Guest Author - Nancy Brotherton
What is the Isle of Man? The Isle of Man is endearingly termed, “the jewel of the Irish Sea”. It is comprised of approximately 38 miles of public road that form the Tourist Trophy (TT) racetrack that the Isle of Mann TT Motorcycle Race is run on. The Isle of Man closes it public roads for racing during this two week period of TT racing. The Isle of Man has held these two week time trial format motorcycle races for over 100 years, with year 2007 being the Centenary event.
The Tourist Trophy races are normally held the last week of May or the first week of June and the crowds are similar to the Tour de France with crowds of onlookers picnicking along the sides of the roads. The TT races have been referred to as “the greatest motorcycle road race in the world”. The roads are filled with lumps and bumps, gravel, and other obstacles just like in a real world public road. The Snaefell Mountain course is open to the public to ride on “mad” Sunday. The race is run with high speeds, narrow, twisting streets and lanes lined with buildings and walls. This event is man and his bike against breathtakingly beautiful but dangerous roads, riding on Supersports, Superstocks, Superbikes, Lightweights, and Sidecars.
The current lap record was set by John McGuinness on a Honda CBR1000 Fireblade with a time of 17 minutes and 21.99 seconds for an average speed of 130.35 mph
The Isle of Man has other activities besides racing, such as evening entertainment, beach racing, motocross, and rallies. As always, the camaraderie and friendship of the bikers and the residents of the Isle of Man is legendary. As an added bonus, the Ducati Museum will be at the Isle of Man during TT week with motorcycles that have helped shaped TT history.
The 2008 dates are:
May 24th through May 30th is Practice Week.
May 31st – Superbike TT Race and Sidecar TT Race
June 2nd – Superstock TT Race & Supersport Junior TT Race
June 4th – Supersport Junior TT Race and Sidecar Race
June 6th – Senior TT Race
June 7th – Lightweight TT Race and Ultra Lightweight TT Race
To find out more about the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races and the Isle of Man, click on the link below and go to the Isle of Man TT Website. This link provides advice on travel and hotel accommodations, camping, entering the race, and has an fun page of games and trivia.
Until next week, ride safe.