8.4 Aug 22 Bleat

Post date: Sep 20, 2011 6:41:17 AM

Timely Reminders:

Race Directors needed for August/September and beyond: We have no Race Directors for this weekend and the weeks beyond. Volunteers are required if racing is to proceed as usual. See lists below.

Racing this Saturday

Scheduled: Saturday, 27th August – Dog Trap Road Graded Scratch 13:30 – 16:00

When: Sign-on at intersection Dog Trap Rd and Long Gully Rd Murrumbateman by 13:15 at latest, wearing your registered number with personal details on reverse side.


3.5 laps of Dog Trap Rd (55km).

NOTE: At this stage we do not have a Race Director. Unless we can get a volunteer, there will be no racing. If you haven’t directed for a while please put your hand up to ensure this event goes ahead. Please contact Graham Hendrie (webmaster@actvets.cc) if you can help.

Race Director: <tba>

Contact: <tba> Ph: <tba>

Help needed on Saturday: The race will need two drivers, turn marshals and finish line assistants to run the race.

Recent Results: Saturday, 20th August – “Iron Mike” Handicap

68 riders lined up for the Annual “Iron Mike” handicap.

Race report from Cameron Emert (F Grade),

I never knew "Iron Mike" Paral, as he died not long before I moved to Canberra for the first time. He is frequently described as a hard man and it is fitting that the toughest race on the calendar is held in his honour. It was unfortunate that the event this year clashed with a running event at Stromlo Forrest Park which added another hurdle for the race committee, the race director Mark and the riders to overcome.

It is also not surprising that many of the lower graded riders found other priorities this weekend rather than race (including volunteering as marshalls). To those like me on the lower rungs of the fitness ladder, the hard course, the hard nature of handicap racing and a dubious weather forecast made the race a bit intimidating. As a consequence G grade started with only two riders, Neil Burton was the only F2 rider and there were only 7 F1 riders. In F grade at least there is quite a big disparity in the climbing ability of the riders which makes it a bit more of a challenge to try and keep a bunch together, particularly when it is a hilly race. The problem is that windy conditions in particular make it important to keep a bunch together in order to achieve a good result in a handicap.

The F1 bunch rolled away fairly easily, knowing that there was still a long way to go. Phil Coulson and I had a reasonably similar plan which was to try and get away on the descent of the sisters in order to build enough of a lead to still be in contact with the others on the climb out. The plan worked for me, but Phil wasn't quite able to execute it quite as well as he'd hoped. After the climb the bunch regrouped and there was Graeme Hendrie, Ally Roche, Malcolm Tew, Bob Kent and myself with Barbara Bayliss just a little way off the back and Phil was just too far back. Barb did manage to pull herself back to the group with a big effort, but wasn't quite able to recover fast enough to hold the wheels up the false flat, and unfairly for her we had Neil in our sights by this stage.

We weren't quite working like a Swiss watch when we caught Neil but it was effective enough, we could also see David Gould ahead and that spurred us on. Actually with the flouro green top he was wearing he was spurring us on from a long way off. I was tailed off up the rise past the homestead which is a hill that has often brought me undone before, but kept at it and was only 20m off the back when we went past the marker for the short turn. First the others and then I caught and passed David on the Blue Range climb and fortunately they didn't get too far away since I was close enough to be able to catch and pass them on the descent and held a gap past Condor Creek. The next climb saw the others catch and pass me again and at the turn Bob and Ally were nearly half a minute ahead of Graeme who had a gap over Neil, who in turn had a gap over me. I was always confident that I'd make up ground on the others during the descent but would it be enough? A long time ago I was given the nickname Ironhanglider, which was actually a reference to my poor climbing ability. However I do happen to be good at the downhill bits and the return from the end of the bitumen is one of my favourite bits of road.

