Reading – Rhondda Tour

Tony’s Travel Diary

I left home on Sunday morning with “Shirley the Surly” and caught a train from Treherbert to Cardiff and then on to Reading. I picked up National Cycle Route 4 and followed the Kennet and Avon canal to my first stop, The Pelican at Froxley. The canal was quite pretty with lots of kingfishers, swans and hundreds of very colourful barges. 

On the second day I followed Route 4 through traffic free country lanes that climbed away from the canal and passed through a number of pretty villages with thatched cottages and pubs. I rejoined the canal about 8 miles from Devizes and struggled along the rough path into the town. After a couple of pints (and lunch) it was a much better surface on the canal path into Bradford on Avon where I was staying that night. I was joined by my mate Ty who was going to ride back into Wales with me on Tuesday. 

After breakfast we followed the canal to Bath and after riding through the city we picked up the 15 mile railway path to Bristol. This included a working steam railway section and a ride through a refurbished tunnel (similar to the proposed cycle way at Blaencwm). It absolutely poured down while we were having a pub lunch on the wharf in Bristol and a second downpour nearly caught us out as we started cycling again. Luckily we took shelter under some trees until it stopped. It was a considerable climb out of the city and over the downs before a decent to Severn Beach. The ride over the old bridge was a bit wild with a really strong side wind. This turned into a very strong headwind all the way to Ty’s house near Magor. The undulating last few miles went past Geraint Thomas’s house (very nice too). 

On Wednesday morning, Ty guided me into Newport where I picked up National Cycle Route 47. This followed the canal to Cross Keys before climbing the Sirhowy Valley along the lovely, wooded cycle track through the country park. I dropped down to Ystrad Mynach where unbelievably I lost the track and after adding a couple of miles trying to get back on course I took the main road across to Quakers Yard. Here I took the Taff Trail to Pontypridd before a final push up the valley and home. 

In all I covered 178 miles (all into a headwind) along a fantastic varied route that took me through some lovely countryside.

More Photos From Tony Tour :- http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php/gallery/tony-rees-reading-rhondda-tour-2019

Some Late Starts for Dave Singleton

Sportzmad organised the first 10m TT of June on the R10/17 Course on the A40 east of Abergavenny.  This out and back course starts and ends on either side of the dual carriageway.  On a fine Saturday morning Dave Singleton’s target was to improve further on his 10m time the previous month. A large field of 72 riders hit the start line for this very popular event.  As it was a Saturday morning event riders had travelled from all over south Wales and the Midlands and south of England.

Dave would have been grateful for the lie-in on the Saturday morning after a hard working week, 9:42am was probably his first coffee break on site.  It must have suited him as his time of 22:57 was a half minute up on his Virtual CC 10m time.

Bynea CC organised a 25m TT on the R25/3H Course, we have been here before.  The Start Sheet listed 120 riders for the Sunday morning start at 10:01 am, yet another lie-in for Dave Singleton with a start time of 10:53.  The weather was quite reasonable though there was a little bit of wind.  The Acme Committee member was hoping for a PB in this event even though it was quite early in the season. In the end Dave posted 56.19, around 2 minutes over his PB this time.

Dave has a departure from his normal event schedule for July and we wish him well for that.

Dave’s Away Days in May

Dave corners at high speed on the half way turn on the R25/3h course

Riding in the Overflow Event of the WCA 25m Championship, Club Committee member Dave Singleton enjoyed the fine weather despite the wind that was about.  In the main field, triathlete Gary Flower had already completed his ride, stopping the clock at 52.06. 

Dave is well used to the R25/3H Course which is a favoured route because of the potential for fast times. Although a very creditable performance no P.B.s for Dave on this occasion posting a 57.10.

The following weekend Dave returned to the R25/3H to compete in the Sportzmad 25 m TT.  Sportzmad organise many excellent events.  Dave Singleton’s goal on this occasion was to improve on last week’s performance.  On a fine day he was in better form and posted 56.22m with an average speed of 26’611mph.

The shorter distance of 10 m was Dave’s next target.  The Virtual CC event, organised by former Club member Simon Kinsey, was run on the R10/22A Course in the Neath Valley. Dave’s goal today was to set a start time which he could use as a bench mark for the rest of the racing season. With a small field at the start line for this evening event our rider posted 23.33m, a little over his PB with an average speed of 25.428mph.

