Friday, 21 April 2017

Sunday Ride on 23rd April

Good Day folks.

Just to let you all know that there will be a ride to Langsett this Sunday, starting from the Toyshop at 09.30. It does go out via West Vale and Holywell Green, so if getting there is easier then you can meet us a few minutes later down there. The route is on Strava here, if anybody wants to have a look or put it on their portable GPS devices. It's around 58 miles.

Hope to see you there!


Moda Road Race

I made the trip down to Newark near Nottingham for a Vets Road Race this weekend - an event organised by the Moda team on quiet rural lanes. John Ginley and Brian Sunter from the Condor we're riding in the older age race. This was my first time in the over 50s race since my little 'comeback' but I'd been warned that the racing is just as keen as anywhere else, I guess everything's relative.

Again this was a pan flat course, the organisers made the most of the only slight rise in altitude by strategically placing the finish at the top of it. The wind wasn't overly strong by recent standards but with a total lack of shelter on the course it was a significant factor and we spent the day in one gutter or another. Needless to say the race didn't stay together as first one group and then another broke away from the clutches of the bunch. I managed to infiltrate a couple of chase groups over the course of the 50 miles, though neither move came to anything in the long run. Again the race was marred by a couple of crashes, the first on a wide straight road and for no apparent reason. The second in the jostle for the final sprint - while the road was on a slight gradient it was rather narrow for a bunch of 40 or so and a rider trying to get through a non existent gap came down just to my side. I wasn't able to get through the wall of riders in front of us either and finished with plenty to spare, c'est la vie. At least I was happy to have contributed something to the race, even if it was a very small something.

Photo courtesy of Darran Moore

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Club Road Training Week 2

A slightly warmer evening meant that I was only slightly frozen tonight at my post on the road side. Four two lap charlies only tonight.

One PB for Chris Timson despite finding he had a flat tyre when he took his bike out of the car.

Fortunately the Timelord had brung his trike for a course inspection ride which meant he had also brung his pump so all was not lost. Timelord air is obviously good for your ride!

Mr Boom brough Master Boom tonight to give the course a try and guided him round in a time of 18.20 which means the Timelord's trike single lap is no longer the slowest! I imagine that will soon change now that Tom has seen the course....

Chapeau to Mr T.

Trust we will see a few more wheels present next week....

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Circuit Road training

Our timed laps around Norland Moor recommence tonight (11 April 2017) at 19:00 hours.  Open to anyone with a bike (or trike). No fees are involved, just plain ordinary suffering...:)

Chief Time Lord

It was a hardy crew who assembled tonight upon the Norland heights given that there was a howling gale and an ambient temperature barely above freezing. Some people were wearing shorts. Others had slightly more sense.

One PB was achieved by Nikola whilst first time attendee Jason acquited himself admirably to move straight to number 10 in the overall best 2 lap times since we moved the start location.

We hope it might be a tad warmer next week although it has to be said we have actually started several weeks earlier than we did last year.

Times are below. Chapeau to all who rode including a recuperating Victoria.

Tonight's top spot went to Tom by some 12 seconds from Martin with first-timer Jason taking third place.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Invitation to watch the Tour de France in Aachen — 1-2 July 2017

We have received the following message from Graham Joyce of Calderdale CTC:

Two years ago a small group of our members paid a visit to Aachen, organised via the Halifax-Aachen Twinning Society and hosted by RC Zugvogal Aachen cycling club. Our friends there have invited us back to watch Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which passes through the city on Sunday 2 July, finsihing in Liege,Belgium. On Saturday 1 July, those who are keen and fit are invited to join in a cycle race on the roads around Aachen (on the German/Belgian/Dutch border). The invitation is open to all our members (and Imps) and those taking up the invitation will be responsible for making their own travel and accomodation arrangements. However, I am happy to advise on travel options (Eurostar/Hull or Dover ferries/Flights) and hotel options (early booking advisable).You could even cycle there ! If you are interested, please let me know.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Return of the Club Run

During the ‘VCBC – Three Pigeons’ ride, John Hopkinson and I had decided that we’d resurrect the old Sunday club run for the 2nd of April. We were never going to get huge numbers, what with people riding the Ronde Van Calderdale, the CTC’s ‘Ride out and Meet’ or some doing their own ride ‘at an earlier time’ (earlier than 09.30!). Nevertheless, after a brief publicity drive, we managed to get three others to join, namely, Matthew, Gavin and Jason.

