Back in the saddle: Born-again biker commits to #ride5000miles challenge

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After a 30-year break from biking, speedway action prompted a Halifax-based member of #ride5000miles to take to the road on two wheels once more.

Chris Copley, 51, stopped riding at 20 after passing his driving test, but after going to a few speedway races, decided to do his CBT last November.

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"When I was a youngster and moved to King’s Lynn, I started going to the speedway," the HR worker told MCN. "I got back into it a couple of years ago and that gave me the itch."

Riding his mum’s 50cc Honda step-thru at 17, before graduating to a larger, faster 100cc Honda around six weeks later, early biking experiences were all about getting from A-to-B, with no other form of transport available. But these days Chris says he now rides simply for the love of two wheels.

Chris rode a 100cc Honda the first time round

"This time it’s all about having fun and enjoying the process of riding," he added.

Despite around 30 years of driving experience, Chris admits his CBT was "a huge eye-opener" and highlighted a number of things he had been continuously getting wrong on a bike during his first stint.

"Every single aspect I was doing as a youngster, was completely wrong! With the CBT, I’m so much more confident and capable than when I was as a young 'un," Chris explained. "I’m now in touch with an instructor who’s helping me prepare for my Module One test."

Chris riding his Lexmoto Ranger - credit: Spike Lee Photography

With the CBT completed, Chris purchased a Lexmoto Ranger 125 in December 2019 and, despite the Covid-19 lockdown period, has since gone on to rack up 700 miles towards his #R5K challenge total for the year.

He added: "Psychologically, it’s almost like meditation. Every time I go out, I’m learning something new and getting better," he continued. "I think it’s made me a better car driver as well because I’m observing a lot more."

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade