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

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


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


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 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 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 -
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 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.
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:

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

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Cycling with the Condor

Sunday 18th December  Meet 9.30 Crossroads (top of Ingrow junct. with Haworth Rd) for Riley's Treat, Pecket Well, via Herders & Widdop - cafe stop en route.

Wednesday 21st December  Meet Shelf Roundabout 10am for Wednesday Vets Christmas Dinner at Robin Hood, Cragg Vale (meal booked for 1pm).

Christmas Eve  Meet Denholme Gate 9am or Keighley 9.30 for Wharfedale, lunch at Burnsall. Home mid afternoon.

Boxing Day  Meet Hebden Bridge 9.30am for Clarion House, Newchurch-in-Pendle (bring you own turkey butties and mince pies). Home mid afternoon.

Wednesday 28th December  Shelf Roundabout 10am for usual vets ride to wherever's decided on the day.

New Years Day  Meet 10am Brighouse for Holmfirth, Isle of Skye and Sowerby Bridge.

I have been justifiably reprimanded for being one of the small minority failing to wear our registered Condor Road Club clothing on last Sundays club run. It would be good to see everyone wearing our distinctive club kit. I'm putting together an order for some new kit from Force GB so if you need 'owt new just let me know and I'll order it.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Grimpy's World's Report

World Masters – A Weekend in Belgium  30 Nov to 3 Dec

 Podium Positions
1st John Ginley                          36.11
2nd Wilfred Senck  (GER)            38.57

3rd Herman Martins (BEL)           40.03
After Peters blog comments it’s a pleasure to give further details.

Departed from Hull on the P & Q Euro port overnight ferry Wednesday night to arrive at my digs in Lommel mid- day Thursday. Lommel is an affluent small Belgium town I estimate about 40 km east of Antwerp and 12 km from the Race Venue Zilvermeer nr Mol.

Zilvermeer is what can best be described as a Center Park. With Lakes, pine forest and lots of sand. One small water lake as a semi circle of beach sand with it the normal water fun features. I arrived at Zilvermeer early afternoon to souse out the new circuit. I’ve previously ridden Zilvermeer as I recall 5 times between 2005 and 2010. During that period the circuit only had minor changes. It comprised 3 deep sand section interspersed with fast hard packed ground, tarmac sections, with small climbs and 2 sets of steps. I estimated the circuit required maybe 200m running the rest was rideable although some sectors were narrow. Since then UCI rules require a circuit must be at least 3m wide to ease passing and reduce rider blockages. Also a number of new buildings had been erected resulting in a complete revamp of the circuit.

First reaction more deep sand, lots of man-made obstacles. Circuit length approx. 3 Km with some tarmac sections, nice twisting loops through pine trees, plank soil steps followed by sharp soil descent and climb to eventually reach the beach. Close to 200m running to the water edged where you could jump back onto the bike, riding the hard packed sand around to the next deep sand section. Run through the sand to a small retaining wall over and back through some rideable sand to a loop the loop section. There were 3 man made loops great for TV basically climb up ride part or all loop back down and up again. After the last climb you turned into a sharp tricky fast descent (see pic). On first practice lap I ran down but I road it next time the trick was to try and hit the bottom diagonally to avoid a 360 roll. Ridding meant you had some momentum into a steep deep sand section with the bike on my back and it was up the stairway to heaven. Sharp right running down the sand to the bottom jump onto a fast rideable section to turn sharp right onto the beach. Run again to waters edge to ride maybe 100m off again to run through the pit section sharp left to leave the sand back on until you hit the auditorium steps. After the steps all rideable back to the road start. My concerns, too much running maybe 800m in deep sand very tiring. Decided 2 laps were enough, save my energy for tomorrow.

Friday Dec 2nd ‘D’ day Race Start 13.00

Arrived at Zilvermeer 11.00 checked bikes out, set up turbo, started warm up at 12.15 and completed by 12.45 off to pits to drop off spare bike to arrive at grid start around 12.50.
We are all announced and then told around 40 would start first combining 3 age groups + 65, +70 and +75. We are advised that we are at the back of the grid Mick Ives was there but my eyes were on Martin Herman’s the Belgium who had previously always finished in front of me and normally won, usually by more than one minute. I exchanged words asking him not to start too fast, checked is tyre’s, he had sand tyre’s, those with a fine diamond profile sort you would use on a grass track. I also noted his pressure was my guess around 1.5 bar I was 2 bar? But when I had them lower I was all over the road on tarmac and didn’t see much benefit in the sand, I was on what might best be described as intermediate tyres? Too late I was staying with my set up. My plan, keep him in site and bring him back without going into the red? Easy but could I execute it? Called up to grid commissaries checks tyre width ok, I’m off 'stop!' out comes laptop and his mate scans my down tube and bottom bracket for an electric motor? Better not joke like at my age I need one etc.?

Gun goes, we're off down throgh finish I manage to move up switch right then up steps, Herman passes me and manages to avoid 2 fallers comes out of rise around 20m in front, skill?

I gain some ground on fast section up to the beach.

On the beach jogging to the shoreline no change, remount, Senck (GER) passes me. Don’t panic get by off to jump retaining wall and onto the loops. I stay on down the descent and I’m up the sand bank down and back into the beach sector. I decide it’s easier to push the bike through the deep sand with just a slight weight deflection through the saddle rather than carry. 

We exit the sand, I’m catching Herman and at the top of the auditorium steps, I give it a go pass him heading for the end of the first lap. I don’t look back I just keep it a nice steady pace and I’m in the zone on the section to the beach. On the beach and jogging through the beach sector you pass the pits both going out and returning receiving lots of noise from the pit crews. Whilst most cheers are for other competitors this helps me as I can tell the gaps increasing when only minor noise as I pass. 

I hear shouts for Barrie Mitchell (Mick Ives team in younger age group) who I passed earlier but nothing for Herman. Confidence increases and I push on and manage to stay in front. Eventually the bell rings for the last lap and I dig in this time the beach sector brings more pain so I jump on near the end and manage to stay upright through some deep sand and realize the power required to make headway is perhaps beyond my fragile frame. I begin to observe that exiting my cleats is becoming more difficult due to sand ingress so to avoid crashing into the steps I decide to release early. Sound decision as I’m just out in time. I give my self a talking to (push with caution and stay upright to the finish) through to the finish line. I’m chuffed but commentator doesn’t verify my position. So I clamber up the steps to the finish booth to check position and am advised yes I’m first.

Podiums for all the days men’s and woman’s age groups are at 16.00. I arrive at 15.45 and eventually find the collection tent. It’s been a good day for the Brits with Dave McMullen, Vic Barnett and Tracey Fletcher also winning their age groups. Eventually we are called to the podium but we have a dispute. The commissaries results shows Van De Sluijs (NED) is 2nd Wilfred Senck doesn’t agree, eventually its clarified and we are on the podium to collect our medals flowers and pendants.  

Unfortunately by the time we arrive its dark and my iPhone pics are crap. But Peter says he can edit them so I’m sending pics and report to Peter who I hope will place it on our blog. (tried my best John but you are correct when you say they're crap, Peter)

Sundays Club Run

Meet Shelf roundabout 9.30 for Knaresborough