Carlile Ben Carlile managed to achieve more in his wonderful
9 years of life than most of us could aspire to do in six
times that. He excelled at school and was very popular at
all the clubs he was part of. No one was better than Ben,
he knew he was the best and always aimed to achieve just
the early stages in his life Ben was keen to get on two
wheels. His path to bike trials came via a stint in motorcycle
trials where at the age of 6 he rode for Barnsley motorcycle
club on his Beta 50. He won his first trial there and although
he enjoyed riding his motor bike his Monty trials bike was
much lighter and easier to throw around and this is where
he felt most at home.
mum and dad, Samantha and Kevin, supported him on both motorised
and pedal bikes and turned their back yard into a trials
practise area for Ben to hone his skills on. He had free
rein to move the pallets and obstacles around and design
his own sections. One afternoon he took his dad round to
see his new section and proudly showed him his water feature.
Ben had piled a couple of pallets up and placed the garden
hose between them and then turned it on to give him the
perfect watery challenge.
first competitive bike trial with the TykeTrial club was
up at a cold and very wet Oakworth quarry where he showed
his talents to all whilst practising before even attempting
a section! He was riding up and down rocks most riders twice
his age would struggle with and showed no fear whilst doing
so. He went on to complete this trial and in true TykeTrial
style the appalling weather didn't dampen his enthusiasm.
The rain was heavy, the wind cold, the mud thick and many
people retired because of the conditions. However, during
the later stages of Ben's illness when he was mostly bed-ridden
he once told his dad that he would love to be riding up
at Oakworth quarry in the rain and mud that day.
successes in bike trials followed and as Ben continued to
practice and improve his technique the equipment he was
using needed to be upgraded. To allow him to achieve his
personal record of 42 back hops he needed to upgrade the
brakes on his bike to hydraulic ones. After that the tyres
needed to be improved. The final touches to his steed came
with a bright orange paint job on his rims to emulate his
hero's machine, his hero being Dougie Lampkin, who had an
orange rimmed Montessa at the time so Ben wanted the same.
These modifications not only made Ben ride better but also
gave him an understanding of the dynamics of his bike and
just what effect changing parts of the bike would have on
love of his bike and passion to ride was shown off at its
best when he rode at the Bradford Bike Show alongside two
more of his hero's, Chris Doney and Mark Vinco. Ben loved
the atmosphere and did some of his best stunts during the
show, one of which was totally unrehearsed when he dropped
off a metre high platform onto a plastic cup and landed
it spot on. He crushed the cup to the cheers of the crowd
and proud smile of his dad.
of his finest moments in his competitive trials activities
was on a beautiful sunny day at Brimham Rocks where he rode
to his full potential to take a fine win. But he didn't
stop at the end of the trial instead he continued to practise
and show the other riders in his class some of the tricks
he had mastered. He rode as number 56 on that day and enjoyed
Brimham trial was in June and during a couple of trials
after that Ben had retired due to feeling very ill. Then
one day in early November 2007, during his walk to school,
his leg gave way underneath him and he was taken to his
doctors who then referred him immediately to Pontefract
hospital. From there he was sent to Pinderfields hospital
in Wakefield where he underwent an MRI scan and was then
rushed to Leeds General Infirmary to remove a lump from
his spine. By the end of the following day he had gone through
a nine hour operation to remove the lump from his spinal
cord. This left Ben physically drained and his parents in
a state of shock. Tests on the lump showed it to be cancerous
and this was the start of a whole new chapter in Ben's life.
with any other obstacle put in front of Ben he tackled this
new challenge with courage and determination. Once the surgery
had healed he was then put through a course of radiation
and Chemotherapy at Jimmys in Leeds which made him very
his radiation treatment Ben made the trip from Pontefract
to Skipton to be guest of honour at the Easter Bunny Hop.
This great event brought out all the stars, with three generations
of the Lampkin family setting out the obstacles in the show,
including Dougie and his son Alfie. Would you be confident
of this level of trials history putting a show together
for you? The star studded line up didn't stop there with
trials hero Cesar Canas doing several demonstration rides
ending with a battle against Ben Savage and Wayne Mahomet
to see who could gap jump a stupidly big distance between
two of the obstacles in the arena. Ben enjoyed himself tremendously
and given half the chance would have been out there mixing
it up with the best of them.
after the Bunny hop the treatments he had been receiving
started to bear fruit and he was able to walk with his crutches
and started to eat solid food again. He returned to school
on a part time basis and started to ride on an indoor trainer
to build his strength back up.
at this time that the Barnsley Trials club put on an event
to raise money for Ben which amounted to enough to buy him
a holiday to Centre Parcs complete with limousine from his
home to the venue.
'Starlight' group also helped one of Ben's dreams come true
and he enjoyed an evening at a Def Leopard concert and went
back stage after the event to meet his heroes. Again he
arrived in style in a limousine put on by the tour manager
and to top it all he met up with White Snake where he received
a signed drum stick.
work also donated some money to Ben and told him he could
buy what ever he wanted. With the appalling summer of 2008
rolling on from one wet weekend to another Ben decided he
wanted to buy the biggest TV screen he could for his X Box
system. So armed with the cash he was whisked off to his
local electrical dealers where he chose and paid for their
top notch TV. His X Box kept him entertained on the rainy
days and also kept him in touch with his mates who were
in constant communication through the internet.
Ben out in the fresh air on the odd sunny day we did have
in the summer of 2008 his dad bought him a low powered air
riffle. He set a target range up made from some pieces of
wood and spent hours with Ben picking off carefully selected
targets which would give the most satisfying sound when
hit. As the summer fizzled out Ben went back inside and
continued to play on his X Box.
team who had played a large role in his life were the Jig
Saw team, a group of specialists who helped with and cared
for Ben when he was in hospital and at home. During one
hospital stay another team, Leeds United, came to visit
him and following that the presenter of the Sheffield Indoor
Arena Trial, Wayne Kershaw also took time out to come and
see Ben, both of which he really enjoyed.
also arrived in the post one morning in the form of a signed
helmet from Ot Pi, another of Ben's idols, which he kept
in his bedroom and guarded well.
August 2008 Ben passed away with his loving family and carers
around him. There is a memorial stone outside his school
which at the highest point is 22" a height Ben managed to
hop up during one of his street rides with his friends.
The rock is there for all to ride and as a reminder of what
he achieved in his life. He also has a fitting headstone
which was made by one of his friends from the pieces of
wood that surrounded his air gun target range, the pellet
holes are still there.
was a courageous and popular young man who was way ahead
of his years in everything he did. Even though he understood
what the treatment he was receiving was about and how it
could affect him, not once did he ever think he wasn't going
to beat his illness. He left so much behind for all of us
to remember him by and while we do that he will always be
summer of 2007 Ben's first video was made on DVD, showing
him to be a little trials star of the future. In November
2007 he was diagnosed with cancer, and very sadly passed
away on August 17th 2008 at just 9 years old.
his parents permission, we have reproduced that video so
that everyone can watch it as an inspiration to us all.
Ben's video here
in peace Ben and thank you for your inspiration.