Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I'm happy to report that Simon finished the  London-Edinburgh-London at 6pm today. 1400 km of pure pleasure or 3½ days of misery?       Probably a mix of both.    I look forward to hearing the full account; hopefully he will be doing a write up for the blog.

Whilst Simon was engaged on more lofty matters the rest us were left to potter around Yorkshire. 16 or 17 turned out for todays social ride, those who, due to the weather forecast didn't turn early, made our way to Barden via Otley and the back road from Cavendish taking lunch at the Strid Tearooms.
The day will probably be best remembered for the return journey over Keighley Gate from Ilkley to East Morton bringing back childhood memories of long ago CTC rides for several of those present.
We managed to avoid rain until the last half hour or so when, showing impressive common sense we caped up and came straight home from Wilsden instead of the planned route along the Great Northern Trail and up that much loved climb of Station Road to Queensbury.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

LEL update

At the time of writing, 9.30pm Tues, Simon should be resting at South Cave leaving himself about 300 k to go to the finish. He's still in the fastest 50 but has been suffering in the adverse weather, a painful knee and another puncture won't have helped but he's cracked it now and has plenty of time to get back to London.

Monday, July 29, 2013

LEL News (and a bit more)

At the time of writing (6.30pm Mon) Simon is leaving the half way point (703.5 km) at Edinburgh for the return journey and, just like it is here in Yorkshire its raining very hard (to put it politely). Having started his journey at 6am Sunday he flew north at an impressive speed and stopped off near Scotch Corner (about 450 km) at just after 11pm for a well earned rest and a little sleep. At 5am he jumped back on the bike and set off for Barnard Castle but did'nt get far before he had his first p...... and managed to empty two CO2 cannisters without inflating the new inner tube.  Once he was sorted he embarked on a difficult ride over Yad Moss to Alston and north west to Gretna and Moffat before picking up a bit of tail wind (and a lot of rain) over the Devil's Beef Tub towards the half way check. He's been riding most of the route so far in company with Bob Johnson of the VC167 club but Bob's booked in for a sleep 40k south of Edinburgh. Buoyed by an optimistic weather forecast for the evening Simon's hoping to plough on and get to Yorkshire before resting - sounds a bit ambitious to me but I suppose it will be downhill all the way back to London.
All the best Simon - Dig In.

Whilst Simon was engaged in more serious riding, Oakworth Steve was testing himself in the Bronte Sportive (he was impressed to find a bottle of water and a tube of toothpaste in his finishers goody bag) and Brian, Pete Smith and Peeps were road racing down near Chester (no results available), a small group enjoyed a club ride up into the Dales. I met Paul D at Denholmgate where we waited for Grimpy who I understood would be coming with us as part of his build up to the impending Haute Route Alps, he didnt arrive so we set off and were joined en-route by Richard, John, a former colleague of Paul's and 'Fletch', from Oxenhope. John and Fletch said their goodbye's at Kettlewell as we three attacked Park Rash. With a tail wind it wasn't nearly as hard as its reputation suggests and in no time we were racing down Coverdale, West Scrafton, East Witton and the most expensive bacon buttie I've ever had at Jervaulx Tea Rooms (it was good though - so was the flap-jack).
Once refreshed we attacked the head winds over Leighton and Grey Ridge, a stretch of road where the Gods dealt the Vicar a penalty for not observing the Sabbath. Three punctures - the 3rd occurring at the top of the descent down to Lofthouse. Paul and I had stopped at Lofthouse thinking that Richard had just slipped a little way off the back but with his non arrival we had t ride back up that 1 in 4 climb to find that he had had to stick a patch on one of the punctured inner tubes having no more spares (how many of you still carry a puncture repair kit).
Anyway the patch did the trick and we made our way home up Greenhow and down to Bolton Abbey where Richard stopped to put a little more air into his tyre. Paul and I continued our way anxious not to be late for tea, both having guests at home. The heavens opened at Addingham and thats more or less how it stayed most of the way home, at least it was warm rain. Richard, did you make it home before dark?

