Ahoy folks Lewis here, I hope all’s well.
I’m dedicating this blog to our recent visit to the lovely and scenic; Isle of Man. We had a trip to the island to watch the legendary TT races (Tourist Trophy) for Andy’s 50th Birthday; I know I know he’s getting on a little. Anyway I won’t bore you with what we got up to and our antics, instead I’d like to enlighten you with my experiences of driving and riding on this iconic course.
Since disembarking the ferry it was like a whole different world, 1000’s of excitable biking enthusiasts raring to set off and take in the buzzing atmosphere. As the ferry door was opening, engines were started and fumes began spreading around the hold intoxicating all within, then once completely docked that was it, everyone set off.
Bikers from all around the world, overtaking and undertaking, all with the same goal of racing the circuit that has captured all who have dared to ride it. They do drive on the left hand side on the island which is beneficial for us however some of the foreign visitors did forget to move out of the way of oncoming traffic.
We however had other ideas, a steady ride with our other instructor friend to our accommodation taking in all the breath-taking scenery. Oh how we were enlightened with the abundance of foreign drivers and riders swarming us.
After settling in we decided to take on the legendary mountain circuit, passing by some of the monuments that make the TT so unique on route. Then we saw it, the sign; standing proud with its flashing lights, a beacon shining to all who passed it, the mountain!
Now you may wonder why it is significant, well…a short history lesson for you.
Since the first ever IOM TT race in 1907 there have been on average 40,000 visitors each year over the 2 week period from all corners of the globe and in total 240 competitors have sadly lost their lives during official practice or race weeks so the mountain is an extremely dangerous place to be.
Outside of race times the course is open to all who visit and so the 37.75 mile lap has thousands of road users following consistently. Further to this, certain sections of the course have unrestricted speed limits. The usual ‘National Speed Limit’ sign we see in the UK in the IOM doesn’t mean 60mph on single carriageways and 70mph on dual carriageways, it means you can go as quick as you like providing you still drive/ride with due care and attention. If you couple this with cliff edges that drop several hundred feet with no safety barrier you may begin to understand why we were a little apprehensive.
You will be pleased to know that we did arrive home safely after a week of glorious sunshine and insane racing. It is with deep sadness that I inform you of one competitor that lost their life on practice week this year.
Fortunately there were no other fatal casualties during the 2 weeks, however many many tourists did return home without their vehicles and so caused the mountain to be closed for 2 hour clean-ups every 10 minutes.
To conclude, the Isle is a very unique place to which I urge you to experience for yourselves, I know I will but remember to take it steady out there!
Bye for now and don’t forget #startWrightStart