Free Shipping Available

The Great Mile And Beyond

​The​ ​Great Mile ​is​ ​a​ ​1000​ ​mile,​ ​72-hour​ ​motorcycle​ ​rally,​ ​from​ ​the​ ​northern​ ​tip​ ​of​ ​Scotland​ ​to the​ ​southern​ ​tip​ ​of​ ​Cornwall​ ​for​ ​custom,​ ​classic​ ​and​ ​cafe​ ​racer​ ​motorcycles. We spoke to Mr Ricky​ ​Phoolka about the event and his epic journey across the British Isles​.

November 20, 2017
Photos by Mr Ricky​ ​Phoolka & Words
the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-motorbike-rider-scotland-1000
bike-team-lineup-the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-landrover-white-1000-2
camping-the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-landrover-white-1000
the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-road-1000

Mr Ricky​ ​Phoolka​ ​is​ ​a​ ​Creative​ ​Director​ ​working​ ​in​ ​London,​ ​exploring​ ​what​ ​it​ ​feels​ ​like to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​human​ ​being​ ​in​ ​a​ ​digital​ ​world.​ ​His​ ​multi-media​ ​approach​ ​spans​ ​animation, film,​ ​interactive​ ​media​ ​and​ ​web​ ​to​ ​make​ ​visceral,​ ​colour​ ​driven,​ ​emotive​ ​culture.​ ​He recently​ ​embarked​ ​on​ ​an​ ​adventure​ ​for​ ​‘The​ ​Great​ ​Mile’​ ​Rally,​ ​riding​ ​from Manchester​ ​to​ ​the​ ​top​ ​of​ ​Scotland​ ​and​ ​back​ ​down​ ​to​ ​the​ ​southernmost​ ​tip​ ​of England;​ ​Lizard​ ​point​ ​covering​ ​​ ​almost​ ​2600​ ​miles.​ We​ ​were​ ​fortunate​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to interview​ ​him​ ​and​ ​hear​ ​about​ ​his​ ​gutsy​ ​adventure.

How​ ​did​ ​you​ ​find​ ​out​ ​about​ ​the​ ​‘The​ ​Great​ ​Mile’?​ ​And​ ​what​ ​was​ ​it​ ​about?

I​ ​was​ ​planning​ ​a​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Swiss​ ​Alps​ ​when​ ​I​ ​came​ ​across​ ​an​ ​article​ ​about​ ​The​ ​Great Mile.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​the​ ​first​ ​time​ ​​anyone​ ​had​ ​ever​ ​organised​ ​such​ ​a​ ​​long​ ​rally,​ ​running through​ ​the​ ​most​ ​beautiful​ ​and​ ​unique​ ​landscapes​ ​in​ ​the​ ​British​ ​Isles.​ ​‘The​ ​Great Mile’​ ​is​ ​a​ ​1000​ ​mile,​ ​72-hour​ ​motorcycle​ ​rally,​ ​from​ ​the​ ​northern​ ​tip​ ​of​ ​Scotland​ ​to the​ ​southern​ ​tip​ ​of​ ​Cornwall​ ​for​ ​custom,​ ​classic​ ​and​ ​cafe​ ​racer​ ​motorcycles.​ ​​ ​​It​ ​was perfect​ ​-​ ​just​ ​what​ ​I​ ​was​ ​looking​ ​for.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was​ ​hooked,​ ​The​ ​Alps​ ​would​ ​have​ ​to​ ​wait​ ​for another​ ​year.

What​ ​inspired​ ​you​ ​to​ ​enter​ ​the​ ​rally?

When​ ​it​ ​come​ ​to​ ​motorcycling,​ ​I​ ​know​ ​when​ ​the​ ​urge​ ​is​ ​there​ ​nothing​ ​is​ ​going​ ​to​ ​hold me​ ​back.​ ​My​ ​heart​ ​rules​ ​my​ ​head.​ ​Although​ ​not​ ​always​ ​the​ ​best​ ​approach,​ ​with​ ​many possible​ ​setbacks,​ ​one​ ​thing​ ​is​ ​for​ ​sure;​ ​you​ ​never​ ​have​ ​a​ ​boring​ ​life.

