R5K members make special events out of European miles

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With mid-summer sun now a mere memory, #R5K members have taken to Europe in an attempt to enjoy some late-season heat while bolstering their mileage totals.

For some it’s a last chance for a ride without winter linings. But for others, like Welsh firefighter Lee Parsons, 30, and girlfriend Sarah, 36, it was about more than the riding.

During their recent a tour of the Pyrenees, Lee proposed to Sarah on the Col du Tourmalet in France.

Lee Parsons with his Yamaha

"I hadn’t decided exactly where I was going to do it," he told MCN. "I knew the views were good up there so found a spot no-one else was using.

"I asked and she cried and then I said: 'This is the point where you have to say 'Yes' or 'No' and then she said 'Yes' and cried again. We spent about an hour there texting everybody to let them know."

Parsons proposed during a European tour

Another member keen to celebrate a special event, Lee Boocock enjoyed a tour of Europe’s best biking roads with his girlfriend, Fern Walsh, to celebrate his 40th birthday.

"I’d planned to go to Europe next year, but when my friends got me £200 worth of ferry vouchers it prompted me to go this year," Boocock explained.

"It was Fern’s first time on a bike tour. She’d only been on the back a handful of times so it was a bit of a challenge for her."

Riders dressed up during their ride to Glemseck

And 38-year-old Andy Stewart headed to Glemseck, Germany, with six fellow members of the North West England branch of the Hinckley Triumph Owners Club.

The Manchester-based event producer said: "It was my first time riding in Europe. I previously had a Street Triple, but changed it to an Explorer for the trip – I didn’t fancy using it for that distance!

"The roads in Luxembourg are awesome. It’s a good rider's country. The Tarmac seems to change as soon as you cross the border and it feels nice and smooth compared to the roads in France."

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

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