Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New YearsDay

Numbers were down for last Sundays club run with regulars like Paul D, Damien and Oakworth Steve all falling by the wayside it was left to tough guy's, Padiham Chris, Turbo Steve, with me as a bit of a tag along to fly the Condor colours. We were joined by Aire Valley's Tim Small and, due to the temperature being minus 4 decided to stick to more travelled roads.

We headed straight up to Skipton and over to Wharfedale, surprised to see that north of Skipton the snow disappeared and the dale was looking magnificent bathed in bright winter sunshine. At Threshfield we caught a guy on a mountain bike, we were keeping up a good average speed and by Kilnsey Crag I was impressed that the MTBer was still sat in and looking very comfortable. I dropped back to have a chat, asking him where he was going, and as I did so I noticed a pair of Walshes (fell running shoes) strapped to his Camelbak. He told me that he was on his way up to the White Lion at Cray from where he was going to run up Buckden Pike before meeting his mates back at Cray the having a pint a every pub on the way back down the dale - he made me feel like we were having a lazy day.

We said goodbye to him just short of Cray when we turned left towards Hubberholme to complete the Buckden Triangle. This little road confirmed to us that we had been sensible keeping to the busier highways as an icy surface was very evident.

Travelling back down the dale we enjoyed a slight tail wind. We stopped at the café opposite the car park in Kettlewell (Zarina's being closed) and had very ordinary bacon & sausage sandwiches, tea and a bun; at £10 odd we were not at all impressed.

From there we flew down the back road to Grassinton - Linton - Cracoe - Gargrave - Cononley B..tard and home. As usual Chris was on top form and Steve also showed us he has been kissed by the god of speed. Tim behaved himself (as expected from a guest rider on his 1st outing) and I clocked up 90 miles or so towards the Strava 500 Challenge.

                        Brian Sunter and the late Phil Smithies plus 3RT member

Which brings me to the subject of the blog entry - don't forget 10am Brighouse, New Years Day for breakfast at Holmfirth and afternoon refreshments at Sowerby Bridge

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sunday 28th and New Years Day


A grand day out was had on Christmas Eve, despite my new tyres feeling as if they were sticking to the road we made the 45 miles into a stiff head wind to get to Elaines Tea Rooms at Feizor by 11.15, and the effort was more than worthwhile when a short time later we were tucking in to the best bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches in the world washed down with a limitless supply of strong tea.


The calories went straight to our legs and by just turned mid day we were hurtling down Bucca' Brow with a tail wind, the momentum taking us up Langcliffe Scar and over to Malham from where Chris and Steve set a relentless pace back to Keighley with me having all on to sit-in.

Sunday 28th December,  meet 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley. 40 or 50 miles en route to Neil's Christmas Pie & Pints Do.

New Years Day,  meet Sainsburys Roundabout, Brighouse, 10am for Holmfirth and Isle of Skye and a pint at Sowerby Bridge.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve

Not a bad forecast for Wednesday and as a few of us need to be home in reasonable time I'm meeting Paul D at Denholmgate at 8.30 and Chris at Keighley at 9am for a potter up to Feizor and, time permitting, a return over Langcliffe.  All welcome.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Whats On & Whats Been On


34 attended todays Wednesday Club Christmas Lunch and I think everyone was in agreement that the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale was an excellent venue - its a pity that the photographer did such a shoddy job - his excuse was that he couldn't get the flash to work on his camera (when he got home he realised why it was because the camera was set on 'burst' mode which disables the flash).
 





 
Sorry I didn't capture everyone, I just gave up because of the flash problem.
 
 
A very enjoyable ride out over Tadcaster way last Sunday with plenty of miles in the bag in dry conditions until we were almost home.
 
This coming weekend we've scrapped plans to ride the Winter Solstice Audax in favour of taking part in Jonathon Emberton's Cragg Vale Spiral on Saturday (9am at the Robin Hood). It promises to be a good turnout from the Condor with not just the usual suspects but also Brian, Lumby, Mick White and one or two more pledging their selves (although admittedly they had drunk a few pints when they declared their intention) 
 
 
This also leaves Sunday free to pop into the Robin Hood at Pecket Well to take a look at Rileys Treat, 9am Denholmegate or 9.30 Keighley so we can get a few steady miles and a café stop in before getting to the Robin.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Sunday 14th and a few other bits

How's about a change of direction this Sunday with a ride out east - Fairburn - Tadcaster etc. Meet Sainsburys roundabout, Brighouse  9am,

Since Damien got his new Whyte a few weeks ago there has been much talk (or grumbling) about the weight of winter bikes. In order to put an end to speculation Oakworth Steve came equipped with his weighing scales on last Sundays ride with the results being -
1.  Padiham Chris   14.5 kg
2.  Damien   13.5 kg
3.  Oakworth Steve  12.5 kg
4.  Tauranga Bay Paul  12.5  kg
5.  Pete H  11 kg
6.  Nigel  10.5 kg
7.  Ian  10  kg
8.  Richard  9.8  kg
With a couple exceptions the speed of the bikes follow an identifiable pattern - the heavier they are the faster they go.

