Tag Archives: bushfire

Reasons riders can celebrate Australia Day

The best way to celebrate Australia Day this year is to get out and ride in regional areas that have been hit by the bushfire crisis and spend your tourist dollar.

Click here for our tips avoiding bushfire areas and what to do if caught in a bushfire situation.

And click here to find out how you can support the many bushfire appeals.

So if you’re out riding this Australia Day Long weekend, consider this about our great continent.

REASONS TO BE CELEBRATEWomen's relay baton crosses Australia

  • Most parts of Australia have year-round riding weather, not just on one day!
  • We have a host of great riding roads.
  • Our forests, beaches, outback and deserts offer some of the greatest adventure riding in the world.
  • Most country people are welcoming of riders dropping into their towns.
  • New helmet laws now allow us greater access to more and safer Euro-approved helmets.
  • Most states now have or are considering introducing lane filtering.
  • We have one of the widest varieties of motorcycle model choices in the world.
  • Motorcycles have never been cheaper in “real terms”.

REASONS TO BE WARY

  • Road safety Nazis selectively pick on us with their scaremonger campaigns.
  • Police target riders for discriminatory licence and vehicle checks.
  • Insurance companies gouge us on premiums and compulsory third party.
  • Our road rules annoyingly vary from state to state (although this is gradually changing).
  • There is an epidemic of ever-decreasing speeds on our roads.Epidemic of reduced speed limits in 2016 reasons

BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU’VE GOT

It could be worse.

  • Several major cities are banning all or some motorcycles from entering the CBD.
  • Some Asian and Mid-East cities ban all motorcycles or impose a curfew.
  • Some countries also ban women from riding for “modesty” reasons!
  • In London, motorcycle theft has halved in the past two years, yet almost 10,000 were stolen last year.
  • In Malaysia, 26 unmarried couples have been arrested for riding together on a motorcycle.

AUSSIE BIKE HISTORY

More great reasons to celebrate motorcycling on Australia Day is our rich motorcycling history.

With its vast distances and rugged terrain, motorcycles were popular at the start of the last century. We even had a thriving motorcycle manufacturing industry, particularly during World War I when supplies of British motorcycles dried up.

While we have not had a motorcycle manufacturing industry for some time, Australia once built many motorcycles such as Lewis, Pasco, Blue Bird, Bullock, De Luxe, Peerless, Invincible JAP, Whiting, Mostyn, Rudge, FN and Norton.

Lewis motorcycles - Australia Day reasonsLewis motorcycles

Robert Saward wrote A-Z of Australian-made Motorcycles which details 396 brands of motorcycles, most of which were assembled here from imported engines and frames.

In 1928, the Auto Cycle Council of Australia was formed to represent the interests of motorcycle clubs and state associations at a national level. It is now called Motorcycling Australia which represents motorcycle racing.

RACING HERITAGE

Racing successes are more great reasons to celebrate.

Australians were among the first in the world to start racing motorcycles. Many believe the first speedway meetings were held in Australia and our speedway riders travelled to the UK to pioneer the sport.

Over the years, Australia has had many motorcycle champions. MA notes our first world champion as speedway rider Lionel Van Praag in 1936.

Here is MA’s list of champion Aussie riders and teams and more reasons to celebrate on our national day:

RIDERS

Lionel Van Praag - australia day reasonsLionel Van Praag

1936 Lionel Van Praag, Speedway

1938 Bluey Wilkinson, Speedway

1951/52 Jack Young, Speedway

1957 Keith Campbell, Road racing (350cc)

1961 Tom Phillis, Road racing (125cc)

1969 Kel Carruthers, Road racing (250cc)

1979/81 Barry Smith, Road racing (Formula TT)

1983 Steve Baker, Speedway (under 21)

1987 Wayne Gardner, Road racing (500cc)

1992 Leigh Adams, Speedway (under 21)

1994-98 Michael Doohan, Road racing (500cc)

Mick Doohan enters Hall of Fame reasonsMick Doohan enters Hall of Fame

1995/2004/06/09 Jason Crump, Speedway (under 21)

1996/2005 Troy Corser, Superbikes

1997 Shane Watts, Enduro (125cc)

1997 Peter Goddard, Endurance Road Racing

2000/01/03/04 Stefan Merriman, Enduro

2000/02 Warwick Nowland,  Endurance Road Racing

2001/06/08 Troy Bayliss, Superbikes

Troy Bayliss - Australia Day reasonsTroy Bayliss

2001/08 Andrew Pitt, Supersport

2001 Heinz Platacis, Endurance Road Racing

2003/08 Chad Reed, Supercross

2003 Chris Vermeulen, Supersport

2004 Karl Muggeridge, Supersport

2007/11 Casey Stoner, MotoGP

2009 Jay Wilson, Junior Motocross

2009/10 Darcy Ward, Speedway (under 21)

2009 Steve Martin, Endurance Road Racing

2010 Mick Headland, Jesse Headland, Track Racing Sidecar (1000cc)

2011 Darrin Treloar, Jesse Headland, Track Racing Sidecar (1000cc)

2012 Caleb Grothes, Junior MX (65cc)

2012 Chris Holder, World FIM Speedway GP

2013/14 Matthew Phillips, Enduro (Junior/E3)

2014 Jett Lawrence, Junior MX (65cc)

2015 Matthew Gilmore, Youth Speedway World Cup (250cc)

2016 Matt Phillips, Junior Enduro GP

2016 Toby Price, Dakar Rally

Cheer on Toby Price Dakar Rally - Australia Day reasonsToby Price

2017 Jason Doyle, World FIM Speedway GP

2018 Toby Price, FIM World Cross Country Champion

2018 Josh hook, World Endurance

2018 Braden Plath, World Junior Motocross

2018 Tayla Jones, ISDE (Enduro EW)

2018 Daniel Milner, ISDE Enduro E3 and overall

2019 Toby Price, Dakar Rally

2019 Daniel Milner, ISDE Enduro E3 and overall

Teams

1974 Pairs Speedway, 2nd

1976 Team Speedway (Phil Crump, Billy Sanders, Phil Hearne, John Boulger), 1st

1990 Pairs Speedway, 2nd

1994 ISDE Junior Trophy, 2nd

1995 ISDE Junior Trophy (Ian Cunningham, Shane Watts, Shawn Reed Jamie Cunningham), 1st

1998 ISDE World Trophy, 3rd; ISDE Junior Trophy, 3rd

1999 Team Speedway (Jason Crump, Leigh Adams, Ryan Sullivan Jason Lyons, Todd Wiltshire), 1st; ISDE World Trophy, 3rd

2001 Team Speedway (Jason Crump, Leigh Adams, Ryan Sullivan, Todd Wiltshire, Craig Boyce, Jason Lyons), 1st

2002 Team Speedway (Ryan Sullivan, Todd Wiltshire, Leigh Adams, Jason Crump, Jason Lyons), 1st

Jason Crump and Troy Bayliss will race at Moto Expo - Australia Day reasonsJason Crump and Troy Bayliss

