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.

http://youtu.be/IqENT0MIoOA  - 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 ,

Damien

Friday, November 07, 2014

AGM, Clothing, Sunday 9th November

NOTICE of ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
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  http://www.forcegb.com/ 
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.
 

 THE HILL CLIMB

By Simon Warren

Ten...
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.
Five...
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.
Four...
You grip the bars, you look ahead, you empty your mind.
Three...
You fill your lungs to pack the muscles with oxygen, you'll need every last drop.
Two...
Focus, you CAN do this,you're GOING to do this, focus.
One...
Silence
Go...
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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunday 20th October

I 'm meeting Paul at King Cross at 8am Sunday to have a ride out to Nick o' Pendle to give Chris a shout in the hill climb, he's no.2 on the start sheet, off at 10.02, hence the early start. This is Chris' final preparation event before next Sunday's National Champs at Stocksbridge's Pea Royd Lane. He's been busy riding all the classic local climbs, The Rake, Jackson Bridge, Holme Moss, Blackstone Edge etc and consistently achieving top ten finishes.
After the climb we'll be riding down to Waddington cafe for lunch - why not join us.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cafe Cruising Sunday Club Run

Here is an alternative offer for Sunday - 9am Keighley for Burnsall, and back. Hopefully we can still get away with best bikes, looking at the weather forecast.

RIDE REPORT: Leaving home the sun was thinking about poking through so I hoped we'd be on for a good day. The windmills at Top Withins were floating on fog, the blades catching the morning light while the bases were covered in mist. Over Fly Flats the views down the Worth valley had islands of sunshine over a white cloud sea - I'm sorry there was no time for pictures.

Meeting up with the Hartleys and the Barker in Keighley we took the scenic route over Cringles still shrouded in air damp enough to give us wet roads. That's no way to treat a new bike but it seemed to cope. Did you know that the latest Di2 uses the battery to power a motor in the rear hub - it works a treat!

Breakfast was taken in Burnsall, because that's what it said on the blog, and back via Thorpe to Gargrave leaving Melv at Airton - because he'd done enough in the Hills & Mills yesterday. We then took the road home over Cowling and Slippery Ford, because it's quiet and the sun had started to break through.

NEXT SUNDAY: I'm up for a regular Sunday run in no specific direction - could somebody kindly come up with a cafe (just the one) and a sensible route.

And finally ... Mr Lord has his own blog report of the 3 peaks that you might like to read: http://adrianlordcycling.blogspot.co.uk/


Friday, October 10, 2014

Mills & Hills Sportive

I understand that entries for the Mills & Hills tomorrow will be accepted on the day (at event HQ, Mytholmroyd Community Centre).  I recall that last year you could ride over the starting matt at the time of your choice between 8 and 9.30am.
Most Condors chose to start at about 9'o clock last year, which worked well so I'll be aiming to do the same again.

If you feel you would rather watch others expending their energies you could have a ride over to Huddersfield and watch our hill climbing expert, Padiham Chris, in action twice. In the morning it's the Star Wheelers climb up the Jackson Bridge climb and in the afternoon Holme Valley Wheelers promote their climb up Holme Moss.  See the CTT website for further details and startsheets.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Chris' Mists report

The Season Of Mists And Mellow Fruitfulness 




A great thank you again for Chris Crossland and his team for organizing such a rich and varied route.

A good number of riders this morning, including many Condors and friends, set of from a very cold Autumnal Hebden Bridge.
Looking round at the start I spotted to name a few
  • Mel
  • Steve Barker
  • Robin Holt 
  • Pete Horne 
  • Adrian Lord
  • Oakworth Steve
  • Richard
  • Nigel (en-route)
  • Myself Chris Smith
With favorable weather on our sides the miles and the climbing seemed to spur us on and up.
A blow by blow account isnt needed but a crash did occur i believe, on the descent into Slaidburn. Who I don't know as it happened behind us in the lead bunch.

It was good to catch up, discuss how the summer season has fared us in racing etc and what is planned for the forthcoming. With the approach of the off season we should think of some different routes to keep it fresh.

I hope everyone got round ok today. Im unsure of the finishing time but finished momentarily behind Mel, Mark Sadler  and a very strong guy who Ive ridden with before but whos name escapes me appols.

Returning to a beautiful spread of food laid on by the ctc ladies we chatted about the route whilst more successful riders came in one by one.

Well Done everyone and Thanks again! Great riding!

