2.4 Feb 22 Bleat

Post date: Feb 21, 2016 10:29:27 PM

Hello Vets,

In this week's Bleat;

• President’s Report to ACTVCC AGM 2016

• From the Desk of the Handicapper

• Interstate Events

• Racing this Week

• Race Reports

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

Ian Morton

President’s Report to ACTVCC AGM 2016


Bicycle racing – its what we all like to do and its what the ACT Vets Cycling Club committee and office bearers think you most want us to facilitate.

So how have we gone in 2015?

We staged and ran a total of some 73 races in the year involving 7,830 rider participations comprising:

• One club championship event (77 riders)

• The Peter McLennan memorial Gunning two-day race – 92 riders

• 11 graded scratch races – 558 riders; av. 51 per event; 79 high/19 low

• 6 road handicaps – 346 riders; av 57 per event; 68 high/43 low

• 6 road ITTs – 146 riders; av 29; high 36/low 24

• 7 Dairy Flat Crits – 253 riders; av 36; high 54/low 22

• 27 Stromlo Crits -2309 riders; av 86; high 109/low 33

• 14 Track meets – 242 riders; av 18; high 22 low 8

All this activity can only be achieved with the willing support of our members and our volunteer committee in scheduling and arranging for member volunteers to:

• act as race referees

• provide a cohort of trained traffic controllers to ensure safe turn points

• get out there early to set up signage according to strict protocols

• act as sign-on and finish line marshals

• pack-up and drive out the van complete with operational emergency equipment and communication devices

• set up and take down refreshments, etc

a total of at least 350 volunteer participations but before this can take place, the Committee has had to:

• pre-arrange for local authority / police approval which involves

- booking a venue/location, submitting temporary traffic management plans,

- letter-boxing local residents in some race locations, as well as

• arranging for attendance by a qualified first-aider.

Mostly we get this right, but very occasionally, due to a variety of reasons we don’t – as the last two Sundays will attest and on one occasion in the winter series last year when we had to cancel these scheduled races. On these occasions we appreciate your understanding that we are but human or that some of these things are indeed out of our control.

All members should know that we simply can not race if we have not been officially sanctioned, or we cannot achieve compliance with official requirements, or if our safety systems are lacking.

Hopefully, you, our members consider this a pretty good result and extraordinary value for a race fee of $5 per entry and a yearly $10 to the ACT Vets Club from your $100 yearly membership fee – the remainder covering insurance ($70) and funding our parent AVCC organization ($20).

This level activity simply cannot be achieved if the required 350 odd volunteer participations per year do not willingly turn out to support the almost 8,000 rider participations.

If you would like us to improve, you are invited to contact me or any of the new committee members to discuss your ideas, to provide us with extra support, or better still, to join the committee – but certainly we rely on you our 400 odd members to volunteer to help run the more than 70 events we stage in a year.

Put bluntly, if you do not volunteer to help run at least one event per year, you are ‘bludging’ (to put it in the Australian vernacular) on the other members who do.

Behind the scenes activities

The President, Secretary and committee members have continued to be involved in communications with the Australian Veterans Cycling Council (AVCC) Executive on insurance issues. Progress has been slow. After the AVCC Exec and its broker shifted our underwriter from QBE to Lloyds at the start of the 2015 calendar - to ensure adequate coverage for 3rd party liability claims, we have sought specific assurances that members will be covered ‘24/7 involving accidents while riding a bike’ (eg while on training and commuting rides). My personal experience in 2015 indicates that we are indeed covered on training rides, but we will continue to closely examine insurance issues.

Should you have a cycling accident whether in a race or out training, please bring it to your race referee’s attention or to my or the secretary’s attention and we will assist you in making a claim.

Focus on Safety

To ensure races and even training are run in the safest conditions, the club has maintained a high level of compliance with police and local authority requirements. We have had a qualified first aider attend almost all official events and have maintained high standard of emergency communications to emergency services. A portable defibrillator device has been available at all recent races (and used once!).

We still need to do better in encouraging training or re-training in first aid, both as a back-up for professional first-aiders at scheduled races and to provide assistance for accidents sustained on training rides. We still lack accurate information on the first aid capabilities and qualifications on our member data-base.