2003 Team Speedway, 2nd

2006 Oceania Motocross (Nathan Brochtrup, Lee  Ellis, Josh Strang, Kirk Gibbs, Chris Hollis, Cody Mackie, Ryan Marmont, Joel Passlow, Harley Quinlan, Tye Simmonds, Todd Waters), 1st

2006 ISDE Junior Team  (Christopher Hollis, Joshua Strang, Blake Hore, Darren Lloyd), 3rd

2007 Team Speedway (Ryan Sullivan, Rory Schlein, Leigh Adams, Jason Crump, Chris Holder, Dave Watt), 3rd; Oceanic Motocross (Craig Anderson, Troy Carroll, Lee Ellis, Jay Marmont, Jake Moss, Cameron Tatlor, Danny Anderson, Lewis Stewart, Kristy Gillespie, Ashlea Bates, Adelia Barton, Tye Simmonds, Ross Beaton, Luke Arbon), 1st

2008 ISDE Junior Team  (Jarrod Bewley, Geoff Braico, Blake Hore, Andrew Lloyd), 2nd

2009 Junior Motocross (Tye Simmonds, Jay Wilson), 1st; Track Racing Sidecar (Mick Headland, Paul Waters), 1st; Team Speedway (Leigh Adams, Jason Crump, Chris Holder, Davey Watt, Troy Batchelor), 2nd; Women’s Team (Jacqui Jones, Alison Parker, Jemma Wilson), 3rd

2010 Junior MX (Wilson Todd, Mitchell Evans, Joel Dinsdale, Scott Mann, Matt Phillips, Errol Willis), 3rd

2011 ISDE Womens Team (Allison Parker, Jess Gardiner, Jemma Wilson), 3rd; ISDE Mens Team – E2 Class (Toby Price, Matthew Phillips), 1st; MXoN (Chad Reed, Brett Metcalf, Matt Moss), 3rd; Speedway World Cup (Jason Crump, Darcy Ward, Chris Holder, Davey Watt, Troy Batchelor), 2nd

2012 ISDE Womens Trophy Team (Jess Gardiner, Tanya Hearn, Tayla Jones), 3rd; Speedway World Cup (Chris Holder, Davey Watt, Jason Crump, Darcy Ward, Troy Batchelor), 2nd; Speedway World Cup U21 (Darcy Ward, Sam Masters, Dakota North, Alex Davies, Nick Morris), 2nd

2013 ISDE Womens Trophy Team (Jess Gardiner, Tayla Jones, Jemma Wilson), 1st; Speedway World Cup (Darcy Ward, Cameon Woodward, Jason Doyle, Troy Batchelor) 3rd

2014 ISDE Womens Trophy Team (Jess Gardiner, Tayla Jones, Jemma Wilson), 1st; ISDE Junior Trophy Team (Daniel Sanders, Tom McCormack, Lachlan Stanford, Scott Keegan), 3rd; Speedway World Cup (Chris Holder, Darcy Ward, Jason Doyle, Troy Batchelor), 3rd

2015 FIM World Junior Motocross Championships (Hunter Lawrence, Cooper Pozniak, Rhys Budd, Bailey Malkiewicz, John Bova, Regan Duffy), 3rd; Trial des Nations International Trophy Competition (Chris Bayles, Tim Coleman, Kyle Middleton and Colin Zarczynki), 3rd; ISDE Junior Trophy Team (Daniel Sanders, Broc Grabham, Tom Mason, Tye Simmons), 1st; ISDE Women’s Trophy Team (Tayla Jones, Jess Gardiner, Jemma Wilson), 1st; ISDE Senior Trophy Team (Daniel Milner, Matthew Phillips, Lachlan Stanford, Glenn Kearney, Beau Ralston, Josh Green), 2nd (Provisional); FIM Team Speedway Under 21 2015 World Championship (Max Fricke, Brady Kurtz, Nick Morris, Jack Holder), 3rd

2016 and 2017 ISDE Women’s Trophy Team (Tayla Jones, Jess Gardiner, Jemma Wilson)

2018 World Junior Motocross (125cc) Bailey Malkiewicz, Brad West & Braden Plath

2018 ISDE Women’s Trophy Team (Tayla Jones, Jess Gardiner, Mackenzie Tricker)

2018 ISDE Trophy Team (Daniel Milner, Joshua Strang, Lyndon Snodgrass, Daniel Sanders)

2018 ISDE Junior Trophy Team (Michael Driscoll, Fraser Higlett, Lyndon Snodgrass)

(Above information from Motorcycling Australia.)

  • (If we have missed any, please advise us and we will add it to the list. And tell us how you will celebrate Australia Day)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Visit Blacktop Motorcycles Works museum

If you’re riding around South East Queensland, chances are you will call in to Esk where we recommend dropping into the Blacktop Motorcycle Works museum.

The free museum and British bike workshop is right next door to the Red Deer Cafe in the main street where many riders stop off for a coffee.Blacktop Motorcycle Works and Red Deer Cafe

It’s important riders visit and spend their tourism dollars in these areas that were cut off and affected by the recent bushfire emergency.

Blacktop museumBlacktop Motorcycle Works museum

After your coffee and cake, pay a visit to see the old British bikes at Blacktop and chat with owners Jim and Naomi McKenzie and their business partner Brian Holzigal.

What they don’t know about old British bikes you could print on a postage stamp —remember them?

Jim and Naomi moved their business from Clifton about 18 months ago because they like the Esk area with its great motorcycle roads and quick access to Brisbane and the coast.

“We’re on a great bike route over the mountain (Mt Glorious) and around the dams,” Jim says.

The Blacktop museum features about 25 old British bikes.Blacktop Motorcycle Works museum

Naomi says they get visitors to the museum all day (except Sunday when they are closed), and not just riders.

“There is a lot of interest from old blokes who’ve had one or their dad had one,” she says.

Most of the museum bikes are owned by Brian and they are not for sale.

“I have about three times that many at home but the bulk of the clean ones are here on display,” says Brian whose work you can see on his BMC website.

“We rotate the display as we finish restoring bikes.”

British bike specialists

Blacktop Motorcycle Works museumBrian (left) and Jim in their workshop

Blacktop also sell merchandise, parts and have a workshop where they do restorations and repairs on classic British bikes.

“We mainly do Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs because that’s what we like and are good at,” Jim says.

“We have customers send us their bikes from all over Australia.”Blacktop Motorcycle Works museum

Jim started many years ago as a service station mechanic in Brisbane.

