Saturday, February 06, 2016

Barley for Breakfast

With Peter and Chris enjoying yet another long Audax today around Derbyshire, in the rain, I suppose that we'll have to make our own plan for a Sunday ride.

I'm heading west - meeting 09:00 in Hebden Bridge if you fancy it - for Padiham and the log cabin cafe at Barley with a return route to be discussed across one of our many local moorland crossings. Maybe Widdop if we're feeling brave.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ride-out Lunch & Presentation

As decided at the AGM we are again having a ride-out lunch and presentation at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale. Sandy kindly took on the responsibility of sorting the finer details and it's booked for 1pm on Sunday the 14th of February. As quite a few were not totally happy with the buffet we had last year we've plumped for a traditional Sunday lunch, roast beef etc. and a choice of sweets. Cost is £12.50. It was a good 'do' enjoyed by all last year so we're expecting it to be as well supported again.
Please contact me on or on 07549821349 to book your place.

Chris and I had a super day last Sunday riding the Mere 200 Audax, so much so that we've committed ourselves to the Straight on at Rosie's 200 on Saturday 6th Feb (details on AUK website), entries on the day are being accepted.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sunday Run - 24 Jan

Thanks Pete for the write-up. Enjoy your 'mere' 200k on Sunday.

Meanwhile I suggest 09:30 in Keighley for Airton Cafe. We have plenty of route options there and back depending on how we feel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Few Updates

When I looked outside on Sunday morning there were several inches of snow on the ground and a hard packed icy surface on the road. Simon contacted me to give his apologies saying he dare not risk his recently repaired shoulder in these conditions. I was in two minds myself but I knew that Chris would be battling his way up the Valley from Tod so I dragged my heavyweight Croix de Fer out of the garage to meet him in Brighouse.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the roads were clear and well gritted and I was even more surprised when there were 6 of us assembling in Brighouse, Ian, Chris, Pete Whitely, Richard, Martin Gargett and myself, for the proposed ride out into the flatlands to the east. We had intended taking refreshments at Selby but as Ian was on his 3rd new inner tube before we got to Castleford and Pete was having to reinflate his rear tyre at regular intervals, we modified our ambitions and aimed for Fairburn and Squires Café at Sherburn. A good decision as we all enjoyed the lunch hour spent there and it gave Richard chance to get some blood circulating into his feet once again after we had ridden through icy flooding on the (officially closed) Fairburn Ings road.

After lunch we came home via Lotherton Hall and Aberford, making an unintended diversion to Harehills before 'playing it by ear' navigating the outskirts of Leeds to find Harrogate Road and the welcome lanes round Eccup Reservoir to Bramhope, Esholt and a skirt round Bradford for what had turned out to be a very enjoyable days cycling at a much more relaxed pace than the previous few weeks.

On Monday evening our AGM was held at the Travellers, Hipperholme. I'm not going to put the minutes on here now but it was a successful get-together with 15 members being in attendance. It was decided that, as last year we would have our Annual Presentation in the form of a ride-out Sunday lunch. Sandy volunteered to explore the possibility of holding the event at the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale again and details will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Early Season Reliability Rides & Audax's

This coming Sunday the 24th, Chris and I are riding the Mere 200 Audax from Cheadle, entries are closed now and no entries are being accepted on the day.

On Saturday the 30th Jan. Grimpy and myself have entered the Evans Cycles MTB Challenge from Wardle High School near Littleborough. Entries are still open for this event and entries on the day are being accepted.

Saturday 20th February - North West Passage Audax - see AUK website

Sunday 21st February - 3RT Reliability Ride, 60 miles from Ritz in Brighouse 9.30 start, finish Clough House, Rastrick, £3 to enter, food at finish.

Sunday 28th February - Imps Reliability Ride, another JK special from the Ritz - further details to follow.

Saturday 5th March - Evans Cycles Leeds MTB Challenge, Harewood House.

Sunday 10th April - Spoilt for choice, Spring into the Dales and Ronde van Caderdale

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sunday 17th Jan

Only Condors who turned up for last Sundays ride were Chris and myself. We were joined by 2 more Smith's, Sean and Niall and café racers Mark Mitchell and Adrian Jones. I'd endured rain and snow on my journey to Keighley so it was only right that we had floods, a head wind and hail storm on the road from Bank Newton over towards Halton West. Mark, Adrian & Niall left us and headed towards Hellifield as we continued westwards for our planned lunch stop at Waddington.
The weather had brightened up considerably after lunch and we completed the loop home via Whalley and Padiham, Chris and Sean turning off for the Long Causeway after Burnley by-pass whilst I went for the easier option of Tod and the Calder Valley.

