5.3 May 21 Bleat

Post date: May 21, 2012 11:22:35 PM

Hello Vets, welcome to another issue of The Bleat. In this week’s issue;

· Racing this Week –Dog Trap Road

· Lookout Hill – Race Director’s report.

· First Aid – New arrangements

· Memberships – A new record

· In this week’s Member Profile we look at Rohan Verco.

Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc

Ian Morton.


Saturday, 26th May: Dog Trap Road Secret Handicap

Where: Intersection Dog Trap Rd and Long Rail Gully Road

When: 1:30 pm.

Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.

Race Description: Dog Trap Road – 3 laps.

Race Director: Lee Hopson

Contact: Email: lee_hopson@yahoo.com

Help Needed on Saturday: Lee will need 2 road marshals and a couple of helpers at the finish line to run the race. Please contact Lee if you can assist.

Reminder of the New Rules

To meet new AVCC rules, the club will be required to meet the following conditions for racing;

· Helmets – All members must wear helmets that meet Australian Standards. Competitors must present their helmet for inspection prior to the race to confirm it has one of the Australian Standards approval labels (shown below) and is in good condition.

· Bikes – Bikes must be roadworthy. Bikes will be checked for independent front and rear brakes and fitted with handlebar plugs.

· Racing Jerseys must cover upper arms and shoulders.

· Race Number: All riders must wear race numbers. To assist in an emergency, contact details should be recorded on the race number.

Lookout Hill Race Report

Racing took place on a shortened course, in perfect cycling weather. A grade made the most of the great conditions to set a scorching pace from the start. Although the tough tracking station leg was omitted, there were still enough hills for the bunch to crack, with Ian Downing continuing his superb form to be first across the line. David Rae was second and Aaron Sedgmen third.

B grade was the biggest bunch of the day with 19 riders . Like the top grade, they produced some hard fought racing with a hot pace . Jason Quayle prevailed in a hotly contested bunch finish up the hill, with Paul Atyeo second and Jason McAvoy third. Consistent placegetter John Thorn suffered a puncture to put him out of contention. In C grade it was a close win to Steve Schwenke with Jim Davey and Bryan Holloway filling the minor placings. Brian McGlynn rode strongly in D grade for the win, with Bill Frost second and Des Brown third.

E grade was headed home by Tom Hartley , with Anthony Pratt second and Alex Sommariva third. The hard working Ian Shaw continued his success in F grade with another win, followed home by Adrian Pridden and Graham Hendrie. In G grade Pauline Thorn rode strongly for victory, with the consistent David Gould second and John I’ons third. And in the tandems the Brandie O’Connor/Kerry Knowler team were too strong for the Don Mankewich/Rosemary Robinson team with the Peter Granleese/ Elton Ivers team third. .

Thanks once again to Henry Beaverstock for his sterling work at the start/finish lines, as well as Graham Hendrie and James Meredith for their help. Mike Fawke at the finishing chute proved he has a future as a street sweeper if he ever gives up his day job. And a big thanks to the marshals for safely guiding the riders through some difficult traffic at times --- Owain Tilley, Kim Malcolm and Baden White, who actually manned two of the checkpoints.

Thanks to Mick Donaldson for Race Refereeing.

Full race results on the RMS: http://rms.actvets.cc/

New First Aid Arrangements

The committee has been looking at way to meet national requirements to provide qualified First Aiders. Our calls for volunteers have not resulted in enough members to be able to support the racing calendar.

The committee is considering hiring professional first aid officers to support road races. A six week trial is planned shortly to test the effectiveness of the arrangements and enable assessment of the financial impact.

It is planned that we will still try to get enough qualified club members to be able to support events at the Criterium Track. Stay tuned for more information.


We have hit a new record with 344 registered club members. Looks like the interest in Veterans cycling is growing.

ACT Veterans Member Profile

In our next member profile we look at we look at Rohan Verco;

How long have you been a member of ACT Vets?

I joined the vets in January 2011 after learning about the vets from some friends and heading out to watch a few crit races on Tuesday nights..

What is your favourite course in the ACT Vets racing calendar and why?

Gunning. Has a little bit of everything for all types of riders. I especially like the straight along the poplars leading towards Breadalbane. Averaging 50+kms/h without a lot of effort is good fun. Coming back into the headwind is not so much fun.

What Grade did you start in with the Vets?

I started off in D grade on the advice of a friend who said you have to go D Grade or higher if you want a decent workout. Well, I had no idea of what I was doing and got dropped a couple of laps in and rode the rest of the race solo with people reminding me to stay off the racing line as I was getting lapped. After a couple of races I finally managed to get the hang of things and stay with the back of the pack for most of the race. Sprints were still something I didn’t contemplate as there wasn’t enough oxygen left in my body or the immediate surrounds to wind the legs up for a last assault. I began riding road races that winter and found that I was hooked on cycling.

Everything changed for me in the summer of 2010/11 when I got a decent upgrade to the machine I had been riding on. I have to thank Brian Holloway for getting me through the procrastination stage and into the purchasing stage. I remember him saying “if you want it and you have the money, just go and do it”. The difference between my old Gitane which weighed a tonne and the new Giant was chalk and cheese and all of a sudden I found myself up with the head of the pack in D grade and even winning a few races. James Jordan must not of been looking too closely as I managed to have a purple patch finishing on the podium in most of my races in D grade over a couple of months, culminating in a win at the Gunning Peter McLellan event. Eventually he caught up with me and I started racing in C grade. I had two good results in my first two races and he struck again, putting me up to B grade. I struggled for a while to adapt to the higher level of talent but now find that I can stick with the main bunch most races. Might have to go for another bike upgrade to increase my competitiveness as it seemed to work in D grade. Does that sound like trying to justify another expensive purchase?

