Monday, February 24, 2014

Imps Reliability

A mild and dry morning certainly encouraged a large turn out at the Ritz, a total of 93 riders signed up for the two distances including a good number of Condors although it was difficult to spot everyone in the crush.
Knowing it was prudent to get away amongst the front of the group I soon found myself on the front taking Halifax Road and Shelf Moor Rd to Queensbury along with Padiham Chris and Damian. My brother appeared alongside at Keighley and the 5 miles or so on the front to Crosshills is probably the longest I have ridden with Nigel for 3 years, and at a good tempo. He seems to be getting his enthusiasm back and is even tec'd up with Strava regularly telling me his and other peoples performances.
Nige pulled off at Crosshills and waited for other short routers to join him, Grimpy and Brian soon appearing. We were still a sizeable group enjoying a tail wind out to the duck pond and as usual it was a bit hairy on the narrow road to Gargrave but I did manage a quick word with the elusive Robin looking very retro in his russet jacket, that and his Fixie bike bike being amongst the very few things not stolen by the nice people who raided his garage a few weeks ago.
We knew the blustery south westerly wind was going to make trouble for us and the pain started on the climb from Elslack with riders scrambling for shelter from the walls or from fellow riders and we crawled past the radar station with the avarage speed getting severely dented.
Thankfully the wind was more helpful over The Herders but by the right turn at Oxenhope our numbers were severely depleted . Just 8 of us left battling the wind over Cock Hill and then the real punishment - over the exposed section of Cragg Vale where we were also battered by a rain shower just for good measure. As my head was bowed looking at the road I pondered how 'useful' the new road markings are, regularly informing me just how far it still is to the top and how long a kilometre can take in these conditions.  
The surviving 8 comprised representatives from most of the local clubs VS, Sowerby Bros, Ravensthorpe and 3RT and, predictably, Eric kicked off the final showdown on Ripponden Bank with myself  managing to share the KOM honours with him this time. Unfortunately Gareth, who probably had the strongest legs, dropped his pump and had to stop and retrieve it. Eric still insisted on leading a charge up the final drag from Elland and along Siddal just to make sure our legs were well and truly shot.
There was good banter over ale and pies afterwards as the survivors slowly drifted in with Pete Horne complaining of much suffering and a 'lost' Padiham Chris who had found his way back via Brighouse !
I think this is one of JK's best routes, weather permitting. Thanks to Janice, Andy et all.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

JK's Early Season Reliability Ride - 23 Feb 2014

A post by Ian with a message from Janice on behalf of John ... hey we're now a social network ...

This coming Sunday we have the pleasure of the the JK (Halifax Imps) early season torture - OOPS - I mean reliability ride (Yes same joke different year).

Sunday the 23rd February, 2014 from the usual start point outside the Ritz Ballroom in Brighouse.  

Same finish point as last year - Cross Keys Inn, 3 Whitegate, Siddal, Halifax, HX3 9AE.

In fact it's the same route as last year - taking in part of the route of Stage 2 of The Tour 2014

In the hope we can set you off on the scheduled 9am start signing on will be from 8.30am BUT to help us achieve this it would be a big help if you could PLEASE PLEASE bring the correct change for the ENTRY FEE of £2 with you rather than paper notes
2014 Reliability Ride      80 in 6      Start at 9.00am

Start Ritz in Brighouse
Odsal Top - Queensbury - Keighley - Skipton - Rylstone (duck pond) - Gargrave - Broughton - Elslack - Laneshaw Bridge - Stanbury - Oxenhope -  Hebden Bridge - Mytholmroyd - Cragg Vale - Ripponden - Barkisland - Elland to finish at the Cross Keys  Siddal

Last section of route as per 2014 Tour de France !

