#Ride5000miles campaigns start in earnest as Covid restrictions ease

Jason Dorey has been out on his BMW R1250RT
Jason Dorey has been out on his BMW R1250RT

With Covid restrictions easing, riders have been taking advantage of dry tarmac in a bid to reach their 5000-mile targets by the end of 2021.

From short jaunts to the seaside for a bag of chips, to helping a mate get back on two wheels after a 10-year absence, the MCN-run #R5K Facebook group has been full of smiling enthusiasts returning to what they love – riding.

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“It’s been a great release for me,” Pete Muir, from Winslow, told MCN. “I think it’s important that, as motorcyclists, we take every advantage of going out.”

Pete is now back out exploring local roads alongside his girlfriend, Lauren Tse, who recently graduated to a Kawasaki Ninja 650, from a 125, after passing her test.

“We’ll be staying local and making sure she gets used to the power and handling,” Pete added. “The aim is to build up Lauren’s confidence so that when we go away to the Peak District later this year, she’s happy with a bit of motorway work and the challenging roads.”

Mark Kenyon has been getting back into bikes this year

Elsewhere, Essex-based Graham Bell took a break from volunteer medical prescription deliveries to finish running in his new BMW R nineT with a trip to Walton-on-the-Naze. He was joined by Mark Kenyon, who has just returned to biking after a 10- year break.

Graham said: “It lifts your spirits and it’s great for the mind. It’s too much to put into words in a way – after all that anticipation of looking forward to simply riding for fun… when you actually do, it’s almost overwhelming.”

This was echoed by Mark, who said: “I’d only had the bike for about a week, and this was my first ‘proper’ ride. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It just makes you appreciate being alive.”

Finally, with Scotland allowing non-essential journeys within individual local authority areas from Friday, April 2, BMW R1250RT pilot, Jason Dorey has also begun venturing back out and is already planning longer rides for later this year.

“Riding just reminds you how alive you are and how connected you are with the environment –in a way you aren’t in a car,” Jason said. “It’s a bit of a drug, really!”

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

First published on 8 June, 2020 by Dan Sutherland

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!