(Continued from above) It would be good to get a time lapse camera to record the frenetic activity as in the space of an hour from 10.00 – 11.00am a table is set up for refreshments, the stove lit and water boiled, the timekeepers prepare their watches and pads and the numbers sorted out. Then the competitors and supporters arrive and the event is on.
Linda Gray took the names and entry fee and it was great to see the best field that we have had for many years in no small part due to Paul Tuohy, CycleUK Chief executive, bringing along 6 fit and able lads from the Dartford Road Club. I went for a warm up ride and when I got back to the start at the bottom of the hill there was a queue of riders waiting for the off. Stuart Coffin sorted out the numbers to fix to the machines while Andrew Ashlee, who had just come, without any sleep, from a 65 mile, 12 hour night running event (!) pushed us off with Mike Gerlin and Catherine
Coffin recording names and times. For some of the riders it is a question of how hard to push and when, but the 23 year old winner, Stuart Avery, from the Dartford Road Club must have pulled the stops out from start to finish as he shot up in an amazing time of 1:38. Paul McQuillen had not been well for several weeks but still managed a very creditable 3rd place in 1:59 behind 2 lads literally half his age and will retain the Martin Davis cup as the first West Kent CTC rider.
As the riders pulled their way over the finishing line Helen McQuillen and Colin Clark were there to take their times and then they were able to enjoy tea and cakes ably served by Christine Ashlee who had kindly but reluctantly got up early to do so.
There is some dispute as to who is a veteran as we all hopefully remain active for longer. 1st over 60 in the general placing was Simon Hattersley and 1st in the handicap with a time even better than last year was the legend in his own lifetime – John Ennis. After the awarding of the customary prizes of tins of sweets and tubes of smarties, on the stroke of 11.00 it was all over for another year.