A shorter easier 56 miles option is:-

Please stay safe, be sensible and remember it's a reliability ride NOT a race

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mini NWP Report

Must have been something good on daytime television this Saturday as there were many DNS's at the North West Passage. I admit that weather did look pretty grim as my brother-in-law, Rob, and I drove over Blackstone Edge into the driving sleet towards the start. Rob was visiting for a few days from his home in Scotland and had had the good sense to resist my suggestion that we should ride the 200k event but did agree to ride the Mini NWP, at a mere 75 miles.

As we drove west from Littleborough towards Rochdale I was quite impressed, considering the weather, at the number of riders being blown eastwards along the A58, almost 50 starters. Rather illogically considering the weather conditions, there were only twenty odd riders for the shorter event, I was pleased to see that Simon and Cragg Vale's  Jonathan Emberton were there and we soon formed a disciplined quartet at the head of the field.

A lot more west in the wind than had been forecast gave us plenty of variety, tail wind to Tod, head wind up the valley over Cornholme, tail wind over the Greystone climb then a head wind through Bolton-by-Bowland and on to the Waddington check.

The cafe was unusually quiet, we loitered there for an hour or so sitting on chairs that the staff had quickly  bin-bagged upon first having sight of us. After a leisurely lunch and tea drinking session the cheerful staff armed themselves with mops ready for our departure .

It took a while for the cafe legs to get going again with Simon and Rob beginning to pay for a lack of winter miles but their prayers were answered when we picked up helping breezes over Oswaldtwistle Moors and Old Betts.

Rochdale was looking as good as ever on the long fast descent from Owd Betts and although we spent what seemed like about half an hour at red traffic lights through the middle of town we were back at the Spring Inn 20 minutes before we were due (due to the lower max. average speed requirement on the Mini).

Well done to Mel, Chris and the VS lads, only 10 or 15 minutes slower for the 209k than what would have been likely in good weather.

North West Frontier

As Saturdays grim weather was no surprise we were able to dress accordingly with robust wet weather gear. The local grupetto of only 6 contained the V.S. trio of Dwarty, Binman Chris & Eric as well as Padiham Chris and Dave Leckenby who I had travelled out with.
A helpful tail wind to Blacko helped soften the conditions but as we tacked around into the cross headwind on the climb Binman Chris sensed my desire to push-on and he made the move, with the 6 of us now making up the front group.  
We didn't hang around in Settle and, trying to retain as much body heat as possible, we fumbled with Audax cards not even taking our gloves off. Taking turns at the front we battled the A65 in the cross headwind. The advantage of tri-bars was well demonstrated by Dave Lec with an instant 10% upping of the speed when he hit the front. I had to protest when the only available shelter for me was on the white line at the back of the resulting echelon.
As tradition dictates we enjoyed a very welcome hot sandwich and brew at Kirby Lonsdale and with the rain almost stopped I rewarded myself the luxury of a dry pair of gloves. Bob from VC167 tagged onto us as we left for a stiff slog down the Lune Valley but after Lancaster the wind was starting to nudge at our backs.
A quick re-fuel at Scorton and we were back to the 6 of us again and on the lumpy road to Longridge the tail wind saw Binman and Eric setting a good pace that had several legs complaining.  
Meeting a red light at almost all the junctions around Blackburn allowed us a welcome breather before Haslingden Moor and we were all together for the inevitable 'kicking-off' on Owd Betts with Eric taking the KOM prize. Three of us descended to Rochdale with Eric and Binman dissapointed that my street knowledge couldn't lead them back to the Spring Inn first - but with the new tram system all the roads have changed again and after negotiating a few back streets we found the right road and were joined at a junction by Dwarty and Dave who had come around the ring road.
It was the usual finish around 4 o'clock with Padiham Chris just behind after being out-pedalled on the descent of Owd Betts prompting advice on turbo training or chain gangs to get his legs spinning more !
Once we were out of our wet gear and sat in the pub with a pint and pie it didn't seem like such a bad day after all, as someone said - you are more likely to regret the things you don't do than the things you do.
Lets hope for dry roads for the Imps Reliability on Sunday.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sunday 16th

Anyone keen for a ride on Sunday is welcome to join us in Hebden Bridge at 9am for a trip out west to Whalley - and back, of course. Slowly. On flat roads. With a cafe stop.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Saturday 15th, North West Passage

Hope the weathers a bit better this coming Saturday, either way it will be good to 'break the ice' in 2014 with the umpteenth running of West Pennine's classic North West Passage.

