Monday, August 03, 2015

Feizor - ride and cafe report

I'm glad that the mtb ride went well for Peter but what's with the 71.5 miles! I though the MT loop was only 40-odd. Maybe our intrepid colleagues took a wrong turn at some point? 

Meanwhile, the road runners had a lovely day out to Feizor as planned, going out by the 'flat' route over Attermire (taking great care on the descent into Settle) and back by the 'less flat' route down from Eldroth over Bowland Knotts, Elslack, Cowling Pinnacle and Slippery Ford.

Steve, Steve, Andy and Robin were out and hopefully had a good time. I'd say that the pace was rapid and unrelenting. Others might use less generous terminology. At least there were smiles when we stopped and had our photo took at the peak of our ride (note the clean and mud-free appearances). Soon afterward we met Dougie and John from VS doing the same ride but the other way round, so it was clearly the route du jour. The sky looks leaden here but the sun did come out closer to home.

Now for the most important bit - our ongoing series of cafe reports. Elane's Tearooms certainly gets top marks for location, friendly and welcoming staff and an inviting decor and atmosphere. The wipe-clean seats are a bonus should any muddy mountain bikers visit these parts. They sadly lost points for the quality of the teacake which was in no way up to the task and just instantly fell apart, and for the seemingly deep-fried bacon which repeated unpleasantly for the next couple of hours. So I'd give an 'egg-rating' of 4 eggs out of a maximum half-dozen.

Robin was keen on Tatham Fells next week, but that could be too much like a repeat ride?

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Mary Townley

I think if Ian had been with us today he would have changed his mind about the Mary Townley Loop. The route ticks all the mountain biking boxes and the weather today was just right, not hot, not cold, a light breeze. There were puddles in places from yesterdays downpour and we did get a little dirty but I'm happy to report that the muck washed off in the shower.
Grimpy, Simon and I left Callis Bridge at just turned 8am and were back there 6½ hrs later having stayed together throughout sharing gate opening duties equally. A perfect day really, no punctures, no mechanicals, no crashes, no getting lost and no 'bonking', the only downside being Grimpy's new mountain bike getting dirty.

May it all go as well for John next Sunday, he's entered the MT Loop Sportive - I'm going to stick to once a year.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Fancy Feizor?

For the road ride this week we've arranged 8:30 in Keighley to go over Bowland Knotts via Feizor cafe.

It has of course been highlighted that this is the week when Peter is mountain biking in the upper Calder valley, but I think its is a tad damp on the trails and MT loop can be done too often. Once every 5 years is enough for me round there.

It would be nice to ride together one day but it seems that the upper and lower valley sections of Condor are instead destined to orbit each other like a form of quantum entanglement. Maybe it is something to do with the home (blue) and away (black) club jerseys?

Friday, July 31, 2015

Sunday 2nd Aug & bike for sale

Decent weather forecast for this coming Sunday so Grimpy and myself are meeting at 8am at Callis Bridge (where MT Loop & Pennine Way cross Hebden Bridge to Tod road) for a potter, in a clockwise direction, round the Mary Townley Loop. Its only about 46 miles with about 6000 ft of climbing but don't underestimate it, and bring some food & drink with you as refreshment stops are infrequent. There's been a distinct lack of interest from other parties so far which just goes to show that cyclists can be sensible.

Above bike for sale, Genesis Equilibrium Titanium/105 groupset, 56cm frame (see Genesis website for full spec.) Oct 12 vintage, £1000. (frame alone retails at £1400). Lovely ride but purchase of 2015 Equilibrium forces sale. Contact me on 07549 821349.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


 It was a Sunday of 2nd places for our racing men with Brian travelling down to South Wales for the Vets National 25 Champs, his time of 56min 11secs giving him a plus 18min58secs faster than his age standard and earning the silver medal behind Deeside Thistle's Derek Stuart.

