Tag Archives: Covid-19

Head for the Lions Rd tomorrow!

Great news! The Queensland/NSW border reopens at 1am on Saturday 15 January 2022, opening some of the best riding in the region.

The Lions Rd, Mt Lindesay Highway, Summerland Way, Numinbah Rd, Tomewin Rd and others are some of the best roads for motorcyclists just about anywhere and bound to be popular this weekend.

Sadly, I’m in iso until Monday (negative test pending), but I’m hoping to head down the Lions Rd very soon.

I went down there recently to the border where huge concrete barriers halted my fun on the Harley-Davidson Sportster S.

My mate and I at the Lions Rd border recently

It’s been too long with the border closed twice for long periods.

We won’t go into the politics and the case for and against border closures.

Instead, let’s just revel in the fun to be had now the borders are opening.

I know several riders who are itching to go and there might even be some early risers tomorrow staking a claim to be the first to cross the border at the Lions Rd which opens at 5am.

It’s almost like the Berlin Wall coming down for riders, especially given some borders were “hard closures” with concrete barriers.

The decision to open the borders came with the Omicron variant now widespread in the community (tell me about it) and 90% of eligible Queenslanders expected to be fully vaccinated next week.

More than 91.33% of Queenslanders have had at least one dose of vaccine and 88.18% are now double dosed.

From tomorrow, border checkpoints and barriers will be removed and travellers will no longer have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Dirt bike

So, get those kickstands up, bright and early, stay safe and have fun!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Award for Bloodbikes Australia founder

Peter Davis, who founded Bloodbikes Australia has been rewarded for his tireless work with a Personalised Plate “BBA19” to mark the two-year anniversary of the volunteer motorcyclist group.

“It’s an amazing honour and unexpected,” says Peter who was awarded with the plate at a surprise coffee meet-up in Springfield Shopping Centre in Ipswich this morning. 

“A lovely gesture from an awesome mob of volunteers,” says Peter who couldn’t wait to fit the plate, organised by Gold Coast volunteer John Eacott, to his Honda cruiser.

Peter and his Honda

BBA

The organisation is based on a British group that started several years ago delivering blood and other medical samples.

The Australian branch started before the pandemic but has since become a pivotal last-resort volunteer service for collecting COVID tests.

Peter says about 98% of their current volunteer work is now in the fight against COVID pandemic.

Bloodbikes Australia volunteers throughout the nation are performing last-resort medical transport when all other methods are not available. 

Upcoming-Bimota-KB4-Specifications-Surface-Online-1

They transport biopsies, medicines, blood, blood tests and even consumables and equipment, helping out when the despatch system is stretched to the limit.

If you would like to volunteer, check out their website www.bloodbikesaustralia.org.au.

Bloodbikes Australia founder Peter Davis with his personalised plate

Congrats to Peter

Rob Chrisomalidis BloodBikes Victoria: Well deserved, Peter! You’ve founded such a fantastic initiative that combines community service with our passion for riding. We’re delighted to be able to give back!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

COVID-19 Forces Organizers to Cancel 2021 Tokyo Motor Show

The Tokyo Motor Show has showcased the latest and greatest innovations in the automotive and power sports industries since 1954. The show takes place every two years and since being held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center in 2019, this year’s event was scheduled to take place in October 2021. Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Tokyo Motor Show has been canceled according to the Japanese Car Manufacturers (JMA).

The Japanese government has plans to declare its third state of emergency in the regions of Tokyo and Osaka. The 2019 Motor Show drew approximately 1.3 million people and hosting the event this year could put visitors at risk for infection. Akyo Toyoda, Head of the JMA was quick to cancel the 2021 Tokyo Motor Show via a virtual press conference.

Toyoda stated “We have concluded that it will be difficult to offer our main programs where many visitors get to experience attractive features of mobility in a safe environment,” 

“The Tokyo auto show showcases motorbikes, minicars, large vehicles, passenger cars, as well as mobility vehicles of other industries. As such, we would like to prioritize having visitors experience these vehicles in the real world, and we would rather hold the event in the real world, not virtually. So, we have decided to cancel the event.”

The cancellation of the 2021 event comes as no surprise as we move into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the news is unfortunate for everyone involved in addition to anyone who awaited the event, Toyoda has plans for the future. 

Motorcycle paramedics

“The next time, we would like to hold an improved event to be called Tokyo Mobility Show,” added Toyoda. “We would like to ask for your continued support.”

Information on the Tokyo Mobility Show hasn’t been released yet, but we look forward to bringing the info forward once it’s available.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pandemic drives down motorcycle theft

The biggest decrease in motor vehicle theft in Australia during the pandemic was in motorcycles.

