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Isle of Man TT

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Image: A fan of the event, American Motorcycle USA

For two weeks in May and June the finest road racers on earth hone their skills against the 37¾ miles of public roads that form the legendary Isle of Man TT circuit. The first race was held in 1904. Times change. No need to tell you that. But some things don't, including the attractions of this race, which are described by Ian Kerr.

By the way, the electric machines for "the world’s first clean emission race took to the Mountain circuit today for the first practice session around the course. Despite the doubters, 10 of the 14 starters made it, and the speeds impressed all spectators".

The Isle of Man is a wonderful place.

Comments (1)

A delightful young Brit I knew in America in the 60s had three hobbies: collecting antique waistcoats, studying eccentric local by-laws wherever he went, and racing small but potent motorbikes. For that last, he was training on the Manx TT course and trying to remember the sequence of the turns – at over 100 mph. ‘OK: right, left, right – or was it left again?’ Whoops. His rear wheel touched a trackside dune, and the next thing he knew the road was sliding by at great speed past his helmet visor as he slid along it on his tum. When friction halted him, he tried to get up. ‘That was a mistake,’ he told me: both his knees were in seriously bad shape.

Fortunately a policeman (the only person around on this lonely stretch) had seen him, and called in help in the form of a Royal Marines helicopter. Young Andrew was taken to hospital strapped to a stretcher on the outside of the machine; an unnerving experience he never forgot.

‘Wonderful chaps, our policemen,’ he said.

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