Saturday, January 24, 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015

Messing about

As Pete was posting his suggested ride to Darnbrook while looking out at a few falling flakes it was already 4" deep in snow up at my house and getting worse. Hence we opted for mtb and a route which kept us up in the cold, clear and crisp morning air. A couple of photos here give a flavour of the day, though they don't convey the slip-sliding grin-inducing fun of it all.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday 18th & early season events

I was going to suggest the Darnbrook circuit for tomorrows ride, either Arncliffe first or Malham first depending on wind direction and strength but its been a pretty dire couple of days and upon looking out of the window now and seeing heavy dollops of wet snow steadily falling from the sky I'm not at all sure I even want to go out on the bike.
However I will suggest meeting 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley although I'm not 100 per cent confident of being there myself.

The North West Passage will take place on Saturday 21st February (5 weeks today), unfortunately this year the 3rd Saturday in February is followed a day later by the last Sunday in February, which of course is the day of the Halifax Imps Reliability Ride (new route being planned), so its a busy weekend.
However this (almost) clash does afford us the opportunity to once again ride the Delightful Dales on Sunday 1st of March, a 200k Audax from Pendleton taking in the delights of Park Rash, Birkdale Common and the Coal Road.
Due to 2015 being PBP year, the Red Rose Ride is much earlier than usual, taking place on Sunday 15th March.

This years Ronde Van Calderdale is to be on Easter Sunday, the 5th April. Unfortunately all places on the long route were sold out before the end of 2014 which is a tragedy for those of us who ride it every year. However I thought we could go ahead with a Ronde Recce on Sunday 22nd March.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Congratulations to Grimpy & Sunday 11th Jan

A week after taking the bronze medal in Switzerland at  the World Masters Cyclo Cross Championships John today stepped up to the top of the podium at Abergavenny in the British Cycling National Championships. Congratulations John from all your club mates.

Sunday 11th Jan
Meet 9am Denholmgate or 9.30 Keighley. I was going to suggest Waddington for lunch but lets keep options open pending the weather.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Ride Report

The above septenary of Condors met at Keighley roundabout today for our inaugural Sunday run of 2015. In bright sunshine, with a nip in the air, we were joined by Keith Lambert for a reasonably steady ride up to Kettlewell. Tradition dictates that from Kettlewell we return down the valley on the singletrack lane to the east of the river but for once caution won the day. Steve & Robin were keen to chance their luck on the ice but Keith and Mel (who had joined us just before Kettlewell) won the day and we retraced out route as far as Threshfield and then went down to Burnsall to spend an hour relaxing in the welcoming atmosphere of the Wharfe View Tea Rooms (along with Alistair Brownlee and his mates including a triathlete from Hungary).

From the café the pace increased as Robin and Mel hit the front and drove the train down to Bolton Abbey and Addingham. Again the preferred route over Addingham Moorside was avoided in favour of the safer and busier Cringles. Mel said goodbye and turned off towards his home but Robin had caught the speed bug, setting a lively pace over to Silsden which saw off Ian (too much holidaying over the holiday period) and  Damien eventually succumbed to lack of miles in December.
There was no stopping Robin though, he was last seen darting through traffic in Silsden. This left Chris (who had been keeping a low profile and keeping out of Keiths way) on the front with Keith. They took us through Keighley and to the foot of Ingrow, we singled out for the bends, Chris went to the front alone with Keith locked to his wheel, I went off the back, and so eventually did the 2 Steve's.
Another great day out - and home for 2.30.

Friday, January 02, 2015

NYD and Sunday 4th

Windy Hill

Good to see Paul D and Richard back on their bikes yesterday joining myself, Brian, Chris, Phil Haigh, Neil King & Steve T, plus a great turn out from 3RT, several young guns from Kirklees Cycling Academy and representing the Imps, Hoppy.  In an attempt not to get dropped before Fixby Roundabout Brian and I led the 20+ peloton out of Brighouse, being joined by several more riders before we adjourned for breakfast at 3 seperate cafe's in Holmfirth.

