Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday 29th April Red Rose Ride

Did anyone turn up? Did anyone set off? Did anyone make it back?

Decided against the bike today; instead, short run at 9, showered by 10, coffee and cake by 11.

Just about to crank up the heating, puff up the sofa and tune in to Eurosport, ready for Wiggins' victory over Luis Leon Sanchez in the Tour of Romandie.

Who says I can never make the right selection?


PeteH replies,   You must be getting soft Richard, the weather conditions just added some spice to the event. You were not alone in your defeatist attitude as I was the only Condor to ride (Simon did come and keep me company as far as Whalley Abbey but having raced on Saturday never intended doing the full route). We rode with VC167's Bob Johnson and Jason from Greetland (think thats the right name) who I suspect was disappointed at the non appearance of Melvin and Robin with whom he'd enjoyed a brisk pace in the Spring into the Dales a couple of weeks ago.
As Simon tucked into his full english breakfast at the Abbey Tearooms the rain got heavier and the wind grew stronger. We were joined on the next stage - to Glasson Dock - by the now legendary Bob Bialek complete with his Crocs. Once we reached the foothill's of the 'Trough'  Bob the Croc had a moment of madness and made a full on attack. Bob J and myself, being old stagers, ignored his behaviour but Jason, mounted on a thoroughbred race steed could not ignore the insult to his state of the art (cycling specific) footwear, chased him down and disappeared over the summit in lone splendour (he was not seen again - wasn't at the Lantern O'er the Lune cafe and not at the finish - and had mentioned earlier the he didn't know the route - would love to know how he got on).
After a welcome break at the cafe we eventually emerged to even heavier rain. Fortunately there was some north in the wind direction so it wasn't all battling head winds, although strong gusts were at times bringing me almost to a standstill.  I was managing to keep warm enough and felt comfortable but the required strength was not there in my legs and I was unable to keep up with the Bobs and finally said goodbye to them on the road from Longridge to Whalley and arrived back at the appropriately named Oddfellows Rooms just after 5.30pm.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sunday 29th April

Red Rose Ride tomorrow, 8am Oddfellows Rooms, Coleridge Street, Halifax - bring rain jacket.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Imps Derek Smith Mem. R.R.

Definately not the sort of day to be atop Norland Moor.
Many of the brave souls who had made the start were all jammed in the bus shelter by the Moorcock, trying to avoid a nasty cold squall which threatened to wash the last glimmer of enthusiasm out of them.
Brian, Grimpy and myself made up the Condor contingent - with other hardy flock members around the course marshalling.
Overshoes & gloves were in order and I decided that 'cracking on' would be the best policy to keep warm and avoid the mucky spray - and so it was I found myself in a break on the first lap- feeling very uncomfortable. On lap 5 of 10 I decided to let my 2 partners go - knowing my meagre contribution to the work wouldn't be missed. I ground out the next 5 laps on my own only to get caught by the bunch on the line. I gallantly allowed 6 of them passed and finished 9th in the race.
Ah well, maybe one day I will collect an envelope off John Kaye like Brian did for 3rd in his group, Grimpy finished 5th.
Thanks to Sean, John and the team and also the Condor members who helped on the day.
We can do it all again in a few weeks in Grimpy's promotion on Sat. May 26. (I can't wait !!!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A few familiar faces on the above photo at start line with Simon yesterday evening, Pinkie & Mick Collins to his right. The race was won by Halifax's Jack Clarkson who now rides for the Hope Factory Team. Whilst Simon hasn't yet repeated his win from several weeks ago he's happy with his progress - he's a busy life, racing again on Saturday at Blackpool then helping with the marshaling at the Imps LVRC race on Sunday. Simon's sons Adam and Nathan, riding for Kirklees Cycling Acadamy are picking up 1st's and high placings every week in the schoolboys category's - Nathan being ranked 7th Nationally in his age group.
I havn't seen Pete Smith's name in the results for a few weeks but I see Brian has been trying out his new time trial bike with a 1st on standard in a 25 in the North East a few weeks ago and a 27mph+ 10 miler on a Hull course last week. Brian and Grimpy travelled down to Staffordshire last Sunday to ride the first round of the LVRC Percy Stallard National Road Race Series, Brian taking 3rd in his age group in a bunch sprint with Grimpy finishing in the same group but insisting he was just making the numbers up as he recovers from a dose of man flu.

Thanks to Robin for the Spring into the Dales report - I can't believe he wrote it - I could understand it! - it has been suggested someone must have hacked in to his blogger account. The Condor had another good turn out in the event (the lure of the rice pudding?) with Paul Gower, Paul Priestley, Richard Burnham, Pete Whiteley, John Lumb, Chris Sylge and Adrian Lord being seen enjoying the sunshine and views as well as those mentioned in Robins report.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring into the Dales

