Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A few updates

 I've been interrogating the web hoping to find out what our racing men have been up to over the weekend but with no success. With Chris being tied up with his sisters wedding over the weekend and Oakworth Steve being otherwise engaged on the BAM Tour of Holland it was left to Mel and myself to fly the Condor flag at the White Rose Classic sportive on Sunday.

It was not a great day weather-wise. Heavy rain and high winds were forecast and that's just what we got. I was optimistic at the start, it was dull but dry with the temperature being 14° at 7.30am and I expected it to get warmer not colder. The high winds and drizzle started on the approach to Greenhow and riding north from Grassington it was looking black in Upper Wharfedale. The rain got harder and the wind stronger over Fleet Moss but at least the thick mist disguised the climb although precipitation in the eyes (or on the lenses) made the descent down to Hawes an adventure in itself.
The weather just got worse for the Coal Road, 10° and blustery winds for the narrow winding descent down  to Dentdale. From Ribblehead we picked up a tail wind and by Attermire the weather was improving. By Airton the roads were dry and on Langbar climb it was getting too warm. At the finish Mel and I chilled in the sun on the verandah at the magnificent Ilkley RUFC, having a pint of Mary Jane and swapping stories of the day with fellow survivors.
Melvin had a magnificent ride finishing 3rd fastest with his time of 6.39.14 being very similar to previous years despite the weather. I had been happy with my progress but lost time with fatigue over the last 25 miles or so recording a time of 7.51.04 to give me 28th fastest overall, there were over 200 entered for the long route but many did not finish or transferred to the shorter routes.

We had an early start for last weeks mountain bike ride but this coming Thursday we are back to a 6.30m start from Brighouse.

1 comment:

  1. That's 4 WRC rides with the same time within a minute for me - regardless of weather or companion ! Like Pete I was pretty much on my own, the big guy from Ilkley I started with had a battle with the climbs and faded by Helwith Bridge. The beer was good though

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reminder Condor Buckstone R.R. Sunday 5th July  Your Support Please

Hi Everyone, I have just completed the Race data and start sheets. Today we have 80 starters in the 3 events. We need your kind support and assistance. The HQ is Greetland Community & Sporting Association, Rochdale road (B6113) HX4 8JG.
The building should be open from approx.8.30 am.
All Marshalls and support should kindly be at HQ from approx. 9.00 a.m.
Riders are scheduled to leave at 9.45 for the race start at 10.00 am in Barkisland village on saddleworth road (B6114) approx. 200m above the scammonden crossroad.
The event is neutralized until beyond scammonden Motorway Bridge.
The circuit is the same as last years event which is briefly up to Buckstone Moss tee Jnt. Turn left onto the A640 and then sharp left down hey lane, right under the motorway then immediately left onto Yorkshire water (YW) service road. Across scammonden embankment, up the steep climb to exit YW. Turn right on lower road passed finish area then left onto short road to meet saddleworth road to complete one circuit. Events 1 & 2 complete 5 laps and event 3 (O60’s) complete 4 laps.
As a reminder ignoring lead cars my risk assessment shows we need 15 Marshall’s. I look forward to your kind support and assistance for a successful and safe event.  As guide the circuit is approx. 8.25 miles long so allowing for start section I would expect all races to be complete for approx. 12.30.
pea & pies will be available at HQ from around 13.00.

Cheers Grimpy  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Good Companions & Next Thurs Evening MTB

Not really mid summer weather, 9 degrees and a pretty strong westerly wind as I was riding out to the start of the Good Companions 200k Audax today. On arrival at Mytholmroyd Community Centre I was pleased to find that I wasn't the only Condor there, Melvin and Chris were enjoying a second breakfast, Graeme Brown was making a rare but welcome appearance, Carl Kershaw had been granted a rare Sunday passout and at the last moment Robin rolled up on his super new thoroughbred.

Our little band soon took to the head of the field and before long we had a great little group of good companions with the above named being joined by Lancashire lad, Nathan Poulton we pottered on in a disciplined manor ignoring the frequent showers enjoying a chat as the miles passed. Robin came up with some excuse about having to catch a plane to Athens and turned right at Ribchester to head for home via the Nick o' Pendle. We continued through Longridge, the Fylde Peninsula and Cockerham Sands to the re-invented Lantern O'er Lune Bistro at Glasson Dock where we met many of the 600 k 3 Coasts riders who had been at it since 6am on Saturday - I felt no regrets only doing the 200 (I'm getting old). After a too long but enjoyable lunch we set off on the return leg with a tail wind. Once we hit the Bowland hills over to Chipping I was found lacking and together with Carl we said goodbye to the fast boys who set a blistering pace to the finish. Another good day out, the change of terrain being a breath of fresh air. Thanks once again to Chris Crosland and his team and thanks to Graeme for the pics.

