Monday, November 13, 2017

Bonus Condor Jerseys

I've been sent a couple of extra club jerseys by mistake by Force GB . Both are size 'medium' but that is too small for me. I'm looking for a club member that they would fit to give them a good home. That means up to 38" chest and someone who looks more like a racing snake than a frequenter of public houses.
If you are interested then let me know and we can arrange a handover.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

12 November - 9am Keighley

With Peter committed to the Eureka Audax, Uncle Nigel suggests meeting 9am in Keighley headed for Burnsall on what hopefully will be a dry and sunny day out.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Sunday 29 Oct - West Marton

The suggestion this week is 9am Keighley (put your clock back and get an extra hour in bed) for a roaming route to West Marton.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

1964 Hill Climb Champs

The last few first names please for the 1964 Hillclimb Championship
I copied the above from the Legends of the RTTC Facebook account. I was asking Peeps yesterday to confirm that the D Smith, Condor R. C. (coming one place behind Keith Lightfoot of HSW) was in fact Derek Smith (better remembered as Club Velo Cruz and of course Sean's dad).
 I'm sure that many years ago Derek told me a tale about briefly joining the Condor to make up a team to challenge for the National Hill Climb Team Champs with Slim Sullivan and the pocket rocket himself, Paul Priestley ( Peeps) but he ended up being the only one who entered.
 Peeps cannot recall Derek ever being in the Condor but could not offer any alternative. Can anyone confirm
This is Paul Daly's Fire Fighters World Champs report from last month. As most know Paul has now returned to New Zealand (so you can can now come out of hiding). An excellent report just spoilt by the fact I can't work out how to copy the photo's from the Word document.

20th Championnat Du Monde de VTT – Des Sapeur Pompiers

8 – 9 September 2017

Montignargues – Nimes – France

When considering my UK holiday dates I included sufficient time to attend the World Championships if several logistics worked out. Having been plagued with persistent hamstring problems particularly in the lead up to and competing in the Masters Games in April would it flare up again or could I achieve the necessary training required to be in condition to defend my title from Switzerland 2015, there not being an event in 2016.

It was great meeting the old Vets Wednesday Gang and revisiting old routes, cafes and exchanging the usual banter! Pete my former partner in crime and principle architect in finding “interesting challenges” did not disappoint and we were soon riding the Yorkshire Dales in all its glory. The Tan Hill 200km (132mls) with 13000ft of climbing being a stand out day at the office but most importantly the severest test of the legs that would also indicate general all round condition. Thankfully it was a dream day perfect weather, fantastic scenery and very good

Yorkshire Three Peaks in the background.

My lifelong friend John and co-founder of the British Fire Service Mountain Bike Section as always was keen to attend the Championships and had researched entries, sponsorship, travel and accommodation arrangements. We completed the numerous administration hurdles, authority approval, licences, insurance, medical, entry fees etc. Now only one problem I needed a bike, problem soon solved Damien my sons mate lent me his eight years old Scott Spark 26er (more later).

I fettled the bike with new tyres, tubes, chain, brake pads and tightened the headset and soon all was good. Whilst not as nice (smooth or fast) as my 29er hung in the shed at home, several familiarisation rides later we were old friends. I also appear to be known for the condition of my shoes so I purchased a new pair of Diadora X Vortex Comp!

In the planning stage I noted that the race venue was fairly close to Mont Ventoux (Giant of Provence) and an iconic 23km Tour de France climb where the legendary Tommy Simpson sadly collapsed and died just 2kms from the summit. I asked John if he minded that we detour on route home to climb the mountain and cross off a bucket list item. Bless him at 74 years young he enthusiastically agreed.

Part of my preparation always involved arriving at the venue days before race day to allow total familiarisation with the course practicing lines, identifying hazards, assessing the climbs, checking out opposition and thinking strategy.

We packed Johns car with everything apart from the kitchen sink (somehow) and set off on the 300 mile journey to Dover to catch the ferry to Calais making very good time catching an early ship gaining an hour ahead of schedule. We pressed on for a further 100mls before checking into the motel to end a good day
We decided to use the toll roads on the journey down and after a long second day we checked into the motel leaving ourselves only 80 miles to the venue. Being from Yorkshire and cost conscious we had regular stops where we brewed our own and enjoyed fresh baguette, cheese and ham at minimal expense,

Arriving in Montignargues it was a hill top village with no sign of any motel/hotel accommodation, I asked John where were we staying and it quickly became apparent the school field set aside for camper vans was to be our home for the next three nights. We pitched the tent (including the toilet tent) near to a cold water tap (luxury) and we were set, including not showering for three days, does Froome operate like this!?