The​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​go​ ​on​ ​an​ ​amazing​ ​adventure,​ ​photograph​ ​the​ ​wonderful​ ​scenery and​ ​meet​ ​and​ ​ride​ ​with​ ​other​ ​passionate​ ​bikers​ ​doesn't​ ​present​ ​itself​ ​every​ ​day.​

No matter​ ​the​ ​bike​ ​-​ ​​ ​classic,​ ​custom​ ​or​ ​cafe​ ​racer​ ​-​ ​everyone​ ​was​ ​there​ ​because​ ​of​ ​a shared​ ​love​ ​for​ ​motorcycles.​ ​​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​it​ ​and​ ​experience​ ​all​ ​the​ ​British Isles​ ​has​ ​to​ ​offer.

Was​ ​this​ ​your​ ​first​ ​experience?​ ​Have​ ​you​ ​ever​ ​ridden​ ​this​ ​far?

I‘ve​ ​attended​ ​many​ ​competitive​ ​rallies​ ​in​ ​the​ ​past,​ ​but​ ​this​ ​was​ ​an​ ​adventure​ ​of​ ​a different​ ​kind.​ ​​ ​This​ ​to​ ​me​ ​was​ ​an​ ​opportunity​ ​to​ ​embark​ ​on​ ​an​ ​adventure, experience​ ​the​ ​different​ ​landscapes,​ ​ride​ ​amongst​ ​the​ ​coolest​ ​motorcycles​ ​and,​ ​most importantly,​ ​meet​ ​people​ ​and​ ​have​ ​a​ ​memorable​ ​experience.

I​ ​am​ ​lucky​ ​to​ ​be​ ​surrounded​ ​by​ ​many​ ​amazing​ ​places​ ​to​ ​ride​ ​being​ ​based​ ​in​ ​the​ ​North West.​ ​​ ​The​ ​Lake​ ​District,​ ​Peak​ ​District,​ ​in​ ​and​ ​around​ ​Snowdonia​ ​and​ ​Wales​ ​are​ ​all wonderful​ ​places​ ​to​ ​bike​ ​and​ ​see​ ​the​ ​countries​ ​that​ ​make​ ​up​ ​the​ ​British​ ​Isles. However,​ ​as​ ​they​ ​are​ ​not​ ​long​ ​distance​ ​rides,​ ​this​ ​was​ ​different.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​great opportunity​ ​and​ ​challenge​ ​for​ ​me​ ​and​ ​my​ ​bike.

the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-view-rally-road-scotland-1000

What​ ​were​ ​your​ ​preparations​ ​for​ ​the​ ​rally?​ ​And​ ​how​ ​long​ ​did​ ​it​ ​take​ ​you?

My​ ​preparations​ ​started​ ​a​ ​month​ ​before​ ​the​ ​rally.​ ​​ ​I​ ​started​ ​looking​ ​at​ ​logistics​ ​and devising​ ​a​ ​schedule,​ ​and​ ​realised​ ​it​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​take​ ​me​ ​9​ ​days​ ​in​ ​total.​ ​I​ ​booked​ ​my holidays​ ​and​ ​planned​ ​out​ ​the​ ​journey:

Day​ ​1​ ​-​ ​Manchester​ ​to​ ​Glencoe

Day​ ​2​ ​-​ ​Exploring​ ​Glencoe

Day​ ​3​ ​-​ ​Glencoe​ ​to​ ​Inverness

Day​ ​4​ ​-​ ​Glencoe​ ​to​ ​Castle​ ​of​ ​Mey,​ ​the​ ​starting​ ​point​ ​of​ ​the​ ​rally

