Cruis­ing the Wim­mera

LifeStyle Wimmera - - INSIDE - By Dean Law­son

There is some­thing spe­cial, as well as be­ing more than a tad ‘cool’ about the idea of climb­ing onto the sad­dle of a com­fort­able mo­tor­cy­cle and sim­ply cruis­ing.

It rep­re­sents a ro­man­tic dream for many peo­ple who ei­ther never get to or fail to seize the op­por­tu­nity to don the leathers and hel­met to pur­sue high­way ad­ven­tures.

But Hor­sham busi­ness cou­ple Stu­art and Tracey Hobbs re­fused to leave it as a no­tion locked away in a men­tal wish-list and are busy ex­plor­ing the idea.

Now the hard-work­ing pair, des­per­ate to make the most of any rare spare time away from their Breuers United Tools and Breuers Hire busi­nesses, are mo­tor­cy­cle con­verts.

With both sad­dling up on glis­ten­ing Har­ley David­son mo­tor­cy­cles, the arm­chairs of the two-wheel mo­tor­ing world with all the mod-cons in mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Stu­art and Tracey hit the road to take in all the Wim­mera, Mallee and Grampians have to of­fer.

Stu­art was the first to take the plunge, buy­ing his Har­ley in 2010 and rekin­dling ex­pe­ri­ences of rid­ing his brother’s mo­tor­cy­cle from the farm into town be­fore he had his car li­cence.

“I’d never owned a mo­tor­bike but I sup­pose the pas­sion was al­ways there to have my own,” he said.

“Call it a midlife cri­sis or what­ever, but we had worked hard to get the busi­ness to a cer­tain point and it was about find­ing some­thing to do be­yond sport and work.”

Tracey tagged along as a pil­lion for a while but in typ­i­cally in­de­pen­dent fash­ion de­clared she would one day get her own li­cence. And she did.

“I had never rid­den a mo­tor­bike at all and was quite ap­pre­hen­sive about it. Even now I’m very safety-con­scious. I started with a Yamaha and then bought a Har­ley as Stu­art up­dated his bike,” she said.

“We now have reg­u­lar Sun­day rides over the Grampians but also go on all sorts of rides. We’ve done some week­end trips to places such as Bendigo but you don’t have to do long trips to get the en­joy­ment out of it.

“A trip from Hor­sham to No­rad­juha or Na­timuk, or across to Minyip or War­rackn­abeal is en­joy­able. You drive there, per­haps stop for a cof­fee some­where or some fuel, and come home. There is a lot to see, es­pe­cially on a mo­tor­cy­cle.”

Stu­art said they had not done an in­ter­state trip yet, but that’s com­ing.

“We want to get to per­haps the Gold Coast or some­where sim­i­lar in the fu­ture,” he said.

“We’re fully blue-tooth con­nected and con­stantly talk to each other which helps. When I’m out the front and there is any­thing ahead I can talk Tracey through it. It’s great be­cause you re­ally have an­other set of eyes. ”

Stu­art, with tongue firmly in cheek, said there was only the odd oc­ca­sion when com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­came awk­ward, such as when Tracey started singing while rid­ing.

The pair agreed the mo­tor­cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ences pro­vided them a way to do some­thing to­gether that was also ‘dif­fer­ent’.

“Any­thing that gives time to think is en­joy­able. It is a great pres­sure re­lease. And on the beau­ti­ful days it is gor­geous,” Tracey said.

“You’re more alert and you tend to ex­pe­ri­ence more than you usu­ally do – the sights, sounds and smells,” Stu­art added.

Both agreed the re­gion was ideal for mo­tor­cy­cle cruis­ing, but added that peo­ple needed to be vig­i­lant with safety.

“If it is some­thing you’re just start­ing go steady and get the hours up. You need to have a greater aware­ness on a mo­tor­bike and there is a lot more dou­ble-check­ing. Be safe and be re­spon­si­ble. It’s not a push­bike,” Stu­art said.

“There are plenty of places to start rid­ing and the Wim­mera is a great place to learn. There are also places to help peo­ple get started and the sup­port and ad­vice we’ve had from Hor­sham Har­ley David­son has been ex­cel­lent.”

Stu­art and Tracey Hobbs of Hor­sham spend much of their spare time on mo­tor­cy­cle trips. Pic­ture: KELLY LAIRD

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