RIDING DIFFERENT BIKES. RACING SOME
Motorcycle trips during Covid-19, it’s a controversial topic. Covid-19 – aka ‘Corona’ – in general, is a hot topic in a sad way. Do you go on a motorcycle holiday during Corona or not? We respect your choice to stay at home. And we’ve got the same respect for everyone who does decide to go. We don’t want to discuss how to deal with the Corona virus. We want to tell you about our experience with Covid during our motorcycle trip. REDRIDINGBOOTS did travel and we hope you respect us too, for making that decision.
It differs per country how much you feel the effect of all the Covid measures. Think of; required statements, test results (negative ones), curfews etcetera. You could choose to not let yourself be affected by all the restrictions and just go for it. Still, we’d advice you to do some research beforehand, especially when you’ll cross multiple countries. Getting a fine one time isn’t too bad. But collecting them everywhere you go is just a waste of money. That money is better off when spend on petrol or motorcycle parts.
We shouldn’t have to mention it, but don’t forget your passport. You can download the required statements from the government’s website of the country you want to go to. Print it and fill in the blanks to avoid trouble. Signing it digitally also is an option.
We travelled to Spain to race on track for three days in Alcarras. To get there, we crossed most of the Netherlands and drove through Belgium and France to eventually arrive in Spain. In Spain, most of the greatest Covid misery seems to be over. There are less active restrictions and most restaurants are in business again. At least, in some areas. It also differs per area whether there’s still an active curfew or not. According to the restrictions of the countries, a statement is necessary to travel through Belgium and France. These statements give you the opportunity to continue your travel during curfew. Better safe than sorry? It’s a small effort to download the statements from the websites of the particular country’s government. Fill it in, sign it and bring it with you. It doesn’t add too much of a hassle to your trip and can prevent lots of trouble.
The extra bit of paperwork that comes with traveling at the moment isn’t too bad. Do you want to avoid the risk of being rejected to enter the country at the border? Then it’s a clever idea to book an appointment for a Covid test. It might feel strange to get tested when you don’t have any symptoms related to Covid. But the fines for traveling without a negative test result is more expensive than the costs for a PCR test with a travel certificate. In the Netherlands, such a test costs between €90,- and €139,-. We can’t fully explain the price difference. It’s probably a case of supply and demand. Are you lucky and do you live close to or in a big city? Then they cost about 90,-. Do you live in a small village like we do? Then they cost considerably more. Keep in mind that you will have get tested again before your journey home. So in the least favorable scenario, it costs you almost €300,- extra. In our case – 3 days of racing on track – it costs almost a hundred euros extra per day. We love racing too much to let something like this get us down. But spending that much money on tests wasn’t the most joyful part of our trip too, to be honest.. It’s something to keep in mind.
After you’ve collected and filled in all the paperwork and a test appointment was made, you will get the next challenge to tackle; curfew. As we stated, signed statements provide you the possibility to drive or ride during curfew hours. One country is more forgiving on this part than the other. Don’t want to run the risk of being pulled over by the police? Then stop driving or riding around the time curfew starts. Can you disguise the motorcycle trip as a ‘work-related’ visit? Then there’s not much to worry about. To make life a bit easier, we’ve listed some curfew times for a couple of popular countries to visit for riding.
Belgium 24:00 – 05:00
– Brussels: 22:00 – 05:00
Germany; no curfew
France 19:00 – 06:00
Italy 22:00 – 05:00
Luxembourg 23:00 – 06:00
The Netherlands 22:00 – 04:30
Austria 20:00 – 06:00
Spain 23:00 – 06:00
So, you’ve printed the neccessary paperwork and signed it, the route has been detemined and the Covid test is planned. What else to think of? There are a few minor details that usually don’t form any problem at all, but can turn into a bit of challenge during these circumstances. Keep in mind that most restaurants are closed and hotels aren’t as easy to book last minute as usual. We drove to Spain with two vans stuffed with motorcycles. Our tip; go for the bigger gas stations. The choice in food is often bigger. For example, order a freshly made sandwich, go outside and have a nice meal at a picknick table. Camping life isn’t too bad, especially when the sun comes out. Do you want to spend the night somewhere? Arrange it in advance if possible. We can tell you from our own experience that arranging a hotel last minute in the evening isn’t really an option right now, especially not in France.
With the paperwork and a negative test result in your backpack or car, you finally head out for your motorcycle trip during Covid-19. Your Sat Nav is ready. Your stuff is packed. Let’s go! We’ve got to admit; we were nervous to travel and doubted for quite some time whether we should go or not. You are fully allowed to disagree with our choice, but eventually we decided to go. We just really wanted to feel like free human beings again and saw no harm in a few days racing in another country. So we went.
In short; we made quite a fuss of it and stressed ourselves out way more than neccesary. Yes, you notice the impact Covid has on different countries. We came across many restaurants and hotels that were closed due to bankruptcy. It requires some improvisation and traveling during Covid-19 times demands quite a bit of your camping skills. It adds some to the organization and administration of your trip. Doesn’t that bother you? Then go for it. Do you think it’s not responsible or sensible to travel right now? Or do you think it’s too much of a hassle? Then don’t. We loved every second or our short trip. Do you want to go on a sporty motorcycle trip and race abroad? Then book with an organization such as Racecracks, Eybis or No Limits Trackdays. They will give you extra tips and tricks for a safe and responsible motorcycle trip during Covid-19.