Monday, April 28, 2014

Imps Road Race and Red Rose Ride

The Imps LVRC Road Race on Saturday was run off at a blistering pace in fine and dry conditions with Brian waiting until the penultimate lap to make his attack, securing yet another win in his age category whilst Grimpy policed the bunch then secured 2nd place for himself.
Whilst our super-vets left it until late in the race to attack there was no such patience shown by the youngsters on the over 50's race with Mel being joined by our good friend Mark Saddler and a couple of others forming a hard working break as early as the 1st of the 10 laps of the longer Norland circuit.  The were eventually joined by 2 others and working hard throughout stayed away until the finish with Mark and Mel securing 4th & 5th respectively.

On Sunday, whilst Brian, John and Mel were resting on their laurels, Padiham Chris, Paul Daly, Oakworth Steve, Adrian and myself signed on for the Red Rose Ride 200k Audax where we were joined by Martin Croft and Dougie Burnside of VS Cycles plus about 30 others.
Many thanks to Dave Dodwell and Calderdale CTC for organising such a good day out, and another big thank you to Dave for the photos.

As ever it was a hectic climb out of Halifax through Dean Clough and up Ramsden Street to Ovenden, Illingworth and over the cutting to Denholme.

Once through Keighley things were settling down and we enjoyed the back lanes to Steeton before taking full advantage of the tail wind from Crosshills over the Moss and into the Red Rose county.

The helping wind blew us along the ridge to Whalley and into the Forest of Bowland. The normally feared Trough of Bowland came and went and we enjoyed a super fast run-in to our control and lunch spot at a surprisingly quiet Lantern o'er the Lune cafe at Glasson Dock.

After a restful lunch sat in the sun outside the cafe breathing in the sea air we eventually decided that progress was needed so the 8 of us, 3 Condors, 2 VS's, Flat Earth Bob from VC167, Dutch Mike from Cappuccino and Mancurian Nathan left the seaside behind hoping that the wind had now swung round from the east - it hadn't!  A good pace was set down to Garstang but from there it was due east, directly into the wind. We stayed together to Longridge but from there Chris switched on to overdrive and was coasting up the many undulations without slowing down. There was no way I could hang on and I was left to view a splintering pack disappear into the distance as I battled the headwind alone for the last 40 miles eventually arriving back at the Oddfellows Hall at 4.20pm, 20 minutes behind Chris who had finished alone with Paul hot on his heels.
Another memorable day out, thanks once again to Dave and the team.

Don't know where the above motley trio came from - must have just turned up for the photo shoot!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

This coming weekend, 26th/27th April

14 riders out today for an interesting route round some of the quietest unclassified lanes Kirklees can offer. The highlight of the day must surely have been the Mur de Cartworth immediately before the descent to our lunch spot at Holmfirth.  After a morning packed with ups and downs I was a little surprised when Grimpy's suggestion of a return journey over the Isle of Skye and Buckstones was eagerly taken up (although I noticed 4 of our party sneaking off in the opposite direction after lunch).

This coming Saturday its the Imps/Derek Smith Memorial Road Race round the longer version of the Norland Circuit. Brian, Grimpy, Damien and Mel are on the start sheet. We have a reciprocal agreement with the Imps regarding marshalling so if your'e available be at Greetland Community Centre in time to be allocated your duty and be in-situ for 10am.  Organiser is Martin Gargett.

On Sunday its the Red Rose Ride, the Calderdale CTC 200k Audax which goes over the Trough of Bowland to Glasson Dock. Starting from the aptly named Oddfellows Rooms, Coleridge Street, Halifax at 8am.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Quatre

Four riders set out today to the sound of peeling church bells, Damian, Paul Daley Pete Horne and Myself, on what was a cool but thankfully fine Easter Sunday Morning.
Thanks to Pete's great knowledge of all those little quiet back lanes, we enjoyed some of the best sections of the Tour route.
Briefly, taking in Grassington, Kettlewell, Starbotton and Kidstones Pass. All of which into a headwind.
Admiring Wenslydale out towards Aysgarth and Thornton Rust and a cafe stop at Bainbridge. I couldn't help indulging in a toasted hot cross bun, after all it is Easter! Damian's combination lock became no more as it gave up the ghost and would not release, leaving Pete and Damian attached! Out came the Blacksmithing skills. I tried not to smile as I swiftly cropped though it and soon we were away.
Fleet Moss was enjoyable with the wind at our backs. Oughtershaw, Yockenthwaite and Hubberholme whizzed by.Hardly any traffic at all. We played KOM all the way home. We are so lucky to have such great roads right on our doorstep.
Fairish miles clocked up today, good practice for next weeks Red Rose Ride.

