Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whilst the traditionalist, stiff backs were venting themselves hard on yet another ride through Keighley and into the Dales, the Condor Off-Road Club (Luddenden Valley Section) took to the rich tracery of dry trails round 'ere abouts Hebden Bridge way, weaving in and out of this and that: sheep, hippies, ramblers, sheep, gates, sheep.

First insight of the day went to Nigel who observed how, when riding dry trails, the stones appeared looser, nay they became errant, dangerous libertarians, freesayers, Levellers, who without notice to their betters would simply jump up from the ground and irritate the steady, patrician, well-appointed rider from atop his hiearchy, with neither by-your-leave nor tugged forelock. So it is not only sticks that the cautious cyclist must watch for, but stones as well. We hastened to some tarmac round Widdop (as in pic) for respite.

Second insight to Ian, who noted how a mental image (in this case the bacon and egg barm held on promise at Heptonstall) can grow without conscious control, first in content (in this case to include sausage), then in size (to become really quite large, perhaps preluded by some cake), until finally becoming the only object of concern to a knackered mind (when riding up to Mays at the end of a long long stretch the barm had become to all intents and purposes a direct equivalent to the entire world).

Last insight is mine, commenting that the less you think the better you ride ... don't aim, don't steer, don't look at obstacles ... it was mentioned that if thoughtlessness was a qualification for riding well I should be just fine

So we went on, all of us that little bit more intelligent ... or less, maybe

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Faizor Sunday 27th March

Pretty darned good day in the Dales; Yorkshire, particularly North Yorkshire on a bright spring day truly is ‘God’s own County’ I joined the three Petes, Stu originally from Bristol, Melvyn, Mick Collins, and Single Simon (sorry Simon don’t know your second name) at Keighley, we then proceeded through Gargrave and Airton towards the promise of bacon sausage and egg sandwiches at the intriguingly named hamlet of Faizor. We had Paul G and Paul H for company until Skipton and Brain until Airton where he turned. We then made our way through Malham up west of the Cove and over to Silverdale where we turned left and dropped down in to Stainforth. At this point we lost Simon who had to return home alone, single speed when he shipped his chain and managed to bend his rear mech hanger Faizor for those not in the know is about three miles north west of Settle at the end of a no through road, it might accurately be described as off the beaten track; little wonder then that this was the first visit for all except Pete H. We approached using a short cut over a rough track and dropped in to the village; the cafĂ© and the staff exceeded expectations.

As we sat outdoors taking in the heat of the early spring sun life was good; so good indeed that we found it difficult to leave, however after Pete H and Mick had fortified themselves with apple crumble (who would have thought it on a bike ride) we readied ourselves for the journey home. As ever, for me, it was a battle for survival; I believe our route was through Wigglesworth and Paythorne however by the time we reached Gisburn I was ready for my own company and my own pace so I headed towards Skipton on the A59 whilst the bulk of the ride made their way home through Laneshaw Bridge and over Herders. Melvyn returned in the same direction as me but I didn’t see too much of him after the first couple of hundred yards; he did look round to see where I was at the top of the first drag but I waved on his way and thankfully he got the message. Postscript: Pete H had suggested that his route home might be quicker and he might well have been right. As I approached Queensbury having stowed my bike in my car at Denholme I noticed Pete H and Pete (?) ahead of me; unfortunately I was unable to berate them for riding two abreast as they took a left fork before I caught them - bugger! PS I believe Pete has some photo's that he plans to upload
PeteH writes - What we didn't know was that PaulG had punctured on that pothole on the Gargrave road, the one that most of us hit whilst we were in a lineout behind Mel. Fortunatly Paul Hickey was more observant and stopped with Paul whilst repairs were made, they then made their way to Airton cafe.

After the cafe stop we had made our way to Wigglesworth not by the convensional route but by a scenic tour of Rome, Wham, Hesley & Long Gill - about 9 miles of singletrack, gated roads - not one motor vehicle seen.

After Richard and Mel abandoned us for the joys of the A59 we made our way via Barnoldswick to Kelbrook. I could see that the boys were getting bored with fast smooth roads so we took to the back lanes again and went to Laneshaw Bridge over the hills and through the 50yard ford by the golf course. Stu from Bristol (AKA Stu from Hebden Bridge) had been strong all day but was now feeling the distance and dropped off the back. Pete Smith suddenly remembered that he needed some speed work prior to pinning a number on next weekend (the first time for over 25 years) so he went for the Herders prime.

