I am purposely including the Skipton & Back - Trevor Lever Memorial ride in the 'racing' category. After it had been a very wet Wednesday Calderdale was drying out nicely, and so plenty of eager riders were at Causeway Foot on their top race bikes and stripped down ready for action. I was less optimistic when I left Wharfedale so came on the mudguarded training bike and wearing over shoes. Amongst the good turnout Team 3RT were in profusion, the VS lads and a Condor contingent of Damian, Ian, Paul Daly and Oakworth Steve.
It was a very disciplined ride out through Keighley, everyone obeying the lights and all keeping together but just as it was set to kick off at Steeton we experienced a downpour of biblical proportions which seemed to dampen everyones enthusiasm, so much that, although it was a fast pace, we were pretty much still all together but somewhat moist hitting Ingrow on our return. Now it kicked off with 3 or 4 going up the road. I hung in with the chasing group along with the indomitable Paul Daly and we were among the few prepared to work before sprinting for the Halifax sign at the 'finish'.
The Causeway Foot Inn was quickly full of wet, dripping and steaming cyclists who would soon be shivering as well so I downed a quick pint of Timmy Taylors un-deserved 'Le Champion' ale and headed back to my car at Harden.
( http://timothytaylor.co.uk/tuckerstriumph/ - a tribute to our own 'Tucker' Bury ?)
It was a far better day for the Bashall Eaves Vets RR on Sunday. Its part of the season long Percy Stallard series and so gets a good field with over 100 riders entered for the 3 races. Evergreen Grimpy was the only other Condor and he was racing after a 100k Masters Championship RR the day before -hard man!
As usual I stayed near the front and in the thick of things - I don't believe in wasting my Sunday just sat in the bunch. But, also as usual, when the main break formed I didn't have the legs to follow and stayed with a small group sprinting it out for 6th place. I finished 12th in the race. 9th in category.
It was a hard but enjoyable 55 miles in the sun and made better after a couple of pints of Hetton Pale Ale at the very nice Spread Eagle Inn at Sawley with the Ilkley lads I had travelled out with.
Grimpy came away with more prize money after getting another 1st in his category. Chapeau.
The Wharfedale roads were festooned with sportive direction signs at the weekend with several events following the Tour route. I believe Peter was riding one of them so hope to hear how he got on.