Thursday, July 31, 2014

Saturday 2nd August - Tour of the Peak

The Condor Road Club World Tour continues on Saturday with a tour of the Peak. We should be setting off at about 8.30am from the lay-by at the south side of the Ladybower dam. The distance is once again 80 odd miles and the mouth watering route includes Winnats, Monsal Head, the Monsal Trail, Monyash cafe, Axe Edge, Cat & Fiddle (2nd highest pub in England) and Goyt Valley - ride it now before you get too old.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Touring Section ride report, Sat 26/7/14

Sunday 27th - MTB

The upper valley section are set for a mountain bike ride tomorrow (Sunday 27th) starting 9am from the Co-Op in Hebden Bridge. The route will be made up as we go along but the outline is Wragley, Long Causeway, Widdop, Wycoller, Stanbury, Hebden Bridge.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'm not around this weekend but I thought I'd mention that we have 2 or 3 riders taking part in the Bronte Sportive tomorrow. Looks like a great route and I'm led to believe that no one as yet has ever achieved the Gold Standard. You can enter on the day, at the start at Leeds Uni. Annex (close to the railway station) in Keighley before 8.30.

Next Saturday the touring section (thats me and Chris so far) are having an away day with a Tour of the North York Moors, we're intending meeting at the top of Sutton Bank at 8.30am for a circuit including Blakey Bank, Rosedale Chimney and White Horse Bank to finish with a cup of tea at the Gliding Club cafe.
Here's a write up from Simon Warren -

Rosedale Chimney, Rosedale Abbey, North York Moors

Rosedale Chimney, North Yorkshire Moors Warning sign near the Rosedale Chimney in North Yorkshire Photograph: Mark Sunderland/Alamy

Few climbs have such a fearsome reputation as Rosedale Chimney, and rightly so. I snapped my chain not once but twice in my attempt to conquer this vicious stretch of tarmac. Leaving Rosedale Abbey, a sign warns you of the one-in-three – yes, one-in-three – gradient to come. This climb isn't for the faint-hearted. The surface is rough at first and steep from the outset, but improves as you pass over a cattlegrid and approach the double hairpin. The second bend here is so steep on the inside that it forces you far right, so take care. Now straightening up, the next stretch is ridiculously hard, the main problem here being just staying upright while either side of the road, sheep wait to see if yet another rider falls victim to the Chimney. Stick with it, as eventually the one-in-three does turn into a relatively gentle one-in-six, allowing you to build a little momentum to drag your bike up on to the moor.
Where From the bottom left corner of Rosedale Abbey leave the main road and turn south east on to Gill Lane, pass the giant warning sign, and head up. Grid Ref: SE 720 945 (OS94)
Length 1430m
Height gain 179m
Approx climb time 9 mins

Thursday, July 17, 2014


A great weekend for our racing lads with Brian smashing the British age record for the 50 mile time trial with his time of 1hr 52min 13secs in the Yorkshire Road Club event whilst Grimpy was riding to glory in the LVRC 'Omloop van der Drie Dorpen' , an unusual 'road race' in that 40percent of the course was on unsurficed roads.

Whilst the racing lads were earning their prize money the touring section were flying the colours in the North Pennines with a 60 miles warm-up over Long Grain, Yad Moss and Hartside before attacking the great Great Dun Fell, the highest metalled road in the UK. A great day out with superb views over the Eden Valley and the Lakes.

Thanks to Simon Warren & The Guardian for the following write-up -
'This is the greatest climb in England, this is our Mont Ventoux, it has no peers, there is no comparison: Great Dun Fell is simply unique. I'd waited a long time to ride this road, initially put off by its "private" status. I was to discover that there is absolutely no objection to cyclists riding it, although few would be mad enough. Approaching from either direction you see the radar station's "golf ball" glowing like a beacon on the top of the ridge. Turn away from the village of Knock and begin opposite a farm gate. The climb is tough right away, then gets tougher still as you bend right into what is a small taste of things to come. Get through this, the first of many brutal stretches, and things back off for a while before ramping up to the first of two gates. Through the gate, straight over a cattle grid and into more hard work, the road bending left past a stone shelter, a sure-fire signal – although you are nowhere near the top yet – that you're heading into truly hostile country. Up and up, and then mercifully dipping, or is it just levelling? Whatever it is, it makes the stretch of climbing ahead look terrifying. Approaching 20%, you crawl through harsh, boulder-littered scenery, a massive slog to the briefest of levels where the classification of the road changes – public cars are allowed no further. Now very narrow and lined with snow poles, the climb is so well surfaced it resembles a two-metre-wide carpet. And it's so steep, close to 25% at the point where the tall valley walls disappear and the radar slowly rises over the horizon to sit above you, tracking the remainder of your progress. Through a second gate it's easy for a while then bending right once again it's leg-breakingly tough to the finish at the station, where, looking around you, you might as well be on top of the world.'

