Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunday 29th Jan - HDR Reliability Ride

This Sunday its the 1st of the five Ride to the Sun Reliability Rides. It kicks off from the Pear Tree pub at Mirfield at 9am, entry is £4 on the day and the GPX file is here its about 56 miles and finishes at the Pear Tree.

There had been some concern that the day would descend into an unofficial race (just like a normal Condor club run) but this is not going to happen because the Condor will be forming a PACT.  If you join the pact the other members will wait (and offer free advice) should you puncture or slip off the back but you are not allowed to go off the front, no matter how good you're feeling. If you do leave the pact behind a penalty must be paid - you will have to buy all other pact members a pint at the finish. You must make it clear before the start whether you have joined this pact.

The Pear Tree is on the right after Cooper Bridge, before you get to Mirfield proper. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sunday 22nd January

I'd entered the Mere 200 Audax this coming Sunday along with Gary, John Lumb 2 and possibly Chris and Steve but I'm just not up to it at the moment so I'm intending having a potter up Wharfedale and the Buckden Triangle. I've arranged to meet Simon at 8.30 at Denholme Gate and we'll be going through Keighley roundabout at 9am. All welcome to join us but if you're wanting a good training ride you may be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ride To The Sun

Early Season 'Get Fit' Rides

We are lucky this year, with the birth of the 'Ride to the Sun' series of reliability rides, to have the opportunity network with other local club riders on 5 successive weeks, all the rides cost a mere £4 to enter (on the day so get their early enough to pay before the 9am start). Proceeds go to Kirklees Cycling Acadamy and all finish at a pub where snacks will be available  :- 

Sunday 29th January   HDR Reliability Ride, 9am from The Pear Tree, Mirfield, 58 miles out east in the flatlands.

Sunday 5th February   Drighlington BC Reliability Ride, 9am from Drighlington, Again out east and a similar mileage.

Sunday 12th February   Batley Bash, 9am Thorpe Lane, Tingley. Pan flat and again 60 miles or so out east.

Sunday 19th February   3RT Reliability Ride. 9am Ritz, Brighouse. 70 or so miles, getting a bit hillier than the previous rides but that doesn't matter 'cos we'll all be really fit by then.

Sunday 26th February   Halifax Imps Reliability Ride,  9am Ritz, Brighouse. The blue ribbon event, JK's annual painfest. Same route as last year so non-swimmers should take their water-wings.

Looks like an exciting series of rides, a big thanks to Mick Collins for his work in putting the series together, I'm already looking forward to getting to the pub. There's .GPX files knocking about on the internet for all the rides, I'll track them down and put a link on the blog in the week prior to the ride.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Memory Lane

I managed to capture one of Bernard's photos - we think it was the A1, or possibly the A64. Either way riding two abreast on a main artery was fine with traffic like this. Even as a bystander rather than a participant it was interesting to see the slideshow and it made for a good afternoon.
The friendly chat, tasty lunch and brown beer may have helped too.
ps - Peter I hope that you are back riding soon. We didn't know where to go without you there to captain the ride. Brian says he is still having nightmares about going over Herders and Widdop in one ride.

1 comment:

  1. At least I can't be blamed this time. Still not 100%, chest a lot better today but think I'll have to write this weekend off, It's over to you for club run.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Condor Road Club Trophy Winners 2016

Our annual ride-out lunch and presentation took place at te Robin Hood, Cragg Vale last Sunday. Founder member (67 years ago) Gordon Turner was there to make the awards. 

!st trophy was for the greatest distance covered in the year in organised rides such as Audax, Sportive and Reliability rides. Pete Horne took this award with a total of 2051 miles, with Steve Thewlis in 2nd place at 1543 miles (including a double Coast to Coast) with Mel Hartley 3rd at 617 miles.

Best All Rounder Fastest average speed over 10. 25, 50 & 100 mile time trials. Chris Smith took this award for the 2nd year running with PB's at all distances.  Had CRC a hill climb trophy Chris would have also won that, representing Condor with distinction in many local climbs in addition to the National Championship at Matlock.

