It's time for a new year. It's time for some adventure. It's time then, for 60 delightfully unhinged Monkey Runners to attempt to get their minuscule bikes from point A to point B. Should be simple. Apart from just a couple of tiny things in the way, such as the Atlas Mountains, and the Sahara Desert, though we hear they're far smaller in real life. Ahem.
January 7th, 2018
Day 7 of the Monkey Run
Come hither you beauties, come unto the finish line and your many beers. Well no, don't, not yet. You are welcome to try but you may drown in mud and be dug up in millennia to come for scientists to study as a fine example of Homo Stupendous.
Those of you fine Runners who are there will see the finish line is currently wetter than an otter's back pocket with a deluge of ungodly proportions. The dirty track to the finish line and boundless glory is now a sea of mud and soggy sticky bits. But why not, come on, give it your dampest. Extra firm hand shakes for those who power through.
In fact, quite a few of you have already made it through the finish line so stop being limp, pull your big boy pants on and drag that crap mobile across the last bit if you haven't already.
The curiosity and dogged refusal to give up of this year's initial Monkey Runners has given them the sphericals to conquer the Sahara Desert, the Atlas Mountain range and numerous encounters with goats.
We are greatly impressed with just how willing you are to squat and cling to 49 cc in desperation while tackling the elements, the local wild life and poor equipment.
The final night in the wilderness was a struggle of mixed hardships for many of our riders with teams 'Morocc’n’Roll' and 'Desert Prats' chubbing out by ordering an entire birthday cake each. The Welsh struggled to dry their clothes in an oven. Elvind had to unwind with a gentle Moroccan shoe polish and a cappuccino.
Other teams spent the evening huddled together for shared warmth in Imouzzer, snuffling and sobbing quietly into their wet blankets.
It seems that the last day is one of distractions and reluctance to actually finish. Maybe our bold yet smelly creatures are reluctant to let the fun end. Also they may be rejected by society on their return.
Avoiding the finish line, some of our two wheeled turncoats have gone awol and are spending the last day vengefully trying to drown their monkey bikes in the sea.
So to those of you glorious buggers who have crossed the finish line, a hearty congratulations. To those of you still collecting mud and sea salt, Yalla, yemshi, etc.
Our team on the ground, consisting of Mr Kevin, Mr Thomnas and Mr Carlos are waiting anxiously for you at the finish line with multiple unguarded beers and certificates which will get you mentioned in next years honours.
Just one ugly patch of mud between you and almost immortal glory.
January 6th, 2018
Day 6 of the Monkey Run
It is, sadly, with a great twitching of the moustache that we report on the penultimate day of the Monkey Run. The adventures so far shouldn't be allowed to end, but there's only so much desert and mountain to be trounced by the magic of crap motorbike.
Our glorious broken-knee'd and sore-arsed explorers have learnt the invaluable lesson of padding and landing on the soft bits. This year's Running of the Monkeys began plagued by sub-standard rubber in ways that would have the Michelin Man weeping with shame.
Never the less, with a blatant disregard for safety and a flat-out refusal to look failure in the eye, our white-knuckled desert divas have had a riot of sand and silliness.
We salute 2018's first Monkey Runners as a distinctly un-whiney lot, who took the challenges of the desert and of the bullshit machinery in their stride. You have impressed us chaps and chappettes. Despite having gone slightly road crazy with dust and turning everything into a fashion show. It's OK you are still pretty to us.
Sanity, or lack thereof, seems to have been a running theme over the last few days as more and more riders lost their last screw somewhere in the Atlas mountains and came out gibbering and minus their pants. As demonstrated by the eloquent chap in the following video.
We trust that this dirty desert adventure has changed our glorious bikers in ways that can only be reversed with the appropriate amount of shock therapy.
Well, there's no time to rest on your sun bleached laurels, there is still bloody miles to go of unspoilt wilderness waiting for you brave fools to leave tiny wheelbarrow tracks across.
Our sassy bunch have stopped to take more selfie breaks than teenage girls at an Ed Sheeran concert. Some of them are now lazing in the back of trucks having run out of duct tape, duck faces and cable ties. Tomorrow's final day will prove to be a bittersweet ending, perhaps glad to return to civilisation, but perhaps changed in ways that will make civilisation reject them. At least until they have spent a week or two ferreting the sand out of various orifices.
Yet one more day of glory and madness awaits our intrepid philanthropists, go forth, spend what dignity you have left. Come home to roost, bathed in dusty glory.
January 5th, 2018
Day 5 of the Monkey Run
With only a couple of days to go for our intrepid Monkey riders, the trip has been an eventful and colourful exploration of the wilderness and dive hotels of Morocco. A thorough test to destruction of our mini motors. It remains to be seen just how much motorbike and rider will arrive at the finish point.
Admiring the scenery and camping alfresco only got the lads and lasses attacked by wild dogs, chasing after the camel jerky in their back pocket. Thomas was ready to stand and defend with his trusty pen knife at the ready to sell his life dearly.
