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.

Al at Maindy[1214] b

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

DSC_0450 f

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