Not surprisingly I managed to reel in Neil and Graeme by the 'blip' in the descent, Graeme came with me for some of the next bit but I was on a mission to try and make as much ground back as I could before the return climb of Blue Range. I didn't quite catch Bob and Ally before the climb and lost more ground by the top. When I got there I looked around and Graeme wasn't far behind and I knew that if I waited for him we'd be faster to the crossing if we worked together. Neil wasn't far behind either in hindsight it probably would have been better to have waited for him too, because the extra body might have made a telling difference. Graeme and I worked to close the gap to the Ally and Bob and had some really good sustained pace going, whilst we gained on them we hadn't actually caught them by top of the crossing.

I made up a bit more ground down the steep bit and was only 50m or so from Bob at the start of the climb.

However the sisters is where the race is really won and lost. The first chaser caught me when I was near the top of the first sister, then others came past in small groups as I worked my way up the others. I got lucky when A grade didn't catch me until after the top of the climb and they were re-forming their bunch at the same time as they caught me so the pace was off, I managed to get a tow off them for a minute or so! By this stage I well and truly knew that I was only racing for a finish rather than points (I'd suspected it much earlier but you need to have hope in a handicap). I did manage to improve my place by one when near the finish I managed to finally catch Mike Spoljaric who had ridden a mighty solo race for 50km but the effort was telling by then. I have to say that I was quite pleased to have beaten more than half of the field home (just).

A big thank you to Mark and his team of marshals for organising a great race, as well as the committee members who put in the hours to make sure that all of the background stuff happens so that we can have a race at all. Last but not least thanks need to go to the Handicapper without whom we'd just end up with a massed start scratch race each week. I see from the results that there was virtually an hour between the elapsed times of the fastest and slowest riders. I think that it is one of the strengths of this club that we can cater for such a wide spread of physical abilities. I have to say I am looking forward to a flatter course next week though.



Our many thanks to Race Director Mark Gillett and his willing assistants.

Race results are attached or are available on the Race Management System: http://rms.actvets.cc/


Report on the Coffs Coast Challenge Sun 7 August & Ride with the Stanmore Cycles Bunch Sat 6 August from Dave Clark.

What can I say, an opportunity to break out the summer gear in the middle of winter; how could one resist the Coffs Coast Challenge, so I registered for the 100km Solo Male event.

Just to make the trip worthwhile I stopped over in Sydney and joined the Stanmore Cycles bunch for their Northern beaches ride (first Saturday of the month with a 5.30 am start). I have taken the opportunity to join this bunch on two occasions now courtesy of Bob de Kantzow, the owner of Stanmore Cycles and most importantly the distributor of Dario Pegoretti handmade bicycles in Australia. I have placed an order thru Bob for a Marcelo frameset with the Ciavete paint work. If you’re into handmade bicycles they don’t come much better than those made by Dario Pegoretti, and certainly don’t come with a more original paint job - See http://www.pegoretticicli.com/frames

The last time I rode with this bunch in March we went south around the back of SKSA, and I can honestly say changing lanes on Southern Cross Drive in early morning traffic is as frightening as it can get (very much a pass me my brown corduroys moment). Verbal abuse by motorists was de rigour along with an attempt by one driver to swerve and take out the front riders. I recall saying it was far too dangerous and I was going back to Canberra where it was safer to ride, and promptly fell of my bike a week later.

The northern beaches ride was far more enjoyable heading over the Sydney Harbour Bridge (there is a cycle/walking path on the side of the bridge) and passing through Mosman, northwards around Narrabeen Lakes looping back to retrace our steps over the coat hanger, then the Pyrmont Bridge and stopping at the Love #3 Café in Camperdown for the obligatory egg and bacon roll and coffee for breakfast. Then it was back to Stanmore cycles after 65 km to inspect and admire some new framesets just arrived from Pegoretti.

That afternoon it was onwards to Coffs Harbour. The walk back from the pub that evening was made in rising winds and a foreboding for the next morning if I were to complete the course in windy conditions.

My fears were unwarranted for the morning was simply idyllic, with sunshine, no wind, and a promised top of 20 odd degrees, so I cycled from the Motel down to the Esplanade and joined the crowd. I picked out a local and chatted to him while we waited for the start. Fortunately he was familiar with the course and cautioned me as to the condition of the roads around Bellingen warning me to take it easy on the descents due to the rough surface and loose gravel on the roads.