I was keen to explore the village and ride the course we registered met many old friends and rivals, prepared the bikes and set off to ride the course where it quickly became apparent it was very technical, rocky, serious drop-offs, narrow wooded tracks and loose rocky climbs. I rode ahead and waited for John at intervals to ensure he was okay. About half way around I became worried that he had not appeared so I started walking back to eventually find him walking toward me with a blooded nose deep grazes to his arms and legs and a punctured front wheel. He had pinch punctured and clipped a tree in the narrow woods that catapulted him over the bars. We walked back and the first class organisers attended to his wounds, thankfully none more than cuts, grazes and bruises. I left him and set off to complete the course.

I caught a couple of riders one I recognised as a French rival so I put an effort in and rode away from them (psychological advantage to me), just past where John had crashed I pinch punctured and crashed resulting in a few bruises!! The French lads came by and asked if I were okay (advantage lost). I walked back with serious concern regarding the puncture risk!

John had been patched up, we repaired the bikes and pumped the tyres hard.

The opening ceremony and pasta party was enjoyable but I needed to sleep as the race start time was 8am. The normal routine followed nervous anxiety, little sleep and up with the larks, breakfast, final bike check and repeat toilet visits.


The start of the race included a loop through the village streets a short country loop bringing you under the start/finish banner onto the main course. Being defending Champion I was seeded 1 and on the front row of six riders. I had warmed up well knowing I needed to be near the front going into the narrow woods.  The gun went off and but for a short period I was never headed I hit the first climb flat out and maintained it over the top where the drop off was loose and technical, as I turned the bottom corner I looked for the chasers and initially none were close I raced through the finish area and out into the streets where I could hear my Italian friends cheering and telling me to slow down.


I was on maximum concentration scrutinising the course looking for good lines (what there were) and keeping everything crossed. The big climb I had ridden in practice was faster to run cyclo-cross style and gained me more time. I had several offs slipping on loose chippings and dust and headbutted a low branch that failed to knock any sense in! The suspension control lever was badly positioned for me and sliced my hand on one of the offs but nothing to worry about.


Once I had climbed the last hill I could start to relax knowing if necessary I could ride any flat or run to the finish. As I approached the line I spotted John and caught and clipped him on the helmet before I crossed the line saving him another lap and it was over.


The ceremony was pretty emotional I never get over receiving the rainbow jersey, the national flag being lofted and the national anthem being played, all over in a flash really and the thought of never being there again always makes it more special to try and savour the moment.


Sharing the podium with two French riders Joel whispered that’s three times he has have been second to me so I promised him next year I won’t attend (hmm)?
Once again in Lynda’s absence I gifted my flowers too Chantel our very long time French friends and who we dined with that night along with Alain and Jo in their camper van. (I mention above more later), Gerard and Alain started telling us how one of the other riders in my category parked nearby had been dismissive of my borrowed bike as he was riding a new Specialised “S” Works etc. He promptly opened the window shouting at the rider that he could now swop bikes if he wanted, the French and a Suisse rider came into the van looking a little humbled and worse for alcohol giving me a cuddle and was very affectionate, I have raced them both several times before.


Sadly we said our au-revoir’s broke camp and headed for Ventoux.


In Bedoin we parked in the local Fire Station pulled out and assembled the road bikes (including my handbag). Looking across the valley we could see Ventoux where the top was covered by cloud, we set off riding through Bedoin at the start of the 23km climb.


We climbed steadily and the mountain was very busy with cyclists, motorcycles and classic cars having their own journey and after a magnificent effort by John we made it too Tommy Simpson’s 

Memorial where we paused for piccies and thoughts. Then onto the summit 1904m for more pics and taking in the breath-taking views of area with a now beautiful clear blue sky.


We donned layers of clothing for the cold descent and were soon back at the car and thinking of where we might stay that evening?


I have climbed several big mountains and Ventoux did’nt disappoint and should be on any riders “bucket list” fantastic!!

 Thanks for the report Paul, hopefully when you come over in 2018 I will be back home and have more time to arrange some real challenges - I do have a few things in mind. 


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sunday 15th - Airton

As advertised on Strava we had a pleasant run out to Airton via Cowling Hill with Steve T joining in and hopefully not suffering too much afterwards. The chap who kindly stopped to take this photo for us said 'back up a bit' and Nigel has only just got to his feet after a sudden slide toward the wet bit - that lane is more slippery than it looks!