Several years ago he met up with Brian who had owned British and American motorcycle shop centre in Brisbane in the 1980s before moving to the USA for about 17 years.

“We met when we were racing classic sidecars,” Jim says.

Brian says Norton is his favourite, especially the Commando because it’s “easy to play with”.

Blacktop Motorcycle Works museumBrian with his Norton collection

“My favourite every day rider would be the Commando Fastback,” Brian says.

“Then it would be unit-construction Triumphs.”

Jim’s favourite bikes are pre-unit Triumphs, so between them they have a pretty good knowledge of the venerable British brand.

Please call Jim on 0414 477 823, Naomi on 0408 312 341, or email Naomi to arrange group or club rides.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

How riders can help bushfire appeals

The best way riders can help local communities affected by devastating bushfires is to avoid the area for now, but plan a visit when the emergency has passed.

Riders are among the most beneficial tourists to local community economies because – unlike other motoring tourists – they take virtually nothing with them.

When they arrive at their destination, they need food, accommodation, fuel and other supplies from the local community.

Many motorcycle clubs and social media groups are already organising trips to these areas in coming months.

Royal Enfield Australia has also announced a five-day “Coastal Tour” departing from Melbourne on 7 March 2020, navigating the east coast to Noosa on 11 March.

The event is open to all Royal Enfield riders for the full ride or partial rides in their local areas. Click here to register.Royal Enfield Tasmania tassie invests

Sports stars help out

Aussie sports stars and celebrities are also doing their bit to help, mainly by donating memorabilia for sale.

They include two-time Dakar rally winner Toby Price and MotoGP racer Jack Miller.

Toby is auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.Toby Price KTM team

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. So far he has raised $2777.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller is also putting his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction is open worldwide until tomorrow (10 January 2020) at 5pm (AEST).

Bushfire appealsBushfire Crisis police emergency survival

There is also a host of bushfire appeals to which you can donate:

• Australian Red Cross Disaster Response and Recovery Fund;

• WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife;

• Port Macquarie Koala Hospital GoFundMe;

• Bendigo Bank Bushfire Disaster Appeal;

• Vinnies Bushfire Appeal;

• Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park owner Dana Mitchell’s GoFundMe;

• Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities GoFundMe;

• Mallacoota Fires Support Fund for East Gippsland on GoFundMe;

• Australian photographer Kara Rosenlund’s koala crisis bushfire recovery GoFundMe;

• Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast GoFundMe established by MP Emma Husar;

• South Australian Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal GoFundMe;

• A GoFundMe to rebuild the Bargo Dingo Sanctuary in NSW;

• The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund appeal for fire-affected East Gippsland communities; and

• Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bike memorabilia to aid bushfire appeal

Former volunteer firefighter John England is selling his collection of Aussie motorcycle racing memorabilia and donating a portion to aid the bushfire appeal.

John says his collection of 22 commemorative bottles of Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix port, six Mick Doohan plates, various mirrors, signed prints and collectible toys could be worth as much as $10,000.

“But it’s only worth what someone is prepared to pay,” says the Logan City rider whose Can-Am Spyder we featured in a 2014 article.

John and Rose England's patriotic Can-Am Spyder and trailerJohn and Rose England’s patriotic Can-Am Spyder and trailer

He is also selling his 1981 Honda Bol d’Or 900, bored out to 1000cc, with handmade exhausts.

John and his wife, Rose, plan to retire this year and hit the road in their caravan, towing their Can-Am Spyder around the country.

“We don’t want this collection gathering dust in storage, so we thought we would sell it,” John says.

“I used to be a volunteer firefighter, so we’d be happy to make a donation of a portion of the sale of this collection.”

“I just want it go to a motorcycle lover who appreciates it.”Memorabilia bushfire appeal

He says he would prefer to sell it as one collection and the bike separately.

However, he would also consider splitting it up, preferably in groups such as all the ports or all six commemorative plates honouring Mick’s five consecutive GP titles plus a sixth lap of honour plate.

John, a former Sydney track racer, started collecting when he bought the first Australian GP port for $25 in 1989.Memorabilia bushfire appeal

John has been told by the seller of the commemorative port that his first bottle could now be worth as much as $500.

“How that didn’t get drunk I’ll never know,” he laughs.

“It was all bought to drink. I’d usually buy two bottles each year; drink one and keep one.”

The commemorative port line ceased in 2008 and John has one from each year.

He also has a Harley-Davidson-styled port holder with six ports released each year. He says the “gearbox” bottle of port, alone, cost $196.

Memorabilia bushfire appealHarley port carrier

Most of the items in his collection come with certificates or letters of authenticity.

If you are interested in buying his collection and helping the bushfire appeal, you can contact John on 0408 880616.

Bushfire appealToby Price KTM team

Like many Aussie sports stars and celebrities, two-time Dakar rally winner Toby Price and MotoGP racer Jack Miller are raising money for the bushfire appeal.

Toby is auctioning his starting jersey and pants with proceeds going to the NSW Rural Fire Service.

It is open worldwide, just send in your bid in Australian dollars on his Facebook page or Instagram.

Current highest bid is still $13,001.

Auction closes on 18 January at 5pm (AEST).

If you can’t bid, please donate on this link. So far he has raised $2777.

Jack Miller's MotoGP helmetJack Miller’s MotoGP helmet

Aussie MotoGP racer Jack Miller is also putting his 2018 MotoGP helmet up for auction to raise money for the bushfire crisis.

The auction is open worldwide until Friday at 5pm (AEST).

Bushfire appeals

There is a host of bushfire appeals you can donate to. See the list below.

Otherwise, we suggest helping local communities by waiting until the emergency has passed, then visiting the areas and spending your money on fuel, food and gifts.

Royal Enfield Australia has announced a five-day “Coastal Tour” departing from Melbourne on 7 March 2020, navigating the east coast to Noosa on 11 March.

The event is open to all Royal Enfield riders for the full ride or partial rides in their local areas. Click here to register.

• Australian Red Cross Disaster Response and Recovery Fund;

• WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife;

• Port Macquarie Koala Hospital GoFundMe;

• Bendigo Bank Bushfire Disaster Appeal;

• Vinnies Bushfire Appeal;

• Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park owner Dana Mitchell’s GoFundMe;

• Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities GoFundMe;

• Mallacoota Fires Support Fund for East Gippsland on GoFundMe;

• Australian photographer Kara Rosenlund’s koala crisis bushfire recovery GoFundMe;

• Mogo Zoo on the NSW South Coast GoFundMe established by MP Emma Husar;

• South Australian Adelaide Hills Wine Region Fire Appeal GoFundMe;

• A GoFundMe to rebuild the Bargo Dingo Sanctuary in NSW;

• The Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund appeal for fire-affected East Gippsland communities; and

• Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Is fire retardant really a danger to riders?