The sun, and a few legs were out, the wind cold, the pace up Cock Hill moderate, then it started to ramp up a little behind a Star Wheeler turning a big gear. Danny started to moan - he moans every year about how unfit he is, and always seems to be there abouts at the end - but the Star Wheeler stopped wheeling at the top, leaving us to get on with it with a thinned out group. Those with thinning hair were left to work on the front whilst the young un's tucked in, poor dears, a bit early for them possibly. Over The Herders, past the first checkpoint and on towards Gargrave we were going well en masse until some man-woman assemblage in a Ford Focus decided to try and drive through us. Mustering a primitive instinctual spasm worthy of the backward primal swamp of which they might be, say, middle-ranking occupants, said drivers (the passenger was very vocal and involved, shouting something loud, repeatedly, about being in the way and their having a baby) decided, because there was no room either side and they were not about to be held up at a junction by flocking cyclists, that there was, however, a route straight on, if they could only manage to knock one of cyclists out of the way, which they duly did, finding one of the rock racing guys the most viable option. Amid ensuing shouts and frayed tempers we all felt a bit down; it put a right dampner on things, bloody cars. Thankfully not hurt, but his rear wheel punctured/buckled, he and his mates sorted through the niceties of accident aftermath. We hung on about ten minutes not really knowing what to do other than hanging about in witness sympathy, then said our goodbyes and went on with the second group who'd caught us by this time.

After Gargrave we let Pete Horne do a bit of pulling as he seemed to want to be at the front, after having done his usual pottering on and seemingly still unable to understand that he is better off waiting and riding in a group. The Condor in him is too strong for mere reason to find a grip. Tiring of following Pete, and he just tiring, we left him over the hidden back roads to Thorpe and rolled breezily through Appletreewick, Bardon Tower, Bolton Abbey and then past the family farm and gated road on up and over the steep climbs to Grafton and the top of Cringles. It was about here that I noticed Mick Collins was still in the group, having been strangely absent at the front all day, perhaps hiding his glamorous brown tights and matching brown kepi because he did not want to show the rest of us scruffy buggers up, what with looking both really really cool AND being at the front pulling us all along, we could not have psychologically managed with both, so he gallantly stayed at the back. Yes, it must have been that. He took a long 30 second turn going onto Keighley, before dropping back to help Danny, who still seemed to be hurting from his initial effort up Cock Hill, but who also still seemed to be with us. Up Ingrow it started to heat up with Melvin showing off his form and the rest of us hanging on. By Cock Hill we'd lost the guy from Halifax with the very natty bike (sorry, crap at names) and Danny had finally had enough, and then me and my legs just stopped by the first set of roadworks despite my not working all that hard, then the Murt Racing lad from Haworth who'd been doing more than his share all day, and Lo! Mick decided he had been gallant enough in hiding his tights under a bushel at the rear of the bunch, and so now felt able to try and keep with Melvin (which he did, after Melvin waited a bit) and then push on for home. So order back was Melvin, Mick, Murt and then Me ... but they let me break the skin of the rice pudding.

Thanks Chris and co. for organising the event so well once again, especially those who cook (and we noticed the welcome bread pudding addition this year), and I hope the guys in rock racing kit got back/round OK


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sunday 15th / Monday 16th

Don't forget, Spring into the Dales, this Sunday, 0900hrs Hebden Bridge.

Now the evenings are staying lighter longer we are starting a Monday evening sociable mountain bike ride meeting at Salterhebble locks (in an attempt to attract those who can't find Brighouse). 6.30 start and its planned to have the innaugural ride round Norland Moor and Stainland. There's 4 or 5 already signed up, all are welcome - be there.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Wednesday 11th April

Attention Wednesday Club riders - this Wednesday a group of our regulars will be riding the 'An Icecream Wensdae' 100k Audax from Marple around the Cheshire lanes. It had been intended to recruit more riders for this event on last weeks Weds ride but the weather put paid to that so if you fancy riding it contact Peeps or Paul Hickey for details.

There's also a mini Ronde van Calderdale leaving the Ritz, Brighouse, 7pm.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Easter Sunday

Denholmgate 8.30 for anyone not on Easter duties - I'm hoping to have a steady ride to Feizor, perhaps via Malham and Stainforth.

PeteH says: Myself, Steve Cavell, Damian & Pete W set off from Denholmegate. Steve turned at Skipton, Pete & Damian then commenced a private half wheeling competition on the road to Gargrave - I say it must have been their own private competition because they left me. Unfortunately Pete must have been going so fast that he missed the turning for Malham. To my surprise Damian was sat waiting for me so we pottered up to Malham expecting Pete realise his error and catch us up. Alas this was not to be - the parachute must have failed to open and we didn't see him again. This appeared to have a calming effect on Damian who in the main rode sensibly except for brief episodes where, for no apparent reason, and without warning, he put the hammer down. Knowing Damian quite well I just ignored his antics, eventually he disclosed that he's found a website called Strava where he uploads his Garmin details and compares times on certain sections of roads (usually climbs) with other like minded cyclists - nothing like a relaxing ride in the Dales to de-stress.
From Malham we went up the east side of the Cove then on to Darnbrook and Arncliffe stopping at Cracoe for bacon and sausage sandwiches (crispy bacon and 4 sausages - very good). Just over 80 miles and home in time to watch a magnificent Paris-Roubaix.

