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