Friday, October 06, 2017

Season of Mists - 8 Oct 2017
Sets off from Mytholmroyd community center at 9am prompt.
Be early to sign in - you don't want to be chasing up Heptonstall Hill trying to get back on.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Sunday 24th - 3 Peaks

Meet 09:00 in Keighley for a ramble to Horton-in-Ribblesdale cafe and Helwith Bridge to watch to finish.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

MTB Sunday 17th Sept

Meet Salterhebble Locks 9am for Stoodley Pike, Blackstone Edge, Hollingworth Lake Windy Hill, Buckstones etc.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sunday 27th August, Club Run


Club Run for Sunday 27th August, meet Shelf roundabout at 9am - thinking about heading up to Ripon then west to the head of Nidderdale.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thank's from Gordon

Condor Road Club founder Gordon Turner (aka The Ancient Britain) passes on his thanks and best wishes to all those members and friends who attended his 90th birthday bash or sent him congratulatory messages for reaching this momentous milestone in such fine fettle.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sunday Club Run & Monday evening social

This Sunday 20th August, meet Denholme Gate 8.30 or Keighley 9am, destination to be democratically decided on the day, all welcome.

Monday evening social, an informal club meeting is to take place at The Travellers, Hipperholme at 8.30pm On Monday 21st August. All welcome,

Saturday, August 12, 2017

13/8 - Darnbrook Doddle

If you haven't entered the Tan Hill 200 already then it is now too late and there is no EoL.

So instead we can offer you 9am KEIGHLEY for Airton via Darnbrook.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Sunday 13th August

This Sunday, 13th August, Tan Hill 200 Audax. I know we'd been talking about a day in Punishment Park this coming Sunday but that's now on hold to make way for a full 1st team attendence at the Tan Hill 200.
Looks like a superb route starting from Padiham at 0830hrs - Free breakfast before the start and refreshments (supper?) at the finish, full details on the Audax UK website.
Confirmed Condor entries so far - Gary Mitchell, John Lumb, Paul Daly, myself plus the legendary Jason Hemmingway, guesting with the Condor from the Old Brods CC.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Club Run - Sunday 6th August

Meet Shelf Roundabout 9am for Birkin via Bottom Boat. Return round Eccup, about 80 easy miles. All welcome.
Amended to 9am

Friday, July 28, 2017

HCH: Hebden-Chipping-Hebden

We wish Simon well on the LEL and meanwhile need something more pottersome and gentle for the rest of us. Hence a proposal to meet 9AM at HEBDEN BRIDGE on Sunday for a jaunt out west toward Chipping, and back. Flat roads all the way and a tailwind home, but possibly bring a cape.
Cheers, Ian

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Saturday 15th July

                                           Weds Vets, Burnsall, 12th July 2017

I'm not able to make it out on the bike again this Sunday but I'm meeting Simon at 6.30 at Brighouse on Saturday 15th for a trip out to the east coast to have a look at some of the Sustrans trails including the old railway line from Hull up to Hornsea. Feel free to join us for a much flatter ride than recent weeks.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Weekend, 8th & 9th July


Gary is riding the Bowland 200k Audax  on Sunday (8am Denshaw). Anyone fancying joining him, full details are on Audax UK website.

I can't make it for a long day on Sunday so I'm riding the Hartside 200 from Aldbrough St John on Saturday - entries still open.

Good luck to Brian on Saturday as he defends his Vtta National 25 mile Championship at Newmarket.

And congratulations to Mel for winning his age category in last Sunday's Buckstone's Road Race. Mel's been in brilliant form this season, last weekends success following on from the previous Sundays overall KoM in the White Rose Sportive.

Friday, June 30, 2017


Response has been limited and we need your kind support. To those who have responded a big thanks. If i have toted the numbers up correctly we need 5 more marshalls from approx. 9.00 at Greetland Community Centre HX4 8JG. Course scammonden as last year. The event which starts in Barkisland at 10.00 should be over by 12.30. Cheers 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Club Run - Sunday 25th June

Meet 8.30am Hebden Bridge (Park Gates). A bit of a change of direction, following quite a bit of last weeks Good Companions route out to Cartford Toll Bridge and back through Garstang and Chipping. About 100 miles but easy terrain  and a tail wind home.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sunday 18th June - Good Companions

Its the Good Companions 200k Audax on Sunday, 8.30am from Mytholmroyd (thats right 8.30am). Hopefully we may have sight of Simon and Mick Collins who should be on the last third of the 3 Coasts 600 which starts at 6am on Saturday. Gary's down for the 200 and I'll be joining him although I'm not intending to do the full route as I'm due home for 4ish so from Cockerham I'm heading east and picking up the route again just before Chipping and missing out the Hollingworth Lake bit.
Oh dear Peter - cutting rides short again! I've arranged to meet Barker in Hebden at 9am to follow you keen chaps out west on similar roads. We will be missing out the Hollingworth Lake bit as well. Have a good day. Ian.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Gordon's 90th 'do'.

