Monday, December 28, 2015

New Years Day Ride

New Years Day 2016
Start the year off right, join us outside Websters, bottom of Huddersfield Road, Brighouse at 10am on New Years Day for the Isle Of Skye, breakfast at Holmfirth and further refreshments at Sowerby Bridge.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Clarion Tea Rooms

As is traditional at this time of year I had better write up our ride by way of a few 'thank you' notes:
to Chris - for popping in home to make butties for our picnic. Anyone else would have stayed at home but Chris is a stalwart and provided turkey sandwiches at a moment's notice. He also was out despite having to ride stood-up the entire way (don't ask; let it suffice to say that Lance Armstrong used the same excuse for a raised cortisol level in 1999)
to Steve T - for sensible riding and flying the Condor flag so far from the bright lights of Brighouse (aka centre of the universe, apparently)
to Steve B - for coming out to join us at the Clarion
to Phil - for providing chocolate treats, and keeping his new gloves clean
to Gary - for getting a 2nd round of tea (and certainly not for attacking on every hill)
to Peter - for suggesting today's route and leading the way through the back end of Burnley
and to cyclists everywhere - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Peter writes..............................
And the same to Ian, especially for his delicious Christmas cake. A fine day out in glorious weather, here's a few pics.

Richard Burnham 27 December 2015 at 20:05
Better day I guess than mine manning the flood defences in York to prevent my son's house flooding. See you new years day

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Report and Next Sunday

A busy weekend began with the Cragg Vale Spiral from the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale. This was the third running of the event, organised by CraggVelo's Jonathan Emberton  (see ). A wet and windy morning saw 20 or so riders assemble outside the pub for the 9am start, I'm sure the ride would attract many more if it were not held the last Saturday before Christmas but what the field lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. In addition to 4 Condors, Steve, Chris, Adrian Lord & myself, 3RT had sent a crap  crack team and the Imps had sent the Smith family, spearheaded by Sean, recently returned from a 2 year training camp in Australia and now enjoying some proper weather.
It was a nice steady start with Chris and myself at the front setting a pace suitable for me (not right fast) but it didn't last long, that tenacious little terrier from 3RT, Dom Turner, obviously having completely forgotten what happened to him last time (completely blew) put in a stunning attack and ripped the field apart. He was soon sitting up, looking back for help but the damage was done. I hung on for the 1st ascent but lost contact on the stiff little climb to the Beehive and then missed the turn down to Mill Bank so spent the rest of the morning pottering around by myself (bliss).

In fact, looking at Strava records the majority of the field were wandering around the maze of lanes between Baitings and Scout Road. Above is the correct route, before next years event we'll recce' the route and publish a .gpx file on the blog.
Chris however had no trouble following the route and led an elite band around successfully to finish for noon - he would have reported on the action from the sharp end but he unplugged his Wi-Fi router to plug in his Christmas lights and now can't remember his password.

On Sunday it was the umpteenth Riley's Treat, again at the Robin Hood, but the one at Pecket Well this time. Its over 40 years since I first attended Riley's Treat  but I recall an uncle of mine who lived in the village telling me about how he helped out behind the bar in the 60's and how he had all on to keep Condors, including Eric Walker (who was there again this time - now in his 80's) and Hank Hoddinott, supplied with beer.
We had a good turnout, 8, Nigel, Mel, Ian, Robin, Richard, Chris, Garry Traviss and myself, meeting at Elland Bridge and taking breakfast at Bolster Moor café where we were joined by Ian Wellock. We then had a lumpy ride over to the 'do' stopping for refreshments at the Lane Ends, Old Town en-route where we found a variety of cyclists from VS, Batley Bill's, and even an odd Condor (Lumby) being led astray by quite a few Imps.
On arrival at Pecket Well there were dozens of bikes stacked up outside and standing room only inside. The West Pennine guys were there and it was good to see a sizeable contingent of 3RT having a warm-up for their own annual dinner due that evening.
The afternoons entertainment was kicked off by Chris who stunned the audience with a rendition of a traditional drinking song, most there had never heard Chris sing before and he was a revelation, a credit to the jersey, he and Paul Gower were certainly the stars of the afternoon.

Sunday 27th December

Next Sunday Neil from the Imps has an open invitation to Condors (and Imps) to his house for a seasonable celebration, he's got a big barrel of beer and his wife is once again preparing her famous pie. The Imps are meeting outside the Post Office in Halifax at 10am and all are invited to join them. Some of us Condors are meeting at Hebden Bridge at 9.30 for a trip over to the Clarion Tea Rooms before making our way to Neils.  He's expecting to be pulling the 1st pints at about 2pm so don't miss it, it will be Neil's last 'do' for a few years due to a lack of Sunday's between Christmas and New Year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Festive Calendar


This coming Wednesday its the Vets Christmas Dinner at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale, dinner is being served at 1pm. 30 odd places have been booked so far with ages ranging from late 20's to late 80's. The cost is £15 and there's a few places left so if you fancy washing the Christmas pud down with a pint let me know and I'll book you a place. We'll be meeting as usual at 10pm at Shelf Roundabout to ride there although quite a few are using alternative means of transport.

