Charity Bike Run Makes Me Better
That was a charity event with a difference. Having just passed my motorbike test in September last year, I volunteered for Relay Riders UK. A non stop relay of bikers going around the country to raise funds for their chosen charity Doc Bikes.
It seemed like a really good idea when I was still a learner on my 125cc bike. A great chance to get in extra mileage and gain experience whilst helping a worthwhile cause.
Of course, when I passed my big bike test I messaged them saying I would be happy to go further. Boy oh boy did I go further.
Last night I carried two teddy bears on their honeymoon, more than 200 miles. Starting at 11.20pm and finishing at 3.10am. My route took me through Glenshee ski resort and Royal Deeside, past Balmoral Castle.
I was initially terrified of the climb up to Glenshee however, it turned out not to be too bad. A slow road with many twists and turns, we took our time and gave the numerous rabbits a wave when they came to say hello. Many thanks have to go to all the people who kept us in their thoughts for dry weather, no rain fell on us throughout the whole leg of the relay.
After Glenshee the roads improved slightly and we were ready to make up time lost on the turns of the hills. It seems however the weather gods had other plans for us. There was no rain, there was however plenty of fog, patchy fog which played havoc with my visor.
Thankfully my daughter was behind me in the car so we had a quick pit stop in Ballater for a hot cup of tea from the flask we prepared earlier. Whilst I was drinking tea, my daughter and her boyfriend did a quick cleaning job on my helmet.
The next hour and a half was spent going from 50mph to 10mph and back again depending on the fog.
At last we made it to Stonehaven harbour where our next rider was waiting, only 20 minutes late. We waved him off as he took the coast road to Dundee and we headed off down the motorway to meet him.
That was when the rain started. Not drizzle, not showers but proper full on rain. My outer gear held up very well I have to say, which made it all the more shocking when I felt some water leaching through on my hands and feet. I had been warm and cosy all the way through my leg, now it seems it was payback.
40 miles later we welcomed the bears again and set up for another handover. Although there were no bikers at the handover point and nothing on social media to say where they were. Cue the helmet and off I went again.
I knew the next leg was from Dundee to Falkland Palace however I forgot there was a specific route. I went belting down the dual carriageway, following my daughter who had the sat nav in the car. We got there 20 minutes early. Thankfully the rain had stopped and the next riders appeared early.
The bears were safely handed over and I headed home for bed.
Can it please be noted that my Kevlar leggings are the greatest thing ever invented and didn’t let water in at all. At least I didn’t think so until I tried to take them off. These leggings are very heavy with armour protection, they don’t seem to get wet at all, at least I didn’t think my legs were wet. I was obviously very wrong as when I tried to get them off, I had to peel them off. I was wet through, which to be honest is to be expected having done over 70 miles on a motorbike in the pouring rain.
It took all of 5 minutes from walking in the door to being in my bed.
I had a great time and improved my night riding skills and wet weather skills immensely. It’s all for a good cause and something that I would never have done without the Relay Riders. If you are feeling sorry for me curled up in my bed shivering and trying to get warm, please feel free to donate here.
Now I have had a few hours sleep I am drinking lots of tea and following the exploits of the bears on social media.
Who would have thought that at 50+ years I would have started riding a bike and in less than a year done a night ride like this? I am loving this life.