How long have you been cycling?

Like most people I was on my bike all the time as a child as it was my primary mode of transport. That all changed when I got my driver’s license in the early 90’s and I barely touched a bike for over a decade.

What got you interested in cycling?

Having been off the bike for such a long time it took a significant event to get me back interested in riding. Petrol prices went, and stayed, over $1 a litre around 2002/3 which I thought was an outrage. I decided to do something about it by buying a new bicycle and riding to and from work. Since then, I have kept up the commuting to varying degrees, generally riding throughout the year and taking the colder winter months off. Since joining the vets I have been riding all year around. Another thing that maintains my interest in cycling is that whilst I am getting decent kms in each week, I can generally eat as many potato chips and drink as much beer as I want without having to upsize my clothing.

What do you like about racing with the Vets?

Pretty much everything from the racing to the comradeship experience with fellow members. I have never raced with another club but have heard many stories of overly competitive riders doing everything to get the win. I like that everyone in the Vets tries hard each week but there is almost no argy bargy in any of the races. And then everyone having a coffee and biscuit after the race is a perfect wind down. I also have a lot of respect for the members who contribute a lot of their time to the club to ensure that we have a good racing calendar each year.

What was your most memorable ride?

I completed the Fitz’s Challenge 165km event last year and managed a really good time even though I had never ridden past 110km in a single ride before. Spending 6 hours in the saddle was hard work but extremely satisfying when I still had enough energy/strength in the legs to put in a big charge from the top of the three sisters back to Stromlo. I’m now looking forward to competing in some longer events in the future with the 205km Fitz’s event this year and the 3 Peaks Challenge in the Victorian Mountains on the radar for next year.

What is/was your favourite bike?

I don’t think I have had a favourite bike yet. I have only had two road bikes, the first being a Gitane 1800 and the second being a Giant TCR Advanced 2. When I bought the Gitane I didn’t know what I was doing. A friend from work mentioned that you need components of a 105 level at a minimum. With that in mind I set off to the bike store to see what I could find. I think the sales person saw me coming  The Gitane was a couple of hundred dollars off and had 105 components, and to top things off was all black which I thought was cool. In reality the bike was really heavy and in the end too large for me – the bike store’s fitting process was “does it feel alright to you”. I persisted with this bike, and still use it as a commuter, until I decided I needed a faster bike for racing. The Giant has really helped with my racing and I enjoy riding it but when I look at the styling of some of the Italian brand bikes going around, the Giant kind of feels like the “ugly step sister”. Probably not really justified but when the feeling is there to get something nicer its hard to deny. I think that a nice Italian bike is in my near future and I am hoping that it will become my favourite bike.

Where do you work?

I work with the Commonwealth Government in Barton. Makes a nice 30km+ round trip from home to work and back each day.

How do you find the time to train?

Most of my riding during the week is commuting to and from work so it’s not really an issue of finding the time for me. I sometimes struggle to find the time to ride on weekends as I am a keen golfer and when the snow is falling I can generally be found out on the main range in the Snowy Mountains camping and skiing.

Do you have a special training regime?

Most of my training is commuting but over last summer I started to get out early in the morning once a week to complete the Cotter/Urriara loop before work with some friends. Additionally, the same group of friends met at Black Mountain once a week to do a couple of laps for hill training. With the onset of winter the enthusiasm of the group has waned a little but I still try and get up and down Black Mountain on my commute to work most mornings. Whilst the climbing isn’t much fun and I am a big wuss on the downhill, seeing the sun emerge from the fog about half way up and then getting views over the lake that is still covered in fog is enough incentive to keep me coming back to the mountain. Plus in the colder months there are not as many riders going up and down which gives me plenty of room (I really do need it) to manage the downhill side of things. Generally I am happy if I can get over 200kms of riding in each week. This has become known as the “Skinner 200” amongst the people I ride with..

What does your family think of your cycling?

They are very supportive. My partner joined up with the Vets late last year and has raced a few events. Generally she gets out to watch the crits in summer and some of the road races. It’s a matter of getting her racing instead of watching now.

An interesting fact about yourself;

I spent four years of my childhood growing up on Christmas Island. .

Race Referees

The other change required by the AVCC is that all future racing must be conducted by club registered Race Referees. The race committee is asking for volunteers to take on the role. The Referee should be knowledgeable in the rules of the AVCC, and the club, and be willing to enforce those rules to the benefit of the club and its members.

These members will be put on a rotating roster to undertake their duties throughout the year, with consideration given to obligations. Each referee will receive their membership for the year that they are roster at the clubs expense.

As everyone has already joined for this year we will wave all future race fees for the rest of the year for all this years rostered referees in lieu. The need for volunteers is a matter of urgency and we must be able to meet this requirement before the start of the winter season when the new policy will take effect.

The important question to be asked is what happens if we don’t get the minimum number of referees. The race committee will be forced to reassess the calendar and reduce the number of races.

If you are prepared to take on this role, please contact James at handicapper@actvets.cc

First Aiders

One of the other items that the Race Committee need to follow up on are those members who are current holders of a First Aid Certificate who are will to register to aid the club in this role.

This does not preclude the rider from racing, or performing any other duties, but it is a requirement of the insurance that we know who these people are should we need to call on their services.

It is also important to note that should anyone wish to get their certificate the club will pay the costs involved.

If you are prepared to take on this role, please contact James at handicapper@actvets.cc