Apart from riders being aware of rapidly changing bushfire conditions, we have also been warned about slippery fire retardant on roads and falling debris in ravaged areas.

A social media alert to riders from Sydney truck driver William Moncrieff carrying fire retardant to rural fire brigades says the substance can be slippery when wet.

He supplied the above photo of the red residue on the Princes Highway near Lake Conjola, south of Nowra, NSW.

Fire retardant

To verify if it really is an issue for riders, we contacted the fire service media centres in all states, but only South Australia and Victoria replied; with differing responses.

Simone from the South Australian Country Fire Service says there are a few different types of chemicals that can be dropped from planes on fires, but they all present hazards for all road users when they get wet.

When it rains, any retardant will become slippery, the foam residue will re-expand and the gel also reactivates,” she says.

If motorbike riders are in an area where there have been bushfires, the CFS encourages them to take extra care when driving on the roads.

The reactivated substances will cause the road to become slippery and create increased hazards.

The substances are highly visible when they are wet, so motorbike riders should be able to see areas to avoid.

After bushfires, roads can also be dangerous with debris, falling tree limbs and loose stock. Make sure you take care and always ride to the conditions.”

Oxley highway work
Debris on the Oxley highway after bushfires

The Victorian Country Fire Authority had a different response.

“Any road impacted by retardant would be subject to a safety assessment and any necessary maintenance before it is reopened to the public,” they said.

We did not get a response form other authorities, but given the current situation, that’s not surprising.

If they do respond, we will update this article.

Slippery when wet

Fire retardant
William and his Spyder

Truckie William, who also rides a Can-Am Spyder,  says he drove his truck over a road with red retardant near Moruya after some light rain and it caused the traction control to kick in several times.

“It feels like soapy water to touch, and indeed it’s also known as ‘Wetting Agent’,” he says in his post.

“Note that the retardant I delivered was not red. It was opaque and will be invisible on a damp road surface.

“If you ride through firegrounds please take it easy on the twisties unless you’re positive there has been no aerial water bombing during fire fighting operations.”

Bushfire survival

The best advice is for riders to steer well clear of these areas.

If you are caught in a sudden bushfire alert, please click here and read our life-saving tips.

Once the alerts are over and the roads cleared of retardant and debris, as is the case now on the Oxley Highway, let’s help the ravaged communities the best way we know how: travelling there and spending our cash in their towns on food, gifts and fuel.

Riders who have since ridden the Oxley Highway say one of the few positives form the bushfire crisis is that you can now safely see further around corners because of the cleared debris.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Oxley Highway to reopen for one lane

The Oxley Highway will reopen to one lane of traffic by this weekend under strict speed management with the support of escort vehicles.

A 10km section between Ralfes Trail and the Gingers Creek store will be open to one lane of traffic with alternate flow under the control of escort vehicles from Transport for NSW.

Reopen Oxley Highway
One-lane section

The decision is a welcome relief for popular riders’ rest stop Gingers Creek Roadhouse owner Gary Hartas.

His cafe has been closed to business since the highway was shut by bushfires on 25 October 2019 between Walcha and Long Flat. He also lost the accommodation building to the bushfires.

Support fire-ravaged Gingers Creek rider cafe
Accommodation destroyed

Staff member Tiohnee Ford started a GoFundMe page to support Gary while no income has been coming in. It has raised more than $7000.

Highway reopen

Oxley highway work bushfire
Oxley in flames

While the highway will reopen, repair work is still underway and expected to continue for several weeks into 2020 under traffic control.

Riders should expect lengthy delays, which means sitting at lights for some time in the heat, so take water with you.

However, don’t be deterred. It is still worth it to ride the rest of the highway and to support Gary’s cafe which is a popular rest stop for riders.

These traffic arrangements will operate 24 hours a day and remain in place until the highway is fully reopen.

Traffic control and a reduced speed limit will be in place in other sections for the safety of workers and motorists.

As there is a risk of rocks or trees falling onto the road surface in the event of high winds or significant rainfall, Transport for NSW may close the highway again at short notice.

Oxley highway work bushfire
Burn-out retaining walls

Many roads in NSW and Queensland remain closed due to bushfires and subsequent damage.

The Cunningham Highway in South East Queensland, did temporarily reopen, but it has closed again.

For more information on road closures, click on these: Queensland TrafficNSW Live Traffic App, WA Main Roads, South Australia, Tasmania and VicRoads.

You can also check the various state fire services websites by going to this central MYFIREWATCH service, then click on the state/territory.

Bushfire survival guide:

By all means riders should head out into the country to spend their much-needed dollar in drought-stricken areas, but they should also be alert to the bushfire conditions.

The best survival tip for a bushfire is to avoid it.

Apart from the above, you can also check the automobile clubs’ websites for the relevant state, as well as transport department traffic sites.

Try searching the Facebook pages of local fire and police pages.

Of course, you can use your eyes to see where the smoke is and use your commonsense to gauge wind direction and potential fire direction.

However,  don’t think you can outrun a bushfire. They can spread faster than any motorcycle can go, often jumping roadways, reducing your chance of survival.

Bushfires Harley Softail

Follow directions

It is not only stupid, but also unlawful to disobey a police or emergency services direction.

If you are told not to go down a road or there is a roadblock, you must not got that way.

The same goes for flood situations.

Don’t start a bushfire

Take notice of total fire ban signs and warnings as you don’t want to start a bushfire.

Fines are hefty and police have been severe in punishing offenders. Don’t expect a good-natured warning!

Riders should also be aware they can accidentally start a fire by parking their bike on dry grass or leaves.

Firefighters say about 40% of all bushfires are accidentally started by humans dropping cigarette butts, campfires, discarding bottles, sparks from machinery and motorcycles.

The catalytic convertor, which is often underneath, is the hottest part of your bike and can easily spark a fire.

Adventure riders who travel off road should take special care.Bushfires BMW R 1200 GS

Caught in a bushfire

If you are caught in a bushfire, your phone (or EPIRB, beacon, etc) will be your best friend.

Work out where you are exactly and then contact police and emergency services to give them your location.

Park your bike behind a solid structure to block as much heat as you can.

Turn off your bike’s engine, but leave the lights and/or hazard lights on.

Stay near your bike, but not too close in case it goes up in flames.

Try to get down low, near a water source or below the level of the fire as they move faster uphill.

Also try to get upwind from a fire.

Dangers of bushfires

Dehydration motorcycle gear Riders dies of dehydration in heatwave dust storm

Riders are more vulnerable than motorists in cars because they have no air conditioning to regulate air and temperature.

