WCA 25m Championships

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The WCA Championships were organised by Martin Heritage-Owens’ RealTeam organisation on the very fast R25/3H course. The event attracted high quality of entries with 171 finishes including two tandem teams. It would appear that the organiser has a good eye for the weather as the event took place in sunshine with alight breeze, an improvement upon conditions leading up to the weekend.

Two Acme riders made the start line with both of them looking for P.B.’s on the fast course. Last year’s Club DSCN2524Champion, Gary Flower, had to make changes to his regular training schedule to support his efforts to post a PB. Iron Man Triathlete, Gary, had to reduce his running in the week before the WCA Event in order to ensure that his legs would be a bit fresher on the day. Realising that the weather conditions would give an opportunity for fast times Gary wrote “sub 53” on the back of his hand as a reminder of what he thought was possible.

Tucking himself into an aero position on the downhill section Gary attained a top speed of 50mph without pedalling and he advises would be racers to work on their aero position.

Gary’s plan was to build up to a greater heart rate on the last 5 miles than the previous 20 and to dig deep at the end.

DDave Singleton1 (2)ave Singleton was back on the R25/3H soon after his OVW event in April. He too planned to take advantage of the conditions to post a P.B. after his good start to the season. The change of weather conditions may have caught Dave out as he advises members to ensure they have plenty of liquid

The training plans and race strategy of both riders seem to have been well founded for the day as both riders achieved the target they set themselves. Dave Singleton achieved his P.B. with a time of 56:16, with this coming early in the season it suggests that there is more to come are the season progresses. Gary Flowers reminder on the back of his hand also seems to have worked as he posted a 52:19. Well done to both riders and especially to Gary Flower who retains the Ken Harrison Challenge Trophy as Club 25 Mile Champion for 2018.

Dave and Gary take very different paths in the coming weeks and months, Dave travelling back up to Hirwaun for another event organised by Sportzmad. Gary, on the other hand, has plans much further afield with an Ironman event in Austria in July and the Ironman Wales event in Tenby in September.

Dave Singleton Gets His Season off to a Good Start

 

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Second year member Dave Singleton used the Ogmore Valley Wheelers Open 25 to begin his racing season during the third weekend of April. Dave picked a windy weekend to get back into racing and finished the race having to think about a change of wheels in windy conditions. Despite his concerns over choice of equipment Dave posted a creditable 59:38 to start his season off.

Legends

In recent years a group of former Acme members of 1950’s vintage decided it would be nice to meet on an occasion other than a funeral. Consequently the “Old Codgers” began to meet for an informal lunch every month or so. The most recent, on 10th May, was at The Longbow, strategically placed close to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital .

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On this occasion the average age was greatly reduced by the presence of Tony and Dave Roberts and Chris Clements who are relatively “ Vin Nouveau” being only of 1961 vintage. Chris does however have the distinction of joining the Club much earlier in a non-riding mode his father, Joe, having signed him up when he was born ! Chris arrived complete with a copy of Ron Good’s book of cycle racing photos, “50 Years of Cycling”. Ron was well known throughout South Wales as a photographer who for many years supplied photos for Cycling magazine and his book contains a section about South Wales riders. Most of the riders are known to us but it was especially interesting to see images of Acme riders. 411Amongst them were several shots of our President, Gerald Clements as a very young man up to his chest in a river when participating in a cyclo-cross race. You would probably not be allowed to include such a dangerous obstacle in a course these days. Another brilliantly sharp photo showed the late Len Jenkins and Neville Yeo on a tandem, in the rain, breaking the Swansea- Cardiff road record.

The “Old Codgers” have renamed themselves with the tongue-in-cheek title of the “Acme Legends” but a real legend was there among us. Graeme Jenkins was a top time-triallist and road racer in the 50’s and 60’s, his name being well known across the English border and we hope to let you know more about his exploits in the near future. Not to be outdone, Wyndham Nelson ( joined 1953) claimed to be a legend having set the slowest ever time for 25 miles when he rode his first club event.

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Also present were Howard Williams, Graham Owen and organiser Bill Jones with Tony Gammon keeping a patriarchal eye on proceedings. Tony is a life member of Acme who acted for years as Secretary and also Treasurer. He admitted on a previous occasion that “I rode one race and found it so hard that I decided to use my organisational talents instead to help the Club !” Having bought his first bike he originally joined the Treorchy Clarion cycling club. The Clarion was a national organisation which encouraged working men and women to enjoy outdoor activities and established walking and cycling groups throughout Britain. My own father was a member of the Clydach Vale Clarion in the 30’s and 40’s and spoke of the huge numbers of members who regularly went on clubruns. Tony went to an event in Porthcawl organised by the South Wales Cycling Association in 1951 where the road between the lighthouse and the funfair was lined six deep with bikes. There he met some Acme riders, decided to join and the rest is history.

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During lunch the conversations ebbed and flowed with memories such as their cycling trip to the West Country. They cycled to Porthcawl, boarded a ship to Bristol then rode the rest of the way to Seaton on the South Devon coast. That was the occasion when the late, diminutive Dai Evas had such a heavily laden bike that when trying to push it up a very steep hill the bike remained stationary while he slid backwards. About ten years later, Gerald and Chris Clements together with Tony Roberts and Alan Coleman set off on a similar journey. Cycling to Severn Tunnel Junction they then

boarded a train to Bristol before setting off for the far end of Cornwall. They made it but a bout of food poisoning affecting the Clements brothers forced a return by rail. There must be lots of other interesting anecdotes still to be revealed especially as not all of the group were able to attend.

If there are any retirees out there who were Acme members at some time why not join in the fun by sending Acme your e-mail address or telephone number so we can inform you of the next get-together.

Previous Meeting Photos:- Click Here

Dean’s Best Start to a Season

The first race report of the season has been sent in by Committee Member, Dean Cummings from his first road race of the season. At the end of March Dean made a familiar trip to Pinvin in Worcestershire for the LVRC Pinvin Road Race, a 48 mile race consisting of 6 laps of 8 miles on the rolling country roads of the English county. _DSC0377 deanThe race set of at a quick pace and two riders soon established a gap of 30 or 40 seconds. The 30 plus riders in the peleton began to work together, led largely by eight riders, including retired police officer Dean, riding through and off to close the gap.

On the 3rd lap the gap was closed and for a short time the race was together. Very soon, however, 3 riders attacked and held a 5 second gap, this group increased to 7 on lap 4 with the bunch chasing hard. Dean worked with four others to pull the main group along and keep the gap at 15 seconds. This hard work soon took its toll and by the end of lap 5 the chasing group became a little ragged and the breakaway extended their lead..

With the last lap looming the chasing group were held up by a tractor, and by the time they reorganised the momentum had been lost. The 7 breakaway riders split on the last lap and the race was won by Cardiff’s Courtney Rowe, the other leaders crossed a few seconds later followed by the main bunch.

Dean was very pleased with his efforts, feeling that this was his strongest performance in the first race of the season. He had raced for a little over 2 hours and averaged 24mph. He was probably helped by the cool bright conditions, an improvement upon his cold and wet winter training rides. Dean now looks forward to his next trip up to the Midlands with real confidence, to compete in the Enville RR in the middle of May.

Tough 50 in 4 Reliability Trial

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The first event on the ACME 2018 calendar recently took place on the final weekend of January. The long established 50 miles in 4 hours reliability trial with a route which tests the members so early in the year. Pontypridd, Caerphilly, Machen, Newport, Cardiff and then back to Llantrisant to finish the event.  Three members took up the challenge and starting later at 9.30am from Tonypandy gambled on completing the ride under 3½ hours in difficult damp windy conditions

Dean Cummings, Dave Singleton & Simon Kinsey rolled away from the Welcome Inn -Tonypandy after receiving encouragement from Club Chairman Jeff. A tailwind down through Pontypridd and Treforest  until the first challenge up the long Nantgarw hill split up the group, with a regroup on top the tailwind kept the pace high over the rolling hills through Machen and onward to Newport.

Newport spelled a change in conditions as the wind now became a punishing head wind which was going to be a hindrance to the finish. The Newport flats to Cardiff are exposed section of the route and in difficult weather it’s not the road to be on, but the group pressed on riding through the tough conditions. Cardiff was hoping to be a break from the winds, but the city building seemed to funnel to wind to make it even worse for the riders.

The final stretch from Cardiff along the undulating Llantrisant road was the final test and it was in the final miles splits started to occur, Dave pulled away chased by Dean as the gaps opened between the three riders. Dean approaching Groes-faen hoped for a bit of luck with the upcoming  traffic lights being kind to him to close the gap on Dave, but it wasn’t to be with just 2 miles remaining. Dave soloed on to the Finish alone showing is good form with a time of 2 hours 55 minutes, Dean chased hard to close on Dave to Finish just 2 minutes behind, Simon rode well to Finish just a few minutes later behind Dean on this tough Sunday morning of riding.

The next reliability trial at the end of February takes in a route over 75 miles to test the members….