Brass Monkey Time

I’m off tomorrow (Wednesday) on the Brass Monkey – an annual event where… well damn it – let me bow tothe description writen by Mod from the incomparable Mod’s Motors:

This weekend some of the more fanatical of New Zealand’s motoring aficionados will begin their annual pilgrimage to Central Otago’s stunning Maniototo plain. Like Saul on the Road to Damascus, Oturehua is a site of many an epiphany for those motorcycle enthusiasts who ride the icy roads of cold clarity to the infamous Brass Monkey Rally. This year is the 29th running of the Brass Monkey, a gathering of maladjusted motorcyclists from all over the country.
It’s held just down the road from Ophir, which holds the record for the coldest still air temperature ever recorded in New Zealand: a brain-numbing 23 below zero, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, hence the name. This is my 15th Brass Monkey, but there are plenty of attendees who have attended all of them, sleeping out under the Southern Skies. The question most often asked is, “Why?” Everyone has their own answer, but for me it’s the opportunity to reconnect with my regular Monkey crew along with the religious atmosphere of midwinter Oturehua. You feel like a royal in exile.

It’s fair to say that not everyone who attends the Brass Monkey is in the middle of the bell curve, but that has to be a good thing. It’s the looneys and the mavericks that have contributed so much to the world of motoring, from John Britten to Boyd Coddington and the mad doctor, Dr Roger Freeth.
This month in MOD’s Motors, I step outside the mass produced world of mainstream vehicles to look at some of the truly mad and eccentric vehicles we have on the site. Vehicles that have no rational explanation but 100% emotional connection.
Plus the normal assortment of anarchy from the faithful, a superb Reader’s Ride and a competition for those who know their balls from their monkeys. Time to fire it up..

If you don’t subscribe the Mod’s Motors – then I strongly suggest you do so, if not for the writing or the vehicles then at for the best example that I know of a monthly newsletter. Happily I understand that Mod will continue to write these missives after he departs from Trade Me in a month or two.

Meanwhile I’ll try to blog or at least twitter some of the journey. Follow it here or @lancewiggs on Twitter.

Published by Lance Wiggs


2 replies on “Brass Monkey Time”

  1. all the best for your travels, i biked thru that country on my pushbike not that long ago, fantastic stuff. im getting psyched on the travel thing once again with cheap tix to LA for August courtesy of grabaseat – too bad I hadnt waited like 10 minutes i wouldve got them $150 cheaper! i dont have the best luck with these things!!


  2. So… jealous…

    I’d love to make my way down there – perhaps when my bike has grown up a little. In the mean time I’ll just work on my thermal blubber layer. Have a good one!


Comments are closed.