The biggest dangers for riders are from smoke inhalation, low visibility and eye irritation from smoke.

Carry water with you to flush out sore eyes and to ensure you stay hydrated.

Tips to avoid dehydration in a heatwave:

  1. Don’t drink too much alcohol the night before a ride. It has a diuretic effect which means it causes you to urinate more water than you take in which means you are losing fluid. And you can’t counteract that by drinking lots of water because most of it will go out in your urine. Obviously, don’t drink alcohol while you are riding!
  2. Start drinking water as soon as you wake and keep sipping water right up until you get on your bike. It takes about half an hour for water to reach your muscles. Guzzling water just before a ride is not good as it can make your stomach to cramp. The Royal Flying Doctor Service which has attended dehydrated riders in the Outback, recommends carrying 10 litres of water per day! Read their Outback riding tips here.
  3. Wear ventilated motorcycle clothing. Leathers may protect you better in a crash, but they create a “microclimate” which impairs your ability to lose heat. As a result you will produce more sweat to decrease your core temp. Instead, wear a flow-through jacket. There are heaps of options on the market. Make sure they have vents in the back so the air flows through. Also, loosen the sleeves so you get plenty of air on your wrists which have a lot of blood vessels close to the skin to effectively cool you down. However, be aware that a flow-through jacket cools you down because it is drying the sweat off your skin which can lead to dehydration. A set of Ventz up your sleeve will also keep you cool as air flows up your arms.However, don’t be fooled by your level of coolness as ventilation can also cause you to loose more water through evaporation. So you still need to keep drinking plenty of water.

    Ventz motorcycle jacket vents - pain heatwave dust storm
    BUY Ventz motorcycle jacket vents NOW

  4. Don’t be tempted to remove your jacket in the heat! Exposed skin may feel cooler, but that’s because the sweat is evaporating quicker, but that is just making you more dehydrated. And while your skin feels cool, you’ll be tricked into staying in the sun longer which leads to sunburn. That also leads to dehydration because your body needs water to repair and renew damaged skin.
  5. Get a Camelbak or other brand of water-dispensing unit so you can continue to take small sips of water while you are riding. I’ve seen riders on GoldWings and other big tourers with cup holders so they can take slurps from a water bottle. That’s obviously not as safe as the hands-free Camelback option, but anything is better than nothing. Some people don’t like Camelbaks because the water gets hot, but the temperature of the water doesn’t affect dehydration.Camelbak reduces dehydration heatwave dust storm
  6. Stop more often than usual and hang out in the shade or in an air-conditioned cafe. Since you are drinking lots of fluids, you will probably need to stop anyway!
  7. While you’re stopped, have a coffee, but take it easy. No need to swear off your favourite caramel latte, but avoid excess coffee. That also goes for caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull. High levels of caffeine have a diuretic effect just like alcohol.
  8. While having a coffee break, avoid having too many sweet cakes, donuts and muffins. Sugar can dehydrate you if it gets to very high levels in your blood. This can happen if you are a diabetic, take certain medications or have an infection or some organ diseases. Sugar causes your kidneys to produce more urine to eliminate the sugar, leading to dehydration. Likewise, don’t drink too many sugary drinks. Best to stick to plain water, real fruit juices with no added sugar or drinks such as Gatorade that replace salts and minerals lost in sweat.
  9. We’ve talked a lot about urine and it’s important that you monitor the colour. It should be a straw colour. If it’s too dark, you are dehydrated.
  10. Sweat also depletes your body of sodium and if it becomes too low, it can cause many of the same symptoms as dehydration. The average diet probably has enough sodium, but it’s good to have a little bit of salt on your meals or drink sports drinks that have a sodium supplement. However, beware of sports drinks with caffeine and sugar.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider’s bushfire escape video goes viral

A dramatic video showing Africa Twin rider Ben Hannan (inset in photo above) escape bushfires that claimed his home in Wingham, near Taree, NSW, has gone viral.

Ben lost everything in the fires, except his new bike. Several other bikes became molten plastic and metal.

“Wondered if I’d gone overboard buying that bike … never been more glad than now. It saved my life,” he says.

At one stage in the video he points to a hill and says “my house is up there … used to be”. He takes his hand off the handlebars and almost loses it on soft gravel by the roadside.

Great escape

“The vid doesn’t show how bad the smoke was … and had no idea what we were going into,” Ben says.

That’s his mother in the car in front, escaping with what they could fit in the car.

“Needed mum to go cause I figured I could get round shit easier on the bike, trees falling everywhere. Reckon 15 minutes later we would have been trapped.”

The escape video has been picked up by news channels around the world.

However, the fame hasn’t helped Ben and his mother recover from the fire earlier this month.

While his mother was fully insured for home and contents, Ben had no insurance except for the Honda and his father’s Kawasaki H2.

“Stupid of me,” he admits.

“I lived in a converted shed and the insurance agency isn’t recognising it as a dwelling.

We honestly thought we’d be all right. Lived there 35 years, had fought fires before, even had our own tanker.

“But this just came from all sides, took everyone by surprise. We’ve been told fire trucks couldn’t reach us, but we got out.”

A friend has started a GoFundMe page which has so far raised almost $5000 for Ben. Click here if you would like to donate and help a fellow rider.

Meanwhile, here are parts two and three of Ben’s escape video that show the full extent of his loss as he stops and looks back. (Language warning)

A few days later, Ben returned to examine the remains of his property and cry at the sight of his molten motorbikes.

Ben says he needed people to see the devastation and “feel it”.

“See this and learn. Never let this happen to you.”

Ben’s list of lost bikes include a 1948 Harley Sportster, 2003 KTM 400SX, 50th anniversary Yamaha YZ450, Honda CRF250 Rally and his late father’s Kawasaki H2 750 triple he had planned to restore.
Ben Hannan escape from bushfire
Ben’s shed full of bikes before the fire.

“I only bought the SX in the last month,” he says.

“The Harley was supposed to be in town but my mechanic got cancer … a lot of bad timing.”

Bushfire appeals

Click here if you would like to support Ben.

You can also read about the bushfire devastation on the Oxley Highway here and help out the owners of Gingers Creek Roadhouse by clicking here.

And you can help the Grey Gum Cafe on the Putty Rd feed weary firefighters as they battle the Wollemi fires by clicking here.

There is also a host of other Queensland and NSW bushfire appeals you can support.

Survival guide for riders

Most importantly, you need to look after yourself this long bushfire season.

We have already posted our survival guide for riders caught in bushfires, but thought it relevant to republish our tips again here.

Avoid bushfires!

The best survival tip for a bushfire is to avoid it.

You can check the various state fire services websites by going to this central MYFIREWATCH service, then click on the state/territory.