This Sunday, on the suggestion of Chris, we are heading in a different direction, east, meeting by Sainsbury's roundabout in Brighouse at 9am for Selby and Wetherby.

AGM - Just a reminder for anyone who may have forgotten the AGM will be held 8.30pm at the Travellers, Hipperholme on Monday the 18th.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Notice of AGM, rides updates and Sunday the 10th

It's that time of year again when we have to have an Annual General Meeting. PG is working hard on the accounts and the decision has been made, 8.30pm Monday the 18th of January at The Travellers, Hipperholme.
Please let me know if you have a topic you wish to discuss and I will add it to the agenda. The racing secretary (I'm not too sure if that's JD or Grimpy) needs claims for trophy's - if you've been road racing, time trialling, MTB/Cyclo Xing or riding Audax's/Sportive's you qualify for the trophy's. 
We also need to decide about this years presentation. Please pass the word round and make every effort to attend.

Its been a mild but wet start to 2016 but the New Years Day ride over the Isle of Skye was ridden in better conditions than the previous few years. Steve, Chris and I were joined in Brighouse by Hoppy
from the Imps and numerous 3RT's. At Holmfirth the Condors & Imp decided to get over to Greenfield ahead of the formidable looking 3RT and thereby avoid celebrating the new year in serious oxygen debt (apologies to Garry and Ian who, unknown to us, were waiting for us to join them in Sids Café). There was a good turn out at The Works in Sowerby Bridge where Mr Gower was waiting to pounce, successfully extracting 2016 subs from anyone showing any weakness.

On Sunday we had the traditional ride up Wharfedale to turn  around the Buckden Triangle and head south again having lunch at The Old Schoolhouse at Hebden. I met Ian, Pete Whiteley and Sean and Niall Smith at Denholmgate from where we made our way to Keighley and picked up Chris and were caught up by Martin Gargett who'd got to Denholmegate a few minutes late.
A helping breeze assisted us to maintain a respectable pace as we travelled north through Skipton and Threshfield and past Kilnsey Cragg. Unfortunately for Niall, 3 years away at Uni. and a year or so sunbathing in the antipodes caught up with him by Kettlewell and his father volunteered to take him to Zarina's in an effort to revive him (Zarina's was closed so he had a gel instead and they rejoined us on our return journey).
From Kettlewell we took the back road down to Grassington and on to the café at Hebden where we commandeered several tables, in vain reserving 2 extra seats for Sean and Niall, who I think we lost round the Grass Woods area - hope you got home okay.
After spending too long drinking tea and chatting we set off on the home leg into driving rain with a bad case of café-legs. Down to Appletreewick and Cav. Pav. we were reasonably sheltered and Cringles was passing underwheel without too much pain until Ian slipped on a tempary traffic light cable, both he and Martin hitting the deck.
The rain was getting harder and the head wind stronger. Both Ian and Martin appeared to have recovered from their trauma as we battled on towards Keighley but all of a sudden Martin blew. I was sat on his wheel at the time and witnessed the dramatic loss of power together with a plea to be left to suffer alone.
We respected his request and I tucked in at the back as we hit Ingrow. Chris was at the front and obviously holding himself back, I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth as I suspect was Ian, but Pete was looking far too comfortable for one claiming to be in the first stages 'trying to get fit again'.

 The plan is to meet 9am Denholmegate/9.30 Keighley this coming Sunday, the 10th, and unless someone has a better idea heading out in the direction of Waddington.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Sunday 3rd January

Meet 9am Denholmgate / 9.30 Keighley for Buckden Triangle.
2016 subs due - £6.00

Monday, December 28, 2015

New Years Day Ride

New Years Day 2016
Start the year off right, join us outside Websters, bottom of Huddersfield Road, Brighouse at 10am on New Years Day for the Isle Of Skye, breakfast at Holmfirth and further refreshments at Sowerby Bridge.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Clarion Tea Rooms

As is traditional at this time of year I had better write up our ride by way of a few 'thank you' notes:
to Chris - for popping in home to make butties for our picnic. Anyone else would have stayed at home but Chris is a stalwart and provided turkey sandwiches at a moment's notice. He also was out despite having to ride stood-up the entire way (don't ask; let it suffice to say that Lance Armstrong used the same excuse for a raised cortisol level in 1999)
to Steve T - for sensible riding and flying the Condor flag so far from the bright lights of Brighouse (aka centre of the universe, apparently)
to Steve B - for coming out to join us at the Clarion
to Phil - for providing chocolate treats, and keeping his new gloves clean
to Gary - for getting a 2nd round of tea (and certainly not for attacking on every hill)
to Peter - for suggesting today's route and leading the way through the back end of Burnley
and to cyclists everywhere - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Peter writes..............................
And the same to Ian, especially for his delicious Christmas cake. A fine day out in glorious weather, here's a few pics.

