How are you different from other Postie Bike events?
Starting in 2002, the Postie Bike Challenge was the first event with postie bikes to operate in Australia. We are also the only event that supplies and prepares a motorcycle for you. In fact, we are the only full service event that supplies motorcycles, catering, accommodation, mechanics, several support vehicles and luggage truck, and emergency telecommunications including satellite phones and UHF radios. We reconnaissance every route every year to ensure we know the challenge ahead. We are the only event that is truly national, with previous routes crossing all states and territories in Australia, including Tasmania. We are also likely to be the only Postie Bike event with full event insurances in place. When you take part in the Postie Bike Challenge you are assured of a professionally operated event. We do the hard work so you can focus on enjoying your adventure!
What are the dates for 2018?
8 – 19 September 2018
Where are you going in 2018?
The 2018 event will be a trip of great variety – Heading north-west from Brisbane we will pass through the dry and arid regions of central Queensland, taking in towns like Barcaldine, Longreach and Winton. There will even be time to visit the Stockman’s Hall of fame. We then make a beeline north through towns on the rim of the Gulf of Carpentaria like Normanton and Burketown before we veer east toward the tropical coast. There will be a mix of long and short days, a taste of the outback, an overnight stay with natural hotsprings, camping by a crystal clear river. Our finale is a final day from Cooktown to Cairns along the famous Bloomfield track, a scenic 4wd track through World Heritage rainforest!
How difficult is the event?
The event is not a tour and the group does not travel in a controlled pack. Our aim is to provide an adventure experience, allowing people to travel at their own pace within event parameters. The routes chosen are adventurous and combine sealed and unsealed road surfaces. While all roads are gazetted, some surfaces are in poor condition when compared to a bitumen road. There may be sections of dirt, gravel, small stones, sand, bulldust, water crossing across river beds, and there may be holes in the road or road washouts. In an event of 3500kms there may be about 1200kms of unsealed roads. Riding motorcycles is inherently dangerous and even moreso when road conditions are ever changing. Some of the surfaces will require intense concentration for long periods and riders need to have a good general degree of fitness. In previous years, some riders have been injured and been unable to finish the event.
What type of people take part?
We quite literally get people from all walks of life – aged 19-72 years old, a mix of male and female, working or retired, from all manner of professions and backgrounds. What they seem to have in common is an adventurous streak, an ability to tolerate uncertainty, a sense of humour, an interest in doing something for the challenge of it and to be involved in a good cause. Many deep friendships are formed and whether you join the Postie Bike Challenge on your own or with a group of friends, you will find it very easy to fit in and mix with the other Challengers.
What happens on Day 1?
The first day of the event is an administration day. On that day there will be some briefings from the event leader and mechanics. There is also an opportunity to familiarise yourself with your motorcycle. On this administration day you will be expected to have the contents of the crate (already attached to the rear of your bike by us) fully organised and ready for departure the following morning.
When can I access my motorcycle?
You get first access to your bike on day 1 (administration day) prior to departure on day 2. You can test ride the bike and do any minor adjustments to the bike on day 1. The bike will remain at the departure point prior to the departure day (day 2).
How much is donated to charity and community groups?
Some of the entry fees will be used to pay for catering services provided by charity or community groups along the route. Event motorcycles will also be sold at the end of the event and monies raised from these sales will also be donated to a selected charity group(s). It is not possible to give an exact percentage for donation because there are fixed and variable expenses for the 2018 event that our suppliers are unable to finalise until closer to the event date and sale prices for the motorcycles vary from year to year. Nonetheless, we hope to make a total donation in the order of tens of thousands of dollars.
What happens to motorcycles at the end of the event?
You choose! You can keep the motorcycle at the end of the event or donate it. Donated motorcycles will be sold at the end of the event and monies raised from these sales will benefit a selected charity group(s). Please read Terms & Conditions on the Entry form for details.
Can I bring my own Postie Bike?
The short answer is no. We get one or two phone calls per year asking us this question. We have seriously considered the possibility previously, but given the low number of calls for this and the added logistical difficulties, we have decided to continue to provide the motorcycle as part of the entry fee. This decision is made to keep our event a premium, full service event.
Can I make a tax deduction?
The Postie Bike Challenge is not a registered charity but rather a social enterprise (operated on a commercial basis) which focuses on providing a unique adventure motorcycle event primarily and, where possible, attempts to support community groups through either direct donations or by payment for services. The community groups that we support are often not registered charities. If you donate the motorcycle to Rotary at the end of the event it may be worth your while discussing this with your tax advisor.
How do I get to and from the start and end point?
There are several airlines that fly into and out of the cities we start and finish in. The earlier you make your bookings the better the rate you will get.
How much will it cost?
The total registration fee to participate is $5850 AUD. We require a non-refundable deposit of $200 with a completed entry form to initially secure a place in the event. See terms and conditions on the entry form for payment schedule. Please read the terms and conditions for cancellation costs. Where possible and practical we will try to minimise cancellation costs but there are certain financial commitments that must be made on your behalf prior to the event start which are not recoverable.
What is provided?
- A registered Honda motorcycle which has been prepared by Honda.
- Milk crate attached to the rear carrier of the motorcycle.
- A fluorescent vest to be worn when riding.
- 2 pre-event newsletters.
- Daily running sheets with distance and turn points.
- Event polo shirt.
- Event cap.
- Lunch box.
- Luggage and spare parts truck.
- From departure day (day 2) lunch and dinner. Then all breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
- Support vehicles with water, first aid and satellite communications.
