z11.1 Nov 2 Bleat
Post date: Nov 02, 2015 9:54:38 AM
In the Bleat this week;
• From the desk of the handicapper
• Vets out and about
• Racing this Week
• Race Reports
Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc
From the desk of the handicapper
I think the origin of the name of our newsletter was that it always included a bit of nagging so I'll bleat on about a problem the club has (and it's not about our club presidents always spending most of their time in France!) So far only two out of more than 300 members have enquired to learn what's required to become a Race Director. We desperately need new blood to enable the club to thrive and conduct activities that members want to participate in. Email the firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be involved.
There are still delays with getting the results out but you will notice that visitors and others were included in the results and the phantoms have gone. I made quite a few changes so that gradings reflect the grade riders are riding in, but they seem to have vanished in the past day (If you want an adjustment, email the email@example.com).
This week's promotions are;
- Ian Mongan B -> A
- Mick Jermyn B -> A
- Jayson Clarke D -> C
- Bernie Shaw D -> C
- Lloyd Bennett F -> E
Vets out and about
Many riders put in many performances two weeks back ranging from Heather Sommariva in the 50km race to Charlie Nicoll and Marc Roberts who completed the Fitz's Absurd event and were pedalling away from dawn to dusk! Race reports are welcome.
Among the bike tragics who gather at the bike racks at work is an electrical engineer who's developing a device to enable a mobile battery to be charged by a hub generator. If you've got a hub generator and would like to part of the R&D process, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He also fixes batteries and LED lights--John Paul de Sousa, my daughter and I are all happy customers. Cost is $15 per half hour to solve your bike lighting problems.
Bike garage sale
Peter Taylor and others will be selling old bike bits on Saturday 7 November at Dumaresq St Dickson from early that morning. Buyers and sellers welcome. Call Peter 0439 829 200 for more details.
RACING THIS WEEK:
Tuesday, 3rd November: Stromlo Criterium
Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
G 5:40 18 min + 1 lap
A/B 6:00 28 min + 2 laps
C/D 6:32 25 min + 2 laps
E/F 7:02 22 min + 2 laps
Race Director: Linda Stals
Contact: Email: email@example.com Ph 0419283599
The nominated marshals for this event are;
• Lindsay Graham
• Daniel Grillo
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.
Wednesday, 4th November: Track Racing
The Program for Wednesday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.30pm: 8-lap scratch race;
6.30pm – 7.00pm: 16-Lap Points race;
7.00pm – 7.30pm: Italian Pursuit.
Sunday, 8th November: No Race
The nominated marshals for upcoming events are;
- Nov 10 @ Stromlo: Craig Pearsall, Additional Marshal required. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
- Nov 15 @ Uriarra: Reinhard Mauch, Clinton Porteous, Andrew Swenson Andrew Sinclair, Karen Steinicke, Simon Tennent, Simon Junakovic
- Nov 17 @ Stromlo: Paul Frankcom, Mary Lovett
- Nov 22 @ Old Federal Highway: Patrick McNamara, Marcus O'Toole, Russell Reid, Paul Welsh, Brendan Lakey, Andrew Chamberlain
The Marshal Roster for the remainder of the year has been uploaded on to the club website at;
Stromlo Criterium – 27th October
Many thanks to Steve Jones and Angie Wren for their early communications on availability and their persistence in the abysmal conditions - it was so cold that Angie could hardly write at the end! Thanks also to Henry Beaverstock and Graham Hendry for setting everything up. A special thanks to Stu Horyna who tripled up as First Aid, marshal and kangaroo wrangler.
Paul Robey put on a display of strength leading G Grade for most of the race but it took its toll and Heather Sommariva flew home to win by many lengths with new comer Rapheala Sheenan hanging on for third.
E and F Grades had what appeared to be quite leisurely races although I was distracted towards the finish by unruly runners crossing the track. Robbie Thompson, Matt Morgan and Shane Warburton took out the places in E Grade while Lloyd Bennett put on a bust to beat Peter Lafferty (on his 5 speed) from Rico Fitch who was noticed having a good time displaying his stamina in front.
One hundred and eleven braved the cold windy conditions for the third crit of the 2015/6 Summer series. Will we even get nice weather? After considerable discussion about the shambles caused by grades passing each other, it was decided that A grade should be given 3/4 of a lap start with the hope that they would pass B grade early and be well clear by the finish - the best laid plans of mice and men! But thankful the bunch of 7 leading A graders stayed together to the end and the 2 leaders of B grade were easy enough to identify from the rest of A grade. The bunch of rapidly finishing B graders was a bit of a challenge to identify. Sean Ifland got the A Grade win from Mark Harris and Ed Pelligrino while Ian Mongan took B grade from Michael Jermyn and Dougal Torrance.
