Toodyay's Hidden Treasures - Avon Valley Trike Tours

Published on Friday, 13 November 2020 at 8:00:00 AM

What’s bright red, has three wheels and will take you to places in Toodyay you’ve never been before? That would be the titular trike of Avon Valley Trike Tours – a business established in 2019 by two bikers from way back, and one that has attracted loads of local and not-so-local attention ever since. That shouldn’t come as a surprise: the classic cherry-red Chopper owned and beloved by Toodyay residents Kevin and Jess is nothing if not eye-catching.

It’s certainly a far cry from the trike many of us learned to ride as kids….except Kev, perhaps, whose lifetime love for motorcycles began when he was born in the sidecar of his parents’ bike. Jess doesn’t have a similar story to tell, but the pair nonetheless share a passion that saw them biking their way around Australia and pit-stopped in Byron Bay when they saw the Chopper on the side of the road, then-owner by her side. They bonded with the man, who was running his own trike tour business on the east coast until a fortunate twist of fate had him make the move to WA and decide to pass his pride and joy on, for the right price and to the right people. Kev and Jess knew they were those people, and took it off his hands at top speed. They had originally settled in Toodyay for the thrill of riding the hills, and once the trike was theirs they knew they wanted to share that experience – and so Avon Valley Trike Tours was (kick) started in January last year.

The idea is simple but effective: up to three passengers at a time can hop on board and see Toodyay like never before over a half hour, an hour, or an hour and a half. The sixty-minute tour is Jess’ pick and the most popular choice, giving backseat riders the best overview of the town and taking routes and roads even local customers aren’t familiar with. Kev and Jess don’t like to give too much away, and the mystery of exactly where the trike takes its passengers has proven irresistible to people from all walks – and stages – of life. Pre-teens and pensioners have tried out the trike most often, with a 98-year-old naming her tour as a life highlight (which is saying something when there’s almost a century of experiences to compare it to). It seems there are plenty of ladies who find a man in leather irresistible too, judging by the propositions Kev receives on the regular.

It’s not just people of all ages attracted to the trike (and to Kev) but of all places too, from suburban Perth and the eastern states to India, Germany, the UK, and even the North Pole come Christmas time. It turns out Santa Claus enjoys swapping his standard sleigh for something with higher ho-ho-horsepower – as opposed to reindeer power – when he’s in the Avon Valley, and Kev and Jess are happy to oblige if it means they stay off his naughty list.

The pair’s professional partnership sees Kev taking the trike on tour while Jess takes charge of the admin side of things. She also plays paparazzi for each and every ride, capturing souvenir action shots – so there’s not just wildflower and wildlife spotting to do along the way, but a bit of Jess spotting as well. For Kev, who spends his spare time restoring vintage vehicles, being a trike-riding tour guide is a dream job. Both he and Jess get more job satisfaction from the enthusiasm of their customers than from the money they make, and it’s clear that mixing business with pleasure worked out very well for them.

Tours usually begin and end at the Cola Café where the trike has a complimentary parking space, but pickup from the Visitor’s Centre or either of Toodyay’s caravan parks can be arranged. As well as set tours, custom tours, surprise rides and transport to school balls/weddings are on offer. It’s the surprises (a great gift for the person who has everything except their own trike) and the pre-programmed tours that have kept Kev and Jess busiest since the business began. Customers can’t keep away either, with loads of locals – whose support, Jess says, is invaluable – opting for repeat rides. Kev and Jess make sure to throw in some surprises for them too, so if you get a taste for the trike life and book a second or third (or tenth) tour, you won’t have the same experience twice. You don’t even have to be a daredevil to take a spin: tours are extremely safe and speed limits are stuck to like superglue. If you are after an adrenaline rush, however – and you ask ‘wheelie’ nicely – Kevin might treat you to a trick or two.

Having had to hit the brakes during the peak of the COVID pandemic, Kev and Jess are thankfully getting things back on track. Their tours are now running Monday through Saturday (Kev taking a well-deserved day off on Sundays) and all year round, sans those days when Mother Nature is misbehaving. The ride of your life will cost you $90 for half an hour, $160 for an hour, or $240 for an hour-and-a-half, and that’s priced per ride rather than per person – so it’s worth having one or two thrill-seeking friends or family members tag along. Helmets and jackets are supplied and bookings are essential, so check out Avon Valley Trike Tours on Facebook, call Kev 0417 742 135, or call Jess 0427 387 247 to secure your seat. You’ll only regret the ride you didn’t take!

Toodyay's Hidden Treasures

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