A veteran Toowoomba rider is hoping to establish a motorcycle tour business for people with disabilities as well as tourists and anyone interested in a riding tour as a passenger.
Mick Jackson has also designed a special sidecar to accommodate people with disabilities and their carers.
“I ran a trial motorcycle tour business in Toowoomba for about six months and received a lot of enquires from people with special needs, their carers and disability support organisations,” he says.
“Unfortunately, in many cases we were forced to turn people away because our vehicles and traditional tour ride protocols and procedures were not capable of providing our passengers with special needs a safe and professional ride experience.”
So he has now kicked off a crowd-funding campaign to start his business, Live To Ride Motorcycle Tours, to provide people with or without disabilities and special needs with the “capacity, ability and opportunity to enjoy the thrill of a motorbike ride in comfort and safety”.
He hopes to raise $100,000 over the next month with no funds drawn from the campaign to start the business unless it reaches its target.
These funds will also be used to attract matching government funding for the venture.
Mick says he has more than 35 years of riding experience and has achieved relevant official standards for the provision of a safe motorcycle tour service that accommodates people with special needs.
“We will initially be based in Toowoomba and service the Darling Downs, Lockyer Valley and South East Queensland Region, with a view to opening branches in major cities and large regional centres in the future,” he says.
“To my knowledge, access to a specialised service of this nature is not available in Australia.”
His unique vehicles and service will not only service tourists, but also people in wheelchairs, passengers with a medical condition or intellectual impairment, larger people, and the frail and invalid.
He says he has attracted interest and support from people with a disability, motorcycle clubs, community groups, disability support facilitators, charities, and other non-profit groups.
“We will link our service with suitable local and regional tourism providers, tourist destinations, and with special needs friendly resorts and activity providers to create new social, recreation, respite and tourism options to further enhance our passengers’ experience,” he says.