9.3 Sep 15 Bleat

Post date: Sep 15, 2014 11:22:45 PM

Hello Vets,

In this week's Bleat;

• Go Green by recycling your old bike

• The Bungers to the Flat rail trail

• Fitz's Challenge – 26 October 2014

• Racing this Week

• Race Report

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

Ian Morton.

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

Go Green by recycling your old bike – or grabbing a second hand bargain!

Canberrans love cycling and we all love our bikes but for a small city we throw a lot of good bikes on the scrap metal pile. The Recyclery and the team at The Green Shed in Mitchell have come up with a solution to this that saves the bikes of Canberra and gets them back out on the road.

The Recyclery employs people with a disability to recycle and revive old bikes and sell them back to the community at an affordable price. With the support of The Green Shed the Recyclery has access to many bikes and parts and so can employ more people, and save more bikes!

For more details go to the Pedal Power website Click Here

The Bungers to the Flat rail trail

The Bungendore Cappuccino Cycle Club is asking for your support for the redevelopment of the unused (since 1969) Bungendore to Captains Flat NSW branch line as a multi use Rail Trail.

To add your support, sign the online petition Click Here

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


Saturday, 20th September – Old Federal Highway Handicap

Where: Gravel Pit - intersection Federal Highway and Single Hill Way.

When: 1:30pm

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

Race Description: Old Federal Highway - Shingle Hill Way - Tulip Farm

Race Director: Linda Stals

Contact: Email linda.stals@anu.edu.au Ph 0419 283 599 or 6292 3771

The nominated marshals for this event are;

• Adrian Rollins

• Christophe Barberet

• Marc Vroomans

• Rowan McMurray

• Sally Thompson

Linda will need at least two more Marshalls to make up the full complement. If you are able to assist, please let her know.

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.


Iron Mike – 13th September

Many would say that Iron Mike is probably the most arduous of events on the Vets race calendar and judging by the miserable looks on pretty much everyone at the finish line it would be fair to say that Iron Mike remains the most arduous of events on the Vets Calendar, however I digress and we should wind the clock back three 3 hours to all the roosters crowing at the start line. First time reffing under the new Traffic Management system was interesting, no longer a case for grabbing a handful of stuff and heading off to a turn point, specifically 2 widgets, 2 other widgets, 4 little widgets and the coveted lollypop stick that people pay millions for the right to play with. Uriarra was the scene, road works prevented the full course so, two laps out to Conder creek it was. Ultimately the opportunity for a paternal maggie, to swoop 200 riders. G’s were away at 12:30 and a 45 minute head start and at intervals all the way down to the A1’s out and chasing, sometime later Graham Hendrie comes past first, followed by the rest of F Troop and members of E and Delta force, the marshalls, all of a sudden ducking for cover with a loud whoosh heard, but it turned out to be the Diesel powered tandem of Messrs Emert and Mankewich, the ultimate winners but at the time the smart money was still on the A2’s, who had put an extra minute into the A1’s.

Interest peaked as the higher grades coming through and the power was obviously on with the A2’s roaring past on a mission, followed by the A1’s, a time checked was requested while the boys were pulling 50 through the start finish, I think they were too far away when we told them it was 14 minutes to 2. Not sure that’s what they were after ?. First lap down and the casualties started to mount as 8 riders called it a day and the big boys from the B’s and A’s had eaten way 30 or so minutes from the hares sent out earlier. Lap 2 underway and the minor grades not used racing a full race at that intensity started to fade leaving the way for the A’s and B’s to take charge with the exception of the Tandem of course, having seem them fly down the hill, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that graceful going up, Delta headed up by Des Brown were hanging an and would end up snatching a fair share of the minor places inside the Top 10. The finish was a very polite affair with riders spacing themselves out just lovely so we could count them accordingly, but it was obvious to all that the finish followed by a cup of tea was in order. Thanks to Bill Frost and Simon Milne for controlling the turn points and thanks to Michael Carr, Graham Lindsay, Phil Anderson, Ben Davis for keeping me company at the start finish line and a special thanks to James Meredith who controlled the timing equipment, registration process and who played the role of Henry Beaverstock and nagged me for the best part of two hours. Hope you get well soon Henry he doesn’t nag as well as you do.

