President's Report 1991
Welcome to our third AGM in 2½ years. We chose July as notionally a quieter period in the calendar, when we can recover ourselves, reflect and possibly get some serious training considered. For the next few months this year that's relatively true – last year, however, we were anticipating our involvement in the National 40 km TT Championship. The lessons we learnt there and our recent experience with the interclub TTT, perhaps carry a message for us; more later.
Numerically, we grew some – by 23% – and our current membership of 157 includes a renewal rate better than 60%. This is probably pretty good considering our (usually) reasonable assumption that many join in the euphoria of the evening series, not to be seen again until the next series. That's okay. But a rough check, nevertheless, indicates around 70% of the membership have been seen at, at least one other event. We will have a better assessment of this when the season's race results have been more fully collated.
We experience the perennial problem of a group run by a few, wearing numerous hats although on the occasions when we really needed people and made the effort to nail them, they were there to be found. I personally found it revealing that a count of the number of bodies needed to run the evening series each week was around 15 – that's each week, for the best part of three months. We needed about the same for the 40k but fewer for the other 'opens'. That's not bad for commitment and we even had people offering to do the job. It is also reassuring that we have a continuing depth of friends and relations prepared to go down to the 'turn' or wherever at club events and they are not just the ones whom we have depended on for years.
Still, in some senses, our resources are thin. We have to develop a backup of other people with skills like timekeeping, collating results etc. We started doing that last year but it faded. We need a formula which somehow allows everybody to ride but also do the other necessary jobs! To continue to attract riders and retain them, we need to give the impression we are moderately well organised and know what we're about. We owe it to ourselves to do the job properly as does an increasing public and police awareness of our activities.
We've had good feedback from our 'feature' events. Indeed, that was the basis of our FIZIQUE sponsorship and the fact that we've had offers already from FLEET CYCLES for next summer. That is, we were seen to run an efficient and enjoyable series of events, fulfilling a need by riders of all categories. To a degree that applied to our other 'open' events, although they didn't seem to attract the same sort of commercial approval. Perhaps we need to run a series of summer hillclimbs or the like? Although, realistically, I think we need greater skills in searching for appropriate sponsorship.
This year we continue to refine our racing program, based largely on the previous year, with a good mix of courses and a few new events still come e.g. our foray into ATB and the attack on Garden Island. We also achieved a somewhat dubious 'first' when we abandoned an event but we did return a couple weeks ago when Thomas Road relented and finally gave us a good day without the usual gale force easterly. Still, that's what time trialling is all about – difficult courses, pig-awful days and a good grovelling. No, we've been treated pretty well this year, particularly if the number of 'personal bests' and the odd course record or two mean anything.
Basically, I see our future still in the club event – a hard ride followed by tea and 'sticky cakes'! (another innovation this year), but with the skills to organise and run a limited number of 'open' events efficiently and enjoyably; do we say 'professionally'? We do not have the resources or need to compete with other events we see about Perth (and, as individuals, participate in regularly): 'one-offs', needing massive voluntary support and designed primarily as moneymaking ventures. But we need to keep an open mind.
We have very few members who have taken out a WACF licence through ATTA. Unaffiliated riders provide the bulk of our support, financial and personal. We have very little constructive, positive or supportive interaction with the WACF, but I feel it be an error to consider disaffiliation (and, at the moment unconstitutional).The original arguments for affiliation still apply, viz: credibility as a cycling organisation at the state level etc. So, for the moment we should let things continue. We should also consider our relationship with the MCC. It is ludicrous that we are tacitly supporting the exclusion of veterans from the open rider category as is the case in open events currently, the result of conflict between ACF and MCC. I suggest we assume no further association with the MCC, ie we do not award any further championship medals sanctioned and provided by the MCC where the eligibility is based on license category and not solely on age and where participation as a veteran excludes participation within the open category. There are noises abroad that the MCC may not remain within the ACF, so our difficulties there may be resolved anyway.
Further, we should reassess our approach to running WACF events – perhaps the formula should be that we invite the WACF to participate within our event and thus recognise a WACF category of award within a truly open class of rider – the reverse of the current situation. And if we run events where WACF commissaires are required, we reserve the right to stipulate who we will not accept to act in that capacity.
Finally I suggest we look at the possibility and value of new affiliations e.g. with TriFed or MTB. After all our constitutional brief is to look at affiliation with like-minded bodies and there may be possibilities there.
