5th February

50 mile Reliability Ride – Sunday 25th January 2015

The first ACME reliability Trial of the year was to be the 50 mile tour out to Newport then onto Cardiff and to finish in Llantrisant. Nine riders setting off at 9.30am were pleased the weather was reasonably mild and dry after the cold rides the previous weeks.

A steady pace from the start was the order of the day to complete the ride in 3½ hours as they set off down the valley to the first big climb up Nantgarw hill to Caerphilly. Splits occurred within the group on the steep gradient, but with a regroup over the top members again got into a comfortable rhythm with the help of a tailwind through Machen and on to Newport.

A headwind was the next challenge along the exposed “Flats” coast rode through Wentlooge, this was made easier with organised teamwork , the group taking turns on the front making it more bearable as they rode for Cardiff. A puncture delayed the group as they rode through the capital city and once repaired they set off on the final hilly miles to Llantrisant.

The hills once again caused a split as two groups developed through Groes-Faen and the following sets traffic lights adding further disruption for the riders. Finally the end was in sight and the final straight past the Royal Mint was a welcome relief as all the riders finished within minutes of each other.

Completing the ride in 3¼ hrs were Steven Williams, Jeff Rees, Ross Morgan, Paul Harries, Simon Kinsey, Tony Davies, Tavis Rees, Tom Stoddart & Phil Andrews. (In no particular order)

Other members pictured out for a less strenuous ride were Dave Roberts, Chris Thomas, Alec Morris, Kerry Lewis and new member Craig Weeks.

18th December

The Club held its Annual Presentation Dinner at the Colliers Arms in Cymmer on Saturday 15th November. As ever the Dinner was very well supported by members and their guests in a very social atmosphere. Members were delighted to welcome Life Member Tony Gammon, who has not attended the Dinner for some time. Tony was there to present the trophy he has recently donated to the Club, as was Judith Thomas and her son, and soon to be daughter-in-law, to present the Dudley Thomas Trophy.

After members and guests had enjoyed a wonderful three course meal followed by sparkling wine and mince pies M.C.’s for the night Jeff Matthews and Tony Rees kept the presentations moving at a brisk pace ably supported with the presentation by Gwyn Humph and Club President Gerald Clements.

A new prize winner for the Club was Thomas Stoddart who picked up the winners trophies for both the Club Thursday night events making him the winner of both the Dudley Thomas Trophy and the Tony Gammon Trophy. Another newcomer to the prizes was Simon Kinsey, who needed a large van to carry his haul home. Simon has deservedly won the Club Longmarker Trophy, 50 Mile Champion, 12 Hr Champion and the prestigious Club BAR Champion.

Other prize winners, more used to collecting awards at previous dinners, were Dan Taylor for the 10 ml Champion, Hill Climb Champion and the Short Distance BAR. On top of these Dan also won the Roadman of the Year riding as a 3rd Cat.

Steve Bennett kept up his excellent record of winning Club Championships by taking the Club 25 and 30 ml Champion. The Club 100 ml Championship went to Gary Flower yet another relatively new member of the Club who is ensuring that Acme Wheelers maintains it long standing tradition of success in time trialling competitions.

The Chairman’s Award went to our youngest new member to reward him for his hard work and determination to improve on the bike. In his first season of riding, Alec Morris has improved his fitness and bike skills while riding with members on the Club Runs and fully intends taking these skills on the Schoolboy racing scene next year, so good luck to him and all the prize winners for next season.

The final award of the night went to someone who has never said NO when asked to do something for the Club in the few short years he has been a member. Chris Thomas makes up in enthusiasm for what he lacks in bulk and is a worthy winner of the Clubman of the Year Award, presented the by Club President. Chris was overwhelmed with the Award and just as we would have expected couldn’t understand what he had done to deserve it. Well done Chris.

Many thanks to all those who worked so hard to ensure the event was a success and to all the members and guests who supported the night. We hope for even bigger things next year.

19th November

The Club Cyclo Cross Championship was for the first time to be decided at one event anDSC_7643d the Brecon Cyclo Cross was the chosen event to find the 2014 champion. Over 120 riders lined up for the event, incorporating bank run-ups and slippery descents and various obstacles for the riders to negotiate during this one hour race. A classy field assembled including Julian Winn a past British RR Champion and former colleague of Roger Hammond in the British Cyclo Cross Team and Paris Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt.