Yes made it back to Keighley without having to put anymore air in the tyre. Glad I didn't park at Denholme as I was starting to fade by the time I got back to the car. Good day out though

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Club Run - Sunday 28th July

For those who haven't entered anything more challenging a few of us are meeting at Denholmgate next Sunday at 8am for a potter up to Kettlewell - Coverdale - Jervaulx (cafe stop) and Nidderdale - should be back home mid afternoon.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

News Round-up

Results from our racing members are not easy to come by but whilst on the Wednesday Ride today I managed to extract from Brian that last Saturday in the Wolds RT 10 mile Time Trial somewhere over in the East Riding he set a new British over 70's National Record, recording a time of 21 minutes and a few seconds. Well done Brian, there's not many who can come home from a luxury cruise on the Queen Mary and within weeks win a national road race title and set a new national time trial record.

Not one to rest on his laurels, the following day he was riding the Tour of the Wolds LVRC Road Race in the Lincolnshire Wolds being joined there by Grimpy and Pete Smith. Pete finished 5th or 6th in his age group (o.60's) and the Condor took 1st and 2nd in the o.70's race. Brian tells me he put in an early effort as they approached the checkered flag in order to lead out National Criterium Champ. Grimpy but to his surprise (but no one else's surprise) neither John or anyone else came past and victory was once again his with John taking 2nd from former Ovaltine Professional and 1961 Tour de France rider Pete Ryalls.

Closer to home Simon put the finishing touches to his London-Edinburgh-London preparation by riding the Brimham Rocks 200k Audax where from all accounts he rode most of the event at the front, finishing with ease under 8 hours. Simon will be starting the 1418 kilometer LEL Audax at 6am this coming Sunday. He denies any ambitions towards registering a fast time but I doubt that the checkpoints will have to stay open late waiting for him. See for further details.

I was relieved when others turned up at Salterhebble Locks last Sunday morning for the mountain bike ride, for a while it appeared I was going to be left alone to follow Paul Daly over some of the most errrrrrrr! interesting bridleways in the South Pennines. Never have I been more happy to see the Vicar on a Sunday plus Pauls mate Mark Warrinder. Although I was struggling, probably due to having overdone the miles in the previous few days, I really enjoyed following them on tracks up to Norland, Outlane, Marsden, Wessenden, Holme and Hade Edge - I have to admit to being absolutely knackered when I got home. Had I not committed myself to the Monday evening MTB ride I would have been happy to sit at home in front of the telly.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Mountain Bike ride this Sunday 21st

Those without other commitments may like to join Paul and I for a mountain bike ride over to the Colne Valley and Wessenden this Sunday, meet at Salterhebble Locks at 8.30 - back in time to see finish of Tour.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Myself, Damien, Oakworth Steve, Big Phil and Simon were joined at Stamford Bridge by Audax virgin and former Condor Mick Lever last Saturday for the 225k Bridges and Beaches Audax. It was about 24 degrees when we set off at 8.30am with a pleasant breeze coming off the North Sea. Mick and I did the first 8 miles or so at the front heading east through the Wolds towards Bridlington.  I was found wanting at the 1st real climb from Kirby Underdale to Uncleby Wold, dropping through the peloton and out of the back. Luckily for me my team mates soft pedaled and we were reunited over the brow of the hill but although working well together didn't catch up with moto 1 consisting mainly of Calder Clarion and Clifton CC. Brid was the 1st check point - obtain receipt from seafront cafe were the instructions on the brevet card  - Brid was looking Brill, so although with only 40 miles or so under the belt we chilled out over coffee and cakes relaxing in the sun taking in the sea air.
We then headed south through a network of singletrack back lanes to the Humber Bridge where we were required to obtain proof of passage. In the visitor centre car park we found a burger van and although we hadn't originally planned to have lunch the aroma of frying bacon changed all that - bacon and sausage butties and a large mug of tea sat on pick-nick benches in nearly 30 degrees of heat may not appeal to everyone but I can recommend it when half way through a 140 mile Audax.
After an unhurried lunch we crossed the Bridge and headed through the back lanes towards the next check at Gunness Bridge just to the west of Scunthorpe. On this section we were reunited with Mick and others who had lunched at a cafe at the south side of the Humber Bridge. A small team were taking turns at the front maintaining a comfortable 20-21 mph through the Lincolnshire flatland's with just the occasional maverick disturbing the well oiled machine. However Everest Phil, having done a good turn at the front suddenly blew, 30 degrees is not his favorite temperature, he functions best at minus 30 and began to suffer cramp which led to him dropping off the back. I dropped back hoping to pace him but he was too far gone and had to be nursed to the next control at Old Goole Docks where several pints of water and energy gels did aid him through the final 25 miles over Boothferry Bridge and back to Stamford bridge where Damien won a well timed sprint for the sign.
Another great day out, Damiens Strava stats showed 139.75 miles, 3825ft climbing at an average speed of 18.9mph. 