I encourage the club members from officials to competitors to continue this focus on safety. Improvements to safety, above requirements, which could be considered are: - considering the use of trail and lead cars in the ACT, especially on the more busy roads; considering new (safer) courses or alterations to existing courses to remove any higher risk segments; ongoing improvements to emergency communications and first aid capability, and to promote good rider behavior in all races.

Relationships with other cycling clubs and ACT Government

Last year, we joined ‘Capital Cycling’ an umbrella organization in the ACT covering local bike racing clubs and Pedal Power – to better co-ordinate our activities, to achieve a more united voice with all things cycling, but in a way which will maintain our independence and affiliation.

Its early days, but this looks like it will work to our advantage.

Your Club consults with the ACT Government through attendance at the ACT Bicycle Advisory Group meetings along with Canberra Cycling/Vikings and Pedal Power. This has worked to our advantage – as an example - in having our ATCs trained for free, but at times it has its limitations. The ACT Government failed to directly consult with us in considering changes to the SFP Master Plan – though we have now made our views clear to the ACT Agency managing this.


We are in early discussions with the Australian Veterans Cycling Council (AVCC) about running the National Championships in our patch this year. The national champs involve a TT, a criterium and a road race – all in age-based bunches against any AVCC (ie interstate) club competitors. It is likely that this can be dove-tailed onto one of our scheduled road races this year, with the addition of the TT and Crit – plus a bunch of AVCC officials in attendance. Phill can let us know more about this and I would hope we support this event – in at least the numbers which we achieved in our own club championships.

For the present and foreseeable future we will maintain our affiliation with the AVCC – accepting its insurance, its race rules and protocols as this gives us the best balance of cost effectiveness and independence in managing our own affairs – certainly much better than being affiliated with Cycling Australia (CA).

We appreciate that this impacts on those members who also wish to race in CA affiliated club events – in having to pay two insurance premiums as part of separate memberships, but I feel that the club members were very clear in affirming a clear preference for AVCC affiliation in recent past – so we wish to leave this undisturbed.

My thanks to the Committee and members

I can not conclude my remarks without expressing my appreciation and admiration for your hard working volunteer committee members and certain ordinary members, in particular:

• Phill Coulton, our secretary for the huge work he does in getting ACT / NSW local authority / police approval for our road race program and SFP bookings – as well as pretty much the lions share of running the club, itself

• Graeme O’Neill for the single handed running of our track racing program

• Barb Bayliss, our treasurer for the last ten years, for keeping us not only solvent, but still ‘in-the-money’ despite some big demands on spending

• Ian ‘The Bleat’ Morton for his unfailing attention in publishing the much-read Monday’s Bleat and any needed ‘special’ editions

• Graham Hendrie and until recently Henry Beverstock for unfailing duties with the van and set up and alsoGraham’s web-site maintenance

• Rob Langridge, Ben Davis, Ian Albery and Paul Robey – your race committee - for co-ordinating the race, first aid and volunteer marshal program and especially Rob’s close attention to the dark art of handicapping

• For advice on insurance and legal issues, marketing of club clothing, trophies and medals and a fountain of sensible ideas and wise counsel provided by your general committee members, Ian Albury again, Kim Malclom, Linda Stals and Kev Hennessy.

• And this year I would also like to recognize the work that member Allan Bontjer has done on updating our data base and race system - the ‘RMS’ as well as member Bill Frost’s very capable running of the Peter McLennan memorial race at Gunning

Finally as I have graciously retired from racing since my training accident, just one year ago, I thought it best that one’s club president be actively involved in club racing – but others do not think that an essential criteria – so I would be happy to continue, but I would dearly like someone to step-up for next year, either from the general membership or from the committee.

Something to think about!

I would also wish that the current Committee members continue for another year, but there will be some retirements, notably Barb Bayliss as treasurer (she is getting a ‘good behavior’ early release after serving 10 years) and Rob Langridge as race committee member and handicapper. We wish their replacements will live up to the high standards set.

Alex O’Shea

President ACT VCC

From the Desk of the Handicapper

This week's changes;


Robin Mules C to B

Alison Hale E to D

Rob Langridge

Interstate Events

• Tour De Riverina interclub dates;

- 28 April - Tolland Classic - Tolland CC

- 13 March - Dean Carter Memorial - Griffith CC

- 20 March - Stockinbingal Fair - Cootamundra CC

- 3 April - Butch Menz Memorial - Wagga CC

- 24 April - Geoff Dixon Memorial - Albury CC

For more information http://riverinainterclubracing.com/tdr/.

