Started in 1993, the ACT Veterans Cycling Club was formed to cater specifically for veteran racing cyclists in the Canberra area. Veteran category for cycling is 35 and over for men and 30 and over for women. Road races are held throughout the year at a number of different venues in and around the A.C.T. Track races are run during the summer months at Queanbeyan Park. All competitors are graded or handicapped in relation to their performance and fitness and new members receive particular attention to ensure they race in a group compatible with their ability. 

The club aims to promote friendly competition in cycle racing so that both newcomers and experienced riders in all age groups can enjoy this great sport in a safe and sociable environment. Further information regarding the club can be found on the About Us and Membership pages of this site.

Previous Bleats and Twitter feed see News

October 24 Bleat

posted by Administrator Actvcc   [ updated ]

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  Lift to Fitz's

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

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


Ian Morton


Lift to Fitz's

Does anyone planning on riding the 210/250 km Fitzs on Sunday have room for another rider and bike? I'd appreciate a lift out to the start. I live in Watson. If you can help, please contact me directly at don.mankewich@hotmail.com.


Don Mankewich



Tuesday, 25th October: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
E/F/G 5:50 20 min + 2 laps
A/C 6:15 A 30m+2, C 25m+2
B/D 6:50 B 30m+2, D 25m+2

Race Director: Ben Davis
Contact: Email: bdavis@internode.on.net    Ph  0416014629

2 x marshals required for this event


Wednesday, 26th October: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 8-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 6.50pm: 20 Lap Points Race;
6.50pm – 7.10pm: Italian Pursuit.


Sunday, 30th October: No Road Race



Correction from 11th October

Many thanks to Lloyd Bennett for his assistance on the night with running the race and apologies for the incorrect name in the Race Report.

Roger Northcote


Stromlo – 18th October

Tuesday afternoon was overcast with rain forecast. Wind was a stiff northerly. The forecast must have dampened the enthusiasm of some cyclists as only 73 cyclists attended compared to 83 the week before.

A and C grade started the evening’s racing. The format for the races were that both grades were given 25 minutes with C given 2 laps after time had expired whilst A had 3 laps. In the final laps the grades were shown separate lapboards and a whistle was used to signal C grade’s final lap, A received the traditional bell.

A grade began with 3 riders getting away in the first few laps. These riders were bought back and racing from then on was fast but uneventful. With 5 mins to go the original bunch of 9 had been reduced to 6. The final sprint resulted in Ben Morrison winning from Marc Vroomasns and Jeremy Muir.

C grade stayed together for the first half of the race. With 5 minutes (+2 laps) to go the field had been reduced to 10 riders, from an original 13. Craig Tozer put in a blistering final downhill sprint to move ahead of the fast finishing Claire Aubrey. Bryan Holloway edged out Ian Preston to get 3rd place.

Twenty-two riders started in B grade. B grade was a much more attacking race than the 2 earlier grades. Three riders led by Robin Mules got away early and although the lead changed on numerous occasions the race was won by riders from the chasing peleton. Mark Terrachini, Seymour Savell-Boss, Simon Milnes and Paul Ledbrook all featured in the early attacks with Paul Ledbrook and one other still attacking in the final 3 laps. The break was bought back in the final lap with the sprint finish going to Brendan Lakey from Peter Young and Allan Bontjer.

D grade Race was fairly uneventful until the final 7 laps. Mark Hutchins opened a break with Elizabeth daSilva giving chase. At 2 laps to go David Gunther was the only rider away and the final result went to Andrew McRae, Stjepan Hirsler and Michael Handbury.

E, F and G grades started together in the last of the evening light as the sky was becoming very overcast. A field of 12 E grade riders set a strong pace a separated the four riders that made up F and G grade. The strong E grade bunch soon spread the riders all over the track and in the fading light it became difficult to determine which lap the slower riders were on. There were some notable efforts during the E grade race and two of those riders we identified were Adam Potts and Alison Hale. Not only did these 2 riders feature in the attacks they also finished first and second.

David Witteveen was the only F grader to start (and finish) and Lindsay Graham led Bruce Jones and Bernie Crow in the G grade race.

Thanks to Tom Roberts our sports trainer (first aid) who helped me with the marshaling as there were no volunteers. All went well thanks to Bruce and one or two others who helped before their races). However Rosemary Robinson got in an extra lap due to the confusion created by 3 grades spread all around the track, fading light and the lack of marshals.


Paul Robey


Narrabundah Track Racing – 19th October

The second Track Racing session for the 2016-17 season attracted a total of twenty-one riders, an encouraging start to the season. The weather was still cool with a very stiff headwind in the back straight. Fortunately the wind moderated as racing progressed.

