Young Member Alec Morris Competes on the Maendy Track

Luke Rowe and Dani King began a series of track events during 2016 to encourage Vets and 2/3/4 Cat riders to race on the track.  The events are largely based on Maendy Track, and were successful last year so have continued this year.  Young member Alec Morris has taken part in several of these events this year as a 4th Cat. Entrants ride road bikes and ride in groups as an introduction to open road racing.

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Alec has so far entered Rounds 12 to 15 and is learning a little more each time. His first race was a 25 minute event run in cool conditions under the Maendy floodlights.  Being his first start racing in a bunch, and on a banked circuit Alex had no idea what to expect but he was intent on enjoying the experience and to try and be competitive.   He certainly was competitive, finding himself leading the bunch chasing the lone leader with no one willing to give him help.  Having done all the work the bunch passed him on the final bend, though the Pengraig lad was happy that he had ridden strongly and was pleased with the feedback he received from other riders and the organisers.

Alec’s next event was affected by wet and windy conditions and only three riders entered the 4th Cat Event.  Initially they all rode together, but sensing an opportunity Alec took off with two laps to go. Feeling the others were on his wheel, he gave it everything he had and won the event only to look back and see the competition half a lap behind him.  Alec believes that this is the fastest he has ever ridden.  Round 13 was lucky for Alec.

On to Round 14 with his confidence boosted  Alec had to contend with ten entrants in the _DSC0323event.  They rode in a bunch with all riders taking their turn at the front and very little attacking.  Then came the bell and the pace picked up, making the mistake of going too high on the first bank Alec found himself towards the back end of the group on the back straight.  Determined to place he picked up the pace and passed most of the other riders in the final straight to finish a very creditable third.  Hungry for this type of racing he was now looking for points towards becoming a 3rd Cat.

Round 15 and Alec was determined to pick up enough points to enter the 3rd Cat races.   Eight riders tonight and a decent pace was set with most riders taking a turn on the front.  Two thirds of the way around three riders dropped out of the back, Alec remained in the group and kept up the speed.  With the experience of the previous events  he felt strong with two laps remaining so decided to go for it.  He managed to build a gap and one rider dropped off the back.  With two riders in pursuit of him at the bell Alec still felt strong and was determined to maintain his lead.  Despite some pressure in the home straight he managed to fight off the challenge to gain first place giving him the points he needed to enter the 3rd Cat events.

A Tribute to Gwyn Humph

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Members of Acme Wheelers share the sadness with many other cyclist and the Humphreys family at the loss of Gwyn Humph from our ranks.  Humph has been a member of Acme Wheelers since the early fifties, the Club is ninety years old in 2017 and Gwyn has been a member for over sixty of those years.  That is commitment and loyalty not often seen these days.DSCF043011

The family have faced a double loss with the passing away of Gwyn’s wife Judith only a few weeks earlier after a short illness. We all knew Judith as she accompanied Gwyn to Club Events when he acted as a timer.

Gwyn was a talented young rider and ensured his talent was not wasted by being a very conscientious trainer, riding back and fore work in all weathers and all through the year.  He was known for his immaculate turn out on the best equipped  bike of the day strapped to the back of his blue and white MG sports.  One of his friends from those days remembers Gwyn always wearing “persil white” socks and when they became dirty he would throw them away. Such was his attention to detail in everything cycling related.

216 nnIn 1958 Gwyn represented Wales at the Cardiff  Empire Games and had been accepted to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay in September, when it travelled through Llantrisant. Sadly he will not be able to take his deserved place there but the organisers have agreed that his family can take his place.

Within the Club Gwyn was a regular champion with 1956 being a particularly fruitful year when Gwyn was the 25ml, 30ml and 50ml Club Champion.  Even in later life he did not lose his competitive edge and took the Club 12 Hour Championship at the age of 58, riding an impressive 203 miles.

Gwyn Keeps Good Time… Click Here

After his racing career was over Gwyn took up timekeeping and put the same commitment into that as he did with his racing.  He organised the Club Tuesday night events for over 25 years and also served as a South Wales District Timekeeper. One of the Club’s newer racers remembers the welcome and encouragement he was given by Gwyn after arriving at his first hill climb in a t-shirt and daps.  This did not bother Gwyn, if you were a cyclist he was interested and wanted to encourage everyone to continue and improve. This work led Gwyn to being named as the Rhondda Sports Personality “Administrator of the Year” in 2005, an honour richly deserved.

Sporting Heroes are Rewarded… Click Here

DSC_0182Although in recent years he was no longer able to compete and complete longer rides he continued to join Club members on our social weekends, shouting encouragement from the support van. If the weather was favourable he would pull his bike out of the van and joins “the boys” for the final miles, turning the years back.

Gwyn was a loyal Life member and Committee member of Acme Wheelers, he was also a much valued friend and mentor and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Gwyn Humph Memories… Click Here

New Member Dave Singleton Starts His Season

 

New Member, Dave Singleton, used the PTW 10ml TT as his first race to ride in Acme Wheelers colours. PTW used the R10/23 Course in the Vale of Neath on a fine and dry Saturday in early May.  Dave was looking to gain experience and put in a good time, despite the pot holed course he was very pleased with his time of 25m51s. We look forward to hearing more of Dave’s results in the future._DSC0365

Simon Kinsey had an interrupted pre-season training with a mix of injury and the responsibility of EventSecretary for the Open 25. He started his season R10/17 Abergavenny/Raglan course. Although the evening was dry and still Simon still managed to find a downpour on his way back to the HQ.  On a quick out and back course he was looking for something in the 25m range, despite the few sneaky up-slopes Simon was pleased with his time of 24m40s.

