Gerald Clements

There was a three month period when Gerald was not a member of Acme Wheelers, but he has never been a member of any other cycling club.

Gerald became a member of Acme Wheelers in October 1941, three months after he was born and that is the only period of time when he was not a member of the Acme. His membership was set up by his father Joe, himself a founder member of the Club.

Obviously from that family background Gerald soon took to cycling and one of his early long rides would have been a family outing to Highbridge in Somerset where they had relations. At the age of 8 Gerald cycled to Cardiff to take the White Funnel Steamer to Weston and then cycled on to Highbridge, near Burnham on Sea. Just to add to that picture, Gerald’s mother and father made the journey on a tandem with younger brother Chris sitting on the back.

Eventually entering races Gerald became well known on the South Wales racing scene and beyond. He entered the full range of events on offer, road racing, time trials, cyclo-cross, cinder track and hill climbs.

Gerald & Chris Clements in a Two Up TT Event

He competed at all the available distances in Time Trial events though, perhaps wisely, he never rode a 24hr.

He was the Welsh Hill Climb Champion in 1965, and was a member of the Acme winning team on many occasions. In 1967 he was the South Wales Grass Track Champion. Strangely his only Club Championship came in 1962 when he won the Club 100ml Championship, however, it must be remembered that there was a great deal of serious competition in the Club during the time that Gerald was racing.

Gerald encouraged his family to cycle, as his parents had done, and Anthony became a very accomplished rider winning Club Championships from 10 – 100ml and a 12hr Championship.

Gerald’s wife, Audrey, did ride a tandem with Gerald but after the second ride found that her legs were not compatible with his.

When racing competitively came to an end, in the late 70’s, Gerald took up Time Keeping and became a very accomplished and respected Time Keeper. For many years he was the Senior Time Keeper at the National Schoolboy 10ml Championship and his reputation was eventually rewarded when he became a Time Keeper at the Senior British National Championships.

Gerald served on the South Wales District Council for many years, representing Acme and one of his favourite tasks was finding and working out new courses.

Within the Club Gerald was Chairman on two occasions and has been our President for more years than most members have been in the Club. In that time he has organised and timed many Club and Open events.

Over the decades that span his dedication to racing and Time Keeping, Gerald has been and continues to be both a highly respected and highly regarded member of the cycling fraternity. As everyone will be aware, ill health in recent years has meant that he has not been able to be involved in the way that he would have wanted to be, however, his significant contribution to cycling will not be forgotten.

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Gerald Clements 1941-2020

It with great sadness the Club has received the news that Club President Gerald Clements passed away peacefully on 26th February. The Club will post a full account of Gerald’s contribution to Acme Wheelers and cycling in general. He will be much missed by members and our thoughts are with Audery and her family.

Club Review of 2019

2019 turned out to be a good year for ACME members competing at numerous events around Wales and occasional trip across the boarder to England, with new Competition Records being recorded along the way. Trials,  Sportives  and  overseas Grand Tours as well as  the Road World Championship kept the membership busy and a Website and  Facebook site kept everyone up to date.

The first events on the ACME calendar was the long established 50 in 4  Reliability Trial started off the year. The 50 mile event  taking in  Newport and Cardiff on route,  luckily good weather helped as riders battled around the course.  Members Completing the Trial :- Dean Cummings, Mike Bevan & Kerry Lewis.

The next event Hilly Fondu Trial route consisted of the local mountains and the tough hilly roads around them. Rhigos and the Bwlch Mountain this year were made tougher by the Cold as members negotiated  the high exposed roads.   Members Completing the Trial :-  Mike Bevan & Kerry Lewis. Rob Davies completed half distance due to time restrictions.

The first club championship of the year for 2019 was won by GARY FLOWER despite recovering from a skiing accident at the start of the year  where he fractured is shoulder and tore a cartilage in his knee. Gary set new Championship Record for 25 Miles with a time of 52mins and 06 seconds on the R25/3h course.

DEAN CUMMINGS got off to an early enthusiastic start competing in Road Races around the country, finishing in the top 10 places frequently.  Throughout the year Dean collected points and was a worthy winner of the ACME ROADMAN of the YEAR  for 2019. Dean ended the year by being placed 31st in the British National Emergency Services Road Race, a pleasing and impressive result.

Windy conditions in The Abergavenny area was  going to make the longest TT Championship tough for ACME members started the 100 mile Championships. GARY FLOWER was once again determined to do a good ride and hoping to beat the 4hr barrier. His finishing time of 3h 57m 00s gained him 10th position overall in the WCA Championship event. Records showed later that Gary had set a New Record time for the ACME 100 Championship beating a 11 year old record time set by Colin May in 2008, improving on Colin’s time by 5 minutes and 21 Seconds. This is the second Championship Record time for Gary in 2019.

 TONY REES in August took up a challenge to cycle from Reading to the Rhondda on “Shirley the Surly” multi terrain Bike. Using quite country lanes and National cycle route  Paths  along the way.  In all Tony covered 178 miles (all into a headwind) along a fantastic varied route that took him through some lovely countryside passing interesting landmarks along the way… Just a start to more expeditions in 2020.

DAVE SINGLETON took part in the biggest multi-sporting event in Europe, the Long Course Weekend Wales. Now  in its 10th  year is based  in Tenby  the  112 mile  Sportive 2019 uses closed roads for the event. Fortunately for Dave and the other cycling entrants the weather was kind to them, although a warm humid day. This was a bonus after the changeable weather this summer. Dave time of 5hrs 42m was an excellent effort given the rolling nature of the Pembrokeshire lanes.