Special thanks to this year's committee for their help through the year and, in particular, to PJ whose phone has run hot and whose staff I have got to know pretty well; also Fred Cottier who had to retire a second time in order to cope with the heavy load of our finance; and Brian Hawes whose long experience in the cycling world still proves invaluable.
President's Report, 1993
This is our fifth AGM.
Fortunately this year has not been marked by the dramas of the past - rather it has reflected consolidation and was a season of excellent riding where very few PBs, course, or event records remained intact. Although the total membership decreased marginally (currently 170), this had probably been anticipated when we removed the inducement of lower entry fees for members at the evening series. That is to say the previous year's figure was probably artificially elevated.
Our affiliation with the WATA remains. The UWA Cycling club is probably soon to affiliate with ATTA and the NSW chapter, under the guidance and drive of Peter Jenkins, is progressing satisfactorily with a growing awareness of their presence around the Sydney-Newcastle area. Several good, positive articles in the press this year have also aided our cause. The understanding is that the NSW members are full ATTA members but all NSW fees remain there. In addition we have contributed race numbers and a printer/stopwatch to get things moving.
- as I said this has been a magnificent year for time trials and the participation has reflected this. Almost weekly we were updating the records.
The FLEET series again was outstanding - apart from seeing our first sub-21 minute rides, we were almost embarrassed by the attendances and, despite the numbers, we seemed to have fewer 'incidents' reported compared to previous years.
Towards the end of the series we had a working version of the attaTime PC program in use. Developed by Josef Meyer, it has been further upgraded, tested and proved user-friendly and efficient at a number of events.
It must add to our competence in running time trial events in general and is now virtually indispensible for the evening series. It is pertinent to note here that ATTA is recognised by the quality of its event promotion and we must strive to maintain the standards we have set and continue to imnprove them where possible.
The championship series was marked by a 'first' in that the '80' was held in Albany for which we are indebted to the Albany Cycling Club and, in particular, Marcus Geneve and Mandy Curnow. Despite the distance from Perh we still managed a good field and were well rewarded by the course, the condítions and the presentation. The results speak for themselves.
The '40' was another overflowing event - 120 finishers even after a fairly large number of non-starters due, at least in part, to the threatening, dampish conditions. But an event-record and innumerable PBs, sub-hours etc must have seen a bit of anguish amongst those who changed their minds about riding. No doubt we benefitted, as indeed was planned, from the Master's Games event following ours by a week- certainly a number of riders used ours as a 'warmup' but we can feel somewhat vindicated when we also remember we were in 'competition' for the claim of State-title this year.
We must not forget the assistance we received from the Bicycle Entrepreneur for the championship series.
The innovation for the season though must be the 'Hilly Classics'. We have a few lingering problems with the format perhaps, but the turnout to what were formerly fairly sparsely attended, although genuinely challenging and usually rewarding, events more than justified the concept of the series. Special thanks to John Pimm and Charlie Egerton.
We are continuing our MTB time trials after the initial good response last year. Last week's event gave grounds for plenty of optimism, surely. As I saíd this time last year, we must believe that this form of time trialling has a legitimate place in our program.
The perennial problem of a group such as ours is that of getting sufficient voluntary help from our members and friends to run our events safely and efficiently. We discuss this problem interminably. Certainly it falls to a relatively small number of us to do the bulk of the work but it's not a unique problem and we intend to make an attempt tonight to at least make it less of a financial burden for those who assist. But let's recognise the value of those who do heip out and remember too that support is not only measured by the number of times an individual stands on a corner. There are
more intangible forms. Still, the incoming committee will recognise that, week by week, the most important task is collecting sufficient bodies to run events. There is no easy formula although there are many options. Personally, I think it would be rather retrograde to consider reducing the number of events on the calendar and hope that it will not become necessary.
There were a few hopes of the last AGM which, unfortunately, were not realised. The racing committee format did not work. We haven't seen an ATTA medal yet, although considerable work has gone into the idea and it will eventuate. The concept of club Standards Awards was pursued but fouled somewhere along the road. It deserves another effort. Club colours and racing 'strip' similarly didn't quite make it but aren't dead yet.
Finally, thanks to all, both on the management (executive!) committee and not, who have contributed to ATTA through the past year; particular thanks to Geoff Dwyer who took on the job of Treasurer as well as Honsec when Fred Cottier was forced to resign from that position for family reasons early in the year.
And best of luck to the incoming committee.
President's Report - 7th AGM, Friday, July 21, 1995
The number seven has interesting connotations—it is associated with mystery and magic but also itches.
