I’ve been riding my scooter around Sydney since 2008 and it has been fantastic! I’m able to avoid the dreaded public transport while zipping past cars stuck in traffic!
I’ve even been hit by a car while going to work – that wasn’t fun. Sure, it scared the daylights out of me, but it’s actually made me a much better rider and driver on the roads. So, if you’re looking to hire a bike overseas, here’s a few tips so you can have some fun on your holiday!
1. Read the paperwork carefully
Read what you’re signing so you don’t get called out – find out what the terms and conditions are and keep a copy as a reference. Use your mobile phone to take a photo of what you’ve signed so if you lose the paper copy, you have a digital back up!
2. Check your bike out for damages
Look over it for the damage that’s present. Are there scuff marks on the side? If so, take a photo of them so you’re in dispute, you have some proof.
3. Wear closed toe shoes and a helmet
Some countries don’t require you to wear a helmet like the United States – don’t be an idiot. You can easily crack your head open and die or even lose your toes if you fall off your bike. Seriously. You can be going only 15k/hr and lose a finger or a toe within seconds, so just be smart about it.
4. Take the bike for a spin before hitting the real roads
You’ll be able to double check that the bike is in good working order and the breaks actually work so if you get a dud, you can swap the bike out.
5. Be aware of the rules of the country you’re in
There’s nothing worse than spending a night in jail because of something that could have been prevented – so just be aware of the local rules and customs.
6. If you get confused, follow the car in front of you
Nine times out of ten, the car in front of you is driving on the correct side of the road, so if you’re unsure of what side of the road to be on, follow the car in front of you. If you’re making a turn, talk it out. You might think you look like a bit of an idiot, but you’ll be alive if you talk your way though it. It works. It’s better than being splattered on the pavement.
7. Be aware of your surroundings
If signs are pointing to being in a dodgy area… Or, If you even think you’re in a dodgy area, you probably are so keep a look out and be sure not to park the scooter anywhere you think something bad could happen. And just remember, you stick out a little more because you’re a tourist.
8. Check your bills
You’d be surprised at how many places overseas ‘overlook’ accidental or excess charges. We hired the bike for $60/day but they charged us $350! After a phone call, the charge was taken off our credit card but imagine how many people are scammed because they never look!
Just remember, you’re there to have fun, not to be cooped up in hospital or scammed out of your hard earned cash. Be safe and and travel safe!
A girl gone walkabout in the great big world!