Having just spent the last two hours scouring my diary and blog for something interesting to round the year off with I realised a couple of things. One being the massive amount of time I have spent building and “farkling” my two bikes and the second even more depressing thing is the fact I’ve not ridden my bike since mid November! Now how sad is that?
2011 has been one of the quietest years on the road I’ve had in a very long time but the enjoyment I have gained from building Trinity and “farkling” Mr. T. has been immense. Plus spending so much time with Jeannie, Lilie Rose and Ben has been great for us all.
“So why do a review?” I hear you ask. Good question! Well for those of you who know me well the answer is blaringly obvious, I need to see things through to their natural conclusion. Therefore with 2011 fast drawing to a close it is only right that I round of what has been a year in three parts with a review of the best and in some cases worst bits.
It started with writing the blog in March of this year. I have been overjoyed with the ease at which the words have flowed and the fact that over 1000 of you have visited it each month to read my ramblings. It really has brought a glow into my life.
So without any further ado here is a potted version of 2011
15th – IBA UK RTE at Conisborough Castle, the first ride of the year with Ben saw us meeting up with the IBA guy’s for a brew and a catch up after the Christmas festivities.
27th – I took Trinity’s Body work down to Dream Machine in Long Eaton
30th – First Manc Riders RTE at the Moorcock. I cannot believe it has only been 12 months since I first met up with the Manc Riders, all of whom have become close family friends to our entire family.
6th – Manc Riders first meeting at Panmans to discuss the upcoming “Tour de Normandy”
19th – RBLR meeting at Millom in Cumbria
26th – Manc Riders Lake District Ride Out
A great day in the Lake District
11th – I started writing the Blog, initially purely about Trinity my 1993 Kawasaki ZXR750 L1
19th – IBA UK RTE at John’s in Cannock visiting the German War Cemetery
16th – IBA UK National Meeting in Leeds
Cannock RTE hosted by John
2nd – Rode to RAF Marham near Kings Lynn to take part in the Annual RBLR Cheque Presentation
14th – Got hit by Astra driver in Bradford returning from Tripe S with parts for Trinity
10 day family holiday in Cyprus
If you squint I'm on there to the left......
2nd – Manc Riders BBQ at ours
5th-8th – IOM TT 1000 – rode the IOM TT course 28 times in a row, Fantastic!
9th – Attended my Aunty Susan’s funeral, a very tough day as my Mum rests by her side.
12th – Collected Trinity’s rear-sets from RCD-Tec near Long Eaton
20th- 22nd – Helped with the IBA Brit Butt Rally
23rd – Took FJR1300 in for 36,000 mile service with 38,400 on the clock in 18 months. Test rode Super Tenere and loved it.
24th – Did the deal with Keith Dixon – traded in FJR1300 (on return from France with the proviso not to go over 40,000 miles) for a Yamaha Super Tenere in Black of course!
26th- 30th – Manc Riders Normandy Tour – Simply Outstanding!
Kev, Andy, Lefty, Ben, Me, Dave, Chris & Phil
It was a privilege to ride with you all
6th – Met with Nadine my daughter in Manchester, first time we had seen each other in 16 years
6th – Collected Super Tenere from Keith’s – FJR1300 had 39,946 as promised less than 40K
17th – Cancelled the RBLR 1000 due to Sciatica, I was gutted!
23rd – 26th Took my Dad to the Horizons Unlimited meeting at Belper. Just stayed the day but really wished I had been able to stay the full weekend. There’s always next year.
30th – Took Mr. T in for his first service 1000, Done!
A fond farewell to "The Beast" she served me well.
6th – Trinity won’t start!
7th – Dropped Trinity off at Rosendale Kawasaki for 6,000 mile service and full check as I’m no mechanic and don’t want to be killing myself on her first ride out.
21st- 24th – Ben and I headed for a fateful trip to France, when Mr. T fell over with Ben sat on him the second day trip was cut short. We rode straight back from Reims some 685 miles in one go. Ben never complained once even when he was freezing at 11.00pm at night near Doncaster filing up with fuel.
29th – 31st – Weekend in Alton at my Dad and Ang’s with Ben working on the farm and touring Derbyshire. It was great to get Ben back on Mr. T and buld his confidence back up.
