Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Day 2013

Best day of the week tomorrow for weather. I intend to make the most of it and get out for the traditional New Year's Day hangover cure. Brighouse 10am, Holmfirth for an early cafe stop then Isle of Skye and back to the Works at Sowerby Bridge.

Hope to see you tomorrow


I understand that Mick Collins and a few more Ritz Rebels are planning to meet outside Ritz at 10am for the above route - I wish I were able to join you.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sunday Final

The weather is looking grim but I will be at Keighley 9.30  - if anybody else can drag themselves away from the fireside and the mince pies for the final Sunday ride of 2012. Airton cafe always seems a welcoming venue in this weather. Maybe returning via Elslack & Laneshaw Bridge.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sunday 23rd December

I'm still on crutches so can't arrange a ride for tomorrow - I don't know if anything has been arranged but not blogged? - what I have been told is that Rileys Treat is on for tomorrow and at the usual venue, the Robin Hood at Pecket Well. Unfortunatly I will not be able to attend so I'll wish everyone the seasons greetings, get back to my book and dream of the day when I'm back on the bike.

Padiham Chris is intending to be at the roundabout in Keighley at 9.30am on the off chance that someone will turn up.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wednesday Wheelers Christmas 'Do'

 In my enforced absence Mike Beecham took a few snaps and sent me a short report relating to the Wednesday Wheelers Christmas Lunch.

The Christmas ride out meal for the Wednesday riders got off to a dry start with the usual indecision of the route (Grimpy favouring the more challenging ride via Windy Hill!!!). Downhill to Brighouse and a leisurely ride on the canal path to Elland, then over to West Vale. This is where I left the lads who went via Wheelrights Mill up towards the motorway then straight over Pole Moor to The Rose and Crown. John Lumb and a few other riders pushed up the hill from the other side of the hill to swell the group

I made my way back home to pick up the car, not wanting a wet ride back. Reached the pub at 12.30 where the lads had been sampling the handpulled for the last hour. An hour later, great quantities of turkey, beef and Brussels sprouts were being piled on top of the beer! This combination makes for a good ride back home so I'm told.
 John Kay did the honours by thanking Pete Horne for the organisation of the meal (funny thing its the second year running he's missed out), then he thanked Paul Gower for picking up the money and sorting out the finances on the day. Finally he proposed a toast to our sadly missed friend and fellow rider Trevor Lever, a sentiment that all those there echoed.

As forcast, the heavens opened. The brave rode back, Derek Needham and myself took the easier way back on four wheels.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Solstice

Only a short report about yesterdays Winter Solstice Audax - thats because I didn't get very far. As I drove on the M62 over Windy Hill at 7am I couldnt believe our luck. It was 4 and a half degrees and as morning dawned it promised to be a clear, dry and mild day.  I met Padiham Chris in a car park in Bredbury,   It was his first ever 200k Audax, he was obviously chomping at the bit and the sight of his 55 tooth chainring had me shaking in my Sidi's.
A full field of 75 riders were all excitedly chatting about the prospects of the day, the best weather for weeks. Chris and I were soon into our stride, rolling through the Cheshire lanes with a full head of steam and feeling stronger with every mile that passed beneath our wheels.
24 miles into the days route, now 5 degrees plus, a sunny Sunday and most motorists had gone to worship at the Trafford Centre. We Followed my trusty Satmap to a left turn at Lach Dennis and were bowling along without a care in the world when my wheels suddenly, quickly and unexpectedly slid sideways and I hit the black stuff. I remember thinking as I was sliding down the road that I hadn't bounced very well and when I did come to a stop I had trouble getting to my feet again, the whole width of the road being like a skating rink covered in black ice. Chris, who'd been a few yards behind me had also hit the deck but soon recovered his composure. I didn't, to cut a long story short I ended up at Stockport A & E with a fracture to the pelvis - I don't think its a serious fracture but I guess I'll be off the bike for a few days (or weeks!).
Due to the state of this road there were many retirements among those who had been behind us but Chris showed his metal, completed his debut 200 and promptly paid his subs to join Audax UK for 2013.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Last Sunday

Turnout was down to six; in fact when I first looked out of the window on Sunday morning, saw it was pouring down and then received a text from Simon giving his apologies due to illness I could have been tempted to stay dry and warm myself. However as Big Phil was calling en route to Denholmgate I donned my cycling kit plus my winter weight rain jacket and was somewhat surprised when opening the garage door I was met with blue skies and even a weak sun. Things were looking up, Phil told me he was not feeling all that great himself so that gave me another boost so, after removing my rain jacket, we were away, battling strong gusty winds over to Keighley collecting Richard on the way. After collecting Mel, Chris and Mr Oakworth (I'm sorry to be so rude but I don't know your name), we had a free ride on the Paul Milnes train towards Skipton. I was feeling very happy, almost effortlessly gliding along behind a large group being towed into a stiff headwind.   
However Melvin's legs were becoming twitchy, he just couldn't cope with an easy ride so we turned left at Vietnam Bridge and fought the winds ourselves through Carleton, Broughton and Bank Newton. We then proceeded in a southerly direction passing through Horton, Barnoldswick and past Fanny Greys to Barrowford, where, much to Richards delight and relief, we took elevenses at the Heritage Centre (note to Ian - you need to be there before 11 to have bacon included - we had failed by minutes and the boss would not deviate - rules are rules - having said that I must add that it is a good cafe).
Once fed and watered we followed Mel on a direct route through Colne, up Church Clough to Coldwell and  over Widdop and a refreshment break at Heptonstall.
Not a drop of rain all day, reasonable temperatures and a good route made me wonder why I'd ever contemplated going back to bed.

 Next Sunday Chris and I have signed up for the Winter Solstice Audax - I understand that entries have now closed so if you haven't got your entry in its too late.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Sunday 9th Decmber

A good turn out last Sunday so we'll stick with the same formula - 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley.  Think we will decide on a destination at the meet depending on weather and road conditions.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Trevor Lever

I think I have been in denial after Paul advised me about the accident last Friday, indeed I had to ring him again on Saturday to enquire if he was sure it was true? Normally we fall off and survive unfortunately Trevor didn’t.
It was an honour to know Trevor, a guy who never said a wrong word about anyone, who worked tirelessly for his community, club and his company. I met him through his son Michael on those early Monday mountain bike runs and later on the Thursday social runs. He then disappeared for a while due as I recall with back trouble. However over the last few years, as he’s been gradually winding down from his Avocet business he became fitter and more active. Indeed this summer you will recall he cycled with Doreen on the tandum all the way from southern France to the UK.  

Trevor was a delight to be with having the unusual ability to communicate easily with everyone he met. He was someone who just got stuck in, typical was his outstanding contribution to the Condor Cross events. I recall it was the first event we ran at Rastrick High School, himself and Michael decided that part of the course in particular the start area was overgrown so on the Saturday before the event they arrived with a mobile lawn mower to bring the course to almost cricket pitch standards.
It was this attention to detail that always impressed everyone. For years he handled the cross signing on, he was so precise, for example at the end of the event I got the prize envelopes and the cash account -done. Likewise he always attended the club a.g.m. and organised the agenda and the subsequent report in his own amicable style.

