ACT Veterans Cycling Club

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  ACTVCC Evaluation Survey: We want to hear from you

•  Race support needed

•  Persistence

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

Ian Morton

ACTVCC Evaluation Survey: We want to hear from you

Can you please take 5-10 minutes to complete this survey for current Vets members (including those not racing), former Vets members, and other cyclists in the ACT and surrounding region aged 30 and over who are interested in cycle-racing, including members of other cycling clubs. This will help to identify how we can better engage with our membership and the broader cycle-racing community.

Responses are anonymous and we value your feedback and thoughts. The findings will assist us to identify what works well and where we can improve, and will support the Committee to make informed decisions to respond to the needs and interests of members. We have engaged an external evaluator to help us with this work.

Access the survey here:

The survey closes on Wednesday 25 November 2020.For more information about the evaluation activities, visit the ACTVCC website:

Race support needed

The club is extremely lucky to have Graham Hendrie looking after, and bringing out to races, our race van. Graham also manages the timing and results recording and uploading into RMS. This operates like a pro rider, very smooth looking but a lot of hard work going on.

Graham is looking to take a break from marshal duties, so we need to start looking at transitioning some of the tasks that he does to other people. This could be a member of the club, a family member or someone who has spare time and an interest in cycling. If you are interested in helping out, or know someone who would be, please get in touch with the race Committee.

Remember, it’s up to everyone in the club to help ensure we continue to have a viable ongoing race program.


A past member of the club shared this tale of persistence:

“Just thought I would update you on an altercation I had with an ACTION bus driver. Unfortunately my rear video was turned off, but my daughter reminded me an ACTION bus would have its own video on!!

I was in the right turn lane from Hindmarsh Drive into Tyagarah Street O’Malley. I was stopped waiting for traffic to clear to allow me safe passage across Hindmarsh Drive into Tyagarah Street. I was at the head of the lane and there were no other vehicles in front of me. An ACTION bus, travelling behind me, then pulled up immediately next to me on my left hand side, such that there was less than 50cm separating me and my bike from the bus and the driver’s side window. I remonstrated with him that he was not giving me the mandatory 1.5 metre clearance. He did not reply and immediately accelerated the bus across the intersection forcing me to push myself away from the bus to avoid being run over or crushed. The bus clearly had enough room to stop behind rather than alongside and wait for me to cross the intersection. I only narrowly avoided the bus pushing me of my bike or being run over by the rear wheels. In fact as the bus pushed past me I had to lever myself away from it. Not only did he not provide me the mandatory by law 1.5 metre clearance but also overtook me on my left hand side which is also an offence and drove in a manner dangerous by nearly running over me and my bike. I considered the drivers actions to be provocative, unnecessary and dangerous.

So I made a complaint;

First reaction from ACTION. Your feedback has been reviewed and the driver has been reminded of their safe driving responsibilities.


My response: I do not consider reminding the driver of his responsibilities in regard to the passing within 1.5 metres rule is adequate considering the drivers actions were deliberately provocative and aggressive. Had it not been for my actions in trying to get away from the bus as he attempted to force me off the road I could have been killed or seriously injured. With such an inadequate response I request the drivers name so that the matter can be reported to Police.

Second response from ACTION

I can advise that the driver has been interviewed regarding the incident and the matter reviewed with the driver. The driver has been advised to stay behind cyclists in similar circumstance and where the cyclist is turning a corner to give them room to safely travel around the corner. A copy of this incident does remain on the driver’s record and any future incidents of a similar nature will lead to driver retraining and further action through the Transport Canberra internal disciplinary process.

If you report the matter to the AFP, Transport Canberra will provide any required information to the police as a part of any investigation of the incident.

So I reported matter to Police. Initially unwilling to take my complaint but when I reminded them ACTION would have video and I was prepared to make a statement the matter was referred to Traffic Police.

Eventually they responded and viewed video footage but decide to only caution the driver!!! Accused me of remonstrating with the driver (yes I did, so what!!) and hitting the bus. I explained that was me pushing myself of the bus to avoid being run over. Drivers reason for overtaking on left was the bike was stationary??? My reply to police was that an ACTION bus driver was supposed to be a professional driver and aware of road rules! I stated still not happy and would explore other options which would be to complain about to Police Professional Standards about ‘POLICE INACTION’. Investigation officer said he would review matter in light of my response.

End result; Traffic Infringement Notice with $$ fine issued!

Moral of story if going to report matters keep following up and do not accept an inadequate response. Also the investigating officer informed me that they were about to start an operation regarding ‘safe passing distances’ with police on bikes with go pros radioing ahead of infringements!!”

From the Desk of the Handicapper

Big fields and safety considerations

Perfect weather and who knows whatever other factors are resulting in huge fields on Tuesday nights. If only there was as much enthusiasm for turning up to the Old Federal Highway or Breadalbane when it’s blowing a gale and close to zero wind chill!. Nonetheless, this is still less than half the club’s members. Imagine if nearly 300 riders turned up to race? So far the fields have been well strung out and conducted safely. Here are some points to remember when racing in large bunches.

