Friday, May 30, 2014

Sunday 1st June

In order to make the most of forecast dry weather this Sunday I've arranged to meet Padiham Chris at Ingleton for a 75 mile circuit based (with a few minor deviations) on the Wheelbase Classic route - Twisleton - Dentdale - Crook of Lune - Staveley - Barbondale - Deepdale - Kingsdale.  If anyone fancy's joining us I'm meeting Chris at the main car park in Ingleton (the one with the Community Centre) at 8am, we'll be having lunch at Wilf's at Staveley which is about half way round.

Only three turned up for this weeks Wednesday ride, JK, a sun tanned Martin recently returned from riding the Majorcan peaks with the worlds elite (well he did ride past Sir Wiggo's island hideaway) and myself. Down from 16 the previous week (which included Hoppy who has at last discarded his corset following the curious incident of the rabbit in the night-time, way back in February). Undeterred by light drizzle we went straight up through Skipton and via Thorpe to receive a warm welcome from the girls at Burnsall Cafe.

The weather brightened up after lunch so we deviated from our original plans to return over Cringles and Ingrow and chose a far more interesting route down through Appletreewick, Cavendish Pavilion and Beamsley; crossing the Wharfe over the old hump-back bridge at Ilkley and hopping over to Airedale via the ancient Keighley Gate with a good tail wind making the ascent a pleasure. Once down to Bingley it was over to Harden and up past Bank Top quarry's to the top of Wilsden and down to Thornton where we joined the Great Northern Railway Trail to Queensbury with JK doing a good impression of Nairo Quintana up Station Road.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kevin Benson

A message from Derek Browne

Ex Halifax Imperial Wheelers C.C.member, Kevin Benson,
died in a cycling accident, whilst riding with his son Mike
( also an ex "Imps"  member), whilst on a ride in Spain. 

Also on the ride were Mikes wife Sylvie, and their son Melvin. Kevin has already been cremated in France, and a memorial to him, will be held at the Design House Restaurant, Dean Clough, on Sunday the 8th of June @ 1.00 pm. Will anyone who intends attending, please ring
Derek Browne with confirmation, so numbers can be obtained for catering purposes.
Dereks No. 01274 674693 or

Sincere condolences to Mike and the family from your mates at Condor Road Club.  Many Condors will remember Kevin as a keen cyclist back in the eighties and others will remember him as the owner of Food Therapy on Northgate, Halifax.  Kevin was only 69 and his death will have shocked all who knew him.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

E'Tapping Round'th Dales

To Me
May 20 at 11:07 PM
Eeeeye!    Tapping Round'th Dales!

Apologies to Mel, Irish John and Heptonstall Chris, for my early depart on Sundays Etape Du Dales. I had to be home as soon as possible to work  on ply-lining  my new jeep. Here are some photos from the day.

Me (Padiham Chris)

Irish John


Heptonstall Chris

Finishing Times

Mel Hartley 7.08.38
Chris Sylge 7.47.57
John Doherty 7.12.34
Chris Smith 6.57.44

I hope everyone enjoyed riding this great route in the good weather as much as I did.

Chris Smith
 Show message history
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    Road Race Apology

    Sorry to this who did help i forgot to say a big Thank You for all your support. Yes i new i would forgot someone, imps engineering guru ADRIAN who guided them up the wall (put it down to the onset of dementia) 

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    Alpe d'Cragg

    Above sounds like a good day out - Chris is up for it and I'm tempted to do a few ascents just for fun.

    Sorry to see from Grimpy's blog that there as such a disappointing response from Condor members for marshals for the road race last Saturday - its a good job that the Imps are more willing to help.

    I returned from 10 days in Scotland on Sunday with a few more Munro's under my boots, feeling keen to get on the bike again joined 12 others at Hipperholme Xroads for the Monday evening mountain bike ride. It was warm and sunny and the tracks were dry as we made our way through Shibden Park and up to Beacon Hill, then down through Siddal to Salterhebble, Copley and a wonderful circuit round Norland Moor from where we dropped down to Black Brook. Dizzy with the smell from newly mown fields we pottered along the canal bank and up through Sunny Vale to sample the summer ales on offer at the Travellers.

    Road Race and what we want to do in future?

