Annual event for Central
The countdown is in its final days for the annual Otago Motor Cycle Club Brass Monkey Rally which roars into life this Queens Birthday Weekend, bringing Motorcycle enthusiasts from all corners of New Zealand for this annual event held in the depths of Central Otago.
While some people might think these Motorcyclists are mad braving the harsh conditions of Winter in this inland paradise, for the Motorcyclists themselves, being part of one of the great New Zealand Motorcycling adventures is a ’must do’ happening, and for many, a weekend steeped in tradition.
31 years of braving the elements in the heartland of Central Otago, where it can get as cold as minus 10 to minus 20 deg, (allegedly cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey), is a challenge for all who attend. Sometimes snow can even factor into the weekend, which brings even further challenges but those who have been fortunate enough to be part of this event, say it all adds to the occasion, and the memories, and, in years to come, the tales which will get told.
Being prepared for such extreme weathers is all part of the buildup, but it’s the friendships, entertainment, live music which all add to occasion.
It’s also an event which brings the small Oturehua community together, the Oturehua Winter Sports Club, for many years, providing a 24 hour food stall to keep the hunger pains at bay. Money this group has raised from the rally has gone towards funding local community projects, such as building new tennis courts, covering and maintaining the swimming pool, and helping children associated with regional sporting achievements.
One of the features of the ’Brass Monkey Rally’ is the HUGE bonfire onsite, reputedly the largest and hottest bonfire to be found at any rally! It’s definitely needed so participants can stay warm and toasty.
A Bike Show also features at the weekend, with several categories listed: Best Modern 2000 to Present. Best Forgotten Era 1976-1999. Best Classic Pre 1975. Concourse D’dung Heap. Furthest ridden (usually the person that lives the farthest away, but different routes may make a difference, so take your speedometer reading before you leave and you must pick up petrol receipts on your travels.) Hard luck (best hard luck story about travelling to the rally) Ride-able Art. While many organisations across Otago have benefitted from the proceeds of the weekend , some receiving multiple donations several times, this year the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal has been chosen with $3 from every entry earmarked for this.
Yes - it might well be ’Cold enough to freeze the balls off a..’ but the generosity and kindness from this year’s event will do more than provide added warmth to this chilly occasion.