The next leg of the journey over the Isle of Skye tested not only strength and fitness but with a strong and blustery cross headwinds, bike handling skills were at a premium. Once down into Saddleworth we were treated to tail winds and refreshing rain for the rest of the journey to The Works at Sowerby Bridge where Mr Gower was waiting to relieve us of £6 for the 2014 club subs (£5 off 1st jersey for new members).

Only 6 weeks to the North West Passage so training begins this coming Sunday, 9am Denholmgate or 9.30 Keighley.  The cyclist formally known as Padiham Chris has suggested we follow the same route as last year - Kettlewell and back down the eastern side of the valley to the café at Hebden, then home over Addingham Moorside - sounds like a good plan to me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New YearsDay

Numbers were down for last Sundays club run with regulars like Paul D, Damien and Oakworth Steve all falling by the wayside it was left to tough guy's, Padiham Chris, Turbo Steve, with me as a bit of a tag along to fly the Condor colours. We were joined by Aire Valley's Tim Small and, due to the temperature being minus 4 decided to stick to more travelled roads.

We headed straight up to Skipton and over to Wharfedale, surprised to see that north of Skipton the snow disappeared and the dale was looking magnificent bathed in bright winter sunshine. At Threshfield we caught a guy on a mountain bike, we were keeping up a good average speed and by Kilnsey Crag I was impressed that the MTBer was still sat in and looking very comfortable. I dropped back to have a chat, asking him where he was going, and as I did so I noticed a pair of Walshes (fell running shoes) strapped to his Camelbak. He told me that he was on his way up to the White Lion at Cray from where he was going to run up Buckden Pike before meeting his mates back at Cray the having a pint a every pub on the way back down the dale - he made me feel like we were having a lazy day.

We said goodbye to him just short of Cray when we turned left towards Hubberholme to complete the Buckden Triangle. This little road confirmed to us that we had been sensible keeping to the busier highways as an icy surface was very evident.

Travelling back down the dale we enjoyed a slight tail wind. We stopped at the café opposite the car park in Kettlewell (Zarina's being closed) and had very ordinary bacon & sausage sandwiches, tea and a bun; at £10 odd we were not at all impressed.

From there we flew down the back road to Grassinton - Linton - Cracoe - Gargrave - Cononley B..tard and home. As usual Chris was on top form and Steve also showed us he has been kissed by the god of speed. Tim behaved himself (as expected from a guest rider on his 1st outing) and I clocked up 90 miles or so towards the Strava 500 Challenge.

                        Brian Sunter and the late Phil Smithies plus 3RT member

Which brings me to the subject of the blog entry - don't forget 10am Brighouse, New Years Day for breakfast at Holmfirth and afternoon refreshments at Sowerby Bridge

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sunday 28th and New Years Day

A grand day out was had on Christmas Eve, despite my new tyres feeling as if they were sticking to the road we made the 45 miles into a stiff head wind to get to Elaines Tea Rooms at Feizor by 11.15, and the effort was more than worthwhile when a short time later we were tucking in to the best bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches in the world washed down with a limitless supply of strong tea.

The calories went straight to our legs and by just turned mid day we were hurtling down Bucca' Brow with a tail wind, the momentum taking us up Langcliffe Scar and over to Malham from where Chris and Steve set a relentless pace back to Keighley with me having all on to sit-in.

Sunday 28th December,  meet 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley. 40 or 50 miles en route to Neil's Christmas Pie & Pints Do.

New Years Day,  meet Sainsburys Roundabout, Brighouse, 10am for Holmfirth and Isle of Skye and a pint at Sowerby Bridge.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve

Not a bad forecast for Wednesday and as a few of us need to be home in reasonable time I'm meeting Paul D at Denholmgate at 8.30 and Chris at Keighley at 9am for a potter up to Feizor and, time permitting, a return over Langcliffe.  All welcome.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Whats On & Whats Been On

34 attended todays Wednesday Club Christmas Lunch and I think everyone was in agreement that the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale was an excellent venue - its a pity that the photographer did such a shoddy job - his excuse was that he couldn't get the flash to work on his camera (when he got home he realised why it was because the camera was set on 'burst' mode which disables the flash).