Richard Burnham 27 December 2015 at 20:05
Better day I guess than mine manning the flood defences in York to prevent my son's house flooding. See you new years day

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Report and Next Sunday

A busy weekend began with the Cragg Vale Spiral from the Robin Hood at Cragg Vale. This was the third running of the event, organised by CraggVelo's Jonathan Emberton  (see ). A wet and windy morning saw 20 or so riders assemble outside the pub for the 9am start, I'm sure the ride would attract many more if it were not held the last Saturday before Christmas but what the field lacked in quantity it made up for in quality. In addition to 4 Condors, Steve, Chris, Adrian Lord & myself, 3RT had sent a crap  crack team and the Imps had sent the Smith family, spearheaded by Sean, recently returned from a 2 year training camp in Australia and now enjoying some proper weather.
It was a nice steady start with Chris and myself at the front setting a pace suitable for me (not right fast) but it didn't last long, that tenacious little terrier from 3RT, Dom Turner, obviously having completely forgotten what happened to him last time (completely blew) put in a stunning attack and ripped the field apart. He was soon sitting up, looking back for help but the damage was done. I hung on for the 1st ascent but lost contact on the stiff little climb to the Beehive and then missed the turn down to Mill Bank so spent the rest of the morning pottering around by myself (bliss).

In fact, looking at Strava records the majority of the field were wandering around the maze of lanes between Baitings and Scout Road. Above is the correct route, before next years event we'll recce' the route and publish a .gpx file on the blog.
Chris however had no trouble following the route and led an elite band around successfully to finish for noon - he would have reported on the action from the sharp end but he unplugged his Wi-Fi router to plug in his Christmas lights and now can't remember his password.

On Sunday it was the umpteenth Riley's Treat, again at the Robin Hood, but the one at Pecket Well this time. Its over 40 years since I first attended Riley's Treat  but I recall an uncle of mine who lived in the village telling me about how he helped out behind the bar in the 60's and how he had all on to keep Condors, including Eric Walker (who was there again this time - now in his 80's) and Hank Hoddinott, supplied with beer.
We had a good turnout, 8, Nigel, Mel, Ian, Robin, Richard, Chris, Garry Traviss and myself, meeting at Elland Bridge and taking breakfast at Bolster Moor café where we were joined by Ian Wellock. We then had a lumpy ride over to the 'do' stopping for refreshments at the Lane Ends, Old Town en-route where we found a variety of cyclists from VS, Batley Bill's, and even an odd Condor (Lumby) being led astray by quite a few Imps.
On arrival at Pecket Well there were dozens of bikes stacked up outside and standing room only inside. The West Pennine guys were there and it was good to see a sizeable contingent of 3RT having a warm-up for their own annual dinner due that evening.
The afternoons entertainment was kicked off by Chris who stunned the audience with a rendition of a traditional drinking song, most there had never heard Chris sing before and he was a revelation, a credit to the jersey, he and Paul Gower were certainly the stars of the afternoon.

Sunday 27th December

Next Sunday Neil from the Imps has an open invitation to Condors (and Imps) to his house for a seasonable celebration, he's got a big barrel of beer and his wife is once again preparing her famous pie. The Imps are meeting outside the Post Office in Halifax at 10am and all are invited to join them. Some of us Condors are meeting at Hebden Bridge at 9.30 for a trip over to the Clarion Tea Rooms before making our way to Neils.  He's expecting to be pulling the 1st pints at about 2pm so don't miss it, it will be Neil's last 'do' for a few years due to a lack of Sunday's between Christmas and New Year.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Festive Calendar


This coming Wednesday its the Vets Christmas Dinner at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale, dinner is being served at 1pm. 30 odd places have been booked so far with ages ranging from late 20's to late 80's. The cost is £15 and there's a few places left so if you fancy washing the Christmas pud down with a pint let me know and I'll book you a place. We'll be meeting as usual at 10pm at Shelf Roundabout to ride there although quite a few are using alternative means of transport.

