Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend reports

"Its harder than the Etape' du Dales" was what one 2011 Etape' veteran was heard to say during yesterdays Coverdale club run. Whether it was on not, one thing was certain, the weather was a lot better. A good turn out saw Damian, Grimpy, Robin, Ian, Neil, Simon, Mick and myself leave Denholmgate at 8.30. Dissapointed not to pick up any more Condors at Keighley we nevertheless made good pace to reach Kettlewell in very good time.
I believe Robin has never ridden up Park Rash - and he still hasn't - On seeing the Giant of Wharfedale in the distance he remembered an urgent appointment and decided he needed to head for home, unfortunately Ians magic carpet, which had been moving majestically for the previous 35 miles also faltered and headed with robin down the back road to Conistone.
The rest of us continued our merry way dancing on the pedals without a care in the world as Park Rash hurried by beneath our wheels (although John was spotted putting a foot down momentarily, we accepted his explanation that he had only stopped to take his glasses off) . A tail wind down Coverdale; through West Scrafton and East Witton, past Jervaulx and up the climb to Ellingstring. A head wind then slowed our progress towards towards Nidderdale. Neil was getting a bit grumpy but insisted that he wouldn't stop till How Stean, 'cos thats what it said on the blog'. Mick and Simon had obviously recovered well from the previous weeks 600's and Damian was showing us the benefits of continental training camps and chain gangs. Grimpy (who had been road racing the previous day) was riding roads he'd never been on before and enjoying it. There was a bit of a burn up over the moors after the reservoir's - started by Damian trying to half-wheel Mick, but Mick and Simon proved peerless over the moors and gently eased away.
Unfortunately Damian broke a spoke on his super-doopa Ksyrium rear wheel descending down to Lofthouse, as happens with these expensive modern super fast wheels one broken spoke rendered the wheel useless, it was jamming at both sides of the chain stays, so much so that in attempting to freewheel down to lofthouse he rubbed a long gash in the sidewall of the tyre which settled beyond doubt that he wouldn't be riding again that day. No mobile signal so we made our way to How Stean Cafe where we were allowed to use the land line. No response at relations numbers, then we tried Big Grinner, who many of us know from the good old days of the Condor Monday evening mountain bike rides, what a star, he immediately volunteered to carry out the mercy mission - Grinner - for acting above and beyond the call of duty you are now an honorary member of The Condor.

After an all day breakfast we set off for home. Neil was worried we may take him somewhere he didn't want to go so he was allowed to choose the route which was Pateley, Yorke's Folly, Menwith Hill, Norwood Edge, Otley, Canal Road and Manchester Road, a route that was enlivened several times by Neil giving impromptu break dancing demonstrations. A hard ride but we were all still smiling at the end.
Addendum (means "hanger-on" in Latin): Thanks to Pete Horne for the write-up, and for Pete Smith I'll add my commiserations & best wishes for a speedy  recovery. 
I've just not ridden enough recently to keep up the cruising speed of a Condor outing all day. After controlling the pace through Skipton and on to Cracoe with my brief spell on the front, it was a pleasant few miles to Kettlewell being swept along at the back of this fine flock. However, getting detached on a gentle rise told me my legs were starting to go and I decided, after only a short deliberation, to hedge my bets and join Robin heading south back along the quiet side of Wharfedale. We went up & over Storiths, just for the hell of it, and then Robin rode away from me on the flat to Addingham. That's where I begged him to bugger off leave me in peace so I could trundle home at my own pace. I'm glad to hear that the rest of you conquered Coverdale in style and what a stalwart coming to the rescue of Damian after his wings got clipped. 

Pete Smith

Wishing you a speedy recovery Pete an a return to your bike in the not too distant future.