Sorry I didn't capture everyone, I just gave up because of the flash problem.
A very enjoyable ride out over Tadcaster way last Sunday with plenty of miles in the bag in dry conditions until we were almost home.
This coming weekend we've scrapped plans to ride the Winter Solstice Audax in favour of taking part in Jonathon Emberton's Cragg Vale Spiral on Saturday (9am at the Robin Hood). It promises to be a good turnout from the Condor with not just the usual suspects but also Brian, Lumby, Mick White and one or two more pledging their selves (although admittedly they had drunk a few pints when they declared their intention) 
This also leaves Sunday free to pop into the Robin Hood at Pecket Well to take a look at Rileys Treat, 9am Denholmegate or 9.30 Keighley so we can get a few steady miles and a café stop in before getting to the Robin.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sunday 14th and a few other bits

How's about a change of direction this Sunday with a ride out east - Fairburn - Tadcaster etc. Meet Sainsburys roundabout, Brighouse  9am,

Since Damien got his new Whyte a few weeks ago there has been much talk (or grumbling) about the weight of winter bikes. In order to put an end to speculation Oakworth Steve came equipped with his weighing scales on last Sundays ride with the results being -
1.  Padiham Chris   14.5 kg
2.  Damien   13.5 kg
3.  Oakworth Steve  12.5 kg
4.  Tauranga Bay Paul  12.5  kg
5.  Pete H  11 kg
6.  Nigel  10.5 kg
7.  Ian  10  kg
8.  Richard  9.8  kg
With a couple exceptions the speed of the bikes follow an identifiable pattern - the heavier they are the faster they go.

If you enjoy Audaxing and the Scottish landscapes you will enjoy this episode of The Adventure Show from BBC Scotland

Force GB have kindly prepared the above artwork for me for a jersey (any sort of jersey from a skinsuit through to a heavyweight winter thermal), based on our old 60's/70's club kit. If you fancy one let me know and I will put an order together - already got several names on the list.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Few Updates

Thanks to Ian for last Sundays ride report, but I still believe that the B E & S sandwiches at Feizor are better than Airton, but never mind, it was another good day out and the tail wind up Cowling Pinnacle made the early soaking all worth while.

It was decided at the AGM that this winter we would hold our awards ceremony as a  ride out lunch rather than an evening dinner/dance. Early January was mooted as a suitable time of year for the event and the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale have agreed to host the event with a Bernard Hinault style buffet on a Saturday or Sunday of our choosing. However a January date is problematic with several prominent members being away for the month cruising the Southern Hemisphere (as prominent members do) and another engrossed in preparation for assaults on National and World Cyclo-Cross we're looking at early February instead.

Its back - the 2nd running of this event, promoted by Cragg Velo's Jonathan Emberton.

Saturday 20th December

Second Running of ...
'The Round Robin Cragg Spiral'
75/50/25km and never more than 5 from the Robin Hood.
3 climbs of Cragg on the full route with 3 different return routes through the Sowerby Lanes.
9am start - Robin Hood, Cragg Vale
Food and social at the Robin after. 


More information from
Jonathan Emberton

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The shower and the lost sheep

Short version: we got wet at the start and lost the vicar at the end. A reduced group went to the Bay Horse in Oxenhope. 

Long version: Setting off from home the sun was breaking though nicely and the day was full of promise. Then I got to Fly Flats and saw the wall of black cloud (Pete will tell you that it was just a light shower) headed my way and I enjoyed a 'refreshing' descent into Keighley. Sadly I wasn't the only rider at the start so had to continue with the club ride. Padiham Chris, Richard, Nigel, Oakworth Steve, Paul 'rides every' Daly, Damien were all present and correct. Feizor was mentioned, and so was the fact that its December so we're not chuffing going there. A democratic decision was taken to head for Gargrave first and hope the Cononley-Carleton back road would get some warmth back in our fingers. It didn't. So we went over from Broughton to Gargrave too, with Airton being mooted as a suitable breakfast venue with only moderate dissent (Feizor was mentioned again I believe but the wind was quite strong so pretending not to hear worked adequately here).