While national vehicle theft was down 7% in the 12 months to the end of September – the lowest since 2017 — the largest reduction was in motorcycles.

Bike thefts were down 11% to 8667 which was only 1% up on four years ago, say the official National Motor Vehicle Theft Council figures.

This is due to the COVID lockdown and riders being unable to ride their bikes, so they have been locked away in garages.

However, the council warns that the trend may now be reversing as states open up after COVID restrictions since September.

The council is warning all motorists to keep their vehicles locked and secured as well as their keys, as most vehicle theft is as a result of homes being broken into and keys stolen.

The Council also points out that there is a correlation between the performance of the economy and crime.

They tip that with the recession caused by the pandemic it is “almost certain the current uplift in vehicle crime will extend into 2021 at a minimum”.

Motorcycle thefts had been trending up with a 10.% increase to 9672 in the 2019 calendar year. In fact, that was the biggest increase of any category of vehicle.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Piaggio Group Is Delivering Their Italian Motorcycles and Scooters Straight to Your Door

Order an Aprilia RSV4 Straight to Your Doorstep

Knock knock – Who’s there? It’s the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. The world has been seeing a steady rise in new cases across the board. My hometown didn’t have a terrible initial outbreak, but the news is showing cases skyrocketing due to cold weather and Halloween parties.

Italy had one of the first initial waves on earth, and are taking every possible opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen this second time around. Ten days ago, the government imposed curfews and the country just divided itself into areas based on COVID cases with a colour assigned to indicate risk levels. Motorcycle dealerships and gear stores remain open, even in the highest risk areas.

If you don’t fancy braving the outside world to go pick up your new bike to help burn some free time during a second lockdown, the Piaggio Group has you covered. If you buy a new bike or scooter on their website they now offer an additional service that gives you the option to have your new vehicle delivered right to your doorstep. 

Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi’s websites will all have the option to have your new purchase delivered. Although you might initially think that keeping dealerships open in the ‘red zones’ is a bad idea, keep in mind much of Italy’s residents fully commute by motorcycle or moped, so it is important for the brands to keep their servicing centers open in the event a customer needs a tune-up or major repair to keep them mobile during the pandemic. 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Valentino Rossi Sits Out Aragon Grand Prix Due to COVID-19

The Doctor Needs A Doctor

That’s right. Our favorite rider has contracted COVID-19 making him the very first MotoGP rider to have the illness amidst the 2020 season. Moto2 competitor Jorge Martin also missed two races due to COVID-19 complications, but Valentino Rossi is the first full MotoGP racer to be struck with the illness.

After waking up and telling Yamaha staff he was “feeling a bit sore”, Rossi took the test yielding a positive result on the second try.

Unfortunately, this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good. My bones were sore and I had a slight fever, so I immediately called the doctor who tested me twice. The quick PCR test result was negative, just like the test I underwent on Tuesday. But the second one, of which the result was sent to me at 16:00 this afternoon, was unfortunately positive“, said Rossi.

Currently sitting 10th in the MotoGP standings with 58 points and 1 podium you could consider this whole situation a win or a loss, depending on how you look at it. It would be tragic if Rossi was battling for a top 3 position and came down with the illness, but it’s also not ideal when currently every race counts when trying to claw out of the bottom 10.

It’s important for Rossi to be careful at this time as his two Yamaha teammates, Maverick Vinales (3rd in standings) and Fabio Quartararo (1st in standings) are currently fighting for title contention making it important that he self isolates so the virus does not spread to his teammate or the other Yamaha orbiter team.

I am so disappointed that I will have to miss the race at Aragon, I’d like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round in Aragon to be a ‘no go’ for me as well… I am sad and angry because I did my best to respect the protocol and although the test I had on Tuesday was negative“, said Rossi in regards to the situation.

We wish Valentino a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him on the track soon. Due to Rossi having great overall health, I wouldn’t be too worried and should expect ‘The Doc’ making a full recovery in no time.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Fallout from world’s biggest motorcycle rally

So what is the fallout from the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally last week, the biggest mass gathering in the world since the pandemic was declared?

Organisers had predicted attendance would be about 250,000, down from an annual average of almost half a million.

However, official figures are 365,979 which is only about 7% down on the previous year. Fewer people aged 60-70 attended as this is the age group statistically most vulnerable to COVID-19.

It seems many riders chose to thumb their noses at the pandemic.

This is despite 63% of the town’s citizens voting not to hold the rally. It went ahead anyway after a gift wholesaler in nearby Rapid City threatened to sue the council.

The world’s media was there to record the event, leaving some scratching their heads and others cheering for freedom.

