June 12, 2016
I’m standing near the 31-mile marker on the 37.7 mile TT course, on the mountain, near the Joey Dunlop memorial. The TT races have been over for two days, but the mountain is still one-way traffic only, and there are still lots of motorcycles going by, nearly all in excess of 100 mph; many in excess of 140 mph.
I turn to the policeman standing next to me and ask, “So, is it pretty much just a free-for-all up here?”
He replies, “We prefer not to call it a free-for-all, but there is no speed limit.”
When was the last time a cop told you that? He continues: “We’re not here for enforcement. We’re just here to close the road when the accidents happen. Which is several times a day.” He explains that during the Manx GP in August, the mountain road is open both ways, because apparently there aren’t nearly as many idiots that show up for that.
The Joey Dunlop memorial is quite impressive, and includes stones engraved with each of his 26 TT wins.
Friday’s Sidecar race and Senior TT were great viewing, especially with William Dunlop setting a new lap record.
This morning I went for a ride up the mountain behind the campground, and onto some of the trails (“Green Lanes”).
I was reminded of several things as I descended the rutted, root-strewn, loamy, dark, steep downhill:
- As Sandy and Alfred mentioned earlier, the ISDE has been run on the Isle of Man in the past, and for good reason. Nice trails!
- I’m alone.
- I have no idea if there’s a way out at the bottom of this hill.
- I’m on a very underpowered motorcycle.
Keeping all of that in mind, I eventually managed to get turned around and back up the way I came down. It was another reminder of why I need to come back here, and spend at least a week between the TT races and the off-road riding.
I’m on the very late ferry back to Liverpool, then a few more days roaming England and Wales.