Riding along with sodden gloves, frozen feet and a chill headwind I was looking forward to reaching the cafe and mis-using a state of the art patented hot air hand dryer. Paper towels! Never been so disappointed to see them. But then a posh joint like Airton has under-floor heating so the bacon and egg butties were dispatched slowly while at least getting some warmth into the toes.

The return route took us  nearly over Attermire until Pete could be redirected on the right road to Otterburn instead. I was all for the long way round via Gisburn but el capitains directed us instead on a reverse of Spring into the Dales and then via Elslack over Cowling pinnacle avoiding all main roads or heavy traffic - especially Keighley. Or at least it does unless you are a certain club member with limited directional recall facilities and head straight on when you should be turning right next to Oakworth cemetery. Your clubmates could then stand around for a while, or go looking for you, thinking that you might be in a heap by the side of the road, but find nothing. By the point contact was eventually established (by one of those new-fangled pocket telephone devices) the group had split up and the day was done. Pete kindly sent me a text from the pub about the time that I was cresting the radio mast on Nab Water Lane (av. 17%). Being disinclined to acquiesce to his suggestion that we backtrack to the bar, I carried on home for a warm shower before taking ale in the Caty wearing more suitable clothing (lycra in public houses hasn't been banned yet but possibly should be).

Finally a couple of pictures. The first is an 'outtake' from last week - its basically the same chaps standing around but I like the informality of this unposed snap. The second is to illustrate the horrors of riding in California. I had to suffer down this quiet and pretty coastal road with a howling tailwind for about 25 miles (its a short part of highway 1 which runs from San Francisco all the way down to LA).

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Sunday 7th December

Meet 9am Denholmgate, 9.30 Keighley; where a democratic decision will be made regarding route and refreshments.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Ten Green Bottles - Barley and beer

This week's ride report contains a thank you, an apology and an enquiry.

First the thank you - to the chaps for waiting at the start for a few extra minutes while the last straggler turned up in Keighley (me). I'd loitered through town after seeing Richard Burnham going up Ingrow, and hence was late at the start. However Richard wasn't keeping warm waiting for the Denholme contingent to come through, like I'd thought, but turns out that a major mechanical had befallen our comrade and he'd been forced to retire DNK (Did Not reach Keighley). The first of our 'ten green bottles' had fallen.

Next the apology - to Pete (Smith) and Peter (Whitely), from all of us in the rest of the gang and especially Peter (Horne) - for setting such a furious pace at start which caused our two clubmates to turned for home on Cowling Hill! Please, please shout out next time and we will ease up. This is supposed to be the social season, after all. Two more of the green bottles had gone.

I've found that riding second-row is ideal in order to be sheltered but still within shouting distance of the pace-setters, and that I can slip down a couple of bike lengths over a crest while staying in contact with the group or at least reducing the catch-up work required. So do please try it again chaps. And talk to Peter the map-master general about designing us a route with fewer bleedin hills.

Now the intermission: a picture of Pendle Hill taken en route to our butty stop in Barley. Whilst I enjoyed the view here from the top, you will note that Barley can be reached from Blacko by other routes which involve clocking up fewer ascending meters on Strava, but these routes apparently can be discounted.

Seven of the Ten remain

Finally, the enquiry. I peeled off at Mytholmroyd and headed straight home with Nigel, rather than following the flock to The Cross Keys in Siddal. Having been away for a week recently I thought that putting in an appearance at home might be useful. Meanwhile, did the last 5 green bottles get suitably filled with beer? And who won the Imps freewheeling contest?