An adventuous day out on the Wednesday Run today with Grimpy taking us to Tadcaster for lunch via the Greenway to Ossett and Fairburn Ings with Mr Gower just missing out on the honours at the Tadcaster sign.  Paul D then came to grief he was leading us through fields of ripening corn in Bramham Park when his rear derailleur hanger snapped off the frame. Unperturbed he quickly converted to single speed and drove the peloton on to Eccup Reservoir where we were delayed for a short time by 8' high barriers. After a lecture on the dangers of going near heavy plant the friendly workmen allowed access but the delays meant we finished the ride off on the busy but quicker Bradford ring road.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Slaidburn on Sunday 13th

08:30 at the lights in Hebden Bridge tomorrow for Slaidburn in the sunshine. Cheers, Ian

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Highest Road in the UK - This Saturday


I you can bear to give the shopping centres a miss this Saturday why not join the Condor's touring section for a jaunt up the highest metalled road in the United Kingdom. At 2782 feet above sea level, Great Dun Fell is over 700 feet higher than the better known Bealach na Ba and should be a 'must' on every cyclists list of things to do before they meet the grim reaper.

Myself, Paul D & P Chris are planning to set off from Kirkby Stephen at about 9am intending to warm up for the big one with a potter over to Middleton-in-Teesdale then over Yad Moss for a late breakfast at Alston, the highest market town in England. Once refreshed we will turn west for the climb of Hartside (a mere 1904 ft) before making our way on unclassified roads to Knock and our assault on the Pennine Massif.

I guess its about a 70 mile drive up to K. Stephen (Chris will probably ride there). I'm intending setting off from home at 7am.  Let me know if you fancy joining us (07549821349) and we'll arrange some mutually convenient car sharing.

ps......the full circuit will be 90 to 100 miles.

TDF Ripponden Bank

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

TDF Ripponden Bank Gathering

We're on Strava

What a great weekend. I'm off now to see if I can ride up Cragg while eating lunch from my musette like the pro's. I will try not to ride like Cav or Chris Froome though (poor chaps) and instead try to stay vertical on my bike.

'Condor Road Club' has been a club on Strava for a while and I can see that a few people have added themselves as members. Feel free to join in. Ian

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Le Tour in God's Own

Just a few photos from last weekend - a write-up is not necessary.


ps. Congratulations to Padiham Chris who this evening (Tues) rode to his first race victory in the Rossendale Road Club evening 10 mile time.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Le Grande Departe

Just a reminder, if you're still not sure what to do for Saturday's Grande Departe, several Condors and friends are meeting at Shelf roundabout at 8.30am to ride out to Leeds for the start festivities. Then its a 14 mile or so ride to Harrogate for the finish.

Mike Beecham reports from yesterdays ride -
Approx 18 riders showed up for the start, although some hadn't read the blog so had a surprise as to the hilly route that was to come. Those who had known in advance were quite happy to support Martin on his efforts to raise some dosh for the Teenage Cancer Charity.

The usual start direction took us up towards Denholme and left to the Long Causeway. Daly and Peeps on the front wasn't thought to be a good starting combination! However the ride took a right over Black Moor road and then on to the junction with the Oakworth road, where the tough guys went across and down to Haworth, heading for Penistone Hill and the 'I'd prefer to go at Paul Gowers pace' took the easy left option and headed straight for Cockhill Moor!

This proved to be my option and well worth it, as Bob Stanger told me later, as he missed the split by being early over the junction. `The surprise of the day was Orica Greenedge boys firing past our steady ride towards the top of the Cragvale climb. JK and Everard chasing to get on the back of these boys doing a leisurely 20mph.

We re-grouped at the top of Ripponden Bank where there was a steady climb up to Blackley followed by a decision to try a cafe stop in Greenhead Park at Huddersfield as time was moving on.

The cafe was packed, with a 20 min wait for the obligatory beans on toast. It was decided by most to try another cafe towards the top of the park and eight riders (including myself) went on to Holmfirth for a better and quicker offering of food. We got there at about 2pm. This proved to be the only group willing to complete the ride to the top of Holme Moss. Paul D, Martin, Peeps,JK, myself and two riders I didn't know. Hoppy elected to go to Route 66 instead and head home.

Even though I was last up the final climb it was a good day out with 7307 feet of climbing and 75 miles on the clock on completion.

An appreciation;  a guest rider from Scotland -
Wanted to say thankyou to you and the members of your cycle club for an excellent days cycling yesterday. It was a tough but fantastic route that we cycled and Yorkshire is such a beautiful place to cycle.
Could you do me a favour and say thanks to Rob Stanger for sticking with me on the hills and Pete Gravener for making sure I found my way back to Brighouse I would have been lost (literally) without them and I really appreciated their help as I did with all of the guys who were on the run they made me feel very welcome.
Once again many thanks and I don't think I have ever seen so many hills. The pro's are in for a treat on sunday
Michael Trolland

Race updates -
Congratulations to Paul Daly who retained his Firefighters Mountain Bikers World Champs rainbow jersey in Switzerland last Saturday.

Also well done to Chris Smith who rode to a 17min 26sec ascent of Cragg Vale in the YCF event last Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately, although I've interrogated the www I can't find any results for last weekends Vets National 25 mile Championships so we'll have to wait to see how Brian fared.

As far as I can make out from the Ilkley CC web site Melvin showed that he is maintaining his fitness well by finishing 6th fastest out of 287 finishers of the 114 challenging milesof the long route at the White Rose Sportive last Sunday with a time of 6hr 40min.

If you want to read an excellent interview with Bradford's own Tour of Britain winner Ken Russell, click on this link from the Daily Telegraph

Finally, if you're planning to watch the Tour at Cragg Vale on Sunday don't forget the Little Valley Brewery's Turkey Lodge Tour Fest its on from 7.30am to 7pm, go to for further info (thanks to Derek Browne for letting me know about this).