Back in 2014, a mad Pom called Steve decided to revive the world record for distance cycled in a year, a record which had stood for 75 years because it's bloody ridiculous.
So off he went, riding a million kms a day in hellish weather (because, well, see above) and then all of a sudden along comes a Yank called Tarzan.
For a few months, the two of them did their thing, the Pom riding in freezing rain on a Raleigh that could have been released 10 or 20 years ago, and the yank in sunny florida on new carbon fibre TT bikes and even (to the utter horror and outrage of the pommy fans) a recumbent.
Oh yes and in between the two of them another American calling himself "IronOx" started an "attempt". With rides averaging around the 20km mark (when he even bothered to ride) he was soon the target of derision, and in due course, completely ignored. He went on to end the year something like 115,000 kilometres off the world record.
In March, a very odd expat Pom living in Melbourne threw his hat in the ring, and speaking of rings, this is one of his bikes-
People immediately started wondering how beneficial gearing like that would be for a bloke's health, and none of them were particularly surprised when, after only a couple of months, he suffered a partially collapsed lung. He had another crack shortly after, but the wind was out of his sails and he called it quits for good in November.
Meanwhile in the UK, Steve got hit by a drunk on a moped and copped a broken leg. Being a lunatic pom, after a short time he started riding a recumbent (which was now ok by the pommy cycling fans) with his one good leg.
Tarzan got hit by a couple of cars too, and then had a heart problem, and an infection that required hospitalisation for an IV...oh and he got married to his support van driver along the way.
But at the end of the year, Tarzan managed to break the overall record with 122,432kms, Steve did 102,367 for an age group record. And that, everyone thought, was that.
But the golden rule of soap opera is that there is always more, and so Bruce Berkeley announced he was going for the Year record in 2016.
Now i've mentioned Berkeley here before, specifically his claim to hold the Guinness World Records for distance ridden in 7 days and one month. The fact is, he holds neither. He has ridden impressive distances for both time frames, there is no disputing that, but that is not all you have to do to hold a record, you also have to jump through hoops and apparently he has some sort of problem with doing that.
Can you guess what happens next?
Only a matter of days into 2016, the UMCA (an american long distance cycling organisation who oversaw all the other record attempts in 2015) announced that Berkeley was disqualified from attempting the record under their auspices until he got his stuff in order, to which he retorted that he was doing the attempt as a Guinness record anyway, so the UMCA could go and jump.
This was news to everyone, partly due to Berkeley's history of claiming Guinness Records he didn't actually have (which was finally acknowledged, many months after i had first reported it), and the widely held belief that Guinness would not accept any attempts on the year record due to it being "too dangerous".
Steve himself had actually debunked that myth some time before, but it was still a shock when Kajsa Tylen of the UK announced that she was attempting the women's record under Guinness rules, and shortly after that Tarzan's new record was accepted by them.
In the latest episode, Tarzan's wife Alicia is preparing to make an attempt on the women's record, and South Australia's most obnoxious export (not naming names, but "vegan troll cyclist" will be clear enough to anyone who has heard of him) has accused Tarzan of using steroids. Stay classy banana boy.
In contrast, all the mainstream cycling sports can offer is the Belgian cyclocross racer who was busted with an electric motor in her bike, at the same time as her brother was serving a suspension for using EPO, and both bro and dad were accused of stealing valuable parrots.