Monday evening mountain biking is continuing with a superb blend of fast tracks, technical single track and even the odd dash of culture. This week we were joined by  our President, Ian on a wonderful evening of sunshine and off-road speed. Paul took us through Shibden Park, Claremount, Plowcroft, Ambler Thorn, Keelham and Black Edge Road where in a change to the intended route we took the path on the edge of the moor to Fly Flat visiting the Stanza Stone en-route        
It was then a fast pace round Cold Edge Dams through Wainstalls  and down the Cat Steps to Booth and following the water course to Luddenden then the canal tow path and Hebble Trail to finish up at the Steam Brewery Shed.                                                                                                                                           

Monday, July 08, 2013

White Rose Classic

After starting most events this year with arm warmers & gilet I feel I must resist the temptation to complain about the heat on Sunday, but if the 'slow cycling' section found it too hot you can imagine how it was on the Dales climbs we had to endure. Although I never saw Peter on the day,  from the results I see he opted for the shorter 84 mile route. Probably a wise move.
Starting a little after 8am with Roger Palfreeman and a couple of local riders it was already warming up as we climbed Norwood Edge and I had drunk one bottle by the first feed/check at Grassington.
Due to a diesel spill on Fleet Moss the road was closed so we had to climb Kidstones over to Aysgarth and then take the main road up Wensleydale to Hawes. By now it was just me and Roger and the slog up the valley seemed hard, adding extra miles, and despite a brief stop at the Hawes feed/check the road still dragged painfully on up to Garsdale before the punishing climb of the Coal Road.
The descent into Dentdale gave us a cooling breather before tackling the melting roads back up to Newby Head but unfortunately Roger was now cramping very badly (along with many others we passed) and unable to do his share.
It had really hotted up on the Attermire climb out of Settle (joined by the 84 mile route from Halton Gill) with the heat bouncing off the limestone walls and Roger was ready to throw the towel in, but a bit of encouragement got him to the feed/check at Airton and over the numerous lumps & bumps to Bolton Abbey.
The stinging climb of Langbar is the last climb and it was very punishing with the sun blasting down but then its a quick run into the finish in Ilkley where I found a hosepipe to cool myself down before enjoying a sausage sandwich and a pint of shandy !
It is a popular event with around 1000 riders and the finish at the Ilkley Rugby Club is busy with a 'family day' for the many supporters, although  some people were probably keen to get back for the Tour and/or Wimbledon final !
With the extended route it clocked at 120 miles and only 5 riders managed it under 7 hours.
Mel  -  6hr 39min.           Peter H - 5hr 25min. (84 mile).

For a picture I am following Peters example and pinching one from Earthdreamer who rode alongside me for a chat (very briefly) at Kettlewell.

petehorne says - another good ride from Mel but not the best day ever for me - everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I got to the start at Ilkley Rugby Club an hour later than intended with only a couple of hours sleep the night before. Mel and Roger had long gone (not that I would have even attempted to stay with them).  Then, when I signed on to be informed that due to Fleet Moss being closed a 12 mile detour had been arranged tipped the scales and I took the option to ride the medium route. Perhaps due to the heat and lack of sleep I didn't feel great and had been struggling for the first hour or so. I was caught by a  group of patents lawyers from Buxton over West End and managed to sit in as they did bit and bit, this did me a power of good and eventually I was able to go through and do a turn myself. My spirits rose; and so did the temperature. There were many sorry sights at the side of the road, grown men rolling around in agony with cramp - especially as Mel mentions, up Attermire. With Langbar in mind I rode within myself and was pleasantly surprised to be able to sit in the saddle and twiddle away comfortably when I got there (most other riders were walking - until  they saw the photographer lurking near the summit whereupon they attempted, not always successfully, to remount. It was a good decision to opt for the shorter

Mel says - There are some good pictures on British Cycling site -  even makes it look quite enjoyable. Not sure Peter will agree though !

