Monday, June 25, 2012

UK Trip Part II

It may or may not come as a surprise to people reading or following this blog, that I - a lady nudging sixty - love motorbikes. I can't ride a bike (not for lack of trying!) but I've been Grant's constant pillion for the past twelve years. He started riding when he was eight (that's not young: all our grandchildren can ride by the age of three!) but when we got married, he had to shelve his passion for two wheels and focus on being a husband and later a father. When we were married 31 years, we both decided to buy a motorbike: a Harley Davidson. We have since progressed to a BMW motorbike and whenever we're in South Africa, we try to fit some biking in between living in our home and visiting family.

When Grant suggested a trip to Isle of Man this year to see the greatest bike races in the world - the TT (Tourist Trophy) - I readily agreed. I'd heard so much about this event (Grant has been before) but nothing prepared me for the masses of private motorbikes careering around the track in between formal races or parked in the streets of towns across the island. There are about 140 bikers who take part in the TT races. There were about twenty thousand bikes which people had brought across on the ferry for their own pleasure. Ironically of the nine people who lost their lives this year, in four separate accidents, all were tourists.

A few of the thousands of private motorbikes lining the streets of Douglas, Isle of Man 
The private bike riders at the race starting line making use of the opportunity to blow the cobwebs away on the track

You can watch the races at designated areas anywhere along the track, but as we stayed in Douglas, we chose to sit / stand behind the stone wall surrounding St Ninian's Church. Apart from being along the first straight after the riders start their race, the church ladies supply all manner of hot beverages, sodas, home-made cakes, hamburgers, salad rolls, crisps and chocolates, etc while the races are on. It was also safe so people with children and/or dogs could relax while we all felt quite sheltered from the fickle English weather. 
   This little lad enjoyed riding his bike around the church courtyard while his sister in the pushchair against the stone wall, looks on
The first stretch of the race track as the bikes/sidecars pass the church. The spectators have a first hand view of the event while remaining safe and warm behind the wall. No matter how many times I tried, or what settings I used on my camera, I couldn't capture the machines as they roared past. (note blur in third photo - that's a motorbike!) 

I hope you're all having a wonderful week.


  1. Scares the wits out of me, Jo. Nine deaths on the Isle of Man? Very scary. But I'm a renowned coward. You're much braver than I'll ever be.

  2. Toward end of each month I try to visit some new blogs or ones that isn't on my coffee pal list...I came Gattina of “Gattina Writers Cramps”...Your life with your husband sound wonderful and adventures. I never heard of this motor bike event on the Isle of Man. There one here in the United States in place called ”Stergus South Dakota” (Sorry if I misspell the town)but it sure look like it was windy there. Today it been nice in North Idaho...Hope you find the time to stop on in and the coffee is on.

  3. wow! That's a lot of bikes. I'm glad you enjoyed this fantastic event. I would one day love to ride motorbikes more. Not sure when I'll get the chance. Hugs. xx

  4. Wow ... what an experience - I bet Grant was in Seventh Heaven ...

  5. Goodness Jo! That's a LOT of bikes!
    Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I am amazed by your sense of adventure, Ms Jo as you ride the big bike together with your husband. When I was younger, I enjoyed riding with my Dad and considered the air slapping on my face a welcome change.

    Hope I could get to know you more through your entries as I read them every so often. Let's follow each other?

    Have a great week ahead :D

  7. Jo, this event sounds perfect for you and your hubby. It is sad to see the tourist are not careful. We have what is called bike week here, bikers from all over merge into one place for a week.

  8. That is an enormous number of motorcycles on the little Isle of Man, Jo. It looks like it would be fun to watch. What a great interest--motorcycling-- that you and Grant share!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo