Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday 31st - Crazy Climbing

We were down to 4 for today's Hill Climb Recce' ride but were soon into the spirit of the day honking up the gradients from Holywell Brook to Old Lindley, through Outlane and over Scapegoat Hill.

A super descent or the best road surface of the day took us down to Slaithwaite from where we took the less popular route over to Meltham up to Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. From Meltham it was over to Holmfirth via Upperthong then up over Cartworth Moor to Hade Edge before dropping down through Hepworth to enjoy the climb up Jackson Bridge - stage 1 of the HSW Hill Climb.
We stayed on the tops then before dropping down to Stocksbridge, stopping part way for refreshments at the Windmills Cafe.

Our target for the day, the Pea Royd Lane climb, the venue for this years National Hill Climb Championship, was enjoyed by all, with some of us enjoying it for longer than others.

We then meandered back to Calderdale via Silkstone and Cannon Hall (where afternoon tea was taken) before taking in a bit of culture at Bretton Sculpture Park.  A really pleasant day out - this will have to stop!

Three Condors have signed up so far for Wednesdays trip round the Fred Whitton, Paul, Ricard and myself. Don't put it off, JUST DO IT

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sunday 31st August & Weds 3rd September

This coming Sunday a few of us are meeting at Elland Bridge at 8.30am for a potter around 'Summer Wine Country'. Incorporated into this ride will be a recce' of Pea Royd Lane at Stocksbridge, the venue for this years National Championship Hill Climb on the 26th of October.

Next Wednesday, with good weather forecast some of the Wednesday club are planning a bit of a change, we're meeting at the car park round the back of Wheelbase at Staveley for an amble around the Fred Whitton route. We're planning to be on the bikes for 8am; its a group ride so no-one will be attempting to set any records and at least 2, possibly 3 cafe stops will be taken. Let me know and I'll arrange car sharing 07549 821349 or

There will of course also be the usual meet, Shelf Roundabout 10am.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Racing round up

Congratulations to Brian who made the weekends trip down to Newmarket worthwhile by taking the bronze medal in a very strong field, in Sundays Veterans 25mile Time Trial National Championships. On a morning when temperatures were more like March than August he produced a great time of 54 minutes 33 seconds; only about 10 seconds short of the British record for his age group.

Meanwhile in the depths of Buckinghamshire, Grimpy continued the great form he has shown this season with a win in the North Bucks Road Club LVRC road race.

In action nearer home was Chris Smith who began his preparation for the hill climb season last Wednesday evening with a great 2nd place in the North Lancs Road Club event on the Close Brow climb at Rushton. Chris' time of 2 minutes dead was 10 seconds behind the winner Andrew Laycock of Clitheroe Bike Club.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Six go to the Seaside

We were blessed with clear sunny weather for todays trip to Morecambe although there was a nip in the air, the early temperatures over the hill dropping down to 8 degrees, which for August felt pretty chilly.

Five of us met at King Cross and Paul set a blistering pace down to Hebden Bridge - he would probably deny this but looking at his Strava, a PB on just about every segment tells the true tale. I suggested to the others that there was no reason why we should chase after him but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Steve was waiting to join us at HB and will never know how lucky he was getting there the easier way, over Cock Hill from Oakworth.
It wasn't really the best preparation for the next challenge, Mytholm Steeps - just ask Richard if you doubt this observation. Anyway once we got to Blackshaw Head the pace settled and the ride over Kebs was a delight in the early morning sun. We followed the Seasons of Mists route to Fence. Sabden and over the Nick o' Pendle and before we knew it were sat in Waddington Cafe enjoying and excellent bacon & egg sandwich and numerous cups of tea.
From Waddington we turned left from the Newton road along some delightful lanes to Cow Ark and Dunsop Bridge to the next classic climb, the Trough of Bowland - never as difficult as its reputation would have you believe, and we were soon enjoying the descent. The next climb, up to Jubilee Tower had Chris rather excited as he's entered a hill-climb from Quernmore up to the Tower in a few weeks time and was keen to look at the road. The views from the top alone were worth our days efforts, you could almost reach out and touch the Lakeland Fells to the far side of the Morecambe Bay, then a glance south gave you views of North Wales and Snowdonia.
It was plain sailing from there to Lancaster where we joined the cycleway from the Millennium Bridge to the centre of Morecambe which was looking splendid.

After sauntering along the Pier and up and down the Promenade we indulged ourselves with a fish butty before hitting the return road, well the return tracks. We returned to Lancaster on the cycleway then picked up the splendid old railway track down to Glasson Dock. A helping breeze softened the contours as we followed the Good Companions route to Chipping from where we took on the severe gradients of Longridge Fell, the views on this ascent helping counterbalance the pain in the legs.
We then included a little detour round the magnificent grounds of Stoneyhurst College before enjoying Americano's and calories in Whalley. With the tail wind light work was made of the remaining miles and we were home in time to watch the TTT at the Vuelta.
A super day - next away day on the list is a potter round the 'Fred' - watch this space!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Updates and next Saturday

It was good to hear that our supervets road racing team were both back on the podium at the LVRC race in the Lincolnshire Wolds last Sunday. With Brian baulked by a car close to the finish it was left to Grimpy to sprint to victory, placing 'Rocket Ron' Bennett in 2nd place with Brian recovering to take 3rd.
Brian travels down to the Home Counties this Sunday for the Vets National 25 Champs whilst John will be in the Midlands road racing.

