Anyone who’s visited one of Britain’s National Parks at the weekend will know just how popular motorbike riding has become. And now there are companies offering more than just a few hours driving on scenic backroads. White Rose Tours offers specialist biking short breaks in the UK as well as longer holidays in Europe and America.
I spoke to owner David Galloway and asked him what type of person goes on one of his holidays. “Most of our customers are middle-aged to senior people,” he said. “They’re the kind who have come back into biking after having a family.”
David told me many people prefer riding as part of an organised group. “We find some people haven’t been abroad before or on a motorcycling holiday. We provide all the accommodation and we book the ferries. We give them a route, which will take them to the best places on the best roads. I think it’s that security of being together and companionship.”
The holidays offered by White Rose Tours are graded depending on your level of experience, which David says is important. “What we say is, if you’ve never been before, don’t choose our Croatia tour, which has some long days, or Norway,” he explained. “We’d say choose Germany or better still go on a weekend tour in the UK and build up to a longer holiday.”
And David feels a short break close to home could be a good taster to motorbike touring. “The short tours are a good introduction to people who haven’t toured before. They can come and just try it out to see how they like it,” he said.
The company has several tours across Europe, but David told me which ones are his favourites. “I love Spain and Portugal. I find their roads better for bikers. They’re quieter and generally more laid back. But for scenery, Switzerland and Austria take some beating.”
Many bikers will have America’s iconic Route 66 on their bucket list, but David says his company doesn’t offer that. Instead he offers riding tours in the southern states of Arizona and Utah. “Route 66 is overhyped. We do ride a section of it through Arizona, which is the best part. Of course a lot of Route 66 has disappeared under the freeway now anyway.”
And he says not being able to ride your own bike on the US tours shouldn’t be a problem. “Obviously we have to hire bikes, but we offer a wide range – from a BMW to a Harley Davidson,” he explained. “It is a bit strange and will take a couple of days to get a feel for it. But we’re lucky because the roads we’re riding on in Arizona are fairly quiet and we ride in a group. You don’t have to worry about navigation and can just concentrate on the driving and the scenery.”
You can find out more about motorbike holidays at White Rose Tours.