Hamilton Cycling Club Newsletter - Spring 2012


President's Report
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Time for riding in nicer weather is approaching, but I hope that you are staying active this winter. As we approach the riding and racing season, don’t forget to renew your club membership. All information and forms are on the HCC website. Plan to do your membership renewal soon, to avoid going through this process at your first race.

Many races are again planned this year. Hill climbs will keep your heart racing and mountain bike enthusiasts will be kept busy with rides, some races and of course working hard to clear and develop our new trails at Christie Conservation Area. Many of our youth riders and racers are already involved in Team Attack, which is a joint sponsorship between HCC and Forest City Velodrome.

Our annual Good Friday Road Race is fast approaching. This race on April 6, 2012 has once again been designated as an O-Cup Race. Your HCC Executive is once again spending countless hours dealing with all of the arrangements that have to be done way before the race day approaches. As in previous years, we count on HCC members, family and friends to help out on the day of the race. This is a huge undertaking but with everyone’s help, the day will once again run smoothly. This race has a great reputation, so we attract racers of various levels from all over Ontario, Quebec and New York. Please contact any of our executive to sign up for a job. We really appreciate your help.

Don’t forget to spruce up your cycling gear with our new clothing. We get great comments from everyone that our kits are really cool. Check our website for a listing of clothing available and prices. You will find that you can’t beat the prices.

Have a great winter season.  Stay fit, healthy and have fun.

See you on the road,

Wayne Atanas
President, Hamilton Cycling Club 

Renew Your Membership
By Martin Reid
Have you added renewing your HCC membership early to your New Year’s resolutions?

For $45 for an adult $25 for a youth or $70 for your family membership (spouse and 10 kids!) you can enjoy a year of pain and joy (breaking through the pain threshold) participating in HCC’s busy race calendar. It all starts Good Friday (April 6) when you are encouraged to help run this great race (the longest running bike race in Ontario) and continues on with our club events which start beginning of May.

This year we hope to expand our mountain bike events and recreational activity. We also will be having some off bike fun organized by Greg.

We have 2012 membership forms up on the web now with new OCA waivers. See you at Brock Rd (for sure)/Indian Trail/Safari/Sydenham/Weirs Lane/Ayr(?)/Binbrook/Falkland! Meantime starting Jan 2nd “get training”!

Team Attack Update
By Rob Good
What a great start to the 2012 season for Team Attack.  In the past 4 months we have signed 19 youth racers to the Team that will compete on the road during the 2012 season. The Team was put together in October as a result of combined effort of the Hamilton Cycling Club and the Forest City Velodrome.  Our goal is to give every child a chance to compete and excel at their sport.... cycling.
Team Attack has been training twice a week at the FCV and will continue to gain experience and bike handling skills to prepare the team for the Youth O-Cup season that begins in May. The ages of the kids on the team range from 8 to 16 years old, plans are in place to expand the program in 2013 to include Juniors.
All of the sponsors are in place for the 2012 season and our clothing will be arriving shortly.  Team Attack Youth Cycling wants to thank all of the sponsors and supporters of the team for their support.

Our Supporters:

  • Forest City Velodrome
  • Hamilton Cycling Club
  • Toyo Tires
  • Niagara Battery and Tire (Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Welland)
  • Brown Beattie O'Donovan Lawyers (London)
  • Central Cycle (Hamilton)
  • East Side Mario's (Upper James, Hamilton)
  • Reynolds Cycle (London)
  • Speedpro Imaging (London)
  • Cafe Domestique (Dundas)

OCA says, 'Time to Train Some Road Commissaires'
If you are interested in becoming a Road Commissaire or a Team Manager, want to organize a race, or are involved with the management of a cycling club, then you may want to consider taking a Road Commissaire course.
The two day course will be taught by National Commissaire Brad Day. This course is a requirement for all new road commissaires, race directors, and team managers. The fee is $100. Attendees are entitled to a rebate if they complete the progression of becoming a Commissaire. Please note that to be eligible for regular race assignments as commissaires; attendees must purchase a commissaire license upon successful completion of the course and in-race training. The commissaire designation can be added to an existing UCI license at no extra charge. The course is limited to 12 participants. The courses will run over the weekend, starting at 9 AM each day running until 5 PM.

