How Shingleback Off Road Helped My Tour Business
G’day my name is Jono Ingram and I’m the owner of a small niche tour business called Good Times Tours. Since 2015 I’ve specialised in small group hiking/camping and wine tours throughout Victoria.
Ever since I began running tours I had wanted to include cycling as an option as I’m frequently in locations with great rail trails i.e. Warby Trail, O’Keefe Rail Trail in Heathcote etc. My main issue though is that I don’t have the space to store a commercial bike trailer at my rental property in the inner north east suburbs of Melbourne.
In 2018 I spent a couple of months road tripping through all the iconic National Parks on the West Coast of America and I noticed lots of vans had mountain bikes stored vertically on the back of their vans and I thought this was possibly a solution I could explore when I got home to Australia.
Once home, I started googling Vertical Bike Racks and came across the Shingleback Off Road website and after a phone call with Andrew Taylor I was convinced this was the low cost, minimal storage solution I was looking for so that I could expand my business to include bike tours.
In October 2018, I pulled the trigger on a 6 bike rack from Shingleback Off Road and it wasn’t long before I was taking guests on half day cycling tours along the Warburton Rail Trail and then spending the afternoon taking them to local wineries. One of the things I was most impressed with about the rack is the build quality. It’s actually really hard to tell from any of the images online but my guests and I were all really impressed by how sturdy and stable the whole setup is, especially when driving.
Happy customers from Colorado enjoying the Warburton Rail Trail
To ensure my van was compliant with Vic Roads, I also bought the Shingleback Light Board which comes with a long power lead and a couple of loops so you can easily make your brake lights/indicators and number plate visible for other drivers.
Exploring the gravel roads of Mansfield whilst my guests were enjoying the Great Victorian Rail Trail from Tallarook to Mansfield.
Whilst the COVID-19 situation has put the brakes on my tour business, I’m definitely going to taking the next step and either investing in a swing arm to make it easier to access the fridge at the rear of my van or alternatively If I can find the storage space the idea of a TrailMaster Pod Trailer with the 12 bike setup would be the ultimate.