25 mile Time Trial Champion Once again awarded to Brian Sunter, but simply to call Brian the 25 champion would hardly do justice to another outstanding season. He knocked over a minute off John Woodburn's 10 mile age group record when he recorded 20min 44secs. at 25 miles he recorded another British age record with 54min 36secs. The British record also fell at 50 miles when he recorded 1hr 56min 45secs. Brian's main targets for the year were the VTTA National Championship events at 10, 25, 30 &  50 mile distances. Travelling the country to achieve his ambitions he made the podium at all 4 distances winning gold at 25 miles, the blue ribbon event of the vets calender.

Road Race & Off-Road Trophy's Whilst Melvin dabbled his toes into the cut and thrust of veterans road racing in 2016 with a 2nd in the Condor event, 3rd in the Clifton CC, 5th in the Imps race and 5th in the Tour of Cambridgeshire UCI Gran Fondo the trophy was retained by John Ginley with a 1st place overall in the LVRC o'65's Road Race Series and 2nd place overall in the season long Percy Stallard Competition.
As we all know John is an outstanding cyclo-x rider but he'd been fighting injury for much of the early part of 2016 and was doubtful that he would ever be able to resume his 'cross career. However, after a season road racing he started testing his legs off-road, was not unhappy with the result and sent his entry in the the UCI World Masters 'Cross Championship in Moll, Belgium. The rest is history, a 2nd World Cyclo X gold medal.

I missed to 'Do' myself due to being struck down with man-flu so I would like to thank Phil Haigh for volunteering, at the last moment, to take over my duties at the function and also Phil (Sandy) Sanderson for organising it and collecting the money. I'm gutted about missing it, especially Bernard's slide show.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

A bit of nostalgia

Prompted by the thought of Bernard's forthcoming slideshow Adrian has put his own memory of a club run from those halcyon days from the early 80's onto paper  (well into the digital ether)

done my own 'reminiscence'here:

A Winter Bike Ride

The 'social season' is a magical time for cycling in England. While summer has its long days and sunshine, there is something special about the winter. Frequently cold, windy, wet and dark, but still special.

I started cycling with a club when I was 14 or 15, in the early 1980s when our heroes were the 'hard men', Sean Kelly and Bernard Hinault. We were in no doubt that they would be clocking up the winter miles. Asked if the weather was ever too bad to go out training, Kelly replied "I go out and then when I get back I decide if it was too bad or not."

There was no club in my home town of Hebden Bridge, so it was almost always a solo 10 miles to start and finish the day, either along the Calder Valley or up over the lonely moors above Oxenhope. This is the story of a typical day.

In the silent early morning light I pedal down the valley to the rendezvous, along deserted roads with only the occasional bloke out to buy the morning paper or walk the dog. Although its light, the day has the kind of flat, grey lack of contrast when the sun has woken up but chosen to stay under a thick cloudy duvet.

A 9:00 start inevitably stretches until at least 15 minutes past. Arrangements and promises made after several pints the night before are sketchily remembered. 'I'm sure he said he was coming, but then he got talking to a lass.'...... A straggler turns up, out of breath. Ribald comments about his whereabouts the night before. I notice that his jersey is steaming on his back, like a racehorse in the winter chill.

On this occasion we're making a short run to the south and east of Yorkshire. It's not the picture postcard Dales, its pits and power stations, but it's flatter, easier cycling. Two of our number are miners. One, an ex-miner now, has a roly-poly stomach and the tell-tale 'wheeze' of a life underground, and is nicknamed 'Puffing Billy'. The other, still (just about) clinging onto his profession and earning decent money is a small wiry bloke. He always claims his job in the pit is to 'Lig abaht' (lie around) on a shelf cut in the rock at a junction on the underground line to make sure the coal trucks don't get derailed. I never did find out if this was true!

We climb out of the Calder Valley and through the historic parklands of Nostell Priory. First stop is a transport cafe, somewhere south east of Wakefield. There's a different type of Yorkshire accent in south Yorkshire, harder and broader than in West Yorkshire. The woman behind the counter has 'SHAFT' tattooed on her knuckles - more ribald comments, some of which I (an innocent 15 year old) don't understand! However, she is a scary-tough looking woman with short bleached hair, so the banter is subdued! Once again I'm amazed by how much food a bunch of skinny cyclists can put away. It's all bacon butties and beans washed down with gallons of tea - no scientific diets and designer coffee for us!

