8.3 August 18 Bleat
Post date: Aug 18, 2014 9:57:0 AM
Well I'm back from my journey to the jungles of deepest darkest Singapore. I did notice in my travels that there didn't appear to be much in the way of cycling going on. Probably due to the fact that the humidity is about 150% most of the time. Anyway, in this week's Bleat;
• A word from the President
• 'Tour da Country' Sponsorships
• Fitz's Challenge – 26 October 2014
• RMH Canberra Challenge – 19-20 September 2014
• Interstate Events
• Racing this Week
Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc
ps A reminder that if your EMail address is not correct please go to the IMG system, login and update your contact details. Use this link. Same login details when you renewed your membership
A word from the President
Many thanks to our hard working Race Committee and particularly our Club Secretary over the last two months for their persistence and hard work in putting on races under new ACT Government requirements whereby all turn-points and intersections must now be marshaled by Accredited Traffic Controllers (ATC). In addition, our actual race day arrangements now require a new level of sign-off via lodgment of Temporary Traffic Management Plans.
Also many thanks to the first cohort of our members who have undergone training as ATCs and have made themselves available to perform ATC roles at our last two races in the ACT. This massively defrays our costs compared to getting in an outside contractor to supply ATCs, as we did for the first few races under this requirement. This was costing us some $1,400 per race!
Our Club Secretary has recently been able to meet with Roads ACT to get friendly assistance and clarification on compliance requirements under the new requirements. We have also received helpful advice and assistance from the Canberra Cycling Club (CCC), such as required signs and courses, which are likely to receive Temporary Traffic Management Plan sign-off.
Finally, I would like to give a special thanks to our members for your understanding and forbearance over this period. Yes, we did have to cancel some events – the time trials due to low cost-benefit considerations. We also had some clashes with CCC races as well as some pretty atrocious winter weather, which resulted in other cancellations. Your understanding on the 100% hike in race fees ($5 to $10) to begin to cover the extra costs is appreciated.
The Race Committee is now looking at the remaining ACT races – which we will endeavor to schedule within our own ATC and budget resources. Some of the courses may need to be modified and we will be working with the other cycling clubs to minimize venue clashes, indeed even seeking to avoid ‘venue fatigue’ following feedback from residents and police.
ps The Club is still looking for people who are interested in attending future courses. If you are, please contact the Club Secretary, Phil Coulton, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
pps And for those people who have already completed the course, could you please advise Phil of the License Number on your Certificate.
'Tour da Country' Sponsorships
The ‘Tour Da Country’ (TDC) is an annual bike ride that attempts to raise the profile and awareness of Aboriginal health in a range of communities and to help celebrate reconciliation. In 2013, the ride comprised of 13 riders, visiting 10 towns, over 11 days and covered 900 kilometres. The ride started on the 28th of Oct 2013 from Wollongong and travelled down the beautiful coast line to Bega. The tour then hit the highlands from Bega riding over Browns Mountain to Cooma which then took us through the Snowy Mountains all the way to Tumut and Wagga Wagga before concluding the ride in Albury. The TDC brought together 13 riders with vastly different backgrounds, career choices and lives and it is hoped that this number will continue to grow in years to come. At each stage Aboriginal Medical Services, Local Aboriginal Lands councils or Medicare Locals held Community health days where they brought communities together to cheer us on, get health checks and information on healthy living, watch some light entertainment, listen to the riders and their health message and have a healthy lunch. We also focused on children’s health and stopped into some schools in smaller communities that had a high proportion of Aboriginal people. At these school visits, we would speak to the children about our journey, and the importance of health and fitness.
The TDC relies on sponsorship and donations to run as we organise and run the TDC as Aboriginal community members. The Illawarra Koori Men’s Support Group is our auspice body to ensure that all money is accounted for appropriately. Without our sponsors and local Aboriginal organisations on board we would not be able to continue. The TDC would love to have your support on our Journey.
If you have any questions or queries in regards to the TDC or sponsorship TDC please contact the organisers Dale Wright (0435 198 630) or Ben Russell (0414 083 515).
Fitz's Challenge – 26 October 2014
Canberra's biggest and best known long-distance one-day cyclo-sportive participation event on sealed rural roads in hilly terrain in the southwest of ACT.
Challenge yourself over 255 km, 205 km, 165 km, 105 km or 50 km – these are serious physical challenges to test your capabilities. (The 205 and 255 km rides qualify as Audax rides for those interested).