8am at the usual starting point, the Spring Inn, Rochdale for the 200k ride or 9am for the 120k. Don't worry if you haven't already entered, entries are being accepted on the day.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Three go to Burnsall

Only three out for today's club run, in fact it was nearly only two; having left home a few minutes later than usual and a blustery wind slowing my progress to Denholmegate I was approaching our 9 o'clock meeting spot when I found Damien sneaking off back home. Fair play though he did look ashamed of himself and without a word turned around to face the battering winds and heavy rain to join me for our Sabbath saunter. It was no surprise to find Chris waiting in lone splendor at the Skipton Road roundabout, freshly greased wheel hubs and a smile upon his face. The forecast of showers with sunny intervals was erring more towards the showers so we decided not to be too ambitious and set our compasses for the Riverside Cafe at Burnsall and the finest bacon and egg butties in the whole world.
The rain was easing as we rode north from Keighley, we turned left at Vietnam Bridge to chance the back lanes to Gargrave, the Aire north of Carleton was just inches below breaking its banks but gave us a dry run up to Broughton and over to Gargrave.  We then put a loop in around Winterburn enjoying a tail wind through the quiet back lanes to Hetton and on to Cracoe and that most wonderful of Dales lanes through Thorpe and onto Burnsall.

Refreshed, we enjoyed a helping wind down through Appletreewick and Storiths Lane to the Cavendish. The sun was now shining, as we approached Beamsley Chris confessed that he had never been to Langbar so we did the decent thing and took him up there, it felt a lot easier than it does at the end of the White Rose Classic!
On then through Otley, up the Chevin and down through Esholt before hitting the busy Shipley to Ilkley main road where the traffic was at a standstill due to a horse in he middle of the road doing an impression of a bucking bronco, a terrified rider unable to control her steed. Fortunately our fearless farrier was at hand to spring from his own (two wheeled) steed and rescue the damsel in distress by grabbing the halter and leading the anxious equine away to a quiet side lane.
Our perfect day was rounded off by a potter up to Thornton and the Great Northern Trail to Queensbury. Hope Chris negotiated Todmorden safely!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Wednesday Ride Report

With heavy rain forecast the Wednesday ride was down to eight, myself, Hoppy, JK, Peeps, Martin, Mike, PG and Grimpy. Mike announced that he was going to Newmillardam whether anyone else was or not; so we went with him, on the Greenways to Ossett then down to Horbury Bridge and Crigglestone where the predicted rain started.

We took a long leisurely lunch watching the rain bouncing down outside. It eventually bated just before         1 o'clock when Grimpy led a charge for the quickest route home, the main roads round Pugneys. As the day appeared to be brightening up I decided it would be a shame to rush home so I said my goodbye's and pottered round the back roads through Notton, High Hoyland, Upper Denby, Farnley Tyas and Castle Hill.


If you're intending to ride the Ronde van Calderdale get your entry in now - only a few spaces left.

Sunday 9th Feb -  9am Denholmgate, 9.30 Keighley, club run - suggest a ride over Waddington area.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Sunday's ride : Silverdale

Looking like an 80s indie band mistakenly diverted onto a cycle outing (fronted by Oakworth Steve aka Mr Kool Glasses), here is a snap of the happy group taken at the top of Silverdale.

Whilst Grimpy was pursuing a misspent youth watching YouTube (see previous blog) the rest of us were busy preparing for the North West Passage (less than 2 weeks to go) by following our traditional warm-up route round Silverdale.

And what a great days ride it was, with temperatures soaring up to 6 degrees and a fresh south westerly breeze we (thats Nige, Ian, Damien, Chris, Steve and myself) decided to attack Silverdale from the Stainforth end.  Occasionally a plan works and today was one of those rare occasions, for not only did we enjoy a helping breeze over Silverdale but to my surprise the wind also blew us down Littondale with Nigel and Damien making the most of the fast conditions establishing a gap on the descent down to Halton Gill and consolidating their advantage down the dale to Arncliffe where someone, who asked to remain nameless made the lighthearted observation that although Nige takes a larger waist fitting he shares his jeans (sic) with Mel.
Nigel waited for us at Arncliffe but Damien was now on a mission to get to Cracoe Cafe as soon as possible and rode off alone to take the direct route whilst the rest of us had a potter round Grass Woods, Grassington and Linton (looking at todays Strava ascents for the Grass Woods climb there's a Simon Fortune on the board - could this be the same Simon Fortune, also affectionately known as 'Single Simon' who once upon a time rode with us - and who was supposed to be coming out with us today?).
After a long, long, rest at Cracoe Cafe we headed straight home via Skipton and Keighley with Chris doing a magnificent job, resisting his natural urges and setting a comfortable pace for us up the Ingrow climb.
More of the same next week!

Whilst we have been enjoying the mildest winter in Yorkshire for many years Paul Daly has been having to endure day after day of  hot, sunny weather out in New Zealand.  The above photo shows Paul flying the Condor colours at the end of last weekends 90mile Taranaki Challenge where he finished as 1st vet60. Oh-dear, I was hoping he would be taking it easy and come back a couple of stones overweight.


I was hoping to make the sunday run this week, but did a shorter ride so i could be back to see the battle between Svn & Stybar in the Elite Cyclo Cross world champs.
The speed and skill plus the quality of live streaming, remember when it used to freeze and if you switched to full screen it was all hasy now its better than live TV. On the main point of my blog.  
Ive been asked on a number of occasions to describe the course for our new challenging road race.
Hopefully the following details will clarify the route.

Complete 8.25 mile circuit is highlighted in red on map below 

The section through scammonden reservoir including the concrete wall climb is shown in more detail below. 

The circuit finish is approximately 300metres along lower scammonden road reached after exiting the climb through the yorkshire water top gate.

Complete circuit description:
Start on lower scammonden road, riders will then turn left on short road to the tee junction with saddleworth road (B6114), left with care for approx. 3 miles to buckstone moss tee junction. Turn left with care onto new hey road (A640) continuing for approx. 3 miles to turn sharp left down hey lane proceeding to cross junction with pinfold lane to turn under motorway and then left onto YW service road. Through YW access gate (open for event)
along unsurfaced track (keeping on LHS) to meet intersect with concrete embankment up steep concrete climb (scammonden wall 100m long @ 20%+)  to exit YW gate (again open for event) and turn right onto lower scammonden road to finish. 
1 lap = 8.25 miles 
event 1 start time 10.00 (5 laps)  A,B groups O40's
event 2 start time 10.03 (5 laps)  C,D groups O50's 
event 3 start time 10.05 (4 laps)  E,F,G groups O60's

Event headquarters: Greetland community & sports centre HX4 8JG (as norland circuit) 
I have applied for max of 40 riders in each event (total 120)
Again for a successful event we need your kind support and assistance. so please keep Saturday 17th may free to help. I envisaged we will need a similar number of marshal's and support staff as on the norland circuit.
My first volunteer requirement is for signing on? I will be back with more details closer to the event. I am hoping that not only will the event give a sporting challenge but will also provide lots of entertainment. Please spread the word so we get a good field.
To enter riders must join the LVRC (fee £20) which gives access to 250+ events in the event fee £11.00. enters open 8 weeks prior to the event using the rider hq web site. Full details will be found in the LVRC web site found by googling LVRC.
Meanwhile as last season we need your support for the halifax imps RR,so they can as usual reciprocate and assist us on May 17th. This year's imps event uses the norland circuit and is on saturday morning April 26th. In the absence of Sean Smith, the event is being run by Martin Gargett. 

Cheers Grimpy