4th January

Happy New Year to all our members. The weather has not been the best for cycling during the holiday period but a group ride wasplanned this morning to take advantage of the few hours of drier and less windy conditions. One member who was unfortunately unable to take part is Ross Morgan who collided with a car on New Year’s Eve and was admitted to hospital with a broken leg. We all wish you a speedy recovery, Ross and look forward to seeing you back on your bike. To help cheer you up in the meantime, here is a photo of your grandad, Neville Yeo, taken in the 1950’s when the usual racing attire was a racing cap turned back to front for better aerodynamics, woollen shorts which tended to become baggy with age [especially if it rained!], and a woollen racing vest with the same qualities. Note the fixed gear and single, front brake although the hood section of a second lever was sometimes fitted, as here, to grip while riding in a more upright position, especially when riding hill climb events. The rear wheel usually had a larger sprocket on the other side for use when riding to and from the race unless you had carried spare wheels. The large flange hubs were a favourite as they shortened the spoke length, making the wheel stiffer. No radial spoking in those days. The bell was an essential, being required by law and time trial rules. This one was again a favourite, being made of aluminium for lightness with a spring loaded arm which made a single strike against the bell. Not very effective but legal.

The clubroom will be open from 7-9 pm on Friday 10th January and the regulars would enjoy seeing you there for a chat and cup of tea.

The Annual General Meeting will be held in the clubroom on 31st January and any items for the agenda should be presented to Hon. Secretary, Mark Nicholls before the 16th January.

18th December

Younger Acme members may be unaware of the successful racing background of the club since its inception and just how good were some of the older members sitting amongst them at the annual dinner and prize presentation last weekend. Did you realise you were being applauded by Welsh champions for track pursuit, 12 hour and hillclimb? We will try to showcase these from time to time and begin by showing a selection of pages from two handbooks among the collection held by Dave Roberts. Young Ross who used to be brought to watch club events by his grandad, Nev Yeo, will no doubt be proud to see Nev’s name in the lists.

6th December

Life member, Tony Gammon, who will celebrate his 81st Birthday on 1st January, has dug up some black and white negatives from the 1950’s. Tony does not feature in the photos because he took them but he certainly captured an exciting period in the Club’s history. Cars were a luxury in those days and two wheels was the means of spreading your wings and seeing new places.

Tony says ” I cannot remember all the names in the photos but amongst them are Dai Plaza (Runs Captain), Jack Sheppard (Chairman), Marilyn Hammond (married Graham Jenkins), Bronwen Derham, Billy Jones, Ken Williams and Ann Watkins (who married and emigrated to Australia), Lyn Clark, the Brooks brothers and Jimmy Morris whose family owned a butchery business in Pentre.”

More of Tony’s pictures can be seen in the Photo Gallery. Perhaps our older members will be able to identify some of the riders who include a young Gwyn Humphreys in racing mode.

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7th November

Many members are aware that Dave Evas has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment for throat cancer. Our Club President, Gerald Clements is pleased to say that although Dave has undergone surgery this week and is currently in intensive care, it is hoped that he will be able to return home at the weekend. Dave had continued to ride weekly with older friends such as Gerald, Gwyn Humphreys, Howard Williams and Chris Clements until his illness and doesn’t seem to have changed since this photograph taken during a clubrun circa 1961. From left to right the riders are ? , Chris Clements, Gerald Clements, Dave Evas, Dave Roberts who bought his first pair of racing wheels from Dave, and Andy Hamilton. We all wish you a speedy recovery Dave and look forward to seeing you back on your bike.

21st October

The Annual Club Social Trip took place on the weekend of 12/13 October. Eighteen members met in Porth for the start of the event which, once again, had been superbly organised by Eddie Blayney. Club Chairman, Jeff Matthews, started the riders on their way before providing support and photography duties with his ‘sidekick’ Chris Thomas. Additional support was once again carried out by ‘The Blayney Crew’ who always manage to cheer everyone up with comments on how difficult it is to drive up the hills!

After riding down to Ponty and up the Cynon Valley the group descended to Glynneath before negotiating the climb towards Onllwyn. The route went through the Swansea valley before climbing again through Brynamman and the foot of the Black Mountain. The group enjoyed a ‘longer than expected’ pub lunch in Ammanford before pushing on towards Gorseinon.

Due to the long lunch break it was decided to ‘CUT OFF THE CORNER’ of the intended route. At this point the riders found themselves at the mercy of a very dangerous entity – a club chairman with a map!!!

Jeff managed to find a little climb that our recently departed ‘Mr 20 per cent’ Ian Humphries would have loved. After a ‘gentle mile or so’ he received lots of quiet ‘gratitude and praise’ for his route selection. Gerald, in particular, really seemed to enjoy the diversion. Chris later reassured everyone that they had not laughed once while driving up this climb.

After seventy miles (from Porth) the day’s ride ended at ‘The Dragon Hotel’ in Swansea. The riders and support group enjoyed a fantastic three course meal before engaging in some ‘serious rehydration’ in the big city.

On Sunday morning the group enjoyed breakfast before heading for home on a shorter route. After negotiating the busy roads towards Port Talbot it was a left turn to the Afan valley and the constant and steady climb to the bottom of the Bwlch. By this time, the weather had closed in and the group splintered on the climb as riders found the pace which their legs (and hangovers) allowed them to ascend.

All the riders would like to thank Eddie for organising this trip. The route, accommodation and food were excellent. Many thanks also to Darren and crew who carried the luggage and provided welcome support and encouragement. Thanks to Chris and Jeff for the photographs – and for the little diversion ‘NOT’…………

The Photo Gallery has lots of photos of the event.