Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sunday 28th May

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

3 World Champions


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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Club Run - Sunday 21st May

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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sunday 14th May

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

Thursday, May 04, 2017

World Masters Games Report -from the horses mouth

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

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

 
 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Paul Daly and Derek Smith Memorial RR (IMPS) Saturday 22nd April

Congratulations to Paul Daly on winning the world masters series mountain bike Championship well done super star. 

Many thanks to everyone who supported the imps event and who saw Melvyn's Great Ride
in Race 2. away in a 3 up break for most of the event finishing 2nd in his cat. Myself and Brian stayed with the peloton finishing 3rd and 4th in our cats we need to improve our sprint
Thanks again for your support. Pictures from the event can be viewed on the imps Facebook site.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

World Masters Games, New Zealand


Best wishes to Paul Daly who next Monday will be riding in the World Masters Games Mountain Bike Champs in New Zealand and the following Sunday in the Road Race. His main target has always been the mountain bike and judging from his Strava feed he's in good form although he has had a recurring hamstring niggle. Full details can be seen at http://www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz/

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sunday 23rd April - Red Rose Ride


Its Calderdale CTC's Red Rose 200k Audax this coming Sunday, 8am from Oddfellows Rooms, Prescott Street, Halifax.

The following Saturday, the 29th I've entered a 100k rough stuff Audax from Newby Wiske, North Yorks. Take a look at it on the AUK site, looks good and with a checkpoint at The Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge it will be an excellent day out and leave Sunday free to watch the TdY travel through Calderdale.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

California

I thought you might like to see a couple of photos from my recent ride ... there were some fine hills, and fine views but, as Peter requested, I'll say no more about it.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

IMPS RR SATURDAY 22nd APRIL NEEDS YOUR KIND SUPPORT

Please support the  Derek Smith Memorial (imps) RR on Saturday 22nd. Marshalls/ Support needed from around 9.00/9.15. I'm sure as usual the Imps will reciprocate this support for our event in July.
HQ (HX4 8JG) as usual Greetland Sports & community Centre. Race starts at 10.00, Sean Smith is organising.
This year Sean due to police stipulation as had to reduce the field size and organise a temporary road closure. The police will i'm sure be monitoring the event so its important we provide as much support as possible to aid riders and safety. The event should finish by around 12.30 when i believe Pie & Pies will be available at HQ.  Many Thanks    

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sunday 26th - Foulridge

As requested Peter, I'm going to suggest 9:30 in Keighley (British Summer Time) for a short run over to the canal-side cafe at Foulridge, and then back over a hill or two - maybe Widdop.

If the weather behaves as forecast then I suspect the BEST BIKE will be getting a first outing of the year.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sunday 26th March


Due to the excellent weather forecast for this weekend  I shoved in a late entry for the Yorkshire Gallop Audax on Saturday so I'm leaving it to someone else to arrange a club run for Sunday.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunday 19th March


Meet 8.30 Denholme Gate or 9am Keighley for Silverdale.

Andy Myers digit following his tumble in the 3RT Rely Ride

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Race Report & next Sundays club run

 Brian laying down the power on the Norland circuit a couple of seasons ago.

Brian and Grimpy made a successful start to their road racing seasons last Sunday riding the 1st of the LVRC over 65's series, the snappily titled Baines JCA Equip Velo Road Race run off on cold and wet conditions in Northamptonshire. Although Brian took 1st and John took 2nd neither appeared overjoyed with their performances due to several riders from a younger age category finishing in front of them - it doesn't seem a bad result to me !

A good club run out to the magnificent Birkin Tea Rooms last Sunday although we did get a tad wet on the return journey. This coming Sunday its a pleasant ride up Wharfedale, Buckden Triangle and back down to Kettlewell for a bite to eat at Madame Zarina's. Meet 8.30 Denholme Gate or 9am Skipton roundabout, Keighley.


