Growing up, I distinctly remember my grandfather’s obsession with motorcycles. I didn’t understand at the time, and thought they looked like large bicycles that just made loud noises and went faster. The helmet was always far too big for my head, but when spending the night with my grandparents, if I was lucky, I’d get a ride after dinner around a few back streets. It wasn’t just my grandfather though; my uncle and one of my dad’s mate’s also had motorcycles. When they’d visit, you’d always hear them coming long before you saw them.
When I turned 16 and it came time for me to get my licence, I didn’t even consider driving a motorcycle (and I highly doubt my parents would have approved anyway). With all the snow we get in Canadian winters, it would be too dangerous to ride a motorcycle all-year-round. When I moved to England a few years later, I didn’t need a licence at all because I was within walking distance to work and uni. Now Matt and I are in Australia, and we’ve considering driving, but Greyhound busses are easier and much cheaper than buying our own car.
Scooter Roo – For The Ride Of Your Life
As Matt and I started planning our excursions along the east coast, Scooter Roo came highly recommended. It’s Australia’s original east coast chopper adventure, where you get to ride your own motorbike through Agnes Water/1770, Queensland. What makes this experience so unique is that you’re given flamed helmets, flamed leather jackets, temporary tattoos to make it feel as thought you’re part of a motorcycle gang.
The Scooter Roo package we purchased also included two nights accommodation at their hostel, Southern Cross Backpackers. We arrived late Saturday night, and the rain was pouring down. Reception informed us the tour could be cancelled in the morning if the weather continued. As we only had two days in 1770, we didn’t want the tour to be cancelled; we’d been looking forward to this for months! We spent Sunday afternoon exploring the grounds of the hostel, but thankfully were able to ride on Monday, before catching our bus out of town that evening!
At 2pm sharp, we met with the tour guides and were immediately fitted for our gear! It was recommend to wear sunglasses, a light t-shirt, closed toe shoes and jeans (so as not to burn your leg against the bike while riding and protect you from the elements).
Thinking back to when I was younger, and motorcycles seemed so big, I honestly didn’t think I could ride one by myself. The bikes looked so cool, but I couldn’t believe how nervous I felt when we hit the practice ring. As we went through training, we were given individual attention from the guides, and tips on how to ride the bike safely. If we didn’t leave the training site feeling confident and comfortable, we wouldn’t have been allowed to ride on the roads.
Following training, we went over 4 important hand signals: one to stop immediately, one to reduce speed and prepare to stop, one to speed up and one to slow down. In addition, Scooter Roo had numerous staff on the road with us: two at the front, two at the back and two in the van taking photos and keeping our belongings safe.
Because I was slightly nervous, I was placed closer to the front, whereas Matt was in the middle of the pack. I didn’t like the thought of being separated, but it worked out really well for both of us. As soon as we left the hostel grounds and were riding on the roads, I felt the wind in my face and screamed at the top of my lungs with joy. It was exhilarating! I felt so in control of the bike, and loved hearing that familiar noise as I was riding.
We made plenty of stops throughout the tour, where we were told about the history of the town and Scooter Roo. I also used the time to check in with Matt, and make sure we were both enjoying the experience. The town was surprisingly quiet, and we came across less than 10 cars throughout the entire journey. We stopped for a water break and spotted kangaroos, who looked up curiously and bounced away from the noise. Our final stop was to a chippy, where we had an early dinner while watching sunset overlooking the water.
I was majorly upset when we returned to the hostel… I had had so much fun, I didn’t want it to end. Safe to say, I now understand the motorcycle obsession.
I highly recommend Scooter Roo. It really was the ride of my life!