Conducted by Pedal Power ACT (www.pedalpower.org.au)
Full details and registration at www.fitzs.com.au
RMH Canberra Challenge – 19-20 September 2014
Help the local House and have a lot of fun by joining the Ronald McDonald House Canberra Challenge!
For cycling enthusiasts, the Challenge also includes a cycling component, which will finish alongside the Walk and Run event at Rond Terrace on Saturday 20 September.
• Take on the cycling challenge, comprising of almost 200 kilometres over 2 days.
• Tackle riding on some of the toughest roads in the ACT.
• Take on over 3000 metres of climbing.
• Be a part of the National Road Series, riding on the same roads as some of the best cyclists in Australia!
• Raise money for Ronald McDonald House Canberra!
Details at www.rmhc.org.au/canberra-challenge
• Bike SA’s Annual Tour - 20 to 28 September 2014
more information at http://www.bikesa.asn.au/annualtour
RACING THIS WEEK:
Saturday, 23rd August – Uriarra Homestead Time Trial (Subject to TAMS Approval - will confirm later in the week)
Where: Assemble at intersection Uriarra Rd and Brindabella Rd.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description: Uriarra Map: Uriarra Homestead Time Trial Start Uriarra homestead –Condor Creek side of T junction Finish As per start Course Start – short turn – top of crossing – Mt McDonald turn – short turn – top of crossing - Finish
Race Director: Ian Shaw
Contact: Email email@example.com Ph 0401794987 or 62538661
The nominated marshals for this event are;
• Patrick McNamara
• Jing Huang
• Anne Broadbent
We still need one more helper, please contact the Race Director if you can assist.
Please confirm with the Race Director that you are available. If you unable to make the date that you have been rostered please find a replacement.
Yass Graded Scratch – 16th August
YASS - "Yes, Another Saturday Scratch" - and what a pleasant day it turned out to be. Despite the forecast of "rain" and less than balmy weather, the conditions were actually quite pleasant and the riders who arrived with of arm and leg warmers as well as jackets began to wish they had come less rugged up. Despite the almost ideal conditions for winter racing, the road profile quickly sorted out those who had been thinking a nice ride in the country was in store. A, B and C did the full 70 odd kms course while D to F grades suffered through 50kms.
A couple of grades managed to maintain some semblance of a peleton but the "bumpy bits" quickly broke up most grades. There were a couple of grades where riders simply rode away with the event and won by the proverbial "country mile" - and will have no doubt caught the eye of the handicapper ...
A grade saw the return of Ian Downing to racing - and "business as usual" for Ian as he won in a 4 up sprint from Charles Nicol and Brendan Byatt.
The biggish B grade bunch apparently saw some pretty immediate suffering - with at least one rider complaining about the amount of power he was having to generate just to sit on the back. At the first sign of the road heading heavenwards a number were dropped and eventually Paul Welsh comfortably led home Aaron Sedgeman with Reinhard Mauch.
The best laid plans of C grade to drop the tandem of Don Mankewich and Elton Ivers on the hills almost worked but on the downhill bits the tandem pairing was able to get back on and in the ride to the finish was too strong for "local" rider John Thorn with Miles Prosser rounding out the podium both some 30 seconds behind the tandem.
D grade seemed to enjoy not travelling the extra kms and Craig Kentwell was the winner from Terence Merrigan and Frank O'Sullivan.
Angela Bateup (who will no doubt be getting an email from the handicapper this week) streeted the field in E grade and soloed to a very comfortable victory - by a mere 5 or so minutes. That well known climber Cameron Ermert was pushed up the hills by his stoker John Barlow for an obviously somewhat distant second ahead of Liz Lowe in third.
"No, I insist - you did most of the work ..." - well that what it sounded like at the finish line as Graham Hendrie and Mick Donaldson approached the finish in F grade. Anyway, as a result of some gentleman's agreement Graham finished ahead of Mick in a race that neither apparently wanted to win. Ed Jollife obviously wasn't party to the agreement and was third.
Now, if you are new to the club, what is the thing you don't do in your first race? Yep, don't attract the eye of the handicapper ... Unfortunately for newcomer Narelle Patrick, winning your first for the club in G grade by almost 10 minutes, and riding solo a time that would have you finishing with E grade I suspect it will be 'welcome to E grade Narelle' next week. Still, hell of a ride on her own. Lyn Prentice lead home another local, Pauline Thorn for 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Seen on the start line - an obvious increase in professionalism in club racing - with a rider having taped a course profile taped to the top tube of his bike.