Monday, September 29, 2014


Congratulations to Adrian Lord who flew the Condor colours around the 3 Peaks 'Cross to finish in a time of 4.42.46, one place behind Olympic marathon runner (pb 2.28.06) Sarah Rowell.


A great day out was had by Richard, Paul, Steve and myself who as you can see from the Strava maps took a super route up to Cold Cotes from where we took on the role of spectators around the road sections and were able to admire the strength, fitness and tenacity of the competitors at close quarters.

Whilst we were enjoying the Dales, Chris Smith was putting his body through the agonies of competition in the most painful way possible, riding 3 hill climbs over the weekend, taking a magnificent 4th place on the Rivington Pike event on Saturday then 7th overall on the 2 stage Lancaster RC climbs up the Conder Bottoms and Jubilee Tower climbs on Sunday.


Friday, September 26, 2014

ALSO COMING UP IN THE NEAR FUTURE -Well November but tickets on sale now)

Halifax Imperial Wheelers Annual Dinner & Prize Presentation
Followed by Dancing to ‘Live’ Rock & Roll Band - J.B.Goode
To be held Saturday 29th November, 2014 at:-
Halifax Bradley Hall Golf Club, Stainland Road, Holywell Green 
To Start

Soup
Leek & Stilton Soup with Cheesy Croutons
Fish
Lobster & Crab Fishcake, Sweet Chilli Dressing & Micro Salad
Cheese
Warm, Rosemary Spiked, Camembert, Crusty Dipping Bread & House Chutney
Pate
Chicken Liver & Foie Gras Parfait, Poached Quinces & Pickled Walnuts

Main Event
Lamb
Roasted Lamb Rump, Sweet Potato, Wild Mushrooms, Mint Jus
Fish
Seabass Fillet, Queenie Scallops, Parmentier Potatoes, Bisque Reduction
Pork
Butter Roasted Tenderloin, Spiced Red Cabbage, Apple Puree and Tarte Tatin
Tomato Duo
Tomato & Basil Filo Tart; Tomato & Spinach Bread & Butter Pudding

All Main Courses Served with Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes, Buttered Herb New Potatoes and a Selection of Colourful Mixed Vegetables

To Finish

Cheese
Selection of Three Cheeses Served with Celery, Grapes, Chutney and Biscuits
Chocolate
Chocolate Orange Crème Brulee, Shortbread Biscuit
Meringue
Slow Gin Poached Winter Berries, Meringue Discs, English Cream
Apple
Individual Apple Crumble Tart, Flapjack Topping & Custard
 -o0o-

Coffee & Mints 

£25.00
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Order Slip - Return with payment to: - Janice Saleem at 19 Scar Top, Rochdale Road, Upper Greetland, Halifax. HX4 8PF
Please make cheques payable to J Saleem

01422 370490 / 07762 181 457 email Janliz@scartop.freeserve.co.uk

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's coming up

This Sunday its the 3 Peaks Cyclo X so we're meeting 8am Denholmgate or 8.30 Keighley and having a ride up there to cheer on our only entry, Adrian Lord. Its a reasonable forecast so the plan is to go to Cold Cotes, Ingleton, Chapel-le-Dale, Ribblehead and down to Horton and the finish at Helwith Bridge. Good conditions and an excellent field make this a not to be missed club-run.

Sunday 5th October - Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness Audax's, 9am from Salem Community Centre, Hebden Bridge.

Saturday 11th October - Mills Hills Sportive, 80m, 8am Mytholmroyd Community Centre (there's also a 35m cyclo-cross option). We had a good turn out from the Condor last year for the interesting and challenging route. Enter via BC website £20 or on the day £25.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Saturday 20th Sept

Chris and myself are having a ride around Morcambe Bay and the South Lakes on Saturday. I'm picking Chris up at Tod at 7am and we're going to park at Devils Bridge (Kirkby Lonsdale) hopefully getting on the bikes before 8.30.  If you fancy a change of scenery join us.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blackstone Edge Hill Climb(s)

My Sunday ride took me over Cowling Hill, Black Lane Ends, Blacko, Barley, Burnley and Bacup en-route to Blackstone Edge to give Chris a cheer in stage 2 of the East Lancs Road Club Hill Climbs.