Addendum - from the last remaining Peter
There were just 4 green bottles left when Ian and Nigel abandoned us , Steve had taken a left at Hebden Bridge to return to the security of Bronteland via Cock Hill. Once rid of the Wainstalls Whippets, Paul, Chris, Damien and myself settled  into a steady pace for a potter up Scout Road enjoying a superb panorama over the Calder Valley bathed in a late autumn glow, a low sun creating long shadows enhancing the landscape and filling us with an exultation of spirit. So much so that instead of opting for the most direct route to our stated destination of the Cross Keys at Siddal we threw in a right turn and went over the tops to Hubberton and down to Triangle.
Not wishing to arrive at the pub too early we then sprinted up the Stirk Bridge climb to Norland (well Paul and Chris did the sprinting whilst I reminisced about the last time I raced up the hill in anger, whilst  taking part in the Condor RC Hill Climb in 1978) and Damien complained about his new bike being heavy.
We spent an hour with our friends from the Imps who had been well and truly thrashed in their own free-wheeling competition by the Batley CC. Whilst the Lancaster Bomber ale was spot on we soon tired of having our ears assaulted by the live band and tore Chris away from a new best friend to seek  fresh air and peace.
If you are in Siddal and live in Hipperholme the obvious route home is of course up Trooper Lane; Damiens response  showed maturity, and vision beyond his years. He simply responded 'I'm not going up f***ing Trooper Lane,' and headed off in the direction of Exley (sadly this was not the first time on the Sabbath that he had lowered the tone by using that and similar expletives). However, undeterred, I was happy to face the cobbles alone - I should have known Paul and Chris better than  to think they would allow me to enjoy the hill in my own splendid isolation, no, despite it being in totally the opposite direction to their homes they decided to accompany me - or to be more accurate they decided to sprint off like greyhounds from the starting gate and wait for me at the top smiling like Cheshire cats.

On a more serious note, as Ian has said, the early pace up Cowling Hill towards Black Lane Ends was far too fast for the time of year, in future weeks I hope we can show more discipline and ride together.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

UCI World CUP Milton Keynes: Saturday 29th November 2014

Can see local lad Jack Clarkson + all the top world cross stars in event live today from 13.55 today
on uci you tube site

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sunday 30th November 2014

Meet 9am Denholmgate/9.30 Keighley - road ride - suggest Cowling Hill, Barrowford, Bacup and back to Calderdale to have a pint with the Imps following their free-wheeling competition.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sunday 23rd November

Meet Shelf roundabout 9am for Knaresborough. Return round Washburn Valley.

Note: We have several members planning to ride the Winter Solstice 200k Audax on Sunday 21st of December, if you fancy joining us enter via the Audax UK website - no entries on the day.  - a short tribute to John Radford

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hanson Memorial Seat

From Paul Gower......................... 
Photo’s of some early Condor’s. Sat on a memorial seat to Brian and Muriel Hanson at Ryburn golf club. Brian and Muriel who died 2011/12 were life long members of the Condor after joining in their mid teen’s. The view from the seat is very good on a clear day.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wednesday 19th November

The funeral of John Radford will be taking place on Wednesday, 12noon at Christ Church, Helme (near Meltham).  Paul Gower and myself are planning ride up to Helme to attend the service and will be meeting at Shelf Crossroads, 10am. Please feel free to join us.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sunday 16th November

This Sunday meet Hebden Bridge (usual place, Park Gates)at 9am, for Black Ladd, Isle of Skye and Holmfirth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Eureka Report