Many thanks to the volunteers - Tony Weir, Tony Beasley, Belinda Wren, Dale Teddy, Jeff Culnane, Phil Anderson, Paul Robey, Ian Albrey, Bob Kent and Henry Beaverstock - all 10 of them (plenty of marshals/drivers/recorders needed at Yass).
Thanks to Malcolm Paterson for race refereeing.
Lookout Hill Graded Scratch – 9th August - Jeremy Gillman-Wells
My son Reuben, age 5, who incidentally turn marshalled at the last Dalton vets race (back in the day when fully formed adults & minors under supervision could competently hear a car, see a bunch, make a judgement and stop traffic, notwithstanding the importance of formal training and certification!), took 2 very important steps this year. The first was that he started kindy; and the more important second, he was bestowed a brand new Superfly 20 for his birthday - his first “geared” bicycle. Now the latter is coming along brilliantly, however the former caused all manner of sickness for our family, so stringing any consistency to training in the first 5 months of the year proved virtually impossible.
Since around mid-June, I’ve finally been able to get the immune system back to where it should be and the old Strava data appears to demonstrate that training is back on track, with the weekly km’s chart looking more like gently rolling terrain than a trip to the French Alps! I’ve also been doing a winter training program, organised through Bike Culture using the Trainerroad software and Sufferfest videos. Whilst I’ve never been a massive fan of indoor training previously, I have to say that I feel these sessions have been excellent in terms of building strength and keeping up the consistency with a targeted high intensity workout at least once per week during the (ever-so-cold record breaking) winter.
So I guess the legs have been feeling reasonable and I figured it was about time the “guns” fronted up for their first race this year.
The morning was very gloomy, foggy and -4. I was not unhappy to have missed the Bakery Bunch. At about 9ish, as I was debating the day’s activities from the delightful warmth of underneath the doona when the Special Bleat came through announcing Lookout Hill (70km) for 1.30pm. The fair weather cyclist in me knew instinctively to check BoM before any hasty decisions were made and the forecast was looking reasonable for around 12oC with a little westerly wind. A quick rain radar followed by wife check, and the deal was done.
Now in terms of race conditions as I began the warm up, I realised that it was pretty much a tail wind out and head wind back for the 2 laps down to Apollo Rd and back. It was definitely an arm warmers day but when I suggested toe covers, Brendan Byatt offered that I might need to review my race grade selection!
Principally my mission for the day was to do as little as possible, see how the legs held up, not get dropped and hang in for a sprint. On the start line I sized up the opposition against the mission, and besides Brendan, who I know is always pretty strong, I basically had no idea who I was racing. Le crafty looking Frenchman could be one to watch thought I. We rolled out two abreast at a very leisurely pace before settling in to a single file race line.
True to my observations, it was only 7kms in when Christophe Barberet, fresh from his Iron Mike win, launched the first attack from 5th wheel as he tested the competition on the first climb of the day – Naas Rd. I quickly followed feeling that the climbing legs were in good condition and I certainly didn’t want to let anything go that we had to chase down later. Brendan was close on the heels, as was Peter, and over the top it looked like it was all back together in the lead group of 6…but a quick acceleration on the flat dislodged Tom Hartley and we were 5.
As we headed south over the rolling terrain, it was uneventful racing, just keeping the tempo up so as not to allow Tom to re-join. It did however, become quite clear that Christophe was starting to do a fair bit of loitering around arrière du peloton.
At the first turn at Apollo Road we had the opportunity to evaluate the headwind: steady, 20-25km/h, cold – but not too bad. The group quickly got organised, noted the gap to Tom, and then the 5 took rolling turns for about half the way back. Heading into the pinchy climb on the back side of Naas Rd, Peter lead and there was another chance to see how everybody’s legs were feeling…and no-one was really showing any signs of cracking. It was all together at Tharwa although by this point the rolling turns had disintegrated into more like single file pulls of 500-1,000m (except of course Christophe).
Still 5 together up the pinch out of Tharwa, but this was the first sign that two were not quite as strong as the other three. That said, everybody held in until Lap 1 was complete. Having not raced the Lookout Hill course before, my fellow puncheurs were good enough to confirm for me that the finish line was in fact about another 300m up the road, slight uphill…so as we turned for Lap 2, I started to re-evaluate the desire to drag race a long straight finish, slightly uphill and into the wind (that had never worked for me at Gunning!!).