We regrouped at the top and pottered on to Stanbury expecting Stu to catch up - he failed to appear, Pete W volunteered to wait.

Great route, excellent cafe, good weather - halcyon days.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sunday 27th Reminder

Its back to 9am Denholmgate or 9.30 at Keighley roundabout tomorrow with the intention of lunching at Feizor.
Don't forget that clocks go forward tonight.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Race Report

Whilst most of us were enjoying a springtime saunter around and about Bowland and Glasson Docks the hard men were down in Leicestershire riding the LVRC Fleche Waltonne road race. You probably won't be surprised to hear that Brian and Grimpy were 1st & 2nd in their age group. Brian tells me he almost missed the break which went on the first of five 10 mile laps. He was daydreaming at the back of the peloton and didn't see 5 riders clip off the front. However once he realised what was happening he bridged the gap alone - he was the only 'F' category rider in the break. Grimpy won the sprint from the chasing group making it a one/two for the boys in blue.

Just a reminder - Spring into the Dales - Sunday 17th April

If you fancy a change of scenery before the Dales I thought I might ride the Sheffrec Full Monty 200k on 10th April, its a circuit of the Peak District from Malin Bridge, north of Sheffield.
There's also a couple of 100k Audax's from Marple on Weds 13th.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Red Rose Ride

Sunday sermon was again taken from the book of Audax and a congregation of almost 60 riders departed the aptly named 'Oddfellows' Rooms in Halifax to seek the light (the light being the Lantern O'er Lune Cafe in Glasson Dock).

Fine weather the day before had tempted several of us onto our best bikes and we were quietly optimistic, setting off in cold but dry conditions although a chance of rain was forecast for the far West, however a headwind slog over Cowling was rewarded with heavy drizzle at Laneshaw Bridge which was to stay with us till the afternoon - the stuff that its not worth cape-ing up for but you slowly get drenched and filthy.

A front group of 10 or so arrived at Whalley Abbey where J Kaye elected to attend matins and a few others took bread. In the Condor style we 'pushed on' with Pete H, Neil, Mick Collins, Pete W and Simon who was suffering the penance of riding a single freewheel.

After a good pace over the Trough we were soon heading across the flats into Glasson where Pete H unwittingly inspired a 'Cafe Charge' but unfortunately the tide was in and being unable to part the waters we had to splash through 10 inches of flooding to add to our discomfort, Neil panicking that it may be salt water, set to attack his beloved Orbea.

Re-charged with chips and beans etc. we headed back discovering that the expected tail wind was now a persistent Southerley, nagging and chilling us, but by Whalley the roads had dried and with the scent of home the pace was lifted, enough to eject Pete H at Read.

Pete W then did some good work on the front which he spoiled at Rose Grove by sprinting through an amber light, despite shouts of protest, and leaving the rest of us waiting on red. Clearly this act could not go unpunished and an angry Neil charged off in pursuit banishing Single Simon to complete the ride alone. Pete W was reeled in as we started the descent to Cliviger and left on the front until he was tired enough to be dropped. Mick C's good pace down to Tod ensured Pete couldn't get back on and with a rejuvinated Neil we clattered down the Calder Valley on a road which must be up for the countrys' worst road award.

Back to the Oddfellows' just after 4.00 to the welcome baking and sandwiches of those CTC ladies, and the ceremonious breaking of the skin on a rather fine home made rice pudding.

Hear endeth Sundays lesson. Praise be to Chris Crossland and his team.

NEXT WEEK Pete H would like to share the delights of Feizor, near Settle with us.
The usual Denholme 9.00/ Keighley 9.30 - but don't forget the clocks change !

