Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday 1st May

I've arranged to meet Simon at 8am at Odsal Roundabout with a view to having a ride out to Thirsk or Sutton Bank to watch the TdY pass by. Out via Knaresborough (where we may have a cup of tea and a bun), back  via Ripon. Looking at the schedules, and wanting to be home for 4ish I may only have time to get as far as Thirsk (location of 1st sprint). Please feel free to join us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Update re TdY, Friday

After studying the weather forecast and seeing the conditions 1st hand on the tops today we've decided to go to the finish in Settle, possibly lunch at Feizor (Burnsal closed on Friday anyway). Meet same time and place but will be getting home early evening.

Tour de Yorkshire, Friday 29th


I'm meeting Richard at 10am Denholme Gate on Friday to ride out to watch the KoM prime at the top of Greenhow Hill. We'll be having lunch at Burnsall Cafe, All welcome.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A few updates

Thanks to Sarah Burbridge for the above pic. from last Saturdays LVRC Derek Smith Memorial Road Race. It was fitting that two of Derek's old sparring partners, Condor's John Ginley and Brian Sunter took 1st & 2nd respectively in the over 70's age group. Also there, in the over 50's race was Mel Hartley, looking fit and tanned following his recent Mediterranean holiday training camp he took 4th in his category following an impressive amount of work at the head of the bunch chasing an early breakaway.

Grimpy's been in fine form in recent weeks with a fine win the previous week in the CC Luton Claydons Spring Classic, a round of the season long Percy Stallard National Series.

Whilst Grimpy's been taking the honors in road racing Brian kicked of his 2016 assault on the Vets National Championship Time Trials with a fine bronze medal in the 30 mile event in Kent on Sunday 17th April ( although he was not overjoyed himself, saying he hadn't really traveled all that way for 3rd place - and being that defending champion I suppose he can say that).

A full day out for the long distance brigade yesterday in the Red Rose 200k Audax, superbly organised once again by Dave Dodwell and CTC Calderdale. I was joined on the ride by Condors, Steve Thewlis, Pete Whiteley, Chris Smith and Garry (The Badger) Traviss, and also accompanied by guest riders Niall Smith (his longest ever ride - and still looking worryingly fresh dancing on the pedals as he rode off and left me on the climb up from Luddenden Foot towards the finish at the Oddfellows Rooms in Halifax), Andy from Maverick Velo, showing his best ever form this season, honed on Calderdales finest Cobbles during our RVC recce' ride a few weeks ago, plus Elland rouleur Gary Mitchell.
The day wasn't without its problems, three punctures for Pete, one for Niall, and a bit of aggro in the bunch for Garry, but nothing The Badger couldn't deal with - his left crank also fell off, he was fortunate to have Steve and Andy to look after him, they'd sort of formed an alliance after dining together at Glasson Dock, enjoying cheeseburgers, and tea out of polystyrene containers, standing in the rain by the greasy spoon caravan  whilst Chris and I forked out an extra quid for waitress service and fine dining in the Lantern O'er the Lune Bistro (which we can recommend, good food and very welcoming).
After 70 miles of head wind to get to Glasson Dock I was expecting to be blown back to Halifax, this was not the case, yes it was predominantly a helping wind but there were sections, especially along the Calder Valley where the flags were blowing towards us.
There were some tired looking faces at the end but all agreed that it had been a good day out.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

This weekend

Saturday 23rd April - Halifax Imps Road Race, Norland

Sunday 24th April - Red Rose Ride, 200k Audax from Halifax

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A few updates

The racing boys are getting well into their stride for the 2016 season with Brian and Grimpy both having notched up road race wins in their age categories and Chris is looking very strong in the TT's

The above and below are from last Saturdays Ravensthorpe 10. Chris rode the 2 up with Halifax Imp Martin Gargett, they combined well to win the composite team category and were 2nd overall with a 22 minute ride. Brian rode in the solo class recording a 24 min ride, several minutes slower than the previous week on what is known to be a slow course. Thanks to , where many more excellent photos from the event can be seen.

Smashing day for last Sundays Spring into the Dales audax. Very well supported as always by the Condor we were treated to blue skies and beautiful views and the legendary magnificent feast at the finish.