• Newcrest Orange Challenge

- 20 March

An epic 170km ride through stunning NSW scenery finished of with some of the finest food and wines from the Orange region.Details Here

• 2016 South Pacific Veterans Cycling Championships

- 25-28 March

A combination of aged based events (the Time Trial and 300 metre sprints), and graded road race and Criterium events. In the age group races, riders are grouped in 5 year increments. Women start at 30 years and men at 35 years of age. Click HERE for details and online entry.

• Tolland Cycling Club Wagga Wagga

- 16-17 April

90 km Handicap and 71km/54km Graded Scratch. Details and registration https://eventdesq.imgstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&EventDesqID=16484&OrgID=20999. For more information contact Barry O'Hagan 02 69252404 or 043191803.


Tuesday, 23rd February: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park

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

Race Description:

Note that we are now back to rotating grade start times.

B/D 5:50 B 38m+2, D 32m+2

E/F/G 6:35 20 min + 2 laps

A/C 7:00 A 38m+2, C 32m+2

Race Director: Phillip Coulton

Contact: Email: phillcou@bigpond.net.au Ph 0417299149

The nominated marshals for this event are;

• Ian Preston,

• Carl Browne

Wednesday, 24th February: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is as follows:

5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;

6.00pm – 6.20pm: 12-Lap graded scratch race;

6.20pm – 6.40pm: Graded Team Pursuit

6.40pm – 7.00pm: 4-Lap Handicap

7.00pm – 7.20pm: Italian Pursuit.

Sunday, 28th February: Old Federal Highway Handicap - CANCELLED

Unfortunately due to lack of race approvals, this weekends race has been cancelled.

The Committee are looking at alternative events to fill the gap. Keep an eye out on the Bleat for annoucements.

The nominated marshals for upcoming events are;

- 1 Mar @ Stromlo: John Wilson, Russell Marston

- 8 Mar @ Stromlo: Brian Chugg, Liz Lowe

- 15 Mar @ Stromlo: Phil Anderson, Seymour Savell-Boss

- 20 Mar @ Stromlo: Peter Laffery Sue Frost


Stromlo Criterium – 16th February

Always seems like the wind pops up about 4ish just in time for the Vets Crits, the junior grades away first with G,F and E for 22 and 2 laps, all grades seeking the safety of the pack with the wind, particularly at the bottom part of the course where it was particularly difficult, everyone to their credit was able to hold their lines and pass safely. Bernie Crowley led the G’s home followed by Paul Robey and Leon Hornell. For F Troop and the E’s it was ladies night with Amanda Boers leading F Troop in with Ian Barrass and Mike Spoljaric taking the other podium spots while in the E’s Alison Hale finished too strongly with Mike Hayes and Morto (our beloved Bleat editor) in close pursuit.

Next away were the A train and C Grade, early parts of the race saw Robin Mules, Steve Stolk and Ian “the Mountain Man” Preston taking turns in roughing up the C grade pack by going off the front and on several occasions the bunch was broken up but managed to get back for the most part, Robin Mules though managed a breakaway in the last 10 minutes and held off the pursuing pack by quite a comfortable margin with Steve Stolk and Graham Tanton getting the minor placing’s. Meanwhile on the A side of the ride, attack after attack saw an eight rider group get off the front of the trailing and group, work together exceptionally well and ultimately put a lap on the rest of the A’s, Mr Harris out of the saddle in the final sprint and using most of the Stromlo home straight in the process was first home holding off Ben Morrison and Matthew Corby in a very tight finish.

The last event of the night for B and Delta force saw a race stoppage after 22 minutes with an unfortunate coming together at the entry to the home straight for the B grade bunch, yellow flags out and both grade circling the top half of the course while triaging the felled riders, those flags unfortunately had to go red as an ambulance was required for one of the injured racers. In talking with a few of the riders, the consensus came across that it just seemed to be one of those race incidents, where nothing overt happened and maybe it was an unfortunate series little things where too many bikes ended up in not enough space and once the brakes go on something was bound to happen, it was a sad end to a good night of racing.

