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November Newsletter

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held Sunday, October 6th


A week before our second ‘sanctioned’ event of the year, everything had fallen into place, except the weather.  We’d received the permit from the city of Hamilton, the Certificate of Insurance from the O.C.A., the engraved plates for our medals.  Peter McCaffery had been assigned as the Commissaire for the race, Jeremey Ludwig from the O.C.A. would be on hand to collect the ‘non-licensed rider’ fees, ‘The Fitness Technique’ and ‘Spokes ‘n’ Slopes’ would provide merchandise prizes.  Coffee and donuts (those two ‘essential food groups’) had been arranged for.  I’d had enough commitments from clubbies that I figured we’d be okay for marshals.  All we needed was a good turnout of racers, which I figured we should get as the only other event on this date was the Hardwood Hills Enduro.  Last year we lost riders to the ‘Squeezer’ mountain bike race and the ‘Jack Wierzbicki Memorial Ride’.  Half-decent weather would help, too.


The weather looked promising on Sunday morning as I left the house at 6:30 a.m. in the KOSKI GLASS van borrowed from work, with my barriers, flags, caution tape, many signs etc. etc.  Stopped at Tim Horton’s to get the big urn of coffee and the donuts. 


I put up signs on York Blvd., then set up the  Registration area in the Pavilion, while RANDY BROWN and FRED PEPPER laid out the course.  JUDY DANIEL took charge at the Registration; HEATHER PEPPER helped here, too.  Heather and Judy were a great help in preparing the medals and cash prizes once ‘the numbers were in’.  We were able to give more generous cash prizes than last year, as we had a GREAT turnout of 65 riders. 


We gave away the merchandise prizes in a draw at the end.  Judy and Heather had put all the riders’ and volunteers’ names in a hat and we did a draw for the merchandise prizes from ‘Spokes ‘n’ Slopes’, 2 - $25 gift certificates from ‘Fitness Technique’ and four books of Tim Horton’s coupons.


The weather was great with the high reaching 17ºC or so, and sunny.  It felt ‘too warm’ in the sun and a tad on the cool side in the shade.  Standing at the finish line in the shade, I had my toque on and off many times. 


The course is a bit on the ‘bumpy’ side, as Harold noticed, with his tires at 100 p.s.i. during his warmup.  We deflated them to 50 p.s.i., which I find good for ‘cross racing.  Harold and Frank Morrow got to race their new ‘cross bikes for the first time.


O.C.A. President, Jim Crosscombe, along with Jeremey Ludwig, had arranged a meeting of the cyclocross race organizers in the 2002 series.  We had this meeting at 9:00 a.m. to clarify details of insurance fees and so on.  I am pleased with the involvement of Jim and Jeremey in the racing scene.  It’s just unfortunate that the ‘insurance thing’ has evolved to a point where costly premiums are needed to protect against perceived liability. 


Once again there were no mishaps on the course, thanks to our great group of marshals who looked out for the safety of pedestrians and their dogs, as well as our racers. 


Thanks again to the great group of volunteers for your efforts!

Randy Brown

Fred Pepper

Heather Pepper

Chris Kiriakopoulos

Martin Reid

Rob Parsons

Judy Daniel

Frank Morrow

Mike Power

Don Sloan

Peter Schouten

Keith Oliver


RANDY BROWN is in danger of developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to his constant and repetitive habit of ‘highlighting’ his ‘100k+’ days in his training diary.  He’s closing in on 100 of them this year!  I’m disappointed he hasn’t joined us at cyclocross series races this fall; he’d rather go for the long rides.


SEAN SCOTT has an idea that we should order a batch of H.C.C. jerseys in 2003 with a special design or insignia to commemorate the 2003 WORLDS in Hamilton.  We touched on this issue at an executive meeting and want to make sure that we don’t infringe on any copyrights or such before proceeding.  However,  it would be great if Sean or other artistic people would present their ideas for a jersey design or insignia at our Annual General Meeting.


Although participation levels have been good at our Tuesday and Thursday weekly events during 2002, the B.A.R.       and T.T.C. series were not well attended.  Should we make it more attractive to compete for these awards?  I must admit that my own attendance at club events was poor this year, the reasons being:

1)      O.C.A. races were a priority,

2)      My normal work week included working Saturday mornings. 


RANDY was able to race all or most of our B.A.R. and T.T.C. series; also able to get the results from the events to WIN the series!