We live in a world of politics, false promises and excuses galore however every so often someone transends this crap and stands out- yes you can do it and keep promises. That for me was Trevor who will sadly be missed by everyone he touched. Like Peter said our hearts go out to Doreen, Michael and the Family.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Condor Road Club members will be all too aware of the sudden and tragic death last Thursday night of our long standing member, friend and former president, Trevor Lever.
Trevor at last years Wednesday Club Christmas 'Do'
After his usual Thursday evening ride with the Imps/Condor Social run Trevor was with a small group riding down Godley Lane on his way home when he lost control and fell from his machine, losing conciousness when hitting the ground. He was taken to hospital but staff were unable to save his life.
I have spoken to many Condors since this terrible incident and our hearts go out to Doreen, Michael and all the family.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday 12th December at 12.45pm at Park Wood, Elland, HX5 9HZ

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bike Bums roadside repairs no.2 / Sunday 2nd December

(Bike Bums roadside repairs 1)
A massive turn-out of 18 were on hand this Wednesday to offer advice to John, when he was the less than proud owner of the 3rd split rim in recent weeks - the common thread appears to be that you have to be a member or former member of the Halifax Imperial Wheelers and the split must occur when at the furthest point from home. 
All three split rims have been successfully bodged up using zip ties and the unlucky riders have managed to ride home - the morel of the story being, always put some zip ties in your saddle bag (or check your rims).

Sunday 2nd December   May I suggest another attempt at last weeks aborted route over to Barrowford for breakfast and back via The Old Silent.    9am Denholmgate or 9.30 Skipton Road roundabout, Keighley. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday Cycling With GPS Data


Grimpy's trip down to Warwickshire last Saturday was rewarded with another jersey to add to his collection of National and World Champions garments, that of the LVRC over 70's National Cyclo Cross Champion. I understand that it was not easy conditions. Much of the course was in deep mud, with a 100yds steep run up each lap — the descents were really tricky, with riders sliding all over the place, but with out any form of accident, such was the skill shown by some of the most experienced riders in the sport.
John took the title from former multi national and world champion Mick Ives. A great confidence booster as January approaches, when he will be crossing the Atlantic to defend his World Championship title in the USA.

As John was basking in glory in the Midlands a small group of us were battling the winds and squally showers nearer to home. The planned route over Sutton Moor was cancelled and a lower level alternative was chosen. We were joined by Paul Milnes and Des Fretwell up the Aire Valley and over to  Cracoe where we turned right towards Thorpe with the intention of visiting Burnsall Cafe. However Des informed us that the Burnsall staff are taking their winter break so we did a left at Thorpe and made our way to Hebden via Grassington.
An excellent alternative choice, we were warmly received and fed with as good a bacon, sausage and egg sandwich as you are likely to get anywhere. I cannot deny that it was a wrench to leave the establishment but the weather was taking a turn for the better as we made our way down Wharfedale through Appletreewick to Bolton Abbey where, with the temperature rising and the sun attempting to push its way through the clouds we stopped to remove outer shells. It was straight home from there, over Cringles and down to Silsden where Mel took a left to practice his hill climbing on the Robin Hood. With Mel gone some of us may thought that we were going to have a nice steady ride back through Keighley but Chris had other ideas as he came to the front talking lovingly about his new 55 tooth chainwheel - how good it must feel to be young.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sunday 25th November

Same again - 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley - back via Herders and Old Silent as suggested by Mel - can I suggest a loop round Keighley Tarn, Sutton Moor with a cafe stop at the Heritage Centre, Barrowford.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Condors with The Falcon

It seems the mention of a pint attracts a good turnout.

Mick Collins, Mark and a friend from the 3RT club joined Pete H, Pete S, Everest Phil, Padiham Chris and Simon- a late arrival due to Pete H sabotaging his new bike the previous night. (After helpfully replacing Simon's  compact chainset for a standard 39/53 Pete left the front changer in the same position to ensure it ground away on the chainwheel and kept Simon's enthusiasm in check.)

After roadside repairs and 2 punctures we had a leisurely breakfast at Airton. With the late Autumn sun shining on the limestone landscape we didn't feel a need to rush.

A pint of Timothy Taylors finest at The Falcon Inn at Arncliffe was the reward for the lung-rasping climb over the Cove and Darnbrook. Settled by the fire Pete H was transported back to the seventies, the last time he visited, and little has changed except, as Pete reminded me, I am old enough to drink legally.

We dragged ourselves away after 3 pints as some people were a long way from home (Mirfield and Padiham !) and so we engaged a more 'urgent' pace down the main road to Skipton causing some stretching of the elastic on the numerous undulations. Padiham Chris finally lost permanent contact leaving Skipton and texted Peter later to apologise for this shocking display of weakness for which he was duly forgiven. (only because he has to leave home soon after 7.00AM to join our rides).

A grand day out.

NEXT SUNDAY - I could consult my 'Good Beer Guide' or suggest a route bringing us back via the Herders and The Old Silent at Stanbury which is always agreeable at this time of year.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sunday 18th November

Simon and I were very lucky with the weather at the 'Eureka' audax last Sunday, just 20 mins drizzle in the early morning and blue skies for the rest of the day for our 133.8 miles circuit of Greater Manchester, the Wirral, North Wales and Cheshire.
May I suggest a shorter ride this Sunday; meeting 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley for Airton cafe (I've heard a rumor that if you get there before 11am you're now allowed to have an egg in your bacon buttie). It's  a good forecast so I thought we could return via Malham and Darnbrook and perhaps sample a pint of gravity delivered draught at the Falcon at Arncliffe - yes, I think that sounds like a good idea!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Sunday 11th November

Good turn out last Sunday, Grimpy, Pete Smith, Robin, Ian, Mel, Richard, Padiham Chris and a guy from Oakworth. We took a left in Silsden and followed the back roads over Draughton Moor but were greeted by icy surfices down the other side. We then took the scenic route over to Barden via Embsey and Eastby Brow, again being greeted by ice over the summit - far too early in the winter for ice and salt - some are still riding their best bikes - or is that a new winter bike Richard?
On through Appletreewick to Burnsall only to  find that the cafe was already bursting at the seams. Deciding against queuing for a table to become vacant we made our way via Thorpe to Cracoe where there was ample room in the farm shop cafe. Once refreshed we headed for home through Gargrave, Elslack, Cowling and Oakworth saying goodbye to the majority of the peloton at various road junctions as members sought out speedier (and flatter) routes home.