Grimpy travelled down to Braintree for round 3 of the LVRC Percy Stallard National Road Racing Series taking 2nd place in his age group behind Bill Cotton and ahead of former pro Tony Woodcock. Thankfully the services of the Red Cross were not needed this week as they were the previous Sunday when he rode the Vets National Mountain MTB Champs on the 2012 Olympic course in London (fell off on a drop-off). Despite the fall he finished 3rd in his age group and 7th in the over 60's category.
Meanwhile Chris stayed nearer home riding the Team Swift 100 mile Time Trial on a course in east Yorkshire coming 2nd by a mere 4½ minutes to Carlos Riise of the Shetland Wheelers (yes he'd travelled all the way from the Shetland Islands to deprive Chris of the 1st place cheque). A great result for Chris who recorded a time of 4hrs 6min 15secs on a cold and windy morning.

The mountain bike rides are still meeting at 6.30pm Thurs eves in Brighouse and this Sunday Grimpy and I are planning an assault on the Mary Townley Loop, meeting 8am at Callis Bottom, Hebden Bridge (if the weather doesn't improve its likely we'll cut it short).

Saturday, July 18, 2015

19 July - Way out west

For anyone who is not keen on the Bronte Sportive then we can offer you an alternative - 9am at Hebden Bridge for Waddington. 'Go West, young man, and grow with the country'.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sunday 12th July

If anyone fancies a steadier day out than recent weeks I'm planning to take lunch at Knaresborough tomorrow and will be at Shelf roundabout at 8.30am, all welcome.

Next Sunday, the 19th, Oakworth Steve, Mel and me have entered the Bronte Sportive from Keighley, an interesting 88m route. If you're feeling super-fit its your chance to give Mel some pain, if not you can potter round with me. £20 to enter or £25 on the day with all the money going to Manorlands Hospice, go to  for entry and route details.

Monday, July 06, 2015


Thanks to everyone from the condor and imps who supported a successful event.
The only problem was an accident on a straight section of tarmac road coming down from buckstones in Race 2 which I understand was caused by a rider switching causing two riders to fall. Both riders (Lee Johnson & Stephen Wilkinson) ended up with gravel rash. Lee Johnson had significant lacerations; St Johns ambulance support vehicle attended and whilst they concluded that no breakages had occurred, requested ambulance support. We hope Lee recovers soon and is able to compete again in 2015.The paradox was on the rough road and off road sections no incidents were reported. The feedback from the racers was all positive. Yes its true
Anyway to prove a point I received an Email from mike twelves ( ex Pro) winner of race 2
Thanks to you and your collegues for an excellent race today, John. A great, imaginative course and really well marshalled and organized
Also an email from Karl Smith in race 1
 Hi John,
Must thank you and all the helpers for running such a fantastic event today.
You would not believe how many riders said how much they enjoyed the course and race today.

Thanks Karl Smith, Bott Cycle Team. A/B race.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Weekend Report

Its been a busy weekend for the Condor. Steve, Mel and I had a full and enjoyable day yesterday taking part in the Dales Grimpeur, a route which makes the Dales Etape and the Fred seem like a walk in the park. Unknown to us at the time Heptonstalls Graeme Brown and his better half, Kate also rode but had been delayed getting there due to the thick mist, a champion effort on a route many a hardened cyclist is afraid of, by a couple who are probably better known as runners.

Whilst we were following a less pressured activity our racing men were putting themselves through it in the YCF 50 on a course based on the A19 around Thirsk. Despite it not being regarded as an evening for fast times due to the windy conditions, Brian ignored the weather and set a new British Age Record for the distance recording a time of 1.57.21 which gave him 6th place overall, an incredible achievement in open age competition. One place behind Brian in the overall standings, riding his first ever 50 was 'Padiham' Chris with a time of 1.57.56, a time and position anyone would be proud of.

Chris has had a busy week. On Tuesday evening he knocked 30 secs off his PB for the course whilst winning the Rossendale Hilly 10. On Wednesday evening he was feeling so strong and managed to snap his chain, fell heavily and injured his knee. Thursday evening he rode the Rossendale Whalley/Settle 21m TT, again taking 1st place. With the 50 on Saturday evening most would have considered that to be enough for one week but to the amazement of all he was due to face the timekeeper once again, at 8 o'clock on Sunday morning down in Cheshire for his debut 100 mile TT. Defying logic he recorded a great time on the sporting course of 4hrs 15min 22secs. Results are not yet available but when he left to come home he was topping the leader board.

