Club Information

(html version of About the ACTVCC updated 2011.pdf)

ABOUT THE ACTVCC

Our Club was formed in 1993 when a group of enthusiastic veteran cyclists organised a few races. Before long there were over 50 riders participating. It was clear that a club catering to the interests of veteran cyclists was needed.

The inaugural general meeting decided to affiliate with the Australian Veterans Cycling Council Inc. and utilise the benefits of their national coordination for competition and administration .The arrangement also provides insurance and public risk indemnity for race officials and covers members for personal injury during training rides and competition. The ACT Veteran Cycling Club is incorporated in the ACT and our constitution is available to all members through our Club Web site www.actvets.cc

Membership of the ACTVCC is open to men (35 years and over) and women (30 years and over) who would like to compete in races and enjoy a relaxed social atmosphere. At the completion of all races refreshments are provided for all to enjoy while recounting the highlights of the day’s events.

The club also has a non-competitive membership available for those only wanting to participate socially. During both summer and winter, the ACTVCC conducts a comprehensive program of road races at various venues around the ACT and surrounding areas of NSW. During daylight saving months, track racing is held at Queanbeyan Park. The road races include various types of handicaps, time trials and graded scratch races.

Our Club handicappers use performance and age based handicapping to make sure riders find a fair but challenging grade to ride with. If you are; new to racing, need bunch riding skills, want to improve your performance or just get back in the saddle after some time away, there are a number of training and social rides available almost every day of the week covering all standards of fitness. There is a range of other rides that will help you build your fitness and capability – just ask one of the committee.

COMMUNICATIONS - Email and Website (www.actvets.cc)

Our website contains all sorts of useful information for members: Race Program, maps of race venues, Race results, Club Constitution, Training rides, For Sale etc. Regular communication with members is an important aspect for any club. Traditional printing is costly and lacks immediacy, so we use e-mail to distribute; our Club newsletter “The Weekly Bleat”, our weekly updates and of course to distribute our competition results. This information also appears on our Club website.

CONTACTS

See www.actvets.cc for updated contacts list

President: president@actvets.cc

Vice President: vice.president@actvets.cc

Secretary: secretary@actvets.cc

Mailing Address: PO Box 870 Civic Square ACT 2608

ABOUT CYCLE RACING

Equipment.

Is it safe? Are the brakes in working order? Are your tyres in good condition? Do the gears work properly so they do not impair your concentration while riding in a group? You need to carry a pump and either a spare tube or puncture repair outfit and know how to make the repair. Do not rely on someone else stopping to help or to take you back to the start/finish. When racing you need a water bottle to avoid dehydration, which can impair your performance and endanger your health. Your helmet must comply with the relevant safety standard and not be structurally damaged.

Safety and Consideration

Think of others from a safety point of view and also from the perspective of helping things run smoothly. We try hard to ensure that all riders are given a place and a time at each event. Sometimes we use a finishing chute. This allows officials to determine accurate placing’s without the urgency and possible inaccuracies as bunches cross the finish line. When asked, please use the finishing chute and claim your place. That way you will get an accurate position and time for your race.

Safety, Safety and more Safety

Rider safety is paramount in all our rides. To race your bike must be road and race worthy with no pumps, lights or other items that could come loose. You must have proper drop handle bars with no missing bungs in the bar ends. Tri-bars are only permitted in individual time trial events. A helmet is compulsory and it must be approved by the Australian Safety Standards Association, with an approved sticker attached.

You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those you ride with

Riding in a bunch

Be smooth and predictable. Sudden movements will probably cause other riders to take evasive action. The more riders in a group the more exaggerated the effect of any careless moves. Be aware of others around you. In your early rides please make it a learning experience and if you are not sure then ask. Until you become proficient at removing and replacing your bidon (water bottle) move away from the bunch and to the rear. Only look over your shoulder to see if there are chasing riders when at the rear of the bunch otherwise you may veer into others – try resting one hand on your thigh as you look round; this helps stop you from veering off line.

