A couple of hundred riders rolled into the tiny town of Crows Nest yesterday to cut a cake and celebrate the town’s new status as Motorcycle Friendly.
The celebration included the usual political speeches, cutting an official cake, motorcycle stalls and a couple of scenic rides through the region.
The local soft drink company also made a special Biker’s Brew non-alcoholic drink for the day which tastes a bit like bourbon and cola. It was offered free to all riders!
As part of the usual political speak, the Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, said such motorcycle friendly projects deserve support.
“This is a project you can be very proud of and that the Australian Government should support as part of their tourism focus,” he said in a statement read out at the launch as the Member was travelling with the Prime Minister.
We’ve asked him what he means by his comments and await a response. By “support” does he mean “funding”?
However, it would be welcome if more tourism focus was shone on motorcycle tourism and funding made available to local motorcycle friendly groups.
Official estimates of the average daily spend by riders is $160 for fuel, food, drinks, accommodation etc.
Multiply that by the thousands of riders who travel into these small communities each weekend!
The rider tourism dollar is very important in these rural communities and it is about time governments at all levels started to pay attention and offer funding support.
A lot of money is spent on enticing other tourists to discover Australia, but there are scant resources directed to attracting more riders.
It was also comforting to hear the support from Councillor Anne Glasheen of Toowoomba Regional Council.
Of course, she supports the project – she and her husband, Bob, are prolific motorcycle tourists, judging by the road grime on their well-used metric cruisers.
But cutting a cake and delivering political speeches does not advance the cause of the motorcycle tourist.
We need more politicians like Anne to ride or at least make themselves aware of motorcycle tourism.
Then they will understand the advantages of riding to the economy and its effect on pollution, traffic congestion and parking problems.
Unfortunately, a challenge last year to politicians to ride, pillion or learn more about motorcycles failed.
What is needed is for more towns, shires and regions to declare themselves motorcycle friendly. That sort of grass-roots support should attract the attention of politicians.
Then the tide could start to change in our favour.
Meanwhile, congratulations to the residents of Crows Nest who have worked hard to make their town Motorcycle Friendly.
They join other Motorcycle Friendly towns and shires: Glamorgan Spring Bay, Tasmania (July 2007); Texas, Queensland (July 2013); Wauchope, New South Wales (November 2016); and the Avon Valley region in Western Australia which stages its official launch on April 23, 2017.
The latter seems to be doing an exemplary job of becoming motorcycle friendly. They will have motorcycle friendly signs, noticeboards and brochures as well as a website that lists more than 100 local motorcycle-friendly cafes, restaurants, accommodation and attractions.
There are also rider-only discounts available through their Facebook page.
This is a great effort, thanks to the hard work and financial support of Avon Tourism, the Motorcycle Riders Association of WA and a $16,180 allocation from the Wheatbelt Development Commission’s 2016, Royalties for Regions supported and local councils.
More areas are also considering the move to motorcycle friendly status. The most recent is the South Burnett Regional Council which has agreed to discuss the issue at its next council meeting.
Let’s hope it backs up its support with appropriate funding like the Avon Region.
There currently is no official process to declare a town motorcycle friendly as there is with becoming RV Friendly. Check out their criteria here.
However, it is believed that may change in the future.
By the way, the Crows Nest Motorcycle Friendly Town cake and Biker’s Brew were both delicious!