A big thank you once again to Chris Crossland and his CTC Calderdale team (or is that now Cycling UK Calderdale ?). All cyclists are truly indebted to you

Thanks to Dave Dodwell and John Keighley for the photos lifted from CTC Calderdale Facebook page

Whilst most of us were enjoying Springing into the Dales Mel had found an even harder challenge, the Ronde van Calderdale, a superb event taking in many of the area's cobbled climbs. Mel was missed on the Dales ride as he is usually Condors representative for the breaking of the skin on the rice pudding ceremony for the 1st back, I don't know who had that honour this year but I'm assured by the organisers of the RVC that the clash will not occur again.. Thanks to Laura Jackson for the photo taken from the RVC Facebook page.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Ronde van Calderdale Recce

Great day out last Sunday on the Ronde van Calderdale recce'. The pave' had dried out nicely by the time we hit the big climbs and we were able to sit outside in the sun to enjoy lunch in Hebden Bridge.

We were lucky with the weather for our 1st evening mountain bike ride of 2016, only one casualty, Garry, and 2 punctures, both Steve.

Spring into the Dales this Sunday, 9am from Salem Community  Centre, Hebden Bridge or the shorter Leap into the Aire at 10am.  Places still available to join Mel and Grimpy in the Ronde van Calderdale, 9.30 Spen Valley High School.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Sunday 3rd April & Thursday 7th

Ronde van Calderdale recce', this Sunday, 9am Brighouse (meeting o/s Websters, bottom of Hudds Rd). A gentle potter round our infamous cobbled climbs in celebration of the Tour of Flanders which will be taking place at the same time in Belgium. I can't promise that my old diesel engine will be ascending Trooper Lane at the same pace that the Pro's will be ascending the Koppenberg but I can guarantee that our bacon butties will taste better than Cancellara's gels.

Thursday 7th - 6.30pm Brighouse - Our 1st mountain bike evening of the 2016 season. We should manage an hour and a half in daylight before we have to retire to a suitable hostelry.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Whats Happening

It was a spectacular day for me and Chris down in the Peak District last Sunday, with Chris putting the hammer down on the plains of Cheshire on the run-in I'm in need of an easier day this coming Sunday. After consultation with Chris and Nigel we're planning a trip up to Buckden triangle with a café stop at the recently re-opened Zarina's at Kettlewell on the way back. Meet 9am Denholme Gate or 9.30 Keighley.
For anyone else who's interested in tiring themselves out, Chris and I have entered a few more Audax's in the coming weeks.

Saturday 26th March - Yorkshire Gallop 200

Wednesday 30th March (Easter week) Goyt Peak Super Grimpeur 109k

Sunday 3rd April - because of the unfortunate clash between the Spring into the Dales and the Ronde van Calderdale we are intending to do a Ronde Recce', following the full route except we will start from Brighouse joining the route at Rastrick. Meet 9am outside Websters, bottom of Huddersfield Road.

Sunday 10th April - Spring into the Dales Audax or Ronde van Calderdale

Saturday 23rd April - Halifax Imps Road Race, Norland

Sunday 24th April - Red Rose Ride, 200k Audax from Halifax

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Sunday 6 March - sunny with a clear Skye

After the spring monuments of the past couple of weeks I think we can take it easy this Sunday and go for a tour round Isle of Skye, aiming for the cafe at Bolster Moor. Meet 9am at Hebden Bridge.

I'm sure many of you will have seen all this on Strava, but if not then here are the photos:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Imps Reliability

Some great cycling weather this week for a change (as long as you're well wrapped up). Lets hope it stays that way for the Imps Reliability Ride this coming Sunday. Bring you £2 entry fee (make sure you have the correct change) down to the Ritz by quarter to nine and both the 75 and 60 mile routes will be starting at 9am.
If you haven't seen the route yet its here . The 60 mile route is the same as far as Walk Mill then straight down to Tod, Sowerby Bridge and Brighouse.

75 in 6 route - Brighouse -  Odsal -Queensbury - Bocking - Oakworth - Laneshaw Bridge - Trawden _ Haggate _ Worsthorne - Walk Mill-  Deerplay - Bacup - Sharneyford - Hollingworth Lake - Milnrow - Denshaw - Outlane - Brighouse