Club riders Jeff Rees and Tom Stoddart lined up to take on the challenge to become the Acme Cyclo Cross Champion. Considering both were coming back from illness and had missed the two previous events it was surprising that they were looking forward to competing against each other and battling for the title! The race got off to a fast start and Jeff with all his past experience managed to get ahead of Tom on the furious opening lap. Tom, however, calmly paced himself from the line and by the second lap managed to catch and overtake Jeff, opening a 45 second lead on him as the race progressed to the mid stage. Tom found his new cross bike to his liking as he set a blistering pace while many riders crashed on the slippery surfaces. Unfortunately 40 minutes into the race Tom started to experience a problem with his bike and as a result his saddle began slipping down, resulting in him having to ride out of the saddle, a very difficult thing on the tricky terrain. The mechanical problem finally caused Tom to disappointingly retire from the race, having worked so hard to establish a lead over Jeff who had now closed the gap considerably. This left Jeff in a position where all he had to do was to avoid crashing over the final laps and reach the finish. He battled on as the course became more and more hazardous while Tom sportingly cheered him on over the final laps. Jeff skilfully remained free from incident and managed to finish in fine style to successfully claim the Club Cyclo Cross Championship for 2014 and receive the Dominic Gambarini Memorial Trophy which he had previously won 14 years ago in the 2000 season.

11th November

Twelve members of the club left the Welcome Inn on Saturday 11th October for the start of the annual ‘Social Ride’. Following the success of last year, the destination was once again The Dragon Hotel in Swansea. The route took the riders on a circuitous route of the Vale of Glamorgan before heading to Porthcawl for lunch. Eddie’s planning reached new heights when the rain, forecast for the whole day, started and finished during the break. The second and quite undulating part of the route went through Margam, Skewen and Llansamlet before winding into the city centre to reach the hotel after 65 miles.

The group took full advantage of the leisure facilities (and bar) at the hotel before sharing an excellent three course meal. After a night on the town, the group left Swansea the following morning for the shorter ride home via the Neath Valley and Glynneath Bank. At this point some of the riders continued down the Cynon Valley while the majority rode over the Rhigos.

All the riders would like to thank Eddie for organising an excellent event and top class food and accommodation. In addition – many thanks to ‘the Blayney Crew’ of Darren and Fletch for carrying the baggage and providing support.

The Wednesday turbo training sessions are proving popular but with increasing numbers, the large hall downstairs was used for the fifth week when everyone submitted themselves to a twenty minute threshold test following a thorough warm-up.

Dan did a good job of mopping the floor afterwards, essential despite the fans working at top speed !

The sessions will continue through the winter and all club members are welcome to join in whatever their state of fitness.

9th October

A personal account from Jeff Rees from Round 2 of the Welsh Cyclo Cross Series.

130 riders lined up for the Amman Valley Cross‏. The start was 2 laps of a horse trotting/speedway track. I flew around there but then when we hit the first grassy climb my legs went. I can’t pace myself at all off the start I get carried away lol. The course had a bit of everything, grassy climbs, muddy section, twisty single track, through trees, a rocky path, a scary drop off, the horse track and a tricky small bank which the skilful riders could ride up but lots couldn’t (thank God I could ride over it as I dread to think what would happen if I had to run) . Tom rode really well ; the mtb is a big disadvantage at the starts as they are so fast, it must have taken him about a 3rd of the race before he passed me as you lose so much time getting caught deep in the field early on. He flew past me but did give me a shout and was mixing it up with some experienced cross riders. There’s talk of him getting a cross bike, look out when it happens.

I got up to 175bpm on my heart rate monitor and. averaged 166bpm for whole race so it’s no wonder I’m shattered after the race. The finish was classic. I was sprinting to the line against some Forza rider and just as I got ahead of him Ffion Jones the 18yr old junior female national champion passed us both lol. Tom’s position was 28th a great result and I was 41st out of the 130 starters. I hope to see more riders from the club as the series continues and especially for the Championship in Brecon on 26th October.

On Wednesday 8th October the first winter training session took place at the clubroom. The riders, using turbo trainers and rollers followed a programme aimed at improving pedalling technique and strength. The sessions will run throughout the winter and develop various elements of training. Advice on planning your racing programme will be available and Carl Banwell will demonstrate those all-important stretches to improve flexibility. Participants meet from 6.30 for a 7 pm start. Sessions last approximately one hour and a small fee of £3 per session is charged. Bring your own turbo-trainer, drink and towel !