Friday, March 03, 2017

Sunday 5th March


I've arranged to meet Simon at Shelf roundabout at 9am on Sunday for a steady ride out to Birkin Cafe, all welcome to join us of course but if you're looking for something a little more challenging there's the Leeds Mercury Reliability Ride from Otley at 9.30am, see http://leedsmercurycc.blogspot.co.uk/ for full details. Would have loved to ride it myself but licking my wounds from being run down by a lorry on Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Imps Reliability

Thanks to JK and the Imps for organising another cruel and punishing day of wet and windy weather on a route comprising nothing but hills. We wouldn't want it any other way.
As you can see from this 'Strava art', Martin Gargett seems to have found the experience disappointing - perhaps due to the off-route excursion via Rochdale:

Meanwhile, the Condors were smiling all the way round:

And a rider on the short route was positively laughing:
Finally, Paul Daly in NZ has kindly provided a very creative entry to this week's drawing competition - apparently it is a thirsty Bactrian camel (with two humps, and its tongue hanging out). Perhaps more riding is required there Paul to refine your artistic technique?


Hi Condors, just thought that I would say thanks for dragging me round the Imps Reliability course, apologies for not taking a turn at the front, I was struggling all day with breathing & a few chest pains, I have a heart condition & just wanted to get it over & done with ASAP. I took the short route option but struggled all the way back,stopping 5 or 6 times, to Sowerby Bridge where I decided to stop & go home. I've never struggled like that before & hope it was just a one off. It was really weird as on some of the hills I glided up effortlessly & others I struggled on. Thanks once again, next time I will take my turns at the front!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Remembering Paul Hickey

Massive turnout from local cyclists yesterday to say the last goodbye to our cycling comrade Paul Hickey, rest in peace.

The Countdown - Condor Hilly TT  11/06/2008 







Mid Peak Grimpeur 2010 - Paul setting the pace

Summer in the Peak District

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th


Busy weekend coming up with the North West Passage Audax on Saturday and the 3RT Reliability Ride on Sunday.

I'm giving the NWP a miss this year but I understand that Mel is bringing a crack team over from Wharfedale to fly the colours at the sharp end and Simon (says) he's going for a more measured approach. Details as per Audax web site, entries on the day accepted.

All being well I will be riding the 3RT Reliability Ride which starts from outside the Ritz in Brighouse at 9am on Sunday. According to the Strava route its 62.6 miles with 6954 ft of climbing, finishing at a hostelry at the top of Rastrick .  £4 to enter on the day. The route and GPX (or TCX if you prefer) can be found at https://www.strava.com/routes/7314947 Be warned, Brian and Grimpy are threatening to join me.


I've foolishly agreed to join Simon on the NW Passage. However I'm hoping for a leisurely tour with at least two food stops ...


Friday, February 10, 2017

Batley Bash, Sunday 12th

Image may contain: 1 person, sky and outdoor
 God knows where Ian Wellock is but it doesn't look like Huddersfield

Batley Bash this Sunday, Thorpe Lane, Tingley,  9am.  The Condor PACT will be in operation once again. I'm meeting Simon in Brighouse (Sainsbury's Roundabout) for a steady ride out to Tingley, all welcome. Brighouse meet time 8 o'clock.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Sunday 5th February


This Sunday the 5th of February its the Drighlington Bicycle Club's Reliability Ride. The start & finish is at the Drighlington Cricket Club (turn right on Station Road just before the cross roads in the centre of Drig and you can't miss it).  Tom Brabbin from the Imps has kindly created a GPX route for your GPS which can be found here -  https://www.strava.com/routes/7380908
Its a 9am start and costs £4 to enter. We are going to have a PACT again, Obviously its not compulsory for Condors to be in this pact but please make it clear if you are - if you are we stick together.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunday 29th Jan - HDR Reliability Ride


This Sunday its the 1st of the five Ride to the Sun Reliability Rides. It kicks off from the Pear Tree pub at Mirfield at 9am, entry is £4 on the day and the GPX file is here  https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1503444686 its about 56 miles and finishes at the Pear Tree.

There had been some concern that the day would descend into an unofficial race (just like a normal Condor club run) but this is not going to happen because the Condor will be forming a PACT.  If you join the pact the other members will wait (and offer free advice) should you puncture or slip off the back but you are not allowed to go off the front, no matter how good you're feeling. If you do leave the pact behind a penalty must be paid - you will have to buy all other pact members a pint at the finish. You must make it clear before the start whether you have joined this pact.

The Pear Tree is on the right after Cooper Bridge, before you get to Mirfield proper. 



