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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