Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Racing round up

Congratulations to Brian who made the weekends trip down to Newmarket worthwhile by taking the bronze medal in a very strong field, in Sundays Veterans 25mile Time Trial National Championships. On a morning when temperatures were more like March than August he produced a great time of 54 minutes 33 seconds; only about 10 seconds short of the British record for his age group.

Meanwhile in the depths of Buckinghamshire, Grimpy continued the great form he has shown this season with a win in the North Bucks Road Club LVRC road race.

In action nearer home was Chris Smith who began his preparation for the hill climb season last Wednesday evening with a great 2nd place in the North Lancs Road Club event on the Close Brow climb at Rushton. Chris' time of 2 minutes dead was 10 seconds behind the winner Andrew Laycock of Clitheroe Bike Club.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Six go to the Seaside

We were blessed with clear sunny weather for todays trip to Morecambe although there was a nip in the air, the early temperatures over the hill dropping down to 8 degrees, which for August felt pretty chilly.

Five of us met at King Cross and Paul set a blistering pace down to Hebden Bridge - he would probably deny this but looking at his Strava, a PB on just about every segment tells the true tale. I suggested to the others that there was no reason why we should chase after him but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Steve was waiting to join us at HB and will never know how lucky he was getting there the easier way, over Cock Hill from Oakworth.
It wasn't really the best preparation for the next challenge, Mytholm Steeps - just ask Richard if you doubt this observation. Anyway once we got to Blackshaw Head the pace settled and the ride over Kebs was a delight in the early morning sun. We followed the Seasons of Mists route to Fence. Sabden and over the Nick o' Pendle and before we knew it were sat in Waddington Cafe enjoying and excellent bacon & egg sandwich and numerous cups of tea.
From Waddington we turned left from the Newton road along some delightful lanes to Cow Ark and Dunsop Bridge to the next classic climb, the Trough of Bowland - never as difficult as its reputation would have you believe, and we were soon enjoying the descent. The next climb, up to Jubilee Tower had Chris rather excited as he's entered a hill-climb from Quernmore up to the Tower in a few weeks time and was keen to look at the road. The views from the top alone were worth our days efforts, you could almost reach out and touch the Lakeland Fells to the far side of the Morecambe Bay, then a glance south gave you views of North Wales and Snowdonia.
It was plain sailing from there to Lancaster where we joined the cycleway from the Millennium Bridge to the centre of Morecambe which was looking splendid.

After sauntering along the Pier and up and down the Promenade we indulged ourselves with a fish butty before hitting the return road, well the return tracks. We returned to Lancaster on the cycleway then picked up the splendid old railway track down to Glasson Dock. A helping breeze softened the contours as we followed the Good Companions route to Chipping from where we took on the severe gradients of Longridge Fell, the views on this ascent helping counterbalance the pain in the legs.
We then included a little detour round the magnificent grounds of Stoneyhurst College before enjoying Americano's and calories in Whalley. With the tail wind light work was made of the remaining miles and we were home in time to watch the TTT at the Vuelta.
A super day - next away day on the list is a potter round the 'Fred' - watch this space!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Updates and next Saturday

It was good to hear that our supervets road racing team were both back on the podium at the LVRC race in the Lincolnshire Wolds last Sunday. With Brian baulked by a car close to the finish it was left to Grimpy to sprint to victory, placing 'Rocket Ron' Bennett in 2nd place with Brian recovering to take 3rd.
Brian travels down to the Home Counties this Sunday for the Vets National 25 Champs whilst John will be in the Midlands road racing.