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sunday 22nd January


I'd entered the Mere 200 Audax this coming Sunday along with Gary, John Lumb 2 and possibly Chris and Steve but I'm just not up to it at the moment so I'm intending having a potter up Wharfedale and the Buckden Triangle. I've arranged to meet Simon at 8.30 at Denholme Gate and we'll be going through Keighley roundabout at 9am. All welcome to join us but if you're wanting a good training ride you may be disappointed.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ride To The Sun


Early Season 'Get Fit' Rides

We are lucky this year, with the birth of the 'Ride to the Sun' series of reliability rides, to have the opportunity network with other local club riders on 5 successive weeks, all the rides cost a mere £4 to enter (on the day so get their early enough to pay before the 9am start). Proceeds go to Kirklees Cycling Acadamy and all finish at a pub where snacks will be available  :- 

Sunday 29th January   HDR Reliability Ride, 9am from The Pear Tree, Mirfield, 58 miles out east in the flatlands.

Sunday 5th February   Drighlington BC Reliability Ride, 9am from Drighlington, Again out east and a similar mileage.

Sunday 12th February   Batley Bash, 9am Thorpe Lane, Tingley. Pan flat and again 60 miles or so out east.

Sunday 19th February   3RT Reliability Ride. 9am Ritz, Brighouse. 70 or so miles, getting a bit hillier than the previous rides but that doesn't matter 'cos we'll all be really fit by then.

Sunday 26th February   Halifax Imps Reliability Ride,  9am Ritz, Brighouse. The blue ribbon event, JK's annual painfest. Same route as last year so non-swimmers should take their water-wings.

Looks like an exciting series of rides, a big thanks to Mick Collins for his work in putting the series together, I'm already looking forward to getting to the pub. There's .GPX files knocking about on the internet for all the rides, I'll track them down and put a link on the blog in the week prior to the ride.





Friday, January 13, 2017

Memory Lane

I managed to capture one of Bernard's photos - we think it was the A1, or possibly the A64. Either way riding two abreast on a main artery was fine with traffic like this. Even as a bystander rather than a participant it was interesting to see the slideshow and it made for a good afternoon.
The friendly chat, tasty lunch and brown beer may have helped too.
Ian
ps - Peter I hope that you are back riding soon. We didn't know where to go without you there to captain the ride. Brian says he is still having nightmares about going over Herders and Widdop in one ride.

1 comment:

  1. At least I can't be blamed this time. Still not 100%, chest a lot better today but think I'll have to write this weekend off, It's over to you for club run.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Condor Road Club Trophy Winners 2016

Our annual ride-out lunch and presentation took place at te Robin Hood, Cragg Vale last Sunday. Founder member (67 years ago) Gordon Turner was there to make the awards. 

!st trophy was for the greatest distance covered in the year in organised rides such as Audax, Sportive and Reliability rides. Pete Horne took this award with a total of 2051 miles, with Steve Thewlis in 2nd place at 1543 miles (including a double Coast to Coast) with Mel Hartley 3rd at 617 miles.


Best All Rounder Fastest average speed over 10. 25, 50 & 100 mile time trials. Chris Smith took this award for the 2nd year running with PB's at all distances.  Had CRC a hill climb trophy Chris would have also won that, representing Condor with distinction in many local climbs in addition to the National Championship at Matlock.


25 mile Time Trial Champion Once again awarded to Brian Sunter, but simply to call Brian the 25 champion would hardly do justice to another outstanding season. He knocked over a minute off John Woodburn's 10 mile age group record when he recorded 20min 44secs. at 25 miles he recorded another British age record with 54min 36secs. The British record also fell at 50 miles when he recorded 1hr 56min 45secs. Brian's main targets for the year were the VTTA National Championship events at 10, 25, 30 &  50 mile distances. Travelling the country to achieve his ambitions he made the podium at all 4 distances winning gold at 25 miles, the blue ribbon event of the vets calender.


Road Race & Off-Road Trophy's Whilst Melvin dabbled his toes into the cut and thrust of veterans road racing in 2016 with a 2nd in the Condor event, 3rd in the Clifton CC, 5th in the Imps race and 5th in the Tour of Cambridgeshire UCI Gran Fondo the trophy was retained by John Ginley with a 1st place overall in the LVRC o'65's Road Race Series and 2nd place overall in the season long Percy Stallard Competition.
As we all know John is an outstanding cyclo-x rider but he'd been fighting injury for much of the early part of 2016 and was doubtful that he would ever be able to resume his 'cross career. However, after a season road racing he started testing his legs off-road, was not unhappy with the result and sent his entry in the the UCI World Masters 'Cross Championship in Moll, Belgium. The rest is history, a 2nd World Cyclo X gold medal.