Day​ ​5​ ​to​ ​Day​ ​8​ ​-​ ​The​ ​Great​ ​Mile​ ​Rally

Day​ ​9​ ​-​ ​The​ ​journey​ ​back​ ​from​ ​Lizard​ ​Point​ ​to​ ​Manchester

All​ ​in​ ​all​ ​I​ ​would​ ​be​ ​covering​ ​more​ ​than​ ​2,300​ ​miles.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was​ ​seriously​ ​beginning​ ​to have​ ​my​ ​doubts,​ ​nevertheless​ ​I​ ​stuck​ ​to​ ​my​ ​plan​ ​-​ ​giving​ ​up​ ​was​ ​not​ ​an​ ​option. I​ ​had​ ​four​ ​weekends​ ​to​ ​prepare​ ​so​ ​the​ ​planning​ ​had​ ​to​ ​be​ ​meticulous.​ ​​ ​Each​ ​weekend I​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​one​ ​area​ ​-​ ​riding​ ​gear,​ ​bike​ ​mods,​ ​photography​ ​and​ ​camping​ ​gear.

I​ ​planned​ ​to​ ​have​ ​two​ ​panniers​ ​on​ ​either​ ​side​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bike​ ​which​ ​would​ ​carry​ ​my camping​ ​gear,​ ​a​ ​duffel​ ​bag​ ​on​ ​top​ ​for​ ​my​ ​kit,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​backpack​ ​for​ ​my​ ​photography gear.​ ​​ ​The​ ​next​ ​big​ ​challenge​ ​was​ ​deciding​ ​how​ ​to​ ​secure​ ​the​ ​luggage​ ​to​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​​It didn’t​ ​help​ ​that​ ​I​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​over-pack,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​now​ ​carrying​ ​photo​ ​and​ ​computer equipment​ ​too.​ ​​It​ ​took​ ​me​ ​about​ ​two​ ​weeks​ ​to​ ​research​ ​appropriate​ ​pannier​ ​racks and​ ​mounts.​ ​During​ ​the​ ​research​ ​I​ ​came​ ​across​ ​Rok​ ​straps.​ ​​ ​At​ ​first​ ​I​ ​wasn’t​ ​sure about​ ​them,​ ​but​ ​they​ ​proved​ ​to​ ​be​ ​very​ ​versatile.​ ​​ ​I​ ​used​ ​them​ ​to​ ​secure​ ​all​ ​my luggage​ ​including​ ​the​ ​panniers​ ​and​ ​my​ ​huge​ ​duffel​ ​bag.

bike-view-stag-the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-1000-3

Did​ ​you​ ​make​ ​any​ ​modifications​ ​to​ ​your​ ​bike?

My​ ​stock​ ​BMW​ ​R​ ​nine​ ​T​ ​would​ ​have​ ​been​ ​eligible,​ ​but​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​personalize​ ​it​ ​with a​ ​few​ ​subtle​ ​mods.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was​ ​keen​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bike​ ​to​ ​have​ ​a​ ​scrambler​ ​look​ ​yet​ ​maintain​ ​its aesthetic.​ ​​ ​I​t​ ​wasn’t​ ​very​ ​complicated​ ​-​ ​I​ ​fitted​ ​new​ ​TKC​ ​80’s​ ​tyres,​ ​and​ ​a​ ​new scrambler​ ​seat​ ​which​ ​really​ ​did​ ​change​ ​the​ ​look​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​​ ​New​ ​handlebars,​ ​along with​ ​new​ ​Magnamoto​ ​turn​ ​signals​ ​and​ ​a​ ​few​ ​accessories​ ​from​ ​Rizoma​ ​made​ ​for​ ​some cosmetic​ ​changes.​ ​​ ​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​things​ ​that​ ​most​ ​concerned​ ​me​ ​was​ ​how​ ​the​ ​bike​ ​was going​ ​to​ ​handle,​ ​especially​ ​after​ ​having​ ​modified​ ​the​ ​handlebar​ ​and​ ​tyres.​ ​Luckily,​ ​I had​ ​a​ ​day​ ​off​ ​over​ ​the​ ​weekend​ ​before​ ​the​ ​rally​ ​to​ ​test​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​perfect.

What​ ​was​ ​the​ ​idea​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​Instagram​ ​videos​ ​and​ ​photos?