Brendan seemed to be riding quite strong, Peter & Rohan were solid giving nothing away, and Christophe was difficult to read – was he hiding down the back in difficulty or was he conserving energy? As we hit the little bump 1km out of Tharwa I upped the tempo ever so slightly in an attempt to keep the pressure on and hopefully hurt some other legs. This allowed me to come over the rise and start the drop into Tharwa on the front where I continued to drive it and up the tempo hoping an aggressive descent might cause a split. Lo and behold it was Christophe on my wheel as I chanced a glance before the final drop into the Tharwa T-intersection – sacrebleu! c'est ne pas possible! – he had been foxing! Praying the marshals were on their game I took the right turn fast, put the head down and pinned it. This was enough to get a gap and so flying solo I put the pace down hard. I have to say that I had not actually intended to be in this position as we approached the Naas Rd climb – first race back, 30km still to go, a head wind to face for the final 15km and no-one to share the work…but it was pleasing to look down and see the speedo at 50km/h+.
I guessed the gap was about 20 seconds and I seemed to be holding off the other four at about that mark. The occasional peek over the shoulder confirmed they were getting organised, although it seemed to be Brendan doing most of the work – that’s OK I thought – just keep throwing out the hurt. Up and over the climb, no time for the little dog, and TT mode down the other side. At one stage over the rollers, they got within about 15m of my back wheel and I pretty much sat up, waiting to sit back in and conserve energy for the homeward final leg. I turned to watch the inevitable catch and all of a sudden they were 40m back again…so head down and off we go again for another gallop! (Brendan later told me that he dragged everyone up to be within 15m, pulled off to let the others close the final gap, only to have everyone sit up as I put my head down and rode away again!)
Sensing I would in fact need to conserve some energy, I decided to ease up about 1 km from the final Apollo Rd turn and the catch happened…thankfully without any immediate counterattack. The pace slowed and I realised that the tempo had caused Rohan to dislodge. Down to 4 for the leg home.
After the turn, there was a concerted effort to get Christophe on the front. This involved paceline hand signals, peeling off manoeuvres (both into and away from the wind), brief and pointed discussion, a gentle attempt to actually physically push him through, applying the brakes and eventually wild gesticulations…all for naught. Every time the pace slowed up, he slowed up more. Eventually he did do a turn, although it was totally unsuited to the race situation because our pace dropped from about 36km/h to 25km/h. Alright! Chapeau Christophe, you win…we do not want Rohan to re-join so Brendan got things going again.
Heading into Naas Rd climb for the final time, Brendan must have sensed that there was a bit of weaknesses with Peter and Christophe (something I do not have a great feel for with my level of race experience) and he attacked about 200m from the top. And it was an aggressive kick, which I was only just able to follow. Now for any of those that have trained, ridden bunches with or raced with Brendan, you will know he makes an excellent wind break and he is not afraid to go hard. With only 7km to go I knew this was the move - I tucked in, took shelter and made best use of that impressive frame until we were half way along the flat section at the top. A quick right shoulder check confirmed about a 30 second advantage achieved nearly straight away and I yelled out to him “we’ve got the gap”. 50m more, then I rolled through.
We worked really well together, pushing hard on the descent and along the flat back to Tharwa. For the pinch out of Tharwa I tried to set tempo so we could keep working together into the headwind. I had little desire to solo home by myself and I wasn’t really sure what damage I’d done to the legs with my earlier break away. Things change quickly when racing and the companion option was fleeting. As it turned out, Brendan couldn’t quite keep on the wheel so I thought “this is it, maintain my own rhythm, keep an eye on the gap and try to make it home in good order”.
I have to say that I have never experienced the thrill of either aggressively attacking for the solo gap or the comparative strength of simply rolling off the front whilst road racing…so it was fantastic that I got to experience both sensations in the same race. I just put my head down, channelled my inner Cancellara, got into TT mode, 100rpm, levelled the heart rate at 160bpm and went for it. “C’mon it’s only 5k to the line”.
In the end, it was a fairly decisive gap, but I was very wary of Brandan’s final kick until I was only about 150m from the finish. Peter managed to roll Christophe on the line for 3rd.
A huge thank you to the excellent race organisation and also to the marshals. The vets races always run particularly smoothly and with very little incident. I also have to put out a huge thank you to the organisers of the hot cup of tea and fruit cake facilities, which were very much enjoyed on a cold and breezy Lookout Hill.
A delightful return to racing!