Rally falloutSturgis world's biggest motorcycle rally fallout

The fallout in infection rates and deaths is yet to come as the incubation period ranges from two to 14 days.

However, the damage to motorcycling’s image may already have been done.

One of the results of the rally in the small town of Sturgis is that many of the 7000 residents, especially the elderly, will now go into a 14-day lockdown.

This will put a strain on the town’s Meals on Wheels program, so a fund was set up to collect donations for the charity.

Robert Pandya, a motorcycle industry veteran and founder of the GiveAShift motorcycling lobby group that initiated the fund drive, says they had hoped to raise $US8000.

Instead, they raised $15,750 online and collected an additional $1408 in cash along Lazelle St during the rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

That’s a total of $17,158 from motorcyclists and motorcycle brands both attending and electing to skip the rally.

”This was wild and completely unexpected,” says Jamie Helms, manager of the Sturgis Meals on Wheels program. “Due to COVID-19 some of our donations coming in have slowed down in the past few months, this fundraiser from the motorcycle community will help so many here in Sturgis! I am overwhelmed by the generosity!”
USA America Sturgis Rushmore South Dakota rally crowd fallout
Riders in the Black Hills of South Dakota

While the number of infections and deaths from the spread of coronavirus is not known, we do know that there were 50 crashes reported over the 10 days of the rally.

That’s up from 41 last year.

There were four fatal crashes with five people sadly losing their lives.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rally fundraiser to aid Sturgis senior citizens

Riders are being asked to help raise $US8000 for Meals on Wheels to service senior citizens who will be advised to home quarantine after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

The world’s biggest motorcycle rally from, this weekend until next weekend (8-16 August 2020) will also be the biggest mass gathering since the pandemic was declared six months ago.

Robert Pandya, a motorcycle industry veteran and founder of the GiveAShift initiative that initiated the fund drive, says “motorcyclists are incredibly generous”.

The fund-raising project should go some of the way to dispelling the image of riders flouting social distancing and risking the spread of the coronavirus through the community and taking it back home when they return after the nine-day rally.

Organisers expect about 250,000 to attend the rally which is half the usual crowd.

Sturgis Mayor Mark Carstensen says they have increased cleaning schedules and cancelled many group activities. Following the rally, a mass Covid-19 testing program will be held.

Michael Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, says the rally could cause a major virus spread.

“Come mid-August to late August, early September, Sturgis will have one hell of an imprint on this country,” he says.

Senior citizensUSA America Sturgis Rushmore South Dakota rally

Meanwhile, the Sturgis Meals on Wheels (SMoW) program has already been stretched thin by the pandemic increasing need and reducing resources, says manager Jamie Helms.

“With the uncertainty of the world right now, our seniors depend on us just so that they don’t have to worry about leaving their homes where they feel safe,” he says.

“With our ageing population taking the city advice to quarantine for a couple of weeks after the rally, we are a needed service now more than ever, but we will get it done as we always do.”

Cash donations will be accepted under the blue tent at 1230 Lazelle St between 2-5pm from today (8 August) until next Saturday.

Click here for the official GoFundMe page for those who chose not to attend the event.

“We respect any riders who choose not to come to the event due to Covid, but encourage them to ‘donate a tank’ to thank and help the local seniors who have seen the rally become the most famous of its kind in the world,” Robert says.

“Supporting the Sturgis Meals on Wheels program is a natural fit for any biker and will have a hugely positive impact for local senior citizens.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Sturgis is biggest crowd since pandemic

Motorcycle riders are about to inherit a bad reputation around the world as hundreds of thousands crowd into the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this weekend.

As riders start to roll into the town, organisers predict attendance will be about 250,000, down from an annual average of almost half a million.

Yet it will still be the biggest crowd of people in the one place in the world since the pandemic was declared six months ago.

That will be a tremendous black mark against motorcyclists everywhere and already America and the world’s media is massing in the small town to record the spectacle.

Vendors

The number of vendors is down from about 700-800 to 330 as some companies decide it is not worth risking the health of workers nor the associated bad image.

Harley-Davidson employees are forbidden to travel so they will not be there but will have a lot of signage at the event.

Meanwhile, Indian Motorcycle will be on hand offering demo rides.

The company vaguely claim they will do it “in a way that keeps them safe and makes sure we are keeping employees and the dealership employees safe when they are interacting”.

Crowd checks

USA America Sturgis Rushmore South Dakota rally crowd
Riders in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Town leaders say they will be handing out masks, advising social distancing and offering testing to the crowd but it is doubtful many of the freedom-loving riders will comply.

They say there is little likelihood of transmission in the outdoors event, although a lot of the activities do take place in close quarters and in clubs, hotels and inside venues.

