"Long John’s" Winter Report
Today is January 5th, 2001 and it’s the warmest day we’ve had since December 16th and 17th, when some rain barely put a dent in the base of snow on southern Ontario ground. Today’s temperatures approached 00C, and last night’s snowfall was heavier than most of those to date; it’s been AMAZINGLY wintry, with daytime highs usually below –50C, and regular snow replenishment.
All of this hasn’t been good for the avid cyclist who, in recent Decembers has been seen churning away on dry roads, sometimes without tights, jackets or balaclavas.
The indoor trainer has no doubt seen more use this winter . . . nothing wrong with that, but outdoor activities can be very pleasant on a crisp, wintry day. Many bicycle racers use cross-country skiing as a means of maintaining aerobic fitness in the winter; some of us compete on the racing circuit for x-c skiing, with the same fervour as in bicycle racing. As a member of the Canadian Masters X-C Ski Association I get to race against top Ontario masters skiers and the season culminates with a week at Charlo, New Brunswick in early March for the National Championships.
Don’t forget or underestimate the value of LOW LEVEL exercise as a tool to speed recovery from a grueling training session. Take a tip from Randy Brown, who often walks 20 kilometres in a day. Anyone who trains with Randy knows he is always recovered. You may not have time to walk this distance frequently, but shorter walks are good too!
We hope to hear from Hamilton Cycling Club members about YOUR winter training and recreation activities!
We’ve discussed this theme at recent meetings; I feel that group rides are an important part of preparation for the racing season. However, to date, no one has been willing to commit to setting a time and location for meeting for such a ride (a weekly basis at the same venue is best). For those willing to travel to Burlington, we H.C.C.ers are welcome at the Oakville C. C. ride – every Saturday at 10:00 a.m., at the Tim Horton’s at Hwy. #5 and Walkers Line.
GOOD FRIDAY RACE UPDATE – January 12th, 2001
Brian Chewter has submitted an application to the City of Hamilton to hold the Good Friday Race "around City Hall". We await a response on this. Depending on our costs and the willingness of officials to let us run the race, having it in Hamilton would definitely be our first choice. Meantime, Rob has applied for the "usual" Hanlon Business Park course in Guelph for Good Friday.
H.C.C. AWARDS 2000
TUESDAY SERIES (Milton Criteriums)
1st Jeff Sharafbayani
2nd Chris Komar
3rd Dale Stansbury
THURSDAY 15K T.T. SERIES
VETERAN Bob Davy 21:52 hcp.av Gold
Harold Osborne 22:26 hcp.av Silver
Don Sloan 22:36 hcp.av Bronze
SENIOR Fred Pepper 21:10 av. Gold
Rob Cheskey 21:25 av. Silver
Randy Brown 21:35 av. Bronze
TIME TRIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
SENIOR Fred Pepper Gold
Rob Cheskey Silver
Randy Brown Bronze
VETERAN Dermot Kelly Gold
Frank Morrow Silver
SENIOR Fred Pepper Gold (tie)
Rob Cheskey Gold (tie)
Randy Brown Bronze
NELLA TROPHY (40K T.T.) Rob Cheskey Gold 59:20
Fred Pepper Silver 1:00:46
Dermot Kelly Bronze 1:02:28
HOGBEN TROPHY (80K T.T.) Randy Brown Gold 1:57:13
Fred Pepper Silver 1:58:11
Rob Cheskey Bronze 1:58:31
ANDY KEYES TROPHY Brian Chewter Gold
(80K R.R.) Tony Yang Silver
Rob Cheskey Bronze
DEREK WALTON TROPHY Fred Pepper 20:45 August 22nd, Empire Corners
FASTEST 15K T.T.
MT. NEMO TROPHY Fred Pepper
KERR MEMORIAL TROPHY Fred Pepper
CLUB OVERALL CHAMPION
HAMILTON CYCLING CLUB A.G.M.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT – ROB CHESKEY
I apologize to all for not being in attendance, and thank Frank for delivering my message. My father’s death last Saturday and my absence from work for much of the past week has created a situation where I need to be at work today. I am sorry to have missed our awards banquet also, but was glad to hear things went well and Keith did a great job as emcee.
I feel that our club had a good year; our Good Friday and Dundurn Castle races were successful. I continue to like our club race calendar; attendance was up at both Tuesday and Thursday series! Turnout for the B.A.R. and T.T.C. Series was not so good. These series need better promotion.
With the C.T.T.A. and I.R.S., our members have a chance to compete against riders from the Oakville and Brampton Clubs, and show pride in being a member of the Hamilton Cycling Club. Congratulations to our successful racers, most notably Randy Brown and new H.C.C. Champion Fred Pepper.