Also last Sunday a quartet of Condors battled head winds and frequent showers on the club run. Paul D, The Vicar, Oakworth Steve and myself, undeterred by the adverse conditions, stuck to the plan battling strong winds funneling down Littondale to Halton Gill then having sharp heavy showers added to the gusting head winds over Silverdale. It was good to have some proper weather again after weeks of bland blue skies and sunshine. We made our way to Feizor from Stainforth on the lane to the west side of the Ribble and then on the Pennine Bridleway from the Austwick Road over Feizor Wood.
Our morning efforts were more than rewarded at Feizor Cafe where we loitered for a good hour drinking tea and watching the rain. Our homeward route brought us home via Lawkland, Wham and Long Gill, helping winds making the miles pass swiftly and Paul doing a sterling job as gate monitor.

This Saturday, the 23rd, we're having a trip to the seaside, its a decent forecast so why not join us at 7.30am at King Cross lights, you may have guessed from the above photo that the destination is Morecome. Breakfast will be taken at Waddington with lunch - fish & chips and a stick of rock, on the sands; and there's a possibility that it may be another 3 cafe day.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Worth a look.


Monday, August 11, 2014

LVRC National Champs - Sunday 10th August

With enthusiasm undimmed by Hurricane Bertha Grimpy and Brian made the long trip down to Napton in Warwickshire to compete in the 2014 National Road Race Championships.

Grimpy took bronze behind former National Professional Road Race Champion Geoff Wiles and another former pro, Tony Woodcock.

Brian finished one place behind John despite only returning from a 2 week cruising holiday on the Friday.

This news has been brought to you from somewhere in the Cotswolds.
Thanks to mikeadamsphotography for the excellent images.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

No one took up our invitation to join us for a Wednesday saunter over the Bowland Fells so I was left to cope with Paul alone.

In reality, with the lack of anyone foolishly attempting to challenge him on the hills, he did behave himself and apart from losing him for a while in Slaidburn, we rode together very well, the highlight for me being the scenic climb up Tatham Fell to Cross of Greet. We did have a bit of rain on the descent to Bentham but it was warm summer type rain and once we'd removed our rain jackets at the cafe in Ingleton we had no need of them again.

From Ingleton we went over Cold Cotes, down to Clapham and on to Austwick, Lawkland and Otterburn. By Bell Busk Paul was growing bored with tarmac and seeing a signpost saying 'Public Bridleway' we left the black stuff and had an entertaining few miles to Gargrave.

From there we had a quiet potter back to Calderdale with just a few deviations up Thwaites Brow (Paul being a little disappointed - 'Not as steep as he thought it would be!' - a bit more off-road up Sandy Banks from Harden to Wilsden and rounding the day off along the Great Northern Trail and the climb up Station Road to Queensbury.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Wednesday 6th July

If anyone's interested in getting in a few extra miles this Wednesday I've arranged to meet Paul D at Denholmgate at 8.30am. We're planning to lunch at Ingleton, making our way there via Laneshaw Bridge, Bolton by Bowland, Slaidburn and Tatham Fells.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Delightful Derbyshire (& Staffordshire & Cheshire)

With Damien being a late withdrawal we were down to three for Saturdays Tour of the Peaks. With so much choice of quiet lanes and classic climbs it wasn't easy to decide on a route and with a poor weather forecast I was keen not to overdo the distance so we settled on the above mix - 85.4 miles with 7841 ft of climbing according to Paul's Garmin.

As planned we parked in the lay-by at Ladybower, were on the road for 8.30 and on unclassified singletrack lanes within half a mile. Thankfully it was dry if somewhat overcast and, as you would expect for August, mild. We were soon winding our way up between the towering limestone pinnacles of the giant collapsed cavern that is Winnats Pass with Chris and Paul romping off ahead of me I was feeling strong and full of anticipation for the day ahead. From the summit we headed south through Tideswell to the banks of the River Wye before attacking the 2nd classic of the day, Monsal Head. Being keen to include the splendid old railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail into the days jaunt we did a circuit around the western edges of the Chatsworth Estate taking us to the old Bakewell rail station where we joined the said trail and just couldn't resist stopping for morning coffee at the old Hassop Station, now a coffee shop a mile down the line.

