTC or British Cycling entry is £5, if not its £7 - this includes refreshments before, during and after the ride. Pre entry will help Danial, especially with the catering.

Note: sorry about the photo, it refuses to attach to the blog.

Posted by Picasa