Most of our members have been busy today helping at the Condor Road Race. I had to leave before the traditional de-brief at Greetland Community Centre but I'm sure Grimpy will update the blog with full details.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A few updates

 I've been interrogating the web hoping to find out what our racing men have been up to over the weekend but with no success. With Chris being tied up with his sisters wedding over the weekend and Oakworth Steve being otherwise engaged on the BAM Tour of Holland it was left to Mel and myself to fly the Condor flag at the White Rose Classic sportive on Sunday.

It was not a great day weather-wise. Heavy rain and high winds were forecast and that's just what we got. I was optimistic at the start, it was dull but dry with the temperature being 14° at 7.30am and I expected it to get warmer not colder. The high winds and drizzle started on the approach to Greenhow and riding north from Grassington it was looking black in Upper Wharfedale. The rain got harder and the wind stronger over Fleet Moss but at least the thick mist disguised the climb although precipitation in the eyes (or on the lenses) made the descent down to Hawes an adventure in itself.
The weather just got worse for the Coal Road, 10° and blustery winds for the narrow winding descent down  to Dentdale. From Ribblehead we picked up a tail wind and by Attermire the weather was improving. By Airton the roads were dry and on Langbar climb it was getting too warm. At the finish Mel and I chilled in the sun on the verandah at the magnificent Ilkley RUFC, having a pint of Mary Jane and swapping stories of the day with fellow survivors.
Melvin had a magnificent ride finishing 3rd fastest with his time of 6.39.14 being very similar to previous years despite the weather. I had been happy with my progress but lost time with fatigue over the last 25 miles or so recording a time of 7.51.04 to give me 28th fastest overall, there were over 200 entered for the long route but many did not finish or transferred to the shorter routes.

We had an early start for last weeks mountain bike ride but this coming Thursday we are back to a 6.30m start from Brighouse.

1 comment:

  1. That's 4 WRC rides with the same time within a minute for me - regardless of weather or companion ! Like Pete I was pretty much on my own, the big guy from Ilkley I started with had a battle with the climbs and faded by Helwith Bridge. The beer was good though

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reminder Condor Buckstone R.R. Sunday 5th July  Your Support Please

Hi Everyone, I have just completed the Race data and start sheets. Today we have 80 starters in the 3 events. We need your kind support and assistance. The HQ is Greetland Community & Sporting Association, Rochdale road (B6113) HX4 8JG.
The building should be open from approx.8.30 am.
All Marshalls and support should kindly be at HQ from approx. 9.00 a.m.
Riders are scheduled to leave at 9.45 for the race start at 10.00 am in Barkisland village on saddleworth road (B6114) approx. 200m above the scammonden crossroad.
The event is neutralized until beyond scammonden Motorway Bridge.
The circuit is the same as last years event which is briefly up to Buckstone Moss tee Jnt. Turn left onto the A640 and then sharp left down hey lane, right under the motorway then immediately left onto Yorkshire water (YW) service road. Across scammonden embankment, up the steep climb to exit YW. Turn right on lower road passed finish area then left onto short road to meet saddleworth road to complete one circuit. Events 1 & 2 complete 5 laps and event 3 (O60’s) complete 4 laps.
As a reminder ignoring lead cars my risk assessment shows we need 15 Marshall’s. I look forward to your kind support and assistance for a successful and safe event.  As guide the circuit is approx. 8.25 miles long so allowing for start section I would expect all races to be complete for approx. 12.30.
pea & pies will be available at HQ from around 13.00.

Cheers Grimpy  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Good Companions & Next Thurs Evening MTB

Not really mid summer weather, 9 degrees and a pretty strong westerly wind as I was riding out to the start of the Good Companions 200k Audax today. On arrival at Mytholmroyd Community Centre I was pleased to find that I wasn't the only Condor there, Melvin and Chris were enjoying a second breakfast, Graeme Brown was making a rare but welcome appearance, Carl Kershaw had been granted a rare Sunday passout and at the last moment Robin rolled up on his super new thoroughbred.

