Sunday morning at Squires Cafe, Yorkshire, I am having an old fashioned instant coffee at the café and thinking about the weekend I had.
I am not the one for bucket lists, I am more looking on a daily/monthly and yearly base what I like to dp. So there are no regrets when something didn’t work out in life. One thing on my whee bucket list was to ride an SS1000, officially and to be part of worlds toughest riders. And which one to ride best is the RBLR1000 to support the British Legion.
So there I was at 00:20 riding in after about 20 hours on the road and 1000 miles later. Never underestimate the emotional power when people are cheering you in, people who understand what you did. I felt emotional after the sun broke trough at Perth and I felt it coming in.
We started at 5:00 about all 139 of us. Being signed in, the rules of the Iron Butt association are tight, and waved off by people who are committed in riding and to the RBL, makes it an easy start, even for me at 5:00.
First stop at Birch Services, again the RBL is waving is us. Signing the first evidence. It is up to Fort William for the second one. The first miles are dry but after 300 km it starts to rain. Time for a first fuel stop for the bike and to feed myself. The route along Loch Lomond is very pretty, when it is not raining….. Fort William, likewise. But it is raining and luckily my jacket is keeping me dry and my trick with the sponge at the screen to prevent spray under my visor too. Talking about the helmet, it felt comfortable at the right time. I had to buy a new one because I broke the visor when I dropped the helmet and replacement ones were not available fast enough. At Fort Willoam I had a small bite and drink and up it was towards to Wick.
It stopped raining about 1,5 hours before Wick. Suddenly traffic stopped too and there was a huge queue. I rode passed it and was stopped by a cross policeman, he asked me what I was doing and what I did was illegal and that sort of things and that I had to stop. (period, and that was an order). I wondered if it was a bike accident what happened and that this was one of the things that made him this cross. It appeared it was one biker that had an accident involving a car and it was one other rider of my ride. (I found out later, bummer I hope he will be OK soon). So with a delay I arrived in Wick and my sat-nav pointed me further, so I went. I ended up somewhere silly, so I lost 20 minutes or so. Note to myself: prepare yourself better next time round.
So in Wick when I filled up and got my ticket for the evidence I was there. I was thinking that it is now only 800 km back and it is only 15:30. Well, it is the same distance to ride from home to Italy. Would I ever consider starting at 15:30 to ride to friends in Italy, well most likely not….. SS1000’s puts things and distances in different perspective.
Riding down it started raining again. Filled up half way to Edinburgh to get fuel and a bite. At Perth suddenly like clouds were cut with a knife, the clouds broke and sun started shining and there they were, the beautiful colours of Scotland. Stop at Edinburgh, got rid of the waterproof trousers, which helped me enough, only a wet crotch, and mounted the sheepskin. What a luxury! Berwick, the last station, still light. Next stop was back to the Squires, two hours of motorway hammering down the A1/M1 at 120 km/h.
So at 0:20 coming in at the Squires, the cheers lifted my emotions, the signing off brought the relief, the verification and the certificate to proof I have done it signed by Phil, was a reward that cannot be underestimated. I was shivering a lot, but after a sausage sandwich and a coffee and some more to eat, it was much better. I believe it was a combination of cold, shortage of easy available energy, fatigue and emotions. Got to bed about 1-ish and fell asleep instantly.
Leaving me a word of thanks for everybody who made it possible. The team of the IBA-UK, the RBLR, the people at the Squires café and also everybody who supported me in this ride. With donations, words of admiring (or disgust), likes on my posts and everybody else who thing I(and we) are nuts, because I consider that as a word of praise.
Next year another ride? Well, likely not I will am part of the CBBC-Niederrhein and we have a rally at the same weekend next year. But charity will be part of it, so you can continue supporting me and us in doing some extra in life.
Is this the end of my blogs? Next up is the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride in September. Also important issues to support and talk about there. See you soon.