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Published: July 14th 2015
Today was absolutely beautiful, the sun was shining and there were no visible butts in sight, some would say a perfect day to watch the TT on the Isle of Man. This has been home for the last few days and it’s been an absolute eye opener. The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) is a series of motorcycle and side car races that are held on the island. The interesting part is that when the races are on, the island transforms into the race track and once a race starts then residents, and spectators (yes that's us), are restricted to the area they find themselves beacause the roads are blocked off. This sucks when the toilet is on the other side of the road.... Once the race finishes the island goes back to normal. The transformation is incedible - race track, island, race track then island again. This happens like 3 times a day on full race days.
The races are very cool, and very very fast. Hay bales line the streets and the crowds stick like glue to a piece of track to see some skillful riding and airborne action, while some hope for crash. The TT in
its hundred year history has claimed over 230 riders, that's an average of over 2 riders every year of which this year has been no different. Two riders have died this year and dozens injured as many spectators ship their bikes over and get caught up in the hype. The streets are lined with motorcycles, the hum of the engines is everywhere and even if you aren't a rider, you wish you were and if you’re not on a bike you’re missing out. Poor Eamon is bottom lipping, not vocally but I can still tell, if I feel like hopping on a bike then he does also and at least a thousand fold more than me.
Since we have been here we have watched a number of races, all have been incredibly fast and as we find different parts of the track to watch the races we have gotten closer and closer to the action. At times I have had to move back from the barrier, you get so close to the action that if you reached out you could easily high 5 the riders....and lose your hand. The track boundaries are generally The barriers residents fences and lawns,
local pubs and field edges. So in fact, the TT is very much a super dangerous street race around the island, these guys fly past at over 300 kmh. We have tried really hard to take photos and videos, none of which can really show the incredible the speed, sound and absolute awesomeness that comes from this racing. Of the thousand or so pics we have taken, most are blurry or blank, taken that quarter of a second too late but I've done my bestest to put up the good ones.
Races are all time trialed and riders take off in 10 second intervals, theres no grid. The winner is based on the fastest average speed so the guy who is first on the track isnt necessarilly the winner. I like it as you tend to be able to focus on the riders as they come past and you dont have to remember the order that riders come in, something I'm not coordinated to do. The numerous races have repeat riders too so after watching 4 days of racing we know the top 10 pretty well. Its a pretty personal race aswell, riders teams and bikes sit out in
the paddocks behind the grandstands intentionally on display. The funny guys to watch are the sidecars, when i first heard of the race I thought it was just one of motorbikes with a side thinggies, the ones I remember seeing in Indiana Jones....good movies those ones. Anyways they arent like that, they are a low bike which has a side compartment and is joined which makes the unit look more like 1 unit rather than 2 peices. One person rides and the other holds on, no seat compartment, and they just crawl around the side car like a spidey keeping the weight of the bike. Pretty talented especially as they tend to go around some pretty tight hairpins.
The event is so popular that it doubles the islands population during the racing period. Spectators begin booking their accommodation a year in advance so I begin to think how lucky we were to find ours, only 3 months in advance. Our host was fantastic, even though 2 of her 3 cheeky kids picked the bathroom lock to see “that ladies boobies", glad that's all they were looking at considering a was butt naked!
But back on topic now, the
TT has been incredible. Looking back, the week preceding has really just been a lead up to the event, slowly making our way to Liverpool Airport to catch our flight over. We started in Conwy, still in Wales, to visit the castle. I should have dropped Eamon there and picked him up later, kinda like dropping your kids at a birthday party - he absolutely loved it but luckily unlike a birthday party he didn't crack a tanty when we had to leave. From Conwy we headed for the Peak District, a national park south east from our destination and a really nice place to fill in time. The weather luckily turned on its charm and we were able to get out for our second ride since beginning our trip. This one was a little more tangible for Eamon than the Cotswolds, just a lazy, flat 30km through the Derwent Valley which follows a river consisting of 3 dammed sections. The Peak District sure as hell beats the Cotswolds we visited earlier, and I know there are still a few more of these national parks to visit so im keeping a mental note, and this blog, to remind me which
one will be the best. It has nothing to do with the amusement of camping next to sheep paddock, scaring the daylights out of the little guys and trying to feed them carrots after drinking half a bottle of Port....good times...I made it about 200 metres up the road on the following morning's run before feeling the need to spew, went for a nice walk instead. The Peak district is also cool because it has caaaaaaaves. Caves are cool but I have only the memories, photos in caves don't really work out which is a shame, it would have been cool to show off some of the 'formations' in the rock.
Now finally after a really amazing month, and an absolute bang at the end there, we think we think we are ready leave the UK, only having touched around half of it, my god we are slow! Our ferry has been booked for the Netherlands - yep that’s right, the Wiz is going to Amsterdam! If my next blog is slightly censored don't be surprised heh heh - just kidding mum! From the Netherlands we we intend on heading down into France through Belgium. We keep a pretty
rough itenary only planning around a few days or a week in advance, in most cases it changes anyways so no point in getting ahead of ourselves. So as we make our way back to Liverpool and start the drive down to the Harwich ferry dock, around a 6 hour drive (which takes us around 10 hours) I dont think there were be anything exiting on the M6 freeway so looks like ill be checking in again after some fun times in Europe.
Until then my dear friends - catch ya'll later!
PS. I dont know if anyone has noticed, but the first sentence should be "....and there were no visible c l o u d s in sight". Eamon has forgotton about a program he installed, cloud to butt, whch as you may guess changes the word cloud to butt. Yep this is what im stuck with for another 5 months or so.....tee hee.
Visited - Conwy (Wales), Peaks District, Isle of Man
Went to the TT and saw heaps of cool stuff - its crazy and amazing!!
I talk about the TT pretty much all blog
More TT talk
TT, TT, TT......and some kids saw my boobies
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