Champion bike returns to Kildare

Champion bike returns to Kildare

Cycling enthuiasts from the OldVelos in Kildare have come together to present a refurbished racing bike to its owner’s family in Celbridge.

Cork based Brendan Hennessy was tasked with refurbishing the racing bike used by Oliver Kelly who was inducted into the Cycling Ireland Hall of Fame in 2017.

Oliver was a leading Irish cyclist in the 1939-1945 period, winning a number of national championship and breaking records and racing for Ireland on both road and track.

Today, Oliver’s grandson, Ciaran Kelly runs the BikeWorx business at the M4 Celbridge business park.

On Thursday, November 1, Oliver’s Rudge cycle, which was located on family property owned by Oliver’s son and Ciaran’s father, Leixlip based, John, was presented to the Celbridge buiness. It can now be viewed by customers and the public. Brendan, a member of the OldVelos, who lovingly repaired the Rudge bike as a hobby, was put onto the job by Niall and Alec Darragh.

Brendan, who has worked on bikes used by Stephen Roche (in the RAS in 1979) and 1963 Tour de France Yellow jersey holder, Shay Elliot, searched a number of continents for parts, as he explained to the gathering of Kildare members of the Old Velos cycling club, present for the occasion.

One of Brendan’s many tasks was getting an 80 year old wooden wheel. But he did. The bike is almost certainly a 1939 model with a Rudge Whitworth badge. “A rare and special machine,” is how he described it.