If you enjoy Audaxing and the Scottish landscapes you will enjoy this episode of The Adventure Show from BBC Scotland http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04v5hh


Force GB have kindly prepared the above artwork for me for a jersey (any sort of jersey from a skinsuit through to a heavyweight winter thermal), based on our old 60's/70's club kit. If you fancy one let me know and I will put an order together - already got several names on the list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Few Updates

Thanks to Ian for last Sundays ride report, but I still believe that the B E & S sandwiches at Feizor are better than Airton, but never mind, it was another good day out and the tail wind up Cowling Pinnacle made the early soaking all worth while.

RIDE OUT LUNCH & AWARDS CEREMONY
It was decided at the AGM that this winter we would hold our awards ceremony as a  ride out lunch rather than an evening dinner/dance. Early January was mooted as a suitable time of year for the event and the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale have agreed to host the event with a Bernard Hinault style buffet on a Saturday or Sunday of our choosing. However a January date is problematic with several prominent members being away for the month cruising the Southern Hemisphere (as prominent members do) and another engrossed in preparation for assaults on National and World Cyclo-Cross titles............so we're looking at early February instead.

 THE ROUND ROBIN CRAGG SPIRAL
Its back - the 2nd running of this event, promoted by Cragg Velo's Jonathan Emberton.
 

Saturday 20th December

Second Running of ...
'The Round Robin Cragg Spiral'
75/50/25km and never more than 5 from the Robin Hood.
3 climbs of Cragg on the full route with 3 different return routes through the Sowerby Lanes.
9am start - Robin Hood, Cragg Vale
Food and social at the Robin after. 

Belter! 

More information from
Jonathan Emberton
07792900971
craggvelo@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The shower and the lost sheep

Short version: we got wet at the start and lost the vicar at the end. A reduced group went to the Bay Horse in Oxenhope. 

Long version: Setting off from home the sun was breaking though nicely and the day was full of promise. Then I got to Fly Flats and saw the wall of black cloud (Pete will tell you that it was just a light shower) headed my way and I enjoyed a 'refreshing' descent into Keighley. Sadly I wasn't the only rider at the start so had to continue with the club ride. Padiham Chris, Richard, Nigel, Oakworth Steve, Paul 'rides every' Daly, Damien were all present and correct. Feizor was mentioned, and so was the fact that its December so we're not chuffing going there. A democratic decision was taken to head for Gargrave first and hope the Cononley-Carleton back road would get some warmth back in our fingers. It didn't. So we went over from Broughton to Gargrave too, with Airton being mooted as a suitable breakfast venue with only moderate dissent (Feizor was mentioned again I believe but the wind was quite strong so pretending not to hear worked adequately here).

Riding along with sodden gloves, frozen feet and a chill headwind I was looking forward to reaching the cafe and mis-using a state of the art patented hot air hand dryer. Paper towels! Never been so disappointed to see them. But then a posh joint like Airton has under-floor heating so the bacon and egg butties were dispatched slowly while at least getting some warmth into the toes.

The return route took us  nearly over Attermire until Pete could be redirected on the right road to Otterburn instead. I was all for the long way round via Gisburn but el capitains directed us instead on a reverse of Spring into the Dales and then via Elslack over Cowling pinnacle avoiding all main roads or heavy traffic - especially Keighley. Or at least it does unless you are a certain club member with limited directional recall facilities and head straight on when you should be turning right next to Oakworth cemetery. Your clubmates could then stand around for a while, or go looking for you, thinking that you might be in a heap by the side of the road, but find nothing. By the point contact was eventually established (by one of those new-fangled pocket telephone devices) the group had split up and the day was done. Pete kindly sent me a text from the pub about the time that I was cresting the radio mast on Nab Water Lane (av. 17%). Being disinclined to acquiesce to his suggestion that we backtrack to the bar, I carried on home for a warm shower before taking ale in the Caty wearing more suitable clothing (lycra in public houses hasn't been banned yet but possibly should be).

Finally a couple of pictures. The first is an 'outtake' from last week - its basically the same chaps standing around but I like the informality of this unposed snap. The second is to illustrate the horrors of riding in California. I had to suffer down this quiet and pretty coastal road with a howling tailwind for about 25 miles (its a short part of highway 1 which runs from San Francisco all the way down to LA).



Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sunday 7th December

Meet 9am Denholmgate, 9.30 Keighley; where a democratic decision will be made regarding route and refreshments.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Ten Green Bottles - Barley and beer

This week's ride report contains a thank you, an apology and an enquiry.

First the thank you - to the chaps for waiting at the start for a few extra minutes while the last straggler turned up in Keighley (me). I'd loitered through town after seeing Richard Burnham going up Ingrow, and hence was late at the start. However Richard wasn't keeping warm waiting for the Denholme contingent to come through, like I'd thought, but turns out that a major mechanical had befallen our comrade and he'd been forced to retire DNK (Did Not reach Keighley). The first of our 'ten green bottles' had fallen.

Next the apology - to Pete (Smith) and Peter (Whitely), from all of us in the rest of the gang and especially Peter (Horne) - for setting such a furious pace at start which caused our two clubmates to turned for home on Cowling Hill! Please, please shout out next time and we will ease up. This is supposed to be the social season, after all. Two more of the green bottles had gone.

I've found that riding second-row is ideal in order to be sheltered but still within shouting distance of the pace-setters, and that I can slip down a couple of bike lengths over a crest while staying in contact with the group or at least reducing the catch-up work required. So do please try it again chaps. And talk to Peter the map-master general about designing us a route with fewer bleedin hills.