As most members will know, our founder, and for many years our chief administrator and timekeeper extraordinaire, Gordon Turner, will soon be celebrating his 90th birthday. He invites all members and friends to join him on Wednesday the 19th of July at Rastrick Bowling Club (bottom of Toothill Bank, op Junction Pub). He'll be there from 2.30pm and a buffet will be available from 4ish. It is anticipated that festivities will continue till about 7ish.


Sorry for cock up below i was looking what i put up last year 
and it inserted it straight in. Anyway's i need your kind assistance
for our event which is again on the scammonden circuit.
Firstly thanks again for everyone's kind support last year. 
Riders will leave HQ (Greetland Community Centre) at approx. 9.45,
Marshals required from approx. 9.00 with event finish at approx. 12.30.
Please put it your diary. To meet safety requirements we need in total
approx. 15 members and/or friends. Look forward to seeing you,
got my prayer mat out hoping for the same great response as last year.
I have already had some notable members who are missing due to other
commitments, so if you are aware of any non members who can assist 
please ask them to kindly come along everyones welcome.
For your SAT NAV the HQ post code is HX4 8JG
Many Thanks 
Cheers Grimpy

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sunday 11th June

Hopefully the weather will be a bit better tomorrow. I've arranged to meet Simon at 8am at Brighouse for an early lunch at Birkin. Simon's then intending to ride back to Leeds where he's meeting wife & kids to spectate at the World Series Triathlon. I may come back to Leeds or put a longer loop in depending on the weather. All welcome to join us.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Sunday 4 June - Slaidburn

I've been instructed to blog a ride starting at the more genteel and gentlemanly hour of 9am from the convenient and convivial location of Hebden Bridge with the intention of reaching the sunny and salubrious cafe at Slaidburn. All are welcome and we plan to be home in time for lashings of ginger beer.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sunday 28th May

A bit easier than the previous 2 weeks, Bainbridge via Fleet Moss, home via Kidstones and Cavendish. Meet Denholme Gate 8am or Keighley 8.30

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

3 World Champions

On the start line at this evenings cyclo-cross in Myrtle Park, Bingley were 3 world Champions. Ian Taylor (o.40's) Tom Pidcock (junior) and our very own John (Grimpy) Ginley (0.70's)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Club Run - Sunday 21st May

Meet Denholme Gate 8am or Keighley 8.30 for Feizor (or Settle) via Malham Cove and home via Bowland Knotts.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sunday 14th May

I've arranged to meet Simon at Denholme Gate at 8am (8.30 Keighley) for a ride round the Coverdale/Nidderdale circuit with cafe stops at Kettlewell and  Greenhow.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