Difficult things, itches. Anyway this is the first AGM when I haven't felt a certain buoyancy—I hope this is purely a personal thing and the signs I see of things in decline are greyed by midwinter. I have said recently that we have experienced some complacency, that we, or perhaps I, have made assumptions about the strength of our organisation and the desire of bike riders out there to engage in our sport.
The numbers have been dropping. That is the participation rate—riders per event. After all that is what we are about, presumably: bums on seats (bicycle seats that is)! Two weeks ago we had the lowest turnout I can remember: THREE. And we had three people helping! A couple of weeks before that I rode an unofficial time trial with the same number and two of us were at both events. Our championship series this year became somewhat embarrassing, asking for sponsorship when we knew we had only a handful of entries. Anyway we have discussed the problem, as most here know, and we'll be attempting to move things up a notch or two again in the next season.
Already we have been working on a new format for the BAR competition which we hope will allow all riders to plan a season with a goal in sight.
It will, we hope become a focus for the season and not something incidental which most people seem surprised to discover was ever in contention. And of course we will have to let people know it's on. In the past few years everyone around the traps has seemed to be aware of the Evening Series and I feel we have assumed this to filter through to the remainder of our events which are the real bread and low fat spread of our existence.
OK then: the Evening Series. It was an exciting series and generally acclaimed another success; a few problems as usual. We overcame them at the time and enjoyed the action as two new course records were established in no mean style. The number of riders per event was much the same as last season or were there signs already of a bit of a decline? Some of the regulars weren't seen but that happens every year. And then the big crunch came after the series had ended; a few turned up for the presentation of prizes (actually a good number, most of whom weren't even getting any reward!) — then we learned that we were not going to be able to use Bibra Lake for any further evening series. So do we abandon the concept now? Remember that this series, more than anything else, has been at the core of our credibility as a group — our organisational competence, our vision etcetera. The main problem is a venue, of course.
The first thing to remember is that we can't afford to regress if we hope to maintain that credibility. We have always known this and recognised that, in the progress towards our present state, each change and improvement did indeed make it all just that little bit more difficult to maintain the image. Anyway, serious searching hasn't come up with a lot. We probably will give Perry Lakes a go and I have had some discussion with BikeWest which Mel Davies is pursuing in the hope that they can exert some leverage on our behalf. Who knows, perhaps some day that ideal of a sanctioned series in King's Park may be realised. "Dream on…" you say.
We have been moderately active in the pursuit of other new venues. Two great new Hilly circuits are now on the books. But at the same time we are seeing the disappearance of several other cherished courses as we knew them.
Last year we abandoned Thomas Rd and this year we have virtually said goodbye to Mundijong as it has been. We will still use it but, apart from the ride in September, in one direction only.
The Lakes | Inkpen will have to be modified for the next ride as GE Highway is becoming too risky. Actually courses aren't our greatest problem—more the expectancy that any particular track will be available for ever.
Still we all have our personal favourites and it is hard to abandon them.
On other fronts, ATTA-NSW is still having a shaky time of things, PJ says there is enthusiasm but it's not reflected in any regular cast-of-thousands. Courses there are NOT easy to find he reckons.
ATTA-Vic is still a possibility but, whereas in NSW, PJ reckons he has had every encouragement from local authorities etc, further south they are having all sorts of horror experiences with local bureaucracy. Unfortunately the prospect of ATTA-ACT didn't materialise. Our-man-in-Canberra wasn't for very long.
President's Report 1998
We've completed our tenth summer season and reached our tenth AGM.
Presumably we should have a new five-year plan or somesuch; so far we have made a start on a one-year plan.
We've still got about 85 members (about the same as last year) all pretty 'active' and mostly healthy (despite a spate of late-season injuries). And we have added the BTA to our affiliations.
As with the last couple of years our season centres on the Hilly Classics series (now in its sixth season) and the BAR (in the third year of its current incarnation).
Next year we will have a somewhat simplified BAR in which the Hart Trophy will have a more central, integrated place and where the concept we have pursued over the past few seasons should achieve its final form.