In September, PETER MAZUR won the annual prestigious Quebec to Montreal road race.  Mirek looks for Peter to do well at the Worlds next October, especially in the time trial.  He has qualified on the Polish team.




When I became President of the Hamilton Cycling Club in 1999, I decided to subscribe to the Hamilton Spectator as a means of keeping abreast of the goings-on in Hamilton.  I still subscribe and very much enjoy the Spec.  I have been increasingly using their press clippings in our newsletter.  I think there has been more of a focus on cycling due to the upcoming Worlds 2003.  I thought writer John Kernaghan did a super article on Sue following her great race at Manchester.  I included the article on photographer ROB SKEOCH because he photographed our Tuesday Crits three weeks in a row this past summer.  Check it out at www.thepicturedesk.ca. 


Hot September:  I’ve included Cheryl Stepan’s Spec article on this subject . . .It seemed to me that October 2002 was one of the coldest Octobers I can remember.




Recently I drove to Quebec City to compete at the Cyclocross Nationals.  This didn’t go well for me.  A race course on the campus of Notre Dame de Foy College seemed to my liking on the afternoon before the race, but on race morning the ground was frozen and full of tire ridges in the low-lying areas that had been wet before.  Temperature was –4 or –5 for our race.  I never got comfortable negotiating several of the tight curves on the ridged, frozen ground.  The barriers were placed along fast riding sections where, just as I got up to a good speed, I’d have to slow for a barrier jump. 


I ended up crashing mid-race on an off-camber grassy downslope and slid head first for about eight feet.  My brake levers were both bent inward to about 45º and my chain derailed.  I’d badly bruised my right thumb and right knee; the cold accentuated the pain.  The fourth-placed guy in our category passed me at this point.  I was amazed to discover that the gears and brakes still worked.  I plugged on but was unable to regain third place. 


Was it worth all that driving to go to the Nats in Quebec?  Well, if you don’t go, you won’t know!  I felt my fitness level was good and I wanted the challenge.  At least there’s a couple of Ontario races left!



As expressed on the cover of the previous newsletter issue, Sandy and I will not be on the club executive next year.  I have been on the H.C.C. executive since 1984 and need a break.  I really hope lots of people will show up at the A.G.M. and take an interest.  Being on the executive means attending or hosting a meeting once a month or so.  The get-togethers involve good-natured conversation, planning the club’s activities and there’s always snacks, sometimes cycling videos. 


In recent years, the monthly meetings have been ‘closed’ i.e. restricted to the club executive, as we felt that club business could be more efficiently addressed this way.  This was a reaction to the ‘open’ meetings during the 1980’s when endless discussion sometimes happened and things didn’t get resolved.  While the ‘executive-only’ meetings have been good, I feel that perhaps we should have one or two ‘open’ meetings during the year, where all club members can have input into the club’s activities and future, or at least watch the executive in action.


So. . .see you at the A.G.M.!





There will likely be a change from the format we’ve had for the last decade or so, where we’ve had a Tuesday evening training criterium race and Thursday evening 15K T.T.


We may be granted permission to use the Flamborough Speedway for training races on Thursday evenings and so will switch the 15K T.T. to Tuesday evening; we will keep the White Swan venue, I believe. 


If this doesn’t work out, perhaps we could find a road circuit to do a Tuesday or Thursday training ride on.  With the High Point Business Park in Milton becoming busier with vehicular traffic due to more factories going up, we likely won’t bother to use this venue next year.




For whoever may be interested in taking on the job of H.C.C. Newsletter Editor, be assured that it’s not that difficult.  Notifying the readership of upcoming events is most important; publishing results of club events is important; the rest is up to you.  Sandy uses the “Microsoft Word” computer program for text and graphics.  We use hard copy photographs and newspaper clippings and the staff and photocopy machines at “Mailboxes Etc” (Milton) produce the finished product.  Lately I’ve gotten 100 copies made, to have extras to hand out to publicize the club. 



Garnett Abbey                       December 23rd            

Heather Allin                          December 15th

Rene Arnolis                          November 10th

Sandy Cheskey                      December 24th

Desi Desrochers                    December 14th

Anna Garnett                         December 6th

Frank Morrow                        December 4th

Ken Nuttley                            December 26th

Jamie Pepper                         November 29th

Quinn Scott                            November 10th

Sean Scott                              November 16th

Don Sloan                              December 1st



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