Saturday 19th December

All welcome at the third annual Round Robin Cragg Vale Spiral event.
Sat 19th 9am Robin Hood Craggvale
1/2/3 times up Cragg
3 different Sowerby lane returns
More details..
Jonathan Emberton

Sunday 20th December

Riley's Treat this coming Sunday, once again at the Robin Hood, Pecket Well. Nigel's suggested breakfasting at Bolster Moor café en-route, which could never be a bad idea so we'll meet 9.30 Elland Bridge and go straight up there via Jagger Green and Scapegoat Hill.  This means we'll be approaching Pecket Well from the right direction to call at the Lane Ends on our way there. I understand that Chris has been rehearsing his repertoire of songs especially for this occasion so it is an absolute MUST 

Christmas Eve

Chris and myself are intending to have a potter up to Feizor Cafe for a full English breakfast on Christmas Eve, if you fancy a bit of fresh air before the big day, join us at 9.30 at Keighley

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sunday December 13th - Headed For Hampsthwaite

In the hope that this rain stops at some point,lets have a break from building an ark and meet at Keighley 09.30 as usual .Fancy heading out Washburn valley way for a change,floods permitting.
Ride report - rather than spoil the flow of Pete's news round-up we'll sneak Chris's write-up in here:

A cold and drizzly morning meant that only 4 Condors gathered at Keighley this morning. Ian, Myself and double trouble from both of the Hartley twins. The Washburn Valley had been mentioned so we headed East for a change.
The first portion of the ride was a little urbanized through Bingley and onto Shipley, climbed to Guiseley before dropping to Otley.
From here I was on unfamiliar territory but guided by my comrades I followed intrepidly. Ian had developed a grumbling mechanical, with his rear wheel bearings (perhaps due to the previous weeks washing out of grease they had). A brief stop and we were again on our way, rolling past Almscliffe Crag and on toward Harrogate.
Our cafe stop was in the charming village of Hampsthwaite, a picture postcard type of place next to the River Nidd. Full of character and quintessential Englishness. 

Refueled and raring to go Nigel and Melvin set pace back towards Ilkley. We passed through more idyllic places with names such as Kettlesing, Timble and Askwith. Views of the Washburn Valley were hung in low mist making for a spectral scene.
It was great to see Melvin after what seems like too long, and I'm glad/sad to report that he is going very well after a short rest. We chose the most direct route home via the formidable Keighley Gate.

Parts had been washed away with the recent downpours but we made good progress and regrouped at the top. The weather had turned gradually grimmer with persistent drizzle adding to the onset of cold. From here we parted company with Mel and even refrained from Public Houses! Save that for Riley's Treat. Not bad for a dank December day!


This Weeks Best Buy

Both Myself and Mel have replaced our chains this week, both choosing from the KMC range. Seem to run nice and smooth so far. Watch this space to how long they last etc.

X-SP treatment: This treatment of pins and plates reduces wear susceptibility caused by the ingress of sand or other debris into the chain bearings. Hugely enhancing durability. Pins and plates, made out of special high quality alloy are less prone to stretching
X-Bridge: This is on the outer plate, configured with precisely articulated angles for quicker and smoother gear shifting and quieter riding. Lightweight shorter length pins length combine with high-grade materials to reduce weight. Tensile strength safety is assured with a minimum 1020kgf above ISO standards
Titanium Nitride Coating
Double X-Durability
Open Inner plate; less chainsuck

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Rolling On A River!

After Storm Desmond had left his trail of destruction, we were hoping for a more comfortable ride with a pleasant weather forecast. A dry ride over Cock Hill with a stonking tailwind, meant that I arrived at Keighley in record time, just in time to cape up for a torrential downpour! Condors gathered including Oakworth Steve, Ian, Nigel, Robin, Pete Horne and Myself.
Steve and I set pace toward Skipton, into the wind (which had been my friend, now our foe). I suffered on this stretch and was glad when we turned for Gargrave, to de-cape, (from here on we needed waders!)
Through Little Stainton towards Nappa, we took back lanes bound for Bolton by Bowland. Fields lay under water, fences submerged as river banks bulged. Puddles became deeper on the roads until finally at Sawley it was at its deepest. People abandoned vehicles as we rode through the currents , with Ian pointing out that it had finally reached his head set! Robin caught a fish in his water bottle as Pete emptied a newt from his shoe. 
The cafe stop at Waddington was welcome if not a bit soggy. Toasted sandwiches all round as the route home was discussed. Finally Upham via Downham was agreed followed by Barnoldswick and Widdop. We wrang ourselves out, as the Condor in full flight sped homeward.
The beautiful landscape opened up before us. Even on this grim December day, where else should we be?! Robin was so excited climbing Widdop's Big Jack that he snapped his rear hanger, but fully prepared with a new component, fixed it road-side, while we took refuge and fine ale in the Packhorse! We bidded adieu to Pete and Robin from here.
Definately one for the memory bank!
Cheers chaps! Chris.
This weeks Best Buy!