It​ ​was​ ​simply​ ​to​ ​share​ ​my​ ​experience​ ​with​ ​my​ ​family.​ ​​ ​Two​ ​days​ ​before​ ​leaving​ ​I decided​ ​I​ ​was​ ​going​ ​to​ ​film​ ​my​ ​journey,​ ​capturing​ ​my​ ​experience​ ​with​ ​photos.

To​ ​begin​ ​with,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​contemplating​ ​creating​ ​cinematic​ ​style​ ​videos.​ ​​ ​However,​ ​I​ ​soon realised​ ​it​ ​was​ ​not​ ​going​ ​to​ ​be​ ​possible​ ​given​ ​the​ ​time​ ​and​ ​the​ ​long​ ​riding​ ​hours.​ ​​ ​To keep​ ​things​ ​simple,​ ​I​ ​decided​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​10​ ​second​ ​video,​ ​starting​ ​with​ ​the​ ​day’s journey,​ ​map​ ​and​ ​clips​ ​from​ ​my​ ​helmet​ ​cam​ ​and​ ​photos.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​effective​ ​and manageable​ ​given​ ​the​ ​circumstances,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​edit​ ​and​ ​post​ ​the​ ​content every​ ​day.​ ​It​ ​also​ ​helped​ ​me​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​fellow​ ​riders​ ​who​ ​were​ ​participating​ ​in the​ ​rally.​ ​​ ​There​ ​was​ ​a​ ​feeling​ ​of​ ​mutual​ ​appreciation​ ​of​ ​bikes​ ​and​ ​the​ ​ride.​ ​​ ​The positivity​ ​from​ ​fellow​ ​bikers​ ​was​ ​empowering​ ​and​ ​motivating,​ ​leaving​ ​me​ ​sure​ ​the decision​ ​to​ ​go​ ​on​ ​the​ ​ride​ ​was​ ​the​ ​right​ ​one.

Was​ ​it​ ​challenging​ ​to​ ​take​ ​pictures​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way?

It​ ​was​ ​challenging​ ​but​ ​also​ ​a​ ​great​ ​learning​ ​experience.​ ​​ ​When​ ​you​ ​have​ ​been​ ​riding for​ ​hours​ ​you​ ​just​ ​want​ ​to​ ​stop,​ ​have​ ​a​ ​coffee​ ​and​ ​then​ ​get​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​​ ​When recording​ ​the​ ​ride​ ​with​ ​photos,​ ​you​ ​have​ ​to​ ​make​ ​selective​ ​choices​ ​about​ ​what​ ​you will​ ​capture.​ ​I​ ​would​ ​stop​ ​at​ ​a​ ​suitable​ ​location,​ ​remove​ ​my​ ​gloves,​ ​backpack​ ​and​ ​take out​ ​the​ ​camera.​ ​​ ​Then​ ​I​ ​would​ ​need​ ​to​ ​check​ ​the​ ​lens,​ ​the​ ​settings,​ ​set-up​ ​the​ ​tripod, shoot,​ ​change​ ​view​ ​and​ ​shoot​ ​again.

Doing​ ​this​ ​constantly​ ​takes​ ​its​ ​toll.​ Tiredness​ ​and​ ​emotions​ ​can​ ​be​ ​overwhelming, and​ ​accidents​ ​can​ ​happen. One​ ​day​ ​I​ ​was​ ​taking​ ​a​ ​photograph​ ​of​ ​the​ ​bike​ ​in​ ​a​ ​field, and​ ​on​ ​the​ ​next​ ​click​ ​my​ ​bike​ ​dropped.​ ​​ ​Thankfully​ ​the​ ​field​ ​softened​ ​the​ ​blow!

When​ ​it​ ​rains,​ ​taking​ ​photographs​ ​takes​ ​much​ ​more​ ​time.​ This​ ​can​ ​be​ ​frustrating when​ ​the​ ​only​ ​battery​ ​pack​ ​you​ ​have​ ​is​ ​dead​ ​and​ ​there​ ​is​ ​nowhere​ ​to​ ​charge​ ​it! Editing​ ​and​ ​posting​ ​was​ ​usually​ ​done​ ​at​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​the​ ​day.​ ​​ ​It​ ​could​ ​take​ ​up​ ​to​ ​three hours​ ​to​ ​go​ ​through​ ​the​ ​footage​ ​and​ ​edit,​ ​which​ ​was​ ​only​ ​possible​ ​if​ ​I​ ​found​ ​a​ ​suitable stop​ ​with​ ​wi-fi.