We saddle up for the second-half of the morning. I'm still a newbie so I never know quite where we are going, but every week follows the same pattern. The pace starts to pick up at about 12:00 and that signals that we're about half an hour from the pub. There's some final jostling for position and an ad-hoc sprint for the village sign, and then lunch. Which is often 'liquid'. While the 'grown ups' down as many pints as they can before Sunday closing at 2:00, we younger ones drift back outside after we've eaten. Someone has a tennis ball. We play wall-ball and then football, and then have a quick 'circuit race' around the village, or we hang about talking about the things that 15 year-olds talk about.

On that subject, we are an exclusively male bunch. The only female cyclists I ever see in our part of the world are World Champion Mandy Jones, Julie Earnshaw - a Tour Feminin rider, and Lisa Brambani - a good looking youngster already on the national squad. There's also the legendary Beryl Burton, but I only ever see her at time trials - and she's off with the favoured riders while I start very early in the morning with the no-hopers. The next summer I meet a French cycle tourist and spend a day in the Dales with her, making a total of five women I have seen cycling!

Our leaders emerge from the pub. Everyone is a bit merry. We set off back, across the flat-lands passing cloud-belching cooling towers and whirring pit heads.  A kestrel is hunting along the edges of one of the slag heaps, and winter starlings are lined up along the telephone wires. There's no wind and we bowl along effortlessly. Someone rides alongside, flapping his 'wings' like a Condor - the name of our club, its motif stamped on our chests.  Soon we're all at it, swooping along the road, arms outstretched. It's not long until nature calls and there's an unscheduled stop. We're barely off again when someone has a mechanical. It's just a chain off so we ride on slowly for him to catch up, but then somebody decides we'll hide. We slip through a gate and hide behind the hedge, while he rides past, looking for us on the road ahead. Then we quietly remount and slowly catch him up - but he's going faster and faster, still thinking we're ahead. By now we're just a few yards behind him. Somebody sniggers and the game is up. 'You bloody daft buggers!' he shouts. Angry at being made to look a fool.

There's another stop, but this time we pass through some gates, which are padlocked by a chain just wide enough to get a person and bike through. We're on a big tarmac drive through a country house estate. Somebody tells me the history of the place. A wealthy noble family was stupid enough to mine underneath their own home which is now abandoned, cracking and crumbling with subsidence. A herd of deer is grazing in the distance. It is completely still and quiet, just the swish of our tyres as we scurry on through.

Its already starting to get dark on this short winter day, and our lights are switched on. My winter bike is kitted out with a dynamo. I have put a bigger bulb in the back light, because the standard dynamo bulbs always 'pop' when going down the steep hills of Yorkshire. Now, the faster I go downhill, the brighter the light. The whirr of the dynamo wheel is a comfort in the dark, but also puts a bit extra drag onto tired legs. Every so often, a friendly hand rests on my back and gives me a push to keep me in the bunch.

As we get nearer to Calderdale, people peel off towards their homes. I can smell Sunday dinners and coal fires. The smells and warm glow from the houses seems to emphasise the cold and dark outside. I tick off the valley landmarks and mill towns: Ravensthorpe, Cooper Bridge, Brighouse, Elland, Sowerby Bridge and then a steep kick up towards the main road, and finally back to Hebden Bridge. Its been a great day but its always nice to be back home out of the elements.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Sunday's Ride-Out Lunch & Presentation

Just a reminder that its the Condor ride-out lunch and prize presentation this coming Sunday at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale, meal booked for 1pm (roast beef & yorkshires + sweet, £15).A chance to celebrate our World and British Champions. Theres also a slide show by Bernard Boylan of the pictures he took during the 70's & 80's. Those who are riding there are meeting at Denholme Gate at 9.30am. Please let me know if you want to book a place, All welcome not just Condor members.

Grimpy and I have been collecting stats for the awards, please e-mail me your seasons results so we can make sure no mistakes are made. In particular the total distances achieved during 2016 for Audax/Sportive/Reliability Trophy - send them to