Saturday 19th December

All welcome at the third annual Round Robin Cragg Vale Spiral event.
Sat 19th 9am Robin Hood Craggvale
1/2/3 times up Cragg
3 different Sowerby lane returns
More details..
Jonathan Emberton

Sunday 20th December

Riley's Treat this coming Sunday, once again at the Robin Hood, Pecket Well. Nigel's suggested breakfasting at Bolster Moor café en-route, which could never be a bad idea so we'll meet 9.30 Elland Bridge and go straight up there via Jagger Green and Scapegoat Hill.  This means we'll be approaching Pecket Well from the right direction to call at the Lane Ends on our way there. I understand that Chris has been rehearsing his repertoire of songs especially for this occasion so it is an absolute MUST 

Christmas Eve

Chris and myself are intending to have a potter up to Feizor Cafe for a full English breakfast on Christmas Eve, if you fancy a bit of fresh air before the big day, join us at 9.30 at Keighley

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sunday December 13th - Headed For Hampsthwaite

In the hope that this rain stops at some point,lets have a break from building an ark and meet at Keighley 09.30 as usual .Fancy heading out Washburn valley way for a change,floods permitting.
Ride report - rather than spoil the flow of Pete's news round-up we'll sneak Chris's write-up in here:

A cold and drizzly morning meant that only 4 Condors gathered at Keighley this morning. Ian, Myself and double trouble from both of the Hartley twins. The Washburn Valley had been mentioned so we headed East for a change.
The first portion of the ride was a little urbanized through Bingley and onto Shipley, climbed to Guiseley before dropping to Otley.
From here I was on unfamiliar territory but guided by my comrades I followed intrepidly. Ian had developed a grumbling mechanical, with his rear wheel bearings (perhaps due to the previous weeks washing out of grease they had). A brief stop and we were again on our way, rolling past Almscliffe Crag and on toward Harrogate.
Our cafe stop was in the charming village of Hampsthwaite, a picture postcard type of place next to the River Nidd. Full of character and quintessential Englishness. 

Refueled and raring to go Nigel and Melvin set pace back towards Ilkley. We passed through more idyllic places with names such as Kettlesing, Timble and Askwith. Views of the Washburn Valley were hung in low mist making for a spectral scene.
It was great to see Melvin after what seems like too long, and I'm glad/sad to report that he is going very well after a short rest. We chose the most direct route home via the formidable Keighley Gate.

Parts had been washed away with the recent downpours but we made good progress and regrouped at the top. The weather had turned gradually grimmer with persistent drizzle adding to the onset of cold. From here we parted company with Mel and even refrained from Public Houses! Save that for Riley's Treat. Not bad for a dank December day!


This Weeks Best Buy

Both Myself and Mel have replaced our chains this week, both choosing from the KMC range. Seem to run nice and smooth so far. Watch this space to how long they last etc.

X-SP treatment: This treatment of pins and plates reduces wear susceptibility caused by the ingress of sand or other debris into the chain bearings. Hugely enhancing durability. Pins and plates, made out of special high quality alloy are less prone to stretching
X-Bridge: This is on the outer plate, configured with precisely articulated angles for quicker and smoother gear shifting and quieter riding. Lightweight shorter length pins length combine with high-grade materials to reduce weight. Tensile strength safety is assured with a minimum 1020kgf above ISO standards
Titanium Nitride Coating
Double X-Durability
Open Inner plate; less chainsuck

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Rolling On A River!

After Storm Desmond had left his trail of destruction, we were hoping for a more comfortable ride with a pleasant weather forecast. A dry ride over Cock Hill with a stonking tailwind, meant that I arrived at Keighley in record time, just in time to cape up for a torrential downpour! Condors gathered including Oakworth Steve, Ian, Nigel, Robin, Pete Horne and Myself.
Steve and I set pace toward Skipton, into the wind (which had been my friend, now our foe). I suffered on this stretch and was glad when we turned for Gargrave, to de-cape, (from here on we needed waders!)
Through Little Stainton towards Nappa, we took back lanes bound for Bolton by Bowland. Fields lay under water, fences submerged as river banks bulged. Puddles became deeper on the roads until finally at Sawley it was at its deepest. People abandoned vehicles as we rode through the currents , with Ian pointing out that it had finally reached his head set! Robin caught a fish in his water bottle as Pete emptied a newt from his shoe. 
The cafe stop at Waddington was welcome if not a bit soggy. Toasted sandwiches all round as the route home was discussed. Finally Upham via Downham was agreed followed by Barnoldswick and Widdop. We wrang ourselves out, as the Condor in full flight sped homeward.
The beautiful landscape opened up before us. Even on this grim December day, where else should we be?! Robin was so excited climbing Widdop's Big Jack that he snapped his rear hanger, but fully prepared with a new component, fixed it road-side, while we took refuge and fine ale in the Packhorse! We bidded adieu to Pete and Robin from here.
Definately one for the memory bank!
Cheers chaps! Chris.
This weeks Best Buy!

