He did it!
He finished the ride in under three hours with legs left and a smile on his face.
Grandad said he could have easily done it faster and could probably have cycled further too – the fact that he didn’t stop talking for the whole ride suggests he was never working as hard as he could!
But actually we all agreed that it was better he hadn’t been pushed to his limit as it meant he finished smiling, and happy to do another ride later in the year.
Originally the plan had been for Ben to ride with Aunty Nic whilst Dave and my Dad did the 40 mile ride as a sprint before doubling back to ride into the finish with Ben and Nic – but, to all our disappointment, Nic wasn’t able to take part due to a back injury. She was really gutted as she’d been so looking forward to being a part of Ben’s first proper ride. My Aunty and Uncle were also doing the ride so in the end they all did it together.
At ten years old (and only just ten too) Ben was the youngest cyclist taking part in Ride Yorkshire this weekend – he got a special shout out at the start and said that he had lots of encouragement from other cyclists throughout the course, cheering him on. (Though when I asked him what the best thing about the ride was, he said “Riding on new tarmac!”)
Me and the girls, along with Granny and Aunty Nic, spent the morning chasing them around the course – stopping at the side of the road to cheer our team on (as well as anyone else who cycled past us!) We managed to catch them twice and then dashed up to the end to watch them cross the finish line. It was quite funny cheering on the other cyclists as some clearly found it really awkward but other’s loved it – we got some high fives, thumbs up and a few comedy comments – more so when lots of them saw us the second time round!
I won’t deny being very teary – I’d been nervous ahead of the ride that he might struggle, and definitely worried about him falling off – but in the end a combination of relief and pride meant that when he crossed the finish line, I gave him the biggest squeeze for him to say, “Mum your eyes are a bit bloodshot” – I told him I’d been crying because I was just so proud of him!
Since the event we have found out that Ben was the youngest of 16 youth cyclists on Sunday but rather than ranking youth riders separately he’s classed as a man – so the fact that he achieved a bronze certificate and came in at 68th out of 134 cyclists is huge. He’s pretty pleased with himself to know that he beat 66 grown men!
Ben has now raised over £600 now for Diabetes UK and we couldn’t be prouder of him! Thank you to everyone who has sponsored him (and if you haven’t yet, there is still time!)
He’s already planning his next ride – and there’s talk of graduating to cleats!