The first motorcycle friendly region, consisting of seven council areas, has been launched in Western Australia with a comprehensive list of features.
On Sunday, April 23, 2017, the Avon Valley Motorcycle Friendly Region, northeast of Perth, joined the Motorcycle Friendly towns and shires of Glamorgan Spring Bay, Tasmania (July 2007); Texas, Queensland (July 2013); Wauchope, New South Wales (November 2016); and Crows Nest (March 2017). The South Burnett Shire in South-East Queensland also intends to become Motorcycle Friendly with an official launch date announced soon.
More than 6200 riders turned out in threatening weather for the official launch in York, in the beautiful Avon Valley.
The Motorcycle Friendly Region will:
create an online list of more than 70 participating motorcycle friendly venues (eateries, accommodation and attractions);
produce and install 95 branded Avon Valley road signs and noticeboards;
create, print and distribute 2500 pocket riding maps;
make advertising banners and noticeboards for information points; and
administer a busy Facebook group with more than 600 members as a space to share up-to-date information and business promotions.
Avon Valley Motorcycle Friendly Region chair Karen Dore says the weekend York Motorcycle Festival was a “hugely successful event”.
“I think this project will give a solid base to build upon,” she says.
“I trust that the participating venues will continue to welcome riders and also come up with some new ideas and I hope that the riders will provide feedback to ensure the operators are sticking to their pledge, along with assisting to put together some great ride route suggestions and focussing on road safety.”
She says participating venues now have the unique opportunity to advertise their motorcycle friendly facilities and offers directly to interested riders. Rider feedback will also be used to identify new initiatives.
Karen is the Economic Development Officer for the Shire of Chittering and also rides 2015 Yamaha MT-07 she fondly calls Dumble, after the Harry Potter wizard Dumbledore. “Cos he’s magic,” she says.
“The Avon Valley region’s motorcycling assets are its winding roads through magnificent scenery in a temperate climate.
“I honestly couldn’t pick one road over another, they’re all great to be out on your bike on.”
Karen took on the voluntary position of chair of Avon Tourism and was looking for a “point of difference” to promote the region. When Motorcycle Riders Association of WA president Dave Wright told her about other motorcycle friendly towns, she jumped on the idea.
“There are a great number of motorcycle friendly places scattered throughout the region, so linking them together will make it easier for riders to find and enjoy them,” she says.
Unlike RV Friendly status, there is no official sanctioning body to determine a town, shire or region is Motorcycle Friendly.
It is up to the local authority to declare themselves Motorcycle Friendly.
The Campervan Motorhome Club of Australia requires local authorities to fulfil four Essential Criteria: appropriate parking in the town centre; provision of short-term, low-cost parking for self-contained recreational vehicles close to the CBD; access to drinking water and a free dump point.
They also have several desirable criteria.
If the local authority meets the essential criteria, they are granted free RV Friendly status and are issued with two free RV Friendly Town signs. They can buy more, if they want.
The town also features in an article in the club’s magazine and gets a perpetual listing as an RV Friendly Town.
We believe at least two organisations are working on creating parameters for Motorcycle Friendly status.
Let’s hope their demands are not so high or expensive that they scare off potential regions from becoming motorcycle friendly.
And what happens with towns, shires and regions that have already declared themselves Motorcycle friendly?
Should Motorcycle Friendly status be formalised and what should it include? And what should happen to currently declared areas? Have your say in the comments section below.