This coming Thursday, to celebrate mid-summer we're meeting an hour early for the MTB ride, 5.30pm at the usual place, outside Websters at the bottom of Hudds Rd Brighouse for a ride which will take us over Ogden Moors and Haworth Old Road down to Hardcastle Craggs and back on the canal bank - all welcome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ups and Downs

Sunday saw a good turnout, perhaps drawn by the prospect of an early coffee. However the group managed to split even before meeting up, with a break-away party going to the cafe in the market instead while the rest enjoyed Wetherspoon's finest at the Commercial Inn. One member of the breakaway group then broke again within seconds of setting off - a loud 'ping' echoing round as Stu sadly broke a spoke on his fancy wheels. Never mind, he arranged a lift home to pick up his spare and met us again later in the day.

This route allegedly involves Mills but I didn't see that many. We did however see plenty of Hills. The only wet roads were through Wainstalls and over Fly Flats but by Oxenhope we were on dry tarmac and got away with it from then on. Over Herders and back over Widdop the pace was brisk but not supersonic, and Chris had the pleasure of sprinting up 'Big Jack' from the cattle grid to catch Brian Jennings as a welcome addition to our band.

Long Causeway was great with the rare easterly tail wind, followed by breakfast at the incredibly popular JJs Diner. This was my first visit but they only get a 'two-egg' rating on the butty-o-meter; to get anywhere near the top 'five-egg' award we'd have to be allowed to sit inside, the service would be quicker, tea should come in pots, and condiments provided automatically.

Bacup was next on the agenda, taken at a very modest pace in order to allow the butties to settle - which in themselves were fair enough but I doubt that the bacon was locally sourced from happy pigs. Sorry. Back to the ride. By Cross Stone I felt it time to retire and left my companions to enjoy the further ups and downs round Cragg Vale.

It was good to see so many out along with some occasional visitors such as Andy (mate of Oakworth Steve) who'd be welcome to come again. Andy that is; Steve the stalwart is there anyway!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sunday 14th June

An indifferent weather forecast for this Sunday so can I suggest a change from the long hard routes of the previous weeks to a shorter but still hard route.  Meet 8.30am at Wetherspoons, Sowerby Bridge (great coffee @ great prices) for the Mills & Hills Circuit (lunch at JJ's Diner). A great route with plenty of escape opportunities for anyone who's not waterproof.

Its the Good Companions 200k Audax from Mytholmroyd the following Sunday, 21st June, note its an 8.30 kick off rather than the usual 8o'clock

The following Sunday, 28th June its the classic White Rose Sportive from Ilkley. Entries still open on the British Cycling web site.

Then on Saturday the 4th July there's the not to be missed Yorkshire Dales Grimpeur from Pateley Bridge Scout Hut, 215k of the best roads in the Dales for a mere £6.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


Great day out last Sunday on our circuit around Nidderdale & Coverdale. A strong tailwind blew us up Trapping Hill out of Lofthouse and down to Leighton and the café stop, in the sun trap at Jervaulx Tea Rooms - even Robin's getting into the café culture (that's Ian hiding behind the sun umbrella).
We had about an hour chilling at Jervaulx and I could have happily stayed for another hour but Coverdale was calling. We took a left at East Whitton and it was reasonably sheltered as far as West Scrafton but the exposed moorland road to the top of Park Rash had some of us struggling although the views of Great Wherneside and Wharfedale made the effort worthwhile. Happy days !
Just found this pic from Ian on his Strava account.