The 6-lap A grade scratch race may have been influenced by the wind, as no breaks were attempted. The pace started easy and progressively increased putting pressure on several riders and spitting two out the back. As the bell lap approached, Michael Langdon put in a very well timed attack leading Steve Jones over the final lap and holding on for a fine win. Steve took second place with Alec Millett maintaining his good form to take third.

The B Grade scratch race also started easy. However, Steve Hirsler hit the front after three laps and cranked up the pace, considerably. As the whole bunch barrelled into the final lap, Phil Anderson and later Ross Scutts appeared at the front. They were, in turn, swamped by the trio, Ian Drayton, Steve Hirsler and Roger Wheatley who finished in that order.

The evening’s second event was a 2-lap handicap. At this early stage in the season, handicapping is a challenge. Nevertheless it was good to see Steve Dean and Paul Robey make the best of their handicaps to take the wins in A and B grade respectively. Peta Brill and Alec Millet took second and third places in A grade. Matt Morgan and Steve Hirsler took the equivalent places in B grade.

The third event for the session was a mystery race with the final (bell) lap called at random, between laps 5 -9, in this instance. In A grade, Michael Langdon sensed the final lap perfectly, with a well timed break. However, Steve Jones put in a maximal effort to just overhaul Michael on the line. Alec Millett took third place. In B grade, Ian Drayton confirmed his good form with a win over Steve Hirsler and Roger Wheatley.

The track session closed with the usual all-in, Italian pursuit. This was a big race with teams having 9 or 10 members. The race was a little chaotic. Team 1 were required to put in a extra lap, being one rider down. However, the pace was so solid, that a rider in Team 2 dropped off early, requiring the anchor rider, Steve Jones to also put in an extra lap. Despite the chaos, Team 2 took a comfortable win.

Major place getters were as follows:

6-Lap Scratch: (A Grade): Michael Langdon, Steve Jones, Alec Millett (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Steve Hirsler, Roger Wheatley. 2-Handicap: (A Grade): Steve Dean, Peta Brill, Alec Millett (B Grade) Paul Robey, Matt Morgan, Steve Hirsler.
Mystery Race: (A Grade): Steve Jones, Michael Langdon, Alec Millett (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Steve Hirsler, Roger Wheatley.
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Graeme O’Neill, Phil Anderson, Andrew Peel, Steve Hirsler, Ottmar Weiss, Rowan McMurray, John-Paul DeSousa, Ben Robey, Alec Millett, Steve Jones).


Graeme O'Neill

October 17 Bleat

posted 17 Oct 2016, 01:46 by Administrator Actvcc   [ updated 17 Oct 2016, 01:46 ]

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  Blick v Franklin

•  Friday Morning Ride

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

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


Ian Morton


Blick v Franklin

Members will be aware of the ACT Supreme Court decisions in Franklin v Blick and Blick v Franklin, both of which were in Mr Franklin’s favour. Last Thursday, Mr Blick’s application for special leave to appeal to the High Court was refused on the basis that:

"The application does not raise a question of principle suitable for a grant of special leave to appeal. The appeal would have insufficient prospects of success were special leave to be granted."

So, that legal saga has been brought to a close. But the committee once again urges all members to assess their own insurance position, as suggested in the 13th June 2016 Bleat.


Ian Albrey
Vice President.


Friday Morning Ride

These days I am unable to cycle in events and organised groups because I have to care for my wife full time. I will be able to take advantage of a weekly respite session, beginning 28th October, Fridays 8.30am to 12.30pm.

I know this is an inconvenient time for most cyclists, but if you happen to know anyone of G-Grade standard or thereabouts who would be interested in a regular Friday mid-morning ride, could you please let me know.

Keith (Edward) Joliffe
Mobile: 0427 546 156
Email: keith1947@hotmail.com



Tuesday, 18th October: 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 28m+2, C 25m+2
B/D 6:25 B 28m+2, D 25m+2
E/F/G 6:55 20 min + 2 laps

Race Director: Paul Robey
Contact: Email: paul.robey3@gmail.com    Ph  0413480241

2 x marshals required for this event


Wednesday, 19th October: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 6-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 6.40pm: 2 Lap Handicap;
6.40pm – 7.00pm: Mystery Race;
7.00pm – 7.10pm: Italian Pursuit.

From time to time, the track group receives interest from new riders who would like to try track racing. At present, we do not have spare bikes to assist with initial introductions to track.

