Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

  • From the Desk of the Handicapper
  • Racing this Week
  • Race Report
  • From the Race Committee

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

Kirsti McVay (standing in for Ian Morton)

From the Desk of the Handicapper:

Iron Mike

So we all thought racing at Breadalbane a month ago was the most absurd thing you could do on a bike, but no, conditions for the Iron Mike were warmer but the wind was stronger, and at times directly side on which meant riding in a straight line was sometimes impossible. Also, there was dust whipped up by the wind so getting a mouthful of that wasn’t pleasant either. Most alarming was when one rider in my group got the death wobbles down the Three Sisters so instead of konking out on the steepest part up the climb marked by the dead wombat, we nearly had someone hitting the wombat on the way down! It was all too much for me and I sought shelter in the van, but well done to those who had the courage and determination to finish. As with hard condition races, the harder it gets the more chance of A grade are of winning, and that’s what happened. David Dickson was the strongest of B grade and came third. The Facebook trash talk prior to the race was John Paul’s C grade plan for victory, but only two riders from that grade could make it into the top 10—the best being the scantily dressed Kevin Wells who finished a very credible fourth place.  Six DNFs was quite low considering the diabolical conditions.

Masters’ road races at Gunning

You’d think a windy, chilly day would suit the riders from Canberra at the graded masters’ races at Gunning on Sunday, but for most of us it was a day to forget. The most unfortunate was Steve Crispin who punctured out very early on. Steve Blackburn was 5th in the Div. 1 two lapper, while Marc Vroomans got 5th in the Div 2 one-lapper. The rest either DNFed or were dead last…

NSW TT champs

There was more glory but some misfortune at the TT champs. Conditions would have been dicey with the TT machines and I’m sure the riders had the fate of Chris Froome on their minds while warming up and kept their hands firmly on the bars!

Results below are for separate age groups. Well done to Tony and Owain for bringing home the bling.

Anthony Beasley 2nd

Owain Tilley 3rd

Brendan Byatt 10th Puncture

Steve Crispin 4th, James Jordan 16th

Rainer Wilton 11th

Saturday’s Criterium

With the pinnacle of the road season done and dusted, Saturday’s race criterium offers the chance for those less inclined to ride in a cyclone or wind chill of zero to enjoy 20km winds and a balmy 19 degrees. Dust off your race bikes and come on out for your winter season debut.


Anyone considering a detour to the Curtin shops for coffee should be aware that the shops roundabout maggie has upped the ante this year. Two squawk-less wallops to the side of the head this morning were not the way I wanted to start the week.

Rob Langridge



Saturday 14th Sep 2019: Stromlo Forest Park Graded Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park. Entry off Opperman Ave, Wright.
When: 1:30 pm.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number

Race Description:

E/F/G @1:30 30m + 2 laps
A/B @2:10 A 50m + 2, C 45m + 2
C/D @3:10 B 40m + 2, D 35m + 2

Race Director: Matt Hinchcliffe (hinchymatt1@gmail.com), 0423476341

Marshals: Stephen Isbel

Note: Triathlon ACT will be running a duathlon at Stromlo in the morning. While the track should be clear for racing by 1:30pm, we may need to delay race starts if this is not the case.


Iron Mike Handicap – 7th September

Race Director’s Report

The annual Iron Mike is probably the hardest race the club runs. Lots of tough climbing and the handicap format ensures an unrelenting pace. 50 kph winds made the 2019 edition an extreme race. Any rider who completed the race this year is a bad arse!

Thirty-one riders fronted the start line. It only took 20 minutes for the first DNF rider to return to the start with stories of being blown across the road and death wobbles on the fast descents. Most grades were literally blown apart in the cross winds by the time they hit the long climb to Uriarra Homestead. John Paul De Sousa’s plan of having C grade work together was out the window. Small groups and solo riders battled their way out to the top turn where they were met by a sideways shower of frozen rain.

On the upside, riders were provided significant assistance from a strong tail wind for the final climbs over the ‘Sisters’. Bradley Peppinck and Stephen Blackburn arrived at the finishing line at a blistering wind assisted pace. Bradley took the win in a close sprint. David Dickson arrived a few minutes later for a well-earned 3rd place. The slower riders spent more than 2 hours on the course and showed true grit to finish the race in the conditions.

There were also two police cars on Uriarra Road keeping an eye on driver behaviour. While the officers were talking to the finish line marshals a ute driver demonstrated why policing was needed. He was swiftly pulled over and cautioned for his inability to obey the speed signs.


Andrew Remely


Marshal’s Report at Uriarra Homestead

Thirty-one hardy souls showed up at the Stromlo Forest Park for the annual running of the ‘Iron Mike’, one of the longest, toughest races on the Club calendar – to the End of the Bitumen on Brindabella Road and back.

The conditions were – frankly – terrible, with a strong cold westerly wind shearing off the ranges. The Club’s road signage was blown around, making it difficult for traffic to see, but that was the least of the riders’ problems: as the strong cross-gusts blew bikes all over the road, and sometimes off it.

Despite this, there was some bright racing, and – although there were a number of withdrawals – the remaining riders looked strong passing Uriarra Homestead for the first time. ‘A’ graders Brad Peppinck and Steve Blackburn were working together and moving smoothly through the field, but there were a number of C and B graders holding their own, including David Dickson, Kev Wells, Michael Fawke and Bruce Goodfellow.

On the way back, heading downhill with a raging tailwind, riders flew past the Homestead doing speeds upwards of 60km/h. By this stage, Peppinck and Blackburn looked to have the race under their control. Ed Logue and Seymour Savell-Boss were fighting hard.