Janice (Imps)

Ps. If Petes not a blogger please could someone pass on my good wishes - thanks)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sunday 26th June

Its a good forecast for Sunday so its 8.30 Denholmegate/9am Keighley for Kettlewell, Coverdale & Pateley Bridge. Put a banana in your back pocket - its a fair way to the cafe at Howstean.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

News Round Up

I'll start with the bad news, Pete Smith's progress towards the top of the podium has been put on hold following a training accident on last Thursday's chain gang. He fell heavily after hitting a deep pot hole on Wakefield Road near Sowerby Bridge and sustained a fracture to his pelvis and several ribs - he spent 2 nights in hospital and expects it to be 6 to 8 weeks before he can ride again - I spoke to him yesterday and he sounds to have accepted the enforced lay off with a positive attitude and is looking forward to being able to come out and hammer us again before the year is out - best wishes for a speedy recovery form your fellow Condor's.
With Pete's absence from the bunch just Brian & John were left to fly the Condor flag at last weekends top Veterans Road Race, the Tom Simpson Memorial Race at Harworth. They didn't do a bad job as well with Brian 1st and Grimpy 2nd in the F age group they couldn't really have done better.
There was a disappointing turn out from the Condor at the Good Companions 200k Audax last Sunday, just Richard and myself who were joined by a mate from Monday mountain bike rides, 'Big Phil' Purdy, who was putting the finishing touches to his preparation for this Saturdays Arctic Marathon (running) somewhere in the north of Norway.
We soon established ourselves in the leading group being joined by Bob Johnson of VC167, Nigel from ABC Centreville and a lad from Peterborough. A head wind for the 1st 50 miles or so ensured we had something to look forward to on the homeward leg. Whilst it was raining in Calderdale the roads were dry by Longridge and the weather got better all day. We passed many weary looking riders who had set off at 6am the previous day to ride the 3 Coasts 600, the 1st of these was Mick Collins (well we didn't actually catch him because he was going the other way having almost finished - he was hours in front of any other riders - our own Simon Fortune was also riding the 600 and I was expecting to see him not far behind Mick but I've heard a rumour that he blew-up sometime during the early hours somewhere in darkest Lancashire and seeking shelter from the wind and rain booked in to a hotel for a few hours sleep - I told you the previous week you should ride the GC with us sensible lads).
After a stop at Glasson Dock we had 60 miles of tail wind to look forward to - to my surprise the wind hadn't swung round and hadn't disappeared it was actually pushing us along very nicely - too quick for me - I was finding the undulations over to Chipping hard work - Bob kept going off the front then letting us catch up before doing the same again. Richard had been riding strongly all day and appeared unaffected by the changes in pace and Big Phil was lapping it up, being his first ever Audax he was in heaven. With 50 miles to go to the finish I told them not to wait for me, I wanted to ride at my own pace. I got to Whalley Abbey Cafe control and they had stopped for tea - I carried on expecting them to catch me on Burnley Bypass or Blackstone Edge; they didn't. I got back to Mytholmroyd CC at 4.30, Phil and Bob came in 10 minutes later and Richard came in at 5pm looking knackered but happy to finish his first 200k Audax.
Happy Birthday to former Condor; the Halifax Imps own Paul Hickey, 65 today, we celebrated this milestone yesterday by dragging him over Slippery Ford & Elslack to have a birthday lunch of sausage butties and chocolate cake at Hellifield Station. The fun continued all afternoon as we followed a reverse Spring into the Dales route to Earby, Black Lane Ends, Herders, Pennistone Hill and the Dog and Gun.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sunday 19th June

Just a reminder - Mytholmroyd Community Centre tomorrow for the Good Companions 200k Audax - starts at 8am.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weekend round up

The much travelled Brian went down to East Anglia last Saturday to compete in the Veterans National 25 mile Time Trial Championship. He turned out a magnificent time of 55min 22secs (which is 25min 55 secs faster than his age standard) which gave him 7th place overall out of the 130 finishers.

Also making a (not quite so) long journey was John who travelled to Audlam, Cheshire to ride the LVRC National Road Race Championships finishing 10th in his age group, the winner being Richard Booth.

Pete Smith continued his climb up the podium on Sunday at the Doncaster Wheelers Road Race at Harworth. He clipped off the front after only 4 miles of the 45 mile race being joined by John Elliot of Alford Wheelers and the vastly experienced Mike Allan riding for Pro Cycle Hire, Majorca. Pete and Mike Allan worked well together to make the move successful but Allan jumped away with one mile to go leaving our man to win the sprint for 2nd place. Pete's had several 3rd places this year so he was happy to go one place higher in this his comeback season. I'm not going to put pressure on him by saying that it surely won't be long before he steps up to the top of the podium.

