Thursday, February 25, 2016

Imps Reliability

Some great cycling weather this week for a change (as long as you're well wrapped up). Lets hope it stays that way for the Imps Reliability Ride this coming Sunday. Bring you £2 entry fee (make sure you have the correct change) down to the Ritz by quarter to nine and both the 75 and 60 mile routes will be starting at 9am.
If you haven't seen the route yet its here . The 60 mile route is the same as far as Walk Mill then straight down to Tod, Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse.

75 in 6 route - Brighouse -  Odsal -Queensbury - Bocking - Oakworth - Laneshaw Bridge - Trawden _ Haggate _ Worsthorne - Walk Mill-  Deerplay - Bacup - Sharneyford - Hollingworth Lake - Milnrow - Denshaw - Outlane - Brighouse

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weekend round-up

A rough weekend weatherwise, as bad a weather as I can remember  for the North West Passage on Saturday with wind, rain and low temperatures making it a challenging day for the 80 odd starters. However, as usual for this event which we have been taking part in since the 70's, the Condor were well represented with Ian, Nigel, Mel, Chris, Adrian and myself toeing the start line at the Spring Inn for the 8am start of the 200. I know Steve rode the 120k route starting at 9am but I'm not sure whether Lumby and Mick White made it or not.
Actually it was dry at the start but as forecast the rain started at about 9. Chris and I had stayed out of trouble by sitting at the front as far as Tod before swinging off and letting Mel and Ian through. The pull up through the valley to Clivinger went well but after the scissors junction on the outskirts of Burnley disaster struck for me when I unshipped my chain jamming it to such an extent that I had to stop and get my hands dirty. However it did give me a chance to put on my rain jacket ( although by this time I was wet through anyway ).
The next 20 or 30 minutes were not what I really needed; in the red zone chasing to get back to moto 1. With the assistance of strategically placed traffic lights I managed to make contact but then the Greystone climb loomed and the big guns (Nigel, Mel and Mel's mate Neil) rode away as I struggled with the gradient. I was happy to make it to the summit with Chris and Ian but my plan to recover on the descent to Gisburn was in tatters when Chris and Ian decided to do bit & bit downhill into the driving rain. Their plan worked as they caught the front runners ( except for Nige who'd gone for a solo break - probably a little early with 100 miles still to go ).
All had been going well on the road between Gisburn and Long Preston before Mel went to the front and split the peloton to tatters. Ian and I worked together to minimalize our losses and were all reunited by the Naked Man check. We weren't reunited for long though as Flat Earth Bob sneaked away chased by Mel, Nige etc; Ian and I decided to eat our bananas whilst stationary whilst Chris hung around waiting for us although he rode away from us accompanied by Charlotte, a young woman in a British Cycling Talent Team top, who is, as the jacket said, talented, as soon as we hit Buck Haw Brow.
Ian and I worked well together up the A65 battling the headwinds and rain, pulling back Charlotte and almost making contact with Chris before he decided to press on the pedals a little harder. Mel and Neil were just leaving the Devils Bridge check as we arrived but Nigel wisely chose our company for the 2nd half of this epic. We four Condors kept a nice pace going, down the Lune Valley, through Lancaster and down the A6 to the next check at Scorton where we all agreed, contrary to the original plan, to stop for a pot of tea and a bite to eat at the café. Mel and Neil had obtained their proof of passage from the shop and were almost ready to attack the last leg as we ordered our soup, scones and tea.
We were joined in the cafe by a near hypothermic Charlotte who had dropped off the back of our train and missed the Scorton turn off thereby adding a few unwanted miles to her test of character. She was in such a state that we felt unable to leave her, Ian helped her by eating half her scone before we left as a fivesome to attack the remaining 40 miles, picking up several more lost Audaxer's on the way. [comment: said demi-scone was offered to all of us, but I was the only one who volunteered to assist! - Ian; ps, thanks for this write-up Pete]
The remaining miles, probably due to the café stop, seemed less arduous although I was found wanting on the Oswaldtwistle Moor and 'Owd Bett's climbs my team mates waited for me and we finished together. Mel and Neil had set the fastest time for the day but there was only a couple of other  finishers in front of the Condor Train. After pie & peas Chris set off to ride home thereby topping 150 miles for the day as preparation for the 3RT Reliability Ride the following day.

  1. Great write up Pete but it makes me look far more capable than I was. It was in fact Chris who put the hammer down before Long Preston to reel in my errant brother.I just hung on for dear life - as I did for most of the ride, made worse by snapping a front wheel spoke at Hornby causing extra resistance as my wheel 'thwock thwocked' on my mudguard all the way home. A bl**dy painful day out.
    (Stats- Neil's power meter showed average 198 watts compared to 148 last year - 33% harder !?

3RT Reliability Ride.....from a special correspondent (Phil Haigh).........

Just 3 condors for the inaugural 3RT reliability trial. A total field of around 70 riders (but this was the day after the North west passage)
Me (Phil H) Chris Smith and Garry Traviss. Chris was taking it easy after yesterday's exploits. Garry must have decided to make it harder, turning up on and old bike with 53/39 and 11/23 gears. Not ideal for a lumpy route, but he's made of tough stuff.
The expected tailwind out didn't seem to arrive and much of the day was spent battling severe crosswinds, especially over the tops. It was pretty dangerous in sections.
Anyway, true to form, Chris ride on the front nearly all day and Garry's gears took their toll towards the end.
The weather forced some riders to shorten the route and we were a fair bit behind the 3RT racing contingent for the pie n peas.
A great day out though. 😄

Whilst the Condor's Northern Hemisphere team were battling adverse weather over the weekend Paul Daly was enjoying sunshine and super form in the Rev 100k road race down in New Zealand. Run as an adjunct to a prestigious pro road race Paul conquered all before him in his age group and finished high up overall. He'll be back over here in the UK for 4 or 5 weeks come May - you have been warned !!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st & Sunday 28th

Busy weekend coming up with the North West Passage on Saturday and a new event for the calendar on Sunday, the 3RT Reliability Ride.