Admittedly not my own purchase but I was so impressed by this product modeled by Ian I just had to give it a mention! I have never seen a jacket repel water so effectively, water off a duck's back, need I say more?

Rapha Pro Team Race Cape
A highly technical, waterproof jacket cut for race conditions.
Being  lightweight and durable a three-ply fabric developed exclusively for Rapha, race-ready tailoring that stops fabric flapping in the wind, and smart finishing touches such as zipped cuffs and fully-taped seams. It easily packs down to stow in your back pocket. The Pro Team Race Cape has a slim fit, cut for the long-and-low riding positions of modern racers. A dropped tail keeps road spray off of the back of your jersey, and the fabric’s slight stretch allows the jacket to keep its shape over fully-loaded pockets. The updated zip has a thick pull tab with a textured back for easy use when wearing gloves, and the zipped cuffs make it easier to put on or remove the jacket while on the bike. 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Sunday 6th December

Better weather forecast for tomorrow, meet 9am Denholmgate or 9.30 Keighley for Waddington cafe (could amend that to Bolton-by-Bowland café if conditions dictate).

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Olde Black Ladd and Bolster Moor

As rain lashed my bedroom window this morning, I was glad of an extra hour under my duvet. Meeting in Hebden Bridge meant that I had struck it lucky being the closest to the start. 5 riders, Pete Horne, Single Simon, Vicar, Nigel and Myself huddled under a bus stop at the park gates as we planned our route. It was decided that nothing too adventurous would be sensible in the high winds and ever increasing rain.
We struck up towards Todmorden, turning to climb over Mankinholes into a direct headwind which left us floundering to keep a tight formation. Through Walsden we climbed over Calderbrook avoiding heavy traffic. Coasting around Hollingworth Lake we dropped to Milnrow and Shaw to take the long and more than gradual climb over the Black Ladd. We used the old road to drop to Delph. From here we took some lovely back lanes around Diggle.
We shouted "CYCLISTS" to 3 ladies horse-riding to warn them of our presence. The leading animal we found out was the tallest MULE in the UK named Napoleon! Onto Marsden and Standedge Tunnel to find the cafe soggy and shut. Onto Slaithwaite where Richard decided to head it alone without a cafe stop! We thought it wise to climb Scapegoat Hill to the very busy but exceptional Bolster Moor farmshop cafe.
Here we dripped dry and fine dined as Storm Clodagh whipped up to a furious rate through the conservatory window. Trees bent and people were nearly blown clean off their feet in the carpark. Sorrily we had to leave the warmth to brave the eye of Clodagh. Bikes steered uncontrollably as we dropped from the high ground towards Outlane.
We had an appointment booked at The Cross Keys, Siddal with the Imps, post free wheeling comp. The boys from Batley continued their reign of terror, winning the non pedaling discipline.
Leaving the heavies to cause chaos, we took the sensible option, with Peter showing me the delightfully steep Rosemary Lane.
Wet and Wild.
Cheers chaps! Chris.

This weeks Best Buy

Finish Line Cross Country Wet Lube An "extreme" lube; super durable high viscosity synthetic oils, special polymers, anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, and more, all combine to make this Finish Line's strongest, longest lasting, most water resistant lubricant


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sunday 29th

More high winds and rain forecast for tomorrow so nothing too ambitious. Meet Hebden Bridge 9.30 with the intention of Hollingworth Lake then Black Ladd with a tail wind and down to Saddleworth then over the Floating Light to Colne Valley for café stop. A beer with the Imps after lunch seems like a good idea (following their freewheeling competition).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Invitation from Allan & Lorraine

Will you please pass the word round to all the riders that know me. I have EMAILED all the lads I have EMAIL addresses for but many I don't have, also include the IMPS.

Above should read, Allan & Lorraine are moving to pastures new and invite you to a leaving party on Friday the 11th of December at Halifax RUFC, Ovenden Park, Keighley Road, from 1930hrs, buffet provided.
RSVP ASAP to or 01422 257270