Good riding. Good roads. Good weather. Good company.

"That'll do!"

Chris Smith

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday

Meet 8.30 Denholmgate/9am Keighley for club run - if weathers okay suggest, Kidstones/Wensleydale/Fleet Moss.

Another RVC report here -

Easter Monday mountain biking - as usual, 6.30pm Hipperholme Crossroads

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Unwound

Meanwhile, at the back of the peleton, the slower riders have their own potterings to report.
I'd no intention of going with the main Condor gang after a couple of weeks away from the bike. A very steady pace up Cock Hill saw me passing and then being caught again by various small groups of riders while watching the blue and white bunch stretch ever further ahead. Drawing on the years of being taught how to suffer round a ride, I settled in to my own pace.

Vicar caught me up in Oxenhope and we had a steady ride over to Earby in the pleasant company of a CTC chap and a couple of riders from Pendle Forest CC. Oakworth Steve joined us at the refreshments ready for the next leg to Gargrave. The little road through Thorpe is one of my favourites and was enjoyed with plenty of time to admire the view. A cafe stop at Burnsall had been planned and was duly executed, picking up Nigel there just finishing his sausage butty. Damien had taken sustenance too but declared felling unwell and was off straight home.
So the four Condors (Steve, Nigel, Richard, Ian) carried on and sprang from the dales back toward home. Personally I like the Draughton climb but the younger Hartley started to feel weary here and unclipped to stretch his legs. Steve looked like he was having a very easy time but was always happy to maintain just the right pace. We got back just in time for the second (maybe third?) round of rice pudding to be brought forward from the kitchens (the first lot having long since gone). Now I know that there is more rice pudding out the back in reserve, I'll never again race to be first back!

Comes a Time

Martyn Bury's pride & joy when purchased new in 1997. Admired for many years but hardly ever ridden he has decided its time it went to a better home.
COLNAGO SUPERISSIMO in Columbus steel tubing. 61cm from BB centre to top of top tube.
Campagnolo Athena 8 speed. Mavic rims & Cinelli bars/stem. Beautiful finish with lots of chrome.
Any retro loving interest contact Martyn: 01422 360270 / Mob. 07826 822855.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring into the Dales and Monday MTBing

A good turn out by the Condor for last Sunday's Spring into the Dales on a cool and windy day. I'd been a bit dis-organised and got to the start HQ at Mytholmroyd Community Centre with only minutes to spare before the start. Glancing round at the assembled hoards I saw President Robinson was there continuing his preparation for the Fred Whitton, also present were Mel and Padihan Chris looking like they meant business, Robin, Brian, Paul D and Grimpy (who should have points deducted for travelling to Mytholmroyd by car), Old Town Stewart, Nigel and Oakworth Steve were looking up for the challenge as were Lumby and The Vicar. I also caught sight of Damien toeing the start line although no one seems to know what fate befell him during the ride.

I must thank Paul Daly for dragging me round the route, I'd no legs for the climbs, was well off the pace by the top of Cock Hill and continued to be dropped on every subsequent climb, but with Paul's encouragement and pacing I was dragged back to the wheels of Brian & John. We found Robin loitering in Stanbury having been discarded by Mel and Chris who were long gone making light of the stiff head winds in the company of cyclo-cross star Chris Taylor and a schoolboy from Colden, Rob Scott.

After the Earby check the wind began to be a little more helpful and the miles began to pass beneath our wheels a little quicker as we passed through West Marton, Gargrave, Cracoe, Appletreewick and Bolton Abbey. Draughton Moor again had me grovelling and losing contact, but my super-domestique once again saved the day and we entered Keighley as a group of 5 Condor's and a couple of North Cheshire Clarions who had been astute enough to notice that the Condor's didn't need to waste time looking at the route sheet.