National Road Race Championships Sunday July 7th

The venue great the course difficult some may say brutal for us old gets but the result suberb Brian1st, Grimpy 2nd and  Peeps 5th.
We have become used to the normal road races on circuits from maybe 3 to 10 miles. This event comprised what might be described as one 40 mile + loop in a figure of eight arrangement centred in South Warwickshire partly on the fosseway.
Unusually we had a separate event for the G (70-74) & H( 75+) normally we ride in 60+ races with only one major DNS (ex pro sprinter Pete Mathews).  We departed from HQ (Moreton Morrell college) at 10.00 a.m. through the grand driveway. Brian indicated they were lined with Douglas firs ? All I recall is the battering I received in November at the Cross champs held in the same grounds.
It was hot by mid day 30C I decided to take two bottles although Brian still complained my bike was too lite?
Immediately we are climbing up frizzell hill but we take it steady getting ready for the pain to come. The next climb close to 10miles is the notorious local ‘EDGE HILL’. Brian leads the way followed by me (G) peeps and classy old Jack Watson (MI team). It’s a deceiving climb. A ridge appears ahead and the road disappears around a bend into a wood. Just prior to the wood the 14% sign appears and sure enough we are into the pain. Iv’e now gone down to 34 x 23 with my heart pounding being passed by Jack & Peeps just wishing the pain will end?
Around the next bend I see what I believe is the summit and press on. I understand what all the fuss before the start was about! The race is blown apart.
Its not Sky or moviestar it’s that bugger from our team sunter whose caused the mayheim. Although I’m maybe 25 metres down I’m not in pieces and soon manage to rejoin the leaders who eventually form into a group of eight.
For you oldies some of the names will be familier. Tony Woodcock (ex world master road champ- this year second in European champs), Jack Wright ( ex top road man) Jack Watson ( always been a classy rider) Bob Richards ( ex 100 miler champ and road man) and Derek Woodings (ex pro) plus us 3 flying condors ( well maybe?)
We keep a steady pace with me Peeps Derek, Jack Watson going thro but Brian as usual doing more than is fair share. Luckily for us Tony is staying at the back recovering from a heart scare and not going at is normal full on pace or is he bluffing? Likewise jack wright & Bob.
We get to Kineton, turning right to head for the Fosseway for two testing climbs both seem around 10% but nobody puts the hammer down.
We stay together and turn left onto the fosseway. Occasionally the group splits caused by somebody missing there turn. I find myself in front with Derek look around and we have 100m so we pressed on and the gap increases.
We work well together for the next 8 mile or so and I look around and can’t see the rest. Whilst our pace is good (garmin shows around 24’s on the flat) I don’t feel we are going fast enough, the zips missing? We arrive at the lower end of the edge hill ridge and turn off up a lane to Radley which starts the eventual retrace to the finish.
Within 2 miles Brian arrives in Time trial mode the pace goes up by around 2 miles an hour. Me thinks I hope he’s not dragged the rest up?
I think of contacting Brailsford but no radio contact!-what do we do? Brian’s clearly the strongest we can sit on him until the last climb and see how it goes. But if we suck Derek along he may win the sprint?
We arrive at Kineton around 7 miles to the finish I inform Brian distance to finish and to go alone. I drift off Brian’s wheel and he’s away Derek make’s no attempt to chase. We start the first of the 2 climbs to fosseway with Brian having a good lead. Me and Derek remain behind but start in/off again to ensure we aren’t caught before the finish. We are over the last climb and descend frizzell hill to turn right (yes that’s correct right turn with police approval- it can be done>?)
Up a short climb still doing bit & bit, Derek has explained earlier he’s nothing left? Me thinks these old stages tell tall stories, probably speaks to Pete Horne.
The finish is up a drag at the 200 metre point I decide to stay on dereks side we up the speed and gearing and I manage to pass him before the line. Brian as finished first I would guess around 1 min ahead. Condor one two, the rest of the leading group appears.
With peeps finishing 6th in the race and 5th in the over 70’s category beating the great woodcock.
A great day for Condor when I rode the cross champs. In the 40 + MI/ Jewson racing got 1,2, 3 which mick ives as I recall said he never seen before – well we were close? 
pics hopefully to follow when they appear on the LVRC site 

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Life in the Slow Lane

The 'slow cycling' section will be riding steadily tomorrow (as always) meeting 9am in Gargrave for a jolly jaunt round Bowland Knotts. Give me a call if you feel like joining in. Ian

It isn't often we manage to capture riders in action on this blog. But here are Steve and Nigel with the hammer down (very briefly) going over Paythorne Moor. It seems a shame to say that we found the day TOO HOT, and this dappled sunlight was quite a welcome relief. On the positive side we were out there enjoying the ride, doing far more chatting and loitering than our fitter and faster brethren.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Whats going on

Most of our road race team are away this Sunday at Moreton Morrell near Stratford upon Avon for the Veterans National Championships - good luck to you all - a 1 2 3 is a distinct possibility in the over 70's race - no pressure there then!