A larger field assembled for Dave Singleton’s final race in May, once again organised by Simon Kinsey’s Virtual CC.  On a fine day improving on his previous time was Dave’s target. His training programme, involving long rides, would appear to be bearing fruit as he posted a 55.04m at an average speed of 27.24mph.

This was a very full racing programme for Dave Singleton during the month of May which has set him up well for June and July when he intends branching out into a different type of racing which we look forward to reading about.

Dean Makes Two Visits to Worcester

On a sunny and warm day in the middle of May, Committee Member, Dean Cummings made the familiar journey to Worcestershire to compete in the LVRC National C/D Road Race. This event attracts a quality field headed by former British Squad member Andy Eagers. One familiar face for Dean to pass the time of day with before the start was, former member John Hughes.

Given the quality of the riders it was no surprise that the pace was fast from the off, headed by Eagers.  Ambulance driver Dean sat in the bunch in an attempt to conserve energy. The route followed the busy A443 trunk road before the riders took a sharp left onto the one mile climb.  This split the field as they crossed the Start/Finish line and Dean was dropped by the blistering pace. Though he chased for the 11 mile lap he decided to pack at the next climb up the hill feeling the busy A443 was too dangerous for a lone rider.  Andy  Eagers went on to win with a solo break away. Though very disappointed with the result on the day Dean is looking forward to returning to the event next year.

Dean sets the pace and lead the group.

For those of you who like to know these things Dean rode 22.5 miles at an average of 20.09.  Maximum speed was 43.5mph and average power output was 225 with a maximum of 786.  Well done Dean

Following his disappointment the previous week ex-policeman Dean Cummings retraced his steps to return to Worcestershire to ride the  LRVC Sevale Road Race on the popular Welland circuit.  As with all these route in the west of the county there are narrow country roads and hills which rise towards the Malverns.  There is never an easy circuit.  Dean turned up with high hopes to be able to compete in the sprint on a sunny but chilly day in May.

The 48.5 mile race was for Cats D,E,F,G. Riding strongly to keep a good position in the bunch Dean was able to cover all the breaks, though he felt that he did a little too much on the front.  The race was all together on the long straight for the final sprint. Having given himself every chance of a good finish by working hard throughout the race dean was rewarded with 9th place in his age group, leaving him much happier on the return home than he had been the previous week.

Stats for the race  48.5 miles with an average of 23mph. output of 218 watts with a max of 808 watts.

WCA/Club 100m Championships

AS with most of the longer distance courses in the South Wales District the profile of the R100/9 course between Monmouth and Abergavenny is like a lumberjack’s saw. The event was the WCA 100m Championships organised by Robin Field, WCA Secretary, held on a cold, wet windy day. Riders travelled to the event from all over Wales and the Midlands and south of England to test themselves along these picturesque undulations.

Acme Wheelers were represented at the event by serial triathlete Gary Flower who has been determined to bag a PB on a course he knows well. With the first rider off at 7:07 the GE engineer didn’t have to wait long in the poor conditions for his start time of 7:43, certainly the writer and possibly many or the readers were still tucked up in bed.

Gary’s aim for the day was not only a PB but to break the elusive 4 hours. On the face of it he didn’t have much work to do with his triathlon training and season’s results going well, his previous best of 4h 07m in 2016 looked under threat. However, the conditions on the day did not give our 2019 25 mile Champion much encouragement. Gary described the conditions as a “proper British summer” and knew anything near 4 hours was going to be tough.

In the windy conditions it was important for the Acme rider to stay down on the aero bars as coming off them too often would create a cumulative effect over such a long distance. While not wanting to go too hard in the first thirty miles or so Gary needed to maintain a pace that he could maintain for his sub-4 hour target. The last 10 miles were “grit your teeth and hang in there” time. Clearly Gary is in a rich vein of form at the moment as not only did he attain a PB but achieved his goal of a sub-4 hour ride. His finishing time of 3h 57m 00s gained him 10th position overall in the WCA Championship event, a more than creditable morning’s riding.

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 this year, Well Done to Gary on a great Performance….

Previous ACME 100 mile Champions – http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php?cID=211

2019 ACME Championship Dates – http://acme-wheelers.co.uk/index.php?cID=236