Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  Tandem Cycling Come and Try with Fitability

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  AVCC 2021 Nationals

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Report

Ian Morton

From the Desk of the Handicapper

What a difference a year makes.

Conditions were diabolical for last year’s race, as 50km/h winds created dust storms, blew riders off the road and forced loads riders to DNF. This year was cycling heaven and close to 60 riders battled out the traditional end-of-the-bitumen and back course. As handicapper, I tried to make it as hard as possible for A+++ riders Steve Crispin and Tristen Dimmock, but they rose to the challenge to take only 80 minutes for the 50.5km course and finish only 3 minutes behind the winner. C grader Ben Healy took line honours, continuing on with his great form in last week’s age champs where he finished among the A and B graders. His time was equal to the best of the B2 riders and as he had an extra 5 minutes up his sleeve, it was a comfortable victory, He gapped his C grade team member Carmine Spagnoletti by 30 seconds on the Three Sisters to home leg. In his 2nd Vets race ever Carmine completed last year’s Iron Mike in 2 hours, so he not only recovered from the shock of last year’s ordeal and not retire from racing forever, but also improved his time by 24 minutes. Third was B2 rider Rowan Walker in only his 5th race.

Bizarrely, a 50km handicap with 800m of climbing doesn’t put off some riders making their season debuts, and we welcomed back Charles Nicholl (after a 5-year break), Ali Roche, D grader Sally Thomson, who was 5th overall!, and Dale Kleeman.

Des Brown put in another enigmatic performance. As cyclists, we all know about how much energy can be saved by riding in a bunch, but for Des, there’s no difference whether he’s in the bunch or not as he was discarded well before the Three Sisters descent, but then stalked the D grade bunch all the way (although he doesn’t appear in Seymour’s photos at the turn) to the finish 4th out of a bunch of 9. Des gets the tenacity award.

Also putting in strong performances were newcomers, both in B grade, Al Raitt (11th) and Peter Zygadlo (25th).

Promotions this week:
– Ben Healy C to B
– Christophe Barberet B to A

Rob Langridge

Tandem Cycling Come and Try with Fitability

Many of you will have seen tandems at Vet’s races and out and about riding. Fitability will be holding a come and try tandem morning on Saturday 19th September starting at 9:30am till 12 noon at Stromlo Criterium Circuit.

This is an opportunity for confident riders to trial riding at the front of a tandem bike, or for people with a disability to try riding at the back.

Instruction on piloting as well as disability specific information will be provided by experience pilots and volunteers.

This is a great opportunity for people to turn up and see if piloting a tandem is something they enjoy and volunteer to share with riders with vision impairment or other disabilities.

Fitability are providing tandem bikes in a range of sizes. All you need to bring with you is your own helmet and shoes and a willingness to give something new a try. More information about Fitability Tandem Riding, a Pedal Power program can be found at https://www.pedalpower.org.au/fitability/, email: Fitability.act@gmail.com or call Lindy on 0402 113 836

Rosemary Robinson

COVID-19 Restrictions

There are legal requirements in place for people returning to the ACT from Victoria and particular places in New South Wales to self-quarantine.

Members who have been to any of these locations in the past 14 days should be complying with ACT Government quarantine restrictions.

Members should stay home if you have been feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19 or been in contact with someone who has felt unwell in the past 2 weeks.

AVCC 2021 Nationals

AVCC 2021 Nationals


Saturday, 12th September: Stromlo Criterium

Due to the closures at Orroral Valley, we will be running a Criterium this weekend to help everyone get ready for the upcoming Crit season.

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
When: 1:30 pm.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number
Race Description:
A/C: 1.30am 50 mins + 2 laps
B/D: 2.30am 40 mins + 2 laps
E/F/G: 3.20am 30 mins + 2 laps

Race Director: Ian Morton Contact: Email: mortoni@optusnet.com.au    Ph 0411 112 007

Marshals: If I could have some assistance from anyone pre or post race.

Framework for “Return to Play in a COVID-safe Environment”

This Framework details how cycling events will be delivered by the ACT Veterans Cycling Club to meet the recommendations of Canberra’s Recovery Plan. From 19 June 2020, Stage 2.2 allows for groups of no more than 100 participants. Refer to the ACT Government guidelines at http://www.covid19.act.gov.au.