Dates: February 11 & 12, 2012 / March 10 & 11, 2012
Location: Sport Alliance of Ontario Building, 3 Concorde Gate, Toronto, Ontario (unless regional demand provides opportunity for satellite location)
Cost: OCA Fee of $100 – Online registration at the OCA

For more information contact Andrew Paradowski at td@ontariocycling.org

Being a Commissaire
By Martin Reid
Back in 2009 the word from the OCA was that clubs would need commissaires to run club events! Well, it hasn’t happened yet but, as a precautionary measure, Chris Kiriakopoulos, Henry Dudko and myself decided to enroll in the weekend course. The course was held at the Casablanca down the peninsula and taught by National level commissaire Brad Day. There were a dozen of us taking the course including Steve Bauer and his wife (primarily for the latter so she could be a team manager). I found the course instructive and discovered we know a lot less than we think from just running club races! On the final afternoon we ran a bizarre event where some of us were commissaires and others racers.  The race took place in the hotel corridor. The racers (on foot) were instructed to do a variety of infractions and the commissaires were instructed to figure out the results. It was a bit of a riot!

As far as I know Henry and Chris left it there. I decided to continue and registered as a Technical Assistant meaning commissaire in training. My first event was Springbank where they sent me out on the course to keep track somewhat like a non mobile mobile commissaire! Then overlooking the timing judge then a spell sitting in with the mobile.  I think they didn’t quite know what to do to keep me occupied! I did another spell as Technical Assistant at Kitchener Waterloo then that was it. I was now Level C (and probably the oldest commissaire in Ontario) but got no events that year!

For 2010 I put my name down for Good Friday but guess the Chief must have figured that was a conflict so I ended up with Kitchener Waterloo, Peterborough, The Provincial TT in Niagara and helping out unofficially at the Provincial RR. Kitchener Waterloo is quite a technical course with lots of sharp turns and narrow sections and only being about 5km  we mobiles inevitably ended up with Race A catching Race B and all the ensuing entanglements. For Peterborough TT the date was changed and I found myself getting off a plane from Vancouver at 1am in the morning with the need to be up and running in Peterborough at 7:30am! We were trying out a bike checking machine that the Chief had gotten designed right on the start line so once a rider went through the machine he was in the line no exits. Problem was it took a minute to check the bike and the organizer had set up the intervals at 30 seconds. I was helping at the start initially then off to the turn to monitor riders. With the muddle at the start line continuing and the turn point moving to accommodate three different distances we had our work cut out telling which group was finished so we could move the turn point!

The Provincials run by St Catharines were well organized and the only freak out I had was heading out to the turn to monitor we discovered a stop sign and no police in attendance. I signaled the police who were coming out with us to the turn and they sorted it out on the radio. When we got to the turn it wasn’t marked as they had changed the position the previous night but one of the turn marshals with us knew where it was to be. Only problem the turn was just after a V intersection and 100 metres before a T junction. I was all set to go along with the location but one of the cops pointed out the road coming in on the V had a couple of churches on it and at some point we would be inundated with churchgoers wanting to come through the turn point. So we moved the turn back about 30 metres.  Thank God we did! So folks if you were a participant you likely improved your time a few seconds!

Initially I though the job would be stressful and I might not enjoy it. Didn’t prove to be true so in 2011 with a shortage of Commissaires I ended up officiating in 8 events including Good Friday. The year had its adventures including being pulled over by the police for driving on the wrong side of the road (enforcing yellow line – I ignored the police car request!), being overrun by the pack while trying to keep different CATS separate and a bit of bedlam at the Provincial Hill Climb Championship where the organizer had an alpha instead of a seeded list and the Chief who had a seeded list didn’t show up (traffic) till 5 minutes before 1st rider off!

The OCA really needs more Commissaires so I urge those of you who don’t have a busy race calendar to consider taking the course and signing up as a Commissaire. You wont get rich but it ain’t dull!

HCC Elects New Executive
Hamilton Cycling Club has a mix of new and returning executive members for the coming year. See who has taken a step forward.

From left to right:
Martin Reid, Membership Secretary: reid.wm(at)gmail.com
Rob Faulkner, Communications: rob.faulkner(at)gmail.com
Greg Smith, Mountain Bike Rep (Social): smith.gregc(at)gmail.com
Ken Wilson, Treasurer: kwilson216(at)cogeco.ca
Greg Ellis, Secretary: langford200(at)yahoo.com
Wayne Atanas, President: wmatanas(at)yahoo.com, 905-574-8603
Marc Risdale, Vice-President/Advocacy: marcrisdale(at)gmail.com
Henry Dudko, Executive Member at Large: groovinhd(at)gmail.com
Peter Martin, Mountain Bike Rep (Youth): peter.martin(at)phrenic.net

The Ride
By Peter Marshall
testI first joined a cycling club, Houghton Clarion (now Now Houghton CC), in 1959. I was 13 years old and crazy about the likes of Fausto Coppi and his arch-rival, Gino Bartali. The club had its own clubhouse and was a great place for cyclists of all ages to get together and share cycling in all aspects. My love for cycling has never died and now at age 65, and having done so much cycling and had so much fun doing it, I thought I’d gotten all the thrills possible: racing, touring, making frames, running teams, and various bicycle-related businesses -- wrong again, Peter. I had never been part of a bicycle marathon ride and, as it happens, neither had my friend and sometimes cycling partner Alberto.

