A Biker’s Tale



An hilarious tale about an epic event, written from a unique perspective. To be able to appreciate the story, the reader needs to be young at heart, have a vivid imagination and a love for adventure. If that sounds like you, join the writer on his journey, and experience his daily ups and downs with him.

The Tour Aotearoa is a mountain bike ‘brevet’ (a timed, long-distance cycling event) covering the length of New Zealand. It starts at the most northern point of the North Island, Cape Reinga, and finishes at Stirling Point, just south of Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. The Tour is held biennially and requires participants to follow a set route covering 3,000 km which consists of existing mountain bike trails scattered throughout the country and connected by back country roads. The Tour is unsupported, so participants carry their own gear. To be awarded the brevet, the riders need to cover the full distance within 30 days.

The writer took part in the 2018 edition of the Tour. His experience was different from what he expected. He encountered all types of challenges, from getting lost to physical ailments, serious weather events and loneliness. In between he had plenty of time to contemplate and let his thoughts and imagination run free. It helped him pass the time. He was seen late at night, furiously hammering away on his laptop, regardless of how tired he was, reliving the events and contemplations of the day. It helped him make sense of his journey and how it fitted into the complex world we live in. He called it his ‘administration’.

He takes on the Tour just like the rest of us, with trepidation, and suffers similar challenges, including getting lost (often), huffing painkillers (also often), and taking the asphalt “chicken route” instead of braving the alarming drop-offs on the Kaiwhakauka Track… There’s plenty here to enjoy for anyone planning to ride the Tour, or not planning to ride it, but wanting to experience it from the comfort of an armchair at home.” — 1964 magazine

Additional information


Dr John Hellemans





Publication Date

8 April 2021

You may also like…