Five Go Mad at the Brass Monkey.

Saturday March 10th saw five members of the Willesden Cycling Club’s youth development squad (combined age exceeding 300 years), congregating at Coulsdon to take part in the 100km Brass Monkey event excellently organised by our own Tim Wainwright.

I must make one complaint though. With such a title, one expects to ride in the coldest and hopefully wettest of conditions. The 2007 event was run on an idyllically warm and often sunny day.
Steve (The Angel of the Chilterns) Ayres, Brian (Over the ) Moon, new WCC signing Clifford French ( no nickname yet but it won’t be long), Mike (the Bike) Ellison and your truly Ray ( are you getting smaller or just further away?) Kelly made up our merry band.

08.30 and off we went heading for the first of the many climbs of the day, over Farthing Down and on to Turners Hill. The main control was at The Hay Waggon Inn at Hartfield. An excellent pub where ,one day ,I intend to stay a while. Not today though. We were on a mission so it was a quick check in and then off to find some more hills.

The next info control was at Penshurst at 63km and with a bit of a nagging headwind, we made our way mostly riding together until we climbed the last corker of the day back up to Farthing Down from where you can see The Gherkin and the Crystal Palace masts. Great view, if only I could breath though.

The start and finish was at DD’s Café in Coulsdon and at the finish Pauline Wainwright greeted us with a smile plus a Tour de France badge and a £1 voucher to buy some of DD’s fare. All were most welcome.

Tim and Mark Green had been on the course for most of the day taking photos of the riders. I have asked Tim to e-mail some of these pics to John Davies to get on the blog. We had a super slide show to view on Tim’s laptop at the café as we supped tea.

Steve took loads of Photos too. It was a useful pastime for him while he waited for the rest of us to arrive at the many summits.

Great day. Many thanks to everyone involved in organising the event and to my team mates who were very patient with me especially as I had left my hill climbing legs at home.

Ray “Turbonator” Kelly

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