Our little band soon took to the head of the field and before long we had a great little group of good companions with the above named being joined by Lancashire lad, Nathan Poulton we pottered on in a disciplined manor ignoring the frequent showers enjoying a chat as the miles passed. Robin came up with some excuse about having to catch a plane to Athens and turned right at Ribchester to head for home via the Nick o' Pendle. We continued through Longridge, the Fylde Peninsula and Cockerham Sands to the re-invented Lantern O'er Lune Bistro at Glasson Dock where we met many of the 600 k 3 Coasts riders who had been at it since 6am on Saturday - I felt no regrets only doing the 200 (I'm getting old). After a too long but enjoyable lunch we set off on the return leg with a tail wind. Once we hit the Bowland hills over to Chipping I was found lacking and together with Carl we said goodbye to the fast boys who set a blistering pace to the finish. Another good day out, the change of terrain being a breath of fresh air. Thanks once again to Chris Crosland and his team and thanks to Graeme for the pics.

This coming Thursday, to celebrate mid-summer we're meeting an hour early for the MTB ride, 5.30pm at the usual place, outside Websters at the bottom of Hudds Rd Brighouse for a ride which will take us over Ogden Moors and Haworth Old Road down to Hardcastle Craggs and back on the canal bank - all welcome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ups and Downs

Sunday saw a good turnout, perhaps drawn by the prospect of an early coffee. However the group managed to split even before meeting up, with a break-away party going to the cafe in the market instead while the rest enjoyed Wetherspoon's finest at the Commercial Inn. One member of the breakaway group then broke again within seconds of setting off - a loud 'ping' echoing round as Stu sadly broke a spoke on his fancy wheels. Never mind, he arranged a lift home to pick up his spare and met us again later in the day.

This route allegedly involves Mills but I didn't see that many. We did however see plenty of Hills. The only wet roads were through Wainstalls and over Fly Flats but by Oxenhope we were on dry tarmac and got away with it from then on. Over Herders and back over Widdop the pace was brisk but not supersonic, and Chris had the pleasure of sprinting up 'Big Jack' from the cattle grid to catch Brian Jennings as a welcome addition to our band.

Long Causeway was great with the rare easterly tail wind, followed by breakfast at the incredibly popular JJs Diner. This was my first visit but they only get a 'two-egg' rating on the butty-o-meter; to get anywhere near the top 'five-egg' award we'd have to be allowed to sit inside, the service would be quicker, tea should come in pots, and condiments provided automatically.

Bacup was next on the agenda, taken at a very modest pace in order to allow the butties to settle - which in themselves were fair enough but I doubt that the bacon was locally sourced from happy pigs. Sorry. Back to the ride. By Cross Stone I felt it time to retire and left my companions to enjoy the further ups and downs round Cragg Vale.

It was good to see so many out along with some occasional visitors such as Andy (mate of Oakworth Steve) who'd be welcome to come again. Andy that is; Steve the stalwart is there anyway!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sunday 14th June

An indifferent weather forecast for this Sunday so can I suggest a change from the long hard routes of the previous weeks to a shorter but still hard route.  Meet 8.30am at Wetherspoons, Sowerby Bridge (great coffee @ great prices) for the Mills & Hills Circuit (lunch at JJ's Diner). A great route with plenty of escape opportunities for anyone who's not waterproof.

Its the Good Companions 200k Audax from Mytholmroyd the following Sunday, 21st June, note its an 8.30 kick off rather than the usual 8o'clock

The following Sunday, 28th June its the classic White Rose Sportive from Ilkley. Entries still open on the British Cycling web site.

Then on Saturday the 4th July there's the not to be missed Yorkshire Dales Grimpeur from Pateley Bridge Scout Hut, 215k of the best roads in the Dales for a mere £6.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015


Great day out last Sunday on our circuit around Nidderdale & Coverdale. A strong tailwind blew us up Trapping Hill out of Lofthouse and down to Leighton and the café stop, in the sun trap at Jervaulx Tea Rooms - even Robin's getting into the café culture (that's Ian hiding behind the sun umbrella).
We had about an hour chilling at Jervaulx and I could have happily stayed for another hour but Coverdale was calling. We took a left at East Whitton and it was reasonably sheltered as far as West Scrafton but the exposed moorland road to the top of Park Rash had some of us struggling although the views of Great Wherneside and Wharfedale made the effort worthwhile. Happy days !
Just found this pic from Ian on his Strava account.

