|Sunday Morning outside the Oddfellows Rooms|
The Red Rose Ride
Another brilliant day was had this Sunday with a large number of riders attending The Red Rose Ride 200km Audax. Condor colours were a little thinly spread with only myself, Simon and Paul (who only threatened to ride to the Whalley control.
An 8am start through Halifax meant we were soon clear of town centre traffic and making swift progress with the early climbs sorting the wheat from the chaff.
Paul and I lead the front group down to Keighley and over Cowling, Laneshawbridge and over The Moss. A strong group including
Mick Collins, Simon Mayfield and Paul Ward.
We climbed over Padiham Heights, descending to Whalley and bidding adieu to Paul. Within moments Simon had caught us at the control and from here I rolled up the road with Mick and Simon navigating, at a steady pace.
Mick had told me that no-one could moan about a ride quiet as much as him, and this was surely true, as we approached The Trough Of Bowland. With a tailwind and the pleasant babble of Langden Brook, what could be better?
The descent to Abbeystead is one of my favorites. Simon said he was pleased he had conquered The Trough and Mick just couldnt wait to sample the WHOLE new menu at The Lantern o Lune, which is now a bistro.
With only a brief rest-bite myself and Simon battled the headwind section to Longridge. Simon seemed thankful for my wheel which I gladly provided, but insisted that I press on now that we were on familiar roads. The road to Whalley was more undulating than I remember, but head down, ass up, I passed the few audaxers who had slipped us at the controls.
The climb up through Padiham and Burnley came and went, after all its one that's ingrained in my legs over the years. The Calder Valley was a sight to behold, with the bright afternoon sun reflecting off its steep rocky sides.
I arrived back to the HQ alone as the first finisher at 4.10pm, 5 mins before Chris Crossland had estimated me to arrive. As always a lovely spread of refreshments including the legendary trophy rice pudding was waiting. 10 mins passed when Simon arrived, having battled it alone, showing good form for his Paris - Brest -Paris lead up. Another 10 mins until the strong group we had ridden with earlier. I later passed Mick as I rode home still riding strongly as he approached Halifax.
Well done to all and thank-you to the organisers for another great route.