Great day out at Sundays Eureka Audax, a pity our numbers were down due to the event being oversubscribed and entries closing early. Nevertheless there were three Condors toeing the start line in Cheadle at 8am on Sunday - well thats not quite accurate, Chris and I were toeing the start line whilst Steve was still putting on his make-up with the urgency of someone who thinks he's there for a holiday. As predicted the peloton split up in the early miles due to numerous sets of traffic lights and Steve found himself on the wrong side of the splits and was unable to bridge the gap.
Chris and I stayed on the front together for the first 20k before swinging off to let two VC167's through, Bob Johnson and his team mate, whom Bob immediatly started to half-wheel - then full wheel - then full bike until the poor lad had had enough. I commiserated with briefly as he dropped back through the ranks and off the back.
By this time there were only five of us left at the head of affairs, including Sheffrec's flying surgeon, Julian Humphrey, resplendent in a Castelli one piece bodysuit. We arrived at the Eureka 10 minutes before the checkpoint was due to open and had to resist an overwheling desire to keep up the momentum by jumping straight back on the bikes as soon as our cards were stamped. We did resist this urge, and much to Flat Earth Bob's disapproval joined the massed ranks of Merseyside and Deeside cyclists by sitting down to enjoy pint mugs of tea and home made cakes.
Steve had arrived at the Eureka only about 5 minutes after us, he was mumbling something about not knowing it was going to be a race but soon recovered his 'joie de vivre' and joined us to soak up the atmosphere at this iconic cyclists rendezvous.
Once refreshed the three of us headed south, passing to the west of Chester, over the Dee and in to Wales, skirting round the east of Wrexam and down to Bangor on Dee for the information check.  On the roads north-east to Tattenhall we swept up Julian who had briefly been off-course, and formed a well drilled quartet to the Ice Cream Farm check where we once again enjoyed refreshments.
It was now about 70k to the finish and Chris was begining to warm-up. During those last miles the speed rarely dropped below 20mph and Steve, Julian and myself were rarely seen at the front as Chris towed us past other Audaxers who had perhaps spent less time enjoying rest and nourishment to finish back at Cheadle Church Hall with 133 miles on the clock at an average speed of 18mph.
Now for the Social Season - at least untill the Winter Solstice event on the 21st of December.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Sunday 9th November

Im meeting Paul Daly at Denholme gate at 9am passing Keighley 9:30 for a ride over the hills but not too far away , All welcome ,


Friday, November 07, 2014

AGM, Clothing, Sunday 9th November

AGM is to be held next Monday 10th November at the Travellers, Hipperholme, 8.30pm.  If you've anything for the agenda please let me know.  Main decision is in relation to this winters club dinner.

In relation to club kit, as has been published on the blog previously Condor kit is being produced by Force GB of Liversedge. They're producing kit for most of the local clubs - Hudds Star, Ravensthorpe, 3RT, Imps, Driglington, Calder Clarion etc etc. The big advantage is that they will do one-offs, so no minimum orders and no need to keep stock. They will also tailor the kit to your individual request, eg sleeve length etc or something special like the New Zealand fern that Paul has on his retro jersey. As long as you ring first they are happy for you to call in to try on a sample to make sure you get the correct size. Go on to their web-site at 
Next Monday afternoon a few of us are having a ride down the Spen Valley Greenway to the factory to try on some kit for size and place orders - get in touch if you fancy coming along.

Eureka Cafe. Wirral, 1972

This Sunday I'm riding the Eureka Audax so please don't wait for me to suggest a club-run. Although there's been a bit of a problem with entries for some other Condors I think Chris, Steve and Possibly Paul D are joining me.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Condors attack The Falcon

Sunday was completed as advertised and sadly we were so busy chatting at our rest stop that I forgot to take a photo. We'll have to make do with this one instead taken on the way back going in to Grassington. Pete Smith made a welcome appearance, shown here along with Steve T and Peter. Out of shot we also had Paul Daly, Steve Barker and Tod (nee Padiham) Chris. Our apologies to Nigel who was a bit late to the start and we'd set off already, and then was early to the pub and we hadn't got there yet (still having breakfast in Settle). After looking at the route and the average speed on my Strava he said it was a blessing not to be involved. Melv was spotted out with another club, taking a trip to the top of Fleet Moss and back - as you do.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sunday2nd November & Wednesday Club Christmas Lunch

Meet 8.30 Denholmgate or 9am Keighley, destination to be decided on the day.

Wednesday Club Christmas Lunch has been booked for the 17th of December at the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale.  I'm collecting names and £5 deposits from next week.

If we're looking for a route tomorrow then it could be the day to visit the Falcon Inn at Arncliffe. According to the website they should do pie & peas - Ian

Sounds like a good idea to me,  Pete

Monday, October 27, 2014

Message from Chris

Chris Smith       4.16.1           70th Overall
Many thanks to all who came and watched us suffering up Pea Royd Lane, Stocksbridge Nat Champs Hill Climb. I took 70th position overall with a finishing time of 4.16.1. Brilliant conditions with new surface and a stiff tail wind finish. I was honoured  to have the chance to ride today as the event was fully oversubscribed by excellent riders from all over the UK. Felt I gave a strong solid performance alongside fellow competitors.


