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

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 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 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  

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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This Weekend

It's here at last, our chance to ride up and down Cragg Vale non-stop for 24 hours - although you are allowed a stop or two if you want; in fact I plan to go home and have a good nights sleep.  I had been looking forward to seeing just how many ascents Chris could manage in 24 hours and was willing to put the kitchen sink on Chris being able to climb the height of Everest but he's gone and double booked himself and has promised to be farrier in residence at Tod Agricultural Show on Saturday so his chance of imortality has gone.  I'm hoping to see several Condors at the Robin Hood at 6pm on Friday, Jonathan tells me there  has been a lot of intrest in the event so there should be plenty o people to ride with.

The event finishes at 6pm on Saturday which will give you 6 hours rest before the start of the Calderdale CTC Midnight Ride to Morcambe - starting from the Oddfellows Roome in Halifax, go to
Oddfellows Rooms, Unity House
Jun 21st 11:30 pm - 11:00 am
Cycle together through the night and into the dawn, to Morecambe where a full cooked breakfast awaits. Then cycle back to Halifax at your own pace over the Trough and through the Forest of Bowland. 130 miles
Ride Leader: Dave Dodwell

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Notice from Ravensthorpe cc

 Damien we are putting on our 120 ride on the 7th september with full support from kirkless cycling academy who are putting on 2 feed stations. Can you pass on our invite to condor and the imps please , 7.45 meet with a 8am start from mirfield co_op car park . Donations of 3 quid at the start and the same at feed stations with all money taken going to the kca. This year we stop at the gliding club atop sutton bank which has a better cafe than the visitors centre

Sunday, June 15, 2014

TdF stages X 2 - not recommended.

Looked like a great day out in the Wolds. I also just had Saturday available for riding and took on the questionable challenge of completing the two Tour stages in a day. Setting out at 5am the Stage 1 loop round Swaledale was a joy and I joined Stage 2 on the A59 after Killinghall around 11.00, which cuts about 30k off the distance.
After a cafe stop at Cross Roads I still felt OK and even resisted the temptation to miss the Haworth loop out. Luckily the usuall westerly wasn't blowing so Cock Hill and Cragg Vale were fine but by Holme Moss it was hurting and turning toward Langsett the head wind was at me over Woodhead, reminding how folly this idea was. The sting is certainly in the tail on this stage and although it is lovely countryside Midhopestones and Bradfield really hurt and the Cote d'Oughtibridge is a swine. As I got in to Sheffield the route is harder to follow so I missed the Cote du Jenkins Road, thankfully. Sheffield is not the best place to end a ride which is probably why so many sportives are using Stage 1 - I sat outside a Pizza Hut with a beer waiting for my good lady to collect me, feeling decidedly spent. 350k not to be repeated.      

Pock Pedal

With Paul D, Steve and Chris joining me today for the Pocklington Pedal route it was never going to be an a steady day and the weather over in the Yorkshire Wolds was a bit damp early on, contrary to the forecast.
We left the Stamford Bridge Community Centre car park as planned at 8.30 and picked up the route which weaves it way up and down and around the Wolds for over 100 miles visiting all that is best in this beautiful but little known area of 'Gods Own'. Even the fame that has been brought to the area over recent years through the art of David Hockney hasn't spoilt the quiet lanes (although the Bigger Trees Near Warter appear to have been felled).

                                                               Hockney's Sledmere

Eventually (after an extra 10 miles due to the navigator misreading his GPS) we breakfasted at an excellent cyclist friendly cafe in Pocklington where we saw several Audaxers on the 3 Coasts 600 getting their brevet cards stamped at the petrol station. After refreshments and on the road between Kirby Grindalythe and West Lutton we caught sight of a Condor Blue clad figure racing towards us, it was Simon Fortune who had left his home in Huddersfield just after 6am; unable to devote the full weekend to riding the 600 he was part way through riding the 1st 2 thirds of the route alone and having already been to the Scarborough Check was on his way to Malton for lunch with Ruth and the kids.  We completed the route  in time to be home for tea and all agreed that it had been a grand day out.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Veteran Cycle Club Exhibitions

Note, also an exhibition at the Colne Valley Museum. where Brian Haskells team Viking and a Hilton Wrigley are on display, it only opens on Saturdays & Sundays, between 2.00 & 5.00 p.m. and the exhibition will be on for the next four weeks.