Now the intermission: a picture of Pendle Hill taken en route to our butty stop in Barley. Whilst I enjoyed the view here from the top, you will note that Barley can be reached from Blacko by other routes which involve clocking up fewer ascending meters on Strava, but these routes apparently can be discounted.


Seven of the Ten remain

Finally, the enquiry. I peeled off at Mytholmroyd and headed straight home with Nigel, rather than following the flock to The Cross Keys in Siddal. Having been away for a week recently I thought that putting in an appearance at home might be useful. Meanwhile, did the last 5 green bottles get suitably filled with beer? And who won the Imps freewheeling contest?

Addendum - from the last remaining Peter
There were just 4 green bottles left when Ian and Nigel abandoned us , Steve had taken a left at Hebden Bridge to return to the security of Bronteland via Cock Hill. Once rid of the Wainstalls Whippets, Paul, Chris, Damien and myself settled  into a steady pace for a potter up Scout Road enjoying a superb panorama over the Calder Valley bathed in a late autumn glow, a low sun creating long shadows enhancing the landscape and filling us with an exultation of spirit. So much so that instead of opting for the most direct route to our stated destination of the Cross Keys at Siddal we threw in a right turn and went over the tops to Hubberton and down to Triangle.
Not wishing to arrive at the pub too early we then sprinted up the Stirk Bridge climb to Norland (well Paul and Chris did the sprinting whilst I reminisced about the last time I raced up the hill in anger, whilst  taking part in the Condor RC Hill Climb in 1978) and Damien complained about his new bike being heavy.
We spent an hour with our friends from the Imps who had been well and truly thrashed in their own free-wheeling competition by the Batley CC. Whilst the Lancaster Bomber ale was spot on we soon tired of having our ears assaulted by the live band and tore Chris away from a new best friend to seek  fresh air and peace.
If you are in Siddal and live in Hipperholme the obvious route home is of course up Trooper Lane; Damiens response  showed maturity, and vision beyond his years. He simply responded 'I'm not going up f***ing Trooper Lane,' and headed off in the direction of Exley (sadly this was not the first time on the Sabbath that he had lowered the tone by using that and similar expletives). However, undeterred, I was happy to face the cobbles alone - I should have known Paul and Chris better than  to think they would allow me to enjoy the hill in my own splendid isolation, no, despite it being in totally the opposite direction to their homes they decided to accompany me - or to be more accurate they decided to sprint off like greyhounds from the starting gate and wait for me at the top smiling like Cheshire cats.

On a more serious note, as Ian has said, the early pace up Cowling Hill towards Black Lane Ends was far too fast for the time of year, in future weeks I hope we can show more discipline and ride together.
 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

UCI World CUP Milton Keynes: Saturday 29th November 2014

Can see local lad Jack Clarkson + all the top world cross stars in event live today from 13.55 today
on uci you tube site
https://www.youtube.com/user/ucichannel

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sunday 30th November 2014

Meet 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley - road ride - suggest Cowling Hill, Barrowford, Bacup and back to Calderdale to have a pint with the Imps following their free-wheeling competition.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sunday 23rd November

Meet Shelf roundabout 9am for Knaresborough. Return round Washburn Valley.

Note: We have several members planning to ride the Winter Solstice 200k Audax on Sunday 21st of December, if you fancy joining us enter via the Audax UK website - no entries on the day.

http://youtu.be/IqENT0MIoOA  - a short tribute to John Radford

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hanson Memorial Seat


From Paul Gower......................... 
Photo’s of some early Condor’s. Sat on a memorial seat to Brian and Muriel Hanson at Ryburn golf club. Brian and Muriel who died 2011/12 were life long members of the Condor after joining in their mid teen’s. The view from the seat is very good on a clear day.
 
 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday 19th November

The funeral of John Radford will be taking place on Wednesday, 12noon at Christ Church, Helme (near Meltham).  Paul Gower and myself are planning ride up to Helme to attend the service and will be meeting at Shelf Crossroads, 10am. Please feel free to join us.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sunday 16th November

This Sunday meet Hebden Bridge (usual place, Park Gates)at 9am, for Black Ladd, Isle of Skye and Holmfirth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eureka Report


Great day out at Sundays Eureka Audax, a pity our numbers were down due to the event being oversubscribed and entries closing early. Nevertheless there were three Condors toeing the start line in Cheadle at 8am on Sunday - well thats not quite accurate, Chris and I were toeing the start line whilst Steve was still putting on his make-up with the urgency of someone who thinks he's there for a holiday. As predicted the peloton split up in the early miles due to numerous sets of traffic lights and Steve found himself on the wrong side of the splits and was unable to bridge the gap.
Chris and I stayed on the front together for the first 20k before swinging off to let two VC167's through, Bob Johnson and his team mate, whom Bob immediatly started to half-wheel - then full wheel - then full bike until the poor lad had had enough. I commiserated with briefly as he dropped back through the ranks and off the back.
By this time there were only five of us left at the head of affairs, including Sheffrec's flying surgeon, Julian Humphrey, resplendent in a Castelli one piece bodysuit. We arrived at the Eureka 10 minutes before the checkpoint was due to open and had to resist an overwheling desire to keep up the momentum by jumping straight back on the bikes as soon as our cards were stamped. We did resist this urge, and much to Flat Earth Bob's disapproval joined the massed ranks of Merseyside and Deeside cyclists by sitting down to enjoy pint mugs of tea and home made cakes.
Steve had arrived at the Eureka only about 5 minutes after us, he was mumbling something about not knowing it was going to be a race but soon recovered his 'joie de vivre' and joined us to soak up the atmosphere at this iconic cyclists rendezvous.
Once refreshed the three of us headed south, passing to the west of Chester, over the Dee and in to Wales, skirting round the east of Wrexam and down to Bangor on Dee for the information check.  On the roads north-east to Tattenhall we swept up Julian who had briefly been off-course, and formed a well drilled quartet to the Ice Cream Farm check where we once again enjoyed refreshments.
It was now about 70k to the finish and Chris was begining to warm-up. During those last miles the speed rarely dropped below 20mph and Steve, Julian and myself were rarely seen at the front as Chris towed us past other Audaxers who had perhaps spent less time enjoying rest and nourishment to finish back at Cheadle Church Hall with 133 miles on the clock at an average speed of 18mph.
Now for the Social Season - at least untill the Winter Solstice event on the 21st of December.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Sunday 9th November