Admittedly not my own purchase but I was so impressed by this product modeled by Ian I just had to give it a mention! I have never seen a jacket repel water so effectively, water off a duck's back, need I say more?

Rapha Pro Team Race Cape
A highly technical, waterproof jacket cut for race conditions.
Being  lightweight and durable a three-ply fabric developed exclusively for Rapha, race-ready tailoring that stops fabric flapping in the wind, and smart finishing touches such as zipped cuffs and fully-taped seams. It easily packs down to stow in your back pocket. The Pro Team Race Cape has a slim fit, cut for the long-and-low riding positions of modern racers. A dropped tail keeps road spray off of the back of your jersey, and the fabric’s slight stretch allows the jacket to keep its shape over fully-loaded pockets. The updated zip has a thick pull tab with a textured back for easy use when wearing gloves, and the zipped cuffs make it easier to put on or remove the jacket while on the bike. 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Sunday 6th December

Better weather forecast for tomorrow, meet 9am Denholmgate or 9.30 Keighley for Waddington cafe (could amend that to Bolton-by-Bowland café if conditions dictate).

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Olde Black Ladd and Bolster Moor

As rain lashed my bedroom window this morning, I was glad of an extra hour under my duvet. Meeting in Hebden Bridge meant that I had struck it lucky being the closest to the start. 5 riders, Pete Horne, Single Simon, Vicar, Nigel and Myself huddled under a bus stop at the park gates as we planned our route. It was decided that nothing too adventurous would be sensible in the high winds and ever increasing rain.
We struck up towards Todmorden, turning to climb over Mankinholes into a direct headwind which left us floundering to keep a tight formation. Through Walsden we climbed over Calderbrook avoiding heavy traffic. Coasting around Hollingworth Lake we dropped to Milnrow and Shaw to take the long and more than gradual climb over the Black Ladd. We used the old road to drop to Delph. From here we took some lovely back lanes around Diggle.
We shouted "CYCLISTS" to 3 ladies horse-riding to warn them of our presence. The leading animal we found out was the tallest MULE in the UK named Napoleon! Onto Marsden and Standedge Tunnel to find the cafe soggy and shut. Onto Slaithwaite where Richard decided to head it alone without a cafe stop! We thought it wise to climb Scapegoat Hill to the very busy but exceptional Bolster Moor farmshop cafe.
Here we dripped dry and fine dined as Storm Clodagh whipped up to a furious rate through the conservatory window. Trees bent and people were nearly blown clean off their feet in the carpark. Sorrily we had to leave the warmth to brave the eye of Clodagh. Bikes steered uncontrollably as we dropped from the high ground towards Outlane.
We had an appointment booked at The Cross Keys, Siddal with the Imps, post free wheeling comp. The boys from Batley continued their reign of terror, winning the non pedaling discipline.
Leaving the heavies to cause chaos, we took the sensible option, with Peter showing me the delightfully steep Rosemary Lane.
Wet and Wild.
Cheers chaps! Chris.

This weeks Best Buy

Finish Line Cross Country Wet Lube An "extreme" lube; super durable high viscosity synthetic oils, special polymers, anti-wear additives, friction modifiers, and more, all combine to make this Finish Line's strongest, longest lasting, most water resistant lubricant


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sunday 29th

More high winds and rain forecast for tomorrow so nothing too ambitious. Meet Hebden Bridge 9.30 with the intention of Hollingworth Lake then Black Ladd with a tail wind and down to Saddleworth then over the Floating Light to Colne Valley for café stop. A beer with the Imps after lunch seems like a good idea (following their freewheeling competition).

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Invitation from Allan & Lorraine

Will you please pass the word round to all the riders that know me. I have EMAILED all the lads I have EMAIL addresses for but many I don't have, also include the IMPS.

Above should read, Allan & Lorraine are moving to pastures new and invite you to a leaving party on Friday the 11th of December at Halifax RUFC, Ovenden Park, Keighley Road, from 1930hrs, buffet provided.
RSVP ASAP to or 01422 257270