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Is this your last ride for a while?

Last ride group riding Last ride survivor

Your Sunday ride may have been your last for some time.

Australian governments at all levels seem set to recommend that “any sort of travel that is not part of someone’s normal life” be avoided to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The official decision and precise wording has not yet been released, so we ride on in confusion!

We could argue that riding a motorcycle is essential to us and definitely part of our normal life.

We could argue that riding solo and not mixing with anyone nor stopping anywhere for a coffee is self-isolating.

We could also argue that our only stop would be for fuel and we could keep our gloves on while we pump fuel and pay with a credit card at the pump (if that is available).

But that might be disingenuous and perhaps not in the community’s best interests.

We have asked the Prime Minister’s office and all state premiers for clarification on travel advice regarding motorcyclists.

So far, the PM’s office has simply replied: “The Prime Minister has recommend against all non-essential travel in Australia.”

In Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says: “Stay in your suburb.”

Now the state is joining South Australia, NT and Western Australia in closing its borders.

There is no word about enforcing any of these recommendations. Yet!

Click here for the latest info.

This is no laughing matter.

Virus meme panic coronavirus threat
This meme is no longer relevant

This is now serious.

Our leaders are talking about curtailing interstate and long-distance travel, which very much sounds to us like our weekend ride is in jeopardy.

If the government bans non-essential travel, then we will effectively be house-bound.

If they just recommend avoiding non-essential travel, we may still be able to ride if we act responsibly and “exercise judgement” as the PM says.

That probably means riding solo, no cafes or restaurants along the way and keeping our gloves on when fuelling up.

However, the PM also says “travel needs to be reduced to stop the spread of the virus across the country”.

It’s a baffling message for motorcyclists.

However, we need to share the responsibility of not contributing to the virus spread, so we suggest limiting your rides until the issue is clearly spelt out by our leaders.

Maybe just commuting to work.

If they do not ban non-essential travel tomorrow, it may only be a matter of days before they do. We hope you got in a good last ride!

Many countries are banning non-essential travel and some, such as Rwanda and California are specifically banning motorcycles.

Here’s the rule for California:

All travel, including, but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, except Essential Travel and Essential Activities as defined below in Section 10, is prohibited.

How to survive

The coming months look like being a long period of boring home detention if we are not allowed to ride.

To satisfy our motorcycling habit, we will need to watch old races, motorcycle movies and documentaries on streaming services.

We can also spend time giving our bike a thorough clean and maintenance update. Click here to find out how to hibernate your bike safely.

You can also wade through the more than 6000 articles on Motorbike Writer, especially those timeless self-help articles in the Tips/Training section!

Meanwhile, we will continue to publish relevant articles and keep you updated on the motorcycling world.

Stay safe and sane.

The Australian Government Department of Health advises that the only people who will be tested for COVID-19 are those with symptoms who have either returned from overseas in the past 14 days or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days.

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.


  1. I do not have the virus so I will ride solo when I like, is this still a democracy ? And i will just pack a lunch, plus I will get fuel whenever I need it, i carry hand sanitiser so i am doing what i have always done, and I too have a compromised immune system.

    Garages will remain open so i will support them.

      1. Because where I live there are no cases and out of a population of 24.6 million people there are just over one thousand cases, based on that i am much more likely to die on my bike ride.

        1. Hi John,
          It’s not just about whether you get it, but also about spreading the virus.
          Even if you don’t have any case sin thew area where you live, you may ride to an area where an infected person has just fuelled up before you!
          Then you could take the virus home with you and spread it to someone who is vulnerable.
          Stay safe,

          1. And just to add, all information about cases and their location is at least 6 to 14 days old. You could have someone in your area non symptomatic.

          2. And by the way i am vulnerable having survived cancer twice my immune system is shot, but i am more afraid of the flu because I am far more likely to get that even with the vaccine.

            “In 2017 there were 1,255 deaths due to influenza, recording a standardised death rate of 3.9 per 100,000 persons.”

  2. I’m pretty sure if you can go for a ride without removing your helmet and gloves you won’t catch or transmit to anyone else.
    Funny how the “government” is cracking down on some things but not the most obvious – like closing schools. I believe most schools are out of soap and they never had antiseptic hand gel – sounds like a virus breeding ground to me.
    Watch for a huge virus spike in Queensland infections after the Brisbane Council Elections – get everyone in Brisbane together into small rooms to cast votes – what could possibly go wrong!