To continue Richards report of last Sundays club run; after he left us at Otley we went on the back road through Askwith to Ilkley where we ended up with the likes of Team Sky Pro, Jeremy Hunt and the Barass's, et al on our wheels. In order to shake them off, instead of going past the golf club towards Beamsley we cunningly went straight ahead at the junction, to Middleton Moor and Langbar. This not only got rid of the Pro's but tested Simon's legs almost to breaking point - Simon, the Condor's most recent signing and better known as single Simon was, as you may have guessed, riding single freewheel, this didn't stop him and Mick dropping me. However I did have a trump card - they didn't know where they were going. Once we got together again and they were nattering that it was time for a full english so we took the more direct route from Langbar to Buffers Cafe at Storiths (see photo).

We left Buffers just as the first drops of rain began to fall; down through the ford and past Cavendish, on to Halton East and Draughton, through Silsden to Steeton as the rain got gradually harder and the temperature fell.

In an effort to avoid Ingrow we then went up to Steeton Moor and Keighley Tarn (I was sure this route would have Simon faultering - but no - they just rode away from me again). Turned right at the Tarn and left to Laycock and Goose Eye, on Holme House Lane (just to find out if cobbles are slippery when wet) and through Oakworth to Ebor Lane and Haworth Bottom.

From Howorth Bottom we went on Victoria Road and the double chevronned Brow Road - bingo - Simon faultered and had to walk the last few metres to Oxenhope Road. He didn't faulter for long though and rode up the Dog & Gun climb with ease. I must admit it was getting pretty grim by this time, the rain got harder and the temperature, a balmy 17 in the morning was now down to 8 - I was glad to get home, put my feet up, nurse a can of Guiness and watch Bradley win the Dauphine.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday 12th June

Only four turned up at the Ritz Brighouse, Pete, Mick, Simon and myself. I was a little surprised given that it was such a warm sunny early summer morning but I hadn't read the weather forecast, others obviously had.

Not the prettiest route out skirting Bradford on the ring road but we eventually got to Esholt and the scenery got a little better. I think the ride was heading for Bolton Bridge but I turned at Otley as I had some work to finish for Monday (just finished now).

I didn't take the direct route home but headed for Ilkley and returned to Bradford via the Cow and Calf and Baildon. Got caught in the downpour that didn't stop all afternoon heading out of Brighouse but as I only had a further half hour to go it wasn't too bad.

Will be interested to know how the other three got on, Pete and Simon were in shorts and Simon short sleeves; the prospect of 30 plus miles home in that rain would not be pleasant


Friday, June 10, 2011

Updates - Brian medals in National Champs.

Brian is pictured here receiving his medal for third place in the VTTA National 30 mile Time Trial Championships after travelling down to the Home Counties a couple of weeks ago.
He went a couple of places higher last Sunday when he won his category in the Bashall Eaves Road Race. This was a counter in the LVRC Percy Stallard National Series, Grimpy took 3rd which promoted him to overall category leader after three races in the series; a great honour and huge motivation for the rest of the races. I have spoken briefly to Pete Smith who was also riding, he tells me that it was a pig of a day, cold & wet with strong winds to add to the fun. He cramped up as the sprint approached, hoping to relieve the cramp he cotinued for a 15 min warm down after the line during which time he got so cold he had to be helped off his bike. Mel was on the start line for the over 50's but doesn't appear in the top 6 results so I look forward to hearing about his race. Sean Smith took a good win for the Imps in the 45's age group.

Whilst Richard and Steve Cavell were missing from the latest round of the Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Summer Series Ian Wellock made a rare appearence at the Colne Valley High School race (speed training for the 3 Peaks?). He finished just over a minute behind Grimpy (1st V60) which will have given him a target for the next round at Kippax on the 15th June.

On the Audax front Danial Webb booked his ticket for this years Paris-Brest-Paris 1200k event by completing a 600k ride last weekend. Whilst on the subject I'll remind you all that Chris Crossland's, 'Good Companions' 200k Audax takes place on Sunday 19th June, be ready to start at 8am from Mytholmroyd Community Centre. The below pic. shows Ian & Nigel leaving me for dead on Blackstone Edge in the 2007 event after I'd dragged them round for 190k (at least thats how I remember it).

If anyone fancies coming along I'm meeting Mick Collins and one or two others outside the Ritz in Brighouse at 9am tomorrow (12th) for a hopefully steady 70 or 80 miles with cafe stop.

Posted by Picasa