How #Ride5000miles helped beat those Covid-19 blues in 2020

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It’s fair to say that 2020 was not the year that anyone wanted, but members of MCN’s #ride5000miles group made the best of it – maximising their bike time to create Covid-defying memories.

Alongside socially distanced group rides and plenty of home-grown UK touring, some riders gambled possible quarantine for a sun-kissed blast into mainland Europe, while others cheered themselves up with a shiny new bike in the garage.

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North Yorkshire-based Phil Boyes chose the latter option, purchasing a brand-new Ducati Scrambler Icon in June, and then covered around 2000 miles before the end of the year.

“It’s great,” Phil told MCN. “I’ve come down from a Triumph Tiger 800 and it’s a little bit better for me with its lower seat height and I love it.

Phil Boyes loves his Ducati Scrambler

“I’m just hoping to get out even more next year. I fancy a couple of longer trips in the UK and I’d like to visit the National Motorcycle Museum and go down to Cornwall.”

Andy Sales, 55, from Norwich racked up 1500 miles aboard his Honda Blackbird in a five-day solo trip to Scotland in July – his first-ever visit to the country by bike since jumping on two wheels at the age of 16.

The Honda rider is now making plans to visit again, saying: “All my previous European tours have been good, but Scotland was a real surprise. I’ll definitely be going back.”

“The scenery was absolutely stunning,” he added. “I was lucky with the weather, the people were friendly and – for me – it was cheaper than the usual European tour as well.”

It wasn’t all about staying home though and Ducati duo Mark and Daniella Topliss sloped off to Europe in September for 28 days of stunning views, across 6500 miles of adventure.

Mark told MCN: “Whatever you think you’ve got in your back garden, times it by 10. You’ve just got to go out there and explore the whole of the continent.”