Congratulations to Grimpy who took the silver medal for his age category in the previous Sundays British Masters Road Race Champs at Milton Keynes, the race being won by former British Professional Champion Geoff Wiles.  Brian and Grimpy were in action last Sunday in the Bashall Eaves LVRC race but I can't find any results on the web. I did find the result of Saturday's Drighlington BC 10 mile TT where Brian recorded a short 22 in windy conditions to win the over 70's by over 2 and a half minutes.  Despite mega-miles in adverse conditions Chris continues to display his strength with another 1st place in the Rossendale Hilly 10 last Tues evening and a PB the following evening in an open 10 on the Sawley Brow course (unfortunately no results on CTT site)

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Trevor Lever Mem. Skipton & Blast

It's getting very competitive - 3RT in profusion and all the areas youthful talent, Mr Gower & myself the only Condors. In the big numbers I stayed safe up front but it was a very well behaved group with the only incident some old bloke attempting to overtake 30 riders just before the turn roundabout.
As usual plenty of energy was saved for the big 'kick off' on the Ingrow with Paul Dixon starting it - I let the young legs fly away and kept my own pace ending up in a second group with Dom and Binman at 1hr 25mins. Young Jack Clarkson was in first at 1.23 with Alex Turner and other talented young lads.
I think I'm getting too old for this stuff - deciding a fine pint of Wainwright in the pub afterwards was much more enjoyable !

(I plan to be out tomorrow for a spin round Coverdale - a favourite ride for me.)

Friday, June 05, 2015

Sunday 7th June

I've arranged to meet Chris at Keighley at 8.30 on Sunday, the plan is to do a Nidderdale - Coverdale circuit (Cringles/West End/Pateley Bridge/Lofthouse/Jervaulx/Coverdale/Kettlewell and back home with plenty of time for a shower and a glass of beer before watching Bradley's Hour.  Its about 110 miles/ 11,000ft for me, which isn't much more than last Sunday but should be in far better weather conditions. I realise that others may prefer a shorter faster ride and won't be offended if anyone wants to arrange such a ride.

Despite a shortfall of Condor participants (possibly due it not being mentioned on this blog) there was an excellent turn out for Wednesdays Trevor Lever Memorial Ride). Some photos, results and Chris Crosslands report can be seen on CTC Calderdales Facebook page here -

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Feasting At Feizor

A cold, wet and windy morning lent itself to our Club Run last Sunday. With Stoodley Pike shrouded in rain-cloud and almost horizontal drizzle, there was only one place to be ( on the bike!)
Climbing over Cock Hill seemed almost effortless thanks to a gale-force tailwind. Never forgetting that this would be against us later in the day.

5 brave souls assembled at Keighley roundabout to take up the gauntlet, Oakwoth Steve, Robin, Barker, Pete Horne and myself. It was soon apparent to me that I had been foolish to turn up guardless but after all, it was summer rain so no one seemed to notice.
We settled into a well organised group with a nice temperate speed, through Skipton, Gargrave and onto Long Preston. From here we took the busy main road for a while, before turning  back onto quieter lanes towards Settle. On past Giggleswick School and climbing Buck Haw Brow, Robins stomach was rumbling.
 "How far to the cafe?", Barker shouted. "1 Mile!" said Pete, " And what a cafe it is! THE BEST!"
Last time we were here it was Xmas eve, and yes it was better weather and warmer then.
No photograph could ever do the fayre at Feizor justice, but once refueled on cholesterol T Cakes, scones and lashings of hot sweet tea we just HAD to begrudgingly leave
 On towards Austwick and Keasden to climb Bowland Knotts. With an assisting breeze this was great. The wild open landscape which is The Forest Of Bowland, opened up infront of us as if painted by Gods fair hand. Barker was enjoying the view so much that he didnt see Robin drop his Oakley sunglasses, and rode (totally unsympathetically) over them.
 We descended past the MTB centre at Gisburn Forest and into Lancashire, where the sun always shines and the roads were at last dry. Riding behind Robin I was in awe as he managed to de-cape, roll up and pack away into the jersey pocket, all whilst riding uphill without hands. SKILL! I just had to try it. Success! Thanks for showing me that trick Robin.
Barnoldswick came and went, Kelbrooke and Earby too as we made progress over towards Cowling.Over the Pinnacle and onto Oakworth, where we parted company, with Oakworth Steve claiming " Its not recorded!". Never mind Steve, we know the truth that Strava doesn't, we were there!

