Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to 3,000+ Reviews, Guides, & More

Pub defends motorcycle friendly status

Tumbulgum pub

A small pub in a NSW Northern Rivers village has defended their unofficial motorcycle friendly status after having to reject a booking from a social motorcycle club.

Historic Tumbulgum Tavern manager Aaron Kelly says they simply couldn’t fit the booking for 100 riders on Sunday 29 March 2020 because there would be nowhere for them to legally park.

“It’s simply not possible on a Sunday because we are already so busy,” Aaron says.

“We love bikes here and could fit 200 during the week or on a Saturday. We could cordon off the pub carpark. We do the same for car groups.

“But the Tumbulgum village is full on a Sunday and you would have 100 bikes all over the place.”

Friendly pub

Tumbulgum pub
Tumbulgum pub on the junction of the Tweed and Rous rivers

Social media posts claimed the scenic pub on the junction of the Tweed and Rous rivers was no longer motorcycle friendly because it rejected the booking.

However, Aaron says he has been there five years and always welcomed riders who are attracted by the tourist region’s many great riding routes.

“Ninety-nine percent of riders are courteous and don’t rev their engines going through the village,” he says.

“My concern would also be that with 100 bikes there would be a couple who would do the wrong thing and just give all motorcyclists a bad name they don’t deserve,” he says.

A social media post claimed Aaron had threatened to call the police if the motorcycle club showed up, but Aaron rejected the claim.

“I told him that I could guarantee one of the locals who are not as tolerant of motorcyclists would call the police and it would end up being a mess,” he says.

“The local community welcome small groups of riders, but it’s a small village and they just can’t accommodate that many vehicles in one go.”

  1. Look I’ve been to this pub and there have been motorcycles everywhere but there was no trouble with parking, I think that its a crock of shit that there is no parking and talking to the locals they don’t complain because they want to talk to you and find out where you come from and what you do and have a good chin wag with you ,The staff get a little run off their feet but they get over it when you have a laugh with them.

    1. Thank you Tony Murray. I am sure the place will be a lot more Family friendly from now on. Tumbulgum is a nice place to take the family and if it is full of noisy motorcycles reving their engines or letting them idle for ten minutes while they put their gloves on I will not be taking my family there. With the wife and kids our table bill is well over $200.00 compared to a beer and chips for the bikers.

  2. Tumbulgum Pub is a local watering hole for me, and yes I can see how 100 bikes could be a problem on a Sunday, I have never been tjere on any day of the week when there weren’t bikes there. I think the management are trying to be good neighbors on their busiest day of the week, as the manager said if it was a Saturday, no problem. I find not fault here.
    Some riders just want to be victims, get over it.

  3. Interesting, motorbikes take up less parking space & 100 meals + pillions sold before you open the door, poor business judgment. Locals calling the Police, seriously, don’t live near a pub!
    Perhaps a reassessment of the ‘motorcycle friendly’ is in order.

  4. There was no mention of 100 motorcycles when the coordinator called to make the booking. The booking was for 40 to 60 motorcycles. Aaron is just making things up after realising how badly he messed up. And word from the horses mouth (the person who called to make the booking) was that Aaron threatened to call police himself if we turned up, not that locals would call, not that he was concerned a small number would give the rest of us a bad name, but that HE was denying bikers entry and HE would call police if bikers showed up.

    The lies just make things worse and if Aaron just owned up and said he made a mistake I would have more respect for him. But the lies he has made has turned me off for good

    1. Sounds like the pub has lost the respect of the club community after what they have done! it’s a shame they will lose that friendly status just for being ignorant. Bikers are much friendlier than anyone who drives a cage!!

  5. Being a HOG member who has organised many large rides (150+), I understand the pubs situation. No need to give them a hard time on facebook. Go to a bigger pub.

  6. Sounds like some of the locals have had a whinge to the pub owner. Being a bike rider and having had a small business I say if the service is crap don’t go back and it was a poor business decision by the pub owner. I wouldn’t waste my time posting. I just wouldn’t go there simple .

  7. Take a good look at yourself this is how you act when you can’t get your own way you are not helping the real motorcyclists with your childish behavior

  8. I ride with a motorcycle club we have always been treated with courtesy and respect when ever we call in .never a bad word .love the spot good beer and always a smile we remove our colors .enjoy the beer and go . If you don’t know the story don’t make it up rods from hughway

  9. You know there are 3 sides to every story…..yours……mine…….the truth. The cyclists can choose to either work with the owner and try another day or go elsewhere and the owner of the restaurant can accept or reject any reservations he wants. The ability to choose is what many citizens of this country gave their lives for, can’t we all respect that?

  10. Hello to all, after re- reading the story & all the comments here today, I’m confused as to what was the reason based on fact for the failed booking?
    1. Didn’t want the booking
    2. Was already fully booked
    3. Complaining neighbours
    4. More income from family ‘snob’ meals
    5. Or?

Comments are closed.