As usual the NWP starts from the Spring Inn just outside Rochdale, the 200k ride starting at 8am and the 120 at 9, both following the routes established when the event began back in the 1970's. Myself, Chris, Steve, Ian, Nige, Simon & Mel have expressed our intention to ride the long route and Lumby and Mick White the shorter route. Others have ticked the 'may ride, depends on the weather box'. Entries, which include a hot meal at the finish are being accepted on the day.

If you fancy a shorter ride starting nearer to home 3RT are holding their 1st ever reliability ride starting from outside the Ritz Ballroom in Brighouse at 9.30am on Sunday(£3 entry on the day). Its about 60 miles in distance with about 6800ft of climbing and finishing at the Three Sons (formally the Clough House) where food will be available for a small charge. A .GPX file of the route can be viewed and downloaded from

On Sunday the 28th of February its the Halifax Imperial Wheelers '75 in 6' (that's miles and hours) Reliability Ride, also starting from outside the Ritz, the start time being 9am and the climbing being about 7800ft, finishing at the Beck Inn on Bradford Road, Brighouse where again food will be available. Download the route from

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ride-Out Lunch & Presentation

 A really good turn out of Condors assembled at Denholme Gate and Keighley, thankfully in really good weather, to put in a 50 mile loop to get to the lunch and presentation being held again at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale. We split briefly just after Crosshills, whilst the Hartley twins led a quartet of grimpeurs over the hills to Black Lane Ends the rest of us enjoyed the tail wind through Cowling and over the Moss for morning coffee at The Old Rock Café at Trawden where we regrouped.
From Trawden we checked out a section of the forthcoming Imps Reliability Ride route through the fords at Catlow Bottoms. The fords didn't claim universal approval, utmost care being needed for the 1st water splash which has been damaged by recent flooding but it was the 2nd ford that claimed our only casualty when Garry's wheel got stuck in a gap in the cobbles resulting in him falling from the bike but fortunately being unharmed.
Richard then wound the pace up at the front, straight down the Valley (except Mel & Robin who took a detour round Deerplay and Sharneyford) ensuring we made it to the pub shortly before 1pm.

After an excellent Sunday roast dinner and spotted dick the formalities took place with our special guest, British Cycling motor cycle commissaire, Kev Brown, presenting the trophies.

John Ginley (better known as Grimpy) took both the Road Race and Off-Road Trophies. Notable results for 2015 being 2nd in the BC National RR Champs, 2nd in the LVRC Percy Stallard Series, 4th in the LVRC National RR Chanps. John feels he could have done better but struggled with a knee injury later in the season.
He was the 2015 National Cyclo Cross Champion and 3rd in the World Championships in Switzerland. His 2015 winter campaign was blighted by knee and calf injuries but he now appears to be back to top form and keen for the 2016 season to get underway.
In 2015 he also returned to mountain biking taking 5th place overall in the Mary Townley Loop CX Challenge  and 3rd place in the BC MTB Champs on the London Olympic Course in July.

 Our Middle Distance Champ was Chris Smith (better known as Padiham Chris). Purchasing his 1st TT bike early in the year he took the trophy with a 22.24 '10' , a 58.40 '25' and a 1.57.56 '50' and a 4.06.15 '100', giving him an average speed of 25.12 mph.
During the season Chris took 11 wins out of 17 starts in the Rossendale evening 10's, a record number of wins in a single season.
He had a full Hill Climb season taking a win in the West Pennine climb on Blackstone Edge and representing the club with credit at the National Championship.
He also managed to pace the author round several Audax's and gain an elite finishing time in the Fred Whitton Challenge.

Brian Sunter had a remarkable season re-writing the record books again. Winning our 25 mile trophy for the umpteenth time with a time of 55.53 does not really reflect the scale of his achievements. He made his target the VTTA National Championships gaining 2nd on age standard in the '10', setting a new British age group of 21.14.  He was also 2nd in the '25' with a time of 56.11. In the '30' he took the gold medal with a time of 1.08.55 and also took gold in the '50' with another national age record of 1.50.53.

I managed to amass the greatest distance to take the Audax/Sportive Trophy with Mel 2nd and Steve Thewlis 3rd.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sunday 14th Feb - Ride-Out Lunch

About 25 meals booked so far - still plenty of room if you fancy joining us for the annual lunch and presentation (traditional Sunday lunch with choice of sweet, £12.50, all welcome). Meal booked for 1pm at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale.

If you fancy getting a few miles in en-route to the function we're meeting at 9am Denholme Gate or 9.30 at Keighley for a steady ride back to the Calder Valley via Crosshills, Laneshaw Bridge and the Old Rock Café at Trawden.  After a coffee I thought we may have a look at part of the Imps Reliability Ride route through the fords at Catlow Bottoms to Haggate then on to Cliviger.

See you Sunday.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Barley for Breakfast

With Peter and Chris enjoying yet another long Audax today around Derbyshire, in the rain, I suppose that we'll have to make our own plan for a Sunday ride.

I'm heading west - meeting 09:00 in Hebden Bridge if you fancy it - for Padiham and the log cabin cafe at Barley with a return route to be discussed across one of our many local moorland crossings. Maybe Widdop if we're feeling brave.