The pack are spread out around Tissint, with some of them heading towards Tata, while still others trail around Foum Ziguid. But there's only a straight flat tarmac road between them and Tissint. Yet more are wandering off into the unknown like sad penguins seeking the solitude of a chilly death.
If all else fails, some duct tape and a prayer will see our gentleman and gentlewoman explorers along to the finish line. Turning amateur idiots and awful machinery into battle hardened genius survivalists and piles of twisted metal respectively.
At the very least our Monkey riders are becoming expert at hitching a lift, botching a carburetor, making a tiny scooter fly and finding somewhere to put their feet up in luxury.
Pete riding his Starfish along with Hanno came up lame in the tiny town of Isafn. The town turned it into a parade as everyone volunteered to help them shove off. The local children tried to relieve Hanno of his bike Nellie, its unknown whether he would have been relieved or disappointed. Luckily they decided it wasn't worth it and bungled everyone onto the next town to find a mechanic.
Meanwhile Walker and Jake are taking the competition seriously by lazing in the most picturesque swimming pool in Africa. They have run into hard times and request immediate relief rations of beer and canapes.
Well done to everyone who's made it so far. Damned good show, not much further now, possibly less far if you stay sober and avoid the trap of swimming pools and oasis of depravity.
Good job on the picture of the day submissions, keep em coming, now get back on with your madness, many beers waiting at the end line.
January 4th, 2018
Day 4 of the Monkey Run
Well and truly into the bump and bounce of things, the girls and boys of the January Monkey Run are proving they are more than up to the tasks of the deserts, mountains and lazy side bars of Morocco.
Getting competitive they are even taking time out to play with balloons, joust with some pool cues and undertake plenty of side line malarky between break downs.
They are determinedly continuing the theme of breakages due to ill-advised vehicles in ill-advised conditions driven by brilliant yet ill-advised adventurers.
Day 4 sees another game of find the oil leak. Engines have been stripped and rebuilt at the side of the road or in dodgy garages. Most garages seem to treat mechanical problems with the liberal application of tea.
The apparent lack of decent tyres available whether for love nor money is causing some of our entrants to turn to the dark side. Enlisting or bribing child labour in their search for elicit rubber and finally turning to gambling. Three riders drawing straws to see who would get the last single tyre available.
We assume and hope the competition was rigged.
With all the excitement that a tantalising lawn mower engine can handle, the marvellous Monkey Runners take day 4 in their disgruntled yet confident stride.
Highlights of the day being the views, whether they be mountain top valleys or back alley oil strewn depravity.
Congratulations are due to Carol who won yesterdays photo of the day competition with her stunt shots of an airborne flying monkey. May have something to do with how she lost her carburrettor.
Going into day 5 we wish our gallant tom foolers the best of luck, also if you could collect some more awesome pottery related souvenirs, that would be spectacular.
Cues to be taken from Arfon Hughes who managed to get hold of this 'completely official' gem from a claymation wizard.
On that note, good luck and keep up the madness, there's still a wide expansive of unturned rocks out there and plenty more for you to break your bike on.
Until day 5 then...
January 3rd, 2018
Day 3 of the Monkey Run
Our bold horizon-chasers have finally settled into the swing of things. They are beginning to enjoy the thrill of enjoying the remotest parts of Morocco with 49 cc throbbing under them. Initial teething problems being overcome they are now free to hum purposefully across the sand on their animated hair dryers.
Sand, sand and yet more sand, with the occasional camel turd thrown in for good measure. The lads and lasses have settled into the curiosities of the Monkey bike. A vehicle as suited to the desert as polar bears are to Amazon exploration.
Less us forget that they're all piloted by riders whose average experience of sand sports is limited to brief fumbles in the children's play pit.
Mark, Joe and compatriots made it to the top of the peak between Tinghin and N'kob only to find last year's Monkey Runners had already soiled their reputation at the only hotel at the top.
The hardships of the desert seems to be offset by the greatest challenge of all, trying to avoid eating too many cheesy snacks.
Feeling adventurous, Carol was able to get her Monkey airborne over the desert tundra. Apparent disregard for life and sprocket was in full show. Bravo. Others found the tiniest patch of snow to gleefully rub their tyres in.
Afron Hughes won the photo competition by virtue of being the only competitor to manage to take a picture of someone actually riding a bike.
A curious photo competition seems to be arising between our noble and bold riders, as the mostly male models, compete to take the prettiest calendar submittal. We decline to show you the entries for your own safety. We may disclose them at a later date, but you might want to keep your vomit-bucket to hand. This shit is anything but pretty.
While sand and rock take their toll on our brazen adventurers, the compensation of stunning scenery and grand derring-do. The thrills and excitement of outright nuttery is finally building into an adventure none of them will ever forget, even if they'd like to. Our cheerful twist and go folk will be rocking quietly in a corner for years to come.
With all the grace of gorillas on unicycles our crews continued the day of malarkey in high spirits, high altitudes and wonderfully poor judgement.
