First Trip Over Offa’s Dive

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The Road Racing season started at the end of March for Committee Member Dean Cummings with two visits to Worcestershire to compete in League of Veteran Racing Club (LVRC) events. http://www.lvrc.org.uk/
The first trip across Offa’s Dyke was for the Pinvin RR in the Pershore area of Worcestershire, Dean was competing in the D cat 55-59yrs section.
The course was an 8mile circuit along undulating country roads which is completed six times. This regular LVRC event is always a good one to test the legs and form for the early season. The Race went from the gun with four riders away and the strong team from Bath CC blocking any efforts to bridge the gap. The fast race pace continued with several attacks from the bunch over the undulating circuit with a difficult easterly cross-wind to deal with. At 2 miles to go two riders were well clear though they were being chased down by three riders hovering a few seconds in front of the bunch. Though very tense, the final mile saw no change in the overall result. With 300 metres to the finish the road opened up in front of ambulance driver Dean and he went for it only to be swallowed up with 20 metres to the line.
In a very competitive field Dean finished in a creditable 23rd position with an average speed of 23.8mph over the 48 miles.

 

Dean’s Second Drive up the M50
Another regular event in the LVRC Calendar this 48 mile route is broken down into three laps of 16 miles. It is known as the Welland Circuit, after one of the villages on the course, which is in the shadows of the Malvern Hills. All the riders expected a fast pace but that was likely to take its toll because of the strong easterly wind. The course wends its way through agricultural countryside with hedges providing the occasional shelter from the wind. In other areas these same hedges would create “head-wind tunnels“ for the riders to contend with.

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The first lap went well for retired policeman Dean Cummings and all riders were together after a few attacks were pulled back. As the bunch travelled along the open common road the cross wind caused a split in the Bunch. Dean chased back taking several riders with him and managed to get back on before the start of the 3rd and final lap.
The pace quickened and Dean knew he would pay for his efforts on the previous lap. As the final miles came he could feel the fatigue his legs. As the riders negotiated the final bend onto the common road into a now strong head/cross wind the bunch kicked. Digging in to stay with the front-runners Dean managed to finish 23rd for a second time. However, this put him into an excellent 10th in his age group.
For the “Statos” amongst the readers Dean completed the 48.58 miles in 2hrs 6min with an average speed of 23.1mph. His average power output was 213w with a maximum of 742 watts.

Evening With Mark Beaumont

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Members recently attended a special evening at the Parc & Dare Theatre where Twice around the world cyclist Mark Beaumont visited the Rhondda venue, as part of his British Isles stage tour.

Mark from Scotland is currently the world record holder with just 78 days DSCN3836_2to circumnavigate the planet, an incredible feat. He’s  also achieved many other adventures such as cycling the Americas north to south as well as cycling the length of Africa.
To set a 78 day & 14 hour world record Mark was  spending 16 hours in the saddle and clocking up 240 miles every day to complete the 18,000 mile challenge that started and ended in Paris.
As well as speaking on stage with film and photo footage, Mark was keen to meet with the audience supporting his event, especially the local cycling club and was pleased to line up with ACME members for the above photo and sign books.
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GCN rides with Mark Beaumont:- Press Here
GCN interviews Mark Beaumont:- Press Here

Hilly Fondo Reliability Trial

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1350 Metres of climbing with 50 miles of riding was the challenge to complete the ACME 2019 Hilly Fondo Reliability Trial. Dry weather was forecast with a cold stiff wind, especially on the high mountain roads.

While other members were away racing only three members decided to take on the challenge, leaving Tonypandy at 9.30am were Mike Bevan, Kerry Lewis & Rob Davies. The immediate tough warm up miles up through Penygraig and upward to Penrhiwfer before descending Barn Hill into Tonyrefail. The Gilfach climbs caused a few splits before regrouping on the fast descents into Blackmill. The Tailwind was very welcoming on the rolling hills up through the Ogmore Vale valley, passing the village of Nant-y-moel before the first major climb, up the high Bwlch mountain road. A steady pace was taken on the winding ascending road as the temperature’s started to drop. Finally the top was achieved as an ice cold temperatures were felt, a quick stop to add extra clothes before the long decent down into Cwmparc.

Rob decided to take the shorter route option on arrival back into the Rhondda and headed back to  Tonypandy to complete the trial due to personnel time limitations.

Mike and Kerry cycle on, up through Treorchy and onward to the start climbing to the highest point of the Fondo ride, the 509 metre Rhigos Mountain. Both mainly stayed together but after the two thirds distance Mike started to pull away to reach the top first. Once again temperatures started to drop, a quick regroup on top before the fast speedy decent down to Hirwaun.

The rest of the trial now consisted of rolling fast roads through Aberdare, Mountain Ash, Abercynon and onward to Pontypridd. The previous mountain climbs were now starting to their toll in the final miles, but Mike & Kerry kept a high pace wanting to finish the trial in a respectable time. Through Trehafod Town to climb the final short climb passing by the Rhondda Heritage Park with only a mile left to the Finish. Finally the end was in sight at the War Memorial in Porth.

Mike and Kerry finish time was 3 hours 45 minutes, both felt they rode well throughout to complete the trial. The extra couple of weeks of training since the 50 in 4 and longer Sunday Club rides had benefited them both on this tougher reliability trial.