At 8 am with the news chopper circling overhead the 150 strong field of the 100km solo male event departed. My early focus was on survival, primarily avoiding any accidents before we got out onto the open roads and so I left plenty of room between myself and others until the field stretched out a bit.

Having successfully negotiated the early roundabouts it was onto the straight open road heading south towards Sawtell and all was good in the world. Suddenly the main bunch split like school fish, as the first and possibly the only fall of the race occurred. There is something sobering about seeing machines and injured bodies lying on the road (I heard later that it was a cyclist using his tri bars that brought down a couple of riders). After that I enjoyed a wonderful ride through the picturesque countryside as we made our way down to Bellingen, occasionally a rider was on the roadside repairing a punctured tyre, and each time I thanked God (despite being an atheist) that it wasn’t me. We passed through Raleigh and the 40km mark with the road surface starting to deteriorate as we got onto the back roads, with frame shaking surfaces reflecting the repairs on top of repairs and loose gravel. This was particularly the case as we turned west to Bellingen on South Arm Rd, where there was absolutely no point in even trying to find a smoother path through the road repairs, and I just hoped my carbon frame wouldn’t disintegrate from the vibration or that some important component might fall off, but Ian Downing’s work as usual was spot on and both the bicycle and I survived intact. It wasn’t Paris-Roubaix, but it felt like it.

From Bellingen we turned easterly heading back to Raleigh to retrace our steps to Coffs. By this stage I was in a small group of 6 to 8 riders, and while it was a dynamic bunch losing some and picking up others we pretty much worked together and shared the load heading back towards Coffs. From the 60km mark life started getting more difficult as riders experienced the first signs of cramp. Even one of the younger riders who had been setting a cracking pace exploded and dropped off. As is the case when it happens, we left him behind in the dust - no room for sentiment in a cycle race! From 10kms out I felt the first signs of cramp, those niggling little twitches in the calf muscles, and was struggling to maintain contact with the group. As we again entered Coffs I took full advantage of the group slowing for each roundabout and used those opportunities to close any gap and get back on. By that process I managed to stay with the group to the finish line, albeit carrying the lantern rouge.

After 100kms I came in 28th, in 3 hours and 11 minutes at an average speed of 31.3 kph, and very happy with the result, for an old fart. The winner managed to complete the course 25 minutes ahead of my group at an average speed of 36 kph – I suspect he had a motor in his frame.

The route throughout was a series of seemingly never ending hills and descents The race really is an enjoyable event, well organised and supported, covering a wonderfully picturesque course and either by virtue of the distance, the rolling hills, or the road surface, it does as its name suggests provide riders with a real challenge. So please give some serious thought to supporting this wonderful event next year, as you won’t be disappointed.

Footnote: On the short ride back to my motel I must have picked up a puncture (slashed tyre) as when I went to remove the wheels from the bicycle back in my room the rear tyre was completely deflated – there is a God up there!!

Letter to the Editor of the City News from Bernie Crow.

The Editor

I would like to support the campaign by Tim Gavel in City News August 4 – 10 2011 for the renaming of Stromlo Forest Park as Cadel Evans Park.

In my view, Australians have yet to recognize the unique achievement of Cadel Evans as the winner of The Tour de France in 2011 (and World Champion in 2009).

I believe that the naming of the Stromlo Forest Park after Cadel Evans would be an appropriate way to recognizing his achievement and is the kind of initiative that sits well with the concept of Canberra as the nation’s capital.

Bernie Crowe


Directing Next Month?: Please Confirm

Please check the list below and notify Graham (webmaster@actvets.cc) if you are unable to meet your obligations or provide a substitute director in your absence. We need more volunteers for August and beyond.

*Director Required (Orroral Graded Scratch – Sat 3 September).

*Director Required (Tidbinbilla Graded Scratch – Sat 10 September).

*Director Required (Old Federal Hwy Graded Scratch – Sat 17 September).