NEVER overlap your front wheel with the rear wheel of the bike in front. When riding in a group the aim is to keep the same pace. When you are the lead rider and your turn is finished (10-20 seconds) gently ease off and let the next rider roll through maintaining the same speed. Practice “riding in a bunch” on your training rides.

Event Approvals

Each year, the Race Committee puts together a draft program. This is submitted to the local government authorities in the ACT, the surrounding shires and relevant Police jurisdictions. Only with these approvals can we conduct races. It is ESSENTIAL for ongoing permission that we interact with the public in a responsible and considerate manner. Comply with the normal road rules.

NEVER cross unbroken/double centreline (race disqualification). Only within the ACT, can our marshals halt traffic – elsewhere, riders must be prepared to stop and give way at turn point. It is the riders’ responsibility to ensure they can turn safely and watch for errant vehicles.

Grading and handicapping (handicapper@actvets.cc)

Handicapping is done to place riders into groups of like ability to ensure challenging but fair competition. Riders can expect to be regraded throughout the season to reflect their recent performance. Riders can (and should) volunteer to progress to higher grades without waiting for the handicapper to tap them on the shoulder. On the other hand if you are back from injury or time away, discuss your situation with the handicapper and you may be able to start in a slower grade “until you get your legs back”.

DO’s and DON'Ts

When crossing the finish line

  • NEVER REMOVE YOUR HANDS FROM THE BARS in a “victory salute” like the pros. You WILL be fined, disqualified or otherwise disciplined by the officials.

  • DO NOT STOP in the vicinity of the finish line – other riders will be still coming through. Have your chat and analyse the race well clear of the course. We are only racing on public roads because we do not cause inconvenience or danger to other road users.

  • When stationary, MOVE OFF the pavement.

  • DO NOT WARM DOWN on the course. Other riders are still out there giving it their best – give them the courtesy of a clear course and warm down by riding away from the course

  • NEVER cross the finish line twice. Double counting can occur and mess up the overall results if officials do not realise that you have already finished.

  • ALWAYS go through the finish chute just after the finish line so that your number can be recorded

  • DO look after your race number. When you join as a member, you will be issued with a permanent race number. This will stand up to reasonable wear and tear but never try to iron it – it will melt! You must remember to bring it to each race. Pin it low and round on your left hip so the finishing official can record your effort accurately.

  • DO Enjoy yourself. We like to take our racing seriously but we never lose sight of the fact that we are all here to have fun and get the most out friendly competition. It is particularly important to remember that other members have forgone their ride on the day to run a safe and fun event for you. Sometimes things just do not go according to plan - they will next time, particularly when it’s your turn to direct an event or officiate.

TYPES OF RACES

Handicap

Riders are grouped according to ability. The slowest riders (Limit Markers) set off first followed progressively by the better riders until the faster riders set off the (Scratch Riders). The group in front of scratch is called (Block). The time gaps are designed so that in ideal circumstances all groups arrive at the finish together. It is a race in which any rider can “draft” or “sit on the wheel” of other riders to optimise their chances in the race but cooperation within the group is required to achieve the best results. Race etiquette for the handicap normally requires that riders in a group share the work on the front equally as the aim is to maximize the speed of the bunch to catch those bunches that started in front of yours and to stay away from the stronger bunches behind. The winner is the first rider across the line and there is generally also recognition for the “fastest time”. Be aware, those that sit-in until the sprint in a handicap won’t necessarily earn the respect of other riders.

Graded Scratch

Riders are grouped in grades of similar ability (up to seven grades). Grades set off at intervals and riders can only race against the other riders in that group/grade. If you catch another rider from another grade you must either pass them or stay well behind and not draft

Time Trial

This is a race against the clock (the race of truth). Riders set off at either 30 or 60 second intervals. It must be ridden as an individual effort and no drafting is allowed. In our Club we have standard times for each year of age. Victory goes to the one who betters their age standard by the highest margin.