- Accommodation in a hotel (twin share) for one night at our destination and a celebration dinner.
What is not provided?
• All travel costs to the start point.
• All travel costs from the end point.
• Accommodation and meals at the start point prior to the departure day (day 2).
• Purchase of drinks, souvenirs and personal items.
• Motorcycle gear – We do not provide helmets, riding clothing or motorcycle accessories.
• Camping gear (tent, mattress and sleeping bag) which will need to fit into your duffle bag (luggage).
How much luggage can I bring?
Please restrict your luggage to one bag of about 80-85L capacity (multiply length x height x width). The best option is a cheap duffle bag rather than your expensive Samsonite case because your bag will get some battering with daily loading and unloading. Avoid putting any electronics in your luggage as there is a high probability of damage.
This single bag needs to contain all camp gear and clothing for the trip – but is not going to fit helmet, boots and riding clothing, which will be worn everyday. Yes, this is not much space and it will mean you have to think carefully about what you bring with you. We will include a packing guide in one of our newsletters once you register for the event.
What sort of camping gear will I need?
Swags take up too much space in our truck.
The best size tent would be a 2-man dome tent. This provides enough space inside for your sleeping gear and allows you to keep your duffle bag inside and out of the weather. You don’t need an expensive, lightweight hiking tent. You can find a suitable bottom of the range tent on sale at many of the large camping equipment stores and I have seen them sometimes cheaper at large retail stores.
Keeping size down is the most important consideration with mattresses. While the self-inflating mattresses can be good, they are usually very bulky due to the foam-cell insulation inside. We recommend the inflatable type mattresses because they can be fully deflated and take only a small amount of space. My personal preference is the rubberised canvas mattresses with inbuilt pillow, but you can also get PVC mattresses.
Temperatures at night may get down to below 10 degrees celsius. If you are a warm sleeper I would suggest a +5 degree bag. If you tend to get cold at night I would suggest a -5 degree bag. Once again, you don’t need a top of the range bag and many of the camping outlets and retail stores have regular sales.
We will provide some hand pumps for communal use.
How much spending money will I need?
There is sufficient opportunity to get money along the route from automatic teller machines, so there is not a requirement to carry large amounts of money.
What should I expect with regards to the accommodation?
We generally camp in showgrounds, rodeo grounds, or near outback hotels. In all instances there will be shower and toilet facilities, though the number of each may be limited. Some of the places we stay are quite remote so think basic and then nothing will shock you. On arriving at the evening’s destination it will be your responsibility to collect your bag from the luggage truck and set up your tent.
What clothing should I wear?
We must make it clear that protective clothing must be worn at all times when on the motorbike. This means a helmet, gloves, long protective trousers and a suitable jacket. While you may be willing to take a risk and not wear protective equipment, remember that should you injure yourself, you will be tying up one of our crew with your first aid, and possibly the local emergency services that will be called as required. Though it may get hot at times, the protective clothing could be the difference between you getting up and dusting yourself off after a fall and the end of the event due to a preventable injury. We also stress that standard denim jeans provide almost no protective measure against a fall from you bike and would suggest you wear reinforced (eg Kevlar) jeans as a minimum. In the evening you can wear whatever you like.
Can I modify the bike?
All bikes are prepared by Honda to meet road worthy and registration requirements. We leave the bikes unmodified and do not allow any modifications to the engine or gearing – quite frankly this removes part of the challenge of the event. Other modifications that riders have made include fitting GPS, novelty horns, and highway/forward foot pegs.
What helmet is best, road or moto cross style?
Both have their pros and cons and I don’t think either is a clear better choice so go with the helmet you already have. Riders must wear a helmet with an integrated chin guard. This can be a regular road helmet or moto-cross helmet. If you use a flip-face helmet the chin guard must be engaged at all times when riding. No open-face helmets will be accepted. Our experience has highlighted that open-face helmets provide insufficient protection from severe facial injuries in an accident.
Do I need insurance?
Participants MUST be covered by suitable travel insurance. You are not insuring the motorcycle itself. Travel insurance covers lost and damaged personal items, missed flights, cancellations of travel etc. Details of this insurance must be sent to us before departure. You may also want to consider some form of protective/personal injury insurance should an injury prevent you from returning to your employment after the event.
What happens when we arrive at our destination?
On arrival at the destination Rotary representatives will greet us. Hotel accommodation is twin share. It is up to participants to decide who they share with (past experience has shown that room allocation does not work). Or, you can pay that little extra and have a room to yourself – perhaps your partner/wife/relative will be joining you for the final celebration dinner.
Can friends and family join me at the hotel and for the final celebration dinner?
Yes. Having friends and family at the final dinner adds to the atmosphere. See the entry form for details of getting the room to yourself and the small charges for additional dinners.
What do we do when we arrive at each of our overnight stops?
There is a simple end of day routine for you to complete prior to relaxing. On arrival you need to sign in so we can ensure all riders arrive at the destination – do this before you do anything else. Refuel and check the oil levels on your bike and report any maintenance issues to the mechanics. Collect you duffle bag and set up your tent. This routine takes very little time and once complete the rest of the day is yours to rest or sightsee. USE YOUR IMAGINATION! Once you have settled into the accommodation and had something to eat and drink, you will have the chance to catch up with the others on the trip, share the trials and tribulations of your day, compare bruises over a beer in front of a huge camp fire.
Do I need a motorcycle licence?
Yes. You must hold a current motorcycle license at the time of the event which allows you to ride a 110cc motorcycle independently. Due to the stipulations of our insurers, riders will not be able to participate in the challenge without a valid licence.