Chris Smith

Monday, June 01, 2015

Vets National 10

Congratulations to Brian who continued to defy the ageing process last Saturday when he set a new British age group record for the 10 mile time trial, knocking 20 seconds off the old record with his time of 21min 14secs.   He recorded this time whilst competing in the VTTA 2015 National Championship in East Yorkshire where he claimed the silver medal out of a field of 150.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's Happening - and next Sunday's Club Run

Looks like I missed some good events due to being exiled in the Highlands over the last 2 weekends. The Etape du Dales sounds like it was even more fun than usual due to the wind and, knowing its one of his favourite rides, I've looked in vain for Mels name in the finishers of last Sundays Richmond 5 Dales Sportive. However I did see that VS's John D and Andy Richardson both finished in the top ten with gold standard rides with Martin Croft not too far behind.
On the racing scene Grimpy's run of bad luck continues, his knee seems to have improved but he missed last Sundays road race with a heavy cold but is hoping to be better for this coming Sundays Vets National RR Champs down in Milton Keynes.
On the time trial front Brian remains peerless in the V70 category and must be a favourite for this Saturdays Vets National 10mile Champs on the superfast Hull course although he has plenty of opposition in a full field of 150 riders drawn from throughout the Kingdom. However Brian does now have a threat from within our own club, not on age standard of course but last Saturday in the Holme Valley Wheelers 25 he was the 2nd fastest Condor on the finishing sheet for the first time for many years with Padiham Chris, in his first ever 25, eclipsing Brians time by 7 seconds to finish in 58min 40secs on a far from fast course (former Condor Andy Marshall eclipsed 'em both with 58.37).
Its proving to be a busy week for Chris, he won the Rossendale RC Club 10 on Tuesday evening and today got 3rd place overall in the Halifax Imps Open Hilly TT n the Barkisland/Buckstones/Outlane course behind Alistair Wareham and Blair Buss.

There's a few local Audax's to pencil into your diary's, on Sat 20th June its Chris Crosslands 3 Coasts 600k event from Mytholmroyd but if you don't fancy that distance you can join in for the last 200k on Sunday in the Good Companions event.  For those of us who will be marshalling Grimpy's road race on Sunday 5th July there a chance to stretch our legs in the Yorkshire Dales Grimpeur the previous day, a real classic with climbs such as Greenhow, Coal Road, Fleet Moss & Park Rash contributing towards the 14000ft total climb its one not to be missed.

This coming Sunday 31st I'm counting on the short distance time trials to have ruined Chris' stamina and giving him a hammering on a club run, meeting at Keighley at 8.30 for Feizor and back over Bowland Knotts.

You might find this interesting…/reader-story-followed-hom…/…

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Etape du Dales or '80 miles of headwind'

That's how most riders described this years event, and bloody cold as well. It was the hardest edition I can remember or perhaps it was just that I suffered more than usual. I started with a local friend but I suspected he would be too strong for me and I waved goodbye to him at the start of Buttertubs. As he rode away with the fast lads I settled down to chewing my handlebars for the next 5 hours or so.
The wind whisked us down Swaledale but Low Row is always painful and after turning for Tan Hill it was almost down to walking speed. I wasn't for hanging around in the freezing gale at Tan Hill to queue for a bottle re-fill so carried on towards Keld where the cross wind threatened to whip the bike away. I passed Chris Smith on the climb over to Nateby as he loyally shepherded his mate 'Stu' round, pity because I could have really done with some help from him !
I re-fuelled at the Moorcock after a vociferous reception from one of the West Pennine lads who was manning the feed station and then ground my way over the Coal Road, finding I still had to pedal hard on the descent to make any progress.
At Stainforth the wind got behind us making the run-in quite enjoyable but I was very relieved to get my sausage butty and a pint in my hand. I also met Chris Sylge, the only other Condor who had braved the day as well as VS's John Doherty and Eric. My time was exactly one hour behind my best, which seemed to be the norm for most. Tough, but a bit of an epic.

