Long-standing club members were recently saddened to hear that Glyndwr Lewis is seriously ill. Glyndwr was a hard working committee member at one period and until recently a very keen and fast time-triallist. In the early 1960’s he was one of Acme’s “Lewis Brothers” a well known trio of fast, short distance riders who were able to win team awards for Acme in open time trials. You are in all our thoughts, Glyndwr.
Eleven members of the club took part in the Valleys Velo Sportive on Sunday 29th September. The event was organised by The Bicycle Doctor, Porth and promised to be a feast of climbing. (2,200 meters) Over 300 riders, including former welsh rugby internationals Colin Charvis and Huw Bennett , set off from Aberdare Country Park towards Hirwaun and on to the first climb – The Rhigos. The Acme group soon split up with Paul Harries, Anthony and Ethan Derrick, Phil Andrews and Steve Williams setting the pace at the head of the event.
Tavis Rees, Kevin Millard and Tony Rees maintained a steadier pace that allowed them to stay together throughout the day. The other Acme riders were Roddy Wood, Andrew Sheldon and Simon Kinsey. Simon has recently made a return to cycling after undergoing knee surgery. He certainly picked a tough event in which to make his comeback!
After the short ride through Treorchy the route took the riders up the Bwlch and into the Ogmore valley. The third climb came between Blackmill and Gilfach before ‘a surprise’ (to some people), climb of Barn Hill. A number of riders resorted to pushing their bikes up Penrhys where the feed station proved to be very popular.
After the descent into the Rhondda Fach came the only flat section of the event – down to Ponty -before the long and tortuous ascent of Graigwen took riders towards LLanwonno. It was great to take advantage of the ‘closed road’ descent into Blaenllechau – in fact it was just great to be descending anywhere.
Even the moderate climb up to Maerdy was now proving difficult for some, before final climb of Maerdy Mountain saw an end to the ‘enjoyment’.
With the exception of Ethan, who made some lame excuse about bearings in his ears!!!, all members completed the 58 mile route. Paul Harries set a fantastic time of 3 hrs 29 min to finish in sixth place with Anthony, Phil and Steve all coming in well under four hours. Simon, Tavis, Kevin and Tony all finished around the 4hrs 30 mark with Roddy and Andrew just over 5 hours.
Congratulations to Jamie and all at The Bicycle Doctor.
Everyone who participated agreed it was an awesome event with excellent organisation, marshalling and signing. While the route was a tough test, it certainly ‘showcased’ the area. Many ‘foreign’ riders commented on the scenery and great cycling roads – luckily the weather could not have been kinder, which certainly helped.
The ‘Acme Crew’ were once again cheered on at various points of the course by Roger, Margaret and Sharon (who also provided some of the photos). Hopefully, this ride will become an established event on the sportive calendar. It certainly has all the ingredients to be a success.
See the Photo Gallery for more pictures of the event.