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Weekend round-up

A rough weekend weatherwise, as bad a weather as I can remember  for the North West Passage on Saturday with wind, rain and low temperatures making it a challenging day for the 80 odd starters. However, as usual for this event which we have been taking part in since the 70's, the Condor were well represented with Ian, Nigel, Mel, Chris, Adrian and myself toeing the start line at the Spring Inn for the 8am start of the 200. I know Steve rode the 120k route starting at 9am but I'm not sure whether Lumby and Mick White made it or not.
Actually it was dry at the start but as forecast the rain started at about 9. Chris and I had stayed out of trouble by sitting at the front as far as Tod before swinging off and letting Mel and Ian through. The pull up through the valley to Clivinger went well but after the scissors junction on the outskirts of Burnley disaster struck for me when I unshipped my chain jamming it to such an extent that I had to stop and get my hands dirty. However it did give me a chance to put on my rain jacket ( although by this time I was wet through anyway ).
The next 20 or 30 minutes were not what I really needed; in the red zone chasing to get back to moto 1. With the assistance of strategically placed traffic lights I managed to make contact but then the Greystone climb loomed and the big guns (Nigel, Mel and Mel's mate Neil) rode away as I struggled with the gradient. I was happy to make it to the summit with Chris and Ian but my plan to recover on the descent to Gisburn was in tatters when Chris and Ian decided to do bit & bit downhill into the driving rain. Their plan worked as they caught the front runners ( except for Nige who'd gone for a solo break - probably a little early with 100 miles still to go ).
All had been going well on the road between Gisburn and Long Preston before Mel went to the front and split the peloton to tatters. Ian and I worked together to minimalize our losses and were all reunited by the Naked Man check. We weren't reunited for long though as Flat Earth Bob sneaked away chased by Mel, Nige etc; Ian and I decided to eat our bananas whilst stationary whilst Chris hung around waiting for us although he rode away from us accompanied by Charlotte, a young woman in a British Cycling Talent Team top, who is, as the jacket said, talented, as soon as we hit Buck Haw Brow.
Ian and I worked well together up the A65 battling the headwinds and rain, pulling back Charlotte and almost making contact with Chris before he decided to press on the pedals a little harder. Mel and Neil were just leaving the Devils Bridge check as we arrived but Nigel wisely chose our company for the 2nd half of this epic. We four Condors kept a nice pace going, down the Lune Valley, through Lancaster and down the A6 to the next check at Scorton where we all agreed, contrary to the original plan, to stop for a pot of tea and a bite to eat at the café. Mel and Neil had obtained their proof of passage from the shop and were almost ready to attack the last leg as we ordered our soup, scones and tea.
We were joined in the cafe by a near hypothermic Charlotte who had dropped off the back of our train and missed the Scorton turn off thereby adding a few unwanted miles to her test of character. She was in such a state that we felt unable to leave her, Ian helped her by eating half her scone before we left as a fivesome to attack the remaining 40 miles, picking up several more lost Audaxer's on the way. [comment: said demi-scone was offered to all of us, but I was the only one who volunteered to assist! - Ian; ps, thanks for this write-up Pete]
The remaining miles, probably due to the café stop, seemed less arduous although I was found wanting on the Oswaldtwistle Moor and 'Owd Bett's climbs my team mates waited for me and we finished together. Mel and Neil had set the fastest time for the day but there was only a couple of other  finishers in front of the Condor Train. After pie & peas Chris set off to ride home thereby topping 150 miles for the day as preparation for the 3RT Reliability Ride the following day.

  1. Great write up Pete but it makes me look far more capable than I was. It was in fact Chris who put the hammer down before Long Preston to reel in my errant brother.I just hung on for dear life - as I did for most of the ride, made worse by snapping a front wheel spoke at Hornby causing extra resistance as my wheel 'thwock thwocked' on my mudguard all the way home. A bl**dy painful day out.
    (Stats- Neil's power meter showed average 198 watts compared to 148 last year - 33% harder !?

3RT Reliability Ride.....from a special correspondent (Phil Haigh).........

Just 3 condors for the inaugural 3RT reliability trial. A total field of around 70 riders (but this was the day after the North west passage)
Me (Phil H) Chris Smith and Garry Traviss. Chris was taking it easy after yesterday's exploits. Garry must have decided to make it harder, turning up on and old bike with 53/39 and 11/23 gears. Not ideal for a lumpy route, but he's made of tough stuff.
The expected tailwind out didn't seem to arrive and much of the day was spent battling severe crosswinds, especially over the tops. It was pretty dangerous in sections.
Anyway, true to form, Chris ride on the front nearly all day and Garry's gears took their toll towards the end.
The weather forced some riders to shorten the route and we were a fair bit behind the 3RT racing contingent for the pie n peas.
A great day out though. 😄

Whilst the Condor's Northern Hemisphere team were battling adverse weather over the weekend Paul Daly was enjoying sunshine and super form in the Rev 100k road race down in New Zealand. Run as an adjunct to a prestigious pro road race Paul conquered all before him in his age group and finished high up overall. He'll be back over here in the UK for 4 or 5 weeks come May - you have been warned !!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st & Sunday 28th

Busy weekend coming up with the North West Passage on Saturday and a new event for the calendar on Sunday, the 3RT Reliability Ride.

As usual the NWP starts from the Spring Inn just outside Rochdale, the 200k ride starting at 8am and the 120 at 9, both following the routes established when the event began back in the 1970's. Myself, Chris, Steve, Ian, Nige, Simon & Mel have expressed our intention to ride the long route and Lumby and Mick White the shorter route. Others have ticked the 'may ride, depends on the weather box'. Entries, which include a hot meal at the finish are being accepted on the day.

If you fancy a shorter ride starting nearer to home 3RT are holding their 1st ever reliability ride starting from outside the Ritz Ballroom in Brighouse at 9.30am on Sunday(£3 entry on the day). Its about 60 miles in distance with about 6800ft of climbing and finishing at the Three Sons (formally the Clough House) where food will be available for a small charge. A .GPX file of the route can be viewed and downloaded from

On Sunday the 28th of February its the Halifax Imperial Wheelers '75 in 6' (that's miles and hours) Reliability Ride, also starting from outside the Ritz, the start time being 9am and the climbing being about 7800ft, finishing at the Beck Inn on Bradford Road, Brighouse where again food will be available. Download the route from

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ride-Out Lunch & Presentation

 A really good turn out of Condors assembled at Denholme Gate and Keighley, thankfully in really good weather, to put in a 50 mile loop to get to the lunch and presentation being held again at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale. We split briefly just after Crosshills, whilst the Hartley twins led a quartet of grimpeurs over the hills to Black Lane Ends the rest of us enjoyed the tail wind through Cowling and over the Moss for morning coffee at The Old Rock Café at Trawden where we regrouped.
From Trawden we checked out a section of the forthcoming Imps Reliability Ride route through the fords at Catlow Bottoms. The fords didn't claim universal approval, utmost care being needed for the 1st water splash which has been damaged by recent flooding but it was the 2nd ford that claimed our only casualty when Garry's wheel got stuck in a gap in the cobbles resulting in him falling from the bike but fortunately being unharmed.
Richard then wound the pace up at the front, straight down the Valley (except Mel & Robin who took a detour round Deerplay and Sharneyford) ensuring we made it to the pub shortly before 1pm.

After an excellent Sunday roast dinner and spotted dick the formalities took place with our special guest, British Cycling motor cycle commissaire, Kev Brown, presenting the trophies.

John Ginley (better known as Grimpy) took both the Road Race and Off-Road Trophies. Notable results for 2015 being 2nd in the BC National RR Champs, 2nd in the LVRC Percy Stallard Series, 4th in the LVRC National RR Chanps. John feels he could have done better but struggled with a knee injury later in the season.
He was the 2015 National Cyclo Cross Champion and 3rd in the World Championships in Switzerland. His 2015 winter campaign was blighted by knee and calf injuries but he now appears to be back to top form and keen for the 2016 season to get underway.
In 2015 he also returned to mountain biking taking 5th place overall in the Mary Townley Loop CX Challenge  and 3rd place in the BC MTB Champs on the London Olympic Course in July.

 Our Middle Distance Champ was Chris Smith (better known as Padiham Chris). Purchasing his 1st TT bike early in the year he took the trophy with a 22.24 '10' , a 58.40 '25' and a 1.57.56 '50' and a 4.06.15 '100', giving him an average speed of 25.12 mph.
During the season Chris took 11 wins out of 17 starts in the Rossendale evening 10's, a record number of wins in a single season.
He had a full Hill Climb season taking a win in the West Pennine climb on Blackstone Edge and representing the club with credit at the National Championship.
He also managed to pace the author round several Audax's and gain an elite finishing time in the Fred Whitton Challenge.

Brian Sunter had a remarkable season re-writing the record books again. Winning our 25 mile trophy for the umpteenth time with a time of 55.53 does not really reflect the scale of his achievements. He made his target the VTTA National Championships gaining 2nd on age standard in the '10', setting a new British age group of 21.14.  He was also 2nd in the '25' with a time of 56.11. In the '30' he took the gold medal with a time of 1.08.55 and also took gold in the '50' with another national age record of 1.50.53.

I managed to amass the greatest distance to take the Audax/Sportive Trophy with Mel 2nd and Steve Thewlis 3rd.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sunday 14th Feb - Ride-Out Lunch

About 25 meals booked so far - still plenty of room if you fancy joining us for the annual lunch and presentation (traditional Sunday lunch with choice of sweet, £12.50, all welcome). Meal booked for 1pm at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale.

If you fancy getting a few miles in en-route to the function we're meeting at 9am Denholme Gate or 9.30 at Keighley for a steady ride back to the Calder Valley via Crosshills, Laneshaw Bridge and the Old Rock Café at Trawden.  After a coffee I thought we may have a look at part of the Imps Reliability Ride route through the fords at Catlow Bottoms to Haggate then on to Cliviger.

See you Sunday.

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.