There was a time when the first Sunday run of the new year, billed as a "training run", heralded the start of longer and harder rides to build fitness after a social season.Unfortunately for some of us,in this era of all year round Audaxi and sportives, a high level of fitness has been maintained by many members for whom a jaunt to upper Wharfedale presents no challenge whatsoever.
Half a dozen Condors, mainly from the above group, left Keighley accompanied by a similar number of Paul Milnes Cycles chaps at a fair gallop with Damian and Padiham Chris pulling on the front, my computer reading numbers starting with a 2 most of the time! A more sedate pace ensued after Skipton when Pete Horne took a turn, although from my position hiding near the back we could see that some condors were eager to push on, overlapping and bunching up behind Pete and impeding passing traffic. It didn't go unnoticed by others in the group who were shouting for a more disciplined peleton. Perhaps some of us need lessons in "club"riding?
The cafe being shut in Kettlewell we thundered through and took the back road to Conistone at just about maximum safe speed for a winding, greasy, twig and branch strewn country lane, to arrive at the Old school house in Hebden, and still only 10 past 11!
Breakfast allowed a chance for some stragglers to catch up including our own Richard (the vicar) who had lost contact coming out of Skipton. Peter decided that porcine based products were the best fuel for the return journey and promptly ordered a sausage and bacon butty, not helped by the power cut shortly after our arrival, this monster of a sarny eventually arrived as some people were paying and donning helmets!
Poor Pete didn't even have time (or room) for flapjack or some other delaying frivolity.
Appletreewick and the back road to the cavendish were cracked off in ever decreasing numbers of riders after breakfast and Addingham Moorside selected as the route back to the Aire valley. I knew at some point my legs would start complaining and they duly obliged on the start of this climb, Melv, Damian and others jousting for the summit as me, Pete and Oakworth Steve brought up the rear.On cresting the hill I was suprised to see that they had waited for us and we descended to Silsden where we picked up Richard who had gone over cringles.
Damian, who had been having his own forays off the front all day in the style of a scout sent ahead to see if the way is clear, finally disappeared into the distance before Keighley and we were left in the company of the Pennine cycles group for a sensible climb of Ingrow. I really could have done without that strengthening southerly wind and accompanying rain as I battled over Fly Flatts to home.