Secret Handicap

Sorry, but we can’t tell you too much about these. The handicaps are kept secret until the field has left the start. All riders leave together (mass start) and the finishing times are adjusted according to the “secret formula”.

Officiating and acting as a marshal

All members are expected to act as an official or a marshal throughout the season. To encourage members to do so they are awarded 10 points up (to a maximum of 3 times in a season) towards their point score for the season. This also ensures members who might otherwise participate in a race are not penalised for volunteering to assist. A comprehensive Guide for Directors and Marshals’ Instructions are available to all officials and are on the website.

Multiple race events

For events that include a series of races such as the Gunning Two Day, only a single points allocation is given based on cumulative time or some other method to determine places.

Visitors

Visitors are not eligible for; points, medals or trophies because of the difficulty in correctly grading or handicapping people whose performance has not been tested over time.

Championships

Points are not allocated for the Club Championships. These are a stand-alone competition in each of the Road, Time Trial and Track disciplines. It is considered that the Championships are a separate event to the rest of the race season and provide significant recognition for individual performance and the glory of being “Club Champion”.

General Race Rules

The objective of these rules is to promote safe, fair and enjoyable competition in compliance with the requirements of the relevant authorities. When signing on for an event, riders commit to abide by these rules.

In particular it is essential that each rider makes a personal commitment to do his or her best to ensure the safe and smooth conduct of each event in which they participate.

Racing is conducted in accordance with the rules of the AVCC, supplemented by the ACTVCC. Where there is inconsistency between the AVCC rules and the club rules, the AVCC CC rules shall prevail. Where the club rules do not address a particular circumstance, the AVCC rules shall apply.

Before the Race

  • It is each rider’s responsibility to ensure that their bicycle is in a roadworthy condition and that they are wearing a helmet which complies with Australian safety standards.

  • Register and sign on at least 20 minutes before the scheduled start of your race.

  • Register in the grade or handicap group recorded in the Club data base, unless approval to change up or down has been obtained from the Handicapper (handicapper@actvets.cc)

  • Listen for and take notice of the race director’s instructions for each race.

During the Race

  • Strictly comply with all directions given by directors, marshals or other race officials.

  • Marshalls will do their best to control traffic but the final responsibility rests with riders to ensure their own safety.

  • Ride as straight a line as possible in the bunch and do not make any sudden sideways movements.

  • When cornering keep the same arc on entry and exit i.e. enter tight exit tight, enter wide exit wide. Do not cut in on another rider's line.

  • Front riders: warn group about traffic and hazards ahead.

  • Rear riders: warn group if traffic or another grade approaches from the rear.

  • Show courtesy to other road users, competitors and race officials. Anti-social behaviour and language will not be tolerated and offenders will incur a penalty and may be suspended.

Passing Other Grades

  • When passing other grades, give them due consideration

  • Pass on the right hand side, maintaining a gap of at least one metre between the two grades.

  • Wait until there is a distance of at least 10 metres between the two grades before cutting back in. - do not pass and then slow down. This only impedes the other grade which could be chasing a breakaway.

  • Do not try to force your way through at turns - there is no right of way hierarchy of one grade over another. - in effect, avoid doing anything which may affect the normal progress of the other grades race.

  • When being passed by other grades do not take shelter or any other advantage from the overtaking grade and allow the passing grade to get well clear, staying at least 25 metres behind. Failure to comply may lead to disqualification.

  • Do not try to re-overtake the passing grade if it is a higher grade

  • The only time you can jump into another bunch is during a handicap race.

  • If you jump into another grade you risk disqualification from the race

In the Sprint

  • Back off early if it is a big field and you know you are not competitive.

  • Once you decide you want to be in it, go all the way - do not slow abruptly.

  • Ride a straight line, however tempting it may be to cut in or out.

  • Keep both hands on the bars at all times, before and after the finish line