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.