Times: Chris Sylge 8.11.27,   Chris Smith & Stu' 8.13.32 (I think),      
Mel 7.12.20.  

(I found some pictures but they are too distressing to publish !)    

Fred Whitton report

It has been a quiet couple of weeks on the blog, but that's probably down to it being 'sportive season' and time to put all of that early season mileage into action. Hopefully this post will encourage a flood of further news reports. I see that Chris was in action mid-week after this ride and again on Sunday for the Etape. Does he ever get tired?

On 10 May we had the Fred Whitton Challenge where I saw Chris at the start for about 5 miles, until we got to the start of Kirkstone Pass and he shot off like a rocket on target for a time of 6:49:23. My scouts at the finish reported a minor fall during the ride but Chris was still smiling at the end. Here are a couple of shots of the youngster in action, which I trust will also encourage a legitimate purchase from Steve Flemming!

This first one is taken on the way up to Hardknott, on a bit of road that normally would be considered a tough climb. Looking up you can then see the 'wall' section ahead, and Chris seems to be wearing an appropriate expression of 'were going up there?'

The second shows our man successfully riding the steep bit. The photo just doesn't quite capture the 33% angle, or the way that this comes after 98.6 miles of hard riding.

Of course, some riders simply  took it sitting down. But a bottom gear of around 30" does make that easier.

And finally, flying the Condor flag but rather over-geared (or under-powered) I made it up. With Robin doing the hard work all the way round and waiting for me at various times we made it back in a reasonable 07:45. Though I'm sure it could have been faster if we'd been served quicker in the cafe ...

Saturday, May 02, 2015


I add my thanks to Mr. Ginley's for the helpers last Saturday at the Imps road race. It did threaten to be a grimmer day than it turned out but I'm sure it was pretty cold stood on the roadside marshaling. A consolation for the guys was some fine pie & peas and good cheap ale in the All Rounders bar ! Hope Johns knee soon recovers - I'm still nursing my knee injury from Boxing Day !
I came across some good pics of the event on Facebook but unfortunately can't recall who to credit them to - Thanks anyway.    

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Imps road race, big thank you to the great condor support. We had PG, Alan, myself and Sandy at Barkisland plus John Lumb and his mate is it Mr White? Simon + son elsewhere on the course. Hope I haven't missed anyone? Its strange but when Sandy indicates STOP motorists obey whilst in my case they can elect to run me down.
Organiser Martin Gargett has also expressed his gratitude for our fine marshalling.
Race wise unfortunately i had a doggy knee so i had to withdraw but Brian and Mel in the inclement
conditions put in solid performances. Brian finished first in the O70's whilst Mel completed the event with John Galway who finished 3rd in the O55 cat which age group Mel will join in time for our Buckstone event in July. Thanks again.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

26 Apr - Slaidburn

I hope the racing lads had a good time today. For the club run this week I'm proposing Hebden Bridge 9am heading out to Slaidburn.

Write Up: Searching for images of the Riverside cafe in Slaidburn brings up several entries for this blog in the top ten. Lots of other riders go there, though it seems that they manage not to feel the need to put it on the web. This time we found local rider Seb Ramsey enjoying a toasted teacake, fresh back from competing in the first round of the Enduro World Series in NZ:

For the ride itself I can very nearly recycle a previous trip report: This time it was Oakworth Steve, Builder Steve and myself, with kind help from Dougie and Martin of VS Cycles for the first miles to Padiham into the cooling northwesterly. After that we enjoyed the quiet lanes of the Trough, though the road surface down from Brownsholme Heights is now shocking. Lunch in the Sun was taken as expected, with the return route via Paythorne Moor, Bank Newton, Elslack and Cowling Pinnacle adding plenty of climbing meters.