I am also organising a ride for riders on bikes prior to 1980
on Cragg Vale on sunday the 29th of June, meeting at the Stubbing Wharfe, Hebden Bridge at 10.00 a.m.distance about 25 miles, returning to the "Stubbing" for lunch.
Any queries. give me a ring on 01274 674693
Derek Browne
Secretary of the Yorkshire Section, Veteran Cycle Club.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sunter National Champion again

Brian was on the road at 4.30am last Sunday travelling down to Shropshire for the 2014 VTTA National 50 Mile Time Trial Championships. He made the trip worthwhile by yet again taking the winners spoils with an age related winning margin of several minutes over the silver medalist. Congratulations Brian on yet another exceptional performance.


Brian and Grimpy have another busy weekend ahead of them with the Vets National Criterium Champs at York on Saturday and the Tom Simpson Memorial Road Race at Harworth on Sunday

If you're fancying a longer ride there's plenty to choose from this weekend with The 3 Coasts 600 from Mytholmroyd Community Centre at 6am Saturday (entries accepted up to 7am) .  On Sunday you can join the riders for the last 3rd of the 600 by riding The Good Companions 200 which leaves the Community Centre at 8.30am.  The weekends events are organised by Chris Crossland and his Calderdale CTC team so 1st class promotions are guaranteed.

Unfortunately I'm unable to make the Sunday event so I've uploaded the route of The Pocklington Pedal Sportive (a 100 mile event in and around the Wolds that Mel has ridden several times and recommends) to my GPS so I can make the most of the forecast good weather on Saturday. The irrepressible Paul D and Padiham Chris have volunteered for pacing duties.  We're kicking off from Stamford Bridge at about 8.30am.

Also on Sunday is Round 5 of the Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Series which is being run at King James' School, Almondbury. Steve Cavell and Richard Burnham have been regulars in the Series so far and Ian Wellock has been spotted loitering on the periphery.


Tuesday 1st June - Yorkshire Cycling Federation Cragg Vale Hill Climb.  A CTT open event at 7pm, this should be a popular event with the Tour going up the same climb just a few days later.  Enter on-line from the Cycling Time Trials website by the 16th of June.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Etape de Yorkshire

Whilst Mel and Grimpy were enjoying the real thing at Bashall Eaves, Chris and I joined about 11 hundred other riders at the Etape de Yorkshire, an imitation of a road race.  The sportive route was billed as being stage 1 of the Tour but using the excellent facilities at Leeds Grammar School for the start point rather than Leeds city centre.
We had been given a start time of 8.28am which gave us about 850 riders to chase, its always a great motivation to be able to see lots of riders in front of you and we were soon into our stride passing several large groups before turning into the Harewood Estate where all of a sudden we were alone, with me worrying that I'd been over-keen on our speed to the detriment of navigation.
However my worries were unfounded and we were soon back on familiar roads maintaining a speed which was no doubt comfortable for Chris but a little OTT for me. Our average was in the low 20's and we had been passing others with relative ease when on the Burley-in-Wharfedale bypass I was given a sudden reality check as a peloton of about 20 or so riders, driven at the front by several Harrogate Nova's, came past at such a speed that there was no way I could jump on the back.
I told Chris (once again) that he didn't need to sacrifice his own ride waiting for me but being a selfless team man he wouldn't have anything to do with sitting-in a group on non-Condors and he continued to to shelter me from a head wind over Chelkers and up to the 1st feed at The Old Hall at Threshfield.
From there up to Cote de Cray (thats Kidstones to us Yorkshire folk) we set a lively pace and amassed quite a group of followers, but soon split up on the contours where I allowed myself a slight chuckle to see a rider, even at this early stage of the day, laid at the side of the road experiencing the agonies of cramp.
It was quite hard into the wind from Aysgarth up Wensleydale, I had no option but to leave Chris at the front and we still had an average of 20mph when we reached the next feed at Hawes.
I suffered from this early pace as we made our way over the Buttertubs, but although my legs may have been feeling the pace you couldn't help but be inspired by the view of Swaledale as we descended down off the Pass. Swaledale is always a joy, but on a sunny Sunday with a helping wind there is nowhere in the world I would rather be.
After a toilet stop in Reeth we enjoyed the new road surface over Grinton Moor then the long steady descent to Leyburn and the 3rd and final feed at the Blue Lion at East Whitton. I was under the mistaken impression that the route from here was going to be relatively easy, down to Ripon, Ripley for a finish at Harrogate, I had been reassuring a guy from the Royal Marines that the remaining miles were a 'piece of cake' but when we got to Masham the sportive route took us right, down to Grewelthorpe, Kirby Malzeard and Grantly, a very lumpy route with a crap road surfice - I was really glad when we got to Ripley.
The finish was at the Yorkshire Showground where we were given a medal and a choice of hot meals.
We finished at quarter to four and recorded and average moving time of 18mph for the 123 miles - an average that fell quite a bit for me on our 12 mile ride back to Leeds Grammar School to collect the car.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Racing News