I missed to 'Do' myself due to being struck down with man-flu so I would like to thank Phil Haigh for volunteering, at the last moment, to take over my duties at the function and also Phil (Sandy) Sanderson for organising it and collecting the money. I'm gutted about missing it, especially Bernard's slide show.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

A bit of nostalgia

Prompted by the thought of Bernard's forthcoming slideshow Adrian has put his own memory of a club run from those halcyon days from the early 80's onto paper  (well into the digital ether)


done my own 'reminiscence'here: http://adrianlordcycling.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/a-winter-bike-ride.html

A Winter Bike Ride


The 'social season' is a magical time for cycling in England. While summer has its long days and sunshine, there is something special about the winter. Frequently cold, windy, wet and dark, but still special.

I started cycling with a club when I was 14 or 15, in the early 1980s when our heroes were the 'hard men', Sean Kelly and Bernard Hinault. We were in no doubt that they would be clocking up the winter miles. Asked if the weather was ever too bad to go out training, Kelly replied "I go out and then when I get back I decide if it was too bad or not."



There was no club in my home town of Hebden Bridge, so it was almost always a solo 10 miles to start and finish the day, either along the Calder Valley or up over the lonely moors above Oxenhope. This is the story of a typical day.

In the silent early morning light I pedal down the valley to the rendezvous, along deserted roads with only the occasional bloke out to buy the morning paper or walk the dog. Although its light, the day has the kind of flat, grey lack of contrast when the sun has woken up but chosen to stay under a thick cloudy duvet.

A 9:00 start inevitably stretches until at least 15 minutes past. Arrangements and promises made after several pints the night before are sketchily remembered. 'I'm sure he said he was coming, but then he got talking to a lass.'...... A straggler turns up, out of breath. Ribald comments about his whereabouts the night before. I notice that his jersey is steaming on his back, like a racehorse in the winter chill.

On this occasion we're making a short run to the south and east of Yorkshire. It's not the picture postcard Dales, its pits and power stations, but it's flatter, easier cycling. Two of our number are miners. One, an ex-miner now, has a roly-poly stomach and the tell-tale 'wheeze' of a life underground, and is nicknamed 'Puffing Billy'. The other, still (just about) clinging onto his profession and earning decent money is a small wiry bloke. He always claims his job in the pit is to 'Lig abaht' (lie around) on a shelf cut in the rock at a junction on the underground line to make sure the coal trucks don't get derailed. I never did find out if this was true!

We climb out of the Calder Valley and through the historic parklands of Nostell Priory. First stop is a transport cafe, somewhere south east of Wakefield. There's a different type of Yorkshire accent in south Yorkshire, harder and broader than in West Yorkshire. The woman behind the counter has 'SHAFT' tattooed on her knuckles - more ribald comments, some of which I (an innocent 15 year old) don't understand! However, she is a scary-tough looking woman with short bleached hair, so the banter is subdued! Once again I'm amazed by how much food a bunch of skinny cyclists can put away. It's all bacon butties and beans washed down with gallons of tea - no scientific diets and designer coffee for us!

We saddle up for the second-half of the morning. I'm still a newbie so I never know quite where we are going, but every week follows the same pattern. The pace starts to pick up at about 12:00 and that signals that we're about half an hour from the pub. There's some final jostling for position and an ad-hoc sprint for the village sign, and then lunch. Which is often 'liquid'. While the 'grown ups' down as many pints as they can before Sunday closing at 2:00, we younger ones drift back outside after we've eaten. Someone has a tennis ball. We play wall-ball and then football, and then have a quick 'circuit race' around the village, or we hang about talking about the things that 15 year-olds talk about.

On that subject, we are an exclusively male bunch. The only female cyclists I ever see in our part of the world are World Champion Mandy Jones, Julie Earnshaw - a Tour Feminin rider, and Lisa Brambani - a good looking youngster already on the national squad. There's also the legendary Beryl Burton, but I only ever see her at time trials - and she's off with the favoured riders while I start very early in the morning with the no-hopers. The next summer I meet a French cycle tourist and spend a day in the Dales with her, making a total of five women I have seen cycling!

