Harley Rides Emerges from Covid-19 Lockdown
As tourism in Australia begins to return back to normal here in Melbourne, after a lengthy period of lockdown, (over six months) our customers have started to return. It appears that many Melbournians are keen to get out and spend money with experience activities like the Harley Davidson joyrides we provide.
As can be seen in this video John was very excited to finally complete our first Harley Ride booking last Saturday. Jim's wife had booked a ride for him as a wedding anniversary gift. Jim had only recently purchased a motorcycle and is yet to get his motorcycle licence. This was great opportunity for him to interact with an experienced rider who could give him advice and demonstrate how to stay alive on a motorcycle.
All too often we find ourselves in this situation. We take motorcycle safety seriously. When you have someone sitting behind you as a pillion passenger its easy to talk and demonstrate what they need to look out for, situations that are likely to get them into trouble that by applying certain skills they can avoid and generally helping them to understand what they are getting themselves into entering the world of motorcycle riding.
The guidance I give people who want to get their motorcycle licence includes:
The importance of Rider Training. To obtain a licence in Victoria, one must attend a Rider Training school that employs properly qualified instructors. Time spent with these people is well spent. Its not cheap, but its value and the skills imparted save lives.
Protective Gear. New riders must commit to wearing as much protective clothing as possible. No expense should be spared.
Understand Driver Behaviour. When you're out mixing with traffic, its imperative that one understands that drivers have trouble seeing you. The reality is - they aren't even looking for you. To protect oneself you need to ensure you understand their blind spots, that you know how to make yourself seen. It takes a lot more than just wearing bright clothing and having headlights on. Even when car drivers see you, they will get it wrong and think your are further away when you are actually quite close. This is why cars collide with motorcycles at intersections or turn in front of approaching riders.
Motorcycle Riding is an Attitude. There are several stages every rider passes though in the life as a motorcycle rider. At first there is the cautious fearful Learner Phase. In this phase everything is new and this is where skills and habits are developed. Then the is the Confidence Phase. As the rider builds experience they develop confidence and begin to enter the Over Confident Phase. This is the most dangerous time for every rider. This is where bad habits form. This is where some riders come to grief. Most of us will experience a minor "off" at one time or another. One that results in embarrassment like toppling over at slow speed on gravel of some other slippery surface. But for others it may result in serious injury and even fatal consequences. Having served the Over Confident Phase riders then enter the Paranoid Phase. In this phase they have mastered skills and behaviours that keep them out of trouble. In this phase, assuming the make it that far, they attain a heightened sense of safety and situational awareness.
Bookings that have come in recently include the following:
A one hour ride booked for two where one of the pair wanted to experience the Harley Davidson experience, with a view to going out for a longer experience in the future - a 5 hour Winery Tour perhaps?
A 50th Birthday surprise for a wife.
An 80th Birthday surprise sidecar ride for a grandmother and her grandchildren.
A solo one hour ride for a mother and one of her children. This is a bucket list activity that the family wanted to tick off her list before it was too late.
A solo one hour post VCE surprise.
A 5 hour Yarra Valley Wineries tour for a wife who once had their own motorcycle and would like to re-live the experience.
A solo one hour ride around the Yarra Valley for two friends that has been on hold since before lockdown.
A corporate group one hour ride for their annual team Christmas Party lunch.
Transport for Santa in a sidecar around a prominent suburban retail precinct.
Another sidecar ride for a husband and his grandkids.
And finally, a Great Ocean Road day ride to Apollo Bay (in a sidecar - not my recommendation, but that is what they wanted) for a woman's 70 year old brother.
The above bookings span November and December. We are never really busy or what you could say "flat out". We do have lots of availability. In past years there have been perhaps 50% more bookings on average.
We would love to hear from you or anyone who would like to book a ride with us. Please help us get the word out that we are still here.