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


14 turned up at Shelf Roundabout for the Wednesday run, we skirted Bradford via Undercliffe and Eccleshill to Baildon Bottom then went to Otley via Esholt and on up Wharfedale to lunch at Cavendish in the company of Super Sid, his Endura team and other assorted British Pro's. After lunch we headed on the back road to Barden and Appletreewick where Peeps treated us to an impromptu demonstration of common mistakes made when repairing a broken chain.
After Burnsall and Linton it was full speed ahead back to the damp, cold fog of Calderdale.
Brian kicked off his racing season last Saturday in the North Mids VTTA 18km time trial. He's been grumbling for weeks trying to convince us all that he isn't going well but still managed 2nd place on standard, only 4 seconds off the win in a field of 83 finishers (if he isn't going well how must the 81 he beat be feeling?)

At the moment its a good forecast for Sunday's Red Rose Ride - 8am at The Oddfellows Rooms, Coleridge Street, Halifax.
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Loops photo's

These are the photo's that should have appeared on the Todmorden Loops report
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Todmorden Loops, 13th March

What a great day we had on Sunday, 1st class venues and catering and a route that enhanced appreciation of the aforesaid facilities. About 70 indecently cheerful cyclists met at St Mary's Church Crypt, Todmorden for a pre-ride breakfast including coffee & croissant's a' la T de F all kindly prepared by Danial Webb who was organising this Grimpeur Audax under the auspices of the Condor Road Club.
0900 hrs and it was straight in to one of the hardest climbs of the day, Up Doghouse Lane towards Sourhall. The double chevrons on the map should have warned riders what to expect but many appeared to be taken by surprise coming to a dead stop in the narrow lane requiring those behind to do likewise. Paul and Lumby had both ridden up in recent weeks whilst on recce's but both were forced to walk on the day. Mel and Chris Taylor were the 1st to the top closely followed by Pete Whiteley and Nigel. After taking a few photo's I began my pursuit over Crown Point, Deerplay & Sharneyford to the Lumbutts Church control where hot drinks. cakes and banana's were supplied. To my surprise the leading riders were still there, 'Oh no,' I thought, 'I hope they're not going to make me ride with them!' My fears were soon dispelled when Mel, Chris & Pete set off. Nigel & Peeps waited for me to finish my drinks and together with Emily, a track racing. time trialling triathlete from the Waterfoot branch of Manchester Wheelers we made up a sociable quartet for the remainder of the event.
The next major climb was from Hebden Bridge past Dodnaze to Mt. Skip. From there it was on to Midgely, down to Mytholmroyd and up Crag Vale in to a head wind. Although it had been rather cold and wet at the start we now had clear blue skies, sunshine and magnificent views to take our minds off the hard road ahead. Down to Littleborough and back to Lumbutts Church for more refreshments. Mel & Chris had left but Pete was still there; he had been dropped up Dodnaze and had spent the rest of the 2nd loop trying but failing to make contact and had now decided to call it a day; try as we might we could not dissuade him. I had 2 mugs of tea to wash down several home baked cakes and had just decided to try the coffee and ginger cake next when Emily instructed us that it was time to go. As always we did as we were told and set off down Lumbutts Clough and up to Cross Stone Church. Now it had been a long time since I had been on that road from Cross Stone to Great Rock and the sight of the climb ahead left me whimpering. 'Its not as bad as it looks,' said Nigel - he later apologised for misleading us.

The rest of the route didn't seem too bad after what had gone before - Blackshaw Head - Widdop - Worsthorne and a tail wind to help us over Long Causway (although it did appear to be helping Peeps more than the rest of us - good job he didn't know where he was going). Down through Cross Stone and back to St Mary's Crypt for a 5 star lunch. Mel and Chris had been back ¾ hour (1st back of course although I probably shouldn't mention that, it being a non-competitive event). Paul, John & JK came in about hour later - I'm sure it was a day that will be referred to many times over the coming months, enjoyed by all, thanks once again to Danial and his team.

Don't know whats happened to the photo's - I'll try again later.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sunday March 6th

A return to meeting at Denholme 9.00 & Keighley 9.30 was suggested for tomorrow.
Slaidburn was mentioned.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Janice - Thanks

Oh this is a first but thanks Ian for inviting me on as I just want to say thanks to all in the Condor who sent their good wishes home with David on Sunday and also for the posting on here because that's where most seem to have found out the news about me.

I will get there just not soon enough - today as possibly been a better day.

Fortunately Ian I don't get downstairs soon enough to update you on Jeremy Kyle at this moment in time - hopefully I won't get desperate enough to switch it on in later weeks.

Thanks again everyone