Saturday afternoon in the Walton household unfortunately was not a great place to be!
I was in a foul mood brought on in part by our unexpectedly premature departure from The HUBBUK Meeting but more so by Ben watching “Tracy Beaker” on TV. At which point I lost the plot!
“I am sick to death of Mr T just being sat in the garage doing nothing, I may as well just get rid!”
Not my finest hour I must say but at that very moment it was exactly how I felt. Sadly I brought the mood of the house to its knees, something I now feel some what apologetic for. Looking back, I now understand what Jeannie meant by her reply
“You cannot sell Mr T! Your bike is a part of you!”
I spent what was left of the day unpacking our gear and replacing the food I’d taken back in the fridge.
Sunday morning and my mood was still black. I was struggling with the events of Saturday but I needed to sort myself out as I hate bringing everyone down. Even Lilie Rose was giving me the ‘evil’s’ as I got her dressed ready for the day.
“What are your plans for the day?” Jeannie asked.
“I’m going to cut the lawn then go for a ride to Rivington Barn” I replied bluntly. Then did just that!
As ever the lawn took far too long but I do like to see stripes in it so there is no one else to blame but myself. 1400 hours saw me mount up and after a quick round of “see you later’s” I was away.
The ride up towards Bolton over the tops is one of my favorite routes and before long the idea of selling MR T had well and truly vanished from my mind.
It was great to see so many bike out and about ‘Rivi Barn’ as it’s know locally, the place was buzzing which gave me a real lift. After grabbing a coffee from the outside stand I sat on the low wall that surounds the main parking circle and started to chill out.
It was not long before I found myself being asked lots of questions by a lady sat further along the wall. Why are you all here? How long had they been coming to Rivington? Why Sundays? She only stopped quizzing me when luckily Phil spotted me and came over. Looking very business like, if not a little hot and bothered, in his one piece leathers. We escaped to have a look at his amazing Ducati 749S which when I pulled Mr T up along side was almost dwarfed. It was great to catch up as I’d not seen him since he popped down with the family a few weeks back.
After a steady ride out towards Blackburn I headed home for a late dinner and and early night.
Monday had me sanding the garden shed ready for repainting. That done I headed out to Lytham St Annes for Monday Bike Night. It was rammed, the ‘Boy’s in Blue’ were everywhere as there was a local ‘Speed Awareness” campaign in full flow. I met a really nice RBLR Chap called Chris who introduced himself as soon I stopped ‘Tweeting’ for two seconds. Until that point my RBLR waistcoat had done a good job of putting folk off talking to me. I really have no idea why as if they just take the time to read the patches it is very obvious I support our armed forces. There is still a way to go in educating folk's on that side of life.
Tuesday I was going to take off up to Newcastle to check out a bike cafe meeting but thought better of it at the last minute.
As we sat down for our mid morning coffee I took a look at an email I’d received from Touratech on Friday, whilst I was down at the HUBB UK Meeting. It read
“Jeannie what do you think to this?” I asked sheepishly
“It’s a weekend in south Wales, meeting at the Touratech shop at 9.00am Friday morning with Nick Plumb”
“Who’s he? Do you know him?”
“I think I met him at the HUBB in 2011 or it could have been 2012! Anyway after that it is off to meet Nick Sanders for breakfast”
“The guy you took a photo of Ben with at the BMF Show?”
“Yes that’s him, then a ride out on our own bikes followed by a 3 course dinner, over night in a Yurt, some off roading on baby Tenere’s on Saturday morning and on, and on. What do you think?”
“Sounds great when is it?”
“OH! look there’s only 8 places. It’ll be full. Mind I could give them a call” I said changing the subject.
5 minutes later after finishing our coffee’s I was on the phone to the shop.
“Sorry, what did you say? There’s one place left, just hold the line two seconds”
“Jeannie there’s a place left what do you think?”
“Get it booked!”
“Sorry about that, Yes stick me down!”
“That’ll be £200 please”
“I’ll just get my card!”
So next weekend I will be one of the 8 inaugural ‘Expedition Centre” attendees. To make the whole thing even better, as I came off the phone Jeannie said
“I’ll pay for that! It can be your Farther's Day present from us all!” What a fantastic Farther's Day Prize!
Wednesday after repainting the shed and doing a bit of gardening I was planning on heading to Squire as it’s Bike night there on Wednesday night but having attended numerous Wednesday evenings I stayed home and had ‘Snuggle Buggle’s’ with Lilie Rose and Ben instead.
Thursday after getting Lilie Rose off to school and enduring an eventful “Sleep Over” by Ben’s mates. Which culminated in me escorting them back into the house from the tent at midnight as they’d been spooked by a fox in the garden. I set off over to Derbyshire to see my Dad & Ang.
The ride was perfect. The weather blisteringly hot and not a soul on the back roads to hinder my ride. I stopped in the same spot as I’d photographed in February.
What a difference a few months makes
After a good hour or so with my Dad & Ang catching up and hearing some bad news I rode the couple of miles to Clay Cross to CMC Motorcycles for a look around and to get some photo’s for my Biker Cafe Review which will appear on Keep Britain Biking soon.
Ross came over to me in the car park and took a photo. Asking what I’m up to next. I told him about next weekends adventure in Wales with the two Nick’s. Following it up with the next ‘Huge Ride’ which Ben & I will be doing the following weekend 22nd June the RBLR1000.
'If it's bikes, it's CMC'
I explained how Ben will become the youngest pillion rider ever to complete the ride at just 11 years old (that’s as long as the ride does not beat us) and how we are trying our best to raise £500 sponsorship for the RBL.
“So how much are you on now?” Ross replied
“Well with the £40 my Dad & Ang have just given me we are on £350, so we’re doing really well”
“Right let’s make that up to £500 right here and now!”
“Pardon? That’s £150!”
“I know, get your brew & I’ll come over and have a chat in a minute”
I was absolutely astounded, we’d done it! £500 raised and still a week and a half to go to the start of the event.
CMC Clay Cross Cafe with the 'Main Man' Ross
True to his word Ross came over with baseball cap’s, one of which I need to get Nick Sanders to put on for a photo, a fist full of stickers and a business card with Ross’s personal mobile number on (which I promptly lost as soon as I got home!).
What an absolute gentleman you are Ross. Ben sends a huge Thank You and cannot wait to meet you the next time we are down your way.
YZF, Quad, Super Moto & Monkey Bike
The 'Four Amigo's'
The ride home took me over Stretton Top down to the back of Matlock, hanging a left to take me through Matlock back where I spotted the ‘Four Amigo’s again parked up. Then it was right towards Ashbourne and another right towards Buxton. I took a small detour when I spotted a sign for Carsington Water.
Amazing Stone Sculptures
Bike Eating Dog's
All at the side of
Friday brings things bang up to date! Tonight Jeannie and I are off to see Eddie Izzard at the MEN Arena which we are both looking forward to.
So as you can see, this week as just be one roller coaster of emotions going from rock bottom to bouncing off the clouds. As I said ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’.
If you would like to sponsor Ben and I here is our Dad’s ‘n’ Lad’s Big Adventure RBLR1000 2013 Just Giving Site. Many thank’s for all your support.
Not a cloud in the sky, perfect!