Also check the automobile clubs’ websites for the relevant state, as well as transport department traffic sites or apps such as the NSW Live Traffic App.

Try searching the Facebook pages of local fire and police pages.

Of course, you can use your eyes to see where the smoke is and use your commonsense to gauge wind direction and potential fire direction.

However,  don’t think you can outrun a bushfire. They can spread faster than any motorcycle can go, often jumping roadways, reducing your chance of survival.

Bushfires Harley Softail

Follow directions

It is not only stupid, but also unlawful to disobey a police or emergency services direction.

If you are told not to go down a road or there is a roadblock, you must not got that way.

The same goes for flood situations.

Don’t start a bushfire

Take notice of total fire ban signs and warnings as you don’t want to start a bushfire.

Fines are hefty and police have been severe in punishing offenders. Don’t expect a good-natured warning!

Riders should also be aware they can accidentally start a fire by parking their bike on dry grass or leaves.

Firefighters say about 40% of all bushfires are accidentally started by humans dropping cigarette butts, campfires, discarding bottles, sparks from machinery and motorcycles.

The catalytic convertor, which is often underneath, is the hottest part of your bike and can easily spark a fire.

Adventure riders who travel off road should take special care.Bushfires BMW R 1200 GS

Caught in a bushfire

If you are caught in a bushfire, your phone (or EPIRB, beacon, etc) will be your best friend.

Work out where you are exactly and then contact police and emergency services to give them your location.

Park your bike behind a solid structure to block as much heat as you can.

Turn off your bike’s engine, but leave the lights and/or hazard lights on.

Stay near your bike, but not too close in case it goes up in flames.

Try to get down low, near a water source or below the level of the fire as they move faster uphill.

Also try to get upwind from a fire.

Dangers of bushfires

Dehydration motorcycle gear Riders dies of dehydration in heatwave dust storm

Riders are more vulnerable than motorists in cars because they have no air conditioning to regulate air and temperature.

The biggest dangers for riders are from smoke inhalation, low visibility and eye irritation from smoke.

Carry water with you to flush out sore eyes and to ensure you stay hydrated.

Tips to avoid dehydration in a heatwave:

  1. Don’t drink too much alcohol the night before a ride. It has a diuretic effect which means it causes you to urinate more water than you take in which means you are losing fluid. And you can’t counteract that by drinking lots of water because most of it will go out in your urine. Obviously, don’t drink alcohol while you are riding!
  2. Start drinking water as soon as you wake and keep sipping water right up until you get on your bike. It takes about half an hour for water to reach your muscles. Guzzling water just before a ride is not good as it can make your stomach to cramp. The Royal Flying Doctor Service which has attended dehydrated riders in the Outback, recommends carrying 10 litres of water per day! Read their Outback riding tips here.
  3. Wear ventilated motorcycle clothing. Leathers may protect you better in a crash, but they create a “microclimate” which impairs your ability to lose heat. As a result you will produce more sweat to decrease your core temp. Instead, wear a flow-through jacket. There are heaps of options on the market. Make sure they have vents in the back so the air flows through. Also, loosen the sleeves so you get plenty of air on your wrists which have a lot of blood vessels close to the skin to effectively cool you down. However, be aware that a flow-through jacket cools you down because it is drying the sweat off your skin which can lead to dehydration. A set of Ventz up your sleeve will also keep you cool as air flows up your arms.However, don’t be fooled by your level of coolness as ventilation can also cause you to loose more water through evaporation. So you still need to keep drinking plenty of water.

    Ventz motorcycle jacket vents - pain heatwave dust storm
    BUY Ventz motorcycle jacket vents NOW

  4. Don’t be tempted to remove your jacket in the heat! Exposed skin may feel cooler, but that’s because the sweat is evaporating quicker, but that is just making you more dehydrated. And while your skin feels cool, you’ll be tricked into staying in the sun longer which leads to sunburn. That also leads to dehydration because your body needs water to repair and renew damaged skin.
  5. Get a Camelbak or other brand of water-dispensing unit so you can continue to take small sips of water while you are riding. I’ve seen riders on GoldWings and other big tourers with cup holders so they can take slurps from a water bottle. That’s obviously not as safe as the hands-free Camelback option, but anything is better than nothing. Some people don’t like Camelbaks because the water gets hot, but the temperature of the water doesn’t affect dehydration.Camelbak reduces dehydration heatwave dust storm
  6. Stop more often than usual and hang out in the shade or in an air-conditioned cafe. Since you are drinking lots of fluids, you will probably need to stop anyway!
  7. While you’re stopped, have a coffee, but take it easy. No need to swear off your favourite caramel latte, but avoid excess coffee. That also goes for caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull. High levels of caffeine have a diuretic effect just like alcohol.
  8. While having a coffee break, avoid having too many sweet cakes, donuts and muffins. Sugar can dehydrate you if it gets to very high levels in your blood. This can happen if you are a diabetic, take certain medications or have an infection or some organ diseases. Sugar causes your kidneys to produce more urine to eliminate the sugar, leading to dehydration. Likewise, don’t drink too many sugary drinks. Best to stick to plain water, real fruit juices with no added sugar or drinks such as Gatorade that replace salts and minerals lost in sweat.
  9. We’ve talked a lot about urine and it’s important that you monitor the colour. It should be a straw colour. If it’s too dark, you are dehydrated.
  10. Sweat also depletes your body of sodium and if it becomes too low, it can cause many of the same symptoms as dehydration. The average diet probably has enough sodium, but it’s good to have a little bit of salt on your meals or drink sports drinks that have a sodium supplement. However, beware of sports drinks with caffeine and sugar.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Plan your weekend rides around bushfires

With bushfires forcing road closures across several states, you may need to make some alternative plans this weekend.

Riders should contact their state transport department or auto club for road closures.

You can also check the various state fire services websites by going to this central MYFIREWATCH service, then click on the state/territory.

Road closures

Most of the north east of NSW and South East Queensland have significant closures on roads popular to riders.

They include the Mt Lindesay Highway, (photo at top of page), Cunningham Highway, Summerland Way and Pacific Highway between Woodburn and Woombah.

Police are asking all motorists to “delay all non-essential travel” in these areas.

The option is a rather lengthy ride, although that may not be a negative for riders!

For example, if you need to travel between Grafton and Ballina, you will have to add about 3.5 hours to your trip and use the Gwydir, New England and Bruxner highways.

By all means riders should head out into the country to spend their much-needed dollar in drought-stricken areas, but they should also be alert to the bushfire conditions.

If you want to know how dangerous it is riding in a bushfire, watch this Queensland Police video of brave officers alerting residents.

Bushfire survival guide:

Avoid bushfires!

The best survival tip for a bushfire is to avoid it.