In the end Brad Peppinck was just too strong for Steve Blackburn, with Dave Dickson third. Kev Wells held off a fast finishing Paul Hollings for fourth. Kirsti McVay, the only female finisher, deserves an honourable mention for hanging in there despite being the lightest competitor in the race.

All riders should be commended for getting through the race with wheels down. The passing traffic, too, with the exception of a lone idiot in a battered Nissan Pulsar, provided our competitors plenty of room and courtesy.

Thanks to all for making the day a success.


Andy Matz

From the Race Committee

Race Grades and Handicaps

Graham Hendrie, who usually does the race entries, is not responsible for race grades and handicaps.  Riders should not ask Graham to be downgraded.  You can however ask to race up in a higher grade if you wish.

If you want to be downgraded, you should organise this with the handicapper prior to the race.  Handicaps are set by the Handicapper – Rob Langridge.  If you have a problem with the handicaps, you should discuss this with Rob, a race committee member or the race director.

If you don’t like your race grading or the handicapping, then nominate to be on the race committee!

Videoing of Races

Following problems with poor driver behaviour at Uriarra recently, we are looking to be able to video the race turn points.  One approach could be to have a dashcam set up in the marshal’s car to video the turn point.  This would however mean being able to run the dashcam for the duration of the race while the car is not running, which may impact on the car’s battery.  We would also need to be able to easily run through the video, read number plates from it, and to be able to slice out sections to give to the police.

If anyone has expertise in this area, can you please get back to me to provide advice as how best to proceed.

Suspension of Racing Eligibility for Non-Contributing Members

Members who fail to help facilitate club events will be ineligible to race until such time as they have met their obligations. This policy is consistent with the approach taken by other cycling clubs.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club is run by volunteers.  Some members contribute by filling roles on the committee, others by directing and marshalling at races. The number and types of marshals needed varies depending on the nature of the course and race location.  In order to spread the workload of helping at races across our membership, a roster of helpers is put together well in advance of race dates.

All members are expected to assist. Firstly, members are encouraged to volunteer for races they would prefer to help at. For example, if you do not like time trials or hill climbs, it would be in your interest to volunteer at these courses, rather than be asked to help out at a race that you would prefer to do. Secondly, the race committee looks to more experienced members to direct races.  Thirdly members are requested to help out where there are vacancies.  Documentation and help from other members are available to undertake these roles.   Some roles are eligible for reimbursement of expenses e.g. race directors, ETCs and lead/tail car drivers at NSW races.

The race committee is aware that a member’s ability to help may be impacted by factors such as their home location and work commitments and is flexible in accommodating these factors.

When you are rostered, you will be contacted by a race committee member by email and your name will go onto the roster published in the weekly Bleat.  You need to confirm by email that you can/cannot help, and if not, propose an alternate race or arrange a swap with another member.  If you do arrange a swap, please advise the race committee so that RMS is updated. If you do not respond by email, you will be contacted by SMS.  Members that help out at a race should ensure that their name is recorded in the race results in the Bleat and RMS.  Recorded results in RMS are used in the rostering process.  Only those members who are rostered to help at a race will be recorded in RMS. Members cannot just ‘turn up’ at a race with expectation of helping and having this recorded.

Upcoming Marshal Roster

Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help. Nominees, in blue have been selected based on results from the previous race season and the period since they last helped at a race. Nominees are requested to advise their availability/unavailability to the race committee (race.committee@actvets.cc) as soon as possible.

Summer series crit races are held at Stromlo Forest Park on Tuesday evenings and road races are held on Sunday mornings.

Date Event Director Marshals
21-Sep Breadalbane Rainer Wilton 4 (2 drivers, [short turn & finish chute] & far turn marshal) Rowan McMurray, Terry Merrigan, Alex Sommariva, Marc Vroomans
28-Sep Dog Trap Road Rico Fitch
5 (2 drivers, finish chute & 2 turn marshals) David Dickson, Warwick Wilson, David Johnson, Stjepan Hirsler, John Stokman
08-Oct Crit Mark Harris
Paul Delmenico
15-Oct Crit Michael Reppion
Travis Hicks
20-Oct Corin Alain Arbaut
1 (finish chute) david wilson
22-Oct Crit Christophe Barberet
Michelle Hodgetts
29-Oct Crit Daniel Grillo
David Gillies
03-Nov Uriarra Brian Peak
4 (finish chute & 3 ETCs) Seymour Savell-Boss*, Neil Burton*, Lindsay Graham* Christopher Hodgson
05-Nov Crit Susan Frost
Felipe Lopes Reis
10-Nov Sutton Driver Training Centre Bryan Holloway
1 (finish chute) Stuart Roesler
12-Nov Crit Kevin Newhouse
Liam O’Dea
17-Nov Old Federal Highway Ian Preston
4 (2 drivers, finish chute & 1 turn marshals) Peter Kitchen, Ben McDuff, Gai Monahan Brandie O’Connor
19-Nov Crit Christophe Barberet
Belinda Chamberlain
24-Nov Uriarra Lewis Cressy
4 (finish chute & 3 ETCs) Terry Moore*, Robert Brunato*, Mick Donaldson*, Jeremy Ross
26-Nov Crit Wayne Benham
Sam Whitsed
01-Dec Old Federal Highway John Thorn
5 (2 drivers, finish chute & 2 turn marshals) Mark K Taylor, Tim Minehan, Darren Garnon, Polly Templeton, James Curran
03-Dec Crit Tony Rowley
David McCook
08-Dec Dairy Road Nick Boylan
1 (finish chute), Tim Brown
10-Dec Crit Steve Dean
Andrew Murrell
15-Dec Majura Bradley Peppinck
1 (finish chute) Des Brown



* denotes ETC required for ACT races.


Ian McVay
Race Committee