Congratulations to Grimpy who took the silver medal for his age category in the previous Sundays British Masters Road Race Champs at Milton Keynes, the race being won by former British Professional Champion Geoff Wiles.  Brian and Grimpy were in action last Sunday in the Bashall Eaves LVRC race but I can't find any results on the web. I did find the result of Saturday's Drighlington BC 10 mile TT where Brian recorded a short 22 in windy conditions to win the over 70's by over 2 and a half minutes.  Despite mega-miles in adverse conditions Chris continues to display his strength with another 1st place in the Rossendale Hilly 10 last Tues evening and a PB the following evening in an open 10 on the Sawley Brow course (unfortunately no results on CTT site)

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Trevor Lever Mem. Skipton & Blast

It's getting very competitive - 3RT in profusion and all the areas youthful talent, Mr Gower & myself the only Condors. In the big numbers I stayed safe up front but it was a very well behaved group with the only incident some old bloke attempting to overtake 30 riders just before the turn roundabout.
As usual plenty of energy was saved for the big 'kick off' on the Ingrow with Paul Dixon starting it - I let the young legs fly away and kept my own pace ending up in a second group with Dom and Binman at 1hr 25mins. Young Jack Clarkson was in first at 1.23 with Alex Turner and other talented young lads.
I think I'm getting too old for this stuff - deciding a fine pint of Wainwright in the pub afterwards was much more enjoyable !

(I plan to be out tomorrow for a spin round Coverdale - a favourite ride for me.)

Friday, June 05, 2015

Sunday 7th June

I've arranged to meet Chris at Keighley at 8.30 on Sunday, the plan is to do a Nidderdale - Coverdale circuit (Cringles/West End/Pateley Bridge/Lofthouse/Jervaulx/Coverdale/Kettlewell and back home with plenty of time for a shower and a glass of beer before watching Bradley's Hour.  Its about 110 miles/ 11,000ft for me, which isn't much more than last Sunday but should be in far better weather conditions. I realise that others may prefer a shorter faster ride and won't be offended if anyone wants to arrange such a ride.

Despite a shortfall of Condor participants (possibly due it not being mentioned on this blog) there was an excellent turn out for Wednesdays Trevor Lever Memorial Ride). Some photos, results and Chris Crosslands report can be seen on CTC Calderdales Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/ctccalderdale/

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Feasting At Feizor

A cold, wet and windy morning lent itself to our Club Run last Sunday. With Stoodley Pike shrouded in rain-cloud and almost horizontal drizzle, there was only one place to be ( on the bike!)
Climbing over Cock Hill seemed almost effortless thanks to a gale-force tailwind. Never forgetting that this would be against us later in the day.

5 brave souls assembled at Keighley roundabout to take up the gauntlet, Oakwoth Steve, Robin, Barker, Pete Horne and myself. It was soon apparent to me that I had been foolish to turn up guardless but after all, it was summer rain so no one seemed to notice.
We settled into a well organised group with a nice temperate speed, through Skipton, Gargrave and onto Long Preston. From here we took the busy main road for a while, before turning  back onto quieter lanes towards Settle. On past Giggleswick School and climbing Buck Haw Brow, Robins stomach was rumbling.
 "How far to the cafe?", Barker shouted. "1 Mile!" said Pete, " And what a cafe it is! THE BEST!"
Last time we were here it was Xmas eve, and yes it was better weather and warmer then.
No photograph could ever do the fayre at Feizor justice, but once refueled on cholesterol T Cakes, scones and lashings of hot sweet tea we just HAD to begrudgingly leave
 On towards Austwick and Keasden to climb Bowland Knotts. With an assisting breeze this was great. The wild open landscape which is The Forest Of Bowland, opened up infront of us as if painted by Gods fair hand. Barker was enjoying the view so much that he didnt see Robin drop his Oakley sunglasses, and rode (totally unsympathetically) over them.
 We descended past the MTB centre at Gisburn Forest and into Lancashire, where the sun always shines and the roads were at last dry. Riding behind Robin I was in awe as he managed to de-cape, roll up and pack away into the jersey pocket, all whilst riding uphill without hands. SKILL! I just had to try it. Success! Thanks for showing me that trick Robin.
Barnoldswick came and went, Kelbrooke and Earby too as we made progress over towards Cowling.Over the Pinnacle and onto Oakworth, where we parted company, with Oakworth Steve claiming " Its not recorded!". Never mind Steve, we know the truth that Strava doesn't, we were there!

Chris Smith

Monday, June 01, 2015

Vets National 10

Congratulations to Brian who continued to defy the ageing process last Saturday when he set a new British age group record for the 10 mile time trial, knocking 20 seconds off the old record with his time of 21min 14secs.   He recorded this time whilst competing in the VTTA 2015 National Championship in East Yorkshire where he claimed the silver medal out of a field of 150.