With the motorsport world on hold, and travel bans in place for Australia, you might be forgiven for contemplating a future escape.
Speedcafe.com has worked to develop a list of dream places, events and experiences for fans of motorsport and motoring for you to tick off your Bucket List.
GS OFF ROAD TRAINING, National
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has given plenty of people the chance to reflect on their personal bucket lists and put plans in place to do things a little different in the future.
While pre-COVID many were caught on the treadmill of everyday life, recent restrictions have injected people with a newfound determination to ‘escape’ as the opportunity presents itself.
Many have decided the easiest way to do that is on an adventure bike.
While some have already bitten the bullet and are out on the open road or dirt, others facing stricter movement restrictions are breaking the boredom and frustration by concentrating on being ready for when the shackles are taken off.
This has meant making sure their existing gear is in good shape, or completely starting from scratch by buying a bike, safety gear and arranging some rider training.
For many who have a BMW GS adventure bike, or have one on their wish list, a course with GS Off Road Training, headed by former racers Chris Urquhart and Shane Booth, is part of their preparation commitment.
Urquhart and Booth both started riding at the age of five and became respected competitors on the professional motocross circuit.
With their passion for two wheels failing to wane after their racing careers finished, the pair became professional coaches and eventually set up GS Off Road Training which is BMW Motorrad Australia’s official offroad training academy tour provider.
Since COVID-19 hit the pair have been in a “washing machine” trying to provide solutions for more than 220 riders who were booked on a tour from Phillip Island to the Blue Mountains.
The tour was originally scheduled for March, but two weeks earlier the country was forced into the grip of the COVID pandemic.
It was moved to May, then September and will finally get a start this weekend, although with two separate events from Batemans Bay to the Blue Mountains for the NSW customers and the Gold Coast to Noosa for the Queensland-based riders.
“We were ready to go and then COVID smashed us,” Urquhart told Speedcafe.com.
“We had 220 riders, accommodation booked, freight sorted and $30,000 worth of event merchandise bought and paid for.
“Then this dark cloud came over us and it has been like we have been in a washing machine ever since.”
Once next week’s tours are complete, Urquhart is looking forward to having a clean slate and getting ready for the next phase of the business’ development.
Urquhart definitely has proof of the ‘cabin fever’ which has hit new and more experienced riders alike.
“We have had enquiries from every state and territory with new and existing customers wanting to know everything that is going on,” said Urquhart.
“Our wait lists are crazy.
“The great thing is that the majority of our customers really become part of an offroad community.”
In the last eight years, GS Off Road has conducted close to 200 courses and helped train more than 10,000 riders.
While the tours are one aspect of the business, GS Off Road Training offers several different courses to bring new and experienced riders up to speed.
The most popular of these is the Adventure Skills course which offers something for riders with zero offroad riding experience to customers looking to improve their confidence and control.
This course provides core handling skills which includes how to become comfortable with the size and weight of your bike as well as clutch and throttle skills, brake skill, hill recovery, climbing and descending hills and cornering.
There is also a Ladies only Adventure Skills course for the same dollars.
There are two more two-day courses which deal with your improving skills accordingly.
Adventure Expert is all about fine-tuning the skills which are taught from scratch in the
Adventure Skills course and concentrates on reading surfaces and choice of lines through terrain.
There are only a couple of Adventure Pro courses per year which are designed for the most experienced adventure rider with attention on accuracy and consistency.
Adventure Sand looks at all the challenges facing those wanting to tackle the soft stuff and works on how to manage unexpected sand to tackling dunes full on.
All these two-day courses are $695.
GS Off Road also offers a one-day Adventure Prep course for $395 which does not include any riding, but helps you prepare your machine for future adventures.
More importantly, it teaches you how to put together a tool kit and how to fix stuff like punctures, engine case damage and a bike you might happen to drown in a river.
For those that have the time and are in a hurry to ramp up their skills as quickly as possible, GS Off Road offers a four-day Adventure Masterclass which is held at their Mount Seaview venue in New South Wales.
Elements of all their courses are included in this program, including sand riding and bike preparation, and it culminates in a half-day tour where all your new skills are put to the test.
All guests stay on site at the campground as part of the $1695 fee, or they can upgrade to hotel style accommodation.
The courses are run at a series of venues across the country.
Queensland venues include Queensland Moto Park at Coulson, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast while NSW locations include Dargle, Gunaroo and Mount Seaview.
Victorian courses are hosted in Bright and Broadford while Adelaide hosts an Adventure skills course while Acusa Park is home to South Australia’s riding elements.
To check out the current schedule of courses, CLICK HERE.
Now. On ya bike!
CLICK HERE for gallery.
|Address||Courses are held in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland|
|How to get there||These courses are held nationally|
|Opening hours & tickets||One-day bike-prep course $395; 2-day courses $695; Four-day course $1695; Tours vary in price.|
|Additional tip||Have a good read of the frequently asked questions section on the website. It really fills some gaps, especially for beginners.|