If any ACT Vets members have a track bike gathering dust in the garage and might be interested in loaning, hiring out or selling their bike, please contact the track convenor, Graeme O’Neill, on 0408 267 734.


Sunday, 23th October: No Road Race



Stromlo – 11th October

85 Vets raced in the first criterium of the season, after the previous week’s race was cancelled, showing the popularity of this form of racing. There were moderate cross winds, which made following wheels more difficult and helped split up some of the bunches. The skills of veteran racers showed through, with no accidents in these tough conditions.

We followed the Rob Langridge system of racing more than one grade at a time, thereby able to have reasonable length races. The faster grade is sent off first, and then, about half a lap later, the other grade. The plan is that the faster grade should catch and pass the slower grade well before the end, and each grade will be able to contest their own finishes without undue interference from riders of the other grade. This system requires co-operation and skill from the riders, to allow the faster grade to swiftly overtake. It also significantly complicates matters for the race director, since it can be tricky to keep track of everyone, and try and ensure that the finishes for each grade are decently separated by manipulating the last laps for each grade. However, with seven grades this kind of system is the only way to provide reasonable length criterium races.

B and D grades went off first. B grade had a massive bunch of 28 riders, more than twice that of any other grade, and D grade had 13 riders. Both races settled into a pattern of having attacks being launched and ultimately failing from the front of the bunch, and each bunch gradually dwindling as riders dropped off the back, struggling to cope with the accelerations out of the corners and the cross-winds putting them into the “gutter”. The overtake proceeded smoothly with D-grade nicely moving out of the way and allowing the entire B-grade bunch to pass before resuming racing. Well done everyone! Cameron Pitt won the B-grade sprint from Brendan Lakey and Sean Hunt. Michael Hanbury won the D-grade sprint from Roger Wheatley and Bernard Shaw.

E, F and G grade were up next. There were only 2 F grade riders, both named Frost. So, I asked Bill and Susan Frost to start with the 11 strong E-grade, thereby being able to ride with a bunch, and to tell us afterwards who won. It was Sue. I started the 4 G graders only a quarter lap after E grade. They split up into individual riders quite quickly : David Witteveen won from Heather Sommariva and Bernard Crowe, with Bruce Jones, the veteran of the ACT Veterans enjoying his ride at the back. E grade had a good race, with David Triston–Rattay winning from Anthony Bray and Nicole Bruce.

The last race of the night had A and C grades out on the track. In A-grade Ben Morrison, Mark Harris, Aaron Thomson and Steven Jones quickly formed a leading four, sharing the work and skilfully riding in echelon through the cross-wind to develop a good lead from the main group. About two-thirds through Steve was dropped from the lead four, and Ben won the final sprint from Mark and Aaron. In C-grade Seymour Saville-Boss and Matt Hinchcliffe quickly formed a partnership, and sharing the work demonstrated they were much faster than the rest of C-grade. The main C-grade bunch split up two sections, and the leading pair lapped some of C-grade. This caused some confusion since when I gave the bell to the two C-grade leaders some adjacent lapped riders thought that was for them, and so they finished a lap earlier than they should. They were disappointed, and I apologised for the confusion, but pointed out that perhaps they should have known they had been lapped, and I had to indicate the laps remaining to the leaders. Anyhow, Seymour won from Matt, with Chris Wilson being the best of the rest. I have recommended to Rob Landridge that Seymour and Matt be re-graded to B. Which perhaps should be matched with a couple of downgrades.

A few last comments:

  1. Really excellent effort by all racers to ensure swift and safe overtaking of the different grades. Thanks and please keep it up through the season.
  2. If you DNF, please go to the race-director or an assistant and provide your number before leaving the track. Some did not, or had to be reminded.
  3. After the finish please help and organise yourselves and proceed in order, as best as you can work out, past the number taker. Please do not leave the track until your number has been put down. As a race director I usually concentrate on trying to get the first three places correct, and might get fourth or fifth if there is some separation. After that it is usually up to the racers, and the precise order might not matter much. What is important is that everyone is accounted for, and we are satisfied that no-one needs medical attention before we release our first aid officer.

Thanks to my assistant David Lloyd, to the indefatigable Graeme Hendrie who took money, provided lists & quiet advice and compiled the results, and to Sam the Sport Medicine officer.


