New R5K member rides 1029 miles in one day

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New #ride5000miles member Andrew Milton has completed some hard miles, clocking up more than a thousand miles in a day on a red-eyed trip to attend the Surfer Joe music festival in Livorno in Northern Italy. He then clocked up 1300 miles on the way back – putting him almost halfway to the magic 5000-mile mark within a week of signing up and showing it’s still not too late to sign up to our mileage challenge.

“I just got back on Friday,” he says. “I did the journey down in 23 hours, overnight. At night the roads are so much quieter and the temperatures a lot cooler.” Travelling at night makes good sense in congested Europe during the holiday season, though night-time travel creates its own challenges. “I had two small sleeps and lots of coffee to keep me going. The hardest thing was crouching out of the wind to keep the noise down for hours at a time. Peeping over the screen was like looking through a letter box. I kept moving around so I didn’t get a numb bum, standing on the pegs every 15 minutes then settling down out of the airflow.”

Riding a BMW R1200 GS, the Bristol man took a more relaxed route back. “It was 1029 miles down and about 1300 back. I loved every mile. On leaving a filling station near Turin a car reversed into my pannier and almost knocked me off but I managed to keep it upright, much to my surprise!”


“On the way back I took five days going up through the beautiful Italian lakes at Como and Lugano, and did the San Gotthard, Susten, Grimsel, and Furka Passes in Switzerland. From there I went through the Vosges and took the back roads from Dijon to Reims before blasting back to the UK. Before I went I hadn’t appreciated what an epic trip it would be.

Grimsel pass from the top of Furka pass

“For anyone else contemplating a big trip I’d say do some research about where you are going so you know any pitfalls, opportunities, and sights along the way, then plan so you can be reasonably certain you can make the distances and destinations while visiting everything you intend to.

“Always carry slightly more than enough food for the day, because it’s hungry work. Maybe learn at least ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language and smile, even if you are knackered, it makes the interactions with people go much better. And the most important bit of advice is, I feel, just do it, think of where you want to go and make those daydreams a reality. The memories last forever.”

What is R5K?

And if you fancy having your own adventure, why not join our #ride5000miles Facebook page. The aim is to encourage riders to cover 5000 miles in a year. See how others are getting on at our #ride5000miles page.

How do I do it?

Make a note of your mileage at the start of your biking year. Take a photo at the start and end of the challenge.

Five reasons to sign up

1. It’ll make you a better rider.

2. You’ll know your bike better than ever, and enjoy it more.

3. It’ll make you ride to places you’ve never been before.

4. Be part of a top biking community.

5. Share tips on where to ride and what kit can go the distance.

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