Who needs Mr. T when you've got 4 Wheels
2 weeks in Spain on family holiday – Ben and I drove down and visited the sights of Paris at 2.00am in the morning (best time to go if you ask me) Ben loved it.
7th – Rode to Cambridge to collect Metal Mule Panniers from a Paris Dakar Bike Racer
9th – 11th – RBLR Weekend at Millom with Ben sadly the weather was against us and we returned home early.
16th-18th – Manc Riders Weekend in Moffat with Jeannie. A fantastic weekend had by all.
Jeannie, Kev, Kev & Sean
Bl**dy Great weekend, nuph said!
1st – RTTW with the Manc Riders
17th- Finished “farkling” Mr. T so all set now for anything.
19th – Went to see Peter Kay at the MEN Arena with Jeannie as an early birthday present
21st- 23rd – IBA UK RTE in Colditz, first decent ride out on Mr. T with him fully kitted out and set up just the way I want him to be. Very cold return trip but well worth the ride.
Colditz in all it's glory
1st – Mr. T has 6,000 mile service at Keith Dixon’s in Accrington
6th – I hosted a Halo Bike Cleaning day at home which went down really well
16th – 18th – Wardle Wash in aid of “Children in Need”. Sadly Amy one of Ben’s class mates passed away on the Thursday, something we will never forget, any of us. R.I.P. Little Lady
20th – Manc Riders Paint Ball Day for which I have just one word, OUCH!!!
23rd – NEC Bike Show, I got to meet Nick Saunders and my all time favourite Adventure Motorcycle Travel Book author Sam Manicom
30th – John delivers Trinity back from Rossendale Kawasaki running at last
Cheshire Cat meets Sam Manicom
5th – Started the Re-build of Trinity
10th – IBA UK Meeting in Staffordshire
11th – Nadine visited us at home for 4 days, simply wonderful.
21st – Completed the re-build of Trinity in time for Christmas
25th – Successfully completed 6 weeks negotiations for a number plate for Ben to go on Trinity..........................
Mr. T, Done!
2011 Manc Riders Style
(Courtesy of BadBoyBez)
And so here we are bang up to date. Trinity is complete, Mr T is waiting to take us out and about. So far for 2012 I have nothing solid planned. My thoughts of an 8,000 mile tour of Europe have been shelved as I just do not want to spend 3-4 weeks away from home all in one go.
I do plan on seeing lots more of Europe, especially Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and especially Nordkapp but I also want to ride the Stelvio Pass. So there’s lot’s to be done. Loads of saving needed which will be so much easier now both bikes are complete.
What do I think to 2011, well it fell into three very clear areas’
Family and Friends – being at home most of this year has made me realise what I missed out on, being on the road for most of 2010. Joining and meeting the Manc Riders has had a huge impact on All our lives here in the Walton Household from Ben who thinks the guys and gals are just “Awesome” to Lilie Rose and Jeannie who have been accepted into the “Gang” as Jeannie likes to call us. To yours truly who, for the first time in a very long time feels accepted for who I am, warts and all. Hell they even read my blog, now how sad is that?
I’d also like to mention the guys and gals in the IBA UK who I have come to know and respect and feel a strong affiliation too. Thank you for being there on some of my long distance rides, all be it to get drunk with at the end and then ride home in different directions.
A special mention needs to go to my long suffering but dependable lifelong best mate Roland. We may fall out like a married couple but we’re still as strong as ever, you’re a star Ron.
Riding – Well I didn’t think I had been very far this year but I suppose 12,000 on two bikes is not too bad all things considered.
Bike Building – Now there was no way on earth I could have know what was going to happen this year regarding Trinity who took on a life of her own once I had met Andy at Triple S in Bingley. Powder coating your bikes frame “purple” really can set the world on fire.
As for swapping The Beast, my trusty FJR1300 for a Super Tenere and then “farkling” him till he became Mr.T I had no idea that was going to happen but the timings could not have been any better. Whilst Trinity was away I got to sort Mr. T just the way I want him.
On that very positive note I’d like to wish each and every one of you who take the time to read my blog from the Manc Riders, IBA UK, ZX-7R Forum to the Super Tenere Forum a Fantastic 2012 and I hope we meet somewhere, sometime out and about.
Happy New Year, Everybody.