Overall,​ ​I​ ​found​ ​the​ ​experience​ ​challenging​ ​but​ ​immensely​ ​gratifying

Did​ ​you​ ​meet​ ​any​ ​of​ ​the​ ​riders​ ​on​ ​the​ ​way​ ​up​ ​to​ ​Castle​ ​of​ ​Mey?

Most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​riders​ ​were​ ​having​ ​their​ ​bikes​ ​transported​ ​and​ ​flew​ ​directly​ ​to​ ​Inverness, but​ ​I​ ​hoped​ ​I​ ​would​ ​see​ ​or​ ​meet​ ​some​ ​riders.​ ​​ ​I​ ​had​ ​not​ ​come​ ​across​ ​a​ ​bike​ ​heading my​ ​way,​ ​however​ ​there​ ​were​ ​many​ ​I​ ​nodded​ ​to​ ​riding​ ​in​ ​the​ ​opposite​ ​direction.

On​ ​my​ ​4th​ ​day,​ ​from​ ​Inverness​ ​to​ ​Castle​ ​of​ ​Mey,​ ​I​ ​stopped​ ​at​ ​a​ ​cafe​ ​for​ ​coffee​ ​and breakfast,​ ​and​ ​to​ ​do​ ​my​ ​daily​ ​editing.​ ​​ ​Having​ ​finished,​ ​I​ ​rode​ ​on​ ​for​ ​about​ ​20​ ​miles and​ ​stopped​ ​at​ ​a​ ​red​ ​light,​ ​seeing​ ​two​ ​headlights​ ​flashing​ ​in​ ​my​ ​rear-view​ ​mirror. Hearing​ ​the​ ​blipping​ ​of​ ​throttles,​ ​I​ ​instantly​ ​knew​ ​they​ ​were​ ​heading​ ​for​ ​the​ ​rally.​ ​I felt​ ​a​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​excitement​ ​and​ ​let​ ​them​ ​overtake.​ ​I​ ​had​ ​followed​ ​them​ ​for​ ​30​ ​miles when​ ​it​ ​started​ ​to​ ​rain.​ ​They​ ​pulled​ ​off​ ​to​ ​the​ ​side​ ​of​ ​the​ ​road​ ​to​ ​put​ ​on​ ​their​ ​rain gear,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​passed​ ​them​ ​and​ ​stopped​ ​about​ ​a​ ​mile​ ​ahead​ ​to​ ​wait.​ ​The​ ​bikers​ ​were Johnny​ ​and​ ​his​ ​father,​ ​a​ ​team​ ​also​ ​participating​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Great​ ​Mile.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​pleasure to​ ​meet​ ​them​ ​and​ ​learn​ ​about​ ​their​ ​journey​ ​so​ ​far.​ ​We​ ​had​ ​a​ ​nice​ ​chat​ ​and​ ​rode​ ​up​ ​to Castle​ ​of​ ​Mey​ ​together,​ ​and​ ​were​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​first​ ​people​ ​to​ ​arrive.

bike-team-the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-landrover-white-1000

Tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​your​ ​team?

