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.