From the Keighley check the hammer went down, Robin begged a gel from Grimpy, it went straight to his legs, he jumped on the bike with Grimpy on his wheel, and ignoring all obsacles they were up the road before Brian and I knew what was happening. Brian displayed immense fortitude, eventually, just before Oxenhope, catching up. Paul once again waited for me although I was beyond being paced we rode together to finish a minute before 2 o'clock and enjoy the renowned CTC hospitality and a chat with Mel and Chris who had finished over half an hour earlier.

I think Mel should give us a report as to how the ride developed at the head of the field and who had the honor of breaking the skin on the rice pudding.

With just the 4 of us by Stanbury it meant a well disciplined and enjoyable ride with no-one attempting any heroics. Young Rob (almost 16) was strong but I was expecting him to fade later in the ride however when Chris Taylor expired at Oxenhope the youth took off and was next seen at Mytholmroyd ! I clung on to Padiham Chris & battled painfully over Cock Hill. We insisted that Rob deservedly performed the 'rite of passage' on the rice pud ! Surely a talent for the future.
Great to see so many on the ride - a grand annual day out.

We were again blessed with good weather for our 2nd  of our summer social mountain bike rides on Monday evening. There were 11 hitting the trails round Brighouse, Southowram, Claremount, Ploughcroft and Ambler Thorn with a couple of us calling at the Cock o' the North shed on the way home. 6.30pm Monday evenings at Hipperholme Xroads should anyone fancy joining us.

Monday, April 14, 2014

IMPS Road Race Saturday 26th April

Having just recovered from sitting on Robins wheel in the 'skip into the dales addax on Sunday' ( i'm sure Pete and/ or Mel will have the details up soon) my thoughts turn to the Imps RR ( Derek Smith Memorial) on Saturday 26th April.

Martin Gargett needs your marshalling skills. Trust you can kindly help. This year its on Saturday from around 9.00 again at the Greetland Community centre HX4 8JG. Using the norland moor circuit. Your help will i'm sure be reciprocated at our event on May 17th. 
Many Thanks 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sunday 13th April

Spring into the Dales this Sunday, 115k of pure joy, the usual circuit taking us from the South Pennines up into the Dales and back. Good weather is guaranteed by Chris Crossland and his CTC Calderdale team, always a Spring highlight. If you haven't pre-entered get down to Mytholmroyd Community Centre with your £4.50 and an Audax entry form in time for a 9am start.

If you can't get there for 9am then ride the Leap into the Aire, half the distance and a 10am start.

Note the change of HQ - its Mytholmroyd Community Centre not Salem Community Centre,

Race reports - Grimpy began the defence of his LVRC Percy Stallard National Road Race Series in the best possible way near Worcester last Sunday by claiming maximum points.
Brian was away holidaying last weekend but put in a 27mph ave speed 10mile time trial the previous weekend.
Chris Smith's keeping it quiet but he rode the Working Wonders Cragg Vale Time Trial on the evening of the 3rd of April, he won the event with a 17 minute ride and now has the fastest ascent on the Robin Hood blackboard.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Ronde 3 - Chris Smith's report

A Crave for the Pave'

Old Lane

I had been looking forward to the Ronde Van Calderdale with its "novel"cobbled climbs for months. Id been told what a hard challenge it was and this made me even keener. But it turned out to be a very eventful event for me.

Less than 1 mile into the route I had a complete blow out to my rear rim. I knew it was irreparable at the roadside so I decided to jog back to the HQ, bike on shoulder, hoping some kind soul would have a spare rear wheel to lend.

I owe a massive thank you to Mark Saddler who not only lent me a wheel, but his cyclocross bike to carry on and tackle the epic course.

Armed with this trusty steed (complete with pannier racks) I knew I was well out of the front bunch but decided to plough on regardless. The cobbles were calling!