After leaving the Trail at Millersdale it was south through quiet lanes to lunch at the renowned  Old Smithy Tearooms at Monyash, an excellent cafe where Chris was in his element looking at ancient horseshoes and rusty chisels. It had been necessary to don rain jackets en-route to Monyash and it did, as forecast rain quite hard whilst we were having lunch but was bating by the time we hit the road again and within half an hour our waterproofs were taken off and not needed again.

The Roaches were looking magnificent as we made way round the north eastern edges of Staffordshire and in to the eastern edges of Cheshire via the highest village in Britain, Flash. Then over Axe Edge; down the wonderful winding descent to Errwood Reservoir in the Goyt Valley and up to Oldgate Nick and on to Whaley Bridge and Eccles Pike. From Chapel-en-le-Frith Paul and Chris nursed me up Rushup Edge and down Mam Nick to Edale where tea was taken at the National Trust's Penny Pot Cafe (3 cafe stops in one outing - we must be getting soft !).  From there it was a short sprint back to Ladybower with clear blue skies and the sun on our backs.

Saturday, August 02, 2014


Meet 09.00 at Keighley roundabout for a jaunt into Nidderdale. Local hardman Mel has offered to be our guide to this rarely visited valley.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Great Dun Fell 2 - a report from't Fath'er

Hi Pete, anything you can do we can do slower, Darkie and me scaled Great Dun Fell after searching for it for 10 years.

On Monday we caught the train to Appleby and rode to Knock via Brampton. About 10 years ago we rode the Pennine Cycleway and stopped at the pub in Dufton to ask for directions to the access road but the locals reckoned they did'nt know.

You don't realise how steep it is untill you're descending, it was cloudy at the top and got cold standing around but it was warm and sunny again at the bottom.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Saturday 2nd August - Tour of the Peak

The Condor Road Club World Tour continues on Saturday with a tour of the Peak. We should be setting off at about 8.30am from the lay-by at the south side of the Ladybower dam. The distance is once again 80 odd miles and the mouth watering route includes Winnats, Monsal Head, the Monsal Trail, Monyash cafe, Axe Edge, Cat & Fiddle (2nd highest pub in England) and Goyt Valley - ride it now before you get too old.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Touring Section ride report, Sat 26/7/14

Sunday 27th - MTB

The upper valley section are set for a mountain bike ride tomorrow (Sunday 27th) starting 9am from the Co-Op in Hebden Bridge. The route will be made up as we go along but the outline is Wragley, Long Causeway, Widdop, Wycoller, Stanbury, Hebden Bridge.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'm not around this weekend but I thought I'd mention that we have 2 or 3 riders taking part in the Bronte Sportive tomorrow. Looks like a great route and I'm led to believe that no one as yet has ever achieved the Gold Standard. You can enter on the day, at the start at Leeds Uni. Annex (close to the railway station) in Keighley before 8.30.

Next Saturday the touring section (thats me and Chris so far) are having an away day with a Tour of the North York Moors, we're intending meeting at the top of Sutton Bank at 8.30am for a circuit including Blakey Bank, Rosedale Chimney and White Horse Bank to finish with a cup of tea at the Gliding Club cafe.
Here's a write up from Simon Warren -

Rosedale Chimney, Rosedale Abbey, North York Moors

Rosedale Chimney, North Yorkshire Moors Warning sign near the Rosedale Chimney in North Yorkshire Photograph: Mark Sunderland/Alamy

Few climbs have such a fearsome reputation as Rosedale Chimney, and rightly so. I snapped my chain not once but twice in my attempt to conquer this vicious stretch of tarmac. Leaving Rosedale Abbey, a sign warns you of the one-in-three – yes, one-in-three – gradient to come. This climb isn't for the faint-hearted. The surface is rough at first and steep from the outset, but improves as you pass over a cattlegrid and approach the double hairpin. The second bend here is so steep on the inside that it forces you far right, so take care. Now straightening up, the next stretch is ridiculously hard, the main problem here being just staying upright while either side of the road, sheep wait to see if yet another rider falls victim to the Chimney. Stick with it, as eventually the one-in-three does turn into a relatively gentle one-in-six, allowing you to build a little momentum to drag your bike up on to the moor.
Where From the bottom left corner of Rosedale Abbey leave the main road and turn south east on to Gill Lane, pass the giant warning sign, and head up. Grid Ref: SE 720 945 (OS94)
Length 1430m
Height gain 179m
Approx climb time 9 mins