Photo from the Event:- Press Here

Determined Chase in 50 in 4

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Ideal weather condition was a bonus for riders who set off in the “50 miles in 4 hours Trial”, the first of two ACME Wheelers  Reliability Trials  planned for early season. The route starting from Tonypandy where Mike Bevan and Kerry Lewis decided to start at 9.30am gambling on a 3½hr time schedule to complete the route, both knowing a decent pace would be needed to hold off in form Dean Cummings starting ½ hr later at 10am hoping to complete the route solo in under 3 hours. All riding to finish before 1pm at the Royal Mint.

Mike and Kerry  moved southerly down to Treforest and then climbed  up Nantgarw Hill and onto Caerphilly, a forecasted  headwind greeted the two on route to Machen on the undulating road. Working together hopefully would have benefited them compared to Dean.

Tredegar park signalled the end of the headwind as the riders turned west away from Newport and onto the quiet Wentlooge Flats road. With the wind now assisting them along the coastal road, a toilet break by the leading pair delayed their progress for a little while, which benefited Dean chasing.

Into Cardiff and Red lights from traffic controls was now going to cause concerns and luck was going to play a big part as Mike & Kerry’s navigated across Cardiff town. Things were going well, but some traffic lights seemed to last 2-3 minutes when stops had to be made, delaying the progress… Dean also found the delays were not helping and braking his rhythm, but the busy Cardiff Centre was soon behind the riders and this is where Dean caught a distance glimpse of Kerry & Mike who where totally unaware and hoping to stay ahead of Dean, who was chasing hard behind. Through Fairwater Dean narrowed the gap again with the traffic lights playing a part in the dramatic chase. The climbs had now started again and were testing the tired legs of the leading two and Dean’s good form started  to show. The leading  pair still unaware as Dean closed in again and soon contact  was finally  made out of Llandaff, Dean stormed past, Kerry initially gave chase, but no way was he going to match the pace as the next hill beckoned.

Llantrisant road is always a tough test in the final miles and Dean slowly disappeared into the distance and his 20190224_125535only concern now was to finish inside the 3hrs he gambled on, especially with all the delays in Cardiff. The now chasing pair were again delayed by road-works  but quickly set off using every effort in final miles as their allocated time was also getting close. Once the final climbs ended both Dean and the chases  had to get through the final traffic control’s as they approached Talbot Green, Dean had now disappeared far into the distance and rolled into the finish at the Royal Mint – Llantrisant in a time of 2hrs 45mins a great early season solo ride. The chasers turned up the pace on the final miles on the flat run in with only 18 allocated minutes left to finish. Then suddenly Mike slowed to a stop, Kerry wondered what was happening – Mike had punctured with a mile remaining, quickly Mike and  Kerry had to work together to rectify the issue as minutes ticked by, Kerry quickly removed the tube as mike prepared a replacement and soon the Issue was  resolved, Mike inflated the tyre  just enough to get riding again and both raced the final mile to the  finish.

Kerry and Mike finished in a time of 3hrs 20mins a decent time for the two partially fit members riding this early season event.

It had been a good early season trial and a lot of fun, but with all the delays in Cardiff etc makes the event a bit more of a challenge to finish in a selected time. Deans computer indicated he had 9 minutes of delays on route, Mike & Kerry delays were worse  at 17 minutes –  red lights, toilet stop and a PUNCTURE…….  the 50 in 4 is always a good annual event hopefully more groups will be on the road in the 2020 event.

More Pictures from the Event:-  Press Here

Next reliability trial will be the Hilly Fondo using a number of the tough Mountain Climbs around the local Valleys at the end of March.

PRESENTATION NIGHT

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A large number of ACME Members recently gathered to award and applaud the “Club Champion’s” of 2018 season. The event was staged at the Lakeside Cafe, Clydach where members enjoyed Dinner & Drinks during the evening.
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performances in Road Racing were recognised to receive the Road Race Champion Trophy, Dean Travels enthusiastically around the country to perform in the tough events over varied distances.

Gary Flower recorded a Club Best ever time in the 25 mile Championship which was first presented in 1935. Is time of 52mins 19sec  sets a new standard and  shows Gary good form during 2018 season in which he focused on triathlons and the end of season Ironman in Pembrokeshire.

Dave Singleton continues to improves and last season showed is form _DSC1040as he achieved a personnel best to gain a  Gold  Standard  for 25 miles with a time of 54mins 14secs . A close battle to repeat his Hill Climb Championship Win on Barn Hill. His impressive year showed by Winning the Short Distance BAR Trophy for his performances over 10, 25 and 50 miles with times of 22.32, 54.14 & 2.06.11, the average speed for the three distances was an impressive 26.02mph.

The final award of the evening was Clubman of the Year Shield who was Voted by the active committee members and always goes to the hardworking members of the club. For this presentation the Award was given to the Catering Teams from the club over the past years for their Hard Work at our club open events was recognised. It was pleasing to see to a large number from the Caterers past and present represented to receive the award from Club President Gerald Clements.

The Evening was drawn to a close with a raffle with generous gifts from the members.

More Photos from the Event:-  Press Here