The Winners (Left to Right): Peter Marshall (3rd), Michael McGurgan (2nd), Don Mankewich and Cameron Ermert (1st).

Thanks to Steve Dean for race refereeing.

“The Mike” Handicap

This race is named after Mike Paral who was reputedly a real hardman of ACT Cycling and greatly liked and respected by his peers, many of whom were the founding members of the ACTVCC. I remember the Iron Mike race in the late 80s was real test of endurance being from Deeks corner to the end of the bitumen and back twice to make 120km of tough racing.

As someone who cannot put in the sort of training necessary for that sort of race I’m quite pleased that it is run as a 60km handicap, which is still a hard race but at least doable. Even so I suspect that the race’s reputation for being hard scared some away, since there was a relatively low turnout of 50 bikes despite being good conditions for racing.

I’m quite a fan of handicaps because they encourage good bunch racing. Whilst it is a legitimate and successful (but unpopular) tactic to sit on the back of the bunch for the entire race and win the sprint, that tactic simply does not work in a handicap. When you race a handicap you have to be prepared to work for the entire race because if you don’t then your bunch won’t win, so finishing first in your bunch doesn’t achieve much.

With my regular stoker John away for this weekend, I teamed up with Don, who had found himself without a pilot.

We lined up in D grade with a small group of 6 bikes. From the beginning the pace was on, so much so that we lost Sue by the top of Blue Range Spur and Terry before Condor Ck. The remaining 4, Warwick, Des, David and us managed to stay pretty much together to the end of the bitumen and back to the spur on the return. Don and I did roll away on the descent to Condor Creek, but we knew that the others would pick us up on the climb back. The plan unraveled a little from there when David was the only one to come with us back down the spur. We were already making our way through the stragglers at this point and picked up Rosemary near the homestead, and rode together to the bottom turn as a group of 3.

Coming back up the false flat to the homestead David was riding hard, and we were struggling to just hold his wheel, it was too much for Rosemary. We caught the remaining E grade bunch of Ian, Jan and Russell at the homestead and Jing and Ross from G grade not long after that. We caught Graham before the top of the spur to become the leaders of the race.

In the meantime, Warwick put in a big effort to catch up to us at this point but had gone too far into the red to do so and promptly blew up. Des put in an impressive climbing display to catch us after Condor Creek and eventually left us behind on the final climb to the top turn, but we knew we’d catch him on the way down.

I particularly like the stretch of road from the top turn back to Condor Creek. If you get your entry to the corners right you can carry a lot of speed. However if you get the corners wrong then it simply gets scary and you have to brake. Fortunately I get it right more often than not and we pulled away from Des and David through the fast bit.

Having earned a lead we then rode hard to conserve it and still had a gap at the top of the Spur. It was now clear that we would have to ride by ourselves to the end, because if anyone caught us from here, they would be coming straight past. Our job now was just to make it as hard as possible for the faster riders.

At the bottom turn we were pleased to still have a reasonable gap back to a bunch that contained David and Des, with another couple of fast moving groups behind them.

That final stretch up the hill back to the homestead was just plain hard. I don’t enjoy time trials at the best of times, and let’s face it racing for the win with riders closing in from behind, has to be the best of times. I still didn’t enjoy it, we were just desperately trying to hang on and were battling cramps and fatigue, but we were buoyed by the encouragement we were getting from the others going the other way. However we weren’t fast and knew it. That road just seems to suck the speed out of you. It was only when we finally reached the crest with about 500m to go that we were sure that we would actually hold on.

We arrived at the end completely shattered but totally thrilled with our ride. I guess that is how a handicap should feel. Behind us came a single rider from C grade who only just held off the leading A grade trio with the rest of the wreckage following in behind.

Thanks must go to those who worked hard to make this race happen. It wouldn’t happen at all without the director and the turn marshals. But special thanks must be given to the handicapper. The top 10 showed that there were lots of riders who were in with a chance had their races panned out differently. 3 from D grade, 4 from C grade and 3 from A grade, however it seems that the lowest grades have slipped out of the Handicappers good books. I suspect that some form of bribery might be required if they are to change their lot.

Despite my comments about TTs, I’m still coming out next weekend, personnel and equipment TBA. Whilst I don’t enjoy the suffering of a TT, it still provides a decent benchmark.


Cameron Ermert