Be sure to renew your HCC membership on CCN. First event on May 1 7pm is our Indian Trail 15k TT. If you are entering as an associate be sure to bring your CCN receipt from your club renewal or new membership
Ken Wilson has been in discussion with Specator reporter Drew Edwards. The following story appeared today!
Hamilton Cycling Club cancelled Good Friday Road Race in face of financial losses
For the Hamilton cycling community, last Friday was anything but good.
For the Hamilton cycling community, last Friday was anything but good.
The oldest continuously run race in Ontario — this year would have been the 66th annual — the Good Friday Road Race, was conspicuous in its absence, the victim of increasing costs and declining financial support from city council.
After years of heavy losses, the Hamilton Cycling Club can no longer afford to keep the event afloat, says vice-president and treasurer Ken Wilson. In 2017 alone, an unexpected cut in grant money from the city’s enrichment fund saw the non-profit organization on the hook for a $6,000 loss.
“We took a big hit last year and if wasn’t for money we had left over from other events, we would have been almost wiped out,” Wilson said.
Entry fees ranged from between $45 to $65 per rider, but the club has depended on sponsors and the municipality for support. City records show that the race, which brought between 400 and 600 high-level cyclists to the area for the first event on the provincially sanctioned schedule, has seen its city funding drop from a high of $15,276 in 2014 to just $7,350 last year.
“They city used to give us enough to cover the policing costs and we could actually make a little money out of the race to fund a youth program or to provide bicycles to club members and their kids,” Wilson said. “We never got an explanation as to why they decided to give us less money; I don’t know what the formula is. They keep us in the dark like mushrooms.”
In the meantime, the cost of holding the event continued to rise.
The single biggest budget item is policing, which was required to maintain rolling road restrictions along the course — a 15.9-kilometre loop south of the start-finish line at the Ancaster Fairgrounds. While the race uses only one lane (the other remains open) and the road is only restricted to vehicle traffic when riders are nearby, the city still determined that 16 police officers, two supervisors and eight cruisers were needed to keep things safe.
With officers receiving time-and-half — almost $70 an hour — and an “administration fee” of more than $2,000, the total bill in 2017 was almost $19,000. That’s an increase of more than 213 per cent since 2009.
“Every time the police get an increase in their wages, the price goes up and we’re paying them overtime, so that’s huge,” Wilson said. “We’re not the only organization in the city with this issue.”
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City Coun. Lloyd Ferguson is the chair of the police board, sits on the grant committee that doles out city funds and also represents the Ancaster ward that plays home to the race. He says he found out about the race’s cancellation — the decision was made months ago — while in a coffee shop this weekend.
“I had not heard a word from the organizers,” Ferguson said. “I’m puzzled why they call the media before they call me so I can try and help them.”
Ferguson says the city receives hundreds of grant applications and he’d be willing to investigate why the race has seen its funding decline. The policing costs, on the other hand, are a union issue and therefore difficult to mitigate.
“You can’t ask the police to give a reduction because its in the collective agreement,” he said. “We have to find a different way.”
But Ferguson says he sees value in the event, which has a long history in the city.
“Outdoor activity is always good and it’s something I’ve supported in the past and I’ll continue to support it,” he said. “Tell them to call me.”
Wilson said the club discussed approaching council, but said their experiences haven’t always been positive. It was the city that forced them to move the race from Flamborough to Ancaster in 2013 after a few area residents complained about road access, which led to an increase in costs.
“City hall is reactionary, not proactive, so sometimes you have to press the right buttons to get a reaction,” Wilson said. “But maybe Ferguson can be helpful for next year.”
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The dates and events in the calendar need to be approved by the Executive March 15.
Ken & I are working on a new road race course this year within the boundaries of Hamilton – just north of Harrisburg otherwise our calendar is much as prior years.
Master riders when working out your strategy dont forget Masters are now 40 and over using a handicap system per changes to the constitution. Basically 0.6 seconds per year per km. So if your 60 your handicap for a 15km race would be 20×15 x 0.6 seconds = 180 seconds = 3 minutes versus the 40 year old.
Master A category (30-39) are now part of Seniors.
We have briefly updated our club’s history
HCC has a long and interesting history. Have a read!
We regret to advise that due to City of Hamilton grant reduction in 2017 HCC has been forced to cancel the Good Friday RR this year. Our police costs run $18,000 each year and the city has in the past contributed a goodly amount of this but the cut back resulted in a serious loss for the club in 2017. We hope to talk reason and get the GF back on the roster for 2019
The Good Friday RR is Ontario’s longest running race celebrating its 65th in 2017. Hopefully not retirement age!
We are all set up at CCN for your membership registration. Visit http://hamiltoncycling.com/join/
Here you are finally! Photos taken by Ken and his able assistant!
Quiz! Which photo taken at our AGM? Could have been the Hamilton Place shot but you didn’t show up! Anyway the 5 person executive gathered at Rob Kuruc’s Attic! After some great pizza thanks to Rob we went through the usual reports and then addressed to changes to the Constitution! The big change is to categories. Henceforth Seniors will extend from 18-39 and Masters from 40-100+! The latter will be handicapped .6 seconds per km x age over 40. We also decided to look into a means of offering members a broader spectrum of rides beyond just road racing. More anon!
sorry about the sideways photo kinda nice Rob having an HCC plaque on the Attic wall!
Our Annual General Meeting is on Saturday Dec 2nd at noon. Our host will be HCC club member Rob Kuruc at his restaurant “The Attic Pizza Parlour’ in Stoney Creek. FREE lunch for all who attend!
This is your chance to make suggestions about anything Club or race-related…
….and maybe even volunteer to help out the Exec? 🙂 who lost two members this year….
Rob Meneguzzi’s started off in cat three at the beginning of cyclocross season and with a couple of races still to go is in overall 8th place in E1/2!!. His results this year in Cyclocross are:
– Sept 26th Cowbell Cross, 5th place E3 cat
– Oct 1st Cyclepath Cross, 1st place E3 cat
– Oct 8th Hardwood Hills, 1st place E3 cat
– Oct 15th Baseball Cross, 2nd place E3 cat
UPGRADED to Elite 1/2 (as a 2)
– Guelph Cross 11th in E 1/2 cat
O’Cup standings after that, Rob is listed in 8th place E1/2
Club member Mark DeKoning has also been racing cyclocross for the Fitwin.com cycling team.
Her finished 16th, 20th and 18th in three races in the Master 3 category and has been upgraded to Master 2