Also on Sunday Mel and I are being joined by a thousand plus other riders at the White Rose Classic sportive from Ilkley - looks like it may be a hot day but there's plenty of long steep descents to cool off.

For those who have not yet committed to other events this weekend Chris Crossland has sent me details of Le Tour en Calderdale -

Don't know whether you and other Condors are interested in this - Le 
Tour en Calderdale -  the CTC West Yorkshire/CTC Calderdale event this 
coming Sunday 7 July. Ride the Calderdale part of the 2014 Tour de 
France, with a bonus climb thrown in to get you in the mood. Entry fee 
£1 to cover costs of organisation. Caf├ęs open at start and finish. 37 
miles in total. Hope to see you some of you at the start: Sowerby Bridge 
Market (Wharf Street). Registration opens at 8.15am. Ride sets off from 
9.30am onwards.

On Saturday 13th of July there's the Beaches and Bridges 225k Audax from Stamford Bridge, near York. Looks like it will be a good change of scenery with a potter over the Wolds for an ice cream on the sands at Bridlington, then a gentle ride through East Yorkshire's lanes and across the Humber Bridge and return through the flatlands. Myself, Simon and Phil have entered so far. On-line entries are being accepted, £3.50 via the AudaxUK website.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Whats been happening

I'm sorry to have to inform Mel that according to the official results published for the Virgin Cyclone Sportive he and Dr. Palfreeman only managed 2nd fastest out of the 859 finishers of the long route - never mind, there's always next year (by the way, congratulations for an awesome ride - glad you weren't telling me just to sit on your wheel).

Whilst Mel was taking the Condor jersey to 2nd place up at Tyneside, Peeps was going one better by stepping to the top of the podium at the Clifton CC League of Veterans Road Race at Boroughbridge on Sunday, obviously my advice for him to ride the race as if he was riding up the Spen Valley Greenway worked (anyone who has ridden up the Greenway with Paul will know just what I mean). What a great result for someone who's made a comeback to racing this year after over 40 years away - its said that form is temporary but class is permanent, Peeps has shown he has CLASS!!.

Brian and Grimpy made the long journey down to Shropshire on Sunday to compete in the latest round of the Percy Stallard National Veterans Road Race Series. I seached the web for the results to find that our riders were placed equal 1st together with Mick Ives - an unusual result to say the least but I was to learn that the race was actually abandonned due to a vehicle accident.

We had a good turn out at the Yorkshire Mixture 200k Audax with 7 riders toeing the startline (thats not quite true because Simon, who decided that 200k is not long enough so rode out to the start at Otley from Huddersfield but turned up a few minutes late and having signed on then had to catch us up, which he did, and within a short time found himself at the front of the bunch pushing the head wind up Wharfedale). Five of us; Myself, Big Phil, Paul Daly, Damien and Simon stayed together taking turns at the front and setting a brisk pace up to Swaledale and back via Northallerton and Wetherby, just 3 other riders remained with us as we approached the Otley sign. Damien was doing a Sterling job as lead out man, I was comfortable sat on his wheel and could see the Otley sign getting closer but was outwitted by Simon who successfully went for a long sprint - hope it caused his legs to hurt on his ride home. Oakworth Steve had been with us in the earlier stages but we must have lost him up Wharfedale - hope he had a good day. Paul Gower had yet another super ride and would have taken the over 75's trophy by a country mile had there been any more over 75's capable of riding the event, he rode round with Dave Saleem and was still full of enthusiasm when I spoke to him later that evening.

13 or 14 turned up to enjoy the best weather of the day on Monday evening's mountain bike ride. It was good to see Ian Wellock making his debut, managing to fit in a local ride between MTB trips to the Far East and Europe. Elland's Mike Thompson joined us again showing no ill effects after riding the previous days audax on 72" fixed, it was in fact an easy day for him having ridden a double coast to coast the previous weekend (Pendle 600 Audax), also on 72 fixed and taking in such climbs as Hartside, Hardnott and Wrynose.