I was pleased with the success of Randy’s "September Tour" which was very well attended. For 2001, perhaps it would be good to include one or two more such rides on our calendar.
I would also like to see two or three "social" get-togethers, at a member’s home or other venue. We could have a guest speaker, bike parts swap, or a video session.
I have sent off a letter to apply for the Hanlon Park Course for the Good Friday Race.
Thank you to all who helped with our events and activities during 2000, and a special thanks to Barb Morrow, Albert Penrose, and my fellow Executive Directors Keith, Don, Frank, Randy and Martin.
Sandy and I are willing to do the Club Newsletter for 2001. I am willing to be H.C.C. President for one more year, unless someone else wants the job.
The thing which I think needs work is to increase the profile of our club in the public eye, to increase membership and particularly to try and get young people involved. Our club’s website is a step in the right direction; we need to make sure our club flyers send out our message and are widely available. We have made strides this year, let’s do more in 2001.
PUBLICITY DIRECTOR’S REPORT – MARTIN REID
Our two major achievements this year were our brochure and new web site.
The brochure was distributed to most bike shops and libraries in the H.C.C. region and elicited a fair level of response in terms of enquiries and probably a dozen new members. We hope to repeat the brochure distribution again this coming year.
The web site went up early in the year and every effort has been made to keep it current with news and race results as well as copies of our newsletter, useful links and general information. We have also posted as many club pictures as we could lay our hands on or actually take with our digital camera specifically for the site. We put a counter on the site late July and since then are close to 2,000 hits. That’s not 2,000 visitors but does indicate a healthy activity.
We also posted information about our Sunday rides on all Hamilton’s community cable stations. However most of the responses were from those looking for an even more modest ride.
The one area we did not address is media communication, i.e. phoning in race information etc. That should be addressed in 2001.
The Golden Age of Cycling.
with apologies to John Bonfield.
This may be considered an appendix to the talk given by John Bonfield at the Awards Banquet early in December. For those of you who missed it, John spoke about the golden age of cycling from its beginnings late in the nineteenth century up to the present day. He concluded that the thirty’s were the golden age in his considerable experience. However, on reflection I think each of us probably has our own golden age, whether it be from the days of Oscar Egg at the turn of the century, or Sylvain Maes, Bartalli/Coppi. Merckx, Bauer, up to the current Tour winner, Armstrong. This now brings me to the point of this letter. Not being as old as John, I do not remember the thirties, but vividly recall the fifty’s and sixty’s and I have just obtained a 1965 Viking bike from Albert Penrose.
To the uninitiated who would not recognize a Viking frame from a shopping cart this golden age bicycle is the same frame as ridden by Ian Steel, the winner of the first Tour of Britain in 1959. I find it ironic that it took a Scotsman to show a bunch of Limeys the way round Britain in that first Tour!
Anyway, Ian Steel was one of many prolific riders of that era who belonged to the newly founded rebel BLRC along with Bob Maitland, Stan Brittain and a host of others to numerous to mention. And of course I must not forget to include our own rider of note Bob Drinkwater.
But let me return to my ‘new’ bike. It has Nervex lugs and is made of Reynolds 531 tubing, the only tubing available back then if you discount the black pipe the Italians used on the chrome plated frames they exported to the U.K. The red frame is in remarkable condition from the pencil thin tapered stays and fork with Campagnolo ends, to the Viking badge on the head tube. The head set is the original steel Stronglight ‘Competition’ and looks as good as new. But alas the chainset and bottom bracket has been upgraded (?) to Superbe and Shimano respectively. The frame design is probably 720 parallel as were most of the frames of the day with a long 40.5 inch wheelbase to suit the rougher roads of the times. It has brazed on brake cable guides, bottle cage fittings on the down tube only, and front and rear derailleur cable stops, but no lever bosses. The finishing touch is the seat bolt embossed with a red ‘V’ for Viking!
As a winter project I am rebuilding this bicycle (it beats riding the trainer and is a whole lot easier and more enjoyable) and I will ride it next year in some races, So be forewarned, when you look back and see a gold badge with a Viking ship on a red head tube, the ghost of Ian Steel may be lurking just behind it getting ready for another victory!
Donald M. Sloan.