By Simon Warren

That's the moment you know it's real, the time keeper's call of ten seconds to go. This is happening, you are here, a waking moment. You're going to have to attack this hill and force your body into a place it doesn't want to go and one that it will try everything to get out of.
And five fingers are held in front of you. All the training, the sacrifice, the self discipline, watching the scales, the early nights, this is why, this is it, focus.
You grip the bars, you look ahead, you empty your mind.
You fill your lungs to pack the muscles with oxygen, you'll need every last drop.
Focus, you CAN do this,you're GOING to do this, focus.
Spin at first, your speed has to be perfect, overdo it at the start and you'll die a thousand deaths. You know the course, you know what to do, you can't think, it's too late for that, there is only time for action. You have to find the sweet spot, to float, fueled on adrenaline. You must preserve your reserves, but never hold back. Adrenaline doesn't last.
Suddenly you sense the effort, your'e breathing as hard as your heart is beating fast, you are at your limit. 30 seconds in and you've reached maximum, the primeval instincts that have kept man alive since before history are now telling you to stop, to back off, ease up. You can't listen though, you can't give in, you have to push.
Your eyes focused as if staring at a singularity, oblivious to all except the metre  of tarmac in front of you. Don't think, don't rest, push, take the pain. You are now deep into oxygen debt, you simply cannot supply the demand so the body diverts it to where its needed the most. Your eyes blur, you begin to lose sensations in your extremities
 but there can be no rest.
Time is standing still,it's hyper real, you are experiencing life in such rich detail, this is what your body CAN do, this is WHO you are, WHAT you are, PUSH, PUSH.
The crowds shout your name but you hear no noise, you see the finish line but it gets no closer, PUSH. You're barely able to hold yourself up, your legs are consumed by lactic acid and your lungs burn, desperate for air. At last there is the line, the end to eternity,
 one final lunge, one final revolution, done.
You fall into the arms of an official, empty, your chest on fire and your mouth filled with the metallic taste of blood.
You've been to the edge, it was two minutes that lasted a lifetime, the Hill-Climb.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sunday 26th October

 Meet 8.30am Sainsbury's roundabout, Brighouse for National Hill Climb Championships at Pea Royd Lane, Stocksbridge (we'll calling in at Langsett cafe on the way there).  Remember to turn clocks back and put lights on your bike.

Thanks once again to Ellen Isherwood for the above photo of Chris competing at the Lancashire RC hill climb at The Rake a few weeks ago. More of Ellen's photos can be viewed on the CTT website.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thanks to Ellen Isherwood for this photo of Chris in full flight in the Nelson Whs Hill Climb

Chris is finding his best form prior to next Sundays National Hill Climb Championships taking 5th place on Saturday morning in the climb out of Barley on the Newchurch road and another excellent 5th place on the North Lancs Road Clubs Nick o' Pendle climb on Sunday. 

After meeting at King Cross, four of us battled head winds in order to be on the Nick to cheer Chris on. Number 2 on the start sheet he was in fact the first man to start, his minute man being DNS. Chris gave everything on the climb, looking exhausted at the finish but then having to rush off to attend a christening rather than join us for a fry-up at Waddington Cafe.

After breakfast we enjoyed tail winds along the Ribble Valley to Bolton by Bowland and up the long drag to Halton West. All were showing good form even challenging Paul's dominance at strategic points as we looped around Hellifield and Airton before stopping off at Broughton Hall to watch the cyclo-cross. There were 160 starters in the senior race but no evidence of Robin Holt, who's name I had spotted on the start sheet (sorry if I missed you). The racing was well supported but the main race of the day, the Rapha Supercross, wasn't due to start until 3pm so we joined forces with Mick Collins and Dom Turner plus other 3RT's for a pacey ride home.
Steve and I together with Mick, Matt & Daz split off from the others at Ingrow, sprinting up the cobbles of Hainsworth Lane and over to the Old Spot Brewery Tap at Cullingworth where we enjoyed a couple of pints of the breweries fine ales before pottering home along The Great Northern Trail. A great start to the social season.