    Surprise! Surprise! The event seemed to be successful and the majority of the competitors enjoyed it. Entries were less than expected due to a number of factors including clashing with the yorkshire vets championship. 
    With hindsight we had just one missed marshal location, which was the T-junction prior to the turn under the motorway. We were blessed with brilliant sunny weather.
    My entry summary explained the type of event including the reservoir service road and the short steep climb.
    However since the original event idea the Yorkshire water service road condition seems to have improved, yes there are holes but arguably no more than often found on our poor main roads. We had one puncture which I understand wasn’t on this sector.
    The riders were able to race across this section and everyone climbed the scammonden wall successfully including 74-year-old Mick Ives.
    Melvyn put in his usual high caliber performance finishing 3rd in the 50/55 cat. (see his blog for more details)
    Competitors said that the drag into the wind to Buckstones was perhaps the most difficult sector of the course? After the event (in for a penny) I asked if they would be up for repeat event next year the answer was what seemed like a full house YES.
    Mick Ives suggested the event ought to be a Stallard next year? Hang on?

    Firstly club events are only possible with member’s support and thankfully the following: (I do hope I haven’t missed anyone?) Alan, Steve, Brian, PG, Sandy and Kevin (professional motor bike marshal) provided their kind assistance. I had just one apologize for absence. Whilst we have limited club members, maybe 30 no doubt Peter can provide the correct number its not a great percentage. I moved a number of years ago to Saturday to minimize any Sunday ride clashes. Without our imperial wheelers friends the event would have been a flop. The following imperial wheelers assisted, Steve, Hoppy, JK, Neil (lead car), Mark (First Aid), Martin & Gale (course sign erection etc.). Dave Salem, Huddersfield star (signing on & marshaling). Derek Browne vehicle support and my son Neil’s lead car. You tell me am I doing something wrong? I believe I inform everyone through the blog was it four times? Yes ok on reflection we don’t have meetings and I should have got in touch personally? Like most things organizing anything takes time, particular with a new course, we don’t have team help.
    Finally guys were in this together, don’t you want to put something back? Maybe we are just a collection of cyclists who just want to ride our bikes and blog about the rides etc.
    Enough said I’m not taking my bat home I’ve had my moan? Lets make a date to have a positive discussion later this year. (Assuming you want to)?
    Cheers Grimpy

    Monday, May 19, 2014

    The weak end - Club RR & Etape du Dales

    Getting too old for weekends like this but at least the weather was a blessing. Grimpy's new experimental road race circuit got mainly a thumbs up from the few that rode it - just 14 in my ABC event and 16 in the D's and older.
    Basically it was a head wind grind from Scammonden to Buckstones, fast descent down Nont Sarahs & to the Dam wall, a flat rattle along the wall and then a painfull heave up the service road to the finish point, not forgetting the stinging little ramp that puts you back on the Scammonden Road. Repeat another 4 times.
    Our race split on the first lap and I was with 5 others at the front. After one lap my legs decided this early tempo was just over my limit and I dropped off to be eventually caught by 3 others, finishing 6th and 3rd of the C category.
    Grimpy and the Club are very grateful to the helpers that turned out, many of the Imps and the Condor 'old guard'.

    I shared a birthday with my brother earlier in the week so it was probably right I shared in his mechanical misfortunes yesterday. I persuaded Mr. Dwarty to meet me for the Etape, unfortunately I didn't see Chris Smith at the start who was down to ride.
    The organisers insisted on despatching us in groups which, as well as causing long delays, meant we were fighting past slower riders on the narrow roads from Grassington. As my rear tyre caught an unseen rock I commented to John that I had managed to puncture before Kettlewell one year - only to get that sinking feeling as my tyre deflated, just 2 miles out.
    We were soon back on the road, in with a group from the  Hudds Star Wheelers, to the Hawes feed where we pushed on over Buttertubs. Catching a slower rider on the bends near the bottom of the descent I braked hard and my front tyre instantly emptied itself of air. As I cursed and started to change it John came back up to join me, dismounting to the gentle hiss of his own rear tyre deflating. Now down to just one tube between us and the gas cartridges long gone we were hoping that was it, but on the climb from Long Row Johns rear tyre blew again. Closer inspection revealed a dislodged rim tape but by now we were deflated ourselves and settled on a steady ride round enjoying the sun and scenery, gratefully collecting more spare tubes (and sandwiches) from the event support at Tan Hill.
    A landslide had caused a route change, going straight on at Tan Hill to take a lovely route into Kirby Stephen and out to Nateby. With a head wind all  the way to Stainforth it was tough going and John was spent as I pushed on over to Halton Gill finishing in 7hrs 8 mins - almost an hour slower than last year.
    It was a great atmosphere at the finish, enjoying a pint and a sausage butty whilst making our excuses and meeting up with Chris Sylge who was also flying the Condor flag.
    I hope we'll hear how Chis Smith enjoyed his day, and talking of hard riding distance men, a mention for Paul Ward who I think lives Mirfield way. He rode out to Grassington, rode round in a little over 6 hours and, thanks to the Strava spy, rode back via Cockhill to clock 201 miles. Hardman.