Im meeting Paul Daly at Denholme gate at 9am passing Keighley 9:30 for a ride over the hills but not too far away , All welcome ,

Damien

Friday, November 07, 2014

AGM, Clothing, Sunday 9th November

NOTICE of ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
AGM is to be held next Monday 10th November at the Travellers, Hipperholme, 8.30pm.  If you've anything for the agenda please let me know.  Main decision is in relation to this winters club dinner.

In relation to club kit, as has been published on the blog previously Condor kit is being produced by Force GB of Liversedge. They're producing kit for most of the local clubs - Hudds Star, Ravensthorpe, 3RT, Imps, Driglington, Calder Clarion etc etc. The big advantage is that they will do one-offs, so no minimum orders and no need to keep stock. They will also tailor the kit to your individual request, eg sleeve length etc or something special like the New Zealand fern that Paul has on his retro jersey. As long as you ring first they are happy for you to call in to try on a sample to make sure you get the correct size. Go on to their web-site at  http://www.forcegb.com/ 
Next Monday afternoon a few of us are having a ride down the Spen Valley Greenway to the factory to try on some kit for size and place orders - get in touch if you fancy coming along.

Eureka Cafe. Wirral, 1972

This Sunday I'm riding the Eureka Audax so please don't wait for me to suggest a club-run. Although there's been a bit of a problem with entries for some other Condors I think Chris, Steve and Possibly Paul D are joining me.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Condors attack The Falcon

Sunday was completed as advertised and sadly we were so busy chatting at our rest stop that I forgot to take a photo. We'll have to make do with this one instead taken on the way back going in to Grassington. Pete Smith made a welcome appearance, shown here along with Steve T and Peter. Out of shot we also had Paul Daly, Steve Barker and Tod (nee Padiham) Chris. Our apologies to Nigel who was a bit late to the start and we'd set off already, and then was early to the pub and we hadn't got there yet (still having breakfast in Settle). After looking at the route and the average speed on my Strava he said it was a blessing not to be involved. Melv was spotted out with another club, taking a trip to the top of Fleet Moss and back - as you do.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Sunday2nd November & Wednesday Club Christmas Lunch

Meet 8.30 Denholmgate or 9am Keighley, destination to be decided on the day.

Wednesday Club Christmas Lunch has been booked for the 17th of December at the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale.  I'm collecting names and £5 deposits from next week.

If we're looking for a route tomorrow then it could be the day to visit the Falcon Inn at Arncliffe. According to the website they should do pie & peas - Ian

Sounds like a good idea to me,  Pete

Monday, October 27, 2014

Message from Chris

Chris Smith       4.16.1           70th Overall
Many thanks to all who came and watched us suffering up Pea Royd Lane, Stocksbridge Nat Champs Hill Climb. I took 70th position overall with a finishing time of 4.16.1. Brilliant conditions with new surface and a stiff tail wind finish. I was honoured  to have the chance to ride today as the event was fully oversubscribed by excellent riders from all over the UK. Felt I gave a strong solid performance alongside fellow competitors.
 

 THE HILL CLIMB

By Simon Warren

Ten...
That's the moment you know it's real, the time keeper's call of ten seconds to go. This is happening, you are here, a waking moment. You're going to have to attack this hill and force your body into a place it doesn't want to go and one that it will try everything to get out of.
Five...
And five fingers are held in front of you. All the training, the sacrifice, the self discipline, watching the scales, the early nights, this is why, this is it, focus.
Four...
You grip the bars, you look ahead, you empty your mind.
Three...
You fill your lungs to pack the muscles with oxygen, you'll need every last drop.
Two...
Focus, you CAN do this,you're GOING to do this, focus.
One...
Silence
Go...
Spin at first, your speed has to be perfect, overdo it at the start and you'll die a thousand deaths. You know the course, you know what to do, you can't think, it's too late for that, there is only time for action. You have to find the sweet spot, to float, fueled on adrenaline. You must preserve your reserves, but never hold back. Adrenaline doesn't last.
Suddenly you sense the effort, your'e breathing as hard as your heart is beating fast, you are at your limit. 30 seconds in and you've reached maximum, the primeval instincts that have kept man alive since before history are now telling you to stop, to back off, ease up. You can't listen though, you can't give in, you have to push.
Your eyes focused as if staring at a singularity, oblivious to all except the metre  of tarmac in front of you. Don't think, don't rest, push, take the pain. You are now deep into oxygen debt, you simply cannot supply the demand so the body diverts it to where its needed the most. Your eyes blur, you begin to lose sensations in your extremities
 but there can be no rest.
Time is standing still,it's hyper real, you are experiencing life in such rich detail, this is what your body CAN do, this is WHO you are, WHAT you are, PUSH, PUSH.
The crowds shout your name but you hear no noise, you see the finish line but it gets no closer, PUSH. You're barely able to hold yourself up, your legs are consumed by lactic acid and your lungs burn, desperate for air. At last there is the line, the end to eternity,
 one final lunge, one final revolution, done.
You fall into the arms of an official, empty, your chest on fire and your mouth filled with the metallic taste of blood.
You've been to the edge, it was two minutes that lasted a lifetime, the Hill-Climb.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunday 26th October