Our​ ​team​ ​was​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​twenty-three​ ​teams​ ​that​ ​entered​ ​the​ ​rally.​ ​There​ ​were​ ​more than​ ​80​ ​riders​ ​who​ ​participated.​ ​We​ ​were​ ​a​ ​team​ ​of​ ​four​ ​riders​ ​who​ ​had​ ​all​ ​signed​ ​up as​ ​‘Lone​ ​Wolves’.​ ​Team​ ​‘Tribeam’​ ​was​ ​formed​ ​and​ ​we​ ​hit​ ​it​ ​off​ ​right​ ​away.​ ​Rob​ ​rode​ ​a ‘95​ ​Triumph​ ​Speed​ ​Triple,​ ​Jason​ ​a​ ​custom​ ​Triumph,​ ​Steve​ ​a​ ​classic​ ​BMW​ ​R80​ ​and​ ​I rode​ ​a​ ​BMW​ ​R​ ​Nine​ ​T.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​pleasure​ ​to​ ​have​ ​them​ ​as​ ​my​ ​teammates​ ​and​ ​together we​ ​had​ ​a​ ​truly​ ​memorable​ ​experience.

What​ ​did​ ​the​ ​rally​ ​entail?

Each​ ​day​ ​the​ ​rally​ ​teams​ ​were​ ​​ ​given​ ​3​ ​checkpoints​ ​to​ ​guide​ ​them​ ​through​ ​the country.​ ​​ ​Every​ ​route​ ​was​ ​different.​ ​​ ​Ultimately​ ​the​ ​rally​ ​timing​ ​and​ ​the​ ​course​ ​the riders​ ​took​ ​was​ ​up​ ​to​ ​each​ ​individual​ ​team.​ ​​ ​​The​ ​clock​ ​started​ ​when​ ​all​ ​riders​ ​had crossed​ ​the​ ​starting​ ​line,​ ​and​ ​stopped​ ​once​ ​the​ ​entire​ ​team​ ​had​ ​reached​ ​each checkpoint.​ ​​At​ ​each​ ​checkpoint​ ​the​ ​times​ ​were​ ​logged​ ​and​ ​compared​ ​against​ ​the average​ ​speed​ ​of​ ​the​ ​day’s​ ​course.

At​ ​the​ ​end​ ​of​ ​each​ ​day​ ​and​ ​at​ ​the​ ​the​ ​final​ ​checkpoint,​ ​the​ ​riders​ ​gathered​ ​at​ ​the​ ​rally camp.​ ​​ ​We​ ​relaxed,​ ​drank​ ​cold​ ​beer,​ ​ate​ ​and​ ​talked​ ​motorcycles.​ ​​ ​Dinner​ ​was​ ​served under​ ​canvas,​ ​which​ ​gave​ ​the​ ​riders​ ​all​ ​evening​ ​to​ ​socialise,​ ​review​ ​the​ ​day’s​ ​rally​ ​and plan​ ​the​ ​next​ ​day’s​ ​route.

The​ ​rally​ ​was​ ​not​ ​about​ ​competing,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​purely​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​completing​ ​the​ ​course and​ ​enjoying​ ​the​ ​ride.

The-Great-MiIe-and-Beyond-bike-lineup-four-classic-motorcycles

The​ ​rally​ ​started​ ​from​ ​Castle​ ​of​ ​Mey​ ​and​ ​was​ ​made​ ​up​ ​of:

Rally​ ​Day​ ​1​ ​(Thursday)​ ​-​ ​Highlands/Scotland Rally​ ​

Day​ ​2​ ​(Friday)​ ​-​ ​Scotland/England Rally​ ​

Day​ ​3​ ​(Saturday)​ ​-​ ​​ ​Wales Rally​ ​Day​ ​

4​ ​(Sunday)​ ​-​ ​​ ​Devon/Cornwall,​ ​ending​ ​at​ ​Lizard​ ​Point.

The​ ​average​ ​daily​ ​route​ ​covered​ ​was​ ​between​ ​300​ ​and​ ​350​ ​miles,​ ​more​ ​than​ ​6​ ​hours of​ ​riding​ ​a​ ​day.​

bike-views-green-landrover-the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-1000

Having​ ​ridden​ ​from​ ​the​ ​top​ ​of​ ​Scotland​ ​to​ ​the​ ​bottom​ ​of​ ​England,​ ​what were​ ​the​ ​stand-out​ ​routes​ ​and​ ​places?

