17th January

With the Annual General Meeting fast approaching it is an opportune moment to remind members that their 2014 subscriptions are due. Among those already received are four new applications. The first was from Anne Marie Cross of Swansea. She has joined in memory of her late father Cyril Cross who was a member in the 1950’s and often spoke of the good times he enjoyed. He is clearly remembered by Gwyn Humphreys and others who also rode during those years. The other three are all from the upper Rhondda and are Rory Jenkins of Treorchy, Tom Stoddart of Cwmparc and Thomas Stoddart of Treherbert. Having to already cope with the likes of Tony Rees and Kevin Stoddart, maybe we should keep a close eye on all these members from the upper reaches of the valley because the Club minutes for 7th May 1935 state :

Rowdyism at Ynysmaerdy.

“ Complaints regarding rowdyism at Ynysmaerdy have been reported to the Hon Secretary who was informed that the offenders were members of the Upper Rhondda Sections of the National Clarion Cycling Club. It was resolved that the secretaries of the sections be informed of complaints made to us by the residents of Ynysmaerdy regarding rowdyism and bad language in the locality on Sunday morning the 5th May”

[ This appears to be the day of our open 25 mile time trial which finished at Ynysmaerdy, alongside what is now the site of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. ]


Seriously, we offer a warm welcome to our new members and look forward to meeting up with them at the clubroom and on the road.

Present among the group at the clubroom last Friday was Ross Morgan, complete with crutches. Recovering from a bone graft to his knee he was keen to be amongst his riding partners again and was kindly chauffered by Chris Thomas. He did, however, refuse to use the chair lift, saying that ” I’m not an old man yet. ” If only some of us could say the same !

Omitted from the report of the Awards at the Christmas Dinner was the name of Steve Bennett. He was unable to attend the dinner and collect his trophies as 10 mile Time Trial Champion and Road Race Champion. Steve has always been a very good short distance time triallist and in recent years has enjoyed mixing -in some road and circuit racing. As reported previously, he gained enough points last season to become a 2nd Category rider, the only one we have currently. Steve has taken part in a number of the Sunday group training rides, allowing our younger riders to get to know him and gain from his knowledge. He will, no doubt, continue to show his ability again in the coming season’s races where it is expected he will be accompanied by a larger Acme group than for many years.

With the first of the 2014 Reliability Rides nearly upon us, Dan Taylor has asked how they came into being. They became popular with all clubs before the advent of bicycle computers and were intended to test the ability of riders to judge their pacing and complete the distance within their allocated time. There was a small window to aim for so you could not arrive too long before the correct finishing time either or you would fail to get a certificate. For a long period, the distances were 50 miles and 100 miles in our club with a 75 mile version added later. The clubrun distances built up gradually to these distances and were an important part of building a good aerobic base before the racing season.

The earliest record of such a ride in the Minute Book is in 1933 when a request was made for a 100 miles in 8 hours Tourist Trial and 24 hour Tourist Trial be held for Club members. The 24 hour event never took place but the 100 in 8 was run on 24th June 1934. The entrance fee was 2/6d [ 2 shillings and 6 pence ] which included two “ light snacks” . The event started at 10 am and no double gents tandems were allowed, only mixed couples, with certificates to be given to successful participants.

The course was : Porth Square / Merthyr/ Brecon ( 1st snack and check)/ Bwlch/ Abergavenny/ Usk ( 2nd snack and check)/ Newport/ Cardiff ( Kingsway check)/ Treforest/ to finish at Merlin Bridge, Pontypridd.

18 certificates for the event were subsequently ordered from a printer.

It would still be a tough ride today and when you consider the equipment and roads in those days …!

Posted in 2014 News, Jan.