Top 50 countdown of motorcycling adventures that you simply have to do before you die...
When: This weekendWhere: A roundabout or a trackCost: Free
Amazingly, 40% of sportsbike riders have never got their knee down. The first time your plastic slider makes contact with the road you'll squeal with excitement.
Pick a good corner or your favourite roundabout, circulate until the bike is at a good angle, shift your arse 2/3rds off the seat, stick your leg out at 90 degrees and ta-da! Another riding god is born.
Where: Silverstone Cost: £150 (camping, admission and beer money)
Get some mates, some beer, some more beer and a tent. Head to Silverstone. Don't put your tent up until its dark or you're too drunk to care about where you sleep. Wake up in a pool of your mate's sick to the sound of Ducatis and Hondas, stagger out of your tent and crack open a breakfast beer. You've arrived. Also, get there a day earlier and enjoy the Day of Champions.
Where: Wellingborough, NorthantsCost: £25Contact: www.straightliners.co.uk
Looks simple. Isn't. Drag racing is all about your ability to launch a bike from 0mph to max mph in a quarter mile, and beating the guy next to you who's trying the same thing. Santa Pod is the cultural home of UK drag racing and for just 25 quid you get a full day's entertainment (on average you'll get about 8 runs in a day) and some of the most disgusting hot-dogs known to mankind. Go with a bunch of mates and prove, once and for all, who's the boss. Top fun.
When: NowCost: £3500 (S2R) - £40k (Desmosedici)
Ducatis are desirable, there's no question about it, they feature on most wish lists for dream bikes, and it's easy to understand why. Starting from a rich heritage, the bikes from Bologna are the epitome of all things Italian with passion and power embodied within a beautifully crafted shell. But they also have character, with imperfections that only a mothering attitude could love.
When: This summerWhere: Your hometownCost: £500Contact: www.ebay.co.uk
Get on eBay and each buy a running rat bike. Set a target of £500 each and organise a run. Buy whatever floats your nostalgic boat. Agree on a weekend's destination and set off on Friday night. It will be the best biking adventure you will ever have. Laugh as your mate's bike seizes, cry as it happens to yours, then laugh again as you both get running with the help of a baked-bean can and gaffa tape.
When: Various dates Where: Scunthorpe Raceway, LincolnshireCost: £120 (Adults), £90 (Juniors)Contact: 01673 878426
Flat track is catching on in the UK. Ride experiences are at tracks all over the UK throughout the year. It's all about having the balls to push the thing in sideways and ride it on the throttle. You will fall off loads and you will get very dirty, but bad injuries are rare and it is an absolutely brilliant experience. Go on, live out your 'On Any Sunday' fantasy!
When: NovemberWhere: MilanCost: €18 (entrance)Contact: www.eicma.it
Milan, one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the planet, cultured, full of beautiful people and jammed with stunning neoclassical architecture. Birmingham, grotty shit-hole of the midlands where the sun never shines and scum will steal anything not nailed down. So go see your new bikes in Italy! Once a year they host one of the best bike shows in the world at the Milan Show, unveiling all the new bikes to the world's press. Flying to Milan from London is most likely to be cheaper than getting a train to Birmingham. Does anyone know how you say 'no brainer' in Italian? Thought so...
Where: Shakespeare County Raceway, WarwickshireCost: £60 Contact: www.bulldogbash.com
Fancy having your bike washed by a load of ladies with their jubblies out? Or watching Grand-dads of rock, like Status Quo, getting their grey groove on. The Bulldog Bash has established itself as one of the best festivals in the world. Take part in the 'Run What You Brung' drag racing or watch the big boys doing their thing on Rocket bikes and Top Fuelers. Get to the dance tent and throw shapes with sweaty bikers.
When: May or September is bestWhere: Perth to Inverness, Ullapool to TongueCost: From London, budget £350 for petrol
The best riding you can do in the UK can be yours for the price of a long weekend. Book off Friday and Monday from work, get up early and get cracking. From Perth the roads really start opening out and by the time you hit Spean Bridge you're in biking heaven. Accommodation is cheap, and by the time you hit Ullapool you're north of the highlands and it's like being in another country. Make sure you stop off at the Lochinver Larder for the best pies in Britain.