Thursday, July 17, 2014


A great weekend for our racing lads with Brian smashing the British age record for the 50 mile time trial with his time of 1hr 52min 13secs in the Yorkshire Road Club event whilst Grimpy was riding to glory in the LVRC 'Omloop van der Drie Dorpen' , an unusual 'road race' in that 40percent of the course was on unsurficed roads.

Whilst the racing lads were earning their prize money the touring section were flying the colours in the North Pennines with a 60 miles warm-up over Long Grain, Yad Moss and Hartside before attacking the great Great Dun Fell, the highest metalled road in the UK. A great day out with superb views over the Eden Valley and the Lakes.

Thanks to Simon Warren & The Guardian for the following write-up -
'This is the greatest climb in England, this is our Mont Ventoux, it has no peers, there is no comparison: Great Dun Fell is simply unique. I'd waited a long time to ride this road, initially put off by its "private" status. I was to discover that there is absolutely no objection to cyclists riding it, although few would be mad enough. Approaching from either direction you see the radar station's "golf ball" glowing like a beacon on the top of the ridge. Turn away from the village of Knock and begin opposite a farm gate. The climb is tough right away, then gets tougher still as you bend right into what is a small taste of things to come. Get through this, the first of many brutal stretches, and things back off for a while before ramping up to the first of two gates. Through the gate, straight over a cattle grid and into more hard work, the road bending left past a stone shelter, a sure-fire signal – although you are nowhere near the top yet – that you're heading into truly hostile country. Up and up, and then mercifully dipping, or is it just levelling? Whatever it is, it makes the stretch of climbing ahead look terrifying. Approaching 20%, you crawl through harsh, boulder-littered scenery, a massive slog to the briefest of levels where the classification of the road changes – public cars are allowed no further. Now very narrow and lined with snow poles, the climb is so well surfaced it resembles a two-metre-wide carpet. And it's so steep, close to 25% at the point where the tall valley walls disappear and the radar slowly rises over the horizon to sit above you, tracking the remainder of your progress. Through a second gate it's easy for a while then bending right once again it's leg-breakingly tough to the finish at the station, where, looking around you, you might as well be on top of the world.'

An adventuous day out on the Wednesday Run today with Grimpy taking us to Tadcaster for lunch via the Greenway to Ossett and Fairburn Ings with Mr Gower just missing out on the honours at the Tadcaster sign.  Paul D then came to grief he was leading us through fields of ripening corn in Bramham Park when his rear derailleur hanger snapped off the frame. Unperturbed he quickly converted to single speed and drove the peloton on to Eccup Reservoir where we were delayed for a short time by 8' high barriers. After a lecture on the dangers of going near heavy plant the friendly workmen allowed access but the delays meant we finished the ride off on the busy but quicker Bradford ring road.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Highest Road in the UK - This Saturday


I you can bear to give the shopping centres a miss this Saturday why not join the Condor's touring section for a jaunt up the highest metalled road in the United Kingdom. At 2782 feet above sea level, Great Dun Fell is over 700 feet higher than the better known Bealach na Ba and should be a 'must' on every cyclists list of things to do before they meet the grim reaper.

Myself, Paul D & P Chris are planning to set off from Kirkby Stephen at about 9am intending to warm up for the big one with a potter over to Middleton-in-Teesdale then over Yad Moss for a late breakfast at Alston, the highest market town in England. Once refreshed we will turn west for the climb of Hartside (a mere 1904 ft) before making our way on unclassified roads to Knock and our assault on the Pennine Massif.