Working my way from group to group I negotiated the first loop of this very well signed route. I soon realized that I wasn't the only Condor to have suffered mechanically that day. Mel had hit a patch of scattered glass, and was rapidly repairing. Back together we carried on to soon find that Mels tyre had shredded and was again quiet flat. Being close to the Brighouse feed he suggested I carry on while he did what he
could to patch, ( the same happened to him last year also )

I was soon to realize that Marks bike performed quite well on the rough stuff as I sent it up the cobblestones ( wider tyres, comfy for your ass! )

Counting down the cobbled climbs I was becoming impressed as I was able to ride were most had to resort to dismounting. Old Lane was greasy in places, but steering to the drier areas, maintained traction to get me onward and upward, where Mark Saddler handed over a bannana and commented how good his bike looked (sarcastically).

Jowler, Fly-Flats and Cock Hill. A descent to Sowerby Bridge and the last few of these granite beauties. Here I seemed to be passing riders from all over who had traveled from afar to ride the best of what Yorkshire had to throw at them.

Trooper Lane did what it should and dissolved all but a few of the strongest. 3RTs Dan spurred me on as I maintained some power "Good tempo lad! Keep it up!" The lungs rasped, the legs stabbed and even my voice wavered as I politely shouted at those pushing, simply "COMING THROUGH!" 

With not a lot left in the tank, but not far to go I caught some strong lads and went to the front where I stayed to the HQ.

Here I chatted to Mel who had managed the repair but decided to cut out the Fly-Flats and Cock Hill section. We enjoyed an array of food and drink provided kindly by Asda for the feed stations. And a specially brewed bottle of Ronde Van Calderdale ale. GRAND!

A very eventful event. Cheers Guys.

Chris Smith    

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Ronde 2

I was just getting over another bought of man flu when a crash left me nursing wounds, missing the Wheelbase Spring Classic and worrying all week about not really being up to the challenges of the Ronde van Calderdale when I realised that there was a shorter alternative on offer, where I could still qualify for my hat and finishers bottle of 'Ronde van Calderdale' ale.  Only the cobbled climbs of Brighouse Wood Lane, Staups Lane, The Hough, Lee Lane, Gibb Lane, Luddenden Old Lane, Woodhouse Lane, Wakefield Gate, Exley Bank and Trooper Lane rather than the more difficult full route.
It was a good decision and took the self imposed pressure away from me to attempt to go beyond my comfort zone but still enjoy the camaraderie that the Ronde generates.
I rode out to the start at Spen Valley High School with Paul Daly who had been unable to secure an entry but was happy to keep me company part way around the route. We joined up with Ian Wellock who was also riding the shorter route and Richard Burnham who, having to be home by mid day had ridden out to wish his Condor club mates bon-voyage.
We were able to offer our support to Mel and Chris at the start of the full route, I could see that Chris was really up for a good ride - he'd even removed the mudguards from his loan bike, Mike Darke's old turbo bike, his preferred mount for the day due to its triple chainset.
Unfortunately neither Mel or Chris had luck on their side, Mel, for the 2nd year running falling victim to a shredded tyre whilst looking good for a top finish and Chris blowing the rear rim only a mile or so into the challenge then jogging back to the HQ pushing and carrying the disabled bike.
Chapeau to Chris who once back at HQ borrowed Mark Saddler's winter bike (three cheers for Mark who was busy on official duties) and set off to catch many of those who must have then been miles ahead of him - lesser men would surely have thrown the bike over a wall and abandoned. Not only did he complete the route but he rode all the climbs, even Old Lane which had earlier had Paul, Ian and me declaring to be un-rideable due to its wet, mossy surface.

Many thanks to Mick Collins, Kelly and the rest of the team from KCA and 3RT

Ronde Van Calderdale

Some rather good shots from Sunday,

Peter has promised a write-up but I can tell you that the day wasn't without incident - I badly cut a tyre early on and after struggling to patch it up I didn't want to risk a repeat of last year when I destroyed a tyre over Haworth Old  Road so opted for the shorter route home. Poor young Chris needed a bike change before The Three Nuns, barely a mile after the start. Still a classic day out though.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Monday Mountain Biking

Tomorrow, 6.30pm Hipperholme crossroads for this seasons 1st MTB evening - a shortish, easy ride (I hope).   Ronde van Calderdale report to follow.