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.