Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  Event Traffic Controller Training

•  Van Volunteers

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Report

Ian Morton

From the Desk of the Handicapper

We had the first handicap of the season on Saturday resulting in the first win for E grade in ages. E grade only had three riders but they stuck together until the last time over Mt Tennant. Handicap riding is an art form not readily appreciated by some club members, and the lack of flat courses in the ACT surrounds makes it difficult to demonstrate that taking a steady approach and not destroying the bunch early is the best way to go about it. The view of some members is that all time gains can be made going uphill, but they then lose time by soft pedalling on the crest and then not driving it back down the other side. The Smith’s Road to the Apollo Rd turn course has a substantial hill but it also has xx kilometres where the bunch can work as team and push the pace by rotating with short turns. Surely it makes sense to make time gains during that flat part which accounts for about 70% of the time on the course and not the hills which only accounts for about 30%. Furthermore, pushing up the hills weakens the legs of the drivers who are going to push the pace on the flat sections resulting in a loss of whatever time was gained pushing hard up the hill. The other consequence is that riders drop off. The more riders taking turns will result in a faster average pace. The other aspect of the handicap is that it’s a team event. For the sake of the group, keeping it together should be a priority. Graded scratch races are the place for attacks, however, in the last quarter when groups are merging all bets are off and you can do what you like to savage a good result by sticking with a faster group or attacking your own group if you don’t like your chances in a bunch sprint.

I also noticed most riders sitting up high with hands on the hoods when doing turns. We perhaps don’t have the flexibility to have our backs parallel to the ground like a pro, but we can certainly reduce our frontal surface area by putting our hands on the drops or bending our elbows substantially while keeping the hands on the drops. Check out how the riders in a breakaway in the TDF swap turns and pay close attention at their position on the bike. There are some aspects of what they do that are perfectly applicable even to us oldies.

I’m looking forward to the next handicap.

Rob Langridge

Event Traffic Controller Training

The next ETC Training course is on 24th July.

We are still looking for more members to become qualified ETCs. Please nominate to undertake the training to race.committee@actvets.cc.

Ian McVay
Race Committee

Van Volunteers

As we transition into the new arrangements for the race van, we are looking to establish a pool of members who would be interested in taking on responsibility to prepare the van, drive it out to races and return it to Stromlo.

Members who drive the van to an event would still be able to participate in the race.

Members who are willing to be included in the roster should contact secretary@actvets.cc

Note that the van is a manual gear change.

ps Thanks to also those people who have already volunteered.


Saturday, 3rd July – Apollo Graded Scratch

Reminder: All riders must pre-register on the ACT Vets website (https://rms.actvets.cc/calendar) by 2/07/2021 6:00 PM prior to the race. There is no registration on the day.

Any requests for Grade changes should be sorted out with the Handicapper prior to registration.

Where: Travel to Tharwa and follow Naas Rd south. Go past Namadgi visitors centre, over Tennent hill, and turn Right onto Apollo road. Park on top of the hill at the camping area, then ride back down to the T junction for the start.
Riders are to be mindful of other campground users when parking and using the facilities so that ACT Parks continue to allow our use of this venue.
Extra clothing worn for the ride down to the start will be collected and brought to the finish.
When: 1:30 pm.
Race Description:
Race start is at Apollo Road T junction. Finish is at Honeysuckle Campground.
All grades U turn before the aero model club near Tharwa and return for a summit finish.

Race Director:  Nick Boylan

Marshals: Terry Moore ETC, Jan Koehler, Stephen Schwenke ETC, Paul Robey, Van driver – Nick Boylan


Tharwa Handicap – 26th June

Sat 26th June turned out to be fine and a bit chilly day for a race in the Tharwa region.We had a hardy 29 from 31 registrations with 2 withdrawals on the day.

Due to a mix up with map interpretation, [slight human error] we had a shortened course by couple of kilometers, but I didn’t hear any complaints.

First off F grade Chris Copeland [the lone ranger] at 26 minutes followed by a trio of E [echo merchants] six minutes after him;Then one of the bigger groups of seven.. D [delta] at 13 minutes.Following on at 17 minutes C [Charlie force] with a group of five;then the second biggest group of the day with seven speedsters was B [barnstormers] leaving at 21 minutes.Then at 23.30 minutes A2 [milk delivery] followed by another trio A[airforce one] off on scratch.

Checking the wind direction at the start there was the usual cross wind that seems to go with the territory.

On the return leg of the first lap Chris was still out on the front followed by E not far behind and still together.

The following groups of D..C. were still together and B losing a couple which were probably picked up by the milk run A2 followed by the fast and furious trio of A.[airforce one]

Last lap was a wait and see affair,no luxury of pictures from the helicopter to see how things were panning out.

As we watched over toward the Namadji area there was the sight of a group giving it some schtick coming off Mt Tennant.As they got within sight was surprised it was some E [echo] merchants leading the charge with a mix of D [delta].then coming in at some rapid pace some A and A2 and B graders.

Unfortunately I didn’t have the race numbers corresponding with the names on the start list,. I apologise for that.

I would like to thank the marshalls for their great work in setting up the signage and doing the turns Frank.,Michael,.Rob job well done..appreciation all round. And the extra help from Owain Kirsti and Alex.


Don de Smet

Here is the list of the top ten
1 Liz Lowe ..E
2 Allan Bontjer..E
3 Robert Langridge..D
4 Tony Beasley..D
5 Rosemary Robinson..E
6 Ross Robinson..D
7 Tristan Dimmock..A
8 Christophe Barberet..A2
9 Stephen Isbel..A
10 Christopher Short..B