Like last year, we lost the plot a bit on the Championship series. Entries were down in all events. We might try to comfort ourselves by judging this to be a more general problem if we consider the low number of entries for the WACF event a few weeks ago.. That would be self deception. The truth is that, like last year our series lacked adequate promotion. Early in the season I think we were experiencing some time warp effect with all events seeming to arrive well before they were due! And let's remember that only two seasons ago we had the best fields ever for both the 80 and 160! So, we know what we have to do. But we aim to do more. I hope. The 80k has been a bit of a concern for a while. Over the last couple of seasons we don't seem to have found the ideal slot in the program for it. Next year we'll try again and bring it forward to a time where most riders should have had a fairly good early season preparation and be raring to go; not jaded; and the commitments of the triathlon mob should allow them to join in also. We hope to try an early morning start to avoid traffic and heat and only really have to settle on a course. The 160 has been a long-standing problem for us. Certainly it's the big challenge. But for most of us we just don't get the preparation necessary to allow us to perform well. Nor the opportunity to test ourselves more than once. Sure, there is only one SuperHilly but there are plenty of other hillies and we can reasonably regard the Super as the culmination of the others. Not so with the 160. Still we don't intend to abandon it and clearly people want more than a century ride. So it is intended to give it its own special spot, with a new trophy. It will retain a legitimate place in the BAR but no longer as a basic element of the Hart trophy.
Our first Walyungup 40k Championship worked pretty well but who knows how long the course will be available in the future? The Early Bird Perry Lakes events were again refreshing but they too could probably do better with a little more publicity. Rottnest obviously failed as a programmed race event but I believe we had a great day there? Last year's Northcliffe weekend was clearly successful so we are eagerly looking forward to another one in a couple of months. Of course the rest of the MTB season is charging along nicely as usual thanks to John and Rod.
ATTA has been moderately busy this year timing events for other people. We've done the ACF 40k ITT at last year's Road Nationals, the Veteran's event just before that, the National Disabled TT Championships, the WACF 'alternative' State Championships (really the Junior Championships with a Senior event attached) and of course the inaugural Northcliffe Karri Cup. In fact Sir Magnus Pimm was heard to coin the slogan: "You do it - we'll time it".
Anyway it all certainly helps our image; or perpetuates the myth! Of course our fame is continuing to spread quite far and wide anyway – by way of the ATTA website. Apart from such illustrious links as we have on the RTTC site, we occasionally have inquires from all sorts of places like schoolkids wanting information about the WA representatives in last year's team at the Worlds and someone in Canada wanting to know details of how to run their Nationals! (he found out from someone else anyway!). Rod does a great job.
So that's it - we continue to function in our own inimitable way. After ten years we finally managed to get an ATTA skinsuit designed, ordered and supplied. It took us into our sixth season to get ATTA medals, but we are possibly doing the important things OK. And if anyone wants things changed now is the opportunity.
In the meantime, thanks to all the people who did the usual necessaries this year and, in particular to the Family Pimm who we certainly called on more than anyone else. But there were plenty of others offering to help when needed.
Indeed, we do pretty well.
So, thank you all.
President's Report 1999
Into the second decade …
Our membership and affiliations remain the same as last year.
Racing: The new BAR format didn't cause any great dramas; one or two riders didn't quite realise that rides at all qualifying distances were necessary but the format certainly simplifies average speed calculations and the logic of having only one system to encompass both the Hart trophy and the medals is indisputable.
The championship series was again a bit of a mix: the Hillclimb that wasn't but which, we hope, will be again; perhaps in a biennial format; the 80km in a new early-season spot on the program finally attracted a few of the Tri-mob; personally I found myself a little bit ambivalent about the early start; seems to make a difference if you aren't actually riding yourself.
The 160km had a new course, so: new course records to be established and the usual lot of complaints and avowals of "never again" - we'll see!
The 40km event was back up to a good field size and may well be augmented next year if the suggestions made after the rather sad WACF championships are carried through. The real problem is still that of getting riders to actually nominate by the closing date. More intensive publicity would certainly help there.
Increased publicity would also assist with the Early-bird series and indeed we promised ourselves to make an effort to develop it in the direction of a sort of junior championships. It's obviously the big chance for the WACF to engage in a bit of reciprocation.
Not much to be said about the Hilly series—easily the most keenly contested. And, of course, you can't really do too well in the BAR without a sizeable contribution from the Hillies. And we can't discount the importance of the shirts. Special thanks to Stephen Moore for the concept this year. I'm ready to receive similarly inspired contributions right now.
Post-race coffee and cakes is now a well-established institution.
The Winter program. Obviously we've reduced the amount of MTB racing and expectations of a few not-ATTA mixed structure events seem to have faded somewhat recently. But it all provides an opportunity to catch up with the housework or perhaps try out a bit of racing on the dark side. Perhaps we all need a bit of a break at this time of the year. Anyway the real assessment will have to wait until the beginning of the new Summer season; proper feedback on these matters is always necessary of course. So if you have any pertinent comments, let me have them, preferably written on paper or its electronic equivalent or I'm sure to discard them in the dark corridors of lost memories.
