MONDAY AND TUESDAY
The first race practice for the TT was on Monday night. We like to go to a different place around the course each night to watch. There are lots of places to spectate from, all different, all good. The main ones are published in a little booklet, but as you go around you notice people in fields or sitting on hedges, and wonder how they got there.
On Monday Al took us to one of these hedges. He advised that it would not be a good idea to take the sidecar, as we had to go down a little narrow lane and it would be a problem if we met another vehicle. Therefore, he popped me on the back of his Triumph and Mick rode is KTM.
This is how you get up onto the stone hedge.
The only problem was that none of the ladders were there when we arrived. It was quite comical seeing the boys getting me up there. This is how close we are to the action.
Al was clowning around. As you can see, we didn’t have a very wide spot to sit on.
In a break from the usual format the sidecars came out first. As some of them went past you could feel the whole wall move.
Apparently the solos go past at about 170 mph (not kph). I love this photo Mick took. You really get a sense of how fast they are going.
On Tuesday we went into Douglas with Al to see the 3D movie “Closer to the Edge”. This is a documentary of last year’s TT and is fantastic. I believe it will be showing in Australia as well. There were quite a few Aussies at the cinema.
Douglas has a really attractive Victorian era promenade.
After that we had a little look around the pits. Unlike most races the public can just wander around the pits without any special passes or entry fee. We met Milky Quayle, who is a previous winner and a mate of Al’s. We also saw a few other riders in the distance. This is Guy Martin’s pit. He is a real character and everyone wants him to win his first race this year.
In the afternoon we visited the Fairy Bridge with Olga. You must wave to the fairies when you pass or it is bad luck. As you go by, you see that most people do.
For practice we headed to Ballacraine, which is another place we have never watched from before. It is a right hand corner between two buildings.
Once again we took lots of photos.
We are still amazed at how close we can get to the racing. No where else has anything like it.
Wednesday morning was a quiet one for me, but Mick went into the Pits again and found that many of the Aussies were there and it had been arranged for them to meet Cameron Donald. Cam is the only Aussie racing in the TT this year. He has already won a couple of races in the past and in 2009 set the fastest ever lap until then during practice. He is certainly one of the favourites for a win and a really nice bloke as well.
In the afternoon we went and found Silverdale Glen, which was a really popular spot to visit by holiday makers in the past.
There is a carousel that is powered by a water wheel.
It still has the original old horses.
The glen itself is really pretty.
Then, in the evening it was off to practice again. This time to Ballaugh Bridge. We have been there before, but it is one of the most spectacular places to watch. Many famous TT photos have been taken here. This is why. Guy Martin was flying.
The sun was in a really bad spot for photos, but that didn’t matter.
All the riders have a different technique in approaching the hump back bridge. Yes, the sidecar is completely off the road.
Then they have to go past the corner of the pub.