    Unchained Malady

    A warm and pleasant day for a ride out on quiet roads over Deerplay. I think this was a first for Oakworth Steve, but we all enjoyed the great views. I was going extra slowly to enjoy them even more, while Steve Barker seemed intent on using his newly-acquired fitness like a puppy with a new toy. Luckily Nigel was on hand to offer advice and urge restraint.
    There was panic on the streets of Whalley as we found the Abbey tea rooms firmly closed and the only other buttie establishment in town was full to overflowing. A keen sense of smell then came to the rescue - leading us to the farmer's market in a car park round the corner, which included sausage man (home-made, premium blend, freshly roasted) and coffee man (likewise).
    The ridge road took us back toward home (this being only a pleasant potter), until Nigel decided to come to a screaming standstill. A broken gear hanger left his deraillieur dangling, until it got caught in the spokes and locked the rear wheel. Just as well it happened at 4.5 mph on the crest of a rise, not 45 mph on a fast downhill section. A repair was attempted but the chain had twisted and declared useless. That left Nigel on his hobby-horse - a bike without transmission being just a pretty useless ornament.

    We rolled on to Barrowford, pushing our non-peddling partner, whereat Nigel took time to inspect the local architecture and sample the local fayre while waiting for a lift home (pub built 1605, Blonde Witch ale, and Sue the super-star wife for that's the second lift back this year!). Meanwhile we completed our intended route over Herders, into a cooling breeze/nagging headwind, to return safely home.

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Another option - 18 May

    For anyone *not* doing the etape du dales we're meeting in Hebden Bridge at 9am on Sunday for a run westwards taking in the delights of Bacup and such. What could be better?

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Fred Whitton 2014

    Maybe I'd been rather blase about the 'toughest sportive in England' with next to no preparation or training beyond a couple of steady club runs. But ... I made it. And it were a good day out after all.

    Yes, the scenery was great - I'd forgotten how lovely the Lakes are. No, I didn't have to walk - both Hardnott and Wrynose were tackled on the bike. Yes, it rained a fair bit, but it was also fair - at least for a little bit. No, I've no plans to enter the Fred for next year, but Yes I'd do a ride in the Lakes again soon if I could.

    I rode under the colours of 'Team Imediate' (one of the sponsors who kindly organised my entry - many thanks Patrick!). Adrian Lord was the sole representative of Condor RC. Of course, that being the case, I had to let him finish in the faster time.

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Condor Road Race Reminder

    The event is this Saturday 17th May HQ as last year, Greetland Community and Sporting assoc. HX4 8JG. We need your kind support for marshalling duties from 9.00. If you have a whistle please bring it along to warn others of approaching riders.
    The riders will be leaving HQ at 9.45 for the start by Scammonden Reservoir at approx 10.00. 
    Look forward to seeing you and trust the event can be as successful as last year 

    Wednesday, May 07, 2014


    Well done to Brian who on Bank Holiday Monday travelled down to Aylesbury for the Veterans National 10 mile Time Trial Championships where he secured the bronze medal being only 10 seconds away from gold (in fact if he had been born 2 weeks earlier he would have taken the gold medal). His time of 21 minutes 15 seconds broke his own over 70's national record by 2 seconds.

    Meanwhile Grimpy, not content with single day racing travelled down to Worcestershire for the LVRC Abberley's 3 day stage race.  Day one started with a 2.5 mile prologue in the morning where he rode tactically, saving himself for the afternoon road race. He hung in there on Sundays stage 2 but even he admits to suffering on Mondays hilly stage 3.  However he came through to be the only survivor in the over 70's category.

    Not surprisingly John hadn't fully recovered for todays social run from Shelf Roundabout. Early rain saw 10 of us rushing down the Greenway and up to Ossett, over the Horbury Junction railway bridge and into Newmillerdam Cafe for 11.30.
    However they were only short showers and all too soon Peeps was mustering the troops keen to hit the road again. Brian, having missed his usual high mileage Tuesday was feeling fresh and ticking off a few names in his black book whilst JK, overtrained and not recovered from the previous evenings time trial, suffered from the lack of team mates once Robert Stanger retired with a mechanical at Upper Denby. I pointed out to Martin that his Imps team mate needed help but he just referred to an incident back in the 70's, when as a young inexperienced sprog JK had left him and thought that it would be an appropriate time to get his own back.