Biography: John Bonfield
My cycling began in England at a very early age with my father teaching me to ride a "fairy cycle" (single tube frame, 12’’ wheels with solid rubber tires) Then a junior bicycle with 20" wheels -bought second hand & with pneumatic tires. At Age 11 my parents bought me a brand new Humber sports bike but the dropped bars were replaced by flats (dropped bars were dangerous!) I rode this machine for many miles eventually replacing the flat bars with dropped "Baileys" & fitting "celluloid" mudguards. At age 16 the well-worn Humber was replaced by a new, hand built Saxon with 26" H.P. rims, Dunlop H.P. tires, aluminum bars, stem & seat post. Like the Humber it had a double sided rear hub with fixed & free sprockets. Eventually, for TT’s I obtained a pair of cerchio-fiamme sprint wheels with Airlight hubs. This bicycle was my main means of travel from 1938 to Oct 1952 when I came to Canada.
Cycling in Britain over those years was still enjoyable. Motor traffic was light & although I finally bought a motorcycle in ‘47& an ancient Morris Minor in ‘49, because of petrol rationing the bike was used for most of my mileage. Most of my friends preferred cycling in the local park up & down the muddy footpaths. They did this for two reasons; first it was against the local by-laws &that in itself gave them a thrill; secondly they didn’t get far from home & get lost. All sign posts were removed during the war & serious cyclists used Barts 1/2’’ county maps to travel the secondary roads. I wanted to emulate the riders who traveled the distances without getting lost. When I arrived in Toronto in late ‘52, there were very few paved secondary roads suitable for lightweight bikes so for 17 years I forgot about cycling. By ‘70 I realized that finally we had a reasonable network of secondary roads around Toronto & I started cycling again joining the Berolina CC & eventually the Ontario Masters Cycling Assoc. Frank Elberfeld was president of the Berolina & I became secretary & "speaker" for the monthly club meetings. During my 16 yrs with the club we organized two races each season plus the annual evening races at the Workmens Compensation Hospital in Weston. We also ran a Wed evening 15k TT during the summer months using the hilly Weston Rd course with the turn at Laskey. Most of the road races we organized were true criteriums with points for 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc awarded every 3rd lap. This kept the action lively but required a team of 5 judges. In 1973 Frank & I wandered round Queens Park Circle in Toronto thinking what a neat criterium we could run round the Parliament Building & through the University Campus. Later that year Frank had a heart attack & died. In 1975 CBC radio heard of our interest in running a bicycle race in Queens Park & wanted to sponsor such an event. Their idea was to start the race at Queens Park go down Yonge St to Front St & perhaps come back up University! I made a map indicating all the traffic lights & the impossibility of such a route & the event was held as we originally planned. But apart from their lack of experience with bicycle racing the CBC had a super team of organizers that soon got the city on our side with road closures, detouring the busses & erecting barriers & banners on the day. The race was advertised every day on CBC 740 & such was the publicity that the OCA made the event a qualifying event for Canadian Olympic riders. We ran the event once more in ‘76 with Henninger sponsoring & then the event was taken over first by Thom Hughes & then by professional organizers .My last big organizing effort was as chairman -cycling for the first World’s Masters Games in 1985. This was enjoyed by all the participants but not much by myself - particularly since the two Australians behind the idea absconded with most of the money! Since coming to Brantford in early ‘89 I’ve enjoyed the best cycling of my lifetime. As a retiree I can pick the sunny days & hundreds of attractive routes on the secondary roads south & west of Brantford choosing distances from 30 to 100k & I have had nothing to do with organizing any events since leaving the Berolina in ‘88. As a member of Hamilton CC & the OMCA I still enjoy 15k & 40k TT’s but only on dry roads & I also enjoy the occasional Sunday morning tour club. with a larger group from the club.
If Chris Komar looks tired these days, there’s a good reason. He has a lot of things on the go.
There’s baby Trinity, nearly a year old now, to help look after. Fortunately, there’s mom, two Grandmas, a Great Grandma (and other family) to help out on that one.
Mom, Sue Palmer-Komar that is, has experienced the rebirth of a bicycle racing career that will take her around the world again in 2001, as a member of the "Jane Cosmetics" racing team.
Now Chris plays an active role here, as a personal manager and trainer of sorts for Sue as well as being a bicycle mechanic, team coordinator, assistant manager and driver for the team.
This is all on top of his "regular" job as a shipper/troubleshooter at a Mississauga steel-fabricating plant. And, of course, Chris is a bike racer himself.
In their fourteen years together, including eight years of marriage, Chris has learned a lot. With his single parent upbringing, he wasn’t exposed to a lot of "father" type activities and didn’t really learn about mechanical things ‘til Sue started showing him how to fix cars and bikes. He’s come a long way.
In recent years past, he’s accompanied Sue to all kinds of international competitions, in France, Norway, Colombia, the U.S.A. and more.
