15th July

This must be the Acme’s busiest racing season for many years. A resurgence of interest has seen riders active in circuit races, open time trials,club events and sportives. Although a time was given for Simon Kinsey in the Dragon Ride he did not actually finish on his bike. Due to a broken frame he eventually crossed the line on the back of a marshal’s motorbike where the bike’s timing chip recorded a time !

There was some confusion after the finish of the Bynea 25 in June with a number of finish times being adjusted. The final result shows Dan with 54-24, Neale 56-37 and Fiona 1-09-09.

Neale was back in action in the Real Team 10 mile time trial on 1st July when he recorded 22-29. He was joined by Kevin Bartlemore, enjoying a good season who finished in 23-05.

A number of members have been taking advantage of the Merthyr evening club events to record times over the standard distances. On July 2nd six of our riders competed in the Merthyr club 10 on the old road down the Vale of Neath. Rory Jenkins recorded 30-38, veteran Jeff Rees who is really enjoying his comeback season [and rapidly losing weight] was very happy with 29-58, Simon Kinsey 29-19, Tom Stoddard 27-37, Steve Williams 26-29 and Gary Flower 26-12. The following week was the Merthyr club 25 miler where Rory showed he is capable of taking two to three minutes off his 10 mile time by recording 1-08-20. Tom did the same by recording an excellent 1-05-17 while Simon was just a little slower in 1-05-34. Steve finished with 1-01-09 but was again trumped by Gary who got under the hour with 59-09.

Dai Long has been mixing his racing and recently was delighted to get some points with an 8th place at the Llandow circuit races having made a number of attempts to break away in previous weeks. Dan Taylor finished in 1st place on that occasion so other riders have been keeping an eye on him since then. On 9th July there were two groups of two riders out in front and Dan managed to bridge across to the second pair before taking a breather and setting his sights on the front pair. He was unable to bridge the gap and was caught by two riders on the finishing straight but was able to finish in 5th place and gain some more points.

The most recent action was in the Real Team 25 mile time trial on Sunday 13th July with eight of our riders competing. A huge entry meant only two of our riders got into the main event with the others in the overflow on a day when most competitors were slower than in recent events. Steve Bennett was again the fastest Acme rider with 55-27 with Dan giving him some competition with his 55-58. Neale was our quickest rider in the overflow event, finishing in 56-47 with veteran Kevin recording 57-15. Dai was delighted to break the hour for the first time with his 59-31. It was good news for some but bad for Steve who had mechanical trouble. Having stopped to take out his front wheel and remove the speed sensor he finished with a disappointing 1-02-52. Simon, however, improved on his Merthyr time with 1-04-32 and Jeff showed his improving form as he builds towards the cyclo-cross season with 1-07-44.

22nd June

There has been a resurgence in racing activities this season in both club and open events. June seems to have been particularly busy and provided some good results in various aspects of the sport.

The Bynea 50 mile Time Trial on the 8th June was transferred to the Vale of Neath course this year because of road works and provided an opportunity to achieve good times. Riding in his first medium distance event, Steve Williams was well within the Club Bronze Standard time with his 2-18-41. Dai Long, also in his first event at this distance, surprised himself with a well paced ride of 2-07-36 which gained him a Silver Standard. Dan Taylor was our fastest finisher in 2-00-15, wishing he could have gone 16 seconds faster to beat the gold standard !

Neale Lewis backed up his recent 25 mile times with a 22-03 in the Merthyr 10 on 14th June and the following day Dan rode his first 100 mile TT in the West Wales event held on a notoriously tough course between Brecon and Carmarthen where he recorded 4-27-59, well inside our 4-45-00 silver standard, despite being held up by traffic lights and several tractors.

The Club 5 mile TT was cancelled on Thursday 19th because so many members were riding the Port Talbot 4-up Team Time Trial that evening. The atmosphere was good with plenty of Acme colours in evidence due to the three teams we produced. The fastest of these,as expected, comprised Kevin Bartlemore, Dan Taylor, Steve Bennett and Neale Lewis with their 53-41 for overall 18th place. Kerry Lewis, Tony Rees, Mark Nicholls and Jeff Rees provided a veterans team which produced a 1-04-15 ride and was challenged closely by a combined team consisting of Simon Kinsey, Rory Jenkins and Tom Stoddart, all in their first racing season. In the absence of a fourth Acme rider they were joined by Michael Lawry [Bicycle Doctor] and went just seventeen seconds slower to finish in 1-04-32.