Don't forget, Spring into the Dales, Sunday 15th April.
Imps LVRC road race Sunday 22nd
Red Rose Ride Sunday 29th - both Audax's can be pre entered on-line.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

From the Broom Wagon - Ronde Update

Pete asked for my report - well pretty uneventful, realised I had no chance of staying with the group as we hit the climb from Colne Bridge to Bradley Bar so I dropped back and linked up with the last group on the road, David and Trevor,

We made slow but steady progress and managed to ride all the climbs until the Shibden Wall; David made it up, Trevor and I didn't. The stop and the refreshments at Ploughcroft provided a natural break and the opportunity for me to turn and make my way back to Roberttown.

All in all an enjoyable day, more enjoyable, for sure, than my first Fell Race yesterday, the "Bunny Run" at Howarth - that's another story entirely and probably not for this blog....

Cavell - I'm looking for you!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ronde Report

A glorious if chilly morning for a very challenging ride. I hear that some members headed for Slaidburn instead of venturing to parts unknown. Peter was always up for the cobbles and the' Vicar' even put in an appearance as well as Neil.
Mick Collins' excellent route took in many roads I knew, some I didn't, and a few I don't want to know !
The long drag from Cooper Bridge to Outlane was taken by the group of 20 or so at a speed the wrong side of ''comfortable' and when we hit the first cobbled 'burg' at Stainland Dean the more youthful legs were dancing away from me. We re-grouped with about a dozen of us for a steady ride up to Buckstones but Sean joined us at Pole Moor and a new urgency seemed to join with him as we charged down through Slaithwaite and up the cobbles to Salendine Nook.

From Brighouse I was on more familiar, but no less painful roads. By the Hough the zip had left most legs and 'Shibden Wall' was no fun at all. More welcome was Mick and the team at the top with drinks and bananas.
After the feed a few riders headed home, and after Gibb Lane up to Mount Tabor a few more wished they had joined them. Down to Luddenden and then the realisation that I hadn't really examined the route as the route signs sent us up the almost impossible Old Lane (the provision of a hand rail says it all). At least the organising 'tifosi' were at the top shouting encouragement.
You know it's a tough day when the Jowler seems like a breather. Brother Nige appeared to offer encouragement, or was it pity ? We were now down to six riders over the Haworth Old Road and Cockhill to pick up a welcome tailwind down the Calder Valley. Up the cobbles again at Woodhouse Lane and another surprise as we were directed up Wakefield Gate. After Exley bank only (!!) Trooper Lane left to conquer and with some vocal encouragement from Mick and the team we were there - Paul Ward taking the honours with Eric close behind.
A very satisfying day out. Thanks go to Mick and his helpers for a well organised day, a pity more riders didn't turn up for our own 'classic'.
PeteH says - An epic route, 'the hardest day I've ever had on a bike' was how Neil described the route and I'm not going to argue. Fortunately Mick and his team looked after us very well and are already planning next years 'Ronde'.
We were expecting a larger flock of Condors - perhaps I shouldn't have blogged the route! As Mel says above it was the wrong side of comfortable going up the drag to Fixby. I was riding with Simon and told him that I was going to have to let moto 1 go or there was no way I would make it round the full course. Fortunately Simon's legs were also hurting (he'd been racing at Darley Moor the previous day) so he dropped off to keep me company as our man for the classics, Mel, and Neil disappeared up the road. Brendon from 3RT and a lad from Tod who in the 80's used to ride for the Imps joined us as we set a more civilised pace.
Dropping down to Stainland Dean we could see that Moto 1 had disintegrated up the first cobbled climb of the day. Our quartet rode out of the top together and as we approached Ringstone Edge I heard a familiar voice sat in behind us, it was Neil who had been blown out of the leading group and missed a turning and was now happy to have found a less urgent grupetto to ride with.
We were having a smashing ride round the quiet lanes of the Colne Valley, that was until we were caught by VS's Chris Thompson who'd also been off course, Chris's presence had us having to work hard again. Our group split, Neil and I begged him to leave us alone but he stayed with us until the first feed station at Ploughcroft where he left with another victim, Ivan Boyes of HSW (nether finished - probably still riding round the upper Calder Valley looking for RVC direction signs).
Shibden Wall had been the defining moment for several RVC riders including Simon and Neil. We made our way towards Gibb Lane but Simon decided to call it a day and Neil was feeling the pull of his nearby home, having ridden out to the start he had no need to go to the finish to pick up his car. He told me he had blown; I pottered on alone, at the top of Gibb Lane I looked back but no one was in sight so I continued to push the pedals round with only myself for company. Luddenden's Old Lane, Jowler, Cock Hill, Woodhouse Lane, Wakefield Gate and Exley Bank came and went. Just Trooper Lane left, I'd managed to get so for without putting a foot down on any of the climbs and with weary determination managed to make it a full house.
Once at Southowram a load was lifted and I felt really good for the ride back to Liversedge.
I hadn't been back long when to my surprise Neil walked in, he'd ridden through his bad patch spurred on by fear of having to tell the Wednesday club he had packed.
I'm not sure what happened to Richard, I was told he retired at Brighouse but the photo above is on Shibden Wall so I look forward to hearing his account.
Thanks to Jonathon Jolly for the photos. A donation will be made when I work what to do.