Friday, April 24, 2015

General Splather

Its been great MTBing weather out there for the last 2 Thursdays although several who have expressed enthusiasm have failed to make the startline. Don't be shy, join us next Thurs, 6pm Brighouse.

I've just been looking at the startsheet for the Imps RR on Saturday (see Imps blog). Brian, Mel & Grimpy are there representing the Condor plus many other familiar names. Report to Martin Gargett at Greetland Community Centre by 9.15am Sat for marshalling duties.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Few Reminders etc

A very enjoyable day out on last Sundays club run up to Wensleydale, Chris and I were joined by Richard, Ian, Oakworth Steve, Robin and Mel. Although there was a nip in the air in the morning its always a bonus when it stays dry. Giving respect to the north easterly wind we did the clockwise circuit from Buckden enjoying a helping breeze up Langstrothdale and sheltered from the worst of the head winds by the bulk of Fleet Moss although once over the summit the wind did prevent us from travelling at the usual silly speeds down towards Hawes.
We gave Hawes a miss, turning right at Gayle to take lunch in the excellent café at Bainbridge before heading to Aysgarth via the back road through Thornton Rust. Our route choice paid dividends as we enjoyed the rare pleasure of being blown up Bishopdale and over Kidstones.  From Kettlewell we took the back roads down to Grassington and Burnsall. At Bolton Bridge, being keen to avoid Ingrow Chris and I kept Mel company on the back road down to Ilkley and Menston whilst the others took the Cringles option. A great day out conducted at a very respectable pace.
Today the Wednesday Vets Ride took us over Buckstones and down to Saddleworth before Paul Gower lead us into new territories round Castleshaw Reservoirs and Bleak Hey Nook to return to Yorkshire over Standedge.  and down to Marsden from where we sought out even more cols over to Meltham and then to Holmfirth for lunch via Upperthong.

Once refreshed we returned to our home roads through Netherthong and Blackmoorfoot, dropping down to Slaithwaite and in homage to the forthcoming Tour de Yorkshire attacking the Col de Scapegoat Hill before taking a look at Grimpy's LVRC road race route over Scammonden. Shorts and short sleeves - may there be many more similar days !
Hoppy, Brian & Grimpy lead the way on the Pennine Bridleway
Thursday evening MTB ride is on again tomorrow - 6pm Brighouse.

Reminder - Saturday 25th - Imps Road Race, Norland, as usual Condor's required to help with marshalling - be at Greetland Community Centre 9 to 9.15 , more details on sidebar.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sunday 19th - Wensleydale

I've arranged to meet Chris at Keighley roundabout at 8.30am for a wander up to Wharfedale and Wensleydale. All welcome.

From Ian:
As usual the full tale of the day will already have been relaid via Strava. I used up the maximum waiting time at the start but luckily the Condor sextet were still in sight as I arrived and were soon chased down. A strong and nagging nor'easterly kept the pace steady. It's worth noting that Richard kindly lead the way out of Skipton and hopefully that extra effort wasn't the cause of him trailing off later in the day.

With Nigel absent on holiday I had to pass some remarks on his behalf. These being '8:30! For a club run!' and 'Wensleydale in April!' Yep, far too early and far too ambitious mileage wise. But it worked, we had a great day, so I'll stand corrected.

Not having been over these roads since 'The other Fleet Moss Randonee' this was something of a rare treat. We had a nice bit of Wensleydale (Gromit) in this lovely valley, with the cafe stop at Bainbridge where bacon and egg baguettes were the order of the day. Then, at last, we turned for home and picked up the tail wind over Kidstones (first time for me over there). Well, we'd earned it by then, and took advantage all the way home.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mountain Biking

I'm meeting Simon & Adam in Brighouse on Thursday for a couple of hours mountain biking. Meeting bottom on Hudds Rd outside Websters at 6pm - hoping to make it a regular ride - meeting time will move to 6.30 when daylight lengthens. This will be a social ride rather than a training session. All welcome.