As the coronavirus pandemic closes whole countries, it is also wreaking havoc on motorcycle racing, production and events which have been cancelled or postponed.
The latest victims include the Ulysses AGM in Lismore, the Dubbo Motor Bike Rally (pictured above) postponed until May 2021, the Festival of Speed at Eastern Creek, the Gloucester Motorcycle Expo, Broadford Bike Bonanza at Easter and the Triumph Rat Rally in Kingscliff in May.
It’s not just events in the next couple of months that have been cancelled. The Black Dog Ride in August has now been axed and registrations are being refunded in full.
The Harley-Davidson national HOG rally in July on the Gold Coast has also been cancelled.
Here’s the official statement:
Amid the heightened concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), we are cancelling the planned National Australian H.O.G. Rally that was scheduled for the 10-12th of July 2020 on the Gold Coast. Although no formal announcement had yet been made launching this event, this communication is being shared to ensure all parties are aware of the result not to proceed. Our decision was made in the best interests and safety of National Australian H.O.G. Rally attendees. We are committed to protecting our staff, attendees and the local community and will provide updates accordingly as we look to deliver a National H.O.G. Rally as soon as possible.
BMW’s GS Safari has been postponed from this month until May 24-29.
A spokeswoman says the event will “most definitely go ahead in May”, but we think that’s unlikely as the contagion is expected to reach its peak on May.
A decision on the Indian Rally in Silverton in May will be made on April 1, says organiser Chris Keeble.
Meanwhile, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the biggest motorcycle rally in the world, is still going ahead in August at this stage.
If you know of any other rallies or motorcycle events that have been cancelled, please leave the details in the comments section at the end of this article.
The Finke Desert Race has been cancelled for the first time in 44 years, joining many other motorcycle races that have been postponed or cancelled, including the Isle of Man TT in May-June.
Apart from a ban on non-essential organised events of more than 500 people, the public has been urged to avoid all non-essential travel.
But does that mean riders should stay home?
Of course, if you have any of the symptoms (fever, sore throat, etc), stay home in isolation.
However, the World Heath Organisation’s advice seems to suggest it may be ok for riders to still go for a ride.
If you decide you are safe to go for a ride, here are some safety tips:
- Wash hands thoroughly and frequently;
- Ride in low-populated country areas and avoid contact with people;
- Take a small container of hand sanitiser with you and use it frequently;
- Avoid touching your own eyes, nose and mouth (easy with a helmet and gloves on!);
- Avoid physical touching of others, including shaking hands unless you have your gloves on;
- Cover your nose and mouth if coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands immediately after;
- Avoid others who are coughing and sneezing;
- Wear breathing protection such as your helmet or face mask;
- Avoid large groups;
- Use your credit card instead of cash when buying fuel and food, and wear your gloves if you have to enter a pin code;
- Only patronise cafes and restaurants where they wear gloves;
- Take your own reusable coffee cup with you and make sure you – not the barista – put the lid on;
- If they refuse to take your cup, ask for a disposable with a lid but you should put on the lid; and
- Pack your own toilet paper!