Gavin was on amber alert, his wife being 37 weeks pregnant, which I’m told is a lot. His phone would be poised in ultra-vibrate mode for the duration of the ride – thankfully, a call of that nature never materialised.

Jason had been working the previous evening at Hebden Bridge town hall, for the occasion of the Lord Mayor’s Dinner. The Lord Mayor clearly knows how to keep it real, as Jason had managed to secure us a bag full of leftover pasties and pineapple upside-down cake, which we duly collected from the Town Hall on route – an opportunity Hoppy took to make himself at home.

The first part of the ride was direct, following Burnley road before veering right at Walk Mill and navigating through the outskirts of Burnley to Fence. Here the scenic part of the ride started in earnest. It wasn’t long before we turned left onto the road to the Clarion House, an idyllic, quiet road, lined with trees on one side and fields on the other. Here, time moves at a slower speed; if I was sat astride steel tubes instead of carbon ones it could have quite easily been any time in the past 100 years. That didn’t stop an irate motorist arriving behind us and shouting out of his window for us to move out of the way. We did, and he sped past us for all of 3 yards before turning down a driveway to his country house. 
We were relieved that his journey was made a whole 7 seconds 
quicker by our good manners.

This was my second visit to the Clarion House, or, as I call it, the 1940s. The weather was being kind enough for us to be able to sit outside with our pints of Tea - priced at 55p (or a shilling, whichever is cheaper) - though that didn’t stop the good people of Nelson Independent Labour Party from keeping a roaring fire burning inside and quietly closing the doors after us once we’d gone to sit outside.
We all sat at a picnic bench and Jason unravelled the goods, there were 7 pasties to divvy up as well as 5 slices of upside-down cake. Hoppy had his pasty which filled him up so much he said there’d be no need to eat anything else all week. Nevertheless, he had his eye on the cake slice with the most cherries and wrapped it up ‘to have for tea’.

It was at this point that Jason had to ask Hoppy to help him navigate a quicker route home, as he’d to be in Hebden Bridge for two o’clock. Well, he wasn’t impressed, but did give Jason permission - on a one-time basis -to leave early, and we went our separate ways after the village of Blacko. A talking point on the ride was Hoppy’s encyclopaedic knowledge of pubs and which village boozer ‘does a nice pint of (insert local brew here)’. As we rode up another quiet lane, I noticed a pub on the horizon, the ‘Black Lane Ends’ and asked him for his verdict. Surprisingly, he told me he’d not been in before, as it was a Copper Dragon pub. ‘But let’s give it a go’. Gavin and Matthew didn’t take too much persuasion, and so in we went. Much to our happiness, we found that the pub had changed hands and was no longer part of the ‘Golden Pippin’ empire.

Here we were treated to another tale from John, about the time he and his friend visited the Tan Hill Inn. It went something like this:

We’d ridden up about mid-afternoon and set up our tents outside the pub. At closing time, we came out and there was a blizzard, with about 2 feet of snow on the ground. So I dug out my tent and inside I find that my sleeping bag’s gone. I went back to the door of the pub but it was locked, so I’m banging on the door and eventually a window opens from upstairs and someone throws out an old jacket and then pointed at a horsebox. So I put on this jacket and get inside the horsebox, but there’s a hole in the roof and the door won’t close properly. Anyway, I must have got some kip cos I woke up at about dawn and I’m freezing. I thought, ‘there’s nothing else I can do’, so I climb into my mate’s tent. He wakes up and isn’t happy, but I tell him I’m so cold and I need his body heat, so I just lay with him in in his little tent.
I get up a few hours later and there’s still snow on the ground, but I can’t find my shoes. So I’m cursing over the people who nicked my sleeping bag and shoes and just wandering around in my socks. Then the door to the pub opens and the landlord comes out with my sleeping bag, ripped to shreds, asking if this is what I was after. Then out comes a dog with one of my shoes in its mouth!

The next part of the ride to Cowling and then passing through the salt and pepper pots on route to Oakworth, was a real treat for me, some gloriously quiet roads with stunning scenery – I couldn’t believe I’d not been around here before!

 The main chunk of the hills were finished with once we’d climbed out of Oakworth to Ingrow and from then it was a fairly fast return to the Imps spiritual home, the Cross Keys. I hope we can make the Sunday club run a slightly more regular occurrence as it was a hugely enjoyable day out.