Currently South Dakota is recording about 75 new cases a day and increasing.

In April, the Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls became what was then the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spot when more than 600 staff contracted the virus.

So far, the state has recorded 9273 cases and 141 deaths with four in the past day.

Death projections for the state are 250 by December 1 as restrictions ease. That could be reduce to 180 if masks were made mandatory.

However, South Dakota is among several states that has not locked down nor made masks mandatory.

Those projections for deaths don’t take into account the Sturgis rally.

Nor do they show how the virus can be spread in other states and countries as rally goers head home, taking the infection with them.

As this becomes evident, the stigma that motorcyclists have spread the virus will taint riders everywhere.

Vote against rally

Of the 7000 Sturgis citizens, 63% voted not to hold the rally, but a gift wholesaler in nearby Rapid City threatened to sue the council.

Sturgis City Council member Terry Keszler says they should have postponed or cancelled the rally in March.

However, Doreen Allison Creed, Meade County commissioner who represents Sturgis, says the county lacked the authority to shut down the rally because much of it takes place on state-licensed campgrounds.

“We are either going to be a great success story or failure,” she says.

“I truly believe it could not have been stopped.”

The state’s Department of Tourism has estimated that the annual festival generates about $800 million in revenue.

Warning

Neighbouring Minnesota Department of Health commissioner Jan Malcolm called the decision to go ahead with the event “disappointing”.

Malcolm and other state public health leaders have warned that the rally could be a potential petri dish for spreading the virus here and across the nation.

Michael Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, says the rally could cause a major virus spread.

“Come mid-August to late August, early September, Sturgis will have one hell of an imprint on this country,” he says.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders help relay COVID-19 tests

Bloodbikes Australia is playing an integral part in transporting COVID-19 tests from suburban testing centres to medical laboratories.

Founder Peter Davis says they recently extended their free service offers from delivering blood to other medical products including breast milk.

However, they are currently being primarily deployed to take COVID-19 tests to medical laboratories.

“Our first runs of COVID samples started with our Sydney volunteer, Richard Alder, for St Vincents,” Peter says.

“It involved delivering consumables, label bags etc, picking up samples from the temporary testing stations and getting it to St Vincent’s Sydney laboratory for analysis.”

Bloodbikes Australia has become an integral part of transporting COVID-19 tests from testing centres to medical laboratories.
Richard picks up a sample

Tests ramped up

Two Bloodbikes Australia Brisbane volunteers have now stepped into the breach for Mater Pathology as thousands of residents of southern Brisbane and Logan City have queued up for hours to be tested following a new outbreak.

“Given the increased testing and the temporary, drive-through testing stations, the Mater Pathology couriers just couldn’t cover all the runs,” Peter says.

“Rather than delay analysis and results they called on Bloodbikes Australia, which is exactly our charter to fill in when all else fails.”

Peter has run samples from Metro Medical Centre Springfield Lakes and fellow volunteer Nick Carrigan has taken samples from a temporary testing centre in Cleveland.

Bloodbkes Australia tests
Nick picks up a sample

Both are delivering the tests to the Mater Laboratory at Mater Hill in South Brisbane.

“It was so great to feel like you’re helping in the COVID fight rather than being an observer,” says Nick.

Peter says the Canberra Bloodbikes Australia Volunteers may soon be doing test runs for the Canberra Hospital.

He called on people in medical services to contact him about providing services.

He says volunteers can contact the Bloodbikes Australia Facebook as demand for their services ramps up with the second wave of coronavirus infections.

Volunteers can also email Peter Davis on [email protected]

Peter recently rode to NSW and the ACT recently to visit volunteers before borders started closing down.

He says they now have 87 volunteers Australia wide on the NSW Central Coast, Sydney, Canberra. Western NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Bloodbikes background

Bloodbikes started in Manchester, UK in 2011 and Peter launched Bloodbikes Australia in September 2019.

Volunteers make deliveries when all other methods have been exhausted and time is critical.

“It was started because there were circumstances when a motorcycles can be a lot faster than a car in making urgent deliveries of blood to where it is required,” Peter says.

Blood he has delivered has been used in surgery as well as transfusions for cancer patients.

Peter delivers blood supplies to the Mater Hospital
Peter delivers blood supplies to the Mater Hospital

“Bloodbikes Australia is entirely voluntary. We volunteer our time, fuel and motorcycles,” Peter says.

“We are not an emergency service and abide by all the road rules and speed limits. We are not police or ambulance ‘wannabes’.

“We are just motorcycle enthusiasts who want to make our passion for riding available to do some good in the community.”

As an essential medical service, urgent deliveries would also be exempt from any travel restrictions during the current pandemic.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com