Monday, July 26, 2004

2004 The Isle Of Man

 We left for Liverpool about 7am as we needed to be there for 9.30. At 9.30 we are at a ferry terminal, but it was the wrong one! So thanks to the Mersey tunnel 20 mins later we arrived at the right terminal. We boarded the Sea Cat at 10.00 am,ate our cheese and pickle sandwiches and were in Douglas around 2pm after a smoothe crossing.We had pre arranged our accommodation at the Santon Motel which we found to be very nice and the staff most helpful. Just down the road was a area called fairy bridge,legend has it that its unlucky not to say good day to the little people when you cross the bridge so we did!We went round the TT course about 5 times, but found the best part was the mountain section as there are no speed limits up there! 
We fell lucky after the 1st time around as we met 2 local lads (Wayne and Miles) who showed us round the course and gave us tips on riding it. Obviously they made us look like we were on pedal bikes, the speeds at which they could ride around there was very fast, but as they said theres nowhere to go on the island apart from the TT course so they do it daily and knew it very well.
I liked a phrase Wayne said '' Once you see the Unrestricted sign, you can ride as fast as you like! ''
The TT course is clearly marked with black and white kerbs and big orange boards telling you the name of the section and the shape of the corner. We all liked different parts of the course but Wndy Corner was always the one you had to get right.(It is very windy there!)

You can see why theres so many serious and deadly accidents up there though, as its so easy to ride at speeds well over 100mph for long spells but in the UK we are not used to it, so you have to get used to riding faster and braking earlier, and after a while 60mph dosent seem much more than a steady amble. 
Its quite easy when your up at 120mph to slowly drift back down to 80mph because thats what your used to even though the road is capable of much more.The course offers abit of eveything, theres a Hairpin(23) a hump bridge at Ballaugh Bridge(17) numerous long straights but we liked Gob-ny-Geay(35), fast twistys at Quarry bends(18) and Gooseneck (25)
Jon took his video camera and we each strapped it to our bikes and filmed us riding around the curcuit, which is on our youtube channel.

While on the Island Jon wore a set of tyre so much that he had to buy another set!
The lap is about 35 miles long so as you can imagine your at the petrol station quite alot!
During our trip we decided to visit the Laxey Wheel and go down the mine, both worth a look if your in the area.

Since going to the Isle of Man its been featured in the press that a speed limit is going to be added which is a shame as i think thats half the appeal. Maybe the track shouldnt have one but everywhere else on the island could.

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