 Meet 8.30am Sainsbury's roundabout, Brighouse for National Hill Climb Championships at Pea Royd Lane, Stocksbridge (we'll calling in at Langsett cafe on the way there).  Remember to turn clocks back and put lights on your bike.


Thanks once again to Ellen Isherwood for the above photo of Chris competing at the Lancashire RC hill climb at The Rake a few weeks ago. More of Ellen's photos can be viewed on the CTT website.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Thanks to Ellen Isherwood for this photo of Chris in full flight in the Nelson Whs Hill Climb


Chris is finding his best form prior to next Sundays National Hill Climb Championships taking 5th place on Saturday morning in the climb out of Barley on the Newchurch road and another excellent 5th place on the North Lancs Road Clubs Nick o' Pendle climb on Sunday. 


After meeting at King Cross, four of us battled head winds in order to be on the Nick to cheer Chris on. Number 2 on the start sheet he was in fact the first man to start, his minute man being DNS. Chris gave everything on the climb, looking exhausted at the finish but then having to rush off to attend a christening rather than join us for a fry-up at Waddington Cafe.


After breakfast we enjoyed tail winds along the Ribble Valley to Bolton by Bowland and up the long drag to Halton West. All were showing good form even challenging Paul's dominance at strategic points as we looped around Hellifield and Airton before stopping off at Broughton Hall to watch the cyclo-cross. There were 160 starters in the senior race but no evidence of Robin Holt, who's name I had spotted on the start sheet (sorry if I missed you). The racing was well supported but the main race of the day, the Rapha Supercross, wasn't due to start until 3pm so we joined forces with Mick Collins and Dom Turner plus other 3RT's for a pacey ride home.
Steve and I together with Mick, Matt & Daz split off from the others at Ingrow, sprinting up the cobbles of Hainsworth Lane and over to the Old Spot Brewery Tap at Cullingworth where we enjoyed a couple of pints of the breweries fine ales before pottering home along The Great Northern Trail. A great start to the social season.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunday 20th October

I 'm meeting Paul at King Cross at 8am Sunday to have a ride out to Nick o' Pendle to give Chris a shout in the hill climb, he's no.2 on the start sheet, off at 10.02, hence the early start. This is Chris' final preparation event before next Sunday's National Champs at Stocksbridge's Pea Royd Lane. He's been busy riding all the classic local climbs, The Rake, Jackson Bridge, Holme Moss, Blackstone Edge etc and consistently achieving top ten finishes.
After the climb we'll be riding down to Waddington cafe for lunch - why not join us.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cafe Cruising Sunday Club Run

Here is an alternative offer for Sunday - 9am Keighley for Burnsall, and back. Hopefully we can still get away with best bikes, looking at the weather forecast.

RIDE REPORT: Leaving home the sun was thinking about poking through so I hoped we'd be on for a good day. The windmills at Top Withins were floating on fog, the blades catching the morning light while the bases were covered in mist. Over Fly Flats the views down the Worth valley had islands of sunshine over a white cloud sea - I'm sorry there was no time for pictures.

Meeting up with the Hartleys and the Barker in Keighley we took the scenic route over Cringles still shrouded in air damp enough to give us wet roads. That's no way to treat a new bike but it seemed to cope. Did you know that the latest Di2 uses the battery to power a motor in the rear hub - it works a treat!

Breakfast was taken in Burnsall, because that's what it said on the blog, and back via Thorpe to Gargrave leaving Melv at Airton - because he'd done enough in the Hills & Mills yesterday. We then took the road home over Cowling and Slippery Ford, because it's quiet and the sun had started to break through.

NEXT SUNDAY: I'm up for a regular Sunday run in no specific direction - could somebody kindly come up with a cafe (just the one) and a sensible route.

And finally ... Mr Lord has his own blog report of the 3 peaks that you might like to read: http://adrianlordcycling.blogspot.co.uk/


Friday, October 10, 2014

Mills & Hills Sportive

I understand that entries for the Mills & Hills tomorrow will be accepted on the day (at event HQ, Mytholmroyd Community Centre).  I recall that last year you could ride over the starting matt at the time of your choice between 8 and 9.30am.
Most Condors chose to start at about 9'o clock last year, which worked well so I'll be aiming to do the same again.

