5.3 May 16 Bleat

Post date: May 15, 2016 11:36:2 PM

Alex O'Shea Tributes

Vale Alex. He figured prominently in my first-ever race with the Vets, and gave me a great welcome to the club. A tough competitor in the race, and warm and generous at the end.

Adrian Rollins

What impressed me the most was the fact that even after he had to give up racing because of his accident, he was still prepared to take on the role of President, to help organise races and be there to assist with the running of events showing his commitment to the club and to the sport of cycle racing.

Ian Morton 278

I am an ex-Canberra cyclist who now lives in Victoria but knew Alex and was very saddened to hear his passing, please send my condolences to his family and to his many friends, his is a great loss to the club.

Gordon McMenemy

Alex had an approachable smile, a welcoming personality and an encouraging spirit. He loved his racing and showed a commitment to the club and fellow riders. I liked the words of support he gave to new and returning cyclists, and that he was a familiar face before and after races.

Henry Thomson, 299

Alex became the ACTVETS club president in February 2014 and he immediately made an impact, taking on issues that were beginning to cause concern to the members of the club and committee. He worked tirelessly for the members on insurance policies, proposed changes to Stromlo Forest Park, major races and participating in the Bicycling Advisory Group meetings with ACT Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS).

Alex was enthusiastic to say the least being involved in those things that he felt mattered most to the safety and welfare of cyclists and in particular our members. We will all have our own memories of Alex and we know that he will be missed by many of our members. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time

Phill Coulton

Trish Donoghue on behalf of Sports Med has expressed their sincere condolences.

I just wanted to express my sincere condolences to all at ACT Vets with the sudden passing of Alex O'Shea.

I also wanted to offer assistance from Cycling ACT to the ACT Vets while you are in the process of appointing a new President. Alex and I had been liaising recently in relation to the proposed amendments to the SFP Master Plan. I am actively liaising with the ACT Government following its release of the "final" revised Master Plan and I would be happy to pass on any information I obtain from this process to the ACT Vets as I know you all have a keen interest in the SFP facility. Let me know if you would like me to liaise with anyone in particular within the ACT Vets in relation to this.

Kind regards,

Lisa Keeling

President, Cycling ACT

I was this week working away from home (Dampier WA) As usual I talk to my wife in the evenings, so asked where was the race this weekend and this how I received the sad news about Alex. It was quite a shock as I had talk to him at Gunning.

The thought of someone who was well just a few days ago not being alive is so hard to accept. I feel for his family. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

My memory of Alex O'Shea is of a great guy, a cycling enthusiast, a knowledgably cyclist, his friendliness and personality will be surly missed.

Alex Sommariva


Pretty much every memory of Alex is a good one for me. He certainly enhanced my life. Especially during our trip to France a few years back Alex seemed indestructible, from surfing to cycling. I am shocked like so many that we have lost him.

Allan Bontjer

The funeral service for Alex will be held on;

Friday 20th May,

Holy Trinity Catholic Church,

Strangways St,


More details to follow in a special Bleat.

In other news;

• From the Desk of the Handicapper

• Racing this Week

• Race Reports

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

Ian Morton

From the Desk of the Handicapper

This week's changes;


Mark Stevenson D to C

Seymour Savell-Boss D to C

Terry Moore D to C


Saturday, 21st May: Mt Tennent Terror

Where: Intersection Naas Rd and Smiths Rd (near the Model Aircraft club)

When: 1:30 pm.

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

Race Description: Race starts south of the Smiths Rd-Naas Rd intersection. Riders ride south and turn around at the intersection of Naas Rd and Apollo Rd. One lap is approximately 17km. A-D grades will do three laps. EFG will do two laps.

We still require the following officials for this event;

• Race Director

• 2 x ATCs

• 2 x Finish Line Marshals

If you can assist, please contact Ben Davis bdavis@internode.on.net.


Dog Trap Road - Cole Family Trophy Secret Handicap Report – 14th May

After our President, Alex O'Shea, died this week there was some thought regarding whether to proceed with the race, but I think most members rightly assumed we would carry on. There was no better way to honour Alex’s memory than to turn up and race, or help with the race. I had only volunteered to referee the day before with an email to Alex. Ben Davis and Rob Landridge together took over Alex’s role of organising some details. Ian sent out a Bleat seeking a few more helpers and by Saturday we had sufficient volunteers to run the race.

The weather was lovely, a fine mild sunny Autumn afternoon, and a good turnout of 50 racers. However my heart sank when two riders came back from their warmup with a handful of brass thumb tacks each. Some idiot had emptied a box of tacks around the causeway near the finish;

The club has endured such dangerous sabotage before, but it seemed worse to be so targeted this week. John Paul went with a broom to complete clearing the causeway area, but we knew some tacks would be carried down the road and redeposited by cars. Luckily, only one rider found a tack with a tyre during the race, and did not crash.

Now in a normal handicap we send out the grades in reverse order, at handicapped intervals, and first across the line wins. Secret handicaps are the only races where the whole club starts at once, and the winner is the fastest secret handicap corrected time. The format leads to different tactics and encourages everyone to race hard to the end, because no-one knows who is winning! Past winners have come from all grades. A few years ago we ran the secret handicap from Gundaroo north towards Gunning and back, but the traffic on that road has increased. Dog Trap road is a much better venue: a pretty area with great views and much less traffic, one short sharp hill near the North turning point, and otherwise gently rolling terrain suitable for fast bunch riding that will win a handicap.

From the start the four A graders cleared off as fast as they could uphill to the first turn, but Michael Carr and Aaron Sedgman of B-grade stayed with them. Following the lead bunch of six first time past the start/finish: there were a few riders in no-mans land and then a large powerful bunch of over 10 that was mostly C-grade, a couple of B-grade, and a few D-grade riders; then there was another bunch of about six D-grade and E-grade riders working well together. Most other riders were in smaller bunches. The groups formed in the first few kilometres largely kept together through the race, though some riders escaped or were dropped in the drive to the line from the last turn. It was no surprise to see Mark Harris sprint to the line first, narrowly leading a group of four that included Aaron Sedgman from B-grade. The largest bunch of nine contested a close sprint finish less than six minutes behind, and the three D-graders in that bunch: Mark Stevenson, Seymour Savell-Boss and Terry Moore; took all three top spots after Graham had entered Rob’s secret handicap corrections. Places 4-6 went to E grade riders Phillip Anderson, Ally Roche and Donald de Smet who finished in the next bunch six minutes later, but only one minute slower on corrected time. close together.

So Mark Stevenson won the gent’s Cole Family Trophy, with Seymour Savell-Boss second and Philip Anderson third.

Terry Moore took the ladies Cole Family Trophy, with Ally Roche and Barbara Bayliss taking home medals.

Many thanks to the marshals, drivers and helpers: Tony Weir, Dale Kleeman, John Paul de Sousa, Bruce Jones, Des Brown, Richard Gorrell, Ian Morton, Rob Landridge and the magnificent Graham Hendrie.

Roger Northcote