What can I say? I’m the proudest Dad on the planet. At 11 years old my son Ben has successfully become the youngest pillion ever to complete the the RBLR1000 in it’s 5 years history. This is his story!
It was a Friday afternoon and I was just setting off from school with mum, getting ready for my big adventure. "So are you looking forward to your ride?" asked Mum. At the time I was just smiling at her telling her that I was nervous and Mum said "Dad’s got something to help you relax” and I looked at her and replied "the swimming pool!". "How did you know, I thought that Dad hadn't told you yet".
We got in the car and set off, ready for what was to come. When we got there Dad had already got the bike out and was raring to go. "Right Ben, get your clobber on and we'll set off straight away" so I rushed inside found all of my gear on the sofa ready and waiting for me. So I set to work putting on my trousers and my boots when I heard my Dad’s boots stomping through the garage shouting "Liliepobs is here". So I went to the door and nearly got ran over by Lilie in her wheelchair. "Come on” said Dad get dressed. Five minutes later I was dressed and saying bye to Mum for the 'thousanth' time.
"Do you want to get on first or shall I?” Now this was a question I'm used to so as usual I got on first and we waved our goodbyes to Mum and set off for Squires Cafe.
It took about an hour to get to the hotel that we was staying at and I found out that there ‘was’ a pool!
When we arrived we parked the bike up and went into the hotel and got ourselves a room 212. Once we got our room we went back to the reception and gave our keys back. "Have I ever taken you to Squires Ben?" Dad asked me. "No dad but you have talked about it loads".
Now this was true my Dads always talking about that place. When I got their I understood why. It was brilliant! There was about a hundred bikers there and when we got off my Dad was met by a hoard of people who I have never seen before. I've never seen Dad say hello to so many people and you know what? Dad didn't know half of the people until they said "I know you, your the Wandering Walton's!"
We went inside and signed our names on a sheet of paper and tried to set off to go back to the hotel when we met another one of dads long lost friends and this one he actually knew him. Dad told him about how I was attempting to do the RBLR1000 and he told us that his son did the ‘End to End’ when he was ten and he wished us good luck and we set off back to the hotel. When we got there we got our keys back and dropped our stuff in our room so we could get a rest and then go back to Squires.
This is one of my dad's friends
On another one of my dad's friends bikes!
Dad asked if I wanted a swim once we got back. Obviously I said yes straight away and you know what? I really think Dad regretted it because when we got back to Squires I was pulling at his arm saying " Daaaad I want to have a swim! Can we go now. Hurry up! What time is it?" for the whole time there, until he gave in and said "fine, fine it's only 8 though!" At the time I thought it was quarter to ten. So that's why I wanted to get back so quickly! It was worth it though. Even Dad agreed. It was like a bath in there! We swam around for a while until Dad said "right one more lap and we are out”.
I asked Dad why and he told me it was because we needed a big sleep. So we got out, had a lovely warm shower and went back to the room. Dad looked like he didn't even go in because he was bone dry, unlike his son who was dripping wet! We clambered back to the room to get our jim jams on so we could get a good night sleep. We watched Miranda and went to sleep.
I've got to admit I had a brilliant nights kip and so did Dad but we had to wake up some time and sure enough that time was 0400am. We got ourselves a shower and got our teeth scrubbed and our clobber on and got to the reception and handed in our keys and went to Mr T and got on him and set off for Squires to get in line for the beginning of “THE BIG 1000!” Of course I was a little nervous but settled my nerves when some people came up and started wishing us luck and saying how cool it was riding at only eleven years old.
All ready to go!
Squires Cafe 0 miles 0500
THE BIG 1000 started off with a roar of engines and an eleven year old nearly wetting himself with excitement! (maybe I shouldn't have said that?!) Anyway me and Dad was at the front of the pack so we had an extra advantage so the first stop was Berwick-upon-Tweed. My Dad started off saying "Berwick on Tweed look out, we are coming for you!"
That was easy, not!
Berwick-upon-Tweed 160 miles 0715
The first stop was easy. It was 2 hours and 45 mins. It was only easy because it was the fist ride and I was all pumped up (didn't fart!) (joke) and I was full of energy. We also got to see something I've always wanted to see, the ‘Angel of the North’. I've got to admit though that wasn't the easiest ride we had the next one was and it was the one I was looking forward to. I was looking forward to it because it was only an hour and we got to see the Scottish border and I LOVE Scotland! The next trip was one of the ones I was dreading Edinburgh to Wick! 4 hours 45 minutes!
Brilliant I'm in Scotland!
Edinburgh 240 miles 0800
The trip was long and hard but I made it and by then I did 500 miles! We had a lovely stop and had a lasagne, chocolate and a coke to boost up my energy. You know what, once I had that stop I felt as fresh as a daisy.
Full Tum - Numb Bum
Wick 500 miles 1300
The next ride was from Wick to Fort William that was 3 hours 30 minutes. I didn't mind though because on the way their was about thirty AWESOME bends all of them where twisting and turning all the way and I loved it. We also kept on over taking the other cars on the road.
We made up for an hour by doing this technique we made it to Fort William for about 6 pm only to meet some other ‘Iron Butts’ and they were nice and friendly.
Tuna buttie time
Fort William 670 miles 1710
Soon we set off to our final destination Birch Services. We would get their for 2400. So we did but it was like torture every time I blinked I fell asleep! It was horrible, it was chucking it down and it was cold. We got a ‘tsunami’ when a lorry rode past us in a giant puddle nearly knocking us off the bike.
Snack time, Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows
You can keep your Bacon 'n' Brie Panini's
Killington Lake Services - Kendal 920 miles 2230
We finally stopped at Birch Services and we set off half asleep (three quarters in my case). Once we got back I was feeling dead!
Wet, warm and very tired.
I love my heated jacket!
Birch Services M62 990 miles 2320
Job Well Done!
Squires Cafe Sherburn-in-Elmet 1034 miles 0024
The morning after the day before
RBLR1000 Youngest Participant Award
Spot the real IBA shirt
I couldn't buy till I'd done it!
Dad's not the only one
who can make some friends ;-)
Home safe and sound
Ben 'Iron Butt' Walton
(and Dad of course)
by Ben Walton aged 11