Once again I can say that our fame continues to spread by means of our other face—the website. We do get some interesting inquiries and we have just organised a domain name change so the site directly reflects US. To remind you, or if you haven't already discovered it yourself, we are http://www.atta.asn au
And again, or still, we are very much indebted to Rod for it all. Mind you, I'm sure he wouldn't be averse to any offers of assistance.
Again ATTA was involved in assisting in other people's events. It didn't hurt and they seemed grateful.
What's left but to thank the committee for their support and assistance and to the whole ATTA mob for being great people to waste your life with; or for. When you aren't riding, you often wonder why the hell you are getting out of bed when it's still dark; you more or less remember by the time you get to the event! In particular we should thank our now-departed Treasurer, Geoff Dwyer, for his assistance over the past few years when his direct involvement with racing was often minimal due to his work commitments.
And, thanks Lorraine for stepping into the gap.
President's Report 2000
… into the new millennium; and our twelfth AGM. We're still counting: it's like the old joke of timing performances with a calendar. Still this was the year when many of us felt our acronym probably should be interpreted as the Association for Tired and Traumatised Athletes. Fortunately this didn't apply to everyone.
We really ought to have a special trophy for Fred Cottier. Few other performances stimulated such prolonged speculation, comment or wonder. Maybe not even Bruce Hosking's at the Vet's Nationals. People are still asking how one giant 'roo compares to a cat, a deer or a cane toad. Was it a world record? Eventually Fred was back on his bike, but 100km or whatever on his first day out?? It's the stuff of legends.
Anyway: Membership was steady, still about 100 and our affiliations are unchanged. The participation rate varies as usual; we may have seen a slight drop-off this year although a couple of events brought rather amazing fields: the Good Friday 16, for instance, was almost a return to the Tuesday evening days; the 40 Championship didn't do too badly either despite the conflict with a certain criterium! The return of the Hillclimb was a moderate success although Scotty McDowell has been writing recently from Canada that he reckons anything less than 20km of gradients from 10-25% is hardly worth calling a climb. Pantani or Armstrong may agree with him but experience suggests they'd have little support around here (I don't actually think we have the hills either!). I have tried to contact the Bunbury Club to see if they are interested in running the event next year, but so far without result.
The Hillies had fewer overall riding but about the same number as usual qualified for the series. The modified format of the BAR didn't seem to occasion too much confusion except with me trying to reconcile rides in the Brookton Hilly/80 - I don't think we'll try that combination again.
The demand for our timing expertise was a little less this year although we had a quite successful involvement with Northern District's 2-Day event, looking after both their prologue and Individual TT and we have talked about another combined event later in the year; and we timed the Junior ITT Championships again recently. We have been talking about upgrading our timing technology for some time now and the matter is in hand. But we won't be looking for instant electronic scoreboards and if anyone wants instant replays, they know what to do. So some of us have had a few more free weekends this year and particularly this winter. The perennial problem with disappearing courses assures some variety in our seasons as we search for new options. We still have most of our Hillies courses; but only our triathlete friends bother to turn up to ride at Yanchep these days - or Perry Lakes for that matter. So maybe increasing traffic volumes or traffic lights aren't our only problems? Where too are the folk who wanted to go mountain bike riding? Possibly doing just that. Somewhere else.
We do still have the Panther trophy.
PJ, our man in NSW says there is not a lot to report there except that their monthly rides at Calga continue mainly due to the help from the Central Coast Cycling Club. The highlight of their year, PJ says, was and still is Bruce's ride in the Vet's Championships.
This was also the year ATTA caught up with its promises that we should all be sartorially resplendent when out on the road. New knicks, T-shirts, Hilly shirts and, finally, road shirts, But, no, NO socks. It would be nice to sell a few more of the shirts and knicks. Christmas perhaps? And this lot's GST-free! (Not the Hilly shirts but they aren't for sale anyway) No, we are not registered for GST and we don't have an ABN. But none of our riders earns more than $50k or $100k a year in prizemoney nor are we liable for income tax!
This was also the year of the advent of the ATTA trailer. (And the disappearance of the ATTA van!) So ATTA livery is doing well. Let's see that we can continue to make ATTA itself do the same. I guess we're not struggling but these days we seem to be living somewhat on our reputation. Anyway, we have to keep pedalling long enough to get rid of all those bloody shirts and shorts from both my place and Ideal Cycles.