Stage 2.2 & 3 Arrangements

  • On the day of the event, the race Director will be responsible for ensuring that participants follow these guidelines. Where a participant fails to comply they will be asked to leave the event.
  • Any rider who is feeling unwell should not participate. If a rider experiences symptoms such as fever, cough, headache, sore throat, and tiredness, they should stay at home. Consult a doctor if symptoms persist. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker is available at https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/symptom-checker/tool/basic-details.
  • Riders with higher risks from Covid19 are advised not to participate:
    • People aged 70 years and over;
    • People aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions;
    • People with compromised immune systems; and
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50 with one or more chronic medical conditions.
  • Race Officials will maintain 1.5m separation and hygiene standards during event setup, running and shutdown. When handling equipment such as signs and radios, Officials are to maintain hygiene by cleaning, wearing gloves and/or regular hand cleaning.
  • The Club will organise first aid at each event provided by either a professional organisation or by a Club member with a current first aid certificate.
  • Riders and spectators are to maintain a distance of 1.5m from other participants while at the event.
  • Hand hygiene is imperative and hand sanitiser will be available at the event.
  • No physical contact. Participants are to refrain from shaking hands, pats on the back, etc.
  • If any rider feels unwell in the two weeks following the race, they must advise the Race Committee who will follow up with health authorities. The Rider Management System is used to record event attendees and has their contact details.


ACTVets Committee


Iron Mike – 5th September

Conditions were perfect, sunny with a North Westerly breeze for our own “Spring Classic”, the Iron Mike, which has been running in various forms for over 25 years. The current trophy goes back to 1994, but the race started well before that. The race was named after Mike Paral, who rode with the Canberra Old Boys (COBACC) before it merged with the Canberra Wests to form the Canberra Cycling Club. Mike died in March 1983.

A field of 54 riders lined up for the graded handicap starting from the western side of Mt Stromlo and running out to the end of the tar and back for a distance closer to 50km than the advertised 60km.

A lone F grade, Cat Riley was sent off at 1.33pm with a 50 min start over the A graders, she was the first to the turn around point, and was still in the mix on the return leg until the climb up the 3 sisters.

E grade with 6 riders was split 50/50 into E1 and E2, with E2 being sent off 10 mins after F grade and E1 a further 12 minutes behind E2. Looking at the results the E graders were hard done by with this handicap.

D grade with 10 riders set off 6 minutes after E2 and C grade with 13 riders also had 6 minutes to make up on D grade.

B grade had the largest field with 18 riders, so the decision to split them was made and B2 with 10 riders rolled out 5 minutes after C grade, whilst the remaining 8 B1 riders had to wait another 3 minutes.

A grade was split with 4 riders in A2 starting 3 minutes behind B1 and 5 minutes in front of the 2 A1 riders who rolled out around 2.23pm.

In the end the handicapper got it pretty close with representation from A to D grades in the top 10 places. Despite a machine like effort from Steve and Tristan and the (as expected) fastest times – 1hr 20 mins 18 secs and 1 hr 20mins 22 secs, the 2 A1 riders placed 6th and 7th, less than a minute behind the 1st female and 2nd D grader Sally Thomson. Andrew Osborne, who was in two minds about racing after had being locked out of his bike shed was on his commuting bike – an Enigma with touring racks, and despite the weight penalty he still finished a very credible 4th. Rowan Walker from the B2 bunch was not able to catch the 2 C graders, Ben Healy and Carmine Spagnoletti, who finished in that order. Ben’s winning ride time was 1 hr 33 min and 42 secs.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

The (appropriately socially distancing) Winners: 1st Ben Healy, 2nd Carmine Spagnoletti, 3rd Rowan Walker

The race unfortunately was not without incident. Strained relationships between cyclist and other road users is something we are all sadly accustomed to, and this was evidenced by an incident between a riders and a motorcyclist out on course. But perhaps more disturbing was the un-sportsman like behavior between some of the race participants. Just a reminder, we are not racing for sheep stations, and there is no call for abusive language or threats. Many riders do take their racing seriously (that’s OK) and can get carried away in the heat of the moment, but at the end of the day we want a club and race events where everyone should be feel encouraged to attend, can enjoy the participation, and make it home safely.

Finally thanks to the marshals on the day, Seymour, Howard, Jonathan, Darren, and Dougal (now hopefully an accredited ETC !), the 1st Aider Simon, the race committee, and especially to Ian and Graham who put in an extraordinary effort week on week to make these races run so smoothly.

Paul Scherl,
Race Director

ACT Veterans Cycling ClubThanks to Howard Moffat who also took some pictures: