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Yes, I know motorbike friendly accommodation is covered elsewhere, however, I wanted to get comments from all, not just those looking for accommodation through HU.
We are looking at starting a B&B (perhaps including a camping area) in southern Victoria, Oz (in the hills behind the Great Ocean Road) and would like to make it motorbike friendly where possible. I know the two basics: secure under-cover parking and a drying room for wet/muddy clothes. I would like to add map displays with relevant local maps.
I presume I have missed many other points.
How do you define "motorbike friendly accommodation"? What should such accommodation have to entice you to stay "here" rather than "there"?.
One day I'm gunna......
Location: Buenos Aires,City of good sex,mate and asado!
Never entered a hotel and parked the bike and the manager looks at you and say:sorry,no bikes alloud in the car parking space?
Your boots are full of mud,please don´t walk with those in the hotel.(and they are clean!)
How many "more" persons come with you,or are you allone?
And you know exactly you are not wellcome!!!
Imagine the other way http://www.laposta-azul.com/
or just http://www.dakarmotos.com/index1.htm
and you just know those are very friendly places.....
From my own experiences I would say, do not force the 'motorcycle friendly' aspect. We started our little venture mainly because we live in a very secluded French farm and can go days without seeing a soul. So we set up, all signs bilingual, expecting and geared towards English tourists.. What we found was we seemed to have specialised in wedding parties for the locals plus travellers from Belgium and Holland on their way to Spain. We had no idea our 'D' road was such a popular and well known road. Much of our repeat buisiness has come from french families visiting their relatives locally (often by referral from some relative or neighbour from the aforementioned wedding partys). Our only advertising has been signs ( hand painted on the road outside) Do not be mean, there is nothing worse than staying at a place where meals have the beans counted, and milk jugs contain 10cc when full. Our motivation is not the money, but the chance of meeting new people and being introduced to new conversation. We find most people not so sociable when they arrive, they are usually tired after a long day travelling and just want a good nights sleep. In the morning they are much more affable. Just be friendly and helpful to your guests and you buisiness will evolve in its own way. If they leave happy that they have had good value they will return when next in the area, and tell their friends. Repeat buisiness is central to making asuccess of it...
[This message has been edited by oldbmw (edited 22 March 2006).]
1: Friendly attitude to bikers!
2: Cover for bike
3: Drying area or at least somewhere to hang wet gear
4: Alternative routes that are more fun to ride than main routes with approximate travel times
5: Best place to buy spares etc
6: Information on other bike friendly places within varying riding times from your place.
I have been thinking along these lines for a long time!
Nigel in NZ
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read but a page"- St Augustine
How bout internet access so we can check the HU site and upload pics from digital camera's. I agree signs in the various languages helps, I have seen this done in FNQ and it attracts all the backpackers etc travelling in rented cars. Cheap but very effective.
Never enough time to fit it all in?
Can't beat local knowledge!
[This message has been edited by loxsmith (edited 24 March 2006).]
Beer and permission to walk indoor with dirty boots has nothing to do with it.
Safe parking, possible to dry clothes, and a source of information about the road ahead and how to solve a current problem (e.g. where to get a new tire, a good repair shop in town etc...). Add a spot to do some bike maintenance and a bike wash. Thats it.
I hope your B&B is up and running by the time I reach Southern Victoria.
If you want to get real friendly, consider a semi well equipped garage with a lift, a mig-mag welder, etc. To prevent theft or having your stuff destroyed, you could allways lend out tools against a deposit or rent them out. This way you can keep track of the tools used and returned, as well as the condition they are in. The deposit will reduce moral hazard amongst your customers, keeping them from obusing, misplacing or stealing tools.
To make some more money, consider also selling lubricants such as engine oil and WD40, tire patching kits, non-durables such as bulbs and sparks, etc. If you even keep a small fuelling station??? If you get a lot of bikers staying, you could allways consider having a tiny bike shop selling universal stuff, such as a samll selection of riding apperal, tires, polish, tent patching kits, electrical wire, tape, glue, shampoos and wax, etc. Being on a trip and discovering you brought inappropriate gloves and such, or that you have misplaced them...
I'd also consider laundry facilities and a room for drying riding gear.
I must agree with some of the past posts, one of the most important attribute is bike security. I also liked the tip of being able to wash your ride... ofcourse being able to buy the shampoos, etc for the job would make it even better.
With bike security sorted out, I think the number one most important attribute would be the atmosphere you are able to create. In this I don't mean that you should create the "Village People" biker bar feel, with biker perophenilia and bike posters every where. Bikers enjoy the same things as non-bikers, whether it is a nice cosy country feel b&b, a elegant estate house or a modern stylish minimalist hotel, or what ever else. Most important atmosphere attribute comes in the form of the company of others. If guests like the company they get in both the staff and other guests, they will return and also reccomend you to others. I'd go for a nice relaxing atmosphere...
That is always just a safe place for the bike and when possible not to sleep in a "ratcave"!!
Thats why we put all our accommodations here, so it is easier to find in crazy cities or somewhere else!!
We hope some travellers can use it!!
I am not a biker, but I have cycled all across Europe.
A bike friendly accomodation depends more of the staff working there than on infrastructure:
When I was cycling in Italy (Gemona dei Friuli) I stopped at a hotel and asked if they could put my bicycle somewhere locked and the woman on the reception said me that I should leave it on the parking (better said, on the street). Then I said no and she answered me "I give you the room, the other thing is your problem" and I said her please...(there werent more hotels) and she allowed me to put my bicycle in a room with a lock (she didn't want to do it, because she had to go downstairs and she was too lazy!). The same (or worse) would be with a motorbike (this also happened to me in Romania, Switzerland and Spain).
Note that nearly all hotels have some little used room with a lock, the problem is that they don't like some kind of clients.
A suggestion is to start a grass roots campaign. Beginning here is a great start, and you should entice early travelers directly from here (HU) using shameless promotion. Actually, it would not have to be shameless, but if you offered some or all of the immenities suggested, and the price is right, and you are located in the correct place, then you should have no problem getting clientel. One place that comes to mind is in the Santa Monica mountains north of Los Angeles along Mulhulland drive. Many people ride along that road on the weekends, and just have ended up at The Rock Store. It is a bar and restaurant (no rooms)located in a remote part of the road, but hundreds congregate there. It has gained cult status. Mikes Sky Ranch (hotel and bar) in Baja, Mexico is another place that has gained cult status due to the Baja races and bike friendly atmosphere. Cater to adventure travelers, but have some comforts, too. You should get a following just from this site. I would love to one day have the opportunity to visit your inn!!
Originally posted by oldbmw: From my own experiences I would say, do not force the 'motorcycle friendly' aspect...
I quite agree with this, I would not go too far out of your way to advertise / publicize the 'motorbike friendly' accommodation aspect of things, lest you unintentionally pigeonhole yourself as 'that B&B for motorcycles (only)'. Don't forget that unless you are at the entrance to the most awesome twisty road in your country, the vast majority of your business will come from folks who don't ride motorcycles, and perhaps have an uneducated, not too positive opinion of motorcycles and their riders.
For what it's worth, I stay at the Hilton in Zurich about 100 nights a year, and it is the most motorbike friendly hotel I have ever found. They provide me with covered, secure parking (free of charge), a space I can wash my motorcycle, a hose, and a bucket, and they smile at me and occasionally offer me a free coffee if they see me coming in after a rainy or cold day. What more could I want? They aren't specifically going after the motorcycle market, they are just being good, hospitable hotel operators.
I would never dream of showing up after a ride with muddy clothing - that would be rude and inconsiderate of me. If I get all muddy, I wash myself (and the motorcycle) off with a hose at a local gas station or coin op car wash before I return to the hotel.
I'm not so sure it would be a good idea to offer a selection of tool, or to go too far out of your way to offer a place to work on the bike, other than to make, perhaps, an unexpected or emergency repair. Otherwise, you will wind up with folks undertaking major work on a regular basis, and I don't think that is really in the best interests of everyone else (motorcyclist and non-motorcyclist) who stays at your facility.
I have stayed at a few different 'motorcycle friendly' hotels in the Black Forest area of Germany, and to be honest, I won't go back to any of them. I really don't want to hear half a dozen different couples starting up and warming up their motos every half hour beginning at dawn. So, instead of returning to these 'very motorcycle friendly' hotels, I will look for another hotel in the area that is 'just plain friendly' and offers me secure parking (covered or not, doesn't matter, simply secure is good enough) and a nice hotel. After all, out of the two of us (me and my motorcycle), it's my comfort that matters, not my motorcycle's.
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