Bedded down for the night, now in luxurious mountain-top hotels or at least cowering in a dirty hole. Our courageous horizon-hunters will no doubt appear bright eyed and bruised tailed. Fit to tackle the challenges of yet another day of Moroccan exploration as only The Adventurists could be mad enough to deliver.
Good luck for the morning lads and lasses, sweet dreams.
January 2nd, 2018
Day 2 of the Monkey run
More blown rubber than an unplanned parenting convention. Day 2 of the event is showing up some teething problems as our bold plonkers discover the difficulties of taking a totally unsuitable pretend vehicle across some of the harshest terrain known to man. Apparently not a doddle.
With the harsh non-roads of Morocco taking their toll on our over loaded machines, our bold riders suffer a spate of punctures, bruised buttocks and generally disconcerting mishaps. Fortunately, the majority of riders seem more than capable of rising to the task, getting a bit creative and not letting themselves be beaten by what are essentially children's toys.
Mining the depth of their resourcefullness and the well meaning intent of the local mechanics, all soldier on with a side competition, hunting for rubber like a Belgian imperialist.
So with Day 2 well under way and with chaos reigning across the desert, the locals seem to take our presence in their bemused stride with an acceptance of Mad dogs and Englishmen.
The local mechanics along the route seem well versed with the seasonal arrival of our chums on their idiotic bikes, they greet the repeat performance with knowing shakes of the head and roll out the spanners.
With Merzouga now trailing in the dusty distance for some and sand creeping into orifices that will never be the same again, our monkeys are spread out across the desert with a vague sense of direction.
With issues ranging from being flung over the handle bars at 50 kph when bikes suddenly stop being bikes, to complaining about the bathroom facilities. Some teams immediately took a break to whinge about the swimming pool temperatures while going no where fast.
The Wadi Wombles notably having a good moan about poor quality rubber from the comfort of the hotel swimming hole.
It is also worth a good mention that our lovely lads and lasses have been doing sterling work on the charity front and have raised over £13,000 for Cool Earth so far along with any other charities they are raising for personally.
So once again damned good show humanoids.
Today's photo of the day competition is running as always, with special bonus cookie points for action specific shots, less sitting down and whinging, more balls-out fury.
January 1st, 2018
The grandesque launch and invasion of Morocco
They're off, mostly. With the ball having been kicked and some immediately kicked in the balls, the Monkey Run January 2018 is underway. With a healthy sandy enema our intrepid monkeys have set off across the desert wastelands leaving behind the safety and hangovers of 2017 and the hotel.
Our teams worked late into the night patching together the absurd machines to get our gallant riders to the start line with something throbbing enthusiastically between their legs.
Then with an air of first world war flight mechanics gesturing untrained recruits into the skies and certain death, our fanciful fools were released amidst much dust and glory to boldly go elsewhere.
The only reports in so far are of the first breakages within the first 5 miles of the course, after ample arses burst the rear tyres on two of the bikes. The riders having been kidnapped by locals who promise to repair their vehicles with farm equipment whilst bundling them into the tradesman's entrance of a Land rover.
So the long and short of it is that now past the starting line you're on your own and left to your own devices until the finish line.
Already the monkeys are making use of suspicious local mechanics in the challenge of taking a stupidly small bike over a mountain range and the worlds most forbidding desert. Man up chaps you will be fine.
Just a quick reminder to all of our bonny riders the photo of the day competition will be running every day with prizes ranging from chilled beverages to personal guidance on how to remove sand from your crevices.
Keep on it, over the horizon is an oasis of glory and triumph. Probably.
December 31, 2017
Pre-game fuckery and the last minute panics
So with a matter of hours separating us from 2018 and the launch of the Monkey Run. Our over-sized apes have received their micro machines and had a few test runs. Our trained greasemonkeys onsite spent a fair part of the night hastily nailing together the remaining bikes, tinkering and pumping them full of juice. The riders are also spending the evening being pumped full of juice and festive cheer, or at least Dutch courage.
The riders are prepping for tomorrow's start with some hardcore training and partying. The new years eve kick-off party should ensure that if strapping yourself to an unpleasantly small pair of wheels and an engine wasn't enough of a daunting task, an additional hangover should start the year off with a mouth full of sand and expletives.
Others took preparation to a different level taking up knitting, repacking their underpants or whatever it is the eccentric and peculiar choose to do before undertaking ridiculous adventures. Pre race training has all been done, some Adventurers choosing to practice their biking, others getting in touch with their nomad soul or otherwise just arsing about.
So when the sun rises over the desert in the morning greeted by the snores of our party hardened wanderers, the great rambustification will begin, prepared or not, suffering the fall out of 2017. Our bold lads and lasses will be jostled into their saddles and pointed towards the wilderness and safely away from civilisation.
We Would like to remind all competitors that we will be running a daily photo competition for the snap of the day, rewards being the choice of a cold beverage of your choice at the finish line, as long as it's water.
So as the sun rises on a brand new year and another exciting round of challenging arse numbing motor madness, this chap will show you the general direction in which to bugger off.
Good luck chaps and chapettes.