Roger Northcote


Narrabundah Track Racing – 12th October

The first Track Racing session for the 2016-17 season saw fifteen competitors eager to resume racing at the Bundadome. The event attracted two new riders (Alison Hale and Roger Wheatley), in addition to a bunch of regulars from last season. The weather was cooler than ideal, with a fresh breeze that slowly dissipated as racing progressed.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race was led out, initially, by Steve Jones. The bunch settled to a good tempo until around lap 5 when Chris Thompson took the front and cranked the pace up several notches. No breaks were established. However, as the bell lap approached it was clear that the bunch was getting toey. Riders were splayed across the track, ready to accelerate. Michael Langdon took the initiative and accelerated into the bell lap with Steve Jones stuck like a limpet on his tail. Ultimately Steve Jones took the win by a tyre width. Alec Millett took a creditable third place just off the torrid final pace.

The B Grade scratch race largely followed the A grade script. The bunch held together at a good tempo with one or two riders dropping off the pace. All the action was delayed until the final acceleration though the bell lap. Steve Dean proved too strong for the field and took a comfortable win from Ross Scutts and Ian Drayton.

The evening’s second event was a 1-lap time trial from a standing start. This event requires maximal initial acceleration for the best time. Michael Langdon showed great form with easily the best A grade time of 27.21 seconds. The next best A grade times were 29.19 seconds for Steve Jones and 30.01 seconds for Alec Millett. The A grade times were all quite competitive with Ed Garnett, Chris Thompson and Kerry Knowler all in the 30 –31 second range. For B Grade, the time spread was greater. However, Roger Wheatley’s time of 29.70 seconds would have seen him place third in A grade. The next best times for B grade were a creditable 30.85 seconds for Steve Dean and 32.11 seconds for Ian Drayton.

The track session closed with an all-in, Italian pursuit. Alison Hale led out Team 2 but suffered a misfortune when she pulled out of a cleat. Thankfully, Alison stayed upright. However, the dislocation allowed the two lead riders on Team 1 (Graeme O’Neill and Ian Drayton) to gain an initial 20 metres lead. Despite the best efforts of Team 2, they could not peg back this lead, allowing Michael Langdon to take a comfortable win for Team 1. This would likely have been a close race without Team 2’s early misfortune.

Major place getters were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Michael Langdon; Alec Millett (B Grade) Steve Dean, Ross Scutts, Ian Drayton.
1-Lap SS Time Trial: (A Grade) Michael Langdon (27.21s), Steve Jones (29.19s), Alec Millett (30.01s); (B Grade) Roger Wheatley (29.70s), Steve Dean (30.85s), Ian Drayton (32.11s).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Graeme O’Neill, Ian Drayton, Ross Scutts, Kerry Knowler, Chris Thompson, Alec Millett, Michael Langdon).

Season Point Score Update:
Michael Langdon (19), Steve Jones (17), Alec Millett (16). Ian Drayton (16), Roger Wheatley (15), Ross Scutts (15).


Graeme O'Neill


October 10 Bleat

posted 10 Oct 2016, 04:06 by Administrator Actvcc   [ updated 10 Oct 2016, 04:06 ]

Hello Vets,

A short Bleat this week;

•  Photos from Breadalbane

•  Wanted - Track Bike

•  Racing this Week


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


Ian Morton


Photos from Breadalbane

Bob Miller has posted some photos from the Breadalbane mini-tour;



Wanted - Track Bike

David McGuinness is keen to get out to the track. Does anyone have a track bike for sale, or would be able to loan him a track bike? Please contact David at david.g.mcguinness@hotmail.com.

One very helpful club member had a single speed bike he was interested in. Could you please contact David if its still available. Thanks.



Tuesday, 11th October: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
B/D 5:50 B 25m+2 laps, D 22m+2 laps
E/F/G 6:20 E/F/G 20m+2 laps
A/C 6:45 A 25m+2 laps, C 22m+2 laps

Race Director: Roger Northcote
Contact: Email: roger.northcote@border.gov.au    Ph  0467736580

2 x marshals required for this event


Wednesday, 12th October: Track Racing

Track Racing will commence this week with the first event for the 2016-17 Season.

The Program for Wednesday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 8-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 7.00pm: 1 Lap Time Trial;
7.00pm – 7.10pm: Italian Pursuit.

From time to time, the track group receives interest from new riders who would like to try track racing. At present, we do not have spare bikes to assist with initial introductions to track.

If any ACT Vets members have a track bike gathering dust in the garage and might be interested in loaning, hiring out or selling their bike, please contact the track convenor, Graeme O’Neill, on 0408 267 734.


Sunday, 16th October: No Road Race


October 3 Bleat

posted 5 Oct 2016, 00:04 by Administrator Actvcc   [ updated 5 Oct 2016, 00:05 ]

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  The Dutch Reach

•  Crit and Track starting again

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Report


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


Ian Morton


The Dutch Reach

This item about”The Dutch Reach” has considerable merit. In right-hand drive countries like ours the reach would involve grabbing the driver side door with the LEFT hand. Anyway, I’m sure our members would be interested in this idea to improve rider safety.