I am purposely including the Skipton & Back - Trevor Lever Memorial  ride in the 'racing' category. After it had been a very wet Wednesday Calderdale was drying out nicely, and so plenty of eager riders were at Causeway Foot on their top race bikes and stripped down ready for action. I was less optimistic when I left Wharfedale so came on the mudguarded training bike and wearing over shoes. Amongst the good turnout Team 3RT were in profusion, the VS lads and a Condor contingent of Damian, Ian, Paul Daly and Oakworth Steve.
It was a very disciplined ride out through Keighley, everyone obeying the lights and all keeping together but just as it was set to kick off at Steeton we experienced a downpour of biblical proportions which seemed to dampen everyones enthusiasm, so much that, although it was a fast pace, we were pretty much still all together but somewhat moist hitting Ingrow on our return. Now it kicked off with 3 or 4 going up the road. I hung in with the chasing group along with the indomitable Paul Daly and we were among the few prepared to work before sprinting for the Halifax sign at the 'finish'.
The Causeway Foot Inn was quickly full of  wet, dripping and steaming cyclists who would soon be shivering as well so I downed a quick pint of Timmy Taylors un-deserved 'Le Champion' ale and headed back to my car at Harden.

(   - a tribute to our own 'Tucker' Bury ?)

It was a far better day for the Bashall Eaves Vets RR on Sunday. Its part of the season long Percy Stallard series and so gets a good field with over 100 riders entered for the 3 races. Evergreen Grimpy was the only other Condor and he was racing after a 100k Masters Championship RR the day before -hard man!
As usual I stayed near the front and in the thick of things - I don't believe in wasting my Sunday just sat in the bunch. But, also as usual, when the main break formed I didn't have the legs to follow and stayed with a small group sprinting it out for 6th place. I finished 12th in the race. 9th in category.
It was a hard but enjoyable 55 miles in the sun and made better after a couple of pints of Hetton Pale Ale at the very nice Spread Eagle Inn at Sawley with the Ilkley lads I had travelled out with.
Grimpy came away with more prize money after getting another 1st in his category. Chapeau.

The Wharfedale roads were festooned with sportive direction signs at the weekend with several events following the Tour route. I believe Peter was riding one of them so hope to hear how he got on.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Sunday 4th June The Wheelbase Spring Classic Deferred

Along with Chris, Paul and Melvyn I accepted Pete’s invitation to meet at Ingleton to follow the route of the Wheelbase Spring Classic which had been run from Staveley at the end of March. Pete had entered and paid to ride this sportive but had been unable to participate because of illness – tenacious as ever he was determined to get his money’s worth so here we were.

We started at Ingleton rather than Staveley and headed out on the old Roman Road to Chapel le Dale and Ribblehead before heading north through Dent Dale to Dent. We rattled across Dent’s cobbles on route to Sedbergh with barely a thought for the village’s picture perfect streets – we were to return later in the day to take afternoon tea but that was several hours away.

From Sedbergh we crossed the M6 and A6 before arriving at Staveley where we had lunch at Wilf’s CafĂ© - just across the yard from Wheelbase Cycles and next to the Hawkeshead Brewery. The weather had started bright and despite some occasionally threatening high cloud had stayed that way so we were able to eat outside; fortunately we arrived before the 11.30 cut off for cooked breakfast so that’s what we had – rather than lunch. Chris I believe had a sandwich but that’s the folly of youth for you.