This Sunday myself and Simon, plus possibly Pete Smith and Mel (although they may have changed their minds due to missing the closing date) are riding the 'Eureka' audax from Cheadle out to the Wirral, south across the Dee and round the back of Chester and Wrexham returning through the Cheshire plains.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Sunday 4th November

Meet Denholmgate 9am or Keighley roundabout 9.30 for Burnsall cafe via Silsdon, Draughton and Eastby Brow.   Return Thorpe, Gargrave, Elslack, Cowling and Slippery Ford.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Condo Cross

Many thanks to the great response and support from the condor and imps, I hope I can recall everyone, Trevor, Pete H, Adrian, Brian, Simon, Sandy, Peeps, Pete S, PG, Steve, John, Kevin, John P, JD and Gordan, along with Imps stars, Hoppy, Richard and Texan hatman Dave.
No major incidents, weather well some rain, ground soft/muddy just minor tumbles no reported injuries, considering many stars were at the rapha event our entries were similar to last year’s with 68 U12’s and 88 Vets. Everyone got stuck in erecting/dismantling the course, marshalling and signing on. Plus we were able to witness when time allowed amazing signing on tent erecting scenes (yes its goes this way, no it doesn’t and so on-I propose back to the scout camp venue?)

Plus the kind assistance from YCCA members, Phil Thackary, Norra , Fred Rothwell & Clare. The only negative aspect was complaints to me from the parks dept. concern dogs getting muddy in the main field due to the ground being cut up? I explained that normally the ground returns to its normal state soon? staying cool - you can't win them all. 
Anyway Well Done
Posted by Grimpy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Road Tricks

Impressive stuff.  Perhaps Ian's off-road technique could be improved by riding his Pinerello ?

Johnny Berry

Sadly I must report that our old club mate John Berry died last Friday, in hospital, in Huddersfield. John, who was 79, had not been in good health for a couple of years and had been living in sheltered accommodation in Elland. He had been admitted to hospital a week earlier suffering with shingles, pneumonia  was given as the cause of death. The funeral will be at Park Wood, 11.15am Tuesday the 6th of November.
John joined the Condor Road Club in 1950, shortly after the formation and is easily recognisable in the above photo taken at the 1952 club dinner at the Royal Hotel, Brighouse (top right, stood behind Gordon Turner). I first knew John in the early 70's as a regular on club runs and and a reliable helper at CRC races and time trials. His bikes were always immaculate and frequently replaced (most of Tony Parrish's stable being originally owned by John). His racing career was more or less over in the 70's but I do have a vivid recollection of John riding the Otley 12 hour on the 12th of September 1976. It was a pig of a day, trees were being blown down and roads were being blocked and it was also the coldest September day that I can remember. Of the 94 entries only 28 finished the event (even B.Sunter was dnf!), one of the finishers being, of course, John, who just missed being third counter in the winning Condor RC team by 1.6 miles to Allen Cooke. I remember John telling me months later that he was still unable to fully open his hands, not having recovered movement after 12 hours clenching the handlebars - happy days - R.I.P.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't forget - 8am Sunday morning at the car park by the ford at Welholme Park for course construction.

Worried about missing my Sunday miles I've arranged to have a potter up to Kettlewell with Big Phil on Saturday morning. If anyone fancies coming along we should be passing through Denholmegate at 9am.

Punishment Park
Superb weather for our trip to the Peaks last Sunday. A small but select group met at Brighouse and went to  Glossop via Holme Moss. After the cafe stop Brian and Richard headed for home whilst Pete Smith, Simon and myself headed over the Snake and down to Ladybower marvelling at the views as the miles passed effortlessly beneath our wheels. It was then everyone's favourite road, The Strines, as far as Lansett where we celebrated the social season by having another cafe stop before returning to Calderdale via Farnley Tyas and Almondbury.

Anyone looking for motivation to keep the pedals turning as the weather turns colder and the evenings darker should consider coming with us to ride the Eureka 200k Audax on 11th of November - enter on-line -

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Condor Cyclo Cross


Its our cross this Sunday 28th October, we need your help to make it a success, please see notes from Trevor and my News stuff sent to Halifax Courier & the Echo below. I have hopefully sorted, parking which will be in works car park as last year, showers available at Brighouse sports centre (still awaiting confirmation), I have a meeting with parks dept. tomorrow to sort out course and hopefully toilets. We also have a coffee van which will hopefully be at the bottom end of the main field. Phill Thackery is also coming at 8.00 to no doubt sort the field route (as last year) whilst we concentrate on the hillside and the viaduct top. Fred Rothwell advises me that he will bring the prepared start sheets and numbers.  

         Trevor’s notes

John described the course which will be at Wellholme Park, Brighouse. Two course building teams will be required on Sunday morning at 08.00.Team Leaders will be John and Peter.

We need as many members as possible to turn up on Sunday morning for course building and of these at least 6 will be required for marshal duties. John asked that all available members contact him very soon to confirm their attendance. Full details of the event available from John.He will also confirm if Swimming Pool facilities are available for showering/toilets  and also if we can use the Bowling Green toilets .Trevor will organise the “signing on” and supply tent, tables and chairs.


A cyclo cross event his being run by the local Condor Road Club this Sunday (28th 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 our Olympic and Tour De France stars, UK riders are not among the world elite as the sport is dominated by Belgium super stars such as Sven Nys and Neil Albert (each said to get £10K per race appearance), but this may change if as rumoured the sport becomes an Olympic winter event. The circuits are marked out with poles and plastic tape, riders are timed with seperate events for U12’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.

Entry is on the line, participants need a british cycling racing licence or alternatively pay a supplement to the entry fee. U12’s entry is only £1 with no supplement, they ride a short  course on the main flat field. Normally subject to entries 3 races are held for girls and boys U12’s, U10,s and U8’s. In these age groups because of the flat terrain any bike can be used, so bring your children along and try to be at wellhome park around 45mins before the start time to sign on and practice.  

The wellholme park circuit is a Yorkshire series event and the course users the rear field beyond the stream, the wood hillside and the old railway embankment. One steep climb which has around  a 40% gradient goes up the central wooded hillside, watch out for ex national champion Chris Young who was the only rider  to ride all the way to the top on each lap in last years event.

Event start times and approx. race durations are:

10.30 Youths  duration 30mins

11.30 under 12s, U10 & U8’s duration approx.  15mins

12.30 Veterans/Woman  duration 40 mins

14.00 Senior/Junior  duration 60 mins.

Why not watch the events FOC to see the skill and speed of top uk riders.

We request dogs are keep on leads, any more information can be obtained by contacting the organisor John Ginley on 01274 601567, Email . You can also check the

British Cycling web site under Cyclo Cross and events. 


