September is a Mix of Distances for Acme Racers

September got off to a wet and windy start at the Sportzmad 10 on the R10/17 Course between Abergavenny and Raglan.  Nadine Cannon was fortunate to have the first five miles dry but the rain and wind arrived for her return five.  Despite the unfavourable conditions Nadine posted a PB of 23:56.

Neale Lewis, with a later start, had to contend with the poor conditions in both directions.  His advice to members racing is to “pray to the sun god”.  In the end Neale posted a very respectable 23:23.

Taking no time off for a rest this month Nadine Cannon was again on the R10/17 Course to compete in the Cardiff 100   10m TT.   The weather was a bit wet at the start but she did see some sun towards the end of the ride.  The conditions certainly suited her and she used her knowledge of the Course to come in 3rd Lady and post a PB of 23:24.  It seems every time Nadine enters a 10 she is posting a new PB.

_DSC0177rAlso riding this event was Club member Neale Lewis, he was targeting a long 22 in the wet conditions and eventually posted a 23:01.  This seems to complete Neale’s racing season as his target now is to “get fat and unfit over the winter then struggle to lose weight and get fit for May”.  He looks to have used this training programme before.

The third Club member to enter this event was Jeff Rees, leaving home in quite pleasant _DSC0703bconditions he arrived in Raglan in the mist and rain.  This would be Jeff’s last TT of the season as he moves to the CX circuit.  His recent rides had been a mix of  roads, CX, MTB and a heavy roller session.  Hoping for a finish between 23:30 and 24 he was a little concerned about the mixed build up, however, they appeared to have made no difference to his riding as he posted a 23:52.  This is his 6th event on this course this season, which have all resulted in times between 23:48 and 23:53.

Tweb (2)wo days later and Nadine is racing again, now with the carrot of two weeks in Benidorm in front of her.  This time it was the PTW 25 on the R25/3H Course based at Hirwaun.  Taking advantage of the unusually perfect weather conditions, sunny and very little wind, Nadine posted yet another PB.  In finishing as 4th Lady she finished in 57:01. Nadine’s first three 25’s this season were all just over the hour but as a result of hard work and determination she went under the hour at the end of July and has now posted four sub 1 hour  25’s. 

Simon Kinsey really mixed up the distances during September,  after his WCA 100m efforts he dropped the distance down to 30 m.. This was a VTTA(South Wales Group) event on the R30/7 Course, you guessed it, based on Raglan and Abergavenny.  Conditions were ideal, warm with a little wind, and Simon reckoned he could complete in around 75-80 minutes, but quietly hoped to be in the lower part of the range.  Simon’s PB over this distance was 1:29:38 two years ago on a much tougher course, so his expectations were high.  In the end he posted an excellent 1:14:05 to put him the Club Standards range.  Simon would recommend this distance to other members who are regularly competing in 25’s as it is only a small increase and this new course is much quicker than the Bynea course.

Tenby Ironman

The 2016 Tenby Ironman is truly an incredible event using the roads around south Pembrokeshire for the 112 mile cycle event, the 2.4 mile swim to start on Tenby beech and the 26 mile Marathon run to finish around Tenby town _dsc1079band surrounding villages. This must be recognised as an extreme Ironman due to the tough terrain where flat roads are rare. This was my first time to spectate this event and I must say the atmosphere was amazing and must be a huge thrill for the competitors to compete with such enthusiastic crowds cheering them on.

Club Member Gary flower was due to compete after a huge build-up of training, but just days before the event Gary whilst out training crashed heavily on his bike in Blackmill and separated his collar bone joint, so months of training was for nothing as his participation in the event was over.. after checks on  his collar bone the hospital luckily slotted the joint back into positioned, but ligaments on the surrounding  joint were torn and very painful…. so NO more Ironman.

So early Sunday Morning walking through Tenby town who should I see in a wetsuit lining up with the 2000 other competitors… Gary… “What you doing”…his reply… “I’ll give it a go Ker”…. “How’s the Shoulder”…. “Sore”…

I later saw Gary after his swim and looked comfortable as he ran for his bike on the other side of town.

During the next discipline the huge cycle trial on roads which undulated over 2450 meters, I moved on and spectated in Saundersfoot which again  thousands of people were cheering especially on the tough climb out of the town. The crowd’s enthusiasm was like the atmosphere I’ve experience on a Tour de France alpine climb where every competitor was given the same support. During the cycle event I didn’t see Gary so I thought the worst and maybe the injury had forced him to retire understandably.  How wrong I was as I returned to Tenby to view the Marathon run who should be setting a brisk pace approaching  me….Gary…again looking comfortable after just finishing the cycle ride.

T_dsc1064reporthis event is so popular with entrants from all over the world, Male and female Professionals setting an incredible pace after many hours of intense competition. Spectating the event now for almost 12 hours it’s the time in the event when you see a lot of competitors starting to slow down, understandably and food/drink and support from the crowd maybe the only way survival to the Finish will be reached. Gary thou still looked comfortable as he ran passed smiling for a photo and giving the thumbs up with just a few miles to the finish… a great  performance, but with a shoulder injury a more outstanding achievement in this Gruelling Event…

I would recommend this event, so put it their diary’s for 2017 as Tenby host it again for the seventh year, and hopefully many  years after that as the effort the local authorities put into it they deserve it,  it brings in 3½  million to the local economy of Pembrokeshire so I’m sure everyone is happy…

Gary’s finishing time was 11hrs 35mins “WELL DONE”.