Day​ ​1:​ ​Tongue​ ​Bridge​ ​to​ ​Ullapool​ ​-​ ​The​ ​A83​ ​was​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​rides​ ​due​ ​to​ ​truly spectacular​ ​scenery​ ​and​ ​wonderful​ ​empty​ ​roads.​ ​​ ​It​ ​loops​ ​around​ ​the​ ​top​ ​of​ ​Scotland where​ ​people​ ​are​ ​heavily​ ​outnumbered​ ​by​ ​sheep!

the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-Tongue-Bridge​-Ullapoo-​A83-scotland-1000

Day​ ​2:​ ​Glencoe​ ​to​ ​Bridge​ ​of​ ​Orchy​ ​-​ ​The​ ​A82​ ​made​ ​me​ ​forget​ ​I​ ​was​ ​on​ ​a​ ​journey,​ ​as​ ​I was​ ​completely​ ​in​ ​awe​ ​of​ ​the​ ​dramatic​ ​landscape.

the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-​Glencoe-​-A82-scotland-1000

Day​ ​3:​ ​Ruthin​ ​to​ ​Machynlleth​ ​-​ ​The​ ​A5​ ​-A470.​ ​​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​think​ ​I’ve​ ​ever​ ​seen​ ​so​ ​many motorbikes​ ​enroute,​ ​a​ ​Mecca​ ​of​ ​motorcycles.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​a​ ​very​ ​scenic​ ​ride,​ ​which​ ​made the​ ​journey​ ​just​ ​as​ ​much​ ​fun​ ​as​ ​when​ ​I​ ​first​ ​arrived​ ​at​ ​the​ ​rally.​ ​There​ ​were​ ​a selection​ ​of​ ​mountain​ ​twisties,​ ​with​ ​stunning​ ​scenery​ ​around​ ​every​ ​bend​ ​and​ ​over every​ ​crest.

the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-​​Ruthin​-​Machynlleth​-A5​-A470-1000

Day​ ​4:​ ​Dunster​ ​Castle​ ​to​ ​Princetown:​ ​​ ​Riding​ ​through​ ​the​ ​beautiful​ ​and​ ​rugged​ ​wilds of​ ​Dartmoor,​ ​the​ ​visibility​ ​got​ ​very​ ​poor​ ​we​ ​were​ ​surrounded​ ​by​ ​mist.​ ​At​ ​some​ ​turns, I​ ​could​ ​barely​ ​see​ ​beyond​ ​10​ ​feet.​ ​There​ ​was​ ​something​ ​very​ ​dark​ ​and​ ​mysterious about​ ​this​ ​place,​ ​making​ ​it​ ​an​ ​unforgettable​ ​ride.

road-the-great-mile-classic-motorcycle-rally-Dunster-​Castle-Princetown-Dartmoor-1000

What​ ​was​ ​the​ ​most​ ​exciting​ ​moment​ ​of​ ​the​ ​rally?

There​ ​were​ ​so​ ​many​ ​thrilling​ ​moments,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​one​ ​that​ ​stands​ ​out​ ​for​ ​me​ ​was​ ​o​n Rally​ ​Day​ ​2,​ ​just​ ​after​ ​starting.​ ​​ ​We​ ​had​ ​finished​ ​fuelling​ ​up​ ​and​ ​were​ ​making​ ​our way​ ​through​ ​the​ ​Glencoe​ ​Valley.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​riding​ ​at​ ​the​ ​back​ ​of​ ​the​ ​pack​ ​enjoying​ ​the​ ​ride and​ ​spectacular​ ​morning​ ​landscape.​ ​I​ ​could​ ​see​ ​silhouettes​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​teams​ ​ahead in​ ​the​ ​distance.​ ​Rob​ ​was​ ​riding​ ​in​ ​front​ ​of​ ​our​ ​pack​ ​and​ ​overtook​ ​another​ ​team.​ ​​ ​I​ ​am not​ ​sure​ ​they​ ​took​ ​kindly​ ​to​ ​this,​ ​as​ ​they​ ​began​ ​to​ ​pick​ ​up​ ​speed​ ​and​ ​almost​ ​raced him.​ ​Jason​ ​and​ ​Steve​ ​were​ ​slowly​ ​making​ ​their​ ​way​ ​past​ ​the​ ​team​ ​in​ ​front.​ ​The​ ​pace of​ ​the​ ​bikes​ ​ahead​ ​had​ ​also​ ​increased.​ ​​ ​I​ ​remained​ ​at​ ​the​ ​back,​ ​hesitating​ ​to​ ​overtake in​ ​case​ ​I​ ​upset​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​other​ ​riders.