Also check the automobile clubs’ websites for the relevant state, as well as transport department traffic sites or apps such as the NSW Live Traffic App.

Try searching the Facebook pages of local fire and police pages.

Of course, you can use your eyes to see where the smoke is and use your commonsense to gauge wind direction and potential fire direction.

However,  don’t think you can outrun a bushfire. They can spread faster than any motorcycle can go, often jumping roadways, reducing your chance of survival.

Bushfires Harley Softail

Follow directions

It is not only stupid, but also unlawful to disobey a police or emergency services direction.

If you are told not to go down a road or there is a roadblock, you must not got that way.

The same goes for flood situations.

Don’t start a bushfire

Take notice of total fire ban signs and warnings as you don’t want to start a bushfire.

Fines are hefty and police have been severe in punishing offenders. Don’t expect a good-natured warning!

Riders should also be aware they can accidentally start a fire by parking their bike on dry grass or leaves.

Firefighters say about 40% of all bushfires are accidentally started by humans dropping cigarette butts, campfires, discarding bottles, sparks from machinery and motorcycles.

The catalytic convertor, which is often underneath, is the hottest part of your bike and can easily spark a fire.

Adventure riders who travel off road should take special care.Bushfires BMW R 1200 GS

Caught in a bushfire

If you are caught in a bushfire, your phone (or EPIRB, beacon, etc) will be your best friend.

Work out where you are exactly and then contact police and emergency services to give them your location.

Park your bike behind a solid structure to block as much heat as you can.

Turn off your bike’s engine, but leave the lights and/or hazard lights on.

Stay near your bike, but not too close in case it goes up in flames.

Try to get down low, near a water source or below the level of the fire as they move faster uphill.

Also try to get upwind from a fire.

Dangers of bushfires

Dehydration motorcycle gear Riders dies of dehydration in heatwave dust storm

Riders are more vulnerable than motorists in cars because they have no air conditioning to regulate air and temperature.

The biggest dangers for riders are from smoke inhalation, low visibility and eye irritation from smoke.

Carry water with you to flush out sore eyes and to ensure you stay hydrated.

Tips to avoid dehydration in a heatwave:

  1. Don’t drink too much alcohol the night before a ride. It has a diuretic effect which means it causes you to urinate more water than you take in which means you are losing fluid. And you can’t counteract that by drinking lots of water because most of it will go out in your urine. Obviously, don’t drink alcohol while you are riding!
  2. Start drinking water as soon as you wake and keep sipping water right up until you get on your bike. It takes about half an hour for water to reach your muscles. Guzzling water just before a ride is not good as it can make your stomach to cramp. The Royal Flying Doctor Service which has attended dehydrated riders in the Outback, recommends carrying 10 litres of water per day! Read their Outback riding tips here.
  3. Wear ventilated motorcycle clothing. Leathers may protect you better in a crash, but they create a “microclimate” which impairs your ability to lose heat. As a result you will produce more sweat to decrease your core temp. Instead, wear a flow-through jacket. There are heaps of options on the market. Make sure they have vents in the back so the air flows through. Also, loosen the sleeves so you get plenty of air on your wrists which have a lot of blood vessels close to the skin to effectively cool you down. However, be aware that a flow-through jacket cools you down because it is drying the sweat off your skin which can lead to dehydration. A set of Ventz up your sleeve will also keep you cool as air flows up your arms.However, don’t be fooled by your level of coolness as ventilation can also cause you to loose more water through evaporation. So you still need to keep drinking plenty of water.

    Ventz motorcycle jacket vents - pain heatwave dust storm
    BUY Ventz motorcycle jacket vents NOW

  4. Don’t be tempted to remove your jacket in the heat! Exposed skin may feel cooler, but that’s because the sweat is evaporating quicker, but that is just making you more dehydrated. And while your skin feels cool, you’ll be tricked into staying in the sun longer which leads to sunburn. That also leads to dehydration because your body needs water to repair and renew damaged skin.
  5. Get a Camelbak or other brand of water-dispensing unit so you can continue to take small sips of water while you are riding. I’ve seen riders on GoldWings and other big tourers with cup holders so they can take slurps from a water bottle. That’s obviously not as safe as the hands-free Camelback option, but anything is better than nothing. Some people don’t like Camelbaks because the water gets hot, but the temperature of the water doesn’t affect dehydration.Camelbak reduces dehydration heatwave dust storm
  6. Stop more often than usual and hang out in the shade or in an air-conditioned cafe. Since you are drinking lots of fluids, you will probably need to stop anyway!
  7. While you’re stopped, have a coffee, but take it easy. No need to swear off your favourite caramel latte, but avoid excess coffee. That also goes for caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull. High levels of caffeine have a diuretic effect just like alcohol.
  8. While having a coffee break, avoid having too many sweet cakes, donuts and muffins. Sugar can dehydrate you if it gets to very high levels in your blood. This can happen if you are a diabetic, take certain medications or have an infection or some organ diseases. Sugar causes your kidneys to produce more urine to eliminate the sugar, leading to dehydration. Likewise, don’t drink too many sugary drinks. Best to stick to plain water, real fruit juices with no added sugar or drinks such as Gatorade that replace salts and minerals lost in sweat.
  9. We’ve talked a lot about urine and it’s important that you monitor the colour. It should be a straw colour. If it’s too dark, you are dehydrated.
  10. Sweat also depletes your body of sodium and if it becomes too low, it can cause many of the same symptoms as dehydration. The average diet probably has enough sodium, but it’s good to have a little bit of salt on your meals or drink sports drinks that have a sodium supplement. However, beware of sports drinks with caffeine and sugar.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Support fire-ravaged Gingers Creek rider cafe

Popular Oxley Highway riders’ rest stop Gingers Creek Bush Resort is struggling after bushfires closed the road a month ago with clean-up keeping it closed indefinitely.

Owner and Ducati Hypermotard rider Gary Hartas says the bushfires burnt down their accommodation (above), but the cafe is untouched.

Support fire-ravaged Gingers Creek rider cafe
Bushfires burning just over the hill

“The shop is fine, just the accommodation down the back,” Gary says.

“The fires are still burning up the road. All the grass and highway around us is now burnt.

“The clean-up on the highway will take a while to clear up.”

So staff member Tiohnee Ford has started a GoFundMe page to support Gary while the road is closed and no income is coming in.

In the past coupe of days almost $2000 has been raised.

Click here to show your support for this popular biker cafe and rest stop.

Support fire-ravaged Gingers Creek rider cafe
In happier times!

“Tomorrow (23 November 2019) will be a month that the highway has been shut,” Gary says.

“The RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) can’t give me an answer on when it will open. 

Just abit of the Oxley this morning, don’t see it being open this week.