I guess its about a 70 mile drive up to K. Stephen (Chris will probably ride there). I'm intending setting off from home at 7am.  Let me know if you fancy joining us (07549821349) and we'll arrange some mutually convenient car sharing.

ps......the full circuit will be 90 to 100 miles.

TDF Ripponden Bank

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

TDF Ripponden Bank Gathering

We're on Strava

What a great weekend. I'm off now to see if I can ride up Cragg while eating lunch from my musette like the pro's. I will try not to ride like Cav or Chris Froome though (poor chaps) and instead try to stay vertical on my bike.

'Condor Road Club' has been a club on Strava for a while and I can see that a few people have added themselves as members. Feel free to join in. Ian

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Le Tour in God's Own

Just a few photos from last weekend - a write-up is not necessary.


ps. Congratulations to Padiham Chris who this evening (Tues) rode to his first race victory in the Rossendale Road Club evening 10 mile time.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Le Grande Departe

Just a reminder, if you're still not sure what to do for Saturday's Grande Departe, several Condors and friends are meeting at Shelf roundabout at 8.30am to ride out to Leeds for the start festivities. Then its a 14 mile or so ride to Harrogate for the finish.

Mike Beecham reports from yesterdays ride -
Approx 18 riders showed up for the start, although some hadn't read the blog so had a surprise as to the hilly route that was to come. Those who had known in advance were quite happy to support Martin on his efforts to raise some dosh for the Teenage Cancer Charity.

The usual start direction took us up towards Denholme and left to the Long Causeway. Daly and Peeps on the front wasn't thought to be a good starting combination! However the ride took a right over Black Moor road and then on to the junction with the Oakworth road, where the tough guys went across and down to Haworth, heading for Penistone Hill and the 'I'd prefer to go at Paul Gowers pace' took the easy left option and headed straight for Cockhill Moor!

This proved to be my option and well worth it, as Bob Stanger told me later, as he missed the split by being early over the junction. `The surprise of the day was Orica Greenedge boys firing past our steady ride towards the top of the Cragvale climb. JK and Everard chasing to get on the back of these boys doing a leisurely 20mph.

We re-grouped at the top of Ripponden Bank where there was a steady climb up to Blackley followed by a decision to try a cafe stop in Greenhead Park at Huddersfield as time was moving on.

The cafe was packed, with a 20 min wait for the obligatory beans on toast. It was decided by most to try another cafe towards the top of the park and eight riders (including myself) went on to Holmfirth for a better and quicker offering of food. We got there at about 2pm. This proved to be the only group willing to complete the ride to the top of Holme Moss. Paul D, Martin, Peeps,JK, myself and two riders I didn't know. Hoppy elected to go to Route 66 instead and head home.

Even though I was last up the final climb it was a good day out with 7307 feet of climbing and 75 miles on the clock on completion.

An appreciation;  a guest rider from Scotland -
Wanted to say thankyou to you and the members of your cycle club for an excellent days cycling yesterday. It was a tough but fantastic route that we cycled and Yorkshire is such a beautiful place to cycle.
Could you do me a favour and say thanks to Rob Stanger for sticking with me on the hills and Pete Gravener for making sure I found my way back to Brighouse I would have been lost (literally) without them and I really appreciated their help as I did with all of the guys who were on the run they made me feel very welcome.
Once again many thanks and I don't think I have ever seen so many hills. The pro's are in for a treat on sunday
Michael Trolland

Race updates -
Congratulations to Paul Daly who retained his Firefighters Mountain Bikers World Champs rainbow jersey in Switzerland last Saturday.

Also well done to Chris Smith who rode to a 17min 26sec ascent of Cragg Vale in the YCF event last Tuesday evening.

Unfortunately, although I've interrogated the www I can't find any results for last weekends Vets National 25 mile Championships so we'll have to wait to see how Brian fared.