Thanks to both Bryan Holloway and Craig Kentwell for their assistance on the night and to “fearless leader” Alex O’Shea who dropped in to provide adult supervision to the marshalling group.

Update on Ian McVay

Regards my crash on Tuesday night in B grade crit race, I was very annoyed that no one was kind enough to allow me to land on top of them. But I must say a big 'Thank you' to those that helped me out while I was lounging about on the tarmac blocking the rest of the race. The damage could have been a lot worse. Small fracture in my finger, slight fracture in my hip and annoyingly a fracture to L5. Lucky this is a stable fracture and I will in a brace for a while. I haven't inspected the bike yet, but I think I cushioned it from serious damage.

I'm in Canberra hospital but hope to get out on Monday. While not the best place to be, the staff have been looking after me very well. A big thanks to Alex O'Shea for checking up on me and helping with starting the insurance claim. I'm hoping to get to the crit this week, and looking forward to giving G grade a run for their money once I'm back on the bike.

Ian McVay

Narrabundah Track Racing – 17th February

We again welcomed hot, dry conditions for the track session on Wednesday, 17 February. It was windy during the track practice. As usual, the wind eased over the session and overall conditions for racing were great. A roll up of 18 riders provided excellent racing.

The initial scratch races were 14 laps, with rider numbers allowing separate A and B grade races. The A grade race started conservatively. At mid-race Kerry Knowler took a flier with Michael Langdon taking up the pursuit. Kerry and Michael quickly established a healthy gap. However, when Kerry sat up, Michael realised the precarious nature of his position and voluntarily returned to the pack. Michael Langdon remained irrepressible. He attacked in the final few laps, established a handy gap and sustained his position to take the win. Paul Connor and Steve Jones took second and third respectively.

In B grade, the bunch circulated at a good pace until the final two laps when the lead rider was swamped, from behind, by an accelerating pack. The last two laps saw some surges and the eventual splintering of the pack as Alec Millet rode off for the win followed by Phil Coulton and Bruce Griffin.

The next event was a popular 1-lap screamer, a flat out burst from a flying start. A grade times were close, with an overall spread of around 10%. Michael Langdon took the best time at 22.03 secs. Kerry Knowler’s time of 22.90 secs shows why she is such a powerhouse in the female ranks. The B grade spread was greater. However, Alec Millett’s winning time of 23.29 would have been quite respectable for A grade.

The next event was a 2-Lap, handicap. The handicaps are always fascinating to watch, as the initially splayed field coalesces. In A grade, Peta Brill rode brill to hold off Martin Graham and Michael Langdon for a win. In B grade Alec Millett was unstoppable from the scratch position. Phil Coulton and Bruce Griffin took creditable second and third placings.

The final event for the evening was an Italian Pursuit. This was great race with a big field and unpredictable result. Team 1 was anchored by Steve Jones and Team 2 by Michael Langdon. Team 1 established a big lead over the initial laps. At one stage, it looked like Team 2 was in danger of being caught. For the final four laps, Team 2 was left with Rowan McMurray, Martin Graham, Paul Connor and Michael Langdon. Rowan kicked off a revival with a blistering lap and each successive rider maintained a relentless pursuit. In the final lap, Michael took a remarkable win by a few metres.

Major place getters for the 10 February races were as follows:

14-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Michael Langdon, Paul Connor, Steve Jones. (B Grade) Alec Millett, Phil Coulton, Bruce Griffin.

1-Lap Screamer: (A Grade) Michael Langdon (22.03s), Kerry Knowler (22.09s), Steve Jones (23.16) (B Grade) Alec Millet (23.29s), Bruce Griffin (24.60), Phil Coulton (25.70).

2-Lap Handicap: (A Grade) Peta Brill, Martin Grahan, Michael Langdon (B Grade) Alec Millett, Phil Coulton, Bruce Griffin.

Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner, Team 2 (Michael Langdon, Cameron Ermert, John Barlow, Rowan McMurray, Martin Graham, Paul Connor, Steve Hirsler, Phil Coulton, Graeme O’Neill).

Season Point Score Update: Michael Langdon (203), Steve Jones (185),), Alec Millett (180), Steve Hirsler (147), John-Paul DeSousa (144), Ross Scutts (137).

Graeme O'Neill