Jeff Culnane



Crit and Track starting again

After another long, cold and often wet winter, spring has finally arrived and with it comes the start of the Crit and Track Racing season.

We'll also be taking a break from Road Racing in October with the next race scheduled for 13 November at Uriarra Homestead.


The first Crit race for the season will be on Tuesday 4th October at Stromlo. Race times will be 20 minutes + 2 laps due to the limited daylight.


The track racing season will kick off with a Practice Session starting at 6.00pm on Wednesday 5 October. There will be no racing. All interested riders are invited - particularly new riders and track novices. It is a great opportunity to give track a try!

Please note that Narrabundah Track is a high-banked, oval track suitable only for conventional fixed gear track bikes with a high bottom bracket. We are unable to accommodate road bikes on this track.

+ Narrabundah track is located off Goyder Street in Narrabundah;
+ We welcome riders to try a high-banked track for the first time;
+ New riders can get practical advice on gearing, bunch riding & track etiquette;
+ Interested riders can try out a track bike (bring your own pedals and shoes);
+ Experienced riders can tune up the machinery & motor;
+ All riders can express their preference for events & races;
+ The practice session will be around 1hr 30 mins starting 6.00pm;
+ There is no formal structure to the practice. We can assist with introductory training, if requested;
+ You can do your own thing, if you prefer.

A few basics on track etiquette for the practice session:
+ Use the designated track positions for cruising, tempo or fast pacing;
(The faster you ride the higher you should be positioned on track. Overtake outside other riders)
+ Hold your line - don't make changes of speed or position unless you are clear of other riders;
+ Be very careful if you are crossing or moving on / off the track;
+ Start from the fence and be aware of riders approaching;
+ It is best to wear clear goggles (the shaded portions of track have very low visibility with sunnies);
+ All riders will need to be cautious, as there will be novice riders at the practice session.

Regular track racing will start on Wednesday 12 October.

Last year was a great season and we had a dedicated bunch, with over 40 riders participating over the season. However, why should they have all the fun. If you have thought about it, come a give it a try, as we would like to have at least another ten regulars.



Tuesday, 4th October: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forrest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
5:50 E/F/G Grade - 20min + 2 laps;
6:15 A/C Grade - 20min + 2 laps;
6:40 B/D Grade - 20min + 2 laps;
Race Director: tba
Marshals: 2 required
If you can assist, please notify the Race Committee race.committee@actvets.cc


Wednesday, 5th October: Track Racing

6:00 Practice Session.


Sunday, 9th October: No Road Race



Breadalbane Mini-tour – 1st October

With September rainfall just 1mm short of a record and Lake George now with water, the journey to the ACTVCC mini-tour was to prove as challenging as the race. I drove the club's van as Graham Hendrie was taking a well deserved break. The van is very easy to drive, but was being noticeably buffeted on the Federal Highway. Those of us who turned off at Collector and drove towards Breadalbane faced low-lying sheets of water, luckily very shallow, but stretching on for around 50 metres. A number of sport-type passenger cars were turning back.

When we arrived at Breadalbane, looming rain clouds and very strong winds made us wonder if anyone would turn up at all. However, some hardy souls, the type who would race no matter what, were already there, but noticeably absent was anyone cycling in the gale-like winds. There was to be no warm up for most.

The vets has a great pool of volunteers and even in conditions like this, Sue Powell (fresh from Rio), Bob Miller and Kev Hennessy turned up. Dave McGuiness rang to see if we needed anyone else. By 11:50 we had 14 riders, with Owain Tilley in full regalia and warming up on his rollers, trying to forget the cold. At 12:00 the first rider set away on the M&H Time Trial, donated by Henry and Marilyn Beaverstock. Heading into a strong wind had some doing 15 kph towards Gunning and 60 kph on the return. Just after 30 minutes, the first rider returned - a very credible result for the extreme conditions. This was an age-adjusted time trial, with all but one rider riding (understandably) just a tad slower than their age-adjusted standard.

The riders elected to commence the road race 30 minutes after the time trial's conclusion, to save a long wait in the cold. Eleven elected to start, so it was decided to run a single grade and shorten the event to just over 20km. The road race was slightly more leisurely and was over in 40 minutes.

A huge thank you to the marshals and to Graham Hendrie, who prepared the van and developed the computer system that makes administering a race so easy.


Bill Frost

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