As far as I can make out from the Ilkley CC web site Melvin showed that he is maintaining his fitness well by finishing 6th fastest out of 287 finishers of the 114 challenging milesof the long route at the White Rose Sportive last Sunday with a time of 6hr 40min.

If you want to read an excellent interview with Bradford's own Tour of Britain winner Ken Russell, click on this link from the Daily Telegraph http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/ken-russell-going-solo/index.html

Finally, if you're planning to watch the Tour at Cragg Vale on Sunday don't forget the Little Valley Brewery's Turkey Lodge Tour Fest its on from 7.30am to 7pm, go to http://www.littlevalleybrewery.co.uk/blog for further info (thanks to Derek Browne for letting me know about this).

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pre-Tour Training

Another option for Sunday is to meet at Keighley for 09:00 and take ourselves off to the Dales. Then hopefully take advantage of the northerly breeze to blow us back toward home.

See you there.


Le Tour de Calderdale - an invitation from Chris Crossland

Please allow me to suggest a Sunday ride.

Le Tour de Calderdale on Sunday 29 June is nearly here - If you haven't already entered online, on the day entry will be available as it is for all our events.

Registration for the ride starts from 8.30 am at the Pavillion Cafe, Sowerby Bridge Market, Wharf Street, Sowerby Bridge, where you will be able to get that essential espresso before setting off. Rides will commence from 9.30 am and continue until 10.30 am. For those wishing to experience the route in an easy-paced group ride setting, a guided group will set off at 10.00 am. The ride finishes at the Jubilee Refreshment Rooms, Sowerby Bridge Railway Station, where rehydration may well be the order of the day.

On signing in, you will be issued with a laminated route sheet that can be fixed to your handlebars. The route will also be way-marked with direction signs.

For those of you using GPS for navigation, you can download a *.gpx file at
or a *.tcx file at

You can also study a map of the route at

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday. Should you have any queries about the ride, please feel free to contact me by personal message.


Chris Crossland

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tour de France Fantasy League

From Mike Beecham
The Fantasy league is now up and running. Wondered whether you could post this text featured below on the blog. Some may be interested for a bit of fun to enter a team! I have used my email address on Gmail to set it up. Don't think anyone needs it but you have it via this email if needed.
Interested in joining a fantasy cycling league for the Tour de France? then go to www.velogames.com and enter a team into a league that has been set up for Condor, Imps and friends!

You need to log on with your details to the Velogames site, from there you can choose the Fantasy Tour de France 2014 option. You will see a tab for 'Riders', this will show you who you can choose. From a maximum of 100 points you will need to form a team which must contain - 2 All-rounders, 2 climbers, 1 Sprinter, 3 Unclassified Riders. (Only one team allowed per person- site rules not mine).
Give your team a name (mines, Zenzero - means Ginger in Italian, in case you're interested!) then you can enter it into the mini league I have formed for all our riders and others (wives and girlfriends welcome).

The mini league is called 'Over the Bars'. To enter it there is a number required 27194405.

You can change your team up to the start but once the Tour starts you're fixed, no changes. Check the rules on Velogames before you begin. I will find a prize for the winner. All the best, Mike Beecham.
If you need any help e-mail Mike at     elvenien@gmail.com  

Next Week

I'm away for a few days myself so please don't wait for me to suggest a Sunday ride. However I would like to bring to your attention two events during the week.

Tuesday 1st July - At 7pm its the Yorkshire Cycling Federation Open Hill Climb on the Cragg Vale climb. Unusually we almost have a team entered with Chris Smith seeded at number 25 and new man Graham Lloyd off at number 39. There's a good field of 60 riders, including quite a few locals such as Brian Jennings, Blair Buss, Steve Robinson, Andy Peace and Emma Osenton, with the current National Hill Climb Champion Tejvan Pettinger last man off.

