May Day Madness Brevet, Marlborough. April 2018.

A story about pedaling for a long time, for about 23 hours, covering 260km, climbing 2193m.

MayDay Madness, 2018. Tick.

Mandy I had no idea you are a bit of a Marilyn Manson fan?!

The scene on the first day. Lunchtime. Enter ‘Cosy Corner Café’ in sleepy little Seddon. Home baked goods in the cabinet. A couple of content pensioners eating their baked beans on toast, butter on the side and accompanied with two eggs, one has scrambled and one has poached. Pot of Tea for Two. Log burner roaring. And Marilyn Manson blasts ‘Beautiful People’ from the speakers. No one seems phased. Such a totally natural scene….

So who knew that…. People actually have barbed wire collections. Because during the years gone by, especially during different wars and such major events, barbed wire has changed. So people collect it. Mandy shared this gem of a fact during our game of Eye Spy, late on Saturday afternoon just as the rain was setting in and before it got dark. BW. It took me AGES!!!!

Then it got dark. We pedaled through Taylor Pass in the rain, and it went a bit like this:

Wonder if there’s any stags around?

Hm, not sure.

Maybe we could do some roaring.

Ok. Mandy you go first.


Wha? What was that?!

Oooh, that didn’t sound very good. (Sounded more like throwing up.) Your turn.


Wha? Wow? That was terrible! Crikey!!!!!

Wow!! That was worse than yours!

(Stags’ roars always sound way better in our heads than out loud.)

Is that stags over there??!!! Oh, no it’s steers.

Oh. New game?

Mandy is a great Brevet buddy. It’s 4.30pm on Saturday. Been biking since 8am, still have another 3.5 hours to go for the day. On dusk, time to get your lights out:

Rustling through my backpack. Still rustling. F**K.

Empty bag and refill. Three times. Exactly the same way. Each time hoping for a different result…. (by the way, by definition this is the definition of insanity.)

Oi Mandy.


Ah, um. Lights got left at home.

Oh. Ah. Um. I’ve got spares.

YYUUSSS!!! Money cannot buy a friend like this one.

Hot food, stiff drink, quick kip. Rain sets in for good. No better way to find reason to get up in the middle of the night and carry on biking.

Nine hours of biking on Day 2. Rain. Everywhere. Mud. Everywhere. And some river crossings. What the heck?!

Peacocks and pigs can be cohabitants. They were today. Technically, cohabitation is to live together without being married. I don’t think peacocks will ever marry pigs. So in this case we’ll use this term in the agricultural sense. In this paddock the pigs were merrily trudging around in the mud, while the peacocks were standing on top of the pigs’ houses, flapping their colored feathers and all.  And they were all great mates and everyone was happy. Goodness knows what happens at feeding time.

Episodes of rural wonder such as this can be admired on bike rides such as these.

As Fred Dagg once sang; “New Zealand’s a cracker…….. We don’t know how luck we are.. (he repeated).. We don’t know how lucky we are.”