Publiée par Gingers Creek sur Lundi 11 novembre 2019

“Maybe another month. I heard talk about even January.

“Losing lots, mate.”

We also asked the RMS and they could not give us an answer.

Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service website shows a bushfire still burning just south of Gingers Creek.

Support fire-ravaged Gingers Creek rider cafe
RFS map

Motorbike Writer reader Ron Grant is a regular visitor to Gingers Creek after hitting the adventure trails in the area.

He says he is concerned that without an income it could be all over for the business.

“I am personally prepared to tip in some dollars to ensure it continues,” he says.

How about you?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Survival guide for riding in bushfire conditions

It’s going to be a long hot summer and you may get caught in bushfire conditions, so we have put together this survival guide for riders.

By all means riders should head out into the country to spend their much-needed dollar in drought-stricken areas, but they should also be alert to the bushfire conditions.

If you want to know how dangerous it is riding in a bushfire, watch this Queensland Police video of brave officers alerting residents.

Survival guide:

Avoid bushfires!

The best survival tip for a bushfire is to avoid it.

You can check the various state fire services websites by going to this central MYFIREWATCH service, then click on the state/territory.

Also check the automobile clubs’ websites for the relevant state, as well as transport department traffic sites or apps such as the NSW Live Traffic App.

Try searching the Facebook pages of local fire and police pages.

Of course, you can use your eyes to see where the smoke is and use your commonsense to gauge wind direction and potential fire direction.

However,  don’t think you can outrun a bushfire. They can spread faster than any motorcycle can go, often jumping roadways, reducing your chance of survival.

Bushfires Harley Softail

Follow directions

It is not only stupid, but also unlawful to disobey a police or emergency services direction.

If you are told not to go down a road or there is a roadblock, you must not got that way.

The same goes for flood situations.

Don’t start a bushfire

Take notice of total fire ban signs and warnings as you don’t want to start a bushfire.

Fines are hefty and police have been severe in punishing offenders. Don’t expect a good-natured warning!

Riders should also be aware they can accidentally start a fire by parking their bike on dry grass or leaves.

Firefighters say about 40% of all bushfires are accidentally started by humans dropping cigarette butts, campfires, discarding bottles, sparks from machinery and motorcycles.

The catalytic convertor, which is often underneath, is the hottest part of your bike and can easily spark a fire.

Adventure riders who travel off road should take special care.Bushfires BMW R 1200 GS

Caught in a bushfire

If you are caught in a bushfire, your phone (or EPIRB, beacon, etc) will be your best friend.

Work out where you are exactly and then contact police and emergency services to give them your location.

Park your bike behind a solid structure to block as much heat as you can.

Turn off your bike’s engine, but leave the lights and/or hazard lights on.

Stay near your bike, but not too close in case it goes up in flames.

Try to get down low, near a water source or below the level of the fire as they move faster uphill.

Also try to get upwind from a fire.

Dangers of bushfires

Dehydration motorcycle gear Riders dies of dehydration in heatwave dust storm

Riders are more vulnerable than motorists in cars because they have no air conditioning to regulate air and temperature.

The biggest dangers for riders are from smoke inhalation, low visibility and eye irritation from smoke.

Carry water with you to flush out sore eyes and to ensure you stay hydrated.

Tips to avoid dehydration in a heatwave:

  1. Don’t drink too much alcohol the night before a ride. It has a diuretic effect which means it causes you to urinate more water than you take in which means you are losing fluid. And you can’t counteract that by drinking lots of water because most of it will go out in your urine. Obviously, don’t drink alcohol while you are riding!
  2. Start drinking water as soon as you wake and keep sipping water right up until you get on your bike. It takes about half an hour for water to reach your muscles. Guzzling water just before a ride is not good as it can make your stomach to cramp. The Royal Flying Doctor Service which has attended dehydrated riders in the Outback, recommends carrying 10 litres of water per day! Read their Outback riding tips here.
  3. Wear ventilated motorcycle clothing. Leathers may protect you better in a crash, but they create a “microclimate” which impairs your ability to lose heat. As a result you will produce more sweat to decrease your core temp. Instead, wear a flow-through jacket. There are heaps of options on the market. Make sure they have vents in the back so the air flows through. Also, loosen the sleeves so you get plenty of air on your wrists which have a lot of blood vessels close to the skin to effectively cool you down. However, be aware that a flow-through jacket cools you down because it is drying the sweat off your skin which can lead to dehydration. A set of Ventz up your sleeve will also keep you cool as air flows up your arms.However, don’t be fooled by your level of coolness as ventilation can also cause you to loose more water through evaporation. So you still need to keep drinking plenty of water.

    Ventz motorcycle jacket vents - pain heatwave dust storm
    BUY Ventz motorcycle jacket vents NOW

  4. Don’t be tempted to remove your jacket in the heat! Exposed skin may feel cooler, but that’s because the sweat is evaporating quicker, but that is just making you more dehydrated. And while your skin feels cool, you’ll be tricked into staying in the sun longer which leads to sunburn. That also leads to dehydration because your body needs water to repair and renew damaged skin.
  5. Get a Camelbak or other brand of water-dispensing unit so you can continue to take small sips of water while you are riding. I’ve seen riders on GoldWings and other big tourers with cup holders so they can take slurps from a water bottle. That’s obviously not as safe as the hands-free Camelback option, but anything is better than nothing. Some people don’t like Camelbaks because the water gets hot, but the temperature of the water doesn’t affect dehydration.Camelbak reduces dehydration heatwave dust storm
  6. Stop more often than usual and hang out in the shade or in an air-conditioned cafe. Since you are drinking lots of fluids, you will probably need to stop anyway!
  7. While you’re stopped, have a coffee, but take it easy. No need to swear off your favourite caramel latte, but avoid excess coffee. That also goes for caffeinated drinks such as Red Bull. High levels of caffeine have a diuretic effect just like alcohol.
  8. While having a coffee break, avoid having too many sweet cakes, donuts and muffins. Sugar can dehydrate you if it gets to very high levels in your blood. This can happen if you are a diabetic, take certain medications or have an infection or some organ diseases. Sugar causes your kidneys to produce more urine to eliminate the sugar, leading to dehydration. Likewise, don’t drink too many sugary drinks. Best to stick to plain water, real fruit juices with no added sugar or drinks such as Gatorade that replace salts and minerals lost in sweat.
  9. We’ve talked a lot about urine and it’s important that you monitor the colour. It should be a straw colour. If it’s too dark, you are dehydrated.
  10. Sweat also depletes your body of sodium and if it becomes too low, it can cause many of the same symptoms as dehydration. The average diet probably has enough sodium, but it’s good to have a little bit of salt on your meals or drink sports drinks that have a sodium supplement. However, beware of sports drinks with caffeine and sugar.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com