C and D Grades may have had the worst of the conditions due to increasing gusty conditions, an almost still period and then a blast of the wind. Bryan Halloway has obviously made a full recovery after the knee operation and won from Ben Vagnarelli and Tony Henry. Jayson Clarke, Bernard Shaw and Andrew Hall took the places in C Grade.
Narrabundah Track Racing – 28th October
After missing a week due to rain, it was heartening to have ideal conditions for the second track racing session of the 15-16 season. Attendance increased with 23 riders split almost equally between A & B Grades.
The six lap A grade scratch race was again tactical. The early part of the races saw constant jockeying for position. After four laps the group flared over the track with riders sizing up the situation. Michael Langdon took the initiative and quickly gapped the field. Michael looked set to hold his lead to the finish. However, furious chasing saw Steve Jones overtake at the finish. Tandem partners, Cameron Ermet and John Barlow performed well to take third in a tight final sprint. Alec Millett again dominated the B Grade scratch. Ian Drayton took a creditable second. Peta Brill must have been chuffed to finish third in her first race at the Bundadome.
The 2-Lap handicap races looked competitive for this early stage of the season. Kerry Knowler and Lindy Hou on the tandem gave no quarter and made A grade a furious pursuit. Steve Jones and Craig Kentwell could not quite catch them. Most of the rest of the field appeared shocked by the pace. In B Grade, Peta Brill continued a great night with a win from Steve Dean and Alec Millett.
Ben Robey took the initiative in the A grade mystery race. However, Ben’s initiative went unrewarded as Steve Jones dominated a final pursuit and sprint. Rohan McMurray performed well to come in second. The tandem pair of Kerry Knowler and Lindy Hou showed they will not give anything away, by taking third.
The B Grade mystery race started easy, but soon accelerated to a solid pace. Matt Morgan and Peta Brill took the initiative and were rewarded with first and second. John Stockman raced well to take third.
For the final six lap race, the B grade group was given a half lap lead. They took off and A grade struggled to make a dent in their lead. B Grade riders Alec Millett, Ian Drayton and Steve Dean took first to third. They well deserved the result. A Grade can console themselves, that better tactics may produce a result for them in future.
Major place getters were as follows:
6-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Michael Langdon, Kerry Knowler & Lindy Hou; (B Grade) Alec Millet, Ian Drayton, Peta Brill.
2-Lap Handicap: (A Grade) Kerry Knowler & Lindy Hou, Steve Jones, Craig Kentwell; (B Grade) Peta Brill, Steve Dean, Alec Millet.
Mystery Race: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Rowan McMurray, Kerry Knowler & Lindy Hou; (B Grade) Matt Morgan, Peta Brill, John Stockman.
6-Lap (B Grade early start): Alec Millet, Ian Drayton, Steve Dean
The view from the sidelines
I'm prompted to write this having watched the A and B grade crits the week before last, in what could be described as near perfect racing conditions. The comments, however, are equally applicable to the other numerous crits I have seen and experienced over the years. My comments are equally applicable to other grades, particularly the higher ones.
I fail to see how riders can't understand that 'stay left' means exactly that, regardless of the size of the bunch, the prevailing conditions and how close to the end (of the race!) you might be. If you've 'chosen' to be on the back of a bunch, then congratulations, you have the primary responsibility to be keeping an eye behind you for an approaching grade about to overtake and warning your fellow riders. Call it sooner rather than later so that the overtaking grade knows what's happening. (And why not make it a club rule/policy that a bunch being overtaken always stays left?) That does not abrogate any other riders though from also being aware of what's happening on or near the track and passing the message through the bunch, regardless of whether it's other riders, kangaroos (fantastic I reckon - where else does that happen on a crit track?), wayward children, dogs or whatever. Staying left means you should try your level best to make half the track available for the overtaking riders. And if you've been overtaken and there are some apparent stragglers and you're not sure if they're in your grade or the other, simply ask them or someone else.
