#R5K members waste no time in getting on the road again as lockdown restrictions ease

John Jess took one final run through the Pyrenees
John Jess took one final run through the Pyrenees

After Covid-19 lockdown restrictions eased in England, #ride5000miles members were soon up and running in a bid to move towards their annual target.

"Having a bit of time off the bike was not a bad thing," says Cricklade-based Peter Genet. "I felt a lot more relaxed."

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Peter Genet has been enjoying riding for pleasure

Peter says he has covered around 300 miles so far, using his satnav to explore untapped local roads and enjoying regular breaks for homemade coffee from a flask.

"It’s given me a sense of freedom," he added. "Now I’m riding more for pleasure, rather than commuting, I’ve really enjoyed myself."

It’s not just English riders getting stuck in, either. Scottish #R5K stalwart John Jess enjoyed one final blast through the Pyrenees aboard his Ducati Panigale 959, before moving to Reading this week. This followed a seven-week abstinence while observing Spain’s strict lockdown rules.

"It was phenomenal. It was 30-degree heat and empty," John, 49, explained. Taking in the luscious scenery and improved air quality from lack of traffic, the software sales manager burned through three tanks of fuel between breaks for food and drink.

"It's the best I've ever seen it," he continued. "I had five hours in the Pyrenees on the bike, which was probably the best biking day of my life."

With his Honda CBR500R commuter already ticking over the target before lockdown, John now has his sights set on the Panigale competing the challenge, too. This mountainous jaunt saw him add another 300 miles to his total - meaning another 3000 left to go this year.

Ian Birnie with his Ducati 1198S

Back in Blighty, fellow Ducati pilot, Ian Birnie (above), 61, added 240 miles to the odo of his 2009 1198S – travelling to a small stream in Oxfordshire called Ginge Brook for a photo. 

"I'm ginger, so everybody calls me 'Ginge'," the Thornton-based rider explained. "Last Christmas, my sister-in-law bought me a card showing a place called Ginge, so I set myself a little task to find it and take a photograph there."

Despite being unsuccessful in locating the village, Ian was able to find the brook, located near Sutton Courtenay, and bag a photo. Quite the commitment!

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in News…

Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

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