Thursday, August 27, 2015

A bit of nostalgia - specially for Mel & Pete

Its nearly 40 years ago but I'm sure I won't be the only Condor who remembers riding down to Winnats in 1977 to give Melvin a cheer in the National Hill Climb Championships.  

It was cold and wet and we were probably glad to get into the pub in Castleton after the event for a few swift pints to give our legs the necessary anaesthesia for the ride home over Strines.


If you study the results list there will be many names that are known to fellow Condors, Mel of course, then Pete Smith who at that time was serving in, and riding for the Royal Navy. Pete was beaten by 6 seconds by former Condor Brian Jennings who was riding for the Imps. The Imps had a full team entered, Brian being backed up by Hoppy and Nick Boylan.
Jez Lindley led Huddersfield Star Wheelers to the team title, one of many won by the Star in the 60's & 70's. Jez is still seen out occasionally with 3RT. He was backed up by Phil Grimes & Chris Raw. Phil's still very fit racing with the Halifax Harriers and winning Vet.60 awards.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Arncliffe and Airton - 23 August

Away to Arncliffe and Airton

This Sunday Morning saw 5 Condors meeting at a bright and sunny Keighley
  • Ian
  • Steve Barker
  • Richard
  • Nigel
  • and Myself
A steady well paced ride led us out in the morning sun toward Skipton and Threshfield, where we were picked up by a large fast group. Varied Jerseys and numerous clubs but briefly looking around the peloton I recognized Bin Man Chris and Dewsburys long distance man Paul Ward.
Rattling on toward Kilnsey our band of 5 were enjoying the rapid pace but were quiet shocked as instead of bearing right to Kettlewell, the peloton was going our way, left to Arncliffe. Thankfully the young guns had to stop in a gateway (strong legs but weak bladders!). We pottered on up Brookes Lane to climb over to Malham quickly being enveloped by the chasing fast group.

The Cove Road

Nigel chatted a while to find out that these boys werent intending to stop at all and with this pace we bidded them adieu and let them on their way!
Descending to Malham was dicey after the previous heavy rain storms had washed a considerable amount of loose gravel and some sizeable rocks across the road. Nigel remonised about the days in road races where they'd employ " A stiff Broom on them bends!"
The cafe at Malham was looked to be at bursting point with folks enjoying the mid summer sun, and also busy with cars so we pottered on to Airton.
Sitting out in the sun we enjoyed lashes of tea and an almost perfect bacon and egg bap, which rated 5 on Ian's egg-o-meter! The Gentlemen of The Condor like nice baps!
Picking up a couple of riders on our way we approached Gargrave and Broughton. Through Carleton on low lying roads to tackle the Cononley Bastard!
Thanks to Ian for picking a sensible wind assisted route. After all Summer will soon be over, so lets make the most of it!

Chris Smith

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sunday 23rd

My plan so far is 9am in Keighley for a wander up the Dales. The SE wind is forecast to pick up after lunch but I'm struggling for a route that would make good use of the breeze - ideas welcome. Ian.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mountain Biking with Peter

Due to hols only two intrepid off roaders departed from Brighouse last night. Peter decided on a steady night with a route down the canal to Norland and onto Rishworth. Conversation started with Brian's amazing national veterans title wins in the last 2 weeks. Completing the 50 champs in a 1hr 50 and a week later winning the 30's championship. Even Ian Cammish congratulated Brian although he did point out the front carbon wheel he purchased was inserted wrong way round having the backend of the carbon blades hitting the air turbulence instead of visa versa.Still better than my Marie Townley loop challenge, which I managed to get lost my excuse anti clockwise loop instead of clockwise with Peter and Simon the week previous. Still whilst one hour down on fastest managed to come in 7th out of 45 finishers.  
Prior to the salterhebble basin I expected Pete to turn towards Clay House, to take the climb up to norland. Straight on, expectation then up to norland on the gravel road from copley? No straight on again seemingly Peter was taking me on a Paul Daly route? We arrived at the new road bridge opposite Lloyds data center crossed the bridge to take an immediate left and right under the railway bridge. 
Pete then took a left onto a bridleway like road. I pointed out the signs 'private no bikes etc.'Pete uttered 'no wonder we got abuse on this route with Paul' A sharp right led us to a bramble edged narrow climb heading in the general direction of what I would describe as the road below the once called blue ball pub. The first section was full of relatively large loose stones eventually the terrain eased and it was a pleasant pull in a low gear. After a sharp right we continued upwards. 
Initially I was maybe 10m behind Pete but gradually I brought him back when all of a sudden Pete keeled over in what looked an innocuous slow motion fall straight into the bramble bushes with his MB lying on top of him.Immediately I noted a large portion of skin was removed from his calve area leaving the muscle exposed. It was clean almost like you could expect from a surgical operation. How’s that happened? Looking for some sharp object none? 
Unfortunately Pete had fallen onto his chainring. I said better get down to find some transport so I departed with Pete following at a steady pace. Got to the bridge to realize I left my iPhone at home having been in iCloud land trying to load some data from my Mac.Pete arrived to organize ambulance support. Luckily he wasn't loosing much blood good job as he ended up giving the call center (thought it was in India) continual instructions on our location. 
Paramedic arrives at Copley old bridge, more discussions I’m organized up to the traffic lights to direct him. He arrives in a few minutes in his Skoda estate, pleasant guy even cycled? Peter meanwhile was coping real well after enquiring if he needed anything - Viagra? Blood pressure and heart rate monitored he was deemed fit to be transported to A & E. 
I contacted him this morning to find he had 19 stitches and unfortunately will be out of action for sometime. Indicating the Vuelta Espana starts on Saturday he said he closed the Eurosport account. I said he needed to contact father who used the Eurosport streaming player on his smart TV for £4 per month. That’s a turn up when you go to PG for PC advise?Anyway Pete’s s on the mend and wont be able to direct our Wednesday rides for sometime?  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sunshine in Slaidburn