Thursday, October 18, 2012


Thanks to John Sutcliffe for the below Seasons of Mists photos

Great day out at the Season of Mists and good to see so many Condors at this Audax. There were about 120 riders at the start of the 100k route so I decided that the best plan was to get to the front as soon as possible and avoid getting balked by the masses.
I got through Heptonstall well placed but at the top of the cobbles a small group including Mel, Graeme Brown and VS's Chris and Alex were forging ahead, Robin almost missed the boat and did well to jump across. I was joined in the second group by, among others, Simon, Pete Smith, Chris Sylge, Dan from Pedalsport, Hebden Bridge butcher Dave Woodhead and Martin from VS. We picked up Pete Whiteley, who I presume had been spat out of the back of the leading group, just after Blackshaw Head and were making good progress round Burnley and up to Fence. On the Ridge just before Sabden Chris punctured so Simon and I waited in case he had problems. As we were changing the inner tube Peeps, Brian and Ian passed by followed by Hoppy who was riding with a Greetland fell runner.
 Once moving again we collected Hoppy at the start of the Nick o' Pendle climb and came across Brian, Peeps and Ian just before Clitheroe where Brian was struggling to sort a stiff link. From there we rode on together to the Waddington control where Pete Smith was waiting to join us.
From Waddington I had the dubious pleasure of riding with Peeps on the front of our grupetto over the long steady climb over Newton Fell. I hadn't been aware at the time but Ian went off the back followed by Brian who was having one of his very rare off days (the previous weeks de-training tour had obviously done what it says on the box).
The rest of us rode together through Slaidburn and Grindleton to the cafe at Downham where we found Brian. He declined to break bread with us and set off alone over Pendle where I understand he caught Ian. We loitered at the cafe enjoying the autumn sunshine and drinking tea and thinking how lucky we were to be enjoying such a great ride on such a perfect day.
Once refreshed we made short work of the hills over to Roughlee and Nelson being re-united with Ian at the Coldwell Tearoom check, Brian having ridden on alone. Riding up the Widdop climb from Thursden we were careful spread across the road hoping for a good team photo but unfortunately the mists had played havoc with camera sensors and many of the days photos were spoilt (luckily for Brian whom I understand was clicked walking this hill). Thanks once again to Chris Crossland and his team from CTC Calderdale.

Not a massive turn out for the AGM but there wasn't a lot to discuss. Ian has stood down from his position as Secretary and I've stepped into his shoes as he takes over the reins as Club President. The Club Dinner will be at Bailiff Bridge Community Centre once again but note a change from the usual date. In 2013 it will be held on the 1st Saturday of February - a week later than usual - more details to follow.

Condor Cross
The Cross will be at Welholme Park again on Sunday 28th October. Helpers required. More details to follow.

Sunday 21st Oct
We're riding south for a change this Sunday, meeting 9am, Brighouse (bottom Hudds Rd) for Glossop and the Snake.

Spadgers Memorial Ride 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Season of Mists lived up to its name this year with inversions spreading out beneath us as we climbed up to the Causeway, the group thinning more rapidly than my hair, ending up withe seven of us who dipped and dug our way over the Lancashire fells without pause and much idle banter ... Graeme took the place of Alex this year as the group's 'blow up', though he made it to Colden before his legs gave up responding to his head,  I nearly echoed the condition on the very last rise near Blake Dean as Melvin and Chris put the foot on the pedal, yet, I hung on, anxious to get back for what, in the end, this ride is all about ....  the rice pudding ..... Ta to Chris et al., as ever, for organising

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Contact details

The organisers of the Dave Rayner Dinner are trying to contact a couple of regulars, David and Angela Lomax. Would anyone know them and have a phone number? If so could you let me know?

Cheers, Sean

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A few photos and a ramble

Numbers were depleted for this weeks Wednesday ride due to many being away on the Autumn De-Training Tour - although I've heard from one source that it was the toughest training he'd done all year. 
The 6 of who were there decided to head south in search of the sun - a good decision as it turned out, we had a dry day whilst I have seen reports of there having been heavy rain further north. We went over Emley Moor and did a loop round Ingbirchworth Windmills and Harden Clough before taking lunch at Holmfirth. 
 After lunch Steve, Peeps and I went searching the more remote areas of Kirklees looking for a suitable venue for this years Wednesday Club Christmas Dinner. Peeps may have had to wear out some shoe leather pursuing this quest but we did come across a sleepy little real ale pub on the border with Calderdale, The Rose & Crown at Cop Hill, who have kindly agreed to cook up the traditional Fayre on Wednesday 19th December. There's more room than last year so everyone who wants to come should be able to be accommodated.  Its 3 courses plus coffee and mince pies and costs £16.50 and according to Dave Saleem is a very good meal and good value. Let me know if you want a place reserving - I've promised to let them have final numbers early December. I'm wanting £6.50 deposit which should make collecting the balance on the day easy.
Just for those who hadn't already heard - the new section of the Great Northern Trail is now open, linking the Queensbury section to the Thornton bit.

Well done for surviving the wait and watch at Three Peaks those that made it ... I reckon that was harder than riding it in the weather we had. At least I had some rocky distractions to take my mind off the driving rain. I have to admit to not acknowledging anyone on the course other than Jamie (the cockeeneeey up from t'south wondering what all this northern fuss was about). It was maybe all that grass and moss I had in my ears from repeated failures to bunny hop the bog streams, and Jamie was only noticed because I knew he had a packet of jelly babies on him, and I was hallucinating food at the time. He gave me a handful at Ribblehead but ever desirous of more I stopped and knicked the whole family bag off him. I was then able to dispense these both to myself up Pen Y Ghent and others equally buggered, who on being told where they came from thanked Jamie for his nearly saintly existence, which is putting a little strong, given his tendency for mild deviance, but then saints were once sinners, so this could indeed have been the watershed moment for his goodness to have come through and bathe his life entire. Meantime, I was just bathing in peaty water. The start at Gill Garth began with a large puddle into which, all around, riders were having a dip. I had backed off a bit having had need of a slug of Ventalin - the wheezy cyclist's friend - so was able to take in the carnage without too much risk of being forced in there with them. The slope up Ingleborough was as lofted as ever, one guy I saw face plant on the very steep stuff and slide down on said face, bike pinning him to the turf for at least ten yards. Cold Coats found me breathing more easily and into a fairly steady rhythm, the rain not really allowing much else, and so the ride unfolded slowly; heavy going and soggy skin found me wanting food where usually I don't, though i'd no need of drink, the gods providing that form of bounty with divine largesse. Up Whernside was just steps steps steps, followed by the tricksy decent off Blea Moor that always provides some 'header' entertainment. There was a goodly crowd at Ribblehead in spite of the rain, all hollering and rattling their bells, which was good to hear albeit distantly (ears still full). Road to Horton was a right slog in the wind, but lightened by the sight of some old boy handing out what looked like Mars Bars from his front garden. And just for some symmetry the ride ended with another whopping puddle at bottom of Pen Y Ghent, which cleaned the bottom half of the bike-body ensemble rather nicely keeping my hairy legs camera friendly for the ascent. Saw Grimpy on way down, but he was wearing some bespoke kit I think, so the recognition was not instant, is this available to all of us I wonder? Finished 89th in 4.19 which for me felt fine. Next year of course ill be there, right? Season of Mists tomorrow I think.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