Members  travelled to Madrid to watch the end of the Tour of Spain, a great weekend visiting the capital city and seeing all the sights. As well the Grand Tour Finish and  other high profile races made interesting viewing. Unfortunately the bad weather was a little unexpected in a city which is renowned for bright hot  sunshine (the Welsh summer followed the members)..

The Club 10 Championship was incorporated into the Welsh Championship and DAVE SINGLETON was the man to beat over the short distance. Recording a time of  23.03  on the tough R10/17 course showed the  rapidly improving racing  ability from Dave as his name was recorded on the EMLYN JONES trophy for 2019.

In September member’s travelled to Harrogate for a couple of days to watch the World Road  Championships, an event Britain last hosted  in 1982. Harrogate was the base as it was taken over by enthusiastic fans from around the World, so much so  English became the second language around the town. An amazing couple of days of racing unfolded in a great atmosphere, and an event which as worldwide  attention.

DAVE SINGLETON recorded a personnel best for 50 miles in August with a time of 2:00:15, four seconds short of a full six minute improvement on his previous PB. Along with a time of  55.04  for 25 miles and 22.47  for 10 miles made Dave the 2019 Short Distance BAR Champion with an average speed of  26.17mph.

GARY FLOWER again competed in the Tenby IRONMAN and always does well in his category.  Competitors from across the world tackled a course, labelled one of the hardest in the world, that features a 2.4-mile swim in the waters of Carmarthen Bay, a 112-mile bike ride along the Pembrokeshire Coast, and a full marathon around the streets of Tenby and surrounding villages. Gary finished in a time of  12hrs 2mins 10secs an impressive achievement.

The Rouleur classic  Bike Show in London is an event which displays Selected Bikes/Equipment with the main attraction being  the high profile Cycling Stars past and present that attracts to it theatre. Members travelled up to the event for one day to see stars such as Cavendish, Lemond, Johan Museeuw, Phil Anderson etc.

Hill Climb Championship  is the final Championship of the year and a number of members took to the start line. In form and last years champion DAVE SINGLETON managed to ride to Victory again on the tough Barn Hill Climb. This ended a good year for Dave with three Championship Trophies to show for is performance’s.

Well Done to All the Club Champions 2019


Rouleur Classic Cycle Show

Members  recently travelled up to London to visit the Rouleur Classic Cycle Show, a show where top manufacturers display their latest equipment. This is a much smaller personal event than the Birmingham Cycle Show in September.  Specialising in road bikes and equipment suppliers, the Rouleur Classic always as interesting displays to view.

The main attraction at this event is always the theatre guests where organisers attract speakers from around the world and this year was the best line up members had seen. Mark Cavendish, Australian Phil Anderson, Belgian Classic specialist  Johan Museeuw plus others and the shows highlight speaker Greg Lemond from America. All speakers give a 30+min chat with question from high profile TV Presenters.

 Johan Museeuw was a interested character as he talked about his career. He really was comical as he spoke, especially about his start of his pro career where he thought he was a natural climber on the bike. This idea was dismissed when he rode his first Tour de France when the Belgian was destroyed on every high mountain stage. Later in his career he found is true talent as a one day rider, winning numerous Classic races and gain a reputation as one of the best during the 1990’s…. World RR Champion, TDF stage wins, Classics & Short Tours – he won everything apart from Grand Tours…

The talented Mark Cavendish also had a 30 min slot, but went on well over an hour, Mark really likes to talk. They showed video clips of past Sprint Wins going back from the start of his 14 year Pro career.  Mark spoke in detail about every  video as if they were yesterday, who was competing around him, how he was feeling, the speed etc etc etc….he really can talk, and he shows the passion he still feels about cycle racing.

The show also gives the public a chance to meet with the special guest around the trade Displays. This gave the opportunity for Kerry to meet up with Greg Lemond and have a quick chat about past tour wins, then Greg went on to speak about Whisky and Wine with Kerry, not sure what that had to do with is past career, but it was good for Kerry to meet the Tour Hero who won the Tour de France  three times – it could have been more if he hadn’t been shot by his brother in law in a freak hunting accident which Greg spoke about in interesting detail during his talk on stage

A great event, the special guests will always be the main attraction to the show, allowing 1-2 hours   to look around the equipment displays.

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Hill Climb Championship

A little later than normal the Club Hill Climb Championship was held on Sunday 10th November. As usual two dates were set aside but this year we were lucky enough to have a lovely sunny day, though a little cold, on our first choice date.  The Barn Hill route was used, a tough climb with no run up for the riders, starting right where the road begins to rise.

With their clocks synchronised, Time Keepers, Roger and Margaret Evans were ready for riders to sign on. The sun was shining at the start and finish area with a little colder, shady section a little further up the hill. 

Four members signed on for the event, a nagging knee problem for Gary Flower meant he could not ride but he was able to take over the “pushing off” duties.  First off was Club Treasurer Dave Roberts riding his one event of the year, followed by last year’s winner Dave Singleton.  Next off Dean Cummings was having a day off from the road circuits and finally Kerry Lewis took some time off from camera duties.  All riders had to work hard on this testing course at a time of year when they would normally be winding down the training for a few weeks.

Final times were reflective of the amount of racing each of the riders have been involved in during the season with last year’s winner, Dave Singleton, posting a time of 2m 42s, this was closely followed by Dean Cummings’ 3m 03s. A little further behind Kerry Lewis posted 4m 09s with Dave Roberts finishing fourth with a time of 5m 05s.  

Well done to all riders and many thanks for those who enabled the event to take place.  The next event for Club members will be a less strenuous as we look forward to the Christmas Dinner.

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