World Masters Games Report -from the horses mouth

World Master's Games 2017 - "Mountain Bike and Road Races"
Having moved to New Zealand in 2015 I had accepted that my racing days at Worlds level were over and then last year it was announced that the Master's would be held in Auckland! Should I or shouldn't I enter the mountain biking well it would be rude not to. Further researching the Games it was $300 to enter for the Bronze package and considerably more for Silver and Gold and being a careful Yorkshireman (deep pockets and short arms) Bronze it was.
However there was a silver lining I could enter as many events as desired for the same fee so although not a Road racer I might a well have a go!
My training was going well and I knew I was hitting form at the right time, I had trialled a new Scott 29er mtb having used my old faithful Giant 26er successfully for years. Having overcome several doubts regarding the difference this would offer I had become in tune with the new girl and was very happy with her. (I've had an affair with all the girls as they perform really well and never answer back).
Disaster 6 weeks out and I pull a hamstring on the turbo, this resulted in little training for the next 3-4 weeks (when I wanted to  complete the final ramp up) and finally several visits to the physio for hopefully a miracle. I must give a shout out here to Marcel (Bureta Physio) for acupunture and exercises. Slowly and with the assistance of a tight restriction bandage I could train a bit harder. (Thank you Quintain for the referral). I would definitely get to the start line no matter ......
We travelled to Auckland on Saturday to register and start to feel the atmosphere. Registration was smooth although I thought it a bit tight not including a tee-sheet in the bronze pack? Sunday we moved initally to Woodhill Forest for a recce' ride and then to Helensville Campsite for the night.
Starting my recce' I joined an Aussie rider already numbered up so I knew he was in the category below me I had decided to ride it using the 26er having had the Scott serviced and race ready. The Aussie rode very strong and I think was testing me a little, no worries this was not the time and I had to be careful with the hammy. We had a good brisk ride and I wished him well for the following day. The course was easy to navigate, very fast and flowing and not overly technical Grade 3 in places at best, thankfully it did have sufficient climbing to be able to do some damage!
We set up camp in Helensville and the wait began, started to get a bit nervous but tried not to overthink my strategy after all how many times have I been in this position?
Monday 24th April - MTB Race Day
Met some Auckland mates who I had trained with a few times over the months who were starting at 8am. Another part of my preparation included several trips up to get intimate with the course.
Chris and Alicja arrived to support Rob and myself so we put the jug on and started to talk Chris over to the dark side?
Time to warm up there was a lot of activity with races having already started spectators looking for good viewing points and the tannoy system making announcements and commentating. Finally it was my turn, the younger category (60-64) were called forward seeded and gridded then my category. My number was 701 and I anticipated being gridded on the front line but no several riders were called by name and eventually the rest of us could come forward. The starter threw in a wobbler saying both cats were starting together so I was right at the back and a little annoyed!
We were off and I immediately noticed two from my category starting fast and working through the younger ones. These were the ones to mark I latched on and before the top of the climb one rider dropped off but the leader was pushing hard. I sat on his wheel whilst we passed riders and soon we were into the single track forest, the pace was comfortable and I planned to sit for the first lap and see how he fared on the main climb. About two thirds around he made a slight mistake and had to put a foot down I had to pass or stop so pressed on and put in a little kick to see how he reacted, by the top of the climb I could not see him so I pressed on and by the end of the lap my key supporters, spotters and timekeepers (Lynda and Holly) said I had taken 35 seconds out of him.
Coming through the start/finish area I had caught the commentator off guard and he had double take before calling my name! I pressed on hitting the hill hard and by the end of the second lap was 2 minutes up. Starting the last lap I caught the Aussie I ridden with the previous day I asked him his position he said he was fourth I told him to latch on and work together we might get him a medal? We caught and passed the rider in third but I started to drop him again, I pressed on and caught the second placed rider (another Aussie) he panicked a bit and I calmed him down and told him to ride smooth.
We rode together and on the tight single track forested ridge and descent to the finish he passed a back marker who slowed me until I could get past. I had passed all but two of the younger category and was one and half minutes behind that category winner. I would have liked a level start with him?
I had won and the race was uneventful, the hammy was okay and waiting around for the medal ceremony I was asked by lots of people who I was and where had I come from. The lad who was second was local from Helensville and clearly a pre-race favourite having been seeded first at the start. I had beaten him by over three minutes and third place by ten.
On the podium we all received our medals and a unique cap with Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalist printed on it.
The event was well organised, marshalled and supported and a special thanks to all the riders who allowed passing without difficulty or complaint.
Saturday 29th April up to Auckland again for the Road Race, set up camp at the Bruce Pulman Park. It rained heavily all night and the wind was howling. I decided not to recce' the route having previously ridden most of it before the changes were made!

Sunday 30th April Race Day
Warmed up around the carpark and joined the assembly 15 minutes before the start. Whilst we were waiting to be called forward a whole row of linked railings blew over indicating how the conditions were.
We were off and the pace picked up quickly but remained comfortable we got to the rolling hills section and then the climb, it was a genuine test and quickly sorted people out crowning the top we hit the descent Fraser had warned me about. The first touch of brakes resulted in a rear wheel slide and a missed heart beat, I backed off a bit until getting past the corner covered in hay bails. We regrouped along the flat section and this formed a pattern for the next two laps. I anticipated a move on the last climb and ensured I was in the first three over the top six of us had created a good gap and this was the move of the race. We worked well although a couple of riders started to hide I felt strong and considered having a go about 5 kms out but resisted and thought it's going to be a sprint finish.
One of the riders snagged a pedal in his wheel and needed a replacement and sadly his race was done.
About half a km on the approach road to the turn into the finish unbeknown to me a rider had dropped back and launched a big attack on the other side of the road, he established a dangerous lead and had completely outfoxed us, it all became messy and I lost my wheel and subsequently came in 5th, three seconds behind the winner and a couple of minutes ahead of 6th place and others!!
I am disappointed not to medal but thats racing and well done to the others guys. Interestingly the rider who came 4th, one second in front of me was third in the mountain bike race 10 minutes down, umm food for thought?
Thank you to the Organisers and Volunteers who made it possible
The Games were clearly a great success and reminder of past experiences and I am glad I participated. I hope my account encourages you to participate, enjoy and experience the camaraderie and occasional competition in our chosen sport.
Defend the title in 4 years, watch this space.