Jeff Rees, keen to compete in cyclo-cross again this winter, rode the 4-up on his cyclo-cross bike and subjected himself to another painful experience yesterday when he rode into a stiff wind on the first leg of the Bynea 10 mile TT, recording 26-48. Dan Taylor also rode and completed the distance in 23-02. Today he was joined in the Bynea 25 by Fiona Davies and Neale Lewis. We do not have a time for Fiona yet but Dan took three minutes off his personal best with 54-24 and Neale went even faster with 53-13.

Mark Nicholls used his new Planet X bike to good effect in the 4-up and has now placed his old bike on display to the public. Thanks to Ross Morgan for the photograph.

A number of our members took part in the Dragon Ride last month. Simon Kinsey completed the 140 miles of the Gran Fondo in 11 hours 19 mins 04 secs despite suffering from mechanical problems at half distance. The shorter but still long Medio Fondo saw Andrew Sheldon and Kevin Millard complete the 100 miles in 7-19-12 while Paul Harries and Phil Andrews finished together in 6-15-44 and 6-15-43 respectively and Ross Morgan in an excellent 5-54-10.

Photos from the latest hill climb event are now in the Gallery.

4th June

Good news on the racing front tonight. Dai Long has seen a big improvement in his performances in the Llandow circuit races this season, getting into breaks but missing out on the points. Tonight, however, he collected his first points when he finished in a very creditable 8th place. Dan Taylor, who last week was envious of Dai’s new ability, decided to do something about his own performance by breaking away with 5 laps to go and soloed to victory !

What a result for the Acme.

The placings in the club 5 mile and hill climb series are now listed in the results section.

24th May

The Gallery now contains Jeff’s photos from Hillclimb1last week and Kerry’s photos from TT 1 this week. Those of you who missed Kerry’s slide show at the clubroom recently now have an opportunity to see in the Gallery his images of the Giro Team Time Trial in Belfast.

23rd May

If you think that Acme has no characters left, think again. The Wednesday group included a visit to the remains of Ogmore Castle this week and when Chris Thomas was asked to pose for a photo by the river Ogwr, this was the result. His comment afterwards ? ” My feet are nice and cool now, they will soon dry out.” He was wearing his shoes and socks at the time!

The first event of this season’s 5 mile TimeTrial series appeared doomed by the rain showers throughout the day but a window of dry and relatively calm weather provided ideal conditions for the eager competitors at the start in Porth.

First rider to face the start timekeeper, Margaret Evans, was Fiona Davies. Having recorded a personal best time of 26-42 for an open 10 on 17th May, she also set her best time on our 5 mile course, finishing in 14 mins 59 secs. Tom Stoddard, who used his lightweight build to fly up the Bwlch last week and win the hillclimb, found it more difficult to compete against beefier riders on flatter roads but still recorded a very good 13-19.

Several riders are in their first year of racing so Andrew Sheldon should be pleased with his 15-08, Rory Jenkins with 14-28 and Ross Morgan with 13-47.

Kevin Millard, unable to ride much in recent weeks, performed well to finish in 13-35 and was challenged closely by ever improving Simon Kinsey’s 13-41. Ryan Evans, making a comeback and keen to do well, then pipped Simon by 10 seconds with his 13-31. Steve Williams, a much improved rider this year, broke the 13 minute barrier with 12-29, following on from his recent PB of 24-16 in a recent Merthyr club 10. Kevin Bartlemore, full of confidence this year, just beat Steve with 12-27 to challenge for the lead. Neale Lewis, however, enjoying his riding this year, was just a fraction faster, passing finish timekeeper Dave Roberts in 12-14 to take the win.

The atmosphere at the start and finish was uplifting, with all riders and spectators applauding the achievements of each rider. Watching the event and enjoying the experience, was our newest member, Alec Morris from Penygraig, who looks forward to competing in the next event of the series. Welcome to the Acme Wheelers, Alec.

Thanks go to all who helped with the event, especially Chris and Kerry for marshalling and erecting warning signs around the course. We all missed the presence of our usual timekeeper, Gwyn Humphreys, who is unwell at present. We all wish you a speedy recovery, Gwyn and look forward seeing you at the roadside again soon.