When is a run not a run? Chasing the Brass Monkey

12 July 2022 / Words and photos by Peter & Annemie Wilson

Saturday 02 July 2022

Traditionally, the Brass Monkey run is a chilly pre-dawn run to a hearty and warm brekky in Bathurst, all as a fund-raising activity supporting our Club's charity ‘CareFlight’. This year the Canberra Chapter decided to take a more genteel approach, heading off from the War Memorial after Coffee and Lies on Saturday 2 July, staying overnight in Blayney, and braving the big chill of a short Sunday-morning drive into Bathurst.

Bad weather was on the way, but we were not to be deterred.

Saturday morning was cool, overcast , and some light rain fell over Canberra. After a raucous Coffee and Lies, three cars set out from Poppy’s Café around 12 noon and drove directly to Crookwell via Gunning. The road was a little damp, and the wipers were occasionally on the intermittent cycle. Crookwell was its usual cold self, with a sullen overcast sky to match. The hot chocolate drink at Matt’s Bakery was welcome, and a coffee top-up provided the perk that one or two of us needed. 

The drive north to Blayney, through Binda, Tuena and Trunkey Creek was very good, considering those dark clouds in the distance. The road was in surprisingly good nick with little traffic to hamper us, although the damp surface brief light showers enroute notched u[ the caution factor a little.

We arrived a Blayney mid-afternoon with around 240kms on the trip meter.

Blayney was wet and cold

Blayney was wet and cold

Dinner was at the Royal Hotel, where our group enjoyed a good meal with liquid refreshments.  We were a little unlucky to share the bistro area with some noisy locals celebrating an eighteenth birthday (down! down! and chug! Chug! they called). We decided to call it an early night.

Just after 4.00am on Sunday morning we received a SMS from the Club’s President that the Brass Monkey run had been postponed due to weather conditions in Sydney and the Blue Mountains. (The 're-run' will be held on Sunday 31 July 2022.)  Alas, we have no control over the weather!

Bucketing down on

Bucketing down on Bathurst

As we were planning a reasonably early start in the morning, we had a meeting before 7.30am and, after consulting the BOM radar, thought about that old adage, discretion is the better part of valour’. The route we had planned to take us home, via Rockley, Black Springs and Taralga, was hastily re-written. If we headed into Cowra for brekky, and then home through Boorowa and Yass we would almost certainly avoid the worst of any flooding (the low-level crossing over the Abercrombie River was a real concern) and still have an enjoyable run.

Decision made, we left Blayney and Bathurst and stopped for a warming breakfast at Rose Garden Coffee House in Cowra. Perhaps, Rod enjoyed it a little more than the resto of us!

Rod enjoys his brekky

Rod enjoys his brekky

The drive from Cowra to Boorowa was a little more eventful than we expected. Rounding a curve at a steady 100 kph the strong wind gusts snapped off a heavy branch, which fell (with a resounding thump) to the roadway less than 100 metres in front of our lead car! Thankfully, it appeared to drop in slow motion, allowing sufficient warning to brake and take a route on the extreme left side of the roadway. [I was ‘tail end Charlie’, a breath or two behind the others, and it looked far more dramatic from where I sat! – Rod Nicholas]

After a final coffee in Yass, it was time to say goodbye and head home. We had no rain on the entire route home and despite the disappointment of no ‘Brass Monkey’, it was a very enjoyable couple of days away.

We arrived home around 12 noon with just over 500kms on the trip meter.

Thanks to all on the run.

Peter and Annemie Wilson