If you feel you would rather watch others expending their energies you could have a ride over to Huddersfield and watch our hill climbing expert, Padiham Chris, in action twice. In the morning it's the Star Wheelers climb up the Jackson Bridge climb and in the afternoon Holme Valley Wheelers promote their climb up Holme Moss.  See the CTT website for further details and startsheets.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Chris' Mists report

The Season Of Mists And Mellow Fruitfulness 




A great thank you again for Chris Crossland and his team for organizing such a rich and varied route.

A good number of riders this morning, including many Condors and friends, set of from a very cold Autumnal Hebden Bridge.
Looking round at the start I spotted to name a few
  • Mel
  • Steve Barker
  • Robin Holt 
  • Pete Horne 
  • Adrian Lord
  • Oakworth Steve
  • Richard
  • Nigel (en-route)
  • Myself Chris Smith
With favorable weather on our sides the miles and the climbing seemed to spur us on and up.
A blow by blow account isnt needed but a crash did occur i believe, on the descent into Slaidburn. Who I don't know as it happened behind us in the lead bunch.

It was good to catch up, discuss how the summer season has fared us in racing etc and what is planned for the forthcoming. With the approach of the off season we should think of some different routes to keep it fresh.

I hope everyone got round ok today. Im unsure of the finishing time but finished momentarily behind Mel, Mark Sadler  and a very strong guy who Ive ridden with before but whos name escapes me appols.

Returning to a beautiful spread of food laid on by the ctc ladies we chatted about the route whilst more successful riders came in one by one.

Well Done everyone and Thanks again! Great riding!

Monday, September 29, 2014


Congratulations to Adrian Lord who flew the Condor colours around the 3 Peaks 'Cross to finish in a time of 4.42.46, one place behind Olympic marathon runner (pb 2.28.06) Sarah Rowell.


A great day out was had by Richard, Paul, Steve and myself who as you can see from the Strava maps took a super route up to Cold Cotes from where we took on the role of spectators around the road sections and were able to admire the strength, fitness and tenacity of the competitors at close quarters.

Whilst we were enjoying the Dales, Chris Smith was putting his body through the agonies of competition in the most painful way possible, riding 3 hill climbs over the weekend, taking a magnificent 4th place on the Rivington Pike event on Saturday then 7th overall on the 2 stage Lancaster RC climbs up the Conder Bottoms and Jubilee Tower climbs on Sunday.


Friday, September 26, 2014

ALSO COMING UP IN THE NEAR FUTURE -Well November but tickets on sale now)

Halifax Imperial Wheelers Annual Dinner & Prize Presentation
Followed by Dancing to ‘Live’ Rock & Roll Band - J.B.Goode
To be held Saturday 29th November, 2014 at:-
Halifax Bradley Hall Golf Club, Stainland Road, Holywell Green 
To Start

Soup
Leek & Stilton Soup with Cheesy Croutons
Fish
Lobster & Crab Fishcake, Sweet Chilli Dressing & Micro Salad
Cheese
Warm, Rosemary Spiked, Camembert, Crusty Dipping Bread & House Chutney
Pate
Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Parfait, Poached Quinces & Pickled Walnuts

Main Event
Lamb
Roasted Lamb Rump, Sweet Potato, Wild Mushrooms, Mint Jus
Fish
Seabass Fillet, Queenie Scallops, Parmentier Potatoes, Bisque Reduction
Pork
Butter Roasted Tenderloin, Spiced Red Cabbage, Apple Puree and Tarte Tatin
Tomato Duo
Tomato & Basil Filo Tart; Tomato & Spinach Bread & Butter Pudding

All Main Courses Served with Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes, Buttered Herb New Potatoes and a Selection of Colourful Mixed Vegetables

To Finish

Cheese
Selection of Three Cheeses Served with Celery, Grapes, Chutney and Biscuits
Chocolate
Chocolate Orange Crème Brulee, Shortbread Biscuit
Meringue
Slow Gin Poached Winter Berries, Meringue Discs, English Cream
Apple
Individual Apple Crumble Tart, Flapjack Topping & Custard
 -o0o-

Coffee & Mints 

£25.00
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order Slip - Return with payment to: - Janice Saleem at 19 Scar Top, Rochdale Road, Upper Greetland, Halifax. HX4 8PF
Please make cheques payable to J Saleem

01422 370490 / 07762 181 457 email Janliz@scartop.freeserve.co.uk

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's coming up

This Sunday its the 3 Peaks Cyclo X so we're meeting 8am Denholmgate or 8.30 Keighley and having a ride up there to cheer on our only entry, Adrian Lord. Its a reasonable forecast so the plan is to go to Cold Cotes, Ingleton, Chapel-le-Dale, Ribblehead and down to Horton and the finish at Helwith Bridge. Good conditions and an excellent field make this a not to be missed club-run.

Sunday 5th October - Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness Audax's, 9am from Salem Community Centre, Hebden Bridge.

Saturday 11th October - Mills Hills Sportive, 80m, 8am Mytholmroyd Community Centre (there's also a 35m cyclo-cross option). We had a good turn out from the Condor last year for the interesting and challenging route. Enter via BC website £20 or on the day £25.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Saturday 20th Sept

Chris and myself are having a ride around Morcambe Bay and the South Lakes on Saturday. I'm picking Chris up at Tod at 7am and we're going to park at Devils Bridge (Kirkby Lonsdale) hopefully getting on the bikes before 8.30.  If you fancy a change of scenery join us.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blackstone Edge Hill Climb(s)

My Sunday ride took me over Cowling Hill, Black Lane Ends, Blacko, Barley, Burnley and Bacup en-route to Blackstone Edge to give Chris a cheer in stage 2 of the East Lancs Road Club Hill Climbs.