Rider safety is the race director’s number one priority

All riders finishing safely with no results is far more important than having a podium decided but others sprawled out on the course. Therefore, the race may be shortened or lengthened at any time owing to safety considerations. If you are keen on getting a good result, make sure you look at the boards on every lap towards the end of the race. On Tuesday, the ‘D 2’ boards were put out twice, so for two laps the riders had two laps to go. This was not a mistake but was designed to allow B grade to pass before the D grade final lap. The race director wanted to avoid D finishing their last lap while being overtaken by B grade. In dangerous or chaotic situations some riders will sense the increased risk and back off, others will plough on oblivious to what’s developing while others will attack to capitalise on the situation. Everyone has differing levels of skill and acceptable risk, but it’s the race director’s role to ensure that races are conducted safely for all.


In addition to the boards, we also have three flags to indicate changes in conditions.


Red means race abandoned. Riders should ride slowly to the finish, and results will not be recorded. If a crash occurs, stop when safe to do so and render assistance by alerting the race director and first aid attendant, usually by furious arm waving.


Yellow signifies the race has been neutralised, either because of a crash where the affected riders are able to move off the course or can rejoin the race, or because the grades have become mixed up. If the grades are mixed, the race director will show a grade board and wave the yellow flag. The grade affected should slow to less to around than 30km/h and allow the two groups to separate. Rider/s ignoring this instruction may next receive a red flag, indicating they have been disqualified. Using the speed of the higher grade to gain an advantage is is obviously unfair to other riders in the same grade.


Green signifies a resumption of friendly hostilities!


So far most of the overtaking by grades has been done cleanly and safely. Some points to remember are:
1. Do not use the draft of the passing grade to surge onto the back of it, and in the process drop riders from your own grade;
2. Follow the instructions of the passing grade regarding which side of the course to be on. If it’s ‘right’ stay right, and by the way, right is the side your chainrings are on.


Michael Hanbury C to B
Sean Ifland B to A
Mark Harradine D to B

Rob Langridge

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.


Tuesday, 10th November: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
A/C 5:50 A 38m+2, C 33m+2
B/D 6:35 B 38m+2, D 33m+2
E/F/G 7:15 25 min + 2 laps

Race Director:  Susan Frost Contact: Email:    Ph  0408 636 975

Marshals: Leeanne Tennant

Wednesday, 11th November: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is;
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 8-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 7.00pm: 2-lap SS time trial;
7.00pm – 7.20pm: Italian pursuit.

Sunday, 15th November: Old Federal Highway Graded Scratch

Where: Turn left off new Federal Hwy (dual carriageway) onto Shingle Hill Way. The intersection is signposted to Gundaroo and approx 9 km past the Sutton Rd overpass. Park in gravel pit on corner of next intersection about 100 m in from highway.
When: 9:00 am.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number
Race Description:
Old Federal Highway Gravel Pit to Lake George and back.
ABCD 4 laps for 48km.
EFG 3 laps for 36km.

Race Director:  Bruce Griffin Contact: Email:    Ph 0402 000 619

Marshals: Robert Solomon, Ben Healy, Anthony Dick, Heath Wade


SFP Criterium – 3rd October

A wonderful evening for riding Crits – and the turnout was exceptional. We had a bigger crowd than the Melbourne Cup! Welcome to the new members and a couple of visitors on the night, and thanks to Jim for moving the ever-present roos off the bottom loops.

The B/D race was the first of the evening, with 33 B grade riders and 35 from D grade filling the track. To my eye, the 68 riders looked like a capacity race. Soon enough the fast-moving B Grade overtook the D-grade bunch; nevertheless at the D-Grade ‘Two Lap’ call it became clear we were in for a challenge, as the B-Grade bunch was gaining fast. D-Grade was sent for an additional lap; if not called this way, D-Grade would have been crossing the finish line just as B-grade overtook them. Thanks to the trusty Handicapper for supporting this call. In B-grade, Paul Watson took line honours, with Sean Ifland and visitor Gerard Walsh in second and third spots. Mark Harradine was first over the line in D-Grade, with David Buckley and Ian Drayton in hot pursuit.

The E/F/G grade race was a welcome breather for the marshals; two bunches (E + F/G) formed quickly. Good riding by the sole G-grade rider (Mijo Spoljaric) which saw him stay with the F-grade bunch for most of the ride. Congratulations to new E-grade rider Sara Korevaar van der Meer for a convincing win off Mick Donaldson and Philip Anderson. F-grade was won by Pat Rooke, followed by Adrian Breen and Mike Hayes in places 2 and 3.

We were back to the bigger numbers for the A/C grades, with 17 and 29 starters respectively. There were breakaways early for both grades. A-Grade split quickly, with an early attack from a group of 5 riders. Three dropped back, leaving Jeremy Gillman-Wells and Steve Crispin in a fast-moving ‘group of two’ for the rest of the race. The sprint to the line was strong, with a convincing win by Jeremy with Steve not far off his wheel. We had another sprint to the line from the next A-Grade group, with Gerard Tiffen leading the group to finish in third place overall. In C-grade, there were several break-away groups, first across the line was Michael Hanbury, followed by Rodney Welch and Jay Reid.