Some of his memorable moments? There are lots for sure. He savours Sue’s win in Chicoutimi ’96 at the Road Nationals, and her 11th place at the Worlds in Plouay, France last October, only metres away from a medal, ranks up there. He goes on to portray gutsy efforts by other girls on the team, as well.
He recalls with mixed feelings the epic adventure that was the ;98 Tour de France Feminin, when Sue and five other girls raced on the Hydro Quebec/Air Transat team. There were 2 soigneurs and 3 vehicles for the whole team. "It was a logistical nightmare; endured sleepless nights trying to make sure everyone had a bike to race the next day."
He says the team has budgeted for twelve races this year.
When not "away" Chris, Sue and Trinity live in a tiny attic apartment in a cozy, old Westdale home, with Chris’s mother and stepfather and his younger brothers and sister.
If you ever want to hear interesting cycling stories, talk to Chris Komar – he’s been there!
H.C.C. AWARDS BANQUET 2000
The Winchester Arms in Dundas hosted our club fete to begin the new millenium – or was it to end the old one? Either way, it was kind of special, particularly having recently-crowned WORLD CHAMPION Peter Mazur on hand to help present the club awards. He was assisted by Sue Palmer. Both Sue and Peter are currently in South Carolina at Mirek Mazur’s first training camp of 2001.
The cozy ambiance of the "Arms" is evident to me from the photos, though I regrettably had to miss our banquet this time. Thanks to all for the calls and cards of sympathy on my father’s death. The circle of life shows itself with baby TRINITY present with Mom and Dad at our banquet.
JOHN BONFIELD gave an interesting talk on "Cycling’s Heyday". Don Sloan has submitted his thoughts on this subject which can be read elsewhere in this newsletter.
FRED PEPPER was crowned as CLUB CHAMPION for the year 2000, and I know Fred is very proud, and anxious to take on all challengers to defend his title in 2001.
Many thanks to KEITH OLIVER, and the executive for organizing the banquet.
Taras Gets Carding!
Taras Kleban, in his last year racing as a "Junior", is focusing on TRACK in 2001. To help keep his marks up, (in Grade 12 at Bishop Ryan H. S. in Hamilton’s east end) he has dropped HOCKEY this winter; however he IS doing RUNNING with the high school track team and strength workouts at the school’s weights room. He may compete at the Hamilton Spectator Indoor Games at Copps Coliseum, upcoming.
An exciting development this year is that Taras has received "Provincial Carded" status as a Junior Track cyclist. The modest monetary grant goes toward coaching.
Taras’s goals this year include the "Eastern Canadian Track Championships" at Bromont P. Q. in June, where he did well last year, and the Track Nationals at Edmonton in July.
The World Track Championships happen to be at nearby TREXLERTOWN, Pennsylvania in late July, and wouldn’t it be exciting to see Taras compete there, but it isn’t clear what the selection process will be, or if Canada will even be sending any Juniors. Apparently there is not much of a Junior Development program in place.
There is also the renowned Tour de l’Abitibi, a road stage race for Juniors which attracts an international field of racers vying for U.C.I. points. Good luck, Taras!
And now a word from Fred . . .
One day in 1997 I was out for one of my regular rides when I was passed by three riders going up the Sydenham hill. I almost managed to stay with them to the top then returned to the bottom to do the hill again. Being new to the sport I was impressed. I hadn't seen anyone climb that hill so easily let alone three people...in cool jerseys. I decided to join the club. When the newsletters started coming I thought I had made a mistake, the race results were incredible. People riding 80 km in 2 hours ! Dermot Kelly, Randy Brown, Rob Cheskey ... how is it possible? It was with trepidation that I competed in my first HCC event. I met Randy at the top of Sydenham and Rob at the bottom. There they were, Rob ... Randy...actual human beings. I couldn't have been more nervous if Sir. Paul Mcartney asked me to play a few bars. I completed the race and was happy that I had just made it to the top. But now I was hooked. I came out to a Time Trial at Empire Corners. As Rob rode past me at the turn he cheerfully greeted me then rode away. Eric Wohlberg may have said something as he passed but I make it out over the wind noise. The sport really appealed to me because I saw improvement from week to week and the people were so enthusiastic. So this year I attended the HCC Banquet at the Winchester Arms in Dundas. Keith Oliver did a great job as MC in Rob Cheskey's absence. Randy and Frank Morrow made sure the evening came off without a hitch. And there I was with Peter Mazur placing medals over my head and Sue Palmer placing a trophy on my head. Life is good.
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