New riders sign up for MCN’s #Ride5000miles challenge

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Despite Covid-19's best efforts, 2020 has welcomed countless new faces to motorcycling. Bikes have helped provide a break from the daily impact of coronavirus and present fresh challenges – and unlock new transport freedoms. And many new motorcyclists are turning to the #ride5000miles campaign for advice and information.

For some, like 43-year-old Chris Green, from Basildon, getting on a bike represented achieving a life goal – having previously failed his full test in 2005 and 2007, before having to put bikes to one side.

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Due to take his Module 2 test on the day lockdown began, the Essex rider was forced to wait around four months to pass before purchasing a Honda VFR800.

"I love the independence of it," Chris told MCN. "You’re in your own world - it’s just you, the bike and the road.

Chris Green has been trying to pass his test since 2005

"Now, I’m looking for an excuse to go out. I bought a Givi topbox, just so I could put stuff in the back and I’m getting some panniers. I’m an avid fisherman as well and it’s been strategically analysed how I can get my gear on the bike to go and find nice fishing lakes."

Riding has also allowed for some fresh independence. Jasmine Collins, 24, from Maidstone, completed her CBT on August 19, before purchasing a brand-new Honda SH125i. She discovered the R5K group and has been getting advice from the more experienced members as she embarks on her motorcycling career.

"I’m going to be using it every day for work," the teaching assistant explained. "I was originally going to ride my pushbike, as it’s only about three miles away, but I thought I’d use the one that’s got an engine now!

"Not having to rely on public transport and not having to worry too much about rush hour traffic and things like that will be great."

Meanwhile, Wiltshire-based Helen Knight has already hit 6000 miles this year on her Suzuki GSX750F, having passed her test in January and graduated from a 125.

"Wanting to ride goes right the way back to Kickstart on telly and watching a bit of speedway with my dad," Helen explained. "When you go out and do the miles in the car, you’re in your little metal box. When you’re out on the bike, you feel like you’re part of it."

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