More 3 Peaks

Hats off to all 3 Peaks riders last Sunday, just to get round was a great achievement. I was pleased to see that Grimpy got the over 70's title but goodness knows how he must have been feeling setting off on the Autumn Tour the following morning. I rode up there with Melvin and the VS lads and took a bit of a hammering going off the back on the climbs, grovelling to get back on and then repeating the process several times. After an early lunch at Feizor Cafe we went up to Horton to spectate, the weather conditions up there varied between heavy rain and very heavy rain. Mel and the VS's retired to the Helwith Bridge Inn whilst I stayed in Horton getting wetter and colder. A couple of fellow spectators, Paul Daly and Dale Goodwin both offered me lifts home and I was sorely tempted but resisted. On my return to Helwith Bridge the others were just setting off back and I said my goodbyes as they glided off into the distance on the hill over to Stainforth.
By Settle I had warmed up again and with a tail wind I took the Attermire road over to Airton and down to Gargrave.  Suspecting that the usual route home through Broughton and Carleton may be flooded I made my way through Skipton and came across Mel and the lads just joining the main road at the Cononley junction. I wasn't with them long though, going off the back on that Hors Cat climb past Airedale Hospital.
I know how relieved Robin, Adrian and John must have felt at the finish of the Peaks - I was feeling pretty much the same on getting back to Hipperholme.
Hope to see a good turnout at the Season of Mists on Sunday.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Three Peaks 2012

Congratulations to Robin, (4h 16m)  John (5h 47m) and Adrian (5h 29m) for finishing this year's Three Peaks.

My name was on the start sheet but I was struck down with the lurgy and so I followed the race from under a quilt using the SportEvent Live Event Monitor that gave me 'real time' information of when each of our riders reached the top  and the bottom of each peak.

Most of the times look slow this year with the exception of the winner Rob Jebb who finished with an amazingly fast time of 3hours 9mins

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sunday 30th September 2012

8.30 am Denholmgate / 8.40 Crossroads (top of Ingrow) to cheer our riders on in the 3 Peaks CycloX.
Route Oakworth, Laneshaw Bridge, Fanny Grey's, Paythorne and Feizor Cafe.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Report


Congratulations to Brian who yesterday won the veterans national 50miles time trial championship on a course in South Wales.

Four made today's club run to the Clarion Tea House, a ride up the Heptonstall cobbles soon warmed us up and a tail wind ensured that we had a fast ride over the Long Causway and through to Fence, we were at the tea house well before 11 o'clock enjoying pint mugs of tea.

Being young Simon had been able to plan ahead and had some nice squashed sandwiches in his back pocket, Ian and Steve had not managed to plan so far in advance and looked rather crestfallen when they were unable to purchase bacon butties, fortunately I found 2 pork pies in my saddlebag and shared them with my 2 hungry clubmates - an action I was later to regret (the energy from the pies went straight to their legs).  That well known Glaswegian, Hardeep Singh Kohli was at the premises together with a Radio 4 recording team interviewing a couple of veteran cyclists and walkers for a show that to be broadcast I know not when - we were advised several times that we had to keep quiet or we would spoil the recording but it was very difficult to obey so after a photo call we left, but not before the chap who makes the tea gave me the above enamel brooch which has now taken pride of place in my badge cabinet - you should have seen the jealous look on Ians face.  We came home via Roughlee, Colne, Winewall and the Herders stopping off at the Bay Horse at Oxenhope to look at dirty mountain bikers who were finishing the Hospice MTB Challenge. We were expecting to see Grimpy who had planned to use the event to add the finishing touches to his 3 Peaks preparation but he'd given it a miss as he's been down with a cold. We did find Richard though who was bemoaning the fact that a certain top 100 place had been lost due to a navigational error but once he'd had a pint of bitter he looked happy again, telling us about the new racing bike he's ordered (far superior to Damian's I am led to believe). Richard had also ridden last weeks Holme Valley MTB Challenge finishing 48th out of 288 and appeared far happier with his form than he has been all summer - good luck in next weeks 3 Peaks.

The AGM is to be held at 8pm Wednesday 10th October at the Cat I'th Well pub, Wainstalls HX2 7TR. Please make every effort to attend and tell other Condors whom you may chance upon over the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sunday 23rd Sept

I've arranged to meet Simon at the canal bridge at Luddenden Foot at 9 o'clock Sunday morning for a steady ride over to the Clarion Pavilion at Newchurch - only tea and cereal bars available so I'm taking a sandwich - we're going to come back over the Herders and may stop for a pint at the Bay Horse in Oxenhope which is the finish line for tomorrows Oxenhope Mountain Bike Challenge. Please feel free to join us - if you've never been to the Clarion Tea House you really should come.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery from all the Condor to the Imp's Janice Saleem who has recently undergone knee replacement surgery.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mid Week Report

Showers meant that only 7 attended at Shelf Roundabout last Wednesday.  We made our way down the Greenway to Dewsbury and to Newmillerdam for lunch via Thornhill. After lunch we rode on the back roads through Notton before joining the West Yorkshire Cycle Route just before Darton. We followed the Route through Bretton Sculpture Park where we dallied a while enjoying the works of Hepworth, Moore and Gormley before riding up the bridleway to High Hoyland and home via Emley, Briestfield and back up the Greenway. As always a pleasant day out at club run pace - highly recommended.

Dates for your diary

Sunday 30th September - 3 Peaks - A ride up to cheer on our riders in the toughest 'cross in the world - via Feizor Cafe.
Sunday 7th October - Season of Mists, 100k Audax from Hebden Bridge
Sunday 14th October - Mills & Hills Sportive, from Mytholmroyd Community Centre, enter here, organised by Hebden Bridge's Emma Osenton there are 3 routes - long, short and cyclo-cross.
Sunday 28th October - National Hill Climb Champs - The Rake, Ramsbottom

Get well soon

Another name to add to the injured list is that of Wednesday club regular Paul Daly. Fresh back from the Czech Republic where he had won gold in his category in the mountain bike and silver in the road race at the Firefighters World Championships and training hard for the 3 Peaks he took a fall on a roundabout in Saddleworth whilst on his favourite training route over the Isle of Skye resulting in a fractured femur and thumb. Paul's still on crutches but is optimistic about making a come-back in time for the 'Cross Nationals in January which are being held in Bradford. Good luck and get well soon from all the Wednesday riders.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sunday 16th

Anyone for a 'club run' ? Robin and myself propose Bowland Knotts . Not wanting to tempt fate but it's not a great forecast and our last attempt got as far as Ye Naked Man cafe - however Robin is building up to the 3 Peaks race so a bit of rain shouldn't stop him.
The usual Denholme 8.30 / Keighley roundabout 9.00.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cracking On

Sounds like your mechanical woes didn't spoil your day Pete - It was still a 'Gold' time. You did turn down my invitation to start with us - but in any case we didn't have a cassette remover with us either ! 
Yes. a stunning ride on a stunning day, with the early mists, sunshine and the lakes like glass. I made a point of taking it all in, at least till the 70 mile feed after which I seemed to look at Roger's rear wheel a lot !
It was a joy riding up Kirkstone Pass and around Grasmere, Langdale Valley, Blea Tarn. As usual Wrynose and Hardknott were getting choked with struggling cars but we had the the lanes after Eskdale to ourselves.
This second half of the ride had some really painfull climbs and my 39x27 was getting on top of me. (I'm still resisting a 'compact'). It also got a bit hairy on narrow, rough and gated roads- but slowing down wasn't an option.
We caught the Harrogate Nova duo who were riding well & Greg Ketteringham, who is usually one of the fastest, left his fading friend and joined us - but left us on Bigland Hill, no doubt chasing the days best time. We managed to come in just 5 mins. quicker.
The good weather did help make the day but its definately a ride I would do again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pottering On

Come on Robin, tell us how you performed 'Up the Butress', would have come over to cheer you on had I known about it earlier.