    Monday, May 05, 2014

    Pocklington Pedal Sportive - Wolds Apart

    My sympathy on Saturday morning for the clubmates setting out at 5am in sub-zero temperatures on the 'Wiggy 300' was obviously misplaced. The temperature had increased by the time John Doherty and myself left Pocklington for many of the same roads as the 'Wiggy' - and what a joy those roads are, especially in the glorious sunshine.

    It's 100 miles of long roads under big skies and takes in some wonderful villages - Wetwang, Sledmere, Warter, Thixendale, Fridaythorpe and then a loop to Stamford Bridge returning via Millington. It is all pretty lumpy terrain and when the road goes uphill it seems to be for a very long time. With bright sunshine, the rolling hills and some narrow gritty roads we could almost imagine Tuscany and the Strade Bianchi !
    With 3 different distance rides and several cross-overs there is lots of room for confusion and several riders missed out parts of the course rendering the electronic timing a bit pointless - the organisers did ask riders to clarify their route and promised to improve signing for next time. We found ourselves passing the same riders twice - pushing on as we were in pursuit of a good time, stopping just for a puncture and some fine sandwiches and flapjack at the Stamford Bridge feed.
    According to Dwartys Garmin we covered the full 100 miles, with a bit added for one slight detour, and were timed at 5hrs 30 mins, over 18mph average.
    Great riding in fantastic countryside that we rarely visit.

    Pottering With Pete

    Pottering With Pete

    Four riders set off this Sunday morning. Oakworth Steve, Pete Horne, Myself and a long missed Steve Barker, who is going really strongly at the moment.
    Skipping on past Skipton and on under Kilnsey Cragg, where here 4 became 3 as Steve Barker peeled off to Arncliffe. Thank God, we could knock the pace off a little!
    On to Kettlewell, where both me and Oakworth Steve realised the very same thing. Although Pete had missed the 300km Audax on the Saturday, he was to prove he could burn the same number of calories on the Sunday, by adding in a few lumps and bumps along the way. 
    Below are a few of the hills we tackled,

    Park Rash, (Leaves the legs with a burning irritation!)

    Inline image 1

    Cam Gill Road

    Trapping Hill

    Greenhow Hill

    With a great cafe stop at How Stean Gorge on the way and fair weather. Good practice for the smaller gears and out of the saddle action.

    But pottering!!!  Seriously??? HA HA!
    Chris Smith

    Sunday, May 04, 2014

    Etape de Yorkshire

    The Etape de Yorkshire is a sportive taking place on Sunday the 8th of June. It follows route of stage 1 of the Tour de France, except it starts from Leeds Grammar School and finishes at the Yorkshire Showground at Harrogate.  Its £30 to enter which may sound expensive but does include a fully timed route, pre and post ride food, 3 feed stations en-route, changing rooms and showers (and a sag wagon).
    Details and entry here      and here 

    I've just sent my entry off but I've blogged these details just in case, like Grimpy, you can't find details of the event.

    Saturday, May 03, 2014

    A few updates

    About a dozen assorted Condors and Imps enjoyed a potter round the lanes and lunch at Wetherby on the Wednesday run. We made our way there via Bramhope, Weardley and Netherby and once refreshed returned through Aberford, Fairburn Ings and Dewsbury from where we got onto the Spen Valley Greenway.  Once coming off the Greenway we discovered that Mr Gower was no longer with us - he'd drifted off the back and punctured - and had no pump - so had to wait for a passing cyclist to take pity on him - there must be a lesson in there for us all.   Hats off to Richard, who with 80 plus miles in his legs joined Steve Cavell in the evening to ride the 1st round of the YCCA Summer 'Cross series at Newsome.

    Paul Daly's also been busy, having a couple of visitors over here from Belgium he introduced them to some of Calderdale's scenic back roads (such as Trooper Lane) on Thursday, then just in case there legs weren't tired enough he took them round the Mary Townley Loop on Friday - Flanders will be a welcome rest for them when they get home.

    I know its probably too late now but as neither Padiham Chris or I rode the Wiggy 300 today (as originally intended) we've arranged to meet at Keighley at 9am Sunday for a ride up into the Dales - Park Rash and Coverdale being on the agenda.