BRYN GRIFFITHS MEMORIAL 25m TT

The month of May was dominated by the Club Open 25 on May 21st.  It was a bigger event than members had been involved in during recent years with a separate event for Ladies and Juniors and an overflow event for Men.  In his first year as Event Secretary, Simon Kinsey had planned meticulously for all eventualities, even for the road works sending traffic around the A465 roundabout the wrong way during the week leading up to the event.  What he could not control was the weather, so it was fingers crossed the forecast would be favourable and accurate.

 On the day it could not have been much better, reasonable temperatures with a slight wind which at times was a head wind.  The overflow Men’s event _DSC0013began at 10.07am, unfortunately new Club member Dave Singleton was unable to start but the Club was represented by first timer Alec Morris.  Not certain what he was capable of over this distance, Alec probably surprised himself with a very good 57m31s.  We all look forward to see him improve over the season.

_DSC0158The Ladies Event followed with 9 of the 28 strong field having LTS best times under the hour.  Many participants and supporters commented on the large Ladies’ entry which in part must be due to Simon putting on the separate event and insisting that the prize fund was equal to that of the Men’s event. 13 of the Ladies posted times under the hour on the day and 10 Ladies posting P.B’s.  The eventual winner, seeded number 1, was Alice Lethbridge of Drag2Zero with a time of 52m25s, 4 seconds off a PB.

 _DSC0108The Men’s Event was led off by Club Member Jeff Rees and, as ever, he was not prepared and things were not quite right, Jeff’s cup is always half empty.  Jeff posted a 1h00m59s which gave him a Vets Std of +7.40.  After this effort Jeff still found the energy to return to the HQ and help out other members and supporters.  The assembled field was one of the strongest in many years for the Club Open25, with 7 of the riders having LTS best times of sub-50 minutes and only 6 riders having an LTS best time of over 1 hour.  Anthony Redman was the third Club Member on the start line but, disappointingly, his time of 57m44s was just off his LTS best time, though still a creditable time on the day.

 The seeded riders certainly lived up to their ranking with 10 riders going under _DSC016550 minutes, winner Keiron Davies missing a PB by 4 seconds posting a time of 45m37s. 47 of  the entries for the Men’s event and overflow posted PB’s suggesting Simon had got the weather just right.

 Also helping the riders to good times were the hard core group of Acme members and supporters who ensured the success of the Event from the early starters putting up the signage, the marshals out on _DSC0168course for over four hours and those setting up and running the HQ.  Event Sec. Simon Kinsey received many positive comments from riders sent directly to him and there were further positive comment on social media. Riders had travelled from all parts of England and Wales and a group had made the long journey from Guernsey.  The Club appreciates the efforts the riders made in getting to our event and contributing to the success it was.

More Photos from the Event visit the Gallery:- Click Here

Results and Further Information:- Click Here

 

News From The Road

The Club’s evergreen “roadie” Dean Cummings has been busy again this season with four starts already under his belt.  In March it was off to Malvern in Worcestershire for the Pinvin LVRC Road Race, this 46.5 mile race was made up of 7 laps of a 6.5 mile circuit.  The course was undulating with one longer clamb around 500 metres long.  Dean felt he was riding well but became boxed in on the last climb and lost contact with the bunch.  In cool, breezy conditions he finished just behind the main bunch with his aims of finishing and gaining race fitness met.

Early April saw Dean returning to Worcestershire for the Echelon Cycles LVRC RR, this time three laps of a 16 mile circuit on a rolling course. Feeling strong, in the pleasantly warm conditions, Dean was able to cover all the attacks and small breaks and was in the sprint at the finish.  He lost a bit of ground in the last 40 to 50 mts but was pleased with his overall 16th place.

The following week Dean had a shorter trip for the Abergavenny Handicap RR, three laps of_DSC0377 dean a 15 miles on the old Handicap Circuit.  A strong field had been assembled meaning the race was run at a fast pace, made more difficult with the cross winds on the Abergavenny to Raglan course.  Dean was keen to finish the event but after being dropped as the bunch was sliced apart by the cross winds he, unfortunately, packed after two laps.

Keen to improve his performances later in the season Dean took off to Mallorca on the South Wales Police warm weather training camp, accompanied by former member Hywel Morgan.  In five and a half days they covered  480 miles (770Km)  and a massive 29000ft (8800mts) of climbing. During the week the Mallorca 312 Sportif was taking place and Hywel and Dean took the opportunity to ride on the closed roads, but maybe without officially entering. Another former member Dai Long was spotted on the way, he had entered the event.  Dean recommends this week to other members with the weather quite pleasant, though a little cool.  The one day of rain felt more like Maerdy than Mallorca.  Dean’s aim of getting in some quality miles in warm sunshine was more or less met.  Lucky him.

To test out the effect of his training week it meant another trip tp Worcestershire’s Little Wittle.  The was a tough course of four 12 mile circuits on hilly, winding difficult roads, with one  mile long climb being negotiated five times.  After riding well in the strong field Dean lost contact on the third climb, but event though he was feeling the Mallorca miles in his legs he managed to get back into a group and finished just over a minute behind the bunch