Its back to road bikes this week for the sunny roads of Lancashire out to Slaidburn. 9am at the lights in Hebden Bridge.

It may have been decidedly chilly and autumnal first thing but the roads were indeed sunny out to Slaidburn. The only problem was that the dappled sun through the leaves left Robin unable to focus clearly on the road ahead under some trees, resulting in a snakebite puncture from a nasty hole. The next issue was that our intrepid companion had forgotten his tubes and pump, but we sorted him out. I suspect that he'd spent rather too long choosing exactly the right set of matching jersey, shorts and cap from an extensive wardrobe. Here's hoping that the modelling contract will follow soon:

Much to our amusement ...
BUTTY REPORT: a rush of orders lead to a long wait and service below the usual standard. Nigel had to wrestle the rind from his bacon and our search for a sufficiently study teacake* must continue. The Riverside cafe scores 5 eggs out of the maximum half-dozen for their efforts this week.

*We'd ridden so far that apparently they are now barms, or possibly baps, in these here parts.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Mountain Malarkey

Taking inspiration from Peter's jaunt last week I'm going to play out on mtb this Sunday.

Meeting 9am in Hebden at the main traffic lights and take it from there.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Feizor - ride and cafe report

I'm glad that the mtb ride went well for Peter but what's with the 71.5 miles! I though the MT loop was only 40-odd. Maybe our intrepid colleagues took a wrong turn at some point? 

Meanwhile, the road runners had a lovely day out to Feizor as planned, going out by the 'flat' route over Attermire (taking great care on the descent into Settle) and back by the 'less flat' route down from Eldroth over Bowland Knotts, Elslack, Cowling Pinnacle and Slippery Ford.

Steve, Steve, Andy and Robin were out and hopefully had a good time. I'd say that the pace was rapid and unrelenting. Others might use less generous terminology. At least there were smiles when we stopped and had our photo took at the peak of our ride (note the clean and mud-free appearances). Soon afterward we met Dougie and John from VS doing the same ride but the other way round, so it was clearly the route du jour. The sky looks leaden here but the sun did come out closer to home.

Now for the most important bit - our ongoing series of cafe reports. Elane's Tearooms certainly gets top marks for location, friendly and welcoming staff and an inviting decor and atmosphere. The wipe-clean seats are a bonus should any muddy mountain bikers visit these parts. They sadly lost points for the quality of the teacake which was in no way up to the task and just instantly fell apart, and for the seemingly deep-fried bacon which repeated unpleasantly for the next couple of hours. So I'd give an 'egg-rating' of 4 eggs out of a maximum half-dozen.

Robin was keen on Tatham Fells next week, but that could be too much like a repeat ride?

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mary Townley

I think if Ian had been with us today he would have changed his mind about the Mary Townley Loop. The route ticks all the mountain biking boxes and the weather today was just right, not hot, not cold, a light breeze. There were puddles in places from yesterdays downpour and we did get a little dirty but I'm happy to report that the muck washed off in the shower.
Grimpy, Simon and I left Callis Bridge at just turned 8am and were back there 6½ hrs later having stayed together throughout sharing gate opening duties equally. A perfect day really, no punctures, no mechanicals, no crashes, no getting lost and no 'bonking', the only downside being Grimpy's new mountain bike getting dirty.

May it all go as well for John next Sunday, he's entered the MT Loop Sportive - I'm going to stick to once a year.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Fancy Feizor?

For the road ride this week we've arranged 8:30 in Keighley to go over Bowland Knotts via Feizor cafe.

It has of course been highlighted that this is the week when Peter is mountain biking in the upper Calder valley, but I think its is a tad damp on the trails and MT loop can be done too often. Once every 5 years is enough for me round there.

It would be nice to ride together one day but it seems that the upper and lower valley sections of Condor are instead destined to orbit each other like a form of quantum entanglement. Maybe it is something to do with the home (blue) and away (black) club jerseys?