It would also be nice to see some honest and consistent real racing every week, rather than what often amounts to not much more than a fast bunch training ride with a few regulars being the only ones prepared to have a go. Do you really get genuine satisfaction from getting home and telling your partner that you were in the sprint at the end or finished with the bunch? We're talking weekly club races here, not major championships where different tactics might be employed (and required). And while there may well be races where you'd like to practise your Robbie McEwen skills, surely that doesn't mean every race. There are of course riders who could be excused for not getting their nose in the wind, such as those new to crits or new to the grade, recovering from an injury or long absence or who, for medical reasons, can't or shouldn't be overly exerting themselves. Adding all those people up would generally make for a very small minority in the number of riders and hence most of the others are basically circulating for a reason that escapes me.
How are you going to improve or know what you're capable of if you don't have a go at times? Trust me, it can be great fun, especially if you can organise a teammate or two and it's much better to have tried and failed than done nothing. So what if you end up getting dropped? At least you'll be wiser next time and able to measure your effort more cleverly. And who knows, you might actually stay away and catch everyone out. From personal experience and the comments of many others, the best races are usually those where there's plenty of action and attacks happening regularly. I've also found it can be just as satisfying to have contributed to a teammate getting a place as placing yourself.
I'm also sure officials get much more reward from giving their valuable time if they have some decent races to watch and not simply a procession with a mad rush at the end. It's generally much safer too if the bunch is strung out or broken up, rather than a huge bunch all fighting for a wheel.
So please, more real racing, for your own satisfaction and that of the officials and spectators.
The view from the B Grade bunch - 27 October 2015
After a successful debut in B grade last week, (well we stayed with the bunch at least) we lined up in B again for some fun in the opposite direction. The bike had had some much needed mechanical attention during the week and we had finally silenced the various creaks and groans, and raised the pilot’s bottom bracket for better cornering clearance.
The weather wasn’t bad, but it was windy which seemed to reduce the overall numbers for the night, but not in B grade with 33 starters. However the wind was always going to make it hard, which seemed to take away any desire people had to do any work.
Predictably there is always a few riders who will rely on everyone else’s lack of enthusiasm and started hard just to see what would happen. Almost immediately a group of 4 or 5 riders opened up a gap which would be maintained for the whole race, although there was a few riders who joined them later on.
The bunch was either content to let them go, or more likely was full of individuals who didn’t see the point in doing the work to bring them back if it meant dragging another 25 riders with them who were going to do them over at the end. Whilst there is no doubt that if a dozen riders got organised they could have brought the break back easily without destroying their own chances, the problem is getting that level of organisation happening. So as a result the few that did go to the front weren’t driving the pace much, and the break stayed out in front by half a minute for most of the race.
I get the impression that the break wasn’t working particularly well either because I was expecting them to ride out of sight. John and I went to the front a couple of times to do our bit, but we quickly found ourselves hung out to dry, with no support coming through, and just as it is for anyone else we were neither capable of chasing the break back by ourselves, nor were we inclined to. As a result the longer we were on the front, the slower we rode, and all the while the break was still up the road. I can appreciate that we punch a pretty big hole in the air making it extra easy to sit on our wheel, but we are no more difficult to pass than a single bike. Like most people who like to compete, I am willing to do some work whilst it improves my chances of a good placing, I generally won’t do so if it only improves the chances of others. Pro riders might sit on the front of the peloton for kms at a time to bring back a break, but they are being paid to do that in order to improve the chances of a teammate. The last time I checked there were no teams in Vets B grade, and there was certainly no money changing hands. *(If I have got that wrong, please present your argument to me in a brown paper bag before the next race – large denominations preferred).
So after it became obvious that the race was going to be decided ahead of us, we looked to get some value out of the night. We launched an attack at the bell to see how far we could stretch the bunch, and to see what sort of effort we could muster at the end of a race. We did manage to close the gap somewhat, and there was even a split in the bunch that opened up. Not surprisingly when the sprint opened up a number of riders came past in order to squabble over the very minor placings, but we were more than happy with our efforts to finish in the front half of the bunch.
BTW we were considering lining up on Sunday, however I was not available. In general it is more difficult to arrange for two people to be available at any one time, and whilst if John is unavailable I can always race by myself, but John doesn’t have that choice and the same goes for the other tandem stokers. Consequently there is always a need for experienced pilots. Another tandem stoker I know was looking for a pilot for Thursday criteriums, and whilst she appears to have found one for the moment, the same situation could easily arise. If anyone would like to get some experience as a tandem pilot I am happy to provide some training if you would like. Just let me know when you see us around.