What a superb route for yesterdays sportive, 'The Cumbrian'. Anyone who was thinking that there were just Kirkstone, Wrynose  and Hardknott to worry about was in for a rude awakening. Mel was riding round with  former Halifax CTC man Roger Palfreeman, judging from the results they appeared to have a great day out finishing as the days fastest riders. Hopefully Mel will give us a full report.
My day didn't run quite so smoothly, breaking a spoke after about 5 miles I removed the offending piece of wire and slackened off the rear brake to stop it rubbing before setting off again. All was going well up Kirkstone but on turning left opposite the summit Pub disaster struck, unusually the spoke had snapped at the end of the butting and the inch and a half or so of remaining spoke had jammed between the cassette and hub preventing the cassette from freewheeling, there appeared little I could do without a cassette remover and chain whip so I had to pedal all the way down The Struggle to Ambleside with my brakes on so my legs could keep up to the pedals. My plan was to make it to the 1st check/feed station at the Youth Hostel after Grasmere, at the top of Red Bank, where I felt sure there would be some tools available - unfortunately the only bike tools available were 3 tyre levers, a search of the hostel eventually produced an alan  key and a pair of pliers which I used to dislodge the jammed spoke and bend over into the centre of the hub, away from the freewheel. After about 40 minutes I was away up Langdale now free from the self imposed pressure of doing a good time I resolved just to enjoy a beautiful sunny Sunday cycling up those iconic climbs and takeing in the scenery.  After Blea Tarn, Wrynose and Hardknott the route took us over Birker Fell into Dunnerdale and then over Far Kiln Bank to Broughton Mills and Subberthwaite Common before reaching the Lyth Valley and back to Milnthorpe. A superb route, equal to the Fred Whitton.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

I'll be doing the buttress today. This year it takes in the steeper bottom bit, so we could end up on our arse.

Any other takers come along.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Last Sunday

 I've copied the following from the Ravensthorpe CC's 'Thorper Blog' -
 'Firstly it was a time for reflection, todays ride in memory of the passing of a fellow cyclist Andy Ridsdale, and as the day went on it was evident how many riders had rode and knew Andy, and i”m sure his mother who waved us off must of felt joy and sadness in it all.      And so, on our now annual celebratory ride we welcomed fellow cyclists from around the district to join us in what is now known as the 120 ride.     We all met at the library which is the normal meeting spot for Ravensthorpe cc, but this time an hour early at 8am.   So with riders of a group around the 90 mark, we set off to Dewsbury and onwards for our first stop at Tadcaster.   it was nice to see the new members of Ravensthorpe  finding the tempo non to aggressive for what was their first time in a large group and can only bode well for the club as it tries to encourage and attract local cyclists to the club.   Once we got to Tykes cafe in taddy we all sat down for a coffee and a chat, for many this was to be the turning point for home, deciding to take the shorter ride leaving a now smaller group of the mid 40s to carry on for Sutton Bank.  The roads were nice and quiet as we headed onwards for Easingwold on the relatively flat roads , all the time everyone anticipating the first big climb up over the bank.  Pain and suffering for me as the cramp struck at the worst possible time as i hit the hill, got to say the cafe was a welcome sight and the need for food never more so, doesn”t get any cheaper does it!  The journey home in full sun made the trip worth it as the tempo cranked up hitting 30 mph for long stretches as we passed Borobridge for home .  I would like to thank on behalf of our club those who joined us today , wasn”t it great to see all different club shirts together?  A final word of thanks goes to Daz Whitely, Daz drove the full route [ wouldn”t you if you had a fancy lotus sports car?] taking pictures , thankfully not of me going up the big hill, hitting my thumb with a hammer i showed less pain on my face, Daz you a star and your good turn will never be forgotten . Got home with 130 on the clock with an average of 17 mph, bloody glad to get of the saddle , 130 mile on the flat left me with something a African baboon would be proud of, chamois cream ! next year its axle grease.'

There were 4 Condors at the start, Richard, Simon and myself loitered at Tadcaster cafe whilst Damian continued for the full route. We were joined at the cafe by Kev Brown who had his caravan parked near Selby so after an extended stop we made our way by the back roads to York then south via the Transpennine Trail to Selby and round Bishopwood to the cafe at Sherburn in Elmet for another tea break. We then said goodbye to Kev and rode home via Rothwell and Dewsbury. An easy day and a welcome change of scenery.

Along with Melvin I've entered The Cumbrian sportive next Sunday (although I'm not expecting to see much of him - perhaps a brief glimpse of his back wheel). When I saw the route I just couldn't resist - there's still time to enter so have a look at it, it should be memorable.

If the weathers not too bad I'm going to have a ride out to Blackpool next Wednesday to see the finish of stage 4 of the T.of B.  I suspect there may be a few other intending to do likewise so I'll post a meeting time & place later.

Cobbles & Sunshine

This might give Pete some ideas - but I 'm sure we wouldn't be welcome riding around the Piece Hall !

Friday, August 31, 2012

Sunday 2nd Sept and other bits

Happy birthday to Grimpy who today has achieved his three score years and ten - to make it a day to remember he gave everyone a hammering on yesterday evenings 'social ride' and them made us all eat and drink far too much in Shelf's Duke of York pub, not allowing us to go home till the wee small hours. Good luck this weekend John in the Veterans National Criterium Championships at Birmingham.
Richard took up my suggestion last Sunday and joined me for a tour of the North York Moors. Not a great weather forecast bu it stayed fine and dry for us all day with occasional bursts of sunshine. Having met at Sutton Bank we made our way to Helmsley via Rievaulx and then turned left for a circuit of Bransdale, I'd forgotten just how long and hard the road up to and away from Cockayne is. Next was over the lumpy roads to Farndale and up Blakey Bank onto the Ridge where we headed north past the Lion pub and then right and down to Rosedale where we had a cafe stop. I was glad I'd given the cake a miss as we were straight out of the cafe onto the Rosedale Chimney climb then the long steady descent back down to Ryedale.

I had planned an intricate tour of the lesser known back lanes once south of the A170 which took us through  hamlets that time had forgotten including Coulton, a small village who's old water powered corn mill had featured on the BBC's Restoration programme a few days earlier - as you can see above Richard managed to p******* outside the mill so we were treated to a chat with the owner . From there we made our way to White Horse Bank via Byland Abbey.  A great change of scenery for the day and we managed to finish a short time before the heavy rains came.