Stage 1 had been run off up the shorter but steeper contours of the old Blackstone Edge Road in the morning with Chris taking 7th fastest time with 1min 59.6secs to the winners 1.44.2.
Stage 2 was on the longer A58 to just short of The White House. With a head wind blowing I expected this stage to be more suited to Chris' undoubted endurance but he lost out a little finishing 11th fastest in 9m 50.9secs giving him an overall 10th place from the 40 finishers. The climb was won overall by Ilkley CC's Henry King.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Holme Valley MTB


Well done to Paul who finished 6th fastest in todays Holme Valley Scouts MTB Challenge from a large field of riders. He's obviously got better powers of recovery than me, I still had 'Hardnott Legs' and suffered just trying to keep up to Chris and Steve as we made our way over there to spectate.


Or perhaps it was the temperature which was down to 7 degrees as we descended down to Saddleworth although it improved once we returned to Yorkshire over the Isle of Skye.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sunday 7th Sept

If anyone fancy's joining us I'm meeting Chris at Elland Bridge at 8am for Buckstones, Isle of Skye and Hade Edge to give Paul a shout of encouragement in the Holme Valley Scouts MTB Challenge.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Fred, Wednesday 3rd Sept




We had a successful day out in the Lake District yesterday, dry and mild with just a gentle breeze, it was a welcome contrast to last years circuit around the classic Fred Whitton route when heavy rain turned the roads into rivers compelling us to walk down some of the passes.


Grimpy, Richard, Paul and myself left the car park round the back of Wheelbase at Staveley just after 8am and it was Grimpy, just 3 days after celebrating his 72nd birthday with a category win in the latest round of the Percy Stallard National Road Race Series somewhere in the midlands, who set a lively pace up through Troutbeck and over Kirkstone.


Ullswater was looking picture postcard perfect in the morning sun and I could have easily been tempted to loiter on the banks soaking up the tranquil serenity so freely offered but Paul had other ideas and we had all on just staying on his wheel. We soon turned our backs on the allure of Ullswater to climb over Matterdale End and enjoyed grand views of Blencathra and Skiddaw on the descent to the one less attractive feature of the ride, the A66. A pleasure to cycle on it may not be, but fast it is and we were soon enjoying carrot cake and buckets of Caffe Americano at the Keswick Costa.


The road surface down to Borrowdale was as bad as ever and it was a relief to get onto Honister Pass and have something else to think about. It is a beautiful view down to the Buttermere valley, one of the best in Lakeland but you really do need to concentrate on your riding on the uneven tarmac.
We had been in danger of being hypnotised by the sight of an ever expanding bulge in Pauls back tyre. He was on his 'cross bike but had abandoned his faithful and reliable old Landcruiser (on which he'd been setting Strava segment KoM's) in favour of an old but lighter tyre he'd found abandoned in a corner of his garage.
When we stopped to re-group at the top of Newlands (my favorite Lakes Pass with its open views across Sail Beck to Whiteless Pike and Cragg Hill) and he happened to glance at the tyre himself, what he saw was not good, no rubber left on two areas and the threads on the casing fraying where the bulge was growing - even Paul looked concerned!   Fortunately we found the excellent bike shop at Whinlatter Visitor Centre and despite having no money he became the proud owner of a Conty Gatorskin, inflated personally by the proprietor of Cyclewise.


I was tempted to have a cafe stop at the smart looking cafe at the Centre but was out-voted in favor of pressing on over Loweswater and Cold Fell to Gosforth. Unfortunately the cafe there was closed, we went to the local bistro where they were kind enough to supply hot drinks and scones but something was still missing, something that only a pork pie from the local grocers satisfied.
After a leisurely break it was down to Eskdale and the serious stuff, Hardnott and Wrynose. Modesty forbids me from saying who was the only one to ride all the Passes but I have to concede that Paul, despite walking short sections was the 1st to the summits.


A great day out, 111 miles with about 11,000 ft of climbing, every mile and every foot being a pleasure.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday 31st - Crazy Climbing


We were down to 4 for today's Hill Climb Recce' ride but were soon into the spirit of the day honking up the gradients from Holywell Brook to Old Lindley, through Outlane and over Scapegoat Hill.


A super descent or the best road surface of the day took us down to Slaithwaite from where we took the less popular route over to Meltham up to Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. From Meltham it was over to Holmfirth via Upperthong then up over Cartworth Moor to Hade Edge before dropping down through Hepworth to enjoy the climb up Jackson Bridge - stage 1 of the HSW Hill Climb.
We stayed on the tops then before dropping down to Stocksbridge, stopping part way for refreshments at the Windmills Cafe.


Our target for the day, the Pea Royd Lane climb, the venue for this years National Hill Climb Championship, was enjoyed by all, with some of us enjoying it for longer than others.


We then meandered back to Calderdale via Silkstone and Cannon Hall (where afternoon tea was taken) before taking in a bit of culture at Bretton Sculpture Park.  A really pleasant day out - this will have to stop!