Stage 1 had been run off up the shorter but steeper contours of the old Blackstone Edge Road in the morning with Chris taking 7th fastest time with 1min 59.6secs to the winners 1.44.2.
Stage 2 was on the longer A58 to just short of The White House. With a head wind blowing I expected this stage to be more suited to Chris' undoubted endurance but he lost out a little finishing 11th fastest in 9m 50.9secs giving him an overall 10th place from the 40 finishers. The climb was won overall by Ilkley CC's Henry King.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Holme Valley MTB


Well done to Paul who finished 6th fastest in todays Holme Valley Scouts MTB Challenge from a large field of riders. He's obviously got better powers of recovery than me, I still had 'Hardnott Legs' and suffered just trying to keep up to Chris and Steve as we made our way over there to spectate.


Or perhaps it was the temperature which was down to 7 degrees as we descended down to Saddleworth although it improved once we returned to Yorkshire over the Isle of Skye.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sunday 7th Sept

If anyone fancy's joining us I'm meeting Chris at Elland Bridge at 8am for Buckstones, Isle of Skye and Hade Edge to give Paul a shout of encouragement in the Holme Valley Scouts MTB Challenge.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Fred, Wednesday 3rd Sept




We had a successful day out in the Lake District yesterday, dry and mild with just a gentle breeze, it was a welcome contrast to last years circuit around the classic Fred Whitton route when heavy rain turned the roads into rivers compelling us to walk down some of the passes.


Grimpy, Richard, Paul and myself left the car park round the back of Wheelbase at Staveley just after 8am and it was Grimpy, just 3 days after celebrating his 72nd birthday with a category win in the latest round of the Percy Stallard National Road Race Series somewhere in the midlands, who set a lively pace up through Troutbeck and over Kirkstone.


Ullswater was looking picture postcard perfect in the morning sun and I could have easily been tempted to loiter on the banks soaking up the tranquil serenity so freely offered but Paul had other ideas and we had all on just staying on his wheel. We soon turned our backs on the allure of Ullswater to climb over Matterdale End and enjoyed grand views of Blencathra and Skiddaw on the descent to the one less attractive feature of the ride, the A66. A pleasure to cycle on it may not be, but fast it is and we were soon enjoying carrot cake and buckets of Caffe Americano at the Keswick Costa.


The road surface down to Borrowdale was as bad as ever and it was a relief to get onto Honister Pass and have something else to think about. It is a beautiful view down to the Buttermere valley, one of the best in Lakeland but you really do need to concentrate on your riding on the uneven tarmac.
We had been in danger of being hypnotised by the sight of an ever expanding bulge in Pauls back tyre. He was on his 'cross bike but had abandoned his faithful and reliable old Landcruiser (on which he'd been setting Strava segment KoM's) in favour of an old but lighter tyre he'd found abandoned in a corner of his garage.
When we stopped to re-group at the top of Newlands (my favorite Lakes Pass with its open views across Sail Beck to Whiteless Pike and Cragg Hill) and he happened to glance at the tyre himself, what he saw was not good, no rubber left on two areas and the threads on the casing fraying where the bulge was growing - even Paul looked concerned!   Fortunately we found the excellent bike shop at Whinlatter Visitor Centre and despite having no money he became the proud owner of a Conty Gatorskin, inflated personally by the proprietor of Cyclewise.


I was tempted to have a cafe stop at the smart looking cafe at the Centre but was out-voted in favor of pressing on over Loweswater and Cold Fell to Gosforth. Unfortunately the cafe there was closed, we went to the local bistro where they were kind enough to supply hot drinks and scones but something was still missing, something that only a pork pie from the local grocers satisfied.
After a leisurely break it was down to Eskdale and the serious stuff, Hardnott and Wrynose. Modesty forbids me from saying who was the only one to ride all the Passes but I have to concede that Paul, despite walking short sections was the 1st to the summits.


A great day out, 111 miles with about 11,000 ft of climbing, every mile and every foot being a pleasure.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday 31st - Crazy Climbing


We were down to 4 for today's Hill Climb Recce' ride but were soon into the spirit of the day honking up the gradients from Holywell Brook to Old Lindley, through Outlane and over Scapegoat Hill.


A super descent or the best road surface of the day took us down to Slaithwaite from where we took the less popular route over to Meltham up to Blackmoorfoot Reservoir. From Meltham it was over to Holmfirth via Upperthong then up over Cartworth Moor to Hade Edge before dropping down through Hepworth to enjoy the climb up Jackson Bridge - stage 1 of the HSW Hill Climb.
We stayed on the tops then before dropping down to Stocksbridge, stopping part way for refreshments at the Windmills Cafe.