Photos from the event Click Tenby Ironman Photos

Simon Takes Prize at the WCA 100 Champs

 The first weekend of September and it’s Abergavenny but this time the distance is much_DSC0365 greater as members took on the WCA 100m Championship on the R100/8 Course. Ever present Simon Kinsey got off to and early start at 07:11 when most of us were still tucked up in bed. For Simon the day started with a little drizzle but this soon cleared leaving just the wind to contend with. The westerly wind was a help on the road out to Monmouth, but the return ride was made harder as the wind did not change. Simon had a set of goals at this Championship, firstly he wanted to finish in order to have a BAR qualifying score. Simon has very bad memories of a previous entry in this event in 2014. That remains his PB for the distance but he was looking to wipe away the bad memories. Other goals were more “cycling” related, to reach the Acme Bronze Standard of 5:05:00 , to take 30 minutes off his PB and to win the “Best Improver” Prize. What a day he had, beating his PB by 40 minutes as he paced things well “for a change” (Simon’s words). This meant he achieved all his goals comfortably as he was awarded with the Best Improver over that past three years. Well done Simon.



Starting a little later in the day at 07:54 Gary Flower missed most of the drizzle but still had to contend with the wind. Gary finished in 16th position overall from 53 finishers and his time of 4:07:41 was very impressive giving him an average speed of 24:22mph. Gary’s efforts earn him the Club 100 Mile Champion, I hope he has plenty of silver polish.


Congratulations to former ACME Rider Dale Appleby who completed this years Tour of Britain back in September._dsc0850 Dale a true all-rounder has had a highly successful season winning various races including the Welsh  Champs RR and was worthy a  place on the NFTO team to ride the 812 miles tour around Britain starting in Glasgow. The eight stages included stages on Welsh roads which would have been familiar to Dale. Members caught up with Dale in Bristol to watch and support him on a two stage Time trial and afternoon Road stage. Photos from the day can be viewed in the Gallery of Britain biggest bike Race.

2016 Hill Climb Series


The 2016 Hill Climb Series was based on 7 events on the Bwlch Mountain road, a tough 2 mile accent with an average gradient of six percent. A small number of members started the series with Dean Cummings and Alec Morris winnings the first couple of events between them with Guest rider Tom Stoddard setting a winning time later in the series.

Consistent riding from Dean throughout the series saw him move into the lead on the points table and  started to pull away from fellow members with Kerry Lewis riding into Second place overhaul   with his commitment throughout the series.

Dean setting impressive times now only had to ride the final event to secure the Championship for 2016.

Calm dry conditions for Event 7 were a pleasant way to end the series as the few competitors setoff against the clock on the tough accent. Dean’s time proved to be the quickest and ensured him the Title to win the “Tony Gammon Trophy”. It’s the first time Dean a talented rider as won the series as shift work prevented him from committing to riding the full series in the past.

Dean now looks forward to the “Hillclimb Championship” a one off event on Barn Hill where he will be amongst the favourites to win the title.

Riders taking part in the Hillclimb Series would like to Thank all the Members who gave up their time weekly to Put up Safety Signs, Push off the riders, sort Paperwork and Record Riders Times, without their commitment the events wouldn’t take place.

ACME Life Member “Len Jenkins”

It was with great sadness that we heard, last week, that life member, Len Jenkins had passed away.

Len joined our club in the 1950’s. He became a renowned racing man over long distances and as part of his daily training would ride to his workplace at Beddau, complete his shift underground then ride home again to Clydach Vale.  A typical miner, he was lean, strong and tough, which made him the perfect endurance rider and he was soon attacking place to place records.

_dsc1095bIn 1956 he broke the record for Cardiff- Abergavenny- Brecon and back with a time of 4 hours 43 minutes 12 seconds and then the Welsh End to End, Holyhead to Cardiff in 10 hours 55 minutes 28 seconds. He held this record until 1983 !  IN 1960 he attacked another record. Partnering clubmate Neville Yeo on a tandem in pouring rain they just managed to beat the Cardiff – Swansea – Cardiff record in 3 hours 54 minutes 12 seconds and held it for twenty years.  The 50’s and 60’s were a golden period for Acme and Len played his part well, becoming Welsh 12 hour Champion and Welsh Best All-rounder in 1962. Training for these events required many long training rides such as Aberystwyth and back, Hereford and back  leaving little time for activities at home. He once said “ A cyclist’s perfect garden is a concrete one !”

Len must have acquired the right genes from somewhere and he and wife Lil ( also an img_20160924_0001_newactive Acme rider in the 50’s ) certainly passed them on. Daughter Carol set the first female record for Holyhead – Cardiff while son, Paul went on to take the men’s record as well as becoming Welsh 12 hour Champion and Welsh Best All-rounder.  “Like father like son” could  never be more appropriate. Continuing to race well into later life, Len would join in long clubruns, sometimes just hanging on to the group but when everyone began to feel the bite of the hills around Margam and Porthcawl he would come into his own, maintaining the effort and putting everyone under pressure in the final miles.

Never a boastful man, Len was one of Rhondda’s sporting greats and those of us who knew him will cherish the mental image of him crouched in the drops with one shoulder gradually dropping further as the effort increased.