When: May or September are bestWhere: South of FranceCost: Budget for £1,200Contact: www.eurotunnel.com
The South of France offers one of the very best riding experiences in the world. Getting there is an eight-hour blast, and once you're south of Lyon the options are endless. Turn left and delve deep into the Alps and endless mountain roads. Keep going for glorious the glorious beaches around Cannes, or just get lost in the backroads of the Auvergne. Nearby, bike-friendly and brilliant, it's still one of the best adventures you can have.
When: All year roundWhere: LincolnshireCost: £200Contact: www.jimmyfireblade.co.uk
Learn how to wheelie on Jimmy Fireblade's bike. If you drop it, it doesn't matter. Brilliant. There are a number of wheelie schools now in the UK, but they all do the same thing. Watch amazed as your instructor sails effortlessly past on the rear wheel, listen to a load of stuff you don't understand, then try it yourself.
Where: London to CornwallCost: £150 should do itContact: www.themotorcyclingclub.org.uk
Ride nearly all off-road from outside London to the furthest reaches of the west country. Ideally suited to big trailies and hosted by a bunch of flat-caps on original Triumphs, don't be put off as you'll discover parts of the country that you never knew existed.
Where: Los Angeles, USACost: £28,000Contact: www.gumball3000.com
If you fancy ripping it with a bunch of coked-up, trust-fund Tarquins, then the Gumball 3000 is worth a gander. In fairness the toffs (with so much time on their hands) do organise a cracking trip across several US States, allowing plenty of time for stop-offs and all the time riding at terminal velocity.
Where: Weston Super MareContact: www.wbruk.com
You do not need to be an off-road God to take part in this event. Your bike needs to be in good order though as it will get battered. 1,000 bikes usually run in the adult solo race, with around 850 finishing. Three hours of sand in your mouth, sea in your boots and an arse battering that will leave your bum looking like a stunt double from Brokeback Mountain. Take some friends and some tools, as you will need both if you intend to finish.
When: Multiple datesWhere: Europe, the WorldCost: from £949Contact: www.worldofbmw.com
BMW run a whole range of rides and tours, all highly organised events performed with teutonic efficiency. From wine-tasting runs to opera-vists, there's something to suit everyone.
When: FebruaryWhere: CanadaCost: £1,200 all-up estimateContact: www.aeira.com
45 minutes northwest of Edmonton Canada is the village of Sandy Beach. Once a year they host the Numb Bum 24hr race. Held on a frozen lake, they only average 170 entrants as the race is held in February so there is snow, lots of snow. So much snow in fact that the riders (not the bikes) wear the lap counting transponders, to help the rescue teams locate them should they end up in a snowdrift. Temperatures drop into the -20's, and only a handful of the entrants expect to finish. If you get grumpy 'cos the heating's too low in the winter in Blighty, pick something else to do, otherwise give this a shot.
Where: Scunthorpe SpeedwayCost: £70Contact: www.scunthorpespeedway.com
Master going sideways on shale with former Scorpion's Captain, Wayne Carter. The sessions are run on regularly on weekends and are open to riders of all abilities. All the riding gear and a bike is provided at the riding school.
When: SummerWhere: Western Alps, ItalyCost: From £600Contact: www.centopassi.com
Centopassi means "100 passes" and this Ducati organised rally is held over four days in the Dolomite range. There are two classes, competition and non-competition - the latter missing the timed and other special stages in favour of a more relaxed time. Ducati stress that it's not about speed, but naturally it degenerates until an all-out race on Multistradas through some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe. Incredible views and glorious riding.
When: Every JuneWhere: Sulby Glen Campsite, IOMCost: £600 should cover itContact: www.iomtt.com
Truly one of life's more earthy experiences, all your clothes will be soaked on day one, you'll lose your wallet on day two, and spend the next week shivering and scrounging off your mates. The racing you came here to see will be a distant memory as you face a daily battle just to stay alive. The closest experience to life in World War One trenches.
Continue the Top 50 countdown - Page 2 of 3
Posted: 16/12/2011 at 02:34
Posted: 16/12/2011 at 17:10
Posted: 20/11/2012 at 15:44
Posted: 20/11/2012 at 22:32
Posted: 30/04/2013 at 10:14
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