The idea for Alberto to ride across Cuba and establish a record was dreamed up by a bunch of old farts having a beer in a bar in Ancaster, Ontario. Colin Fletcher (never ridden in Cuba in his life), Peter Penman (lived in Cuba, should know better), Martin Reid (usually more sensible) and yours truly all came up with the bright idea that I would return to Havana and try to convince Alberto that this needed to be done. Turns out it is not age, but cycling itself, that makes you crazy. He took a few days to mull it over and came back with, “let’s do it, but I need some time to train.” So we began.

All we knew was that lots of riding would be a good idea, so we started with that. Alberto needed a better riding partner than a 65 year old so he persuaded his buddies to come on long rides, but when he was looking to go on 200 or 300 km jaunts, his pals told him he was nuts. Undaunted, he rode alone, all over this island, knapsack and iPod were all he had with him. Once he called me from Ciego De Avila and told me he was riding home via Trinidad and Cienfuegos and would be home that night. I checked his route: 465 km. I understood right then that my pal was not fooling about with this and that I needed to do some serious work myself. We needed advice on all matters of marathon rides, how to sleep, how and what to eat, a support team, an appropriate vehicle and on and on.

Good fortune came our way when I got a message from The Sport Lab, saying they’d like to help. We were in the dark about nutrition for such an ordeal. Scott and Lowell (Sport Lab guys) asked all kinds of questions about Alberto and the climate here in Cuba and then sent down the fuel, along with instructions. We then conducted a 300 km test ride from Santiago to Holguin and back. It took just over nine hours and we were very happy. In all those 300 kms, Alberto never got off his bike (no, not even for that).

We found friends to help in the support crew. We were lucky that Mike Cervone, a Canadian on a cycling holiday with my company here in Havana, asked if he could stay over after his tour and join the support crew. We did not realize how much we needed Mike until one of our drivers was told at the last moment he could not go on the trip. Having told others that we had enough people on the team left us short a team member. We were to find out how difficult it would be with one support crew missing. The promise of a loaner TT bike fell through and some special spokes purchased for a Shimano wheel were lost. But we got it all done -- not easy in a land with no bike shop.

Crew and rider flew to Santiago and picked up our rental minivan, the cost of which was scandalously high. But on a good note, it was perfect for the job. We covered it in decals and drove to Baracoa, the eastern end of our ride. The next day Alberto touched the hand of the Christopher Columbus statue and headed west, up over Paso Cuba, doing close to 400 km before his first 90-minute nap in the home of the cycling coach in Las Tunas.

It all seemed very easy from the truck, but things were to change on the second day when Alberto fought bad surfaces and a stiff cross/head wind between Camaguey and Havana. I knew he would not quit but wondered how he was able to keep going. Turning off the autopista and heading to Pinar del Rio brought great relief but the journey had its toll and he was way down on schedule. His last kip was in the city of Pinar and he awoke to the news that he needed to ride around 30 kph for the next 195 km. Not good news to get at 3 a.m. after a cat nap. We knew the road was rough but he refused his road bike and took the very stiff TT machine. Moving at around 40 kph for the next two hours on roads so bad I had trouble keeping up with him and had to hand off to co-pilot Juan Carlo. Further down the road we caught a break when a very long section had been recently repaved and our man pounded into the daylight. Eventually the surface went back to its horrible self and he did slow down... but he still kept to the TT bike.

As we approached the final stretch, we knew he had put in a great effort and we all started to feel a great reduction in the tension. He touched the pier at Cabo San Antonio 72 hours 5 minutes 10 seconds after leaving “Big Chris” standing on the Malacon in Baracoa. Marathon cycling is like banging your head on a wall -- it feels great when you stop!

What may puzzle some of his pals is that Alberto is a track rider, recently winning two gold medals at the Pan-American Masters Championship. All his long distance training did not seem to hurt his pursuiting ability.

Juan Alberto Pena, you are one hammerhead cyclist, and I am proud to have been in your team!

Banquet Brings out Award Winners
The HCC Awards Banquet held on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 was a great success, as members enjoyed catching up after a successful season, the club gave out awards and trophies, and we all began to think about the road ahead in 2012. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so Martin Reid's top-notch photography should tell a great story. Here are the talented winners of the trophies and medals.

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