This Sunday Ravensthorpe CC are holding their annual 120 mile ride in memory of local rider Andrew Ridsdale who was sadly killed earlier this year whilst taking part in a time trial. The ride starts at 8am from outside the library in the centre of Mirfield. There should be a good turn out with several Condors already committed plus the Ritz Rebels giving their retro bikes an airing prior to the Eroica (Strade Bianche).

Friday, August 24, 2012


Good to see that the upper valley boys have started their preparation for the 2013 season, I hope to be out with you soon, lets hope that the Autumn weather is better than Summer. The poor weather doesn't appear to be affecting Brian - I haven't seen him for a few weeks but glancing at the CTT results page I see that he has returned 1hr 55min 50miles and a 54min 25mile times over the last couple of weeks - I'm sure he will try to explain to me why these are not good results when I do see him but the look pretty impressive to me.
I dipped a toe in the Sportive world for the 1st time for a few years last Sunday riding the Evens Cycles 'King of the Pennines' , a 101 mile route from Skipton.  I didn't expect there to be many riding this event due to the 'Ride with Brad' sportive from Barnoldswick taking place the same day so I was surprised to find over 500 cyclists signing on at Craven College where we were given breakfast  plus energy bars and gels for the jersey pockets.

I teamed up with an old mate who lives in Skipton, Rick Small, and we went for the 9am start to give ourselves plenty of people to chase.  Rick certainly wasn't short of miles in his legs having just ridden home from the Mediterranean coast with his and his wife's camping gear attached to his bike in 4 panniers. However it didn't stop him being worried that he may be short of speed for the impending 3 Peaks CX. 
The route took us down into Skipton then to Rylstone duck pond but via Stirton to avoid the by-pass roundabout. From Rylstone it was down to Eshton then up to Malham and climbed the left side of the Cove where a good number of riders were already experiencing difficulties - it was going to be a long hard day for some. Over Darnbrook to Arncliffe and up to Kettlewell for the 1st feed - Cake, flapjack, bananas, jellybabies plus gels and energybars and sportsdrinks for your bottles - rather impressive - I was obviously going to finish the ride heavier than when I started.  We then made our way up Langstrothdale and over Fleet Moss, I had been relieved to find that Rick and I were compatible up these climbs as I know that he can really push it climbing when he wants.  We turned right in Gayle then right and right again up to Countersett and Semerwater before taking a left down to Bainbridge.  The rain started at Akrigg but it wasn't cold so we soldiered on to the 2nd feed at Redmire village Hall. We loitered there for some time donning rain jackets when we set off again but taking them off again on the climb from Wensley over to Coverdale - still raining but too warm for the jackets. By the time we were on the climb to the top of Park Rash there were some big strong looking lads struggling but Rick and I, twiddling on our granny-rings were both feeling good and still catching up on the gossip. The descent of Park Rash was taken with care in the rain and after a brief stop at feed 3 at Kilnsey we headed via Grassington and Burnsall to the sting in the tail, the climb over Halton Moor to Embsey and back to the College for our 'goody bag' and meal. At £25 entry it was in fact good value for a great ride.

Ian Wellock - Ian was run down by a motorist who 'didn't see him' (although another vehicle had already stopped in the other lane)  at Outlane roundabout a couple of weeks ago leaving him unconscious and with broken ribs and a broken coller which requred plating. I spoke to him yesterday and he sounds to have regained his usual self and is considering digging out his Turbo.
Clive Williamson - Clive has undergone surgery on his eyes and has invested in some hiking boots, he can be seen rambling over the Calderdale fells waiting for his sight to improve enough for him to return to his bike.

I must have caught the sportive bug 'cos I was going to enter the Rydale Rumble till I found out its been cancelled so I'm going to have a change of scenery anyway and do my own Rumble. I've got a 90 mile route planned this Sunday (26/8) from Sutton Bank car park including Blakey Bank, Rosedale Chimney and White Horse Bank (will shorten route if poor weather). I'm intending to leave Sutton Bank at 8am - if you fancy a day cycling in the North Yorks Moors let me know. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Midweek Meanderings

A couple of weeks ago we took to the mountain bikes with Mr Holt for an impromptu Wednesday evening ride in the wild places about Hubberton Green on the top of the moor. Briefly, fleetingly, it was warm and dry, and clear and sunny. Shorts and shorts sleeves, carrying CamelBaks but leaving our woes behind.We worked our way along, exploring unfamiliar, untamed and overgrown bridleways and back down exciting new steep descents. So good we pulled our way back up Scout Road and found another packhorse path of well worn flags to rocket down. Just thought I'd mention it. You know it can be really good round here. Sometimes.

Then, just this past Sunday, we were honoured by the company of both Nigel and Richard for an extensive tour of the northern parish of punishment park, with no less than three crossings of the watershed from west to east and back, and back again - Isle of Skye, Meltham & Marsden to Diggle & Delph (Standedge Cutting perhaps, officially), then, regaining more familiar ground, Buckstones and back home. It started fine, we were well fed at the second cafe we tried in Uppermill, then set off for the major climbs with a bit of drizzle for company. Ah well, it was good to be out.

This week? Steve says he has a route. Something involving Bacup Road. I know, I know ...


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sunday 19th August

Apologies for the late post. Nige, Steve & myself have a ride tomorrow from Hebden Bridge at 9am (traffic lights on the main road - in the centre of town). Off toward Greenfield and Isle of Skye. 50 miles. Low and slow. With a cafe stop. All welcome - send me a text if you fancy it and we'll hang on for you. 079 66 713 158. Ian

Strava Segment

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Sunday 5th August

If anyone fancy's a steady ride tomorrow I'm intending to do a route taking in Broughton, Winterburn, Thorpe, Burnsall cafe, back road to Cavendish, Otley and home in good time for the Pommel Horse Final.
8.30 Denholmegate - 9 Keighley.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Whats Happening

The Condor Road Club appears to have drifted into its usual mid-year slumber, even Brian's taking time off for cruising round the Norwegian Fjords, however he has still managed to take the bronze medal in the Vets National 30 mile TT Champs. Pete Smith is back racing following a virus, I hear Melvin was stirring the bunch up in a LVRC road race last Sunday although the race was stopped due to an accident involving one of the riders.  Damian's also been riding the odd  LVRC event and Simon was a regular in the bunches until crashing out on the last bend at Tameside a few weeks ago and breaking his hand - says thats it for the season now and once he gets the pot off he's going to have a potter round a few Audax's with me. I've ridden a couple of 200 k Audax's since I became able to don my cycling shoes again - The Manchester Loop from Denshaw which made its way over the Nick to Clitheroe then headed west over Winter Hill and Rivington ebfore looping round to Whaley Bridge and following a very interesting route back up to Denshaw.
Last Saturday I rode a 215K loop round Lincolnshire - sat down and on the big ring for 8hrs plus - give me a few hills anyday. Grimpy's not racing at the moment, concentrating on his preparation for the 3 Peaks he's spending a lot of time running up to Stoodley Pike with his 'cross bike on his back.
Here's a list of some not to be missed local events coming up soon.
Sunday 29th July - Good Companions 200k from Mytholmroyd Comm Centre 8am
Sunday 19th August - King of the Pennines Sportive - 100m from Skipton, taking in Malham Cove, Park Rash and Fleet Moss to name but a few - a must for any 3 Peaks aspirants.
Sunday 26th August - Tan Hill Audax, 200k
Saturday 8th September Daves Dales Tour 200k
Sunday 16th September - Tour of the Pennines Sportive. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

And then there were three

Congratulations to Melvin on another impressive sportive - or is it Nigel - or is it perhaps their long lost triplet Pierrick Fedrigo of France riding for FDJ-Big Mat and winning stage 15 in this year's Tour.