We parted company with Melvyn at our second visit to Dent where the rest of the party stopped for tea – Melvyn had to press on - he’d another 10 miles or so to do following Ingleton as he’d parked in Gargrave and needed to get home.

The return to Ingleton was perhaps more spectacular than the ride out taking in   Barbondale, Deepdale and Kingsdale - without question it was more challenging. Whilst the climb of Barbondale was a joy with both the wind and the sun on our backs the climb out of Deepdale before the drop down Kingsdale was more of a grind – at least for me.

Great day out enjoyed by all I think – thanks to my companions for accepting my yo yoing off the back up every hill – I hope it didn’t disturb the rhythm too much.


Sunday, June 01, 2014

Upcoming Rides

Wednesday 4th June
The Trevor Lever Memorial Ride - Skipton and back - 7pm CauswayFoot Inn, Ogden.  A joint promotion from West Yorkshire CTC & Halifax Imps.

Saturday 7th June
Calderdale Cycle Quest - from Norland Town bus stop - 2 hour navigation competition - go to West Yorkshire CTC website for further details.

Sunday 15th June
The Good Companions 200k Audax, Mytholmroyd Community Centre, 8.30am.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sunday 1st June

In order to make the most of forecast dry weather this Sunday I've arranged to meet Padiham Chris at Ingleton for a 75 mile circuit based (with a few minor deviations) on the Wheelbase Classic route - Twisleton - Dentdale - Crook of Lune - Staveley - Barbondale - Deepdale - Kingsdale.  If anyone fancy's joining us I'm meeting Chris at the main car park in Ingleton (the one with the Community Centre) at 8am, we'll be having lunch at Wilf's at Staveley which is about half way round.

Only three turned up for this weeks Wednesday ride, JK, a sun tanned Martin recently returned from riding the Majorcan peaks with the worlds elite (well he did ride past Sir Wiggo's island hideaway) and myself. Down from 16 the previous week (which included Hoppy who has at last discarded his corset following the curious incident of the rabbit in the night-time, way back in February). Undeterred by light drizzle we went straight up through Skipton and via Thorpe to receive a warm welcome from the girls at Burnsall Cafe.

The weather brightened up after lunch so we deviated from our original plans to return over Cringles and Ingrow and chose a far more interesting route down through Appletreewick, Cavendish Pavilion and Beamsley; crossing the Wharfe over the old hump-back bridge at Ilkley and hopping over to Airedale via the ancient Keighley Gate with a good tail wind making the ascent a pleasure. Once down to Bingley it was over to Harden and up past Bank Top quarry's to the top of Wilsden and down to Thornton where we joined the Great Northern Railway Trail to Queensbury with JK doing a good impression of Nairo Quintana up Station Road.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kevin Benson

A message from Derek Browne

Ex Halifax Imperial Wheelers C.C.member, Kevin Benson,
died in a cycling accident, whilst riding with his son Mike
( also an ex "Imps"  member), whilst on a ride in Spain. 

Also on the ride were Mikes wife Sylvie, and their son Melvin. Kevin has already been cremated in France, and a memorial to him, will be held at the Design House Restaurant, Dean Clough, on Sunday the 8th of June @ 1.00 pm. Will anyone who intends attending, please ring
Derek Browne with confirmation, so numbers can be obtained for catering purposes.
Dereks No. 01274 674693 or

Sincere condolences to Mike and the family from your mates at Condor Road Club.  Many Condors will remember Kevin as a keen cyclist back in the eighties and others will remember him as the owner of Food Therapy on Northgate, Halifax.  Kevin was only 69 and his death will have shocked all who knew him.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

E'Tapping Round'th Dales

To Me
May 20 at 11:07 PM
Eeeeye!    Tapping Round'th Dales!

Apologies to Mel, Irish John and Heptonstall Chris, for my early depart on Sundays Etape Du Dales. I had to be home as soon as possible to work  on ply-lining  my new jeep. Here are some photos from the day.

Me (Padiham Chris)

Irish John


Heptonstall Chris

Finishing Times

Mel Hartley 7.08.38
Chris Sylge 7.47.57
John Doherty 7.12.34
Chris Smith 6.57.44

I hope everyone enjoyed riding this great route in the good weather as much as I did.

Chris Smith
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