Three Condors have signed up so far for Wednesdays trip round the Fred Whitton, Paul, Ricard and myself. Don't put it off, JUST DO IT

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sunday 31st August & Weds 3rd September

This coming Sunday a few of us are meeting at Elland Bridge at 8.30am for a potter around 'Summer Wine Country'. Incorporated into this ride will be a recce' of Pea Royd Lane at Stocksbridge, the venue for this years National Championship Hill Climb on the 26th of October.


Next Wednesday, with good weather forecast some of the Wednesday club are planning a bit of a change, we're meeting at the car park round the back of Wheelbase at Staveley for an amble around the Fred Whitton route. We're planning to be on the bikes for 8am; its a group ride so no-one will be attempting to set any records and at least 2, possibly 3 cafe stops will be taken. Let me know and I'll arrange car sharing 07549 821349 or petehorne@yahoo.co.uk).

There will of course also be the usual meet, Shelf Roundabout 10am.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Racing round up

Congratulations to Brian who made the weekends trip down to Newmarket worthwhile by taking the bronze medal in a very strong field, in Sundays Veterans 25mile Time Trial National Championships. On a morning when temperatures were more like March than August he produced a great time of 54 minutes 33 seconds; only about 10 seconds short of the British record for his age group.

Meanwhile in the depths of Buckinghamshire, Grimpy continued the great form he has shown this season with a win in the North Bucks Road Club LVRC road race.

In action nearer home was Chris Smith who began his preparation for the hill climb season last Wednesday evening with a great 2nd place in the North Lancs Road Club event on the Close Brow climb at Rushton. Chris' time of 2 minutes dead was 10 seconds behind the winner Andrew Laycock of Clitheroe Bike Club.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Six go to the Seaside


We were blessed with clear sunny weather for todays trip to Morecambe although there was a nip in the air, the early temperatures over the hill dropping down to 8 degrees, which for August felt pretty chilly.


Five of us met at King Cross and Paul set a blistering pace down to Hebden Bridge - he would probably deny this but looking at his Strava, a PB on just about every segment tells the true tale. I suggested to the others that there was no reason why we should chase after him but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Steve was waiting to join us at HB and will never know how lucky he was getting there the easier way, over Cock Hill from Oakworth.
It wasn't really the best preparation for the next challenge, Mytholm Steeps - just ask Richard if you doubt this observation. Anyway once we got to Blackshaw Head the pace settled and the ride over Kebs was a delight in the early morning sun. We followed the Seasons of Mists route to Fence. Sabden and over the Nick o' Pendle and before we knew it were sat in Waddington Cafe enjoying and excellent bacon & egg sandwich and numerous cups of tea.
From Waddington we turned left from the Newton road along some delightful lanes to Cow Ark and Dunsop Bridge to the next classic climb, the Trough of Bowland - never as difficult as its reputation would have you believe, and we were soon enjoying the descent. The next climb, up to Jubilee Tower had Chris rather excited as he's entered a hill-climb from Quernmore up to the Tower in a few weeks time and was keen to look at the road. The views from the top alone were worth our days efforts, you could almost reach out and touch the Lakeland Fells to the far side of the Morecambe Bay, then a glance south gave you views of North Wales and Snowdonia.
It was plain sailing from there to Lancaster where we joined the cycleway from the Millennium Bridge to the centre of Morecambe which was looking splendid.


After sauntering along the Pier and up and down the Promenade we indulged ourselves with a fish butty before hitting the return road, well the return tracks. We returned to Lancaster on the cycleway then picked up the splendid old railway track down to Glasson Dock. A helping breeze softened the contours as we followed the Good Companions route to Chipping from where we took on the severe gradients of Longridge Fell, the views on this ascent helping counterbalance the pain in the legs.
We then included a little detour round the magnificent grounds of Stoneyhurst College before enjoying Americano's and calories in Whalley. With the tail wind light work was made of the remaining miles and we were home in time to watch the TTT at the Vuelta.
A super day - next away day on the list is a potter round the 'Fred' - watch this space!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Updates and next Saturday

It was good to hear that our supervets road racing team were both back on the podium at the LVRC race in the Lincolnshire Wolds last Sunday. With Brian baulked by a car close to the finish it was left to Grimpy to sprint to victory, placing 'Rocket Ron' Bennett in 2nd place with Brian recovering to take 3rd.
Brian travels down to the Home Counties this Sunday for the Vets National 25 Champs whilst John will be in the Midlands road racing.

Also last Sunday a quartet of Condors battled head winds and frequent showers on the club run. Paul D, The Vicar, Oakworth Steve and myself, undeterred by the adverse conditions, stuck to the plan battling strong winds funneling down Littondale to Halton Gill then having sharp heavy showers added to the gusting head winds over Silverdale. It was good to have some proper weather again after weeks of bland blue skies and sunshine. We made our way to Feizor from Stainforth on the lane to the west side of the Ribble and then on the Pennine Bridleway from the Austwick Road over Feizor Wood.
Our morning efforts were more than rewarded at Feizor Cafe where we loitered for a good hour drinking tea and watching the rain. Our homeward route brought us home via Lawkland, Wham and Long Gill, helping winds making the miles pass swiftly and Paul doing a sterling job as gate monitor.


This Saturday, the 23rd, we're having a trip to the seaside, its a decent forecast so why not join us at 7.30am at King Cross lights, you may have guessed from the above photo that the destination is Morecome. Breakfast will be taken at Waddington with lunch - fish & chips and a stick of rock, on the sands; and there's a possibility that it may be another 3 cafe day.