Our leaders emerge from the pub. Everyone is a bit merry. We set off back, across the flat-lands passing cloud-belching cooling towers and whirring pit heads.  A kestrel is hunting along the edges of one of the slag heaps, and winter starlings are lined up along the telephone wires. There's no wind and we bowl along effortlessly. Someone rides alongside, flapping his 'wings' like a Condor - the name of our club, its motif stamped on our chests.  Soon we're all at it, swooping along the road, arms outstretched. It's not long until nature calls and there's an unscheduled stop. We're barely off again when someone has a mechanical. It's just a chain off so we ride on slowly for him to catch up, but then somebody decides we'll hide. We slip through a gate and hide behind the hedge, while he rides past, looking for us on the road ahead. Then we quietly remount and slowly catch him up - but he's going faster and faster, still thinking we're ahead. By now we're just a few yards behind him. Somebody sniggers and the game is up. 'You bloody daft buggers!' he shouts. Angry at being made to look a fool.

There's another stop, but this time we pass through some gates, which are padlocked by a chain just wide enough to get a person and bike through. We're on a big tarmac drive through a country house estate. Somebody tells me the history of the place. A wealthy noble family was stupid enough to mine underneath their own home which is now abandoned, cracking and crumbling with subsidence. A herd of deer is grazing in the distance. It is completely still and quiet, just the swish of our tyres as we scurry on through.



Its already starting to get dark on this short winter day, and our lights are switched on. My winter bike is kitted out with a dynamo. I have put a bigger bulb in the back light, because the standard dynamo bulbs always 'pop' when going down the steep hills of Yorkshire. Now, the faster I go downhill, the brighter the light. The whirr of the dynamo wheel is a comfort in the dark, but also puts a bit extra drag onto tired legs. Every so often, a friendly hand rests on my back and gives me a push to keep me in the bunch.

As we get nearer to Calderdale, people peel off towards their homes. I can smell Sunday dinners and coal fires. The smells and warm glow from the houses seems to emphasise the cold and dark outside. I tick off the valley landmarks and mill towns: Ravensthorpe, Cooper Bridge, Brighouse, Elland, Sowerby Bridge and then a steep kick up towards the main road, and finally back to Hebden Bridge. Its been a great day but its always nice to be back home out of the elements.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Sunday's Ride-Out Lunch & Presentation




Just a reminder that its the Condor ride-out lunch and prize presentation this coming Sunday at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale, meal booked for 1pm (roast beef & yorkshires + sweet, £15).A chance to celebrate our World and British Champions. Theres also a slide show by Bernard Boylan of the pictures he took during the 70's & 80's. Those who are riding there are meeting at Denholme Gate at 9.30am. Please let me know if you want to book a place, All welcome not just Condor members.



Grimpy and I have been collecting stats for the awards, please e-mail me your seasons results so we can make sure no mistakes are made. In particular the total distances achieved during 2016 for Audax/Sportive/Reliability Trophy - send them to petehorne@yahoo.co.uk

Friday, December 23, 2016

Condor Ride-Out Lunch & Presentation


Now that the Wednesday Vets Christmas lunch is fading into the mists of time its time to book your place at the annual lunch and presentation - 1pm Sunday 8th January at the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale.
In addition to having a British Vets time trial champion and a World Masters Cyclo-X  champion to celebrate we have Bernard Boylan's slide show of 70's & 80's Condor Road Club action.
As posted some weeks ago we're having roast beef & yorkshire pudd followed by apple crumble & custard, £15.00. Book your place with me, £5 deposit.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Round Robin (Cragg Vale Spiral)


Missed from he below list of Christmas activities is the Cragg Vale Spiral which takes place tomorrow, Sat 17th, 9.30am, starting outside the Robin Hood, Cragg Vale. Well worth riding, 3, 2, or 1 lap finishing at the Robin Hood for refreshments. All welcome. Unfortunately, in ignorance of the ride I'de already made other plans and Chris has horses to shoe so there'll be 2 less Condors than usual.

Thursday, December 15, 2016