Fantastic turnout – thanks to all committee members for your support on a busy night.

Penelope Anderson

Track Racing – 4th November

Wednesday 4 November saw the fourth track racing session for the 2020-21 season. Initial weather conditions were good for racing. It was warm with a slight breeze. However, the sky became increasingly overcast over the session. Ultimately, the race program was cut short due to impending rain. Attendance was good with 15 riders, 10 in A grade and 5 in B grade.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race started slowly and increased in pace as the laps ticked off. Dougal Torrance, Craig Kentwell, John Paul De Sousa, Ben Robey and Rowan McMurray took turns at the front. It was not until Lap 7 that a rider attacked. Craig Kentwell took the initiative about halfway through lap 7 gaining 10 metres on the bunch before Dougal Torrance burst from the pack to pursue. As the bell lap approached, Dougal rolled over Craig and headed for home with a comfortable margin. Craig began to tire over the final lap and a small bunch overtook him with John Paul De Sousa gaining second place ahead of Ben Davis in third.

The B Grade scratch race was not too different from A grade. Riders swapped the lead in an orderly fashion for six laps with Phil Coulton, Alison Hale, Phil Anderson and Ken Birch taking turns at the front. James Newhouse had mechanical problems and dropped out early in the race. By lap 7, the bunch was compact with riders jockeying for position into the bell lap. Ultimately Ken Birch attacked from the bunch with Phil Coulton and Phil Anderson in hot pursuit. The trio finished in that order.

The evening’s second event was a 4-lap handicap. The A and B grade fields were mixed into two races. The longer handicap races provide A grade riders with time to chase down B graders. However, it takes quite an effort. In Race 1 Alison Hale made the most of her handicap and almost pulled off a win. She was just beaten by Craig Kentwell in first place and Dave Mullens second. Alison held on courageously for third place. Race 2 was dominated by A grade with Warwick Wilson, Dougal Torrance and Hamish Anderson taking the podium places in that order.

Because of approaching bad weather, the scheduled mystery races were abandoned and the track session closed with an all-in, Italian pursuit. Teams 1 and 2 each had 5 riders. The race was anticlimactic, because Team 1 had major pacing problems and largely abandoned normal track craft. Team 2 were much more cohesive with no gaps in the paceline. This gave them an easy and decisive win.

Major place getters were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Dougal Torrance, John Paul De Sousa, Ben Davis. (B Grade) Ken Birch, Phil Coulton, Phil Anderson.
4-Lap Handicap: (Race 1 A&B Grade) Craig Kentwell, Dave Mullens, Alison Hale. (Race 2 A&B Grade) Warwick Wilson, Dougal Torrance, Hamish Anderson.
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Craig Kentwell, Dominique Rideaux, John Paul De Sousa, Rowan McMurray, Ken Birch).

Season Point Score Update:
John Paul De Sousa (59), Phil Coulton (54), Phil Anderson (54), Ken Birch (46), Steve Jones (45), Dougal Torrance (44), Bruce Griffin (40), Ben Robey (39), Hamish Anderson (38), Ian Drayton (36).

Graeme O’Neill

Sutton Driver Training Centre – 8th November

On a very pleasant Sunday morning 57 riders came out to play. To make the riding a bit different we introduced a water crossing near the second hill, where about 10cm deep water was running over the track. Apart from a puncture and a dropped chain, which ruined the day for two riders, it was an uneventful day with clear winners in all grades.


A Grade – 50 minutes plus 1 lap
Steve Crispin was a clear winner half a lap ahead of a bunch of 5 riders lead in by Callum Henshaw and Marc Vroomans

B Grade – 50 minutes plus 1 lap
In a field of 14 riders Peter Zygado was a clear winner with Sean Ifland and Kieran Butler taking the minor placings

C Grade – 40 minutes plus 1 lap
In a field of 13 riders newcomer Mark Porter was first across the line (welcome to B grade!!) but regular placings went to Rodney Welch with Clinton Porteous and Peter Balim in the minor placings

D Grade – 40 minutes plus 1 lap
12 riders took to the track and stayed together until the last lap with John Stokman victorious followed by Andrew Hislap and Alain Barbaret

E Grade – 30 minutes plus 1 lap
In a field of 8 riders Alex Sommariva was a clear winner followed by Terry Moore and Ian Morton.

F Grade – 30 minutes plus 1 lap
The two ladies in F rode together until the last lap when Pat Rooke took a commanding lead to the line from Polly Templeton

Thanks to:

Anthony O’Connor for timekeeping and getting the finish order sorted.
Simon Whitehead for being ever vigilant as our first aider, and,
Ian McVay for getting the van to the start line and keeping us all in order.

Dennis Puniard
Race Referee