Dave Singleton’s Summer Variety

Dave Singleton has certainly been showing the Acme colours around South Wales in a variety of events this summer, since joining the Club this year he has continued to show good form and is improving his performances at all distances.  At the end of June Dave was on the start line for the Merthyr C.C.  10 Mile event on the R10/22 Course in the Vale of Neath.  Looking for a PB, Dave was fortunate to have some fair weather conditions enabling him to clock a time of 24m48s.  He was very pleased about this as he had achieved his goal of a PB.  His advice to other racers is to make sure you train and with this in mind he has more time trials in his sights.

Next up in early July the second Merthyr C.C. event, this time their 25mTT on the R25/3H Course, well known to many Acme members and a second home for some.  Again looking for a PB Dave was blessed with some good weather which helped him go under the hour. Another PB means that he will have to work even harder on the next 25 to keep improving his time. The warm conditions meant that Dave had to ensure that he took on plenty of fluids and this helped towards his finishing time of  59m36s.

The following week Dave’s event changed completely, this time a Long Course Sportif in Tenby.  This Iron Man distance event of 112 miles was run along the rolling coastal roads surrounding Tenby and  with the breeze  conditions were quite difficult.  In the warm weather Dave was delighted with his time of 6hrs 12m.  A long day of riding but Dave was able to pace himself and take on plenty of fuel to ensure that he finished well and when he looked back he enjoyed the day.

British Heart Foundation Sportif

20170716_142940_resizedNewest member of Acme Wheelers, Kevin Hunter of Gilfach Goch, joined the Club so that he could improve his stamina and endurance in order to ride in a sportif in Swansea. Kevin Joined the Club Run on Sunday mornings and was after only a few short rides on his own he was soon able to maintain the pace of the group. This gave him confidence that he could complete the 46 mile course and, more importantly, enjoy it.

The Sunday Club Runs had been blessed with good weather in June and early July, unfortunately the sportif started with rain but cleared up after an hour. Kevin very quickly learned of the unpleasantness of riding in wet clothing. A keen competitive “darter” Kevin’s sole aim here was to finish and raise money from his sponsors and with this in mind Kevin could enjoy the ride.

Kevin completed the 46.6 miles on 4hrs 21m, while he was very pleased with this the competitive side of him is already thinking about next year, riding again and improving upon his time. We look forward to seeing Kevin on Club Runs in the autumn and winter and helping him to improve his time for next year.

Photo from the Event –Click Here

Mid-Summer Racing Report

Cwmcarn Paragon 10 R10/16A Course was the setting for Round 4 of the Celtic Series. Alec Morris’s adrenalin DSC_7720levels were well up at the start after he punctured 20 minutes before the start. Alec was looking for a PB in his first 10 since 2015 though a wet and windy on return leg seemed to have put paid to that. Of the 19 starters Alec finished 9th in a time of 23:44 a 62 second improvement on his PB. An excellent result for the former Treorci Comprehensive School pupil which sets him up strongly for the remainder of the season.

The annual PTW 4-Up 25m TT on the R25/3H Course attracts riders from all over Wales for this early evening start. The Acme Team of Simon Kinsey, new member Dave Singleton, Alex Morris and road racer Dean Cummings took to the start line with high hopes a good time. Poor Jeff Rees was left to spectate at this event as he tried to overcome sciatica.

The target was to finish at around 57 minutes which would be close to the Club record, though the head wind on the outward leg may have some negative influence on that. Alex put in some huge stints and this was strongly supported by Dave Singleton, and supported by Dean and Simon they were able to stay together up to the 19 mile mark. At that point Dean was beginning to feel his legs and told the other three to go ahead and Simon, in his own words was “hanging on”. The Team posted a very good time of 57m25s and were pleased with their communication after not having had the opportunity to practice beforehand.

Straight after his efforts at the 4-Up Simon Kinsey was in action again in the Bynnea CC 25m Event on the ever popular R25/3H Course. After the 4-Up Simon was hoping to go under the hour riding solo but with, what he describes as “the wrong type of wind” he eventually finished in a time of 1hr 01m 51s.

The Cardiff 100 Milers RCC Open 25 was Simon’s next target, this time a change of scenery on the R25/7 Course based at Usk. The South Wales Police computer manager was again hoping to record a ride under the hour. His eventual time of 1hr 02m21s was marginally a course PB for him but having set himself goals Simon was _DSC0365disappointed with his ride. His legs showed signs of fatigue after about 20 miles and he suffered for the remainder of the ride. Having a disrupted pre-season training Simon was still determined to give the 12 Hour a go the following week.

The WCA 12 Hour Championship was held over the country roads of Monmouthshire and Herefordshire on a bright and sunny day. Still having problems with his sciatica Jeff Rees chose to marshal this event and offer encouragement to Simon Kinsey as he passed. Simon’s priority for a 12 Hour event is to make it onto the finishing circuit and record a distance, he had no real aspirations to improve on previous events as he had not completed his normal training programme. Sometimes things do not go to plan and Simon did, indeed, record a PB of 224.301miles. After a little rest Simon will take on the 10 mile distance next.

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

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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