Wednesday 2nd July - 10am from Shelf roundabout, Martin Bruce and a colleague from Tesco are doing a charity bike ride in aid of the Teenage Cancer Charity.  They are hoping to be joined by other members of the usual Wednesday group as they join the TdF route at Haworth and follow it over Cock Hill, Cragg Vale and on through Holmfirth and over Holme Moss from where they will be making their way home (about 80 miles).  You may make a donation via the Teenage Cancer website.

On Wednesday evening you may fancy unwinding by watching our old mate Bernard Hinault present the prizes at the Otley Town Centre Cycle Races.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Whats Going On ?

Just been scanning the world wide web and see that Brian is maintaining his form with a 21min 47sec ride in the North Mids 10 mile time trial down in Nottinghamshire on Saturday, a time which gave him 8th place overall on time and a runaway win on age related standard.

Also a good result from Paul Daly in the Hospice Mountain Bike Challenge where he was 6th fastest out of a field of 150 on a challenging new course around Elland, Scammenden and the Ryburn Valley. Good preparation for Paul who next weekend is defending his rainbow jersey at the Fire Service World Championships in Switzerland.

The Grande Depart is nearly with us and there is much talk about where to go to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity.  Several Condors are joining me on the Saturday, we intend to ride out to Leeds to watch the signing on and the actual depart, then ride out to the Stray at Harrogate, watch the action through the Dales on the big screen, see the stage finish and Cav putting on the yellow jersey.   If you fancy this option we will be meeting at Shelf Roundabout at 8.30am.

Stage 2 of course comes through our own back yard, there's lots of excellent vantage points close to home but after much consideration I rather fancy; bearing in mind that bikes are allowed on the route up to an hour before the race, joining the route at Haworth and making the most of a traffic free roads following the route through as far as Langsett cafe then cutting across to the top of the Midhopestones climb where the hammer will really be down on this short but steep climb.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Longest Climb on the Longest Day

Great weather for Jonathan Emberton's Cragg Vale extravagaza. There were 20 or 30 on the start line at 6pm with many others joining in throughout the evening to enjoy favourable breezes and a stunning sunset. Halfway up the first ascent Paul D and Chris took over at the front of the peloton and it was at this time that my legs began to protest. Strange as it may seem this problem afflicted almost everyone else as well and the field was in tatters. It was in reality a relief to let them go and settle in to a more comfortable pace.

Both Paul and I had only intended doing two or three ascents but we were enjoying ourselves so much that, when I found Paul sat outside the Robin Hood with a pint in his hand after three climbs he took little encouragement to join me for a 4th ascent.
We then re-hydrated for a while back at the pub, after a couple of pints we decided it would be fun to do a 5th ascent, which we did with Pauls mate Mark, then we ventured home fitting in a sprint up Ripponden Bank as our finale'.
................Meanwhile, Padiham Chris, upset that he was unable to ride the whole 24 hours due to work commitments on Saturday, was really warming up to the task. Whilst Paul and I had been boozing we saw Chris pass by several times, his teeth getting closer to the handlebars on each occasion. We waited so we could give him company to the top on his 7th ascent and en-route he asked me how many ascents would be sensible before he knocked off and went home to bed. I told him that it was too late, he had gone past the sensible.  He pressed on the pedals a little more and went to talk to Paul who told him that he thought 13 ascents would be sensible - so thats what he did (I bet thats the 1st time anyone's asked Paul for advice on what would be sensible). Chris has assured me that on his 13th ascent he felt stronger than on the 1st.

I went back on Saturday afternoon to see how the event was going, still plenty of riders, including Condors Adrian Lord and Chris Sylge.
Other Condors seen at the Robin Hood included Simon Fortune, who failed to complete a full climb after being given a hard time on the 1st section by his sons Adam and Nathan, and Danien who did one climb but sensibly could not be persuaded to go up again and looked quite settled sat outside the pub, pint in hand.
A special mention for Pauls wife, Linda, who did 2 ascents.