Just​ ​then,​ ​my​ ​teammates​ ​caught​ ​up​ ​to​ ​another​ ​team​ ​ahead.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​stuck​ ​behind​ ​eight bikes​ ​and​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​make​ ​a​ ​decision​ ​-​ ​​ ​overtake​ ​and​ ​catch​ ​up​ ​with​ ​my​ ​team​ ​mates,​ ​or ride​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​others​ ​and​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​catch​ ​up​ ​with​ ​my​ ​team​ ​at​ ​the​ ​next​ ​checkpoint?​ ​​ ​I decided​ ​to​ ​overtake​ ​the​ ​first​ ​bike​ ​then​ ​overtook​ ​another,​ ​and​ ​another.​ ​​ ​I​ ​was​ ​soon beginning​ ​to​ ​catch​ ​up​ ​with​ ​my​ ​team,​ ​although​ ​they​ ​were​ ​still​ ​a​ ​fair​ ​distance​ ​away. Adrenaline​ ​was​ ​starting​ ​to​ ​kick​ ​in,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​was​ ​totally​ ​at​ ​one​ ​with​ ​the​ ​bike.​ ​Finally,​ ​after overtaking​ ​many​ ​bikes,​ ​I​ ​was​ ​behind​ ​Steve.​ ​​ ​I​ ​didn’t​ ​want​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​there,​ ​so​ ​pushed​ ​on ahead​ ​until​ ​it​ ​was​ ​only​ ​me​ ​and​ ​the​ ​empty​ ​road​ ​ahead.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​so​ ​lost​ ​in​ ​the​ ​ride​ ​that​ ​I only​ ​remembered​ ​my​ ​team​ ​mates​ ​when​ ​I​ ​was​ ​stopped​ ​at​ ​the​ ​checkpoint.

When​ ​the​ ​ride​ ​is​ ​going​ ​well​ ​it​ ​flows​ ​like​ ​a​ ​dance.​ ​I​ ​almost​ ​had​ ​goosebumps​ ​on​ ​that ride...​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​way​ ​as​ ​listening​ ​to​ ​Hans​ ​Zimmer’s​ ​epic​ ​soundtracks.

What​ ​an​ ​epic​ ​ride!

Was​ ​it​ ​everything​ ​you​ ​had​ ​hoped​ ​for?

Everything​ ​and​ ​more.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​an​ ​amazing​ ​experience​ ​where​ ​I​ ​learned​ ​about perseverance,​ ​had​ ​adventures​ ​and​ ​made​ ​friendships.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​truly​ ​unforgettable,​ ​I​ ​met some​ ​amazing​ ​people​ ​who​ ​were​ ​all​ ​part​ ​of​ ​my​ ​journey.​ ​It​ ​gave​ ​me​ ​the​ ​inspiration​ ​to keep​ ​challenging​ ​myself​ ​and​ ​I​ ​hope​ ​to​ ​embark​ ​on​ ​another​ ​adventure​ ​soon.

Click the product names for a closer look, or use the link to shop all motorcycle.

Shop Motorcycle

THE GREAT MILE FIELD KIT

You can follow Ricky’s adventures on Instagram here.

Mr Ricky​ ​Phoolka​ ​is​ ​a​ London based ​Creative​ ​Director, who’s work spans​ ​animation, film and ​ ​interactive​ ​media​. He the loves the open road and has a soft spot for Hans​ ​Zimmer​ ​​soundtracks.

  • Pooja S.

    Fantastic Article, Very informative & well put together love the pictures gives a great insight to the rally & the preparation behind it…

  • Salmanfan

    awesome article …awesome pics!

Load Next