  3. A motor bike is a registered vehicle like any other and is no different than driving your car to the same locations
    Bikes and cars dont spread Covid 19 we do, so the same rule should apply to all modes of transport regardless of the number of wheels.

  4. Went for a ride on the weekend used gloves to fuel and I paid by credit card popped the girlfriend in the sidecar and went for a nice hour or so ride. She doesn’t live with me so even we avoided physical contact. I think pretty low risk. But as we all saw with those dickheads at bondi the government has to legislate for the stupid and arrogant. So I am happy to go along with it I am already pretty much self isolated. It is time people got a grip and took responsibility for both themselves an fellow citizens.

  5. Thanks for your article Mark. Riding is our happy place and while we need it for our sanity, the big picture is we have to protect our society the best we can. I plan on a short ride tomorrow and understand it may be the last for sometime. I will look forward to reading your articles from the likely lockdown looming. Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained. Cheers Paul

  6. The thing is, even if you have been tested for CV19, unless you have been isolated since then, you may have contracted it between being tested and now. I beleive that it is now proven that people that have no symptoms of CV19 can in fact have it and spread it to others unknowlingly to all involved.

  7. Re John 23 March – the reason you are more likely to get the flu is because it is more prevalent… for now.
    COVID-19 is more infectious and more deadly than the flu and there is no vaccine, that is why governments don’t want it to spread into the larger population.

  8. I understand the reasoning, but I have a problem with being off the bike for up to 6 months and the bike not getting exercised, leading to a flat battery and other problems. Any machine which is to sit idle for months needs to be properly prepared. So, I’ll take the occasional early morning spin just to keep us both in working order.

  9. Already been through the withdrawals stage. I’m currently getting my engine rebuilt & have been awaiting parts for going on 5 weeks. Heard on Friday Harley Davidson has closed one manufacturing plant so I’m guessing spare parts are held up?
    If I get my bike back before martial law I will be running in my new motor or my marriage will suffer.
    Watching YouTube videos is no substitute for throttle therapy only makes me want to ride more.

  10. Don’t see how there is confusion – as article states “The Prime Minister has recommend against all non-essential travel in Australia”. It does not say riding a motor-bike is non-essential or banned. If you are using your bike or car for essential travel that is within guidelines. If you and 10 of your mates decide to go for a burn on a Sunday that is not essential travel. Its a pretty black and white directive.

    1. Hi Geoff,
      He also says act responsibly and “exercise judgement”.
      Well, many riders have used their judgement and reckon wearing a helmet and gloves and riding solo has little risk.
      It’s confusing without a clear direction, but that could change in the next few days.

  11. I am one of the lucky few: my ONLY source of transport is my bike, AND I operate my own photography business specialising in city shots in and around Brisbane ( so in order for me to do my job I MUST ride my bike

    1. Hi Mark,
      Me too.
      But I will be very circumspect about testing bikes and writing travel stories (hardly essential!) until this thing has passed.
      Cheers and stay healthy!

  12. Perhaps it is time we see the Covid infected as whisk them away to some place in the middle of whoop whoop

  13. Well if you do ride just don’t crash and put an already stressed hospital system under more strain. We all love riding, but I’d rather be able to ride well into the future then have no future, because if we don’t contain this virus with isolation the consquences of this pandemic will be dire, make no mistake.

  14. Re John 23 March – you should be more concerned about the flu, because it is more prevalent in society, for now. The current preventive measures are to stop COVID-19 becoming endemic just like seasonal flu, because then you would have two instead of one concern.

  15. The term “non-essential travel” is ambiguous. If I go on a solo ride, I not actually ‘travelling’ anywhere, as I will leave my home and my End destination is……my home.
    Without some form of stress relief, I think we’ll all go mad!

  16. Not sure if we can take out our bikes for a run in case the gumbyment outlaw private travel but it’s ok for me to drive the school bus as it’s considered essential…?

    Meanwhile it’s still ok to get a haircut (in under 30 minutes)..go to the supermarket with less than 100 other bozos and send my kid to school (with a lot more than 100 others)…go figure…

    Going cold turkey for a ride is killer so we “invested” in a motorcycle racing game for the PS4 today though it still didn’t keep my grandson off “Fortnite”…

    Hang in their guys and let’s hope to see you out there soon for some mobile social distancing..

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