#Ride5000miles members hit the dirt for winter thrills

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With temperatures tumbling and sunlight scarce, it’s not easy to add to your 5000-mile target at this time of year. 

But #ride5000miles members are embracing the conditions by heading off-road, where the extra effort soon gets the body temperature rising.

With lanes accessible in most regions and unintimidating low-capacity trail bikes available, for some, like 41-year-old Andy Kent, from Cheshire, tackling trails has kept him active.

“I’ve done the sportsbike thing, but I turned to adventure bikes back in 2007,” the BMW R1200GSA and G450X owner told MCN. 

Andy Kent out on his BMW G450X

“I came back from a tour of the Alps on a Fireblade and the roads were clogged with traffic here, but you can go onto the trails and you can be on your own.”

Having ridden off-road for 21 years, he added: “You’re keeping fit and it really helps your road riding; including throttle control and balance. It’s just about getting out into the countryside and having a great time with your mates.”

Riding on a BMW R1200GSA off-road

Jim Heynderickx, 55, from North London took the off-road plunge in 2018 when he bought a Honda CRF250 Rally.

“Riding a green lane with a small bike can feel like starting all over again,” he said. “A whole range of new challenges and skills are needed, followed by great satisfaction and engagement as you improve.”

Jim loved it so much, he also bought a KTM 1090 Adventure R. ” I’ve done big road tours and loved them, but the intensity of a much shorter dirt ride can be more rewarding than 500 miles of tarmac roads.”

Jim bags a selfie out on a ride

Another newcomer is Anna Szczukiecka, 42, from Nottingham, who only began off-roading in May this year after her partner surprised her with a place on a 13-day ride across Nepal on Royal Enfield Himalayans. 

Riding a Yamaha Serow 250, she told MCN: “It’s very enjoyable and just a completely different experience to road riding.”

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