I can never tell those buggers apart!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Salad Days!

We've been pottering about recently at speeds far less than 19 mph. I think that tells you something about the superior performance which comes from riding hard all year rather than sitting about in cafes. Well done Melv and I hope to ride with you in the autumn after you've detrained a bit (or a lot).
This weekend saw Nige back on his bike with his mates for the first time in a long while being joined by Robin, Steve & myself. Climbing up from Lud Foot we enjoyed relatively dry trails all day despite the recent wet weather, taking in the rock garden near Studley Pike and a rocket back down to Callis Bridge.
We then took to a steep climb on a good track up through Winters Wood to Colden and, to put on a bit extra while waiting for our companion, dipped down Wragley and back up Lumb Bank to our cafe stop in Heptonstall. The butty was excellent - as always - with an unbeatable combination of solid teacake, smokey bacon & deliciously fresh egg that so many other places just can't match.  When Nige had slipped back his last words were "mine's a BSE" (bacon, sausage & egg), but we decided that he hadn't really earned all that and got him something much more appropriate as in the photo below.
Sadly he didn't ever reach the cafe, having been tempted back downhill to Hebden by a handy right turn and swept along the valley bottom as a flatter route home. Still, I hope that its the start of regular outings from now on and I'm looking forward to getting back out on the knobbly tires again soon.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sunday July 1

A late post - Robin and myself fancied a Bowland ride tomorrow, over Tatham Fell or Bowland Knott - with sustenance at Slaidburn. We also thought an earlier start - 8 at Denholme or 8.30 Keighley.
As I write this the rain is hammering down so fingers crossed for the morning.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A few tit-bits

It was good to see Simon lining up on the front of the grid for the start of the supporting race at Otley yesterday evening, unfortunately he was brought down on a corner at the beginning of the 2nd lap and spent much of the rest of the race in a small chase group. Mick Collins stayed with the lead group until the last lap when he was delayed behind a crash which prevented him from contesting the sprint. I'm not sure just how much they enjoyed the evening but myself, Steve C and Mel thoroughly enjoyed spectating and I'm looking forward to the Brighouse Race next Tuesday.

I've been rather out of touch for the last month but I'm now back on the bike and managing to squeeze small bits of information out of our active riders. Well done to Melvin and Robin for their stellar performance in last Sundays White Rose. Grimpy travelled down to Henley-on-Thames to compete in the LVRC National Road Race Championships but missed the boat when a group of about 10 caught him napping and broke clear early in the race never to be seen again. His race was won by a man most of our members will remember, the 1976 British Professional Road Race Champion, Geoff Wiles who beat current Masters World Champion Mike Allen into 2nd place.   Brian had stayed closer to home taking 2nd place in the Tom Simpson Memorial Road Race at Harworth, being beaten by one of Wiles' old Professional team mates, Reg Smith.

Hope to see plenty of Condors down at Brighouse next Tuesday - I'm on duty in the pits backing up Simon - if you're able to help with the marshalling let the organisers know ASAP.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Richmond & White Rose Sportives

Despite the quiet blog (hope the foots doing OK Peter !), and the discouraging weather, there is some bike riding going on.
Jubilee week-end saw me at Richmond for the tough '5 Dales' 100 miler, however due to road repairs after Tan Hill on the Keld to Nateby section we 'enjoyed' The Buttertubs route over to Hawes instead (then Fleet Moss and Park Rash). This did cut the distance down to 86 miles but far from being easier it was just faster. The improving Mr. Doherty joined Roger Palfreeman and myself to get it 'cracked off' in efficient style, unfortunately the Harrogate Nova trio were a bit more efficient and came in 4 minutes quicker. We managed 4 hours 35 mins. 19 mph average.
Last Sunday was the White Rose Classic resurrected by Ilkley CC. It proved very popular with a full field of over 1000 riders over 3 distances. A change from the original 110 mile route missed Malham and took us to Settle and over Attermire to Airton. Then down Wharfedale but still with the sting of Langbar to finish us off. ( I remember one year Nige had so much power still left at Langbar that he bent his rear wheel !)
Sundays posse consisted Robin, Dwarty, 'Bin man Thompson' and myself. The early miles had a bit of niggling headwind and after being passed by the fast boys at Fleet Moss we knew we weren't going to be top of the table today.
As we left Hawes to start the drag to Garsdale Head Dwarty's rear tyre blew out with some style. He confessed to spotting a lump on it earlier and thinking this could be terminal Robin and myself adopted the Pete Horne strategy of 'pottering on' - in any case we could only manage a potter over the Coal Road and up Dentdale. We were moving better down Ribblesdale but not as well as the VS duo who caught us at the bottom of the climb up Attermire.     
It was a tough run in via Thorpe and Burnsall but by Langbar Dwarty's legs enjoyed a miraculous recovery which he used to distance us all as he struck out for the finish being chased by Robin and me but leaving his team mate. We may not have caught him but were helped by the appearance of a  timing point before Ilkley that Dwarty nearly missed.
We came in with 6 hours 39 mins. Top ten places but this time some 30 mins behind the fastest Harrogate Nova guys.
Its the Otley races tonight so I may see some familiar faces amongst the beers and bikes.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Riding tomorrow ... we'll be at Keighley roundabout at 9am ... some of the Heptonstall slackers have threatened to come along, and Steve

Skipton and back was a blast. The weather cleared by 7. The roads were heavy with the rain though, and we were picking our way lightly through traffic and roadworks most of the way out. Despite or because of this Damien (who has a loose relationship with cause and effect)  managed to get some quality time to himself off the front. Coming back and on another of his sortees into introspection initiated just before the main roundabout at Keighley bypass he was joined by two others who formed a handy break as the rest of us we were held up by slow lorries and then lights. VS were out en masse and enjoying soft pedalling (which they were very good at by the way, very cunningly disguising it as trying) whilst their break buddy pressed on. I was in two minds about whether to chase seeing as Damien was there, then decided to chase, having no idea whether he was actually still in the break, and wanting to feel that we had had a ride. We caught them up top of Ingrow, by which point I was well bushed, leaving VS to attack off the front in turns, whilst I got slower and slower in response. The elastic snapped for me on the last hill, and I left it to the others, with the young un losing to John by a cock length (Chris' description)