Also last Sunday a quartet of Condors battled head winds and frequent showers on the club run. Paul D, The Vicar, Oakworth Steve and myself, undeterred by the adverse conditions, stuck to the plan battling strong winds funneling down Littondale to Halton Gill then having sharp heavy showers added to the gusting head winds over Silverdale. It was good to have some proper weather again after weeks of bland blue skies and sunshine. We made our way to Feizor from Stainforth on the lane to the west side of the Ribble and then on the Pennine Bridleway from the Austwick Road over Feizor Wood.
Our morning efforts were more than rewarded at Feizor Cafe where we loitered for a good hour drinking tea and watching the rain. Our homeward route brought us home via Lawkland, Wham and Long Gill, helping winds making the miles pass swiftly and Paul doing a sterling job as gate monitor.

This Saturday, the 23rd, we're having a trip to the seaside, its a decent forecast so why not join us at 7.30am at King Cross lights, you may have guessed from the above photo that the destination is Morecome. Breakfast will be taken at Waddington with lunch - fish & chips and a stick of rock, on the sands; and there's a possibility that it may be another 3 cafe day.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunday 17th August

8.30 Denholmgate, 9am Skipton Keighley for Feizor via Silverdale.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Worth a look.

Monday, August 11, 2014

LVRC National Champs - Sunday 10th August

With enthusiasm undimmed by Hurricane Bertha Grimpy and Brian made the long trip down to Napton in Warwickshire to compete in the 2014 National Road Race Championships.

Grimpy took bronze behind former National Professional Road Race Champion Geoff Wiles and another former pro, Tony Woodcock.

Brian finished one place behind John despite only returning from a 2 week cruising holiday on the Friday.

This news has been brought to you from somewhere in the Cotswolds.
Thanks to mikeadamsphotography for the excellent images.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

No one took up our invitation to join us for a Wednesday saunter over the Bowland Fells so I was left to cope with Paul alone.

In reality, with the lack of anyone foolishly attempting to challenge him on the hills, he did behave himself and apart from losing him for a while in Slaidburn, we rode together very well, the highlight for me being the scenic climb up Tatham Fell to Cross of Greet. We did have a bit of rain on the descent to Bentham but it was warm summer type rain and once we'd removed our rain jackets at the cafe in Ingleton we had no need of them again.

From Ingleton we went over Cold Cotes, down to Clapham and on to Austwick, Lawkland and Otterburn. By Bell Busk Paul was growing bored with tarmac and seeing a signpost saying 'Public Bridleway' we left the black stuff and had an entertaining few miles to Gargrave.

From there we had a quiet potter back to Calderdale with just a few deviations up Thwaites Brow (Paul being a little disappointed - 'Not as steep as he thought it would be!' - a bit more off-road up Sandy Banks from Harden to Wilsden and rounding the day off along the Great Northern Trail and the climb up Station Road to Queensbury.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Wednesday 6th July

If anyone's interested in getting in a few extra miles this Wednesday I've arranged to meet Paul D at Denholmgate at 8.30am. We're planning to lunch at Ingleton, making our way there via Laneshaw Bridge, Bolton by Bowland, Slaidburn and Tatham Fells.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Delightful Derbyshire (& Staffordshire & Cheshire)

With Damien being a late withdrawal we were down to three for Saturdays Tour of the Peaks. With so much choice of quiet lanes and classic climbs it wasn't easy to decide on a route and with a poor weather forecast I was keen not to overdo the distance so we settled on the above mix - 85.4 miles with 7841 ft of climbing according to Paul's Garmin.

As planned we parked in the lay-by at Ladybower, were on the road for 8.30 and on unclassified singletrack lanes within half a mile. Thankfully it was dry if somewhat overcast and, as you would expect for August, mild. We were soon winding our way up between the towering limestone pinnacles of the giant collapsed cavern that is Winnats Pass with Chris and Paul romping off ahead of me I was feeling strong and full of anticipation for the day ahead. From the summit we headed south through Tideswell to the banks of the River Wye before attacking the 2nd classic of the day, Monsal Head. Being keen to include the splendid old railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail into the days jaunt we did a circuit around the western edges of the Chatsworth Estate taking us to the old Bakewell rail station where we joined the said trail and just couldn't resist stopping for morning coffee at the old Hassop Station, now a coffee shop a mile down the line.

After leaving the Trail at Millersdale it was south through quiet lanes to lunch at the renowned  Old Smithy Tearooms at Monyash, an excellent cafe where Chris was in his element looking at ancient horseshoes and rusty chisels. It had been necessary to don rain jackets en-route to Monyash and it did, as forecast rain quite hard whilst we were having lunch but was bating by the time we hit the road again and within half an hour our waterproofs were taken off and not needed again.

The Roaches were looking magnificent as we made way round the north eastern edges of Staffordshire and in to the eastern edges of Cheshire via the highest village in Britain, Flash. Then over Axe Edge; down the wonderful winding descent to Errwood Reservoir in the Goyt Valley and up to Oldgate Nick and on to Whaley Bridge and Eccles Pike. From Chapel-en-le-Frith Paul and Chris nursed me up Rushup Edge and down Mam Nick to Edale where tea was taken at the National Trust's Penny Pot Cafe (3 cafe stops in one outing - we must be getting soft !).  From there it was a short sprint back to Ladybower with clear blue skies and the sun on our backs.

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Meet 09.00 at Keighley roundabout for a jaunt into Nidderdale. Local hardman Mel has offered to be our guide to this rarely visited valley.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Great Dun Fell 2 - a report from't Fath'er

Hi Pete, anything you can do we can do slower, Darkie and me scaled Great Dun Fell after searching for it for 10 years.

On Monday we caught the train to Appleby and rode to Knock via Brampton. About 10 years ago we rode the Pennine Cycleway and stopped at the pub in Dufton to ask for directions to the access road but the locals reckoned they did'nt know.

You don't realise how steep it is untill you're descending, it was cloudy at the top and got cold standing around but it was warm and sunny again at the bottom.