R5K member spotlight: Mike Britt
The #ride5000miles Facebook group is a great place to talk with like-minded people, get advice and share your experiences about life on two wheels. A group is nothing without members and so we thought we’d celebrate the people who make it what it is in our first R5K member spotlight.
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This week, we’ve been talking to Mike Britt who joined the group back in March 2017. “I joined the group last year in its very early days and it is just the nicest place to spend time online,” said Mike. “The pictures of bikes, places to go, and stories of rides have been brilliant. It seems to be a really nice and supportive group.
“As for what it has given me – well, in a word, inspiration. I’ve been to new places, and done things I wouldn’t necessarily have done without the group. The way a lot of the group talk about the social side of riding – meeting new people, eating a nice piece of cake (it is all about the cake, right?), and talking about smiles not miles is what’s kept me contributing.”
What has Mike been riding in 2018?
“I’m lucky that I have two bikes. My main bike is a 2015 Honda VFR800F which I just love – this bike is the go-to bike for me and covers around 10k miles per year. It does everything pretty well – it’s comfy year-round for my 30-mile commute to London and it’s fun out on the country roads at weekends, too.
“The second bike is my Suzuki GSXR600 K4, which I brought earlier this year for track day duties. I’ve kept it road legal as I wanted to be able to ‘ride in, ride out’ for track days. The little Suzuki has done 4k miles this year and it’ll likely be the same going forward into 2019.
“On top of trackdays, it also gets taken out over the summer months for B-road blasts. For an old, and relatively cheap, bike it’s been great!”
What were Mike’s highlights of 2018?
“There have been loads! The Suzuki has been a revelation on track – it can hold its own with much more modern machinery. My track riding has improved loads this year – I’d never even thought about going on track until the middle of 2017 and, to be honest, I found it terrifying to begin with (I am 50!).
“This year I’ve been pleased with changes to my body position, general pace, and enjoyment levels – I even did a euro trip to Almeria! The year topped off when I finally felt confident enough to move from the Novice group to Intermediate on track. The feeling of achievement at being confident (and not slowest!) in a more capable group was amazing.
“From the R5K group I also got to know about the Iron Butt and other long-distance events. I took part in the Brit Butt Light Rally earlier in the year, which meant covering 600 miles in a day taking in some brilliant roads in Wales. I’d never have thought of doing something like this before – but it was great fun and I’ll be doing more!”
What’s Mike looking forward to in 2019
“There’s loads I want to do next year! I want to keep up with the trackdays and keep working on the skills needed for this. We are planning another Euro trip – possibly Valencia, possibly a return to Almeria – as well as UK days. I haven’t ridden Oulton Park or Anglessey yet so they’re on the list.
“I’ll likely do another Iron Butt type event – possibly one of the 1000 miles in 24h events. The viffer is ideal for this type of thing and I really did enjoy this year’s shorter event.
“The wife and I have been talking about doing an off-road experience day – enduro and/or trials riding. Both seem great ways of trying some new skills.
“Finally I just want to keep racking the miles up. Getting out on the bike, for me, is a brilliant way of unwinding. A great day’s riding looks like – good weather, new roads, a coffee stop, a bike shop, great scenery, and a piece of cake (it is all about the cake!). The UK has a lot of opportunities for that type of ride.”