Our target for the day, the Pea Royd Lane climb, the venue for this years National Hill Climb Championship, was enjoyed by all, with some of us enjoying it for longer than others.


We then meandered back to Calderdale via Silkstone and Cannon Hall (where afternoon tea was taken) before taking in a bit of culture at Bretton Sculpture Park.  A really pleasant day out - this will have to stop!

Three Condors have signed up so far for Wednesdays trip round the Fred Whitton, Paul, Ricard and myself. Don't put it off, JUST DO IT

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sunday 31st August & Weds 3rd September

This coming Sunday a few of us are meeting at Elland Bridge at 8.30am for a potter around 'Summer Wine Country'. Incorporated into this ride will be a recce' of Pea Royd Lane at Stocksbridge, the venue for this years National Championship Hill Climb on the 26th of October.


Next Wednesday, with good weather forecast some of the Wednesday club are planning a bit of a change, we're meeting at the car park round the back of Wheelbase at Staveley for an amble around the Fred Whitton route. We're planning to be on the bikes for 8am; its a group ride so no-one will be attempting to set any records and at least 2, possibly 3 cafe stops will be taken. Let me know and I'll arrange car sharing 07549 821349 or petehorne@yahoo.co.uk).

There will of course also be the usual meet, Shelf Roundabout 10am.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Racing round up

Congratulations to Brian who made the weekends trip down to Newmarket worthwhile by taking the bronze medal in a very strong field, in Sundays Veterans 25mile Time Trial National Championships. On a morning when temperatures were more like March than August he produced a great time of 54 minutes 33 seconds; only about 10 seconds short of the British record for his age group.

Meanwhile in the depths of Buckinghamshire, Grimpy continued the great form he has shown this season with a win in the North Bucks Road Club LVRC road race.

In action nearer home was Chris Smith who began his preparation for the hill climb season last Wednesday evening with a great 2nd place in the North Lancs Road Club event on the Close Brow climb at Rushton. Chris' time of 2 minutes dead was 10 seconds behind the winner Andrew Laycock of Clitheroe Bike Club.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Six go to the Seaside


We were blessed with clear sunny weather for todays trip to Morecambe although there was a nip in the air, the early temperatures over the hill dropping down to 8 degrees, which for August felt pretty chilly.


Five of us met at King Cross and Paul set a blistering pace down to Hebden Bridge - he would probably deny this but looking at his Strava, a PB on just about every segment tells the true tale. I suggested to the others that there was no reason why we should chase after him but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Steve was waiting to join us at HB and will never know how lucky he was getting there the easier way, over Cock Hill from Oakworth.
It wasn't really the best preparation for the next challenge, Mytholm Steeps - just ask Richard if you doubt this observation. Anyway once we got to Blackshaw Head the pace settled and the ride over Kebs was a delight in the early morning sun. We followed the Seasons of Mists route to Fence. Sabden and over the Nick o' Pendle and before we knew it were sat in Waddington Cafe enjoying and excellent bacon & egg sandwich and numerous cups of tea.
From Waddington we turned left from the Newton road along some delightful lanes to Cow Ark and Dunsop Bridge to the next classic climb, the Trough of Bowland - never as difficult as its reputation would have you believe, and we were soon enjoying the descent. The next climb, up to Jubilee Tower had Chris rather excited as he's entered a hill-climb from Quernmore up to the Tower in a few weeks time and was keen to look at the road. The views from the top alone were worth our days efforts, you could almost reach out and touch the Lakeland Fells to the far side of the Morecambe Bay, then a glance south gave you views of North Wales and Snowdonia.
It was plain sailing from there to Lancaster where we joined the cycleway from the Millennium Bridge to the centre of Morecambe which was looking splendid.


After sauntering along the Pier and up and down the Promenade we indulged ourselves with a fish butty before hitting the return road, well the return tracks. We returned to Lancaster on the cycleway then picked up the splendid old railway track down to Glasson Dock. A helping breeze softened the contours as we followed the Good Companions route to Chipping from where we took on the severe gradients of Longridge Fell, the views on this ascent helping counterbalance the pain in the legs.
We then included a little detour round the magnificent grounds of Stoneyhurst College before enjoying Americano's and